Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ergon HX2 Glove Review

The HX2 glove by Ergon ($45) became available the last week of May, so I purchased a pair because:
1.  Ergon makes great products
2.  They look pretty freakin' sweet
3.  The fit is spot on

I have worn the HX2 now for a month and have gotten some good mileage in them between singletrack and road rides.  I have already told you how sweet they look, so lets move on to the other aspects of the glove.  The fit is nice and tight and not feeling the seams make them very comfortable.  The breathability of these gloves are great.  I have worn them on days with the temperature in the 90's with humidity and they do not feel like they are holding in the sweat.  Even in the hot temps these gloves are sticking to the grips like you would like without them slipping from being drenched in sweat.  These gloves work great when paired with the GX1 grips like Ergon designed them for.  At this point there are no complaints about these gloves and highly doubt there will be.

Update: 8/31/2011
These gloves have been put through a good amount of mileage on singletrack and feel just as good as the first time I wore them.  The white was turning brown from all the dirt and sweat that they were collecting over the last 3 months.  I did just as the Ergon website suggested for taking care of them and it brought them back to almost new.  The great thing is they didn't stretch or shrink from washing them.  I like these gloves so much I am thinking of buying a second pair just to rotate between.  Highly recommend them and I never leave home without them.  Maybe Ergon will make them in a winter version, lets hope.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Topeak SmartGauge D2 Review

I received in the mail on Monday the Topeak SmartGauge D2 (Digital Air Gauge).  I had to order one since I get tired of trying to figure out the exact air pressure in my tires.  The floor pump I have is not the most precise since it has marks for every 4 psi which makes it hard to figure out what air pressure feels good for the trails.  So, last night I had to test it out and it ROCKS.  No more hitting the trails and being to low where you feel the rim hit or to much and it is like a basketball going over roots.  The best thing about it is the bleed valve on it.  It is nice and slow, so you don't blow through 2 psi's in a matter of a nano second and then have to pump the tire back up again.  It takes the guess work out now from the floor pump gauge and gets the tires feeling right.  The head rotates making it easy to fit between spokes and be able to read the huge LCD display without doing a handstand to see it.  This will definitely be the most used tool in the toolbox now.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Raleigh Times Bar

We visit Raleigh Times for lunch a few times a month.  The must have is the Braised Pork Enchilada and my backup is the Shrimp Burger.  Depending on how hungry we can are we also may order up the Fried Pickles for an appetizer.  The pork enchilada has some great flavors going on from the beer braised pork to the roasted poblano chili sauce that tops it all off.  Enough of me talking about it and you reading about it.  If you are ever close to 14 E. Hargett Street then swing by and try it out for yourself.  Depending on what time you are there or not at work and like having a beer then it is a good place to grab one of those also.  Their main style beer they carry is Belgian if you are a fan of those.

Endurance Rides - HTFU

This past Sunday went out and knocked out 40 miles on the single speed with a group.  A few of them ended up doing 70ish miles.  A buddy of mine, James organizes these rides normally on Sunday morning starting at 7am.  It is a way for a group to get together and lay down some serious miles between singletrack and doubletrack in the Triangle.  We hit the majority of the trails in the area known as ORC (Old Reedy Creek) which is on the back side of Umstead Park.  A lot of the climbing miles (nothing like western NC) come in Umstead since that is the best we can do for climbing in the Triangle. Anyone who wants to come out and feel the pain for however many miles they want.  Then they can break off after however long and take it to the house.  Lately we haven't had much rain which makes for dry trails and by the end of a ride you will be covered in dirt and dust.  You can check out the sock line from the nice mixture of sweat and dirt.  If you want to come check one out then look on the trianglemtb website forums under race, rides and events.  And, if you were wondering HTFU has a couple meanings:  the clean version: Harden The Freak Up!!! or since it is summertime and hotter than hell:  Humid, Tropical, Flowy, Umstead.  James came up with these catchy phrases, so I can't take credit for them.

Vaca at Wrightsville Beach

We headed out after lunch to Wrightsville Beach on Wednesday to return on Friday for our last vacation before school starting.  It was a short, but much needed vacation.  We were staying at Blockade Runner.  Great place to stay and lots to do right there on their property.  We get there shortly after 2pm and get unpacked.  Then we slathered on the sunscreen and hit the beach for the next 3 hours.  It is a lot of fun to see how happy the kids are when they are running toward the ocean just to be chased back by a wave.  Then the time we spend in the ocean jumping up with the waves and watching my six year old get knocked around by some of them when they break right on him.  Then how both of them roll around in the surf and collect more seashell fragments in their bathing suits that goes unnoticed until it is time to take a shower.  It looks like we brought half of the beach back to the bathroom with us when you strip them down for their showers. We went to Oceanic for dinner that night for some seafood. 
Next day, I head out as the sun is rising for a twenty mile road ride around Wrightsville Beach on my newly converted Vassago Fisticuff from monstercross to road bike.  It is a nice place to get riding in, but to get some mileage you have to do the route numerous times.  We grabbed breakfast at the resort and head for the beach again.  There was a storm off the coast, so we couldn't get in the ocean but so far.  We did get to witness the water spouts that formed and went across Carolina Beach.  It was neat to watch them come out the sky and form.  Glad they didn't head our direction.  Then shortly before lunch we had to head inside because it started raining pretty heavy.  With a full belly from lunch, both kids took a much needed nap while I sat and watched it rain while surfing the internet while
tipping back some Miller High Life in my new 29nsngl coozie.  We headed for the pool after the rain let up and it was good and chilly outside and especially in the water.  Spent a good hour or so playing in the pool and headed back up to the room to get showers and head over to Tower 7 for some of the best Tex Mex and definitely the best in that area.  Kids had a taco and some nachos off the kids menu.  The commander-in-chief a/k/a Wife had the Tower 7 burrito, and I finished it off.  I had the San Felipe Tacos.  I have posted up before about Tower 7, so no reason to keep talking about how great the food is there.  The only thing you need to know is if you are in the area and hungry.  Stop in and fill your belly for a good price.  We hit up the putt-putt course at Jungle Rapids after dinner and went back and had a nice walk on the beach.  Let the kids jump around in the surf one last time before we pull out of there the next morning and head back to the casa.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Barbecue Chicken Pizza

So, this past weekend I made this Barbecue Chicken Pizza.  Here is the recipe for the dough below from the Food Network Magazine that we subscribe to.
Whisk 3 3/4 cups flour and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Make a well and add 1 1/3 cups warm water, 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 packet yeast. When foamy, mix in 3 tablespoons olive oil; knead until smooth, 5 minutes. Brush with olive oil, cover in a bowl and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour 30 minutes. Divide into two 1-pound balls. Use 1 pound per recipe unless noted.

Now for the ingredients:
Barbecue Sauce (Sweet Baby Ray's)
Yellow Onion
Mexican blend of cheese

For the prep work we made the dough as mentioned above in the recipe.  We bought a rotisserie chicken from our local grocery store the night before for another meal and used the left overs for the pizza.  You can always just cook up your chicken however you like.  Then added some Sweet Baby Ray's Sauce in the bowl and shook it up to cover the chicken.  Cooked the bacon until it was about 3/4 cooked since it would cook more on the pizza.  Then thinly sliced a yellow onion.  I used the gas grill outside to bake the pizza, so the kitchen wouldn't get hot since I bake the pizzas at 500 degrees.  I like how crisp the bottom of the pizza gets from the grill also.  Plus, I always forget to move the rack in the oven to the bottom to help make it crispier.

First, I stretched the pizza dough on the pizza stone.  Instead of tomato sauce I used the Sweet Baby Ray's Sauce and added about a cup and a half.  Added the cheese next then the chicken, bacon and onion.  Then sprinkled a little more cheese over top of the other ingredients.  Then put it on grill for 8 to 10 minutes and below is what came out and it was awesome.  We had a couple friends over and they loved it.  It is a good way to to not just have the normal boring pizza.