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Wired magazine has a neat spread of high-tech Olympic gear, including a track shoe with liquid-crystal polymer threads, an $8,500 road bike from Specialized, Speedo's controversial LZR Racer swimsuit, and a pre-race ice vest made to keep marathoners cool while battling Beijing's baking August heat.




The pre-race ice vest was made to keep competitors cool while waiting to run.


The aforementioned track shoe struck me as most intriguing. According to the Wired piece, the Nike AeroFly shoes weigh 6.6 ounces and have uppers strengthened with "criss-crossed cables woven from Vectran liquid-crystal polymer threads -- the same stuff used in the Mars rovers' airbags." The Wired article says Asafa Powell, a 100-meter world record holder, will sprint with the Martian spikes next week.




Nike's AeroFly shoes.




Click to "Play Like You're an Olympian With This Gold-Standard Gear" here. . .



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In the business magazine Inc. this week writer Robert Andrew Powell

profiles the Boulder, Colo., company Newton Running, a Gear Junkie[ Top 10 pick in 2007|]. It’s a nice article +(click here: “Keep Running”) +with some background on the innovative business and its unlikely

trajectory to success.






But then I got to page No. 4 where the writer sideswipes the ol’ Gear Junkie here.



The questionable journalism starts in a section of the story where Powell

is looking to play the negative angle on Newton. He glorifies the

innovators for a few hundred words then segues into his own hesitant

experience with the shoes, writing in an ad hoc review that “The

Newtons did not make running any easier, as far as I could tell, but

they didn’t seem to cause damage, either.”





A couple sentences later he continues: +“I noticed that the Gear

Junkie columnist who ranked the Newtons No. 1 in his gear-of-the-year

column said the shoes kept him ‘feeling faster’ in the Twin Cities

Marathon. And then I saw that his finishing time of four hours and 36

minutes was 46 minutes slower than his time in the same race two years




Powell is right that I ran a slow marathon in

the Newtons last fall. But he did not phone to ask why. Indeed, the

weekend of the marathon I was attempting an endurance feat

of sorts, as I raced in (and won) a 12-hour adventure race on Saturday,

got a couple hours of sleep, then arose early to run the marathon on

Sunday. Blogged on the epic here:



In addition to that oversight, it’s strange logic for Powell to assume or

suggest that the shoes I wore for a particular event would affect my

time so dramatically. A 46-minute difference should have been a red

flag to Powell. Any number of factors might slow you down on a

marathon—an injury, the heat or weather one year versus another, your

health at the time. But your shoe type causing a 46-minute gap? That’s

a stretch.



Anyway, my message to Powell is: Next time call and

get the full story straight. Readers, thanks for listening to my rant.

Signing off now to go take a training run. . . in my Newtons.






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Arc’teryx, that Vancouver soft-goods maker of all things alpine and cool, is going aerobic with its spring 2009 collection. Specifically, starting next year, the company will launch several apparel and outerwear collections made for trail runners, cyclists and multisport athletes.


The pieces are lightweight and made to breathe and wick moisture as you toil on the go. The Endorphin apparel line, one of several collections, includes featherweight shell jackets like the 5-ounce Celeris Jacket, two performance vests and the Velox Zip Neck, a 4.4-ounce “endurance running shirt” that features a deep front zipper for venting. Prices start at $75 in this collection.




Celeris Jacket (women’s)


The Cito line includes “close-fitting pieces thoughtfully designed for the athlete that demands performance fabrics, total mobility and maximum comfort during punishing exercise routines.” That’s the company line, anyway. A tight, a tank top and a sports bra are made of stretchy, wicking material. They weigh 3 to 5 ounces apiece and start at $59






Cito ¾ Tight


The Escala Collection offers fitted apparel with “dynamic, soft, moisture wicking fabric.” This includes the Escala Capri, a plush pant made for yoga, climbing, pilates, etc. The Escala Strap Tank has a built-in shelf-bra, four straps across the back and a wide asymmetrical waistband. And the Escala Short is a trim-fitting athletic short with breathable mesh panels to maximize venting and moisture wicking. Prices start at $69.








Escala Capri


Finally, the Visio & Escala Skorts “inject a healthy dose of femininity into classic technical athletic shorts.” Again, that’s the Arc’teryx verbiage, not mine. But these stylish bottoms are practical running-wear that have a thigh-tight running bottom hidden under a wraparound skirt made from moisture-wicking textiles and with a long overlapping side slit for unrestricted strides. Designed for running around the neighborhood or down the trail 26.2 miles in a mountain marathon. Pricing to start at $69.









Escala Skort


All Arc’teryx aerobicwear will be available starting in spring 2009. Monitor for details.







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Invent-a-Sport Contest

Posted by Stephen Regenold Jul 17, 2008


Want to win hundreds of dollars worth of clothes from ***** Toad? The

Santa Barbara, Calif., company has launched a competition—the *****

Toad and Instructables “Invent-a-Sport” Contest. From July 10th to

August 10th, contestants can submit their entry by visiting and submitting the blueprint to a real or imagined fringe sport or outdoors activities.








As per the company’s promotional material, “there are hundreds of

sports out there with well-defined rules to follow (boring), but *****

Toad and Instructables think rules are made to be broken.”



latter which is a website specializing in “user-created do-it-yourself

projects”—want to see variations on existing sports or complete

originals. So far, entries have included flashlight tag, lawnmower

racing, skateboard sailing, extreme lacrosse, among many others.








Submit your entry with a text description, images and video (optional). Grand prize is a $350 gift card to



I have my own entry to throw in the barrel: Nocturnal Fixie Dog-Joring.

Don’t try this at home, but as of late I’ve been riding my single-speed

fixie bike hooked to my dog (dog-joring) at night. Quite a ride, as

Rodney the 90-pound Weimaraner can gallop at 20mph for almost two miles

dead straight. I let my legs spin on the fixed cranks, trundling down

deserted city streets near my house, following a halo of LED

illumination cast from my handlebar light. Will have to get an image

and post it to the Toad page. See if I can win. . .















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Miles Per Gallon

Posted by Stephen Regenold Jul 17, 2008
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Pole positions

Posted by Stephen Regenold Jul 14, 2008


In one of my more strange assignments ever, last week I covered a rising form of aerobic workout that takes its cues from erotic dancing. "Strip Fitness," as the class was called, is advertised as a way to "tone your booty, legs, arms and abs with style."







Lighted platforms, poles, folding chairs, suggestive moves and thumping music mix to create a sweat-inducing, heart-rate-raising session that can be a serious aerobic jolt.


“It’s a ton of cardio, your heart rate going up and down through different fat-burning zones,” said one instructor.


Read the complete story here:





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Gear on the Wall

Posted by Stephen Regenold Jul 7, 2008


My column last month on Thule—“Cargo Box on a Small Car”—covered a rack setup for moving gear around on the go. But what about racking your piles of equipment at home?


Yakima has a unique mount-on-the-wall system called Ground Control ( It was made for garages or basements, and the system accommodates gear for cycling, fishing, skiing, snowboarding and camping with shelves, baskets, beds and hooks all available as DIY, custom-configurable options.



ABOVE: Yakima’s Ground Control


Accessories for Ground Control include single and double utility hooks, a vertical bike hanger, a ski/snowboard hanger, a kayak and cargo box holder, loose gear storage, a corner kit, and a horizontal extension kit. The base system is comprised of varying horizontal and vertical round tube lengths made of aluminum that allow for a variety of configurations, including the ability to build around corners. You mount Yakima rack accessories to the system to make a custom garage gear organization shelf.


Another option, Talic Inc. sells assorted racks for boaters. The company has a slogan, “Be Good To Your Toys,” and with products like the Kayak Condo—a wood and webbing boat holder that eliminates pressure points that might dent or scratch your boat—you can be sure that your water craft will rest easy when not in use.








ABOVE: The Kayak Condo from Talic


The company ( sells the Kayak Condo in three iterations—holding one to three boats stacked. Thick two-inch-wide webbing conforms to the shape of your boat at rest, and wooden arms provide up to 100 pounds of support, enough to hold any boat.


Beyond the Kayak condo, Talic has canoe racks, kayak stands, and racks for paddles and skis. All Talic products are designed, engineered, and built by a team of kayakers in Rochester, NY.


The Kayak Condo starts at $51.95. Yakima’s Ground Control goes at $225 for the base unit then $16 to $130 for the clip-on components.



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