Be LOST… All those who wander aren’t lost….

Here I am on a train, haven’t slept in, dunno really, quite a few hours at this point to be sure, kicked out of a vacation with a friend turned jellyfish in the onslaught of his psycho girl and lack of testes in the face of “harsh phone calls”, my god….. men are the doomed race of this species, on my way home, actually, my parents house…  no where new or on any bucket lists, and yet, I am literally alive right now.  Full on, electricity arcing nicely twixt my myelin sheaths.
The beauty in travel is simply in the journey, from one end of the block to another as a child, or from one end of the planet to the other, doesn’t matter, adventure begins the moment you take your first step of anything you dub travel.
And if you travel long enough, home will always be the most desired destination (especially once that bucket starts getting really in focus) for if you never go home, how can you leave again!
Tips for travelers…..

When traveling and staying in others spaces (including NATURE)…

1.  Do the dishes, clean up, and clean up beyond what you produce, neither man nor nature will snub you for looking out!
2.  Secret away your things, even if it means packing and unpacking many times a day, it is best to avoid then”exploded” look as it makes ones host imagine that they will come home to an all out assault for control, a storming of the gates RivenWood style.  If you are in nature, simply best to avoid littering the ground with your stuff, this should be fairly straight forward, there will no doubt be a few of you bitten by things most nefarious for ignoring the obvious, allow me to laugh at you now…
HA HA.
3.  Be considerate, keep an eye on times and hours that your hosts do things, ESPECIALLY in nature, now we’re talking, at times, life and death!
4.  LOTS OF WATER.
5.  If you’re from the U.S.A., drink more water, odds are you are dehydrated daily, this just makes for a poor house guest, again, especially if you are in nature.
6.  Don’t over stay your welcome, usually 2-4 days is enough, anything over 2 should be chatted about, every day beyond your stay, have the chat and over communicate if possible (some people are super chill and when they say a month is cool, that’s that, you decide your audience, good luck!).
7.  What, you’re still reading this s$%t!?!  GO TRAVEL!
Aloha!

Advertisements

Part 12 of the Beginner guide to Bicycle Touring, The Bike Repair Kit

Bike repair kit

 

Bike repair kitYou will want this to be fairly all inclusive depending upon where you are headed and the likelihood of bike shops on the way.  For instance, in our current ride through the Baja peninsula, we are finding bike shops once every 100 miles or so.

 

Lets get started shall we…  If you are going any great distance, like across your state, you may consider taking a spare tire.  At least 2 tubes, some spokes, lube – best we found so far is a wax based lubricant which helps to shed dirt and grime.  A flat repair kit with extra tubes of glue.  If you are given a kit as a gift from a friend who hasn’t used it in a while, make sure the glue is good and then get an extra tube anyway.  I used a kit that I had for a very long time and found the tube was empty when I went to use it!  Allen wrenches, spoke tool for repairing popped spokes, phillips and flat head screwdriver, wrenches to fit bolts on bike, many times you can get an all in one tool that will encompass all these tools, spare brake pads, spare cable[s], good duct tape or electricians tape [a trick is to wrap the tape around a pencil and then use some heavy duty cutters to snip off the ends of the pencil, this way your tape will be compact and not space consuming, super glue – duh, its super glue, some zip ties and whatever else helps you feel comfortable and ready to tackle repairs in the field.  One great tool that is rarely mentioned and can be purchased from a couple companies is the rear gear removal tool.  I am pretty sure this can be purchased for around 20 dollars from the Adventure Cycling Association, with out it or some other tool, you will not be able to replace broken rear wheel spokes.

 

Spare spokes, this is something you really want to have looked over by a person who knows bikes, again, the Co-op is a great place for knowledge.  Also, you will learn on the road and amaze yourself at your own inherent ingenuity.  Don’t be scared, ever!

 

 



Long Distance cycling tip numero Uno…

Get AeroBars!  Not cause you’re going to be going fast and breaking land speed records, because you will be going uphills and you will be spending the same amount of time on your bike as a person would with the average 9-5 job!

I bought mine used on Craigslist and it was the best 35 dollars I have spent on my bicycle to date!  I have Profile [brand], Airstryke [model].  There are many to choose from and if you are handy, you could probably whip a pair up yourself and make them super duper custom…

 

Enjoy the road and Aloha!

Get to know Chris, a story time… Russian Mobsters in Seoul S. Korea=]

This one takes place in the early navy days…

My memory is slight to say the least as I was quite the drinker in the Navy, something about realizing I was part of a death machine that cared nothing for its internal people in the mission to destroy all of those on the external…

We were in Seoul, I was with my good friend J.K. playing a game of poker with two very large Russian gentleman who totally fit the bill of Russian Mobsters.  Of course the cards were grimy and bent, the lighting was dim and the wooden table was sketchy at best.  At some point I decided to ‘impress’ these gentleman with my graps of Russian by poking one of the men in the chest, I think he had a red sweater under his brown stained jacket, poking him, saying “sookin sin” over and over, I can only imagine my pokes were hard as he was large and not sure where I am going with this, flash forward in my memory, many of the memories from these Navy years are like old Polaroid photographs in a dusty lidded shoebox deep in a closet… random, faded, no order, just moments caught in time, slowly disappearing, years of my life….

He didnt like the poking nor did he like the “sookin sin” comment, I had recently watched a James Bond Movie, I think the one that had the Vegas lounge singer as a televangelist preacher, was it Timothy Dalton as Bond, anyway, sookin sin=son of a botch.

So there we are, the next memory is of running, and not a slight jog, a full on run, i am laughing hysterically, Jeff is telling  me to shut the F up and calling me an idiot.

A look over my shoulder, another polaroid snapshot of Large Russian men running after us, moving surprisingly well for their bulk and of course, one of them now has a knife in full view, a hunting knife, the kind you lusted for as a kid in the Cub Scouts.  Zigging and zagging down back alleys in South Korea running from mobsters with knives….. HA!  And you say you have lived….

We made it, I’m here after all.  I asked Jeff what happened about that night and he O.k’ed my recollection and told me after that we went from little sketchy hotel to sketchy hotel in the hopes of finding a bed for a few hours.  As luck would have it, after being turned down by many due to my extreme inebriation, I finally spied a Chihuahua in one of the places windows and decided that was the spot.  To this day not sure what the Chihuahua draw is….

While the Chihuahua was our beacon of hope it also turned into our demise, I couldnt stop laughing about the dog and this got us kicked out with no refund of money….

My memory stopped with running down the alleys, Jeff filled me in to this point, so, thats your story about me for today…

Dont worry, I have a book of days you may find interesting=]

Vibram 5 Fingers, Komodo Sport and the Trek Sport

Vibram Five Fingers

if you dont like reading and just want the scoop on the shoes in a super simple way….  Ninja Radness…

They’re great for your body to the point that following the learning program [sadly, many of you will need to learn to move again=] will help you heal your body!

Before you get into the review, know that it will be ongoing for the time we have the shoes on our feet, currently I am only writing about my shoes [Chris], Diana reads and if there is anything wrong in my account of what happened, we clear it up, this way you get a two person angle on each pair of shoes used.

she will be putting her reviews out sooner or later=]

General Overview

If you are thinking of the shoe, the online process is great and you get a good shoe, for the best fit, I would strongly suggest gong to a store, ESPECIALLY if you plan on using socks, we are dealing with a ninja shoe, the specifications for fit have much smaller tolerances!

For me this shoe represents the pinnacle of shoe engineering for our time and age for the simple fact that this shoe takes into account the foot as the thing at the end of your leg which must be protected, no, it looks upon the foot as a synergistic blend (am I getting too far out=) of its various components which needs to be further and further pushed and utilized to it’s absolute fullest in order to have the most power from your body, the most strength, essentially, to bring you as close to natures intentions on a large scale.

Shoe fit – Some of my toes do not meet the end of the little pocket made for them, pretty amazing from an online order I reckon, so, no matter, as a whole the shoe works so surprisingly well, that we will be using them soley (get it=) for the ride around the world.  Update we are now also using Luna sandals which are soled by Vibram, so I guess we are still using them… SOLEY, hahaha, to get around the globe… Soley…HA!  sigh….  As for the actual orginal sizing/fitting, by using the video and sizing chart on the website, you may be as lucky as I was with how well they end up being even having not tried it on.  Of course plenty of places sell them where you can try them on and I recommend doing so as the fit is specific and as we are trying out two shoes, different enough to be noticeable.

To date we have used the Vibrams climbing/bouldering, hiking, trail running, biking, yoga-ing and kung fu/tai chi-ing, extreme gardening…  Superb.  These shoes increase ones Kung Fu grip exponentially as they allow for a much more precise flow of information back to the brain from the foot.  The more info, the more Ninja.

The sole is ultra flexible, yet provides a good deal of protection from sharp stones, rocks, not sure about punji sticks, not so good with dry grass blades, they get in-between the toes, but Im sure they will come up with something at some point, if the Spyron hasn’t already addressed the issue, and who knows, maybe its just me.

The ideas about barefoot training and warming your legs and body up to the idea on thier site is fantastic and something that completely skipped my imagination when considering switching from conventional to Ninja.  Kudos to them for really bringing all the necessary info to the table.

This is covered on the site as well, we will have more good stuff up shortly AND, check out Barefoot Ted and his ninja techniques!

Komodo Sport

All apologies for the size of the pic, its the best I could borrow from the website, bigger pics en route – http://www.vibramfivefingers.com/products/Five-Fingers-Komodo-Sport-Mens.htm

I have found this to be an indoor shoe, I initially used it for outdoor training and it started to separate on the left front side where the sole meets the upper.  It was a small separation and the shoes were replaced with a pair more suitable for what we have in mind.  The fit was really nice, ordered using the video form the website and then ordering online NEVER trying them on prior anywhere.  When they came, the fit was pretty fantastic.  A bit hard to get on at first, no more difficult than ice skate, snowboard boots, etc.  After using them for a month this is now a moot point, slide right in.  When we told cust. serve, they identified the problem, told me it was an indoor shoe which is why I can sound so official in line one of this paragraph, and sent us what they deemed a suitable replacement!  We are now nearing the one year mark for the shoes, Dianas’ are also slightly separated and we are endeavoring to hold it’s advancement at bay with super glue.  They are doing remarkably well when being used for what they were not intended!

The shoe for me is no longer being used for my outdoor running, well, a little, but I do use it when doing any routine activity, or if I were actually going on a ninja mission, the thickness of the sole gives great sensory input and does a really nice job of protecting your foot.  Grip is good in both wet and dry surfaces as best I can tell, of course the ultimate test would be running on a tin roof in a Hawaiian rain storm, but, happily looking forward on the journey, that test awaits at the finish=]

This would be a sweet yoga shoe, shopping, around the home, lazy afternoon bike rides as long as your bike pedals are not too aggressive in the spikiness.  Using this shoe on a beach walk I only accumulated a 1/4 of a ramekin [the little thing you put condiments in at a restaurant or fine meal] of sand.  Very good as far as I am concerned!

Walking with this shoe on a hard floor gives me a smug sense of regal satisfaction as I get that immensely satisfying clack clack, from my steps and that i am using my whole foot, my posture automatically improves and i walk with a more regal air=]

I suggest you get socks as wearing these barefoot has made them stinky shoes.  I can usually wear them 5 days and then they have to be washed, or 2 heavy days of use.  Easy to wash, in machine, done, use cold water.

Trek Sport –

http://www.vibramfivefingers.com/products/Five-Fingers-TrekSport-Mens.htm

This is the shoe that was sent to replace the Komodo Sports above and give us a better angle on the kind of use that we were already putting on them and the use that we perceived ourselves as capable of administering on our shoes.

The sole is thicker, has an activated coconut lining, vegan, has a fantastic grip and is fantastic for off road running: from stones to pebbles to drive way gravel, boulders, loose dirt, sand, this shoe really rocks.  Easy to clean, smell quotient is very low due to tricky activated charcoal coconut material.

The only trouble with this shoe seemed to follow me from the other one.  In this instance the  toes began to separate from the sole.  I put to work the discovery form the first shoe which was Super Glue, called Kola Loka here in Mexico.  I have had the opportunity to speak with Justin Owings from Bithdayshoes about this separation and he agrees that it may be a torque related issue, i.e. we are using these for some serious work and play.  For one we are putting in a garden [ you were probably expecting some serious s%$t =] on a roughly 45 degree slope [!], lots of torque, especially when putting the big stones in place.  Super glue has seemed to arrest the problem for the most part.  Over a year and counting, this shoe is ninja.

To give this shoe the depth of feel you need in this type of review, I would feel well equipped if a Zombie Apocalypse occurred and I managed to have or to get these on my feet.

Why are we so stoked…  These shoes in essence help you heal and move correctly – of course to fully understand what we are talking about, you must first get a general idea of the basics – Walking.

You would be surprised at what goes into moving and ninja-ing about and how much covering your feet in regular shoes is much to your detriment, not only in wear and tear on the parts, but highly decreased performance!  Imagine your shoes as casts for your feet, what happens to other body parts when put into a cast?  THATS what happening to your feet!

One idea for Vibram is that they look into making the shoes with recycled tires, to include the kevlar radials, talk about protection!  Lead the way not only in performance, but ecology…!

Review “out of Ten” rating…. drum roll…… – 9 out of 10!  Again, you become a ninja…  Thats saying a lot.

As for the environmental situation and its importance as we see it to outdoor related businesses, we give them a 2 out of 10.  This is separate from the afore mentioned 9 and is not a jab, it simply is, no recycled materials are used and it is made far away.  That being said, its a rad shoe that will make you a ninja if you let it.

Thanks for bringing feeling back to my stride and please think about the use of recycled products being involved in production, you have the ninja shoe!

Mahalo and Aloha!

The pic below is cleaning glass from La Lagunita project in Baja California Mexico.  If you cant let your kid be in an area unsupervised, change the area, not the kid.  To let this happen to nature is a shame and it speaks to us, all of us, the litterers and the non pickeruperers.  Everyone is to blame for a world unfit for children.  Aloha.