Saturday, November 22, 2014

XTreme XTraining's Top TEN Holiday Gifts

So GoPro? No, eXpo Mini Action Cam this Holiday Season!
Sometimes it's difficult to get just the right gift for someone who enjoys the great outdoors or exercising... or both. Here at XTreme XTraining, we love to get outdoors for a fresh air workout! So here are some very cool things that have made the top of my Nice Not Naughty List for Christmas. These will help outdoorsy types and fitness freaks enjoy themselves all the more (hey, I should know). So here we go with XTreme XTraining's Top 10 Holiday Gifts for 2014!

For the Running Man (or Woman): Ear Buds That Don't Fall Out
A morning run or walk is going to be that much sweeter with some beats along. The Jaybird Bluebuds Ear Buds work with any Bluetooth capable device and are virtually sweat-proof. No long cables or wires to get tangled in either. See my complete review HERE. Visit the Jaybird Sport Website for more models and styles.


Jaybird Bluebuds have a decent 8 hour run time
For the Outdoor Adventurer/Film Star: A High Resolution Action Camera
With the release of the Hero4, everyone wants a GoPro this year! Really? Not when there are better quality and more competitively priced action cameras on the market. The Pyle Audio eXpo Mini Action Cam has a crisp 20 mp resolution and takes still photos even while you are shooting video. Comes with all the GoPro-ish mounting gear for underwater filming, cycling, skiing, jumping out of a plane...all that exciting stuff! See it at PyleAudio.com


eXpo Mini Action Cam filming in its waterproof case.
For the Night Rider: A Bicycle Tail Light that Flashes From A-Ha! to zZz
You'd never think of a bicycle tail light having swagger until you've seen this. Portland Design Works Danger Zone Tail Light is the perfect night time companion to every messenger and seat bag with a blinkie loop. Flashes brightly in A-Ha! zZz and Rock Steady modes with two 0.5 watt LEDs on board. Your giftee will thank you for this versatile bright tail light that helps them stay visible and come home safely. Check it our at Portland Design Works


Danger Zone hitching a ride on my Detours Madison Bag
For the Footloose and Fancy Free Hiker: Crampons that Don't Cramp Your Style
When the weather turns a bit icy and dicey, many runners turn in their sneakers for fear of loosing their grip on the trail. I carry mini-crampons with me for back country hiking because they are very lightweight and relatively easy to remove. These FreeSteps6 by Hillsound remind me of my Kahtoola Microspikes in that the stretchy upper brace (elastomer harness) goes over most any shoe or boot for extra traction. These stainless steel spikes work as chains do on your car tires! Perfect for: winter walking, trail running and hiking. Neither these or the Kahtoolas come with a carry pouch which you will need when removing them after a snowy or icy run. Check them out at the Hillsound Website.


FreeSteps6 Mini Crampons by Hillsound
For the Competing or Touring Cyclist: A Way to Stow It
You know the guy. He's always in full kit and on his way to the next Grand Fondo.  How about that couple who signs up for the spring bicycle tour around Martha's Vineyard every year? Well either one of these groups of cyclists will FLIP over the Bike Cube Deluxe from Mountainsmith.



More than enough space for organizing your: cycling shoes, helmet, gloves, energy bars, cycle wear. As the name implies, the cube shape makes it perfect for traveling in the trunk or back of your van. Has a large folding pad to rest your feet on during a shoe change or whatever. VERY well thought out it is luggage for cyclists. See the Bike Cube Deluxe at Mountainsmith


Mountainsmith's roomy Bike Cube
For the Sporty Shutter Bug: A Camera Bag for the Outback
If someone on your list has a Digital SLR camera but is constantly leaving it at home during a hiking trip, this is the perfect present for them. The Swift FX camera bag holds my Cannon Rebel T3, the lens and several compartment separated accessories like a speed light and tripod with ease. Can be carried with the shoulder strap, top handle or strapped on in "lumbar pack" style for easier hiking. Has an quick access zippered outside pocket and is made of water resistant fabric with a waterproof coating. Check it out at Mountainsmith.com


Mountainsmith Swift FX Camera Bag

For Those Who Eat and Run: A Cutlery Set to Go
If someone on your list is careful about their diet yet likes to travel or even bike commute they can take along something to eat AND some stylish cutlery to eat it with! This Baladeo Outdoor Knife Cutlery Set has: a spoon, fork, locking knife, corkscrew, bottle opener and flat head screwdriver. Designed by Marco S. Salgado it comes with a magnetic closing nylon case that can be slipped on your belt for hiking. When I travel, I pack this with my lunch. The fortunate person on your list will think about you each time they (neatly) eat a meal away from home! Get it at Campsaver.com

Eating on the run? Cutlery to go from Baledeo!

For Someone Who's Always Getting Caught in the Rain: A Pocket Weather Tracker
If someone you know is constantly at the mercy of the elements and never seems to know what they are up to, this is the perfect gift. Unlike your cell phone app, a Kestrel Weather Meter tells you the conditions where you are in real time. The best your cell is going to do is give the conditions from the nearest weather station which could be many miles away. The Kestrel also calculates wind speed which is really important for outdoor activities such as cycling, running, skiing and boating just to name a few. A weather tracker also keeps you up on: temperature, relative humidity, wind chill, barometric pressure and more. See all the Kestrel models and features available at the Nielsen-KellermanWebsite

Kestrel Heat Stress Tracker at REI's Mountain Bike Course
For The Toxic Friendship: Green Drink Delivery or A Power Blender with Punch
Everyone is talking about green drinks and detoxing this year. Some are even delivered to your door like this service from NYC Chef V. If you are in the NY/Northern NJ area, you can purchase this service for yourself or someone else for the New Year to start the year off fresh.


NYC Chef V's Green Drink Delivery Service

For Those Who Like to Mix Things Up
A power blender like a VitaMix or the TriBest Dynablend 1.2 hp Power Blender shown below allows one to have a complete lifestyle change. Makes whole food juices and chops, grinds and purees just like a food processor. A gift like this is very empowering because it gives a person so much more control over their dietary choices. Has presets for controlled blending, chopping and liquefying with an easy to clean glass pitcher. See it at TriBest.com


TriBest Dynablend Power Blender

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Transitional Bikewear - Novara Baker Bike Jacket for a Windy 40 to 50 Degrees

Trying on the Baker Bike Jacket at The Women's Story
Fall is quickly turning to winter so you may need to update your cycle-wear to adapt to the dropping temperatures. Added to this is the fact that the days are shorter and often a bit dismal and gray which is much like the day I went for a ride in the Baker Bike Jacket. You may not be quite as visible on the road under those conditions. So now is the time to go warm and bright.

Novara Cycle Wear is a REI Label of high quality pieces that look great both on and off the bike. I first saw the Baker Bike Jacket at The Women's Story Media Event at Crystal Springs Resort, NJ this past June. Part of their Fall 2014 collection, they offered fresh designs and built in reflective threads for increased night time visibility.

Baker Cycling Jacket Features: I was really drawn to the design and colorways of the Baker Bike Jacket as shown here in a highly visible Electric Blue with 360 degree reflective piping around the shoulders and down the back. Quilted without actually being a "puffer" it has comfy stretch panels and knit cuffs/neckline to keep the cold wind out. I found myself quite toasty on my bicycle when the temperature was between 45-50 degrees. Keep in mind when you are doing about 18-21 mph, you have to factor in wind chill. This jacket is highly wind resistant however due to the synthetic fill and quilting so no problems there.

49 Degrees for my Baker Bike Jacket test ride
Flexibility The stretch panels also give you more flexibility on the bicycle especially when riding down in the drops. The zippered pockets and front zipper operate with only one hand. 

Inner pockets and quilting throughout
Invisible zippered rear pouch with reflective piping all around.
Women's Baker Bike Jacket by Novara

Features - The Baker Bike Jacket has two invisible zippered pockets deep enough for your cell and a Mp3 player. Inside the jacket are two inner pouches which neatly kept a few tissues close at hand. The stretchy ribbed hem of the jacket stayed in place during my ride and kept the cold air out. This is an REI exclusive so check out The Baker Bike Jacket online at their website.
Amare Helmet & Matching Full Fingered Gloves: by Giro

Baker Bike Jacket Details:

  • Shell fabric and lining are made of 100% recycled polyester
  • Outer shell fabric is water resistant, wind resistant to 50 MPH, and rated UPF 50+
  • Quilted with lightweight, warm polyester-fiber insulation
  • Breathable stretch panels along sides, cuffs and hem
  • Piping along front and back yokes glows brilliantly in headlights or streetlights at night
  • Large back pocket has horizontal zipper
  • Zippered hand pockets
  • Dropped tail adds coverage while on the bike
  • The women's Novara Baker Bike Jacket transitions easily from bike paths to city sidewalks










Exercise Longer with Music - Jaybird BlueBuds X Bluetooth Earbuds Ear Phones


Jaybird Bluebuds X Bluetooth Ear Buds
I picked up a set of these ear buds at The Women's Story Media Event this past summer at Crystal Springs Resort. Hailed as the best Bluetooth ear buds on the market today, you will enjoy the incredible freedom and long 8 hour battery life these have to offer. Comfortable to wear, there's no worries over getting tangled in wires or cables. Remote control is on the strap.  These are the perfect ear buds for those who like to bicycle, walk or run with  music. In fact studies show that people exercise LONGER when they have their favorite music to accompany them. I know personally that having the right beats along invigorates me to run that extra mile before packing it in!
These Jaybirds are the official training headphones for the USA Triathelon team due in part to their lifetime guarantee against sweat.



Here's What They Are Saying at the Jaybird Sport Website:

Micro-sized sweat-proof sport Bluetooth buds delivering superior audio performance (music & calls) rivaling the best in wired headphones. Patented Secure fit for ultra comfort, ready for anything you can dish out on the trail, in the gym or on the slopes. Breakthrough exclusive super-capacity Battery HD technology doubles Jaybird BlueBuds X playtime to a solid 8 hours, offering a full week of workouts, or a full day of listening. Use your music device on your left or right side, above or below the waist, it doesn’t matter with SignalPlus, for skip-free music outdoors.




These stay in your ears very well and also have interchangeable pieces for a perfect fit. I do notice that they will skip when I bend completely over to tie my shoes though but not when I'm running. The sound quality is excellent and you get a high tech "On Star" sounding voice telling you when your power is on, off or low. Comes in a protective black magnetic closure case with recharging USB cable. Easily pairs with any Bluetooth capable device. It works great with my iPod and Android cellphone. I simply connect and go. Check them out at the Jaybird Bluebuds website!