garmin

Recon Jet - Wearable Computer

So we live in Techy times, and cycling is really not being left outside of the technological advances. Just last week the new Recon Jet technical cycling sunglasses, or wearable computer as the Recon Instruments folks call it, were launched.  So what is the Recon Jet and what is the price? What is the technology they rely on?

Recon Jet looks somewhat like a mixture of a pair of Oakley sunglasses and a pair of Google glasses. At the moment they're priced at $499. And the total weight is around 60 grams, so really not much. So here's how they look:

Recon Jet, the most advanced wearable computer

Recon Jet, the most advanced wearable computer

The Recon Jet works together with any ANT+ device, such as your Garmin device. Which again can be displayed on the lens. Sounds like straight from any Batman or James Bond.

How does it work? Check out the video on Vimeo:

George Hincapie is also involved, at least marketing-wise as he has been testing the product before launch. It seems to have convinced him

Want to win a pair of Recon Jet glasses? Read how to win here

 

The Technical Specifications: 

ONBOARD SENSOR FRAMEWORK

9-Axis sensors
• 3D accelerometer
• 3D gyroscope
• 3D magnetometer

Pressure sensor
• Altimeter & barometer application

Ambient temperature sensor
Optical touch sensor for UI control
Works in all weather conditions, and with gloves on

PROCESSOR SUBSYSTEM

1 GHz Dual-Core ARM Cortex-A9

On-board memory

• 1GB DDR2 SDRAM 

• 8GB flash

ULTRA-COMPACT DISPLAY

Wide screen 16:9 WQVGA display

Virtual image appears as 30" HD display at 7'

Power-saving sleep mode

High contrast and brightness for readability in high ambient lighting

NETWORKING SUBSYSTEM

Wi-Fi (IEEE802.11a/b/g/n)

Bluetooth 4.0 (Bluetooth Smart)

• Apple MFi Bluetooth support

GPS

• MEMS GPS/INS Kalman filtering fusion algorithm

ANT

• Support for connectivity of up to 8 ANT+ peripherals

Micro USB

• Device charging/power

• Data transfer

EMBEDDED AUDIO & VIDEO

• HD camera

• Integrated speaker and microphone

 

Read more about the Recon Jet and Recon Instruments: 

http://jet.reconinstruments.com/

http://reconinstruments.com/

http://www.reconinstruments.com/about-us

 

 

 

 

A superb day of road cycling

Some days are better than others, and today was one of those days you'll remember even on the coldest and darkest winter days. It was simply superb. 

Today's schedule was to ride some easy 4 - 5 hours and then get back home to watch the end of stage 2 of the Tour de France. Around 11 am I took the bike out, +23 degrees and sunshine, light winds. Perfect. 

Smooth

Smooth

I also decided to take a new route section today, took one wrong turn before I found the actual route. And luckily so, it was really beautiful. Idyllic yards, beautiful landscapes and winding roads.  

Ponies ahead!

Ponies ahead!

Nice scenery

Nice scenery

Idyllic neighborhoods  

Idyllic neighborhoods  

Tour de France colors

Tour de France colors

Dear Lord, please make the summer last forever

Dear Lord, please make the summer last forever

Decided to make a stop for a couple of minutes. Just to listen to the birds, the summer breeze and to smell the great tang of summer

Decided to make a stop for a couple of minutes. Just to listen to the birds, the summer breeze and to smell the great tang of summer

It's sometimes nice to vary the ride snacks. Raisins are great nutrition for your rides with plenty of fructose and energy.

It's sometimes nice to vary the ride snacks. Raisins are great nutrition for your rides with plenty of fructose and energy.

For those who want to have the nutrition facts for raisins, here you have it:

Nutritional value of raisins (100g) 

  • 299 calories
  • 0.5 g fat
  • 79 g carbohydrates
  • 59 g sugar
  • 4 g dietary fiber
  • 3 g protein 

The ride was filled with euphoria. Many great thoughts and ideas as well as just plain enjoyment of the fact that I was riding my bike on a day like this. I will certainly memorize this day, and go back to this day whenever I have a bad one.

 Four and a half hours later I arrived home, just in time for the action on the second stage of the Tour de France 2013. And what a stage that was. I prepared some recovery food and coffee and enjoyed the stage. Superb. Many great strong attacks and no crashes. And once again a demonstration about how strong will and determination can take you far. In the last kilometers there was a small breakaway, and as usual before the finish the group started looking at each other because no one wanted to do the dirty job. Jan Bakelants got rid of that group and barely finished before the main group with Peter Sagan in second. Huge effort by Bakelants, and surely a day he'll never forget. 

Post ride Tdf with Italian coffee #awesomeness

Post ride Tdf with Italian coffee #awesomeness

Have a good one! 

Giro d'Espoo (link to live tracking)

So tomorrow is the day for my first cycling event in 2012, Giro d'Espoo. It will be held for the first time ever, and I hope it will be a good one. The weather seems to be perfect, some 23 degrees and calm winds. The start will be at 11 am, and the route will pass Kirkkonummi, Veikkola and Espoo. You can see the whole 111km route here. As it seems now, I'll be joining the group that will keep an average of 32km/h. The route is mainly flat and hilly, with just a few "climbs". Giro d'Espoo will also be tracked live online, via Traxmeet. I will be one of 10 riders wearing a gps device, so if you want you can follow me live during the race on http://www.tulospalvelu.fi/gps/20120527gde/.

Bike ready...

As it is only early season, and there are several races to come, one in just a couple of weeks, I have no greater goals set up for the race tomorrow. I just hope I'm in a shape good enough to enjoy riding in good mood along with almost 1500 other cyclists. 

Garmin ready...

So tune in to the live tracking tomorrow if you have time, and I'll be back with photos and stories from the race later next week. 

I'm ready...

Enjoy what's left of the weekend!

Food 'n wood

The Restaurant Day is a one-day "carnival" when people around the world can set up a restaurant, café or a bar for a day. This event took place last Saturday, and we decided to include one of these places to our cycling route.

Click to open the official siteThe place we went to served pancakes, both sweet and salty and home made rhubarb-juice. The weather was awesome and loads of people had found their way to the same place, a beautiful farm just outside of Turku.

The place was called Kuralan kylämäki (click picture to open the finnish website)The MenuThe girls were really busyOn the farm they also had some kind of experience stuff, you could try shooting with bows and crossbows.

The guys training......before they headed for war. Had a good laugh, for me it looked like a scene from Lord of The Rings with bowmen heading for Mordor!

Strawberry jam, meringue and whipped cream!Last week i got my hands on one of these:

Click to open official websiteMyKnoaky is a small piece of Oak-wood that is designed by a Professional cyclist, Andreas Klier. MyKnoaky is a part of the plant-for-the-planet project. Read more about the neat idea on the official website:http://myknoaky.com/

You can find this piece of wood on many bikes in the pro-pelotonThe story behind MyKnoakyI planted a tree!

I'm also glad to see the summer has arrived to Finland. Yesterday was the first really warm day, +28 degrees and no wind, a perfect day for riding a bike!

A calm seaTaking the ferry to AttuA refreshing dive into the seaSummery landscapesTeam Garmin was also out for a rideWho really needs winter?!Attu bridgeKlaus enjoying his new chocolate-cappucino energy gelI'll be back with more details for the Giro d'Espoo this week!

 

Meanwhile, enjoy the summer!

February legs and a summery mind

February legs, cycling slang for a heavy stoney feeling in your thighs is okay when it's February. February is usually the time when you start realizing the summer is approaching. One sign is when you start looking at new clothing for the upcoming season. Well first you start getting daily e-mails from the online bike-shops "Save up to 40% on winter clothing! Clearance on 2011 bikes! NEW 2012 ranges in stock now!!"

Before you know, you have 12 open tabs in your browser showing both bikes, clothing, helmets, energy bars, shoes, sunglasses.. you name it. You start comparing different sites, and in the beginning its hard to choose, because you need to pick up stuff for about $300 to get free shipping. And all of a sudden, when you browse through a new neat jersey it says "this item has free shipping to your country". Your basket now has 10 items and the basket value is $350. This, is spring.

So even if we have loads of snow and it's still below 0, the mind is set on spring and summer. I ofcourse envy people living in southern latitudes, where you already began your outdoor cycling season, but to be honest, the Trainerroad app that I mentioned earlier is taking good care of my pre-season shape. I now have ridden more than 500km (well above 300 miles) in a month, and finished the Early base (Foundation,form&base) training plan. Next week the treshold rides will begin, and they will add more strenght and endurance to my legs. And if all goes well, I get rid of my february legs during February month.

 A month ago I ran into a superb video made by the GarminUK team. It's an ad for the edge 800 and the GarminConnect community. Check out their page with training tips and other stuff!

Click to open the Garmin site

 I hope my winter training could some day look like this!

Click to open in YouTube HD or watch the video below

 

Have a good one!

Turning the lights on

Took the coldest ride this year just yesterday. 90km in +7 degrees and some rainshowers made the ride feel really cold, and at some point it felt like the legs were dispatched from my body. Also the darkness falls pretty quickly, already at 7pm it is dark, just a few months ago the sun didn't set before 11pm. But still, I guess this wins sitting on a trainer inside. So keeping in mind one needs to sit and suffer inside the whole long finnish winter, maybe the cold weather isn't that bad after all...

 

click to open GarminConnect

dirty job

 

The forecast tells me the temperatures will drop below 0 degrees celcius this weekend (during nighttime). Let's hope it won't snow!

And just to rub it in my face, the weather for Ancona, or probably anywhere in Italy...

 

Have a good one!

Warming up for the Winter-training season

So, if you can't stop the Winter, you at least can try to make the most out of it. Recently, thanks to a friend of mine, I found this neat page, TrainerRoad.com. As a cyclist in these northern latitudes, the indoor bike-trainer-season is pretty long, but this site and the software it provides will hopefully make the season a bit more interesting. It'll provide you with approximate watt results, and all the information you can get from your ant+ cycling computer. All you need is a usb ant+ stick and you can pair the TrainerRoad software on your computer with the ant+ products (watt meter,heart rate monitors etc.). And one without a power meter can use the VirtualPower system, that will give you a watt reading on the screen. What is neat about this, is that I train in front of my TV, and since I now can connect my computer via HDMI to the TV, I can now watch my training data from the TV at the same time I'm watching for instance a cycling workout video. How cool is that!? I'll let you know how this all works as soon as I've put my ass down on that trainer!

Click to open the TrainerRoad website to read more

This is what the ant+ usb stick looks like. As for a finnish citizen iI found the cheapest sticks on Probikekit.com, some 40€ (click the picture to open the location)

Check also out the video about TrainerRoad:

 

I also spoke about some new stuff on the page. And as I sat down last week I realized it could be nice to share some info about the stuff I read and the gear I use. So from now on you can find some descriptions about the cycling gear I use, and have used along with the literature (Readings) about cycling and training that I've read or currently read. Check them out!

 

 

 

Hope you find some of the stuff useful!

 

Laters!

Post-race thoughts

A week later, Tour de Helsinki 2011 already feels like a distant memory. I was glad to be able to participate, despite still having a flu at that moment. And I knew there was little for me to achieve, since I'd been ill for almost two weeks and hence, had no possibilities to train for the race. The weather couldn't have been much better, +20, sunshine and almost no wind.

We started at the back of the group 30km/h and planned to just ride easy with that group to the finish line. Soon though, me and my friend, we felt a need to make a stop, which we did at approx. 10km, just before the "free-ride" started. This was a big mistake. When we got back on our bikes, we found ourselves at the back of the 29km/h bunch, which meant we had fallen probably 300-400 riders from our original group.

At the start

At this point, the leadout car had left the front, and all the groups were speeding up, which meant we had to speed up even more to get back to where our friends were. I started looking at my Garmin, and could immediately see and feel my untrained body. I was riding almost 40km/h with some 190bpm. It took me half an hour (~15km), many short steep climbs and some longer (Velskola) to finally find my friend in the 30km/h group. And i felt sick. My stomach was turning upside down, and I had a hard time trying to establish my pulse to a somewhat normal level. All the way chasing, I had to ask people whether i was still in the 29 group, and believe me, it felt good when I heard some guys telling me I was in the 30km/h group, or what remained of it. 

Chatting with other riders at Velskola (picture taken by heiha63)

It took me maybe 10 minutes to recover from the great effort I'd just made, and I was happy I could continue, after feeling really sick just a moment before. So we rolled with the 30km/h group all the way to 95km, where the group leaders made a stop, and some of the group continued, us included. I could sense the pace was increasing and there was certainly more tension in that group. I knew I would be glad just to ride with these guys 'til the finish line, that was just 30 km away.

Kuninkaanmäki was the last "big" climb before finish, at approx. 120km. No one seemed to be willing to attack, and I was happy. But as the group was in that climb, I could definitely feel it slow down. I felt good, so I kept up my own pace, and in a fraction of a second, found myself riding in the front of that group. Some riders had apparently made an increase in speed and were riding away from us. I knew I couldn't make any greater efforts, I just stayed where I was, with the group. One guy tried to get back to the riders that had at this point made a significant gap, maybe 100m. I looked down at my garmin, and at this point I felt, "what the heck, I can't let that guy suffer alone". So I pedaled beside him and told him to stay behind me and I would close the gap, that  would make it easier for us to ride the last kilometres. So I started pedaling, and after a minute or so, I had managed to close the gap, and got a big thank you from the other guys. 

So we rode further, and there was maybe 10km to go, when I was riding at the back of our group, now maybe 20 guys, and I realized there was an attack at the front (Cervelo guy). I looked down at my garmin, it was almost like shouting at me to hang onto that attack. So there I found myself, chasing a breakaway and a few moments later found myself in a two-man breakaway riding like hell. I don't know what happened, I was so sure I could resist any attack, and just stay calm and take it easy,because I was ill, and was far from top condition. It seemed, the garmin knew me better.

I could feel the lactic acid get into my legs, my heart was beating like hell. I left my place, and passed along the pacekeeping to the Cervelo guy and looked over my shoulder. I could see the group chasing us. And again, it was my turn to split the wind and keep up the pace. I asked the Cervelo guy how he was feeling. "It hurts!". I answered him that we cannot let that group catch us, let's keep it up! My legs were feeling like logs, and the lactic acid was doing the job it did the best. My garmin device seemed to have stuck on 135km and I started feeling desperation. But as we passed riders that had fallen from faster groups, I asked two guys to join us, because they seemed to be in quite good shape. They were happy to join us, and at this point I knew we would make it. We were now 4 guys riding, and it was easy. And the last kilometres went really fast, and a moment later, we were at the Velodrome at the finish line. We chatted with the group, and shook hands, and it felt really great. I had just made my time almost 15 minutes better (from the previous year), even a bit untrained and having a flu. This again, was a great example of how sporting brings people toghether, it was really awesome to be in that breakaway group, we were all really exhausted, suffering, but we made it.

At the finish

Klaus arriving a few minutes later

 

At the finish, we also had a time to talk to Kjell Carlström. Unfortunately he had been forced to attack all day, and in the final sprint he just didn't have the legs to take the win. A great second place anyway for Kjell!

Kjell Carlström

 

 So what did we learn? First of all, Tour de Helsinki should take place in July or August, for the sake of weather and to avoid the worst influenza period. Secondly, you shouldn't participate in only one race, because if you're ill and you can't participate, it really sucks. And maybe I learned something about myself as well. Or maybe not.

 

Here you can find the Garmin data from TdH

 

I'll keep you more updated about other stuff soon!

 

Ciao!

 

Post Paris-Roubaix

The hardest of the hard, Paris-Roubaix (258km) was cycled on Sunday. There was approximately 60km of cobbles. The race was won by Van Summeren, which was more or less a surprise. Tom Boonen was really unlucky and the other favourites lost the race because they didn't want to work for any other than themselves. A pity, but again a good example that cycling is so much more than just pedaling...

 

Team Garmin-Cervélo's Flickr

steephill.tv

steephill.tv

steephill.tv

 

Cervelo BTP: Milan-San Remo 2011

The second episode of the awesome documentary, Beyond The Peloton (season 3) Milan - San Remo again points out that cycling is so much more than just riding a bike. Even if you're not thrilled by cycling, watch this documentary about what happens beyond the peloton, you might find yourself liking it!