Monday, June 4, 2012

Pump It Up

This might be the most expensive thing I ever bought on Ebay - not really, but close enough. The usual prices of stuff I get there are about $2-8. This one was $16! Ouch! The photo on the listing showed this unit to be of pretty good quality and I was expecting the same when it arrived in the mail.

Can you guess what it is?

It's something I never thought I'd get b/c I don't really care too much for music. I don't follow the celebs and I don't really own much of it but hopefully that'll change. It'll be nice to get some music going on especially since I typically ride solo.

For $16 shipped, quite a bit of stuff came with it. Starting from the top left and making our way around clockwise are two straps, the rubber handlebar mounting bracket, the MP3 speaker player itself, the USB charger, white earphones, connection cable, carrying lanyard and bag!

Not that I'd be 'em separately, but the headphones are worth at least a couple bucks and the mounting bracket can be had for $3. So $10 for the speaker? Not bad at all! All the buttons are on one side for easy access. The charging port is on here too.

The speaker's on this side. I have yet to test it b/c according to what I got out of the Chinglish instructions, I'm supposed to charge it up fully before using it the first time. For stuff like this, it usually takes a few hours, so I won't be touching it until tonight.

Like I had mentioned earlier, the quality of this thing is good. It's superb actually and I'm talking now about the build quality. It's no wonder I see it for $25 on some sites and even up to $40 on others. It's nuts how different the prices can be on the same stuff. Looks like there's a pretty large markup on these MP3 players.

I'm thinking it's good quality b/c this thing's got some good weight to it! Feels nice in the hands, but I'm not so excited about the extra weigh I'd have to lug around on a HPV. Maybe I'll use this more on my electric rides than the recumbents.

Wow, I just tested it and this thing is amazing!!! OMG! The sound quality is so good. After turning the thing on, the sound quality so worth it. $16 is a steal! The thing accepts micro SD cards, so you can put music all on there and it slips right into the player. I used a 2gb card and it's excellent.

Navigating through Youtube trying to figure out the radio function on here. Once I get that going, you won't be able to snatch this away from me. I'm loving it.

Ebrake Me

The only thing other than not having rear brakes that bothers me on the Catrike Speed is not having emergency brakes. There's nothing keeping the trike from literally rolling away or worse, into one of my other rides in the garage. The last thing I want is a chainring jamming into some fender.

This may be one of the first times that I was glad that the package that came in the mail didn't look like the photo I saw online. The Amazon photos showed the handles to be chrome which I wasn't so fond of. There isn't much chrome on the trike and I like it looking as stock as possible.

I started a thread on BROL to get some feedback on who people think of the different brands of locking brakes. Promax won and it was cheaper than some of the others, so choosing it wasn't too difficult. $21.13 - not bad for a shipped price for the pair.

I'm still not sure how the shifters come off and I'll need to remove those before clamping these puppies on. I'll figure it out next weekend or so.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

ALC 11!

ALC 11 was this morning! Yup, that means I got up at 5:15am to get ready to leave the house to get to the Cow Palace by 6am to see Paul off for the ride. I made it! One of my work colleagues is a volunteer there too and I met up with her to say hello. She does a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff.

I had asked someone how to get to her area where she was working. As the volunteer was telling me how to get there another guy next to him interrupted him and pointed me in the opposite direction. Figuring he knows what he's talking about, I talked off and didn't arrive to the "Upload" area where the support equipment gets put into vans until 10-12 minutes later. Meanwhile the Starting Ceremonies for the riders had already begun. Not wanting to miss too much of it, I rushed over to say hello.

When I walked back to the Starting Ceremonies area, I took a different route and that route was about a 4 minute walk! What the hell? What's up with that guy telling me to take the super long route? Ugh.

I probably should've taken more photos of the riders, but didn't really think much to do it at the time. I met up with Paul's mom and a friend of a friend of his to see off the riders. We had cow bells in hand and everything!

This is the caboose I luckily never saw last year on the ride. It follows the very last rider to make sure they know everyone is accounted for and receives the support they need on the ride. From what I hear, people hop out throughout the route and go into coffee shops to be sure they're indeed following the very last person. Must be a tough job trying figure out who's really the last rider.

A group of us had cheered on in support of whom we thought was the last rider. He turns his head towards us smiling and says, 

"I'm not part of them. I'm just riding to breakfast." 

Hahha. It wasn't until 10 minutes later that we probably saw the last rider. Not sure why so many people are lagging. These look like veterans though who've done this before so no need to feel sorry for them in struggling to catch up with the rest of the group. They'll meet them soon enough at the rest stop a few miles up.