Product Review: Second Wind Road Mini

The topic of tire inflation is always a hot topic. Most of us carry either a CO2 inflator or some type of frame pump to help us out when we flat out on a ride. I’ve always been an advocate of the CO2 systems because of bad experiences with frame pumps. Most frame pumps are either too flimsy and/or aren’t capable to achieving a high pressure when re-inflating a tire. Many of my readers feel the same way I do while others swear by their pump. I’ve always been willing to give a pump another try if I could find one that could live up to the job. So, when given the opportunity to review the new SecondWind Road Carbon Mini inflation system by Genuine Innovations, I jumped at the opportunity. So, what is the Second Wind Road Mini? It’s a combination CO2 inflation system and frame pump built into a single carbon fiber body that measure’s just 7.25 inches long. You can use it as a CO2 inflator or a pump. Very ingenious. The system comes packaged with the carbon fiber Second Wind Road, instructions for use, a water bottle cage mount, a set of mounting screws, and a 16g CO2 catridge. The Second Wind Road Mini is only compatible with presta valves. Upon opening the package the first thing you notice is the weight of the system. This thing is light! Weighing in at only 62.7 grams it’s light as a feather. The Mini is constructed very well. I mentioned the carbon fiber body and it’s beautiful. The ends are made of high-strength, glass-reinforced nylon, and the...

Greg Lemond, the ultimate bicycling tool

Greg Lemond, winner of three world championships and Tours de France, was an iconic figure in American bicycling in the 1980s. He set the bar that all other American cyclists would be compared to. In 1987 Lemond was involved in an accidental shooting while hunting with his brother-in-law. Just two years later he would win the Tour de France by beating Laurent Fignon on the final stage time-trial in Paris. His eight second victory over Fignon remains the closest finish ever in the Tour de France. He placed the United States center stage in a sport that has been dominated by the Europeans. Why is it then that Mr. Lemond finds it necessary to continue taking shots at Lance Armstrong? Because he’s a tool, that’s why. Courtesy of foxcycle.blogspot.com Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know by now that Lance has announced his plans to come out of retirement and return to professional cycling. He will be re-united with his old friend Johann Bruyneel and race on the Astana squad. He will not be paid for his racing but will instead use the exposure to promote cancer awareness around the globe. Mr. Armstrong is a cancer survivor himself who overcame testicular cancer to return to the sport of cycling and win seven consecutive Tours de France. Once he started winning the Tour de France his critics came out of the woodwork. The doping record of professional cycling hasn’t helped. He has undergone test, after test, after test and there have been no conclusive results that have linked Lance to illegal performance enhancing drugs. It never fails though...

Bike Ride 36 – Stoplights Stink

Well, Saturday morning found me getting set to put in 30 miles. I was going to ride the now familiar University of North Florida loop. I slept in until 8 to get some sleep. I don’t think I moved all night. I got up and gave the bike a once over and put some air in the tires. I mentioned back on Ride 35 that I was hearing a ticking noise from the rear wheel. I discovered a loose spoke and tightened it up. We’ll see if that fixes it. I rolled out of the driveway around 8:30 and the weather was fantastic. It was clear and about 67 degrees. I didn’t feel any wind but that would change before the ride was over. I made it about 150 feet and noticed the clicking sound again. I pulled over to give the wheel a once-over again. I couldn’t find anything but did meet a new neighbor whose house I had stopped in front of. I talked to him a few minutes and then headed on with no resolution to the ticking. Rats. I was about five minutes into the ride when another cyclist pulled up next to me. We exchanged pleasantries as he went by on his Cannondale that was setup for triathlons. He was quickly gone though because he passed me like I was standing still. I was going about 16 mph. I saw him again about 15 miles later going the opposite direction. I saw a couple of other riders and walkers this morning too. The nice weather was bringing them out. For most of the first-half...

Bike Ride 35 – Mondays + Wind = Stinkage

Well, it’s a Monday. The alarm was blaring at 5:00 AM and I didn’t want to get up. I laid there for about five minutes and force myself to crawl out of bed. Half-asleep I managed to get ready and roll out the garage for my morning bicycle ride. I could tell right away that it was going to be a long ride because of the way my legs felt. I was right too. For some reason my legs felt really tight. Especially in the hamstrings. I hoped it would work its way out but it never did. The weather was another big factor in the ride too. It seemed to be out of the Northeast and the one or two flags I saw said it was pretty stiff. Because of the route I take in the mornings I felt it most of the ride except two legs near the end of the ride. I’m glad I didn’t have to face it in the homestretch or it would have been ugly when combined with how my legs felt. I did get my 13 miles in but in only 56 minutes. Not as slow as I thought it would be but about 5 minutes slower than normal. One bright spot of the ride was a family of raccoons I saw just past half-way. I’m riding through an area that is a little populated but there are some areas of trees where they haven’t been cleared for either apartments or homes. I’ve ridden through this area a lot and not seen any creatures of the night until this morning. I’m making...

Bicycle Contests & Giveaways

It’s that time of the week for my weekly update but things around here have been kind of slow. My wife continues to mend from her surgery (a six to nine month full recovery time frame) and I got in a couple of rides. The weather played some weird games this week which caused me only to get two rides in. I was all set for a long ride on Saturday but mother nature wouldn’t cooperate. I got up at 7:00 AM, looked outside, and it was iffy at best. I pulled up the weather map on my computer to have a look and I wondered if I could slip a ride in anyway. As I’m sitting there I look out the window at the tree tops and they’re moving some. Looks like it would be a windy ride. After about five minutes I look out again and it’s raining. It looks like a light rain and I decide to try and wait it out. After about 30 minutes it’s still raining but the wind is really gusting. It turned around to rain on and off all day and then it rained all night last night. Needless to say, no riding was accomplished. That brings me to today’s subject on bicycle contests and giveaways. I came across three this week with two on one site. Here’s a quick rundown of what they are. At The Bicycle Tutor Alex over at The Bicycle Tutor has got one contest and one giveaway going on. The contest is a Logo Design Contest where the winner can take home $100 cash. The deadline...

Bike Ride 34 – Drag Racing a Cement Truck

The weather the last couple of day has been spotty due to some strong thunderstorms that rolled through the area. It was a little windy yesterday afternoon too. The kicker, though, has that the temp has plummeted. Lows the last couple of nights have been in the low 70s with highs in the mid 80s. Awesome riding weather. This morning was no different. I rolled out of the garage at about 5:10 and was greeted with crystal clear skies, a bright half-moon overhead, and a slight chill in the area. Awesome. Riding down the street I noticed a clicking sound coming from my rear wheel area. I stopped a couple of times to try and find what it was but couldn’t. It seemed to go away as I rode. I hope it isn’t anything serious. Remember the roadside radar gun I told you about back on Ride 33? As I approached it this morning I wanted to to try and post a better speed than last time (16 mph). I shifted up a gear and began pushing a little harder. I went by it at 22 mph which is respectable for me. I’m pretty sure I can do better but I was technically still in my warm up phase and didn’t want to push it too much. I road about another half-mile when a cement truck passed me. If you recall, I’ve been seeing these trucks every morning as they head out to the new high school that’s under construction. This truck was cruising pretty good but got caught at a stoplight just ahead of me. As I rolled...

Bike Ride 33 – Dreams of ‘The Rookie’

After a busy week last week due to my wife’s surgery, it was about time I got back on the bike and re-started my fitness program. I should have re-started yesterday morning but with only about an hour of sleep Sunday night I was in no condition to ride a bicycle. That would have been suicide. Because I basically had to trash my cycling plans last week I’m performing week three of my fitness program this week. That means I’ll be riding 3 workdays at 13 miles each and a 30 mile ride on Saturday. I Shouldn’t have any problems with that at all. Especially after having a week off the bike. As usual for my weekday bike rides, the alarm was going off at 5 AM, and I was rolling out of the garage by about 5:10. The weather outside was near perfect. There was a little humidity in the air but there were no clouds, no wind, and the Harvest Moon was shedding quite a bit of natural light. I hoped the pristine conditions were foreshadowing a pristine ride. Leaving my neighborhood it was quiet out. There was much less traffic than there was back on Ride 32 but I did see a couple more cement trucks heading out to the new high school. Overall though the roads were virtually empty for me and it was nice. I always feel a little anxious when cars approach me from behind and today there was very little of that. After a couple of miles I really began to fall into a rhythm and I noticed my speed was a...

Sunday Wrap-up

Those of you who read my feed or drop into the blog on a regular basis know that I’ve only had a couple of updates this week. That wasn’t by design but life does get in the way. My wife had a surgery this week to correct a problem in both joints in her jaw. She was expected to be in the hospital for three days but it turned out to be only one. That was a good thing. Once home, though, she was still in a lot of pain and being there for her has to take priority over anything I do. Because of that I have found zero time to ride this week except for a ride on Tuesday. I also posted an article on what you should carry in your seat bag that I’ve been working on for a while and only needed some polishing before it was ready to publish. So, that’s about all that’s gone on in my life but there’s still plenty of other biking news. Here’s some of the highlights: 1. Lance Armstrong. Unless you are living under a rock you’ve probably heard about this. There’s been a lot of positive and negative feedback on his decision to return to professional cycling in 2009 and I find myself undecided. Part of me is very happy to see him return because I think the sport needs him. I want him back because he was the one of the first cyclists I remember following. Another part of me doesn’t want to see him ruin the perfect retirement he orchestrated after winning his 7th consecutive...

Home from Gainesville

Our stay down in Gainesville was much shorter than anticipated. My wife’s surgery went great and she’s back at home recovering. To be fully recovered takes 6-9 months and she’s limited to soft food right now with scrambled eggs being about the limit. I didn’t get to ride down in Gainesville but did prefer the route I was going to ride and am sorry I didn’t get to. It looked to be a nice route. I’m glad to be back home...

The Bicycle Seat Bag – What should you carry in it?

The bicycle seat bag. It’s that small package of assurance that we keep tucked under our saddle. It sits under our rears, ignored and neglected until we need it. When we do need it we wonder if we restocked it the last time we used it. You’ll find quite a few articles around the Internet about the bike seat bag and what bicycle accessories need to be in it. These articles are always popular and get a lot of feedback because everyone has their own preference of what should be stowed in their seat bag. Just like everyone else, I have my preferences too. I think this article will be a benefit to anyone just starting in bicycling, or returning to the sport after a long layoff (just like me), or the enthusiast who has been riding everyday. Regardless of your experience, I think you’ll find the info below useful. So, what needs to be in that seat bag? There’s quite a few things you can carry in your saddle bag but I think there’s a core list of essential items every cyclist needs. They are: Patch Kit. You’ll find both glue and glueless patch kits. Which one to use is a topic all by itself but I believe most people use the glue patch kits because of their durability. I’m not sure it really matters which kind you have as long as you have one. They take up very little room in your seat bag and you will need it at some point. Spare Tube. Some of you may ask, “Why carry a spare tube when I have...
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