Thursday, June 21, 2012

Goal Zero

My apologies for the lack of input on my part.  We have been...well...busy...vacation busy. :-)  After the Diabetes ride we left for a vacation to South Dakota/Wyoming.  I do enjoy the Black Hills area.  We have been there many times and for us, it just doesn't get old.  On this trip we spent most of it off the beaten path...gravel roads, rut roads, biking the George Mickelson trail  and hiking some hiking trails.  I had said in a previous post I would go over some of the gear I use.  The picture above is of the Goal Zero solar charger.  This model is the Guide 10 Plus.  It comes with a Nomad 7 solar panel, a USB cable, a 12 volt cable and a battery pack with 4 AA rechargeable batteries.  I have used it bicycle touring, camping and will use it on the river when we are out for days.  It is a very rugged, durable solar charger.  It is also suppose to be water proof, although I have not tested that, nor do I intend to.  It charges cell phones, cameras, MP3 players, GPS'r, I-Pads, Kindles and lots of stuff.  I use it for my cell phone, camera and Garmin.  It will not charge a lap top.  A person can charge right from the panel itself or use the panel to charge the battery pack and then charge the unit of your choice from the battery pack.  I choose to use the battery pack.  It has loops sewn on the panel and I tie it open to something during the daylight and charge from the pack in the evening.  
Sorry for the crappy photos, but it measures 6" x 9" x 1" when not in use folded and 17" x 9" when unfolded.  It weighs in at a very light at 0.8lbs. They say the charge time for the battery pack is 2-4 hours, but I have never timed it.  There are several configurations the Goal Zero out there and it is my understanding that one must be careful with which one you purchase.  After researching I purchased the Goal Zero 19007 Adventure kit as I thought it met my needs the best.  That model runs approximately $120.00.  I am of the opinion it is worth every penny.  A GREAT unit!!

My apologies this time in advance as there is some mighty nice looking weather coming up...and I plan to take advantage of no computer for days again.  I do miss reading the great blogs on my blog roll and think about them often, but adventure and the outdoors pull me away.

Lets get outdoors and have some fun!!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Diabetes Ride

 Last Saturday was the Tour de Cure diabetes ride in Minneapolis MN.  First off...A big Thank YOU for all that supported us and me in particular in this event.  The above picture is of our group...The Gitchigumi Gear Mashers.  We have been riding as a group doing charity rides for a few years now.  It was my first year riding this event and I believe they do a very good job.  The rest stops were well spaced, very well stocked, and in scenic locations along the route.  The route itself shined also.  Mostly bike paths and trails.  And, of the roads we did ride, most had bicycle lanes painted in. I can now easily see why the Twin Cities rate so high in numerous bicycle friendly studies.  I will be back to leisurely ride more of these trails.  Their trail system is fantastic.

 This unit must have been part of the event as I saw at two different locations.

 The Mississippi River near downtown Minneapolis was really moving.  Some of the people riding said they had never seen it this lively.  It was my first time viewing it, so I couldn't compare it, but it was impressive.  While stopped on the bridge the spray was wetting us down.

 This is a trail bridge heading into downtown Minneapolis.

 At about mile 22 a tremendously loud noise came from behind.  It was louder than most gun shots.  It ended up to be a tube blow out on one of our team members ride.  The tube had about a 4" split plus a large chunk went missing somewhere along the way. SAG came along and helped.  Like I said before, well organized.

 After riding Minneapolis, we headed to St. Paul.  Here we rode by the Excel Energy Center, plus many other landmarks. By this time, my picture taking was getting to a minimum.  All these photos were taken with the cell phone...As I forgot the camera!  Must come with age I tell ya.  

 The above is a pic of the event grounds.  There they had diabetes information along with a lot of swag items.  They even had an area to test your A1C score.

The event supplied us with free lunch along with free Schells beer, 1919 Root Beer and free music.  we holed up near the beer truck and music.

Back home and loaded this post up and back out again soon.  It seems like I am spending a lot of time interent challenged these days.  I am fortunate to have an understanding spouse and also children at home for the summer to keep things in check. 

Lets get outdoors and have some fun!!