Sunday, August 12, 2007

Shiny Things

You know, something odd about Ironman training in South Texas in August. It's kind of a solitary exercise. No one is exactly signing up to ride 112 miles on the Highway to Hell when you can fry an egg on said highway. THAT is why this is the single best training toy I've ever purchased:

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It is the Ihome Cycler. Rather than increase your risk of death or mutilation by riding with earbuds, you dock your ipod in this water-bottle-shaped speaker (all dockable ipods will fit) and you can Get Your Geek On or sing along to Highway to Hell while you're riding on it.

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The speaker on top of the device plays the music so your riding companions can sing along too, or at least you'll look slightly less odd than you do belting out AC/DC when you're the only one who can hear the music.

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The Ihome Cycler includes a control device that you mount on your handlebars so you can increase or decrease the volume or skip songs without having to take your hnads off the handlebars or eyes off the road. The device itself plays loudly enough to provide a good listening experience over traffic noice with all but quieter, instrumental or orchestral scores.

Like maybe the opening to the first movement to Copland, Symphony No. 3, expecially that nice transparent quality that Bernstein gets in the recording on Deutsche Grammophone with the New York Philharmonic.

. . . uhm, yeah. I've kind of let some geekiness out of the bag. It's not all head banging metal music on my Ipod.

I got my unit at a local sporting goods store (Academy) for slight less than $100. It was worth every penny. I used the Ihome Cycler on my ride last Saturday when the heat index was well over 100 degrees. It performed flawlessly. My ride was only a 4:30 brick with only a 3:30 ride (ONLY??!!), so I don't know if the battery life will last for a full century, but that's why they have convenience stores with double a batteries.

The device comes with a special "bottle cage" that attaches just like ordinary bottle cages and held my device securely in place on the downtube even on rough shoulders and over railroad tracks. The makers of the Ihome Cycler tout the device as being "water resistant." We'll see if if stands up if and when the rains return, but for now, if you train like you race (i.e., pee the bike) you just might want to exercise additional care in how you do that.

In short, it made a ride that could have been a death march a lot of fun--sort of like a three hour and thirty minute spin class . . . in a 100 degree room with cars trying to crowd you, exhaust choking you, and no hawt spin instructor. Oh, well.

Can't wait until next weekend. Seventh ride since January of 100 miles or more, but this time with tunes!

7 comments:

Bigun said...

cool toy - my old phone used to play mp3's out of the speaker - crappily and only when it wanted to - this sounds way cooler. Of course, if you are a water hound like me, giving up the quality h20 could be a problem....

JohnnyTri said...

hey that thing looks great! good thing it didnt melt out there on our tx. heat!

rockon`

Steve S. said...

Sweet device! Totally geeky....

Lisa said...

That's awesome. I might just have to add it to my wish list, although I guess I have to get an iPod first...

Bolder said...

me wanty!

Carrie said...

Oh my God--that's definitely the topper on the Geek Scale. I must have one NOW!!! :-) Do you actually lose a water bottle cage in order to have this on the bike? It's a tough choice...much needed hydration or much needed tunage.

Irongirl said...

How Fun!
I want one. Of course I guess I need to get an IPOD first :-/