September/October 2010

We are currently in the thick of the tick. Late October and early November are the most active period of the year for adult deer ticks, the species primarily responsible for the spread of Lyme disease. If you spend time in the woods and fields of the Northeast, here are my top three tips for…

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In my recent Equipped article on bike lights, reflectors, and high visibility clothing (“Now You See Me“), I mention in the lead paragraph: “Fast-moving, fourwheeled danger is everywhere in the urban jungle—and no seat belts or airbags protect cyclists in the event of a collision.” Turns out that I was wrong. Airbags for cyclists actually…

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GPS receivers appear everywhere these days, integrated into smart phones, vehicle dashboards, cameras, and more. They’re also shrinking—a variety of wrist-top models are available that track speed, distance, and location. There’s a reason, however, why manufacturers dub these smallest GPS units “wrist-top computers” instead of “watches.” They still require a linebacker-sized wrist to fit comfortably…

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A new alternative to bike chains is appearing in the market: grease-free, ultra-tough belts. Lighter, cleaner, and more durable than traditional metal chains, expect to see them on an increasing array of consumer models in the coming years. Traditional bike chains can be nasty, greasy magnets for dirt and funk. Proper care and maintenance helps…

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Canister stoves are great. Safe, easy to use, lightweight, and compact with excellent flame adjustment to boot. Canister stoves are horrible. You have to buy expensive metal gas canisters—and then figure out how to recycle them or add their empty metal carcasses to the country’s landfills. The problem is two-fold. First, in order to recycle…

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Looking for the best online resources for tracking snow conditions throughout New England? Here are the sites I follow to keep abreast of the arriving snow for the winter of 2010-11. There’s already snow on the ground in the high peaks of New Hampshire and Vermont. Last Friday, a record-setting 18 inches fell on top…

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Ever wonder how U.S. shoe sizes are determined? Or what the difference is between men’s and women’s sizes? Ever notice that one of your feet is bigger than the other? Or that your feet have gotten longer as you’ve gotten older? Let these fun foot factoids enlighten you. U.S. Shoe SizesMale shoe sizes are determined…

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In my previous post, I discussed the growing availability of size 15 footwear for giant-footed individuals like myself. But when it comes to specialty outdoor footwear, life can still be challenging. For all you Bigfoots out there, this is what I’ve learned. For specialty activities like mountaineering or backcountry skiing, the market just isn’t big…

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I’m a Bigfoot. As in, I have really big feet. Size 15 to be exact. Fifteen years ago, it used to be near impossible to find a pair of shoes large enough for my oversized flippers—even a size 14 was hard to come by in most retail stores, especially outdoor specialty shops. But these days…

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Wouldn’t it be nice if you never got a flat tire on your bike…ever? Or if your full-sized road bike weighed less than a gallon of milk? Good news. There’s a new no-flat tubeless bike tire arriving in 2011. Bad news. A six-pound bike—which has indeed been created—would cost you an estimated $45,000. Hutchinson Serenity…

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