Monday, April 09, 2007

Garmin 305 Review


I'm not really looking to turn my blog into a product review site, but I cannot stay silent about the Garmin Edge 305. I needed a new bike computer and really wanted something with a heart rate monitor. I used to own a very expensive Polar heart rate/cycle computer but it is simply awful, so awful I may have to make a whole post to do it justice.

At any rate, I was leery of buying something that had too many features. I just wanted something to tell me how fast I was going, how far I'd ridden, and maybe my heart rate. Virginia at Palo Alto Bicycles convinced me I really wanted the Garmin Edge 305. She was right: it rocks.

I won't go into the feature list, that's what the web is for. Suffice it to say it is addictive. Once you've started using it, you need more, like a drug. If you forget the heart rate chest strap for a ride, or find your battery dead before a ride it makes you want to drive back home to get your strap, or wait an hour for your computer to charge. You want (dare I say need) it that bad.

If you bike, you owe it to yourself to buy one of these.

Here is a link to a recent ride posted on motionbased.com, and a link to the route on Google Maps.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Laguna Seca 3/21/07


I spent a beautiful Wednesday at Laguna Seca raceway, with NASA Proracing.
My last track outing in November was mostly an attempt to get my head back into driving fast, and taking some time to share the fun with Ron riding shotgun. As I wrote then, lots of stuff was out of sorts: tires, track, and confidence.

Lagnua Seca is one of my favorite tracks, and I have had more track time here. I've logged the most virtual track time at Laguna as well via the best video game ever: Sega's Ferrari F355 Challenge. That and having taken the Skip Baber 3-day racing class here doesn't hurt. So I felt right at home even on the first lap.

I got faster as the sessions progressed, and ended clocking a 1:52. Which is 5 seconds faster than my previous best, from the last time I drove the M Coupe there in 2002. I'm still analyzing the Traqmate data, but two mistakes i was frequently making were turning in a little too late for turn 4 and turn 8. According to the driver of the Cayman S that was lapping behind me for a while, I'm not carrying as much speed as I could though turn 11 either. Needless to say, its important I get back there soon to work on that. :)

The only place I was loosing to the Cayman S was in the braking zones. The brakes just didn't feel very inspiring this outing. Time for some racing brake pads.

Here is a short video including my second fastest lap. Its a tad more interesting: I pass a miata and spend the whole rest of the lap chasing some 911s and keeping ahead of a red Porsche CaymanS.