I was on my way to work this morning and someone offered me a free Astana water bottle. How improbable could that be? It’s been Bike to Work Week in Ann Arbor, and the Wheels in Motion bike shop set up an “aid station” downtown. They were offering free tune-ups, coffee and water bottles. “You want an Astana water bottle?” one guy asked me. “Trek no longer sponsors the team so we need to get rid of them.” I said, “Cool, does it come with a vial of EPO?”wafflesandsteel | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »
I was crossing the street in downtown Ann Arbor yesterday when I noticed this robot-like figure. It’s my favorite kind of art: whimsical, unexpected, simple, makes you think and wonder.
It looks like he was created from the same material used to make the zebra stripes on the crosswalk. What is that stuff? Is it paint or some type of adhesive strip? I’m calling him the Zebra Stripe Dude.
Who made him? How did he get there? Are there more of them? In a place like Ann Arbor, there must be more.wafflesandsteel | Filed under: Street art | No Comments »
$120 is just too much to pay for a pair of running shoes. But that’s what they’re charging for many of the makes and models at the stores that I always try to shop at. Most of these shoes are way over engineered and offer too much shoe for me. Bells and whistles, I have no use for them. All I need is a solid heel counter, soft slab of cushioning material (EVA or whatever they call it now) and a well-crafted upper with simple styling and colors (I won’t do neon, which seems to be in fashion now). I usually buy the shoes on the third tier. My favorite part of the book Born to Run – indeed, a wonderful read – was when the author mentions that the track coach at Stanford or some other major school noticed that his athletes were getting injured all the time when they were running in the fancy shoes supplied by a big-name shoe company that sponsored his program. He switched to the company’s cheapest shoes, and the problems stopped. I’ve had the same experience.
For the past eight years, I’ve been buying my running shoes at Kohl’s. I always get the ASICS (I still want to call them Tigers from the Ontisuka days), and they have yet to disappoint. Someone at ASICS knows exactly what my foot needs. They’re always on sale, at least 25 percent off. Today, I got a pair on sale for $44 (original price $80). My wife gave me a coupon that let me take an additional 30 percent off. I was a very happy man – spending as much as I did on the pair of New Balance 420s (damn they were great shoes) that I purchased in 1981. I feel bad about not patronizing the running specialty store. But with an expensive cycling habit to feed, I can’t afford to buy the $120 shoes that are keeping them in business. When they start selling the bottom-of-the-line ASICS, I’ll be there.wafflesandsteel | Filed under: ASICS, Running shoes | No Comments »