Tuesday Tidbits – February Edition

In no particular order – observations of the last week:

  • No, my blog is not for sale.  While I’m flattered by the offer, it would be kinda awkward to sell this blog and blog name.  However, if you present me with enough money (or a big box of cupcakes) – I might reconsider.  I think one milllllllioooooon dollars is a fair starting point.
  • If you’re travelling for a race via plane and are taking your bike you’ll note that the cost has gone up a wee bit (read: a crapload), with some airlines changing up to $150 EACH WAY!  I happened to notice that US Airways offers a free bike shipping certificate with each flight booked when you link from the Ironman site (here) for any Ironman race.  [Out of curiosity of course] I happened to click the link while booking a different race.  I happened to get a e-certificate in my e-mail a short time later.  It’s unclear to me if this is a one-way or two-way certificate.  Just sayin’…
  • There’s a bill currently circulating around the lovely state of Virginia’s congressional halls that basically makes it illegal to operate a bike on all highways in the state.  Before you think we’re just talking a 4-lane massive interstate – keep in mind that many middle of nowhere quiet country roads are also designated highways.  Suckage abound.  Click here to display your dislike against it in this short newspaper poll on the right side, it takes roughly 1.8 seconds.  Of course – sending a note to your congressional peep is probably more effective.  There’s more info here.
  • I’ve contemplated for a while getting one of those underwater MP3 players.  Not so much for right this second, but once my long-Saturday swims startup again and I’m pushing 2 hours continuous (7,000-8,000 yards nonstop) – I could see the value of one.  If you have any suggestions on ones you like or if you want me to review one – drop me a message.
  • Wednesday or Thursday I’ll be publishing a full review of the CompuTrainer.  I’ve had it for more than a year and a half now, and I’ve finally finished up the write-up on it.

That’s all. 

Oh, actually – one more note.  It’s my Mom’s birthday tomorrow – so Happy Birthday!


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  1. I have a SWIMP3 player that I won from a contest a few yrs back. It works very well underwater (i.e. great sound quality; sound produced via bone conduction technology). The only problem is that it works so well that I get into that mode of mindlessly swimming laps while listening to it, which not good being a newer swimmer who needs to be focusing on technique. So I hardly use it any more.

    And hopefully bullet 2 only applies to bikes that have to be shipped in oversize containers (or I’ll be really pissed as my travel bike cost considerably more than my racing bike!).

  2. Not being able to operate a bike on any highway? That’s just silly! I can see not allowing them on the freeway, but otherwise… Sure there are more important things requiring legislation than that.

    Someone offered to buy your blog??

  3. it’s a two way certificate and I hope US Airways doesn’t catch on that people are starting to figure out this ‘loop hole’

  4. I’ve used both the SwiMP3 player and a kit from H2O Audio.

    Short Reviews:
    SwiMP3: 256mb storage, ~4 hour battery life, $150. I agree with Shirley – there is a decent sound through bone conduction (you place the units on your cheekbones/temples. That being said, I really didn’t like the “feel” of having something of that size, albeit not over bulky by most people’s standards, strapped to my goggles. It was a noticeable feeling of drag once you’re at speed. On the positive side, being that your ears are not covered by headphones, you are able to hear outside noise (boats if you’re in outside water). Cons, aside from drag, is I found I couldn’t use them out of the water.. one, they strap to your goggles and I don’t often wear my goggles around the city, and as you turn your head out of the water, for a split second they have a very tinny sound. Also, the bass sucks.

    H2O Audio: I love this system. I suggest picking up an iPod Shuffle, one of these cases: link to h2oaudio.com
    and a set of the Surge Bass Amplified Waterproof Headphones. You can throw the Shuffle in the waterproof case and stick it in your swimcap (like you do the Garmin) along with most of the slack from the headphones, or buy the armband.. but I personally don’t like to have the headphone cords all over, nor something on my arm. The headphones have GREAT sound, they prevent water from getting in your ear… and you’re able to use the iPod and the headphones outside of the water. For $39/case, 60/headphones, and 50/iPod shuffle (1gb, 12 hr battery life), you’re spending the same amount, and getting a lot more function from the product.

    (sorry to hijack your comment section for what probably should have been my own blog post.)

  5. Oh, and Happy Birthday to mommy Maker. 🙂

  6. I’ve seen several people in my pool using the Swimman. It’s basically a stock iPod Shuffle waterproofed from the inside out. Works with standard waterproof headphones (they sell their own). No bulky cases or proprietary software to worry about. They do warranty it themselves. As a plus, your whole iTunes library is available for use, including purchased music (not that that’s a problem anymore). I’m planning on getting one myself in a month or two when I have some long swims to work through again. Downside is they only sell the 1GB 2nd gen model. But you can buy your own and send it to them to have it waterproofed if you need a larger 3rd gen one. http://www.swimman.com

  7. MB

    Good pointing out the VA bill, but don’t direct mail to Congress! This is a Virginia matter – get in touch with your local Delegate or Senator about it (because no one in Congress will care). The bill was introduced by Del. Bob Brink, and it sounds like Alan Muchnick has gotten through to him on the matter. That said, it can’t hurt to apply some extra constituent pressure.

  8. I have a case and headphones for my nano. They are great with solo long swims.

  9. I don’t own a swimming MP3 player but I can’t wait to read your review of whatever you decide on since it looks like you’ve gotten some good suggestions/advice…2 hour long swim sessions…glad your coach is not mine!! Happy Birthday Mommy Maker-even though I don’t know you! 🙂

  10. Actually, the bill doesn’t prohibit operating a bike on a highway, but only on a “Interstate Highway System component” or “other limited access highway.” You’re familiar with the first, but the latter isn’t a term that you run across much. A limited access highway is a highway that exists solely to move vehicles over a given stretch of land, with no intersections and access only via on/off ramps. These consist almost entirely of interstate highways and bypasses; not the sort of things that you’d ever want to take a bike onto.

    This bill has been introduced by a new urbanist legislator from an urban area who has no interest at all in restricting bicycling or pedestrian transit. Don’t worry.

  11. Happy BDay Mrs. Rainmaker!

    I would like to be your agent for selling your blog…I need something to supplement my income. I am willing to dedicate 100% of my working time toward it. I think 22% is fair.

  12. Happy BDay to your mom!

  13. Boo airlines. I still can’t believe they charge me to check my bag. It only causes more problems (when the ENTIRE plane tries to stuff their carry-ons in the overhead).

  14. funny, i don’t remember offering to buy your blog.

    that’s quite some b.s. going on in virginia. i’ll be following that up. wtf.

    happy birfday mom! a fellow aquarian!

  15. If you have an Ipod there is a waterproof Ipod case… otherwise got with the SWIMP3… heard wonderful reviews about it!

  16. What’s with the bicycle bill??!! That is downright scary!