The day after my Maskenthine win. Ripping it up at Potter's Pasture during a "planning meeting" with Guitar Ted, Chad Quigley, Kyle Vincent and the rest of the crew we'll be working with to bring you the 2009 Big Wheeled Ballyhoo. This is the "Sweetness" climb. Photo: Llama
Yeah, yeah... I know. The content on the 'ol Dirtblog has gotten a little stale lately. It's funny, because it's not for lack of potential content that I haven't been posting... It's simply for lack of time to write posts. This past weekend was pretty low-key, but I just kept the 'ol computer turned off the entire time. It was a holiday and I made the most of it.
Last weekend I was able to pull off my first victory of the season on the mountain bike in the Marathon (3-hour) class at the Maskenthine round of the Psycowpath series, which was near Stanton, NE. I finished approximately six and a half minutes up on Ryan Feagan of the BikeMasters team. Midwest Cycling's Larry Kitner was third, about 12 minutes back. I rode my Salsa Big Mama at Maskenthine, and the choice of big wheels and full suspension was absolutely the right call on the bumpy, fast and rolling lake-side course. I was able to complete eight circuits of the five-plus mile course in just over three hours of racing.
Lap 1 of the Maskenthine Marathon -- Ryan Feagan (BikeMasters) leads, while I'm sittin' in second on my Salsa Big Mama. We'd switch positions for the finish, but otherwise, it was a pretty uneventful race. An uneventful win is still a good win, though... I'll take it!!
It was my first ride with my new Oakley Jawbone Transitions SOLFX eyewear, and let me tell you, once you ride a mountain bike with Transitions lenses, you'll be spoiled for anything else. These things are AMAZING! The light level your eyes see is practically constant and always optimal, regardless of whether you're in a canopy of trees, or out in the open, in bright sunshine. No longer do you need to search for a "happy medium" lens that'll work OK for both scenarios.
Photo courtesy of OakleyNow you can have the best lens for both situations... and everything in-between. Oakley's VR50 lens was already my favorite "in the canopy of trees" lens gradient, so it's the perfect base point to start from. And that's where my lenses on my Jawbones start from -- the VR50 gradient, and they get darker from there, depending on the light level. As it gets brighter, they get darker -- automatically. Man, it's sweet.
Oakley's signature technologies are also present. Jawbones feature High Definition Optics (HDO), which use Oakley's patented XYZ Optics to extend lens clarity without distortion all the way to the edges of the lenses. Jawbones also feature Oakley's Hydrophobic technology, a permanent coating that sheds water, sweat, dust and smudges, making lenses stay clean longer as well as easier to clean when needed. This is HUGE when you're on the bike, especially riding off-road in the dirt and dust over the course of a long ride or race.
Oakley's three-point fit is also present in the Jawbone, and the model features the company's exclusive Unobtanium earsocks and nosepiece, which increase comfort and actually become stickier as perspiration and activity increase. The fit of the Jawbone is one thing I particularly appreciate, as I'm often wearing these glasses for up to 12 hours at a time. Less comfortable eyewear would leave pressure points that would give me headaches. How do I know this? I've had it happen... and happen often with other brands' models. That's why I went back to wearing Oakley eyewear exclusively. It fits better, especially when you've got a helmet on.
The Switchlock technology of the Jawbone is what sets the new model apart from all models that came before it. Consisting of a lock that resides under a hinged nosepiece and a hinged arm that encapsulates the lower portion of each lens, the Switchlock simplifies the lens changing procedure to allow the easy selection of the optimal lens gradient for any light condition. Each pair of Jawbones comes with two sets of lenses standard, in contrasting colors, so my Transitions lenses came with an alternate set of lenses in Fire Iridium, which are ideal for very bright light conditions -- the one type of conditions the Transitions lenses aren't ideal in. So unless it's totally dark out, I'm pretty much covered. And yes, Oakley makes clear lenses for the Jawbone, so eventually, I'll have a pair of those too. For now, I just use my clear Flak Jackets. It's not like those aren't good enough!
Oakley Custom program, which lets you choose all the options, for your own, 100-percent unique pair of shades. Very cool...
Being used to the Flak Jacket, which doesn't have a full frame around the lenses, I wondered how I'd like having a full-frame sports sunglass again, but in all honesty, after my initial "hey, I can kind of see the frame down there" impression when I first put them on, I never again noticed the frame. It was simply not an issue. What I did notice however, was the absolute amazing performance on the bike these sunglasses provided. Whether it's picking my way through rocks at 5mph, or blasting down the road at 25mph, the Jawbone provides solid protection and doesn't fog, shift or do anything weird. Optics are second to none, as is typical with Oakley eyewear, and the Jawbones have a very high quality feel to them. They are expensive, to be sure, but experience tells me they are worth every penny. Visit Oakley.com/jawbone to learn more about the Jawbone for yourself, then get into your local Oakley dealer and try a pair on. See for yourself... I guarantee you'll immediately understand what I'm talking about.