Archive for the ‘Bike Culture’ Category

Post 5 - GoMacro Peanut Chocolate

Brand: GoMacro

Product: Protein Pleasure Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip

Weight: 2.5oz / 71g

Cost: $2.89/per from manufacturer

Stats

Calories: 290

Total Fat: 11g, Sat. Fat 2.5g

Cholesterol: 0g

Sodium: 10mg

Total Carb: 38g

Fiber: 3g

Sugars: 15g

Protein: 12g

Protein per ounce: 4.8g

Protein, Cost per gram: $0.24

Carb to Protein Ratio: 3.16-1

Vit A: 0% DV

Vit C: 0% DV

Calcium: 2% DV

Iron: 20% DV

Organic, gluten free, non-GMO, no refined sugars, sustainably sourced, macrobiotic, and vegan.

Not made in a gluten free facility.

Flavor:

It tasted like a peanut butter Clif bar with an almost identical mouth-feel, but with chocolate chips. I personally love peanut butter Clif bars for the flavor and mouth feel, I also love chocolate chips, so this was a win all around for me. In terms of nutrition, the GoMacro bar is one of the best reviewed so far. Next to the Daly Mocha Mantra, this bar has the highest protein per ounce ratio, the GoMacro bar also has a cheaper cost per gram of protein, making it a better buy for those looking to bulk up on a budget. The GoMacro bar has double the iron of the Daly Mocha Mantra which makes it ideal for people who need extra iron in their diet.

This would be a great protein bar to bring to Burning Man. While it does have some chocolate in it, the chocolate is minimal and a lot of it is inside the bar so it won’t become a gloopy mess all over the inside of the wrapper.

I talked to a friend who is a personal trainer and he suggested adding a ratio of carbs to protein, since that is required to properly process the protein. An ideal ratio is between 2-4 grams of carbs to each gram protein. I’ll work on adding it to all the previous reviews and it will be in all future ones.

Post 4 - Evo Hemp

Brand: Evo Hemp

Product: Cashew Cacao + Raw Antioxidant (Blueberries)

Weight: 1.69oz /48g

Cost: $2.25/per from manufacturer

Stats

Calories: 185

Total Fat: 8g, Sat. Fat 1g

Cholesterol: 0g

Sodium: 0mg

Potassium: 300mg

Total Carb: 24g

Fiber: 3g

Sugars: 10g

Protein: 7g

Protein per ounce: 4.14g

Protein, Cost per gram: $0.32

Vit A: 6% DV

Vit B1: 4% DV

Vit B6: 6% DV

Vit C: 4% DV

Magnesium: 15% DV

Zinc: 4% DV

Calcium: 4% DV

Iron: 15% DV

Phosphorous: 10% DV

Manganese: 10% DV

Organic, raw, gluten free, vegan, and soy free.

Not made in a gluten free facility.

Flavor:

If you couldn’t tell from my previous posts, I love hemp, so the idea of a protein bar largely made of hemp definitely has some appeal. The flavor wasn’t particularly inspiring nor unpleasant in any way. It was somewhat sweet, yet savory, the dates that make up much of the bar are a large flavor component. The mouth-feel was totally awesome! It had a cake-like texture, reminiscent of a denser angel food cake or pound cake. There are many benefits to eating a raw diet and for those who choose to eat raw your options in terms of protein bars is very limited. Thankfully, you have the Evo Hemp Cashew Cacao protein bar, which has the third highest protein per ounce ratio out of the bars I have reviewed so far paired with one of the better flavors/mouth-feels. This is the only bar I have reviewed that contains any phosphorous, manganese, magnesium, zinc and B vitamins; this wide range of nutrients makes the Evo Hemp bar, perhaps, the overall most nutritious bar I have reviewed so far. This would also be a great protein bar for bringing to Burning Man as there is nothing in it to get melty and gooey inside the wrapper.

Post 3 - Simple Square

Brand: Simple Squares

Product: Coconut, Nuts, and Honey Organic Snack Bar

Weight: 1.6oz / 45g

Cost: $2.49/per from manufacturer

Stats

Calories: 230

Total Fat: 17g, Sat. Fat 5g

Cholesterol: 0g

Sodium: 95mg

Total Carb: 16g

Fiber: 3g

Sugars: 10g

Protein: 6g

Protein per ounce: 3.75g

Protein, Cost per gram: $0.41

Carb to Protein Ratio: 2.6-1

Vit A: 0% DV

Vit C: 0% DV

Calcium: 4% DV

Iron: 10% DV

Organic, gluten free, no refined sugars, soy and dairy free.

Not made in a gluten free facility.

Flavor:

While this is labeled as a “snack” bar not a protein bar like the others I am reviewing, it still packs roughly the same protein per ounce into the bar. I love the simple square for it’s simplicity, only 6 ingredients and they are all things your grandma would recognize. Not only was it simple it was also delicious! It didn’t have any of the chalky powdery feeling that many protein bars do, this tasted and mouth-felt like eating a hand full of granola slicked with honey and vanilla. It didn’t taste like a candy bar the way the Chocolate Raspberry Truffle bar did but it was quite tasty.

I’ve been giving these posts a Burning Man tag because protein bars are a must-have out there on the Playa. That said, it is a very bad idea to bring chocolate out there because it melts. This Simple Square has nothing in it to get melty in the ridiculous heat of the desert sun, making it the best bar I have reviewed so far to bring out to the Burn.

Post 2 - Chocolate Raspberry Truffle

Brand: Raw Revolution

Product: Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Organic Live Food Bar

Weight: 1.8oz / 51g

Cost: $1.89/per from manufacturer

Stats

Calories: 220

Total Fat: 14g, Sat. Fat 2.5g

Cholesterol: 0g

Sodium: 0mg

Total Carb: 23g

Fiber: 5g

Sugars: 13g

Protein: 7g

Protein per ounce: 3.89g

Protein, Cost per gram: $0.27

Carb to Protein Ratio: 3.29-1

Vit A: 2% DV

Vit C: 15% DV

Calcium: 6% DV

Iron: 15% DV

Organic, gluten free, non-GMO, Kosher, and vegan.

Made in USA in gluten-free facility.

Flavor:

Delicious, it was like eating a candy bar made of nutrients. It definitely tasted like a chocolate raspberry truffle, the dessert type – not the mushroom. I tried to take my time to really savor the flavor but I ended up scarfing it pretty quickly, despite all best attempts. It didn’t have any of the chalky powdery feeling that many protein bars do, where it feels like you are chewing on gummy dirt that tastes like peanuts and chocolate. I would put this at the top of my list of protein bars I have tried, it’s better than the other organic ones I have eaten. That all being said, this is only the second of these reviews that I have done and my real decision on which organic protein bar is the best will have to wait until the last of these reviews.

While the Chocolate Raspberry Truffle packs less protein into basically the same amount of space, it has a slightly better cost per gram on the protein content compared to the Daily Mocha Mantra I reviewed last time. While I love the coffee flavor of the Daily Mocha Mantra, I have to say, flavor-wise, the Chocolate Raspberry Truffle is a clear winner over anything I have tried by 22 Days so far. Since this bar is one of the few I have come across that is actually made in a gluten free facility this makes it ideal for people who have extreme allergies to gluten and need to be extra certain that something is entirely gluten free.

Hey readers, my apologies for my extended absence. My writing career has begun to take off and I have been doing a lot of cannabis writing for other sites, at the expense of my own blog. I’ve decided to correct that by starting a new series of posts on here profiling the various organic protein bars I have found at my local health food store. I have always been big on physical exercise in various forms: dance, weight lifting, biking, soccer, sword fighting, parkour, running, basketball, martial arts, boxing, volleyball, football, archery, and much more. I have also always been a big fan of proper nutrition, the combination of those two loves has given rise to this current series.

As the focus of this series is on the protein part of the protein bar I have included a “protein per ounce” category. Protein bars come in all shapes and sizes and some inferior ones use creative packaging to appear more nutritious than others. I feel that calculating a protein per ounce ratio of weight-protein is a simple and effective way to level the playing field. For the budget conscious I also included a cost per gram of protein. I do recognize that more than the protein content matters, which is why I have included the full nutritional content and a flavor profile.

The first protein bar I am profiling is 22 Days Daily Mocha Mantra.

Post 1 - Daily Mocha Mantra

Brand: 22 Days

Product: Daily Mocha Mantra

Weight: 1.7oz / 50g

Cost: $2.99/per from manufacturer.

Stats

Calories: 220

Total Fat: 12g, Sat. Fat 2.5g, Poly Unsaturated 2.5g, Mono Unsat. 6.5%

Cholesterol: 0g

Sodium: 20mg

Total Carb: 21g

Fiber: 5g

Sugars: 14g

Protein: 10g

Protein per ounce: 5.8g

Protein, Cost per gram: $0.30

Carb to Protein Ratio: 2.1-1

Vit A: 0% DV

Vit C: 0% DV

Calcium: 6% DV

Iron: 10% DV

Fair Trade organic, plant based, dairy free, gluten free, Natural Food Certified, Produced with Solar Energy.

Not made in gluten free facility.

Flavor:

While this review is of the Daily Mocha Mantra flavor I have had various protein bars by 22 Days and they have been my go-to protein bar, up until this protein bar review series. Who knows which one my favorite will be by the end of these posts? The Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Nirvana flavor is delicious but also pretty standard chocolate/peanut protein bar. Looking over 22 Days website for this post I see they have stepped their game up and now have 20g protein versions I will need to check out for a future post. As of now, the Daly Mocha Mantra packs in more protein per ounce than any other bar I am reviewing, but not necessarily at the best price or with the best flavor.

The Daily Mocha Mantra protein bar is the only one I have come across that is made with real coffee. This protein bar is caffeinated and flavored with actual coffee, not any BS or fillers. If you want a real “get up and go” protein bar for your morning work out then this is it. You can pass on the Starbucks with this protein bar. I am a huge coffee fan, so I found this to be a selling point; for the same reason other people may not like it. I’m not sure if it is the coffee or the hemp protein powder they use but something gives this bar a slight grittiness. I really don’t mind it, because at least it isn’t that chalky powdery taste that nearly all non-organic protein bars have from cheap protein powder. I will take coffee grittiness over a dry chalked up mouth any day. As this is my first review in the series I can’t give you any comparison. But stay tuned to future posts and the recap I do at the end of the series.

Hey readers, I’ve recently begun wondering if my blog might be too diverse in focus for my readership and I am debating limiting my focus on this blog and starting another one for other posts or possibly something else. As a person who has many focuses in life and does many things I wanted a blog that reflects that, but I worry people might feel spammed with posts that are not relevant to their interests (you are here for DIY but I just keep posting about politics, or vice versa).

Here is your chance and your place to tell me what you come here for and what you’d like to see more of. You can choose up to 3 options on the poll and even add your own options if I missed something.

This year’s theme for Burning Man has been announced, and it is Caravansary. If you are like me then your first thought was probably, “what the hell is a caravansary?” Quickly followed by the realization that it is a very tricky to pronounce word. A caravansary is a type of walled inn with a large central courtyard that was built along the Silk Road to protect caravans at night from marauders. You can think of a caravansary as a man-made oasis; they offered the same level of protection in their stone walls that an oasis saw from the harsh climate of the desert itself. Caravansaries and the Silk Road were crucial to the flow of information as they served as meeting places for all sorts of people from every corner of the globe, the crossroads.

Now, if you are like me, you probably then realized that this theme doesn’t really add much to the event like previous themes have. Burning Man has had themes for art since 1998, but the art-theme area of the website gives no hint as to the purpose of these themes nor their goal. Perhaps I am off base in assuming the themes are meant to modulate the event to make it somewhat different every year. Sure, Burning Man is always totally different, yet always the same, but the theme offers participants a filter or locus through which to view the event, it points us in a direction and says “go.”

Past themes, like Green Man, Metropolis, Cargo Cult and American Dream have forced us to re-examine our relationships with the environment, our cities, ourselves, and likelihood of realizing the American Dream. While Burning Man is always a leave no trace event, thus environmentally conscious, Green Man took it to new levels with art pieces like Crude Awakening. This was a giant oil derrick which showed humanity’s worship of oil which ultimately erupted into a mushroom cloud of fire when nearly 3,000 pounds of propane and jet fuel were ignited at weeks end. While that might not sound terribly green it is equivalent to “the amount of energy consumed in the Bay Area in one minute” and since the Bay Area was on vacation that week at Burning Man I imagine it balanced out. So while past themes have provided direction to the event in addition to the existing matrix of Burning Man laid out in the Ten Principles, this years theme does not.

Let’s break down this year’s theme. A caravansary is an inn where people from all over the world would get together, drink, swap stories, and perhaps swap more than that in gifts, trade, and lovemaking. By default, in order to be at a caravansary, you were on a pilgrimage of sorts or you worked at the inn. If you have never been to Burning Man let me do a quite comparison for you. If you are at the Burn you are on a pilgrimage of sorts or you work for Burning Man/the Government (“the inn”). Burning Man itself is a caravansary protecting inhabitants from the harsh Black Rock Desert that surrounds, it is our oasis in time and space in a vast sea of dust. Within this grand caravansary there is arranged a smaller assortment of taverns, bars, inns, and lounges, nearly all having some sort of inner courtyard to offer weary travelers repose.

While I am rather underwhelmed by the theme, because it is basically saying “this years theme is Burning Man,” I am similarly impressed. I was forced to learn a new word and I’ve already had my consciousness expanded thanks to my initial opposition to the theme. Sometimes what sounds utterly moronic at first proves to be the best idea imaginable and Burning Man is a great place for testing the bounds of imagination and idiocy. I am also impressed by this year’s Burn because instead of placing the Man ever higher from the desert floor on huge structures, making him ever less ADA accessible, he is returning to the floor of the desert as a MASSIVE effigy.

So how is Burning Man a grand caravansary? And if it is what sort of folks go there on pilgrimage to trade ideas and craft a collective narrative?

Well, there are these kinds of people…

Burning Man – Fun for all ages, old and young.

There are there sorts of people too…

Sometimes a dance floor at Burning Man just looks like a forest of fuzzy coats and furry top hats. This can be both wonderful and very disorienting if high on drugs.

And yes, they’re out there too…the infamous sparkleponies.

A wild herd of sparkleponies have appeared. Not always female, know a sparklepony by their sass, ass, and magical ability to vanish whenever it is time to do work.

Burning Man is representative and inclusive of everyone, including the aforementioned stereotypes of sparkleponies, people wearing furry coats, and naked old people; honestly, they make the event what it is, God bless the sparkleponies and shirtcockers. Past the usual stereotypes and tropes, Burning Man has a lot of techies. Hordes. It’s like SF moved to the desert for a week. The Burning Man census reveals this to be true, showing that over a third of participants still come from northern California, mostly the Bay Area. Most participants identify as being white/not a person of color; the question has been asked in different ways in different years yielding different results.

There also are retired army generals, like former NATO Supreme Commander General Wesley Clark, who was hanging out at this last Burn in conversation with John Perry Barlow (an EFF founder and Grateful Dead lyricist) and Larry Harvey (the main co-founder of Burning Man and its informal mayor). It sounds like the start of a joke; a Dead-Head,  a retired General, and the founder of Burning Man all walk into bar to sit down for a drink. It would be funny if it wasn’t real and didn’t have major significance. The usual belief is that Burning Man is only a place for the fuzzy hats and that clean-cut Good-Ol’ Boys would scarcely want to go let alone be accepted there. Only he did want to go there, no one is forced to be there other than the police and Burning Man staff who provide the crucial infrastructure to keep the event functional and safe. Not only did General Clark go to the Burn he also was accepted and given a rather warm welcome.

Everyone knows that world-class DJs are at the Burn every year, such as Junkie XL, Paul Oakenfold, Beats Antique, and The Crystal Method, but many people don’t realize that non-electronic artists also go to Burning Man, they just aren’t performing yet. P Diddy was sighted around this last Burn as well, sporting a stylish pink parasol. Hopefully P Diddy will join the vast legion of performers who gift their crafts to Black Rock City every year. As previously stated there are hordes of techies at Burning Man, this includes the God-child of all techies, Mark Zuckerberg. Zuckerberg is not alone, he is joined by the whole cast of The Social Network, including the identical Winklevoss Twins and Dustin Moshkovitz. Moshkovitz wrote a great piece about why the presence of techies and plug and play camps should be embraced rather than spurned. I still have mixed feelings about plug and play camps, but much of the bad taste has been cleansed from my palate. Some people need a very sterile environment in order to enjoy the Burn, sometimes for valid medical reasons; who is any one person to deny them that experience? I’m not that guy and I don’t care to meet him.

Mostly you find lots of people like me. We dress however the hell we please regardless of where we are; I wore a three piece suit many days this last Burn, then other days I looked like a “steampunk hobo wizard” to quote a friend. People like me do work, often more than our fair share because we recognize that without someone doing work Burning Man doesn’t happen. People like me are kind of artists, maybe writers, often wearing many hats at different times filling many different roles in camps and in life. We’ll gift you things at the Burn unprompted and without any expectation of return, the way any true gift should be given.

The only people who are not welcome are asshats like Krug champagne who either cannot read, can’t be bothered to read the rules, or worse of all read the rules and think they are exempt from them. Burning Man makes it very clear that you are not to exploit the event for marketing or promotional reasons; this isn’t your photo-op to make your brand seem edgy. Krug thought it would be in the Burner ethos to have a huge invite-only champagne party out on the Playa, exclusively to take promotional photos. They then felt it would be neighborly to leave the place trashed; isn’t that one of the Ten Principles? Oh wait no, it’s not “leave it trashed,” it is leave no trace. Way to go asshats. Some Burners did come by to help clean the mess up, but it wasn’t their mess and that really wasn’t fair to them, but then when is life ever really fair? Burning Man often teaches us, sometimes brutally, that life is not fair (see the yearly ticketing melee).

All things said and done, I love Burning Man as much as ever and would love to make it back out there this year, though I worry about the chance of that given massive medical bills. People complain every year about the theme, how it’s not like it used to be, and how it used to be free, etc. Nope, it’s not how it used to be, no one is driving over tents in the night or shooting guns in city limits. Nope, it isn’t free either, but there are bathrooms provided and other services (an awesome medical system with 3 major locations in the city). Burning Man used to embrace anarchy more than it does today, now it is radical self expression that is embraced. I prefer what it is today, a temporary experiment in city building and the world’s largest living art museum/gallery, and I for one love being part of that grand social experiment in the most famed caravansary of our time.

As you have probably gathered I love riding bikes and I am all about cool bike technologies. You’ve already seen some photos of me with my Montague X50 but you may not have realized that it was actually a folding bike. Most people look at it and ask if it is an electric bike, to which I reply not yet. Even though it isn’t electric assisted my Montague is still pretty nifty. Having full-sized 26 inch wheels I can pull a consistent 20mph out of it on city streets sustained for over 5 miles. Also, since it is full-sized, it is much more stable for a taller rider like myself (I am told that smaller wheels make it harder to balance).

The best part about folding bikes for me in San Francisco is that the folding means I can bring it onto lightrail trains like the N Judah that normally do not allow bikes on-board. Many local transit agencies have rules like the SFMTA, but not all. The VTA down in Santa Clara is perhaps the least bike friendly transit agency I have had experience with. Though many drivers and ticket agents in SF are not used to seeing folding bikes on trains and I tend to get hassled on a weekly basis at least SFMTA has a standing policy protecting my right to bring my folding bike on trains.

While I love my Montague X50 and the Paratrooper that gave birth to it, they don’t fold up that small and they weigh a ton. In case you were wondering the Paratrooper got its name because it was designed to be dropped out of planes into remote locations with paratroopers. They are both rugged, tough build bikes that weigh as much as a Hummer, by bike standards. The X50 weighs in at a staggering 32lbs with the Paratrooper Pro being a “sleek” 27lbs. My bike with lights, a back rack, fenders, and other add-ons is probably closer to 40lbs.

If you want the power of a full sized bike but want something that folds smaller like a Brompton, check out the new FUBi Bike. The main draw of the FUBi is that it folds up small enough to fit into a tennis racket case, save for the wheels. Not even Bromptons fold up that small and they aren’t full sized bikes. The FUBi is in a class of its own, but does not look remotely as user friendly as either a Brompton or a Montague. I’m eagerly awaiting more polished designs based off this prototype.

Hey everybody, hope you’ve been enjoying the blog so far. This post begins a new section of the blog where I will provide handy DIY lifehacks to make your life easier. I am an avid cyclist, riding upwards of 50 miles a week most weeks of the year, even in rainy weather. I also happen to wear glasses, which normally isn’t relevant as a biker, except when it is raining and your glasses fog over with rain drops, reducing visibility to near nothing in minutes. There are few good options available for a cyclist with glasses to spare them this pesky and potentially dangerous fate. You can pay hundreds of dollars for one of these German helmets or for one of these French ones. Some cyclists have even gone to the lengths of making their own, and I am one of them. In this blog I will give you my very simple schematic to make an empty two liter soda bottle into a bike visor in under five minutes, just in time for rainy weather.

While I like Jeff-O’s design I feel like it would let rain slip in from above and would still fall victim to fogging up. I have not used it personally and as such I can only speculate. The reason I opted for the design I did, which keeps the visor far away from the face and glasses is to prevent fogging up from body heat. I also feel like my design has better top coverage. His visor is much less bulky than my first version, but after seeing his build I re-designed mine to be sleeker and more svelte (see photos below).

You Will Need: An empty soda bottle, Velcro strips, scissors, and a bike helmet.

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Step 1: Empty Your Soda Bottle

01

I tried to be a Mentos magician but clearly need to level up more.

This is pretty simple, and can be as fun as you are creative. You can just pour the soda out, but that is about as boring as it gets. You could drink it, which while being more exciting is still pretty mundane and full of obesity. You can shake it up and spray it in a stranger’s face then run away before they hit you. Or, best method, you can add Mentos to Diet Coke to create a carbonated geyser of liquid diabetes. The options truly are endless. I personally prefer using a bottle that is clear as my base, but you can play around with seven up bottle for a green tint. I picked a Pepsi bottle over coke because coke bottles have ridges and you really want a smooth plastic surface for best visibility with the least distortion.

Step 2: Cut the Soda Bottle Into Shape

Remove the label from your soda bottle and wash it out. You will notice that around the bottom, where the bottle bulges out at the base, there is a seem running horizontal around the entire circumference. Cut along that seem to remove the bottom. Cut a straight line to the top of the bottle, all the way to the cap if you can. Remove the cap. You should be left with a piece of plastic that is a semi dome that comes to a point where the cap was. Try to cut it so that any printed writing on the plastic wont obstruct your vision.

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Step 3: Attach Velcro To Helmet

I use three places to mount my Velcro, one on each side and one in the middle on top of the helmet, you may want to use more if you are worried about high wind situations, but I found mine to withstand winds up to 30 mph. By using Velcro like this you can remove the visor when not needed instantly and it folds up to fit neatly into a backpack.

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Now you are ready to handle winter’s rainy weather like a champ and look like Robocop while you are doing it.

Robocop Helmet

Build #1: Note how much larger it was, this caused it to catch more wind.

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Build #2: A hybrid of my initial design with Jeff-O’s build.

As useful as this helmet visor is, it pales in comparison to this invisible helmet which I am eagerly waiting for. Freedom from helmet hair, better peripheral vision, better neck protection, and it looks like a very stylish scarf. It’s really more of an airbag for your head than an invisible helmet though, but it looks much more solid than an air bag.

[EDIT]: Not all Velcro’s are created equal! I’ve used two different brands now and I can safely say that 3M off-brand Velcro is totally superior to Velcro Extreme in terms of holding capacity.

I was just linked to an amazing new invention and it’s corresponding kickstarter campaign. The Fly Kly Smart Wheel turns any back wheel into an electric motor that can crank you up 20 extra mph. I have long wanted to take my awesome folding Montague X50 and make it into a space-age folding bicycle that I can take inside buses and trains. People already ask me if it is electric, I really wish it was. I love the work out of cycling, I rely on it in my weekly routine, but since I usually ride in suits some assistance would be nice on my way to work to not mess my suit up. My worry is that it looks like it may be for single speed bikes only. I don’t know if I can fit my gears around the motor, but I want to try!

Unfortunately, the $800 security deposit I was getting refunded, which could have donated to their campaign and got me a Fly Kly Smart Wheel, is instead going to pay for numerous medical bills due to my crash. Awesome. I may still find a way, there are 25 days left in there campaign and I can always buy one later.