Bike Month

I started riding my bike about a month ago and I can tell you the feeling is amazing. I started with walking, which was great and I still love it and I was meeting my 1000 point goals on my Misfit Flash(Check out my review of the Misfit Flash). But soon I realized that although walking was great at first and I was building up my stamina, I needed something faster. I was fond of running many years ago, but running just doesn’t feel like a lot of fun now.

My bike which I had not used in years was the best fit for what I wanted. I fixed it up a little, filled up air, adjusted the brakes and went for my first ride. Every day I pushed myself further and now I easily go 10K to 15K daily. I will improve this as the days go by and we’re still in spring.

Screen Shot 2015-05-25 at 22.30.07  So why all the fuss about bikes? Today marks the first day of this year’s Bike Month in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) Check out the dedicated bike month website. It will run from May 25, 2015 to June 25, 2015. Today is Bike to Work Day! I hope those who knew about Bike to Work Day and those who could, did take their bikes to work. If you did not, you still have one month to get into gear! 😉

So how should you get into action for bike month?

Screen Shot 2015-05-25 at 22.33.44

Choosing a Bike

downloadThere are many different kinds of bikes. If you are reading this section then chances are you are a just starting off with your biking adventure. Decide what kind of rider you are and how often you will be riding your bike. If you will mostly be using your bike to go to and from work then a hybrid/comfort bike might be the right ride for you. However, if your road to work involves jumping and riding over potholes than a and if you already have a mountain bike then you can simply use that. But please make sure you get it checked and tuned at your local bike shop.

If you are serious about riding your bike on the road, setting aside time with the soul purpose of riding, then you definitely need a road bike. There are many different kinds of road bikes and when it comes to price, the sky is the limit. Just check out this $20,000 limited edition Audi Sport Racing Bike. Audi claims the frame of the bike weight less than the iPhone 6 Plus… haa!… That’s crazy – the fact that it costs $20K and that it’s (frame) lighter than the iPhone 6 Plus.

To get in-depth information on different types of bikes, I recommend gobiking.ca. If you’re not willing to invest time in reading, you can watch this quick video on how to choose the right bike.

Safety

Helmet

Screen Shot 2015-05-25 at 22.36.30I have to be honest here –  I never wore a helmet until now. I used to think helmets were not “cool”, but in retrospect, I don’t know why I ever thought that. Helmets can be both for safety and style. For bikes there are 2 main types of helmets, mountain bike helmets and road helmets. There are also ‘hybrid’-ish type of helmets which lets you clip on and and clip off the visor – I bought this kind when I started off, but now after riding for a some time, I realize that a special road helmet is the best. Whichever type of helmet you get, make sure that it has a light at the back. This will come in handy if you ever decide to right at night or early morning.

Check out this video on how to choose a helmet. 

General Tips

Screen Shot 2015-05-25 at 22.30.28Before you get out on the road, please check that both your front and back brakes are working. Make sure that there are no loose screws or nuts and bolts. Your seat needs to be adjusted properly to ensure that you have a comfortable and injury free ride. The biggest mistake that people make is having the seat too low. Both your feet should not be flat on the ground while you are sitting – if that happens you’re doing it wrong. Your leg needs to be extended almost fully so that you are efficiently driving power to the wheels. You should also consider the angle in which your saddle sits.

Here are a video on  How To Set Your Saddle Height – Tips For Getting Your Saddle Position Right

Clothing

If you will be riding at high speeds wearing something comfortable. Don’t wear something that is too loose – it won’t be aerodynamic and will slow you down and potentially throw you off your course which can be dangerous. Don’t wear tight jeans, you need to have free moment in your legs. If you are riding at night, make sure you wear light reflecting outfit and turn on the light at the back of your helmet. I recommend wearing a light jacket to act as a wind breaker especially during the spring or autumn months. Of course you could buy special bike wear but if you are just starting, I wouldn’t recommend this. I personally don’t have any special bike clothing.

Check weather conditions before starting your ride. This spring has been crazy – I quickly learnt my lesson.

Rules

In Ontario, you are not supposed to ride your bike on the footpath. You could be fined if you do. It is also not safe to ride on the footpath. You could easily bump into people and it also becomes difficult for cars coming out of driveways to see you. It is also mandatory that you have a front light so that other vehicles on the road are aware that you are there.

Please take a moment to read through Ontario’s Guide to Safe Cycling

Learn proper hand signals. Remember you have the same responsibility as other 4 wheelers on the road. Most of the rules that apply to other vehicles also apply to you.

Finally when you are ready, go out there, greet the road with those tires, with the wind in your face and ride…!

Happy Bike Month! 🙂

kapil biking

 

 

 

 

I’m a Misfit

best-fitness-trackersIt seems like wearable technology will soon be able to make your toast for breakfast or teleport me to and from work. Fitness trackers these days track your heart rate, oxygen level, steps taken, stairs climbed, the quantity and quality of your sleep and yes it can also tell you what time it is. Not only that a lot of the fitness trackers have some smart watch capabilities like letting you know that you have received a text message, or you have an incoming call. On the other hand smart watches may eventually replace fitness trackers since they can do all the things that fitness trackers can do and a whole lot.

Most fitness tracker manufacturers are upping their game and adding more features and capability to their fitness trackers, however one company which is somewhat of a misfit in this case is actually going the other way, or so it seems. That company is Misfit Wearables.

Last year I bought the Fitbit Flex – it did the job well, was comfortable in the hand, the software was not great but not too bad either, it had vibrator alarm, it told me that I had reached my goal by vibrating, but one thing it didn’t have was automatic sleep tracking, but overall it just didn’t feel quite right.

A little less than a month ago I decided that I was going to get active again, or at least start moving a bit. I needed something that counted my steps, automatically tracked my sleep without me having to tell it to start and stop tracking my sleep, and something that was reasonably priced. I was thinking of getting the Fitbit Charge but then I noticed the Misfit Flash and I was blown away!

The Misfit Flash

misfit-flash

Here are the reasons why I bought and kept the Misfit Flash and why I actually love it!

Price

The Flash costs around $50 to $60, but when I bought mine at Bestbuy it was on sale for only $30(plus tax). Compared to what it actually does, I think it is more than amazing!

Comfort

The wrist band is very light and extremely comfortable. I usually sleep with my head on my hand and sometimes the band presses against my temple or my ear and it does not feel uncomfortable at all. If you are looking for something that looks premium, then the Flash is definitely not for you as it looks rather simple, but if you can get past the fact that it is just a fitness tracker(but a fitness tracker that does more than you might know) I think you’ll actually love this product.

It’s also a time Tracker

I never wear a watch, but sometimes it’s nice to know what the time is without having to pull your mobile out of your pocket. The Flash can tell you the time, but the way it does it is just very cool. Every time I look at the time on the Flash it is as if it is saying “Did you see what I did there?”. Just watch this video to see what I’m talking about:

So flexible

misfit_device_positionI don’t think there is any fitness tracker that is as flexible as this. You can wear it on your wrist, on your chest, keep it in your pocket, clip it on your shoe or T-Shirt. That’s awesome!

Automatic Sleep Tracking

Unlike the Fitbit Flex, you don’t have to tell the Misfit Flash that you’re going to sleep, it figures it out on it’s own. I should not have to track my fitness tracker. I just wear it and forget about it, then it keeps on doing it’s thing.

Waterproof

Take it in the shower, in the rain, go for a swim – no biggie.

No Charging

The Flash and it’s cousin Shine both use a coin battery which can last up to 6 months. This again ties in well with just wearing it and forgetting about it.

Software

To be very honest, when I first saw the Android version of the Misfit App, I was disappointed – very disappointment. The software also did not upload my step counts to MyFitnessPal and still doesn’t , but there’s a possibility that the fault could be on MtFitnessPal’s side. I saw the IOS version and it was completely different (read Better) than the Android version, I still decided to keep my Misfit because of their customer services (See Below). A few days after I complained on Twitter I got a please surprise today morning. The new software update makes the software much better now – it’s actually quite beautiful.

misfit_month_graph misfithome misfit_social misfit_sleep misfit_profile misfit_month_list

 

Customer Service

misfit_twitterI Tweeted the complaint I had about the Android version of the Misfit Software and someone from Misfit actually responded fairly quickly. I even opened a support ticket for something else and they were quite quick to reply there too.

Some shortcomings

The calorie counter seems a bit off, but I don’t rely on calorie counting anyway. The Flash does not have heart rater monitoring, but considering the price point for this device, one should not expect a heart rate monitor, has very little to none motivation factor. It doesn’t nag you to get up and get moving, it has no vibrator alarms and does not actively tell you that you’ve met your goal.

Overall, I think the Misfit Flash is an amazing product and it just simply the best value for your money.