Many folks drool for new toys and gadgets near Christmastime. For me, it’s a year-long hobby. I seem to constantly prowl for the newest, latest, or coolest thing that would help me transform myself from humble slow-poke triathlete into a speed-demon, pointy-end-the-pack all-star. Gadgets and tools, you see, are the only way to become an uber-athlete.
OK….in all seriousness….I do have a wish-list that is a mile long. I certainly don’t need any of the things on my list. They are all “wants”. Nice-to-have’s. Dreams. Things that I’ll likely never buy, but can always put on my birthday or Christmas list. I’ve listed out some of the things I’d really like – as well as my rationale behind wanting them (keep in mind that some of my rationale might just be a little snarky).
Of course, if you’re some sort of angel investor or really want to make my day, I’d be happy to accept your gift of any of these items….
GoPro Video Camera: This dandy little device is the epitome of cool. Outdoorsy folks are using these cameras to take high-definition video and stills of their activities. The camera shoots 1080i quality video, is waterproof, shock proof, and can be mounted anywhere. At around $300, this is by far the cheapest thing on my wish list – but also the one that if I got it, I have no idea how much I’d actually use it. It’s still cool, though, so I really want one.
Zipp 900 Disc Wheel: I have a set of race wheels already – and they serve me well, but by all accounts a disc wheel is the be-all, end-all when it comes to cycling aerodynamics. All the coolest kids have one. They make you look fast (even if you aren’t). They sound awesome! Zipp wheels are in the stratosphere when it comes to cost, so I’d gladly take a wheel from Flo Cycling or HED. Heck, I’d even take a disc from Wheelbuilder. I’m not picky. And yes, I know I could get a wheel cover to “approximate” a disc – but it’s not the real thing. The problem is, I suspect I’d look like a poseur riding a disc wheel at 18-20mph. I mean, don’t you need to be going like 30mph to really “rock” one?
Shimano Di2 Components: I have Shimano’s Dura Ace components on my bike now. I love those parts. In fact, I’ve had Dura Ace on most of my bikes since I started cycling back in college in the l late 1980’s (think friction shifting – well, not exactly…indexing was around, and Shimano was great at it). In my opinion, these are the best components on the planet. Now, of course, I don’t want to anger the cycling Gods who swear by Campagnolo or the folks who have jumped on the bandwagon with SRAM. So, Gods, please don’t be offended. Bottom line for me is that I love Dura Ace. So…why not move up to the fanciest of fancies? Why use index shifting when I can use electronic shifting?
CycleOps Powertap: I have no clue how many watts I can achieve when I’m on the bike. As such, I’m an inferior cyclist. In order to empirically compare myself with all the professional cyclists on the planet, as well as the studs on Team Rev3 Tri, I need to be able to know how much power I generate. In fact, experts agree that training with power is far superior to any other form of training, be it heart rate monitoring, motor pacing, coasting, or trainer riding. OK – maybe not, but training and cycling with power is certainly worth something, right?
Blue Seventy PX3TX Swimskin: If you’ve read this blog for any amount of time, you know that I live in Florida. You may be able to guess that most bodies of water in Florida are not conducive to wearing a wetsuit – at least for most of the year. In fact, were all of my races in the Sunshine state each season, I’d probably only be able to wear a wetsuit for my first and maybe my last race of the year. All other races typically feature warm-water swims. As such, I need a swimskin. Now, swimskins can’t help with flotation any longer (like they used to), but they can make you faster in the water. They are hydrophobic – meaning that they shed water. All the best swimmers use them (just ask Michael Phelps about his super fast Speedo suit or any pro triathlete about their Blue Seventy or TYR swim skins). Blue Seventy was one of the pioneers in the sport, and their suit looks great. I must have one!