Tuesday, June 16, 2009

CamelBak Insulated Stainless-Steel Bottle

I love how cold it keeps the water. I filled it with ice cubes (about 10) and cold water. For 30 hours or so the water stayed drink-ably cold. For at least 10-12 hours, there were still some un-melted ice cubes . Getting it to fit in my King Iris cage was initially a pain but I got it to work smoother now.

Initially, I had some reservations about the shape of the bottle but I have since changed my mind and I have started liking this bottle.

It is a great bottle. While I wish it could hold a bit more water, I am quite happy with it.

I am gonna try the Torpedo by CycleAware (larger capacity) next. I shall post the results here soon afterwards.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

To KT Trail and Beyond!

I rode to the KT Trail in Dallas, which is a good 30 miles from home. To get to KT Trail, from Irving, I ride Valley View for about 11 miles. This part of the ride is not very scenic, although it is not bad. The great thing about this part of the ride is that it is totally safe for riding your bike. To get to Valley View Road from Valley Ranch, I cut across the Campion Trail Parking lot. The highway bridge you see in the picture is part of a whole bunch of highways that go all over Dallas and beyond. I use the Campion Trail to get to different parts of South Irving and Las Collinas. Especially at night, I feel safer on the trail than on the road, given how some of them drive out here. I will post more pictures of Campion on a different post.
In getting to the Campion from Valley Ranch, you get to ride along the Elm Fork of the Trinity River. This part of VR is quite scenic, especially given the multitude of birds that hang around the water.
On my way to the KT Trail, I stopped at my usual watering hole, REI Dallas. The folks at the bike shop at REI are particularly friendly and super cool. I highly recommend this particular store for your outdoor adventure needs. I have sorta become a regular at this REI (what a surprise!). I usually enter through the parking lot at the side of REI.
The ride gets somewhat intense (but still relatively safe) once you go past REI on Welch until you reach Bodeker Drive. However, there are designated Bike Routes all along the way. Boedecker runs through some really nice neighborhoods and they have some really beautiful homes in this neighborhood. Probably, closer to a Million $!
After Boedeker you get on some side streets around SMU, cross Mockingbird Lane and in a few more minutes you are at the KT Trail. The trail has a some really nice Vitex (Vitex agnus-castus) bushes, at the Trailhead. Vitex aka Chasteberry attracts all kinds of moths, butterflies and bees. It is a nice addition to our home.
KT Trail in Dallas is a very nicely maintained trail. On any given day, especially once it gets warmer, you find tons of bicyclists, skaters, joggers, walkers and of course lots and lots of lovely dogs. The trail is quite scenic and it has lots of spots from which you can view the streets of Dallas from up above and also see the skyline of downtown.
Of course, my personal favorite part of the ride is taking some close-ups of the flowers. There is no shortage of really pretty, colorful flowers on this trail. As always, I maintain, it not just how fast you get to the destination but how much fun you have along the way :)
The KT Trail in Dallas is only about five miles or so. I have rode the MKT and the KT trails in Missouri, where they run for serveral miles. In fact, the KT also runs along the Missouri river in St. Charles Missouri for a few hundred miles. I have ridden part of that trail, although I have not rode all of it. I plan to do it some day. After finishing the short ride on the KT and petting as my pooches as I could, I headed out to satisfy my stomach's curiosity -- aka find some good grub. I found a great Mediteranean salad at Le Madeline near the trail. Yummy, what a way to celebrate the half-way point on my ride back home :)