Another Contender

Awfully smug, aren't we?  Bastard.
In the past week the temps and humidity have risen to record levels. Grand Rapids is experiencing it's first back-to-back triple digit days in about 90 years. It's sorta crazy hot for these parts--I believe we are currently hotter than much of Texas. It's kinda tough to live in a climate that can swing >100º in the course of 6 months. And I could swear one of the local weather guys blogged a couple of months ago saying that most of the weather models were predicting a relatively cool Summer...when? This shouldn't come as much of a surprise after our record warm March that destroyed a lot of crops (cherries, in particular, bloomed too early, then April frosts destroyed 90-95% of the state crops).

2 days ago (July 4) DH rode one of his longest rides, ever...about 119 miles, I believe.  The heat made it extra challenging, too.  DS and I joined him (DS on the back of the tandem) for 56ish miles.  DS's longest ride, ever.  That kid is so heat-tolerant!  I hope it lasts.  At his age I tolerated heat even less well than I do now.  I blame it on my heavily Nordic bloodlines.  As much as I don't like Winter, it's more an issue of gray skies and poor footing than it is a temperature issue.  I'm almost always perfectly comfy once I get out the door.  This time of year the reverse is true, much of the time.

I'm really thankful that we didn't have childcare for that 4th of July century.  By 40 miles or so into our ride I was starting to develop chills--which in mid-90s temps and high humidity is NOT a positive thing--and twinges of imminent calf cramps.  I guzzled fluids and popped probably at least a half-dozen Endurolytes electrolytes capsules in a 2 hour period and still was really struggling to fend off heat sickness symptoms.  I went to sleep that night with a headache and was hardly peeing until AM...and very bloated.  My fingers and feet swelled-up to the point that my feet were getting pinched in my already wide men's cycling shoes.

Today I'd planned to run, but today is the hottest day, yet, and it's messing with my gastric function, which means I'd be starting out already semi-dehydrated.  Totally not worth the risk.  Tomorrow is also not looking promising...so 4 miles for the entire week may have to do.  At least I've managed >100 miles on the bike, so I don't feel like a total slacker.  It's looking like a picnic supper at the beach is on the agenda...and not much else.  So thankful we live just a 4 mile drive from a really great Lake MI beach!

2012 Salsa El Mariachi 3
Last night we took a short, but sweet little family single-track ride at the park near us.  It was still hot and buggy in the woods, but we were protected from the sun's rays, which helped.  DS continues to progress on "my" mountain bike and I am enjoying borrowing my friend's Salsa Ala Carte 26er.  It's really teeny tiny--I have determined that it's a 12.5" frame, when I would ideally be on a 14-15.  I think I may be becoming enamored with steel, though.  I have a carbon road bike, an aluminum cyclocross bike (with carbon fork), and now am giving some serious looks at the Salsa El Mariachi 29er bike once our LBS buddy has a chance to see what is in store with their 2013 models...though I do kinda like their 2012 "3" model in Jungle Fever Green.  Standover looks like it would be good, especially in the XS size (I could probably fit on the S, just fine but the smaller frame would be lighter and give me more wiggle room).

I found out that the Cannondale Tango SL will have 3 model levels (and sizes), but, in true Cannondale form, it appears that the best color (Tangerine Dream!!!) will go to the bottom spec'd bike, which kinda irks me.  I'll be interested to see what components are offered on each bike, too.  The top-level Tango SL will be priced comparably to the El Mariachi 3, but I suspect the Cannondale may have a lower end component package.  I'll know more next month, when Salsa announces their 2013 line-up.

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