September 25, 2007

Funky events and cool gear

I found some neat travel-related stuff in a recent issue of New England Sports -- events potentially worth planning a trip or long weekend around and snazzy gear that could come in handy when you're on the road. (Any text below that's in quotes is copy as it appeared in the magazine.)


* Hub On Wheels: September 23 (so you missed it this year -- mark your 2008 calendar), Boston, Massachusetts: "FOR ONE DAY IN SEPTEMBER, STORROW DRIVE BECOMES A BIKE PATH. Tour Boston on your bike with no cars to get in your way -- and help Boston Public School students get the technology and the skills they need to succeed in today's world."

* Men's Urbanathlon & Festival: September 29 in New York City and October 20 in Chicago: "Hit the concrete, climb a skyscraper, experience iconic city landmarks like never before, scramble through urban obstacle courses, and never, ever forget it."

* Three August events to pencil in for next year:

-- Wooden Canoe Festival: Mt. Katahdin, Maine: "A river race, bluegrass entertainment and food make up this annual Maine event celebrating the heritage of the wooden canoe."

-- Tour de Farm: Massachusetts: "Visit urban farms and food projects and sample locally grown produce on this city bike tour."

-- Herc Open Vermont Speedhiking Competition: Sugarbush Resort, Vermont: "Hikers and trail runners can choose between a long and short loop."


*Justin's Nut Butter: "Peanut Butter in a pouch... handy little 1.15-ounce squeeze packs...take them rafting (they don't break); take them riding, running or hiking (they're easy to carry and something different to eat); take them skiing (they don't freeze)." Five flavors. (I like the sound of Sinfully Cinnamon...)

* Three cool-looking gizmos from a company called Firebox. I'm ordering these -- great not only for traveling and camping, but for home emergency kits, too:

-- Sun Jar: "This cookie jar look-alike is a great way to save energy... put it outside or on a windowsill during the day, so the enclosed solar cell can charge. When night falls the LED lights glow brightly around your patio or campsite without batteries."
-- LightCap: "This one-liter water bottle's lid contains a solar panel and battery that stores energy for later. Strap it to the outside of your pack all day while you hike, and then light up your campsite at night..."
-- Freeloader Solar Charger: "Compact, lightweight solar charger... The solar panel soaks up the rays and the battery stores the energy for up to three months so when your juice runs low, whether you're out on the trail or in the car, just plug in any electronic device (it comes with every adapter you could possibly need) and power up."

* HighGear's SmartDynamo: "So you're off the grid and need juice for the GPS, iPod, cell phone. With a few minutes on its hand crank... recharges your gizmos... the unit's also tricked out with an AM/FM radio, LED flashlight and emergency alarm function..."

* Nighthaven: "For fast packing or as a trekker's backup when the guesthouses are full, the two-person Nighthaven is a nearly bombproof tarp tent that weighs 37 ounces and stuffs to the size of a large grapefruit..."

* Genesis LED: "Waterproof, palm-sized... positively solar, cranking out a 56-meter beam worth 47 lumens (translation: blinding bright) for 1.75 hours on constant high. For close stuff, dial it back for a 20-hour burn."

* Inka Titanium Pen: "...will work without failure... anytime, anywhere... It performs upside down, underwater and in extreme temps..."