Muscles Not Motors Gear Review | Aug. 2011

bamboo bottleBamboo Bottle
I know what you’re thinking: yet another reusable water bottle? To that, I say, yes, another reusable water bottle, but not just another reusable water bottle, a glass reusable water bottle, which in the world of reusable water bottles is as exciting as it is unique. It’s no secret that glass is an ideal material for a bottle; it causes no unpleasant taste, it doesn’t contain harmful chemicals that can leach into the contents, its natural insulating properties help retain the temperature of your beverage, whether hot or cold, and it is 100 percent natural. But the obvious problem with glass is that when dropped, your bottle, along with your dreams of liquid refreshment, will shatter into a million pieces. For a reusable water bottle, this is not a good feature, and is the reason why reusable bottles are generally not made of the stuff. The folks at the Bamboo Bottle Company have solved this problem by developing a glass bottle that incorporates a rugged bamboo sleeve, supported by two BPA-free plastic collars that fully protect the glass during impact. Like glass, bamboo is a natural and renewable material, so aside from the plastic collars, which are recyclable, the bottle is all natural. Drink from it, drop it on the ground, and drink from it again with the peace of mind that you are drinking from a clean, safe, and eco-friendly bottle. $24.99.

car rack for kayakMalone Telos Load Assist Module
Kayaking is a fantastic outdoor activity that can be enjoyed by just about anyone who doesn’t have a fear of floating on water and/or serene tranquility. To reach water and serene tranquility, however, a vehicle is often required, which means the kayak needs to go up on the roof. Because kayaks tend to be large and heavy, getting them onto the roof racks can pose a problem for a lot of folks, especially if they are heading out on their own. This is a problem that actually prevents some kayakers from kayaking altogether, but it doesn’t have to. The Malone Telos, a simple-yet-effective lift-assist device, is the answer. By temporarily attaching to certain Malone J-style kayak cradles, including the new Malone DownLoader (as shown), the Telos makes easy work of the loading and unloading process, and can be done with just one person. The way it works is simple: the Telos arms hook into the J-cradles and rest against the side of the vehicle using suction cups. The padded cradle on each arm ratchets up and down in a track. To load, you place the boat in the cradles at their lowest position, which is roughly at waist level, a much more reasonable loading height than the rooftop. Once the boat is in the cradles, you move to one end of the boat, support it with one hand, and with your other hand, push the cradle up the track a few clicks. You then move to the other side and push up a few clicks. You alternate from one side to the other, moving the boat up the tracks in a teeter-totter fashion, until you run out of clicks. The boat is then in the highest position and ready to be pushed into the J-cradles, which feature unique boarding ramps that guide the boat into place. You can then unhook the Telos and place it in the trunk. To unload, you hook the Telos back into place and reverse the process. With minimal effort, you can now load and unload your kayak without breaking your back, and compared to other lift-assist systems, the reasonably priced Telos won’t break your bank. Telos Load Assist Module: $224.95. DownLoader Folding J-Style Kayak Carrier: $134.95.

Serfas USL 5-R Taillight
It breaks my heart to say it, but summer is winding down, and as it does, the sun is going down earlier and earlier each day. There are still a few good weeks left though, so go get a creemee! And continue to ride your bike after work, whether it is heading home on your commute or going for a leisurely spin on your favorite loop. Just make sure you have a taillight ready to go to for those last few miles when daylight turns to dusk. During this time, there is still good visibility of the road, so a headlight, although recommended, isn’t necessary to make your way, but passing motorists—driving home after a long, stressful day at work—may not always notice you right away, and anytime you are on the road, you want them to notice you as soon as possible. The Serfas USL 5-R Taillight is a USB-rechargeable light that uses five super bright LEDs to produce 70 lumens of light, which is very bright. It features a simple strap-style quick-release bracket that swivels 360 degrees, so it can be easily attached to your seat post or frame. With low, high, and flashing modes, you can optimize your battery life, achieving up to 10 hours of burn time. If you continue to ride into the fall, and plan on doing so in the dark, then you’ll need to look at a headlight, which is not only a very good idea, but is now, along with a taillight, required by law. In next month’s column, I’ll feature some excellent helmet and handlebar mounted headlight options for nighttime riding. Until then, enjoy the rest of the summer, and seriously, go get a creemee! $40.

Ryan James Leclerc

Ryan James Leclerc used to be single and used to work on the sales floor of Onion River Sports. He is now married and works in the office of Onion River Sports. The creative license he procured in a back alley allows him to occasionally narrate from the past as though it were the present.