Loving the BITE: See and Be Seen

22
Jan
2015

TRV (1)A little over a month or so ago, I was asked to review a reflective vest for cycling in the dark. Since I’m often up long before the sun cycling, mountain biking, running or skiing, I thought this post would be a perfect fit…and, I hoped the vest would as well.

When it comes to reflective wear, or any wearable gear for that matter, I’m picky about a few aspects:

1) Fit. I’m 5’0″. Fit is hard for me in sports dominated by male-sizing. Bikes, skis, arm warmers, bike shorts, you name it, it takes some doing to find a good fit for me.  Along with fit, there’s comfort. This is sort of the same as fit, but many time a piece of gear can fit as intended and still NOT be comfortable. The last thing I want is to be messin’, thinking about, or dealing with a product that hinders, chaffs, or bothers me while riding up a mountain.

2) Weight. I’m a certified weight weinie…I’ll admit. But, I’ve done the math and most athletes who are male and much bigger than me, with a lower body fat percentage (just a reality when typically comparing males to females, especially for females who’ve had children), simply have more muscle to push more weight.  So, it irks me a bit when my gear weight more than I believe it should, or the same as theirs (my bike and my husband’s bike, for example, weigh similar amounts). Yes, I have a short-small-person-chip-on-my-shoulder. That’s a long description all to say that I like lightweight.

TRV (3)

Unfortunately, days of snowy weather kept me indoors when I had planned on getting cycling pics of the vest. So, you’ll have to settle for indoor pics to see fit and appearance of the vest (for now).

3) Minimalist. Not only lightweight, but no extra bulk. For a vest, I’d rather it not comprise a full clothing layer, so I can continue to ride in my normal layers, without thought to added bulk or warmth (which can be a problem in summer months).

4) Most importantly, effectiveness. It’s got to work or #1-3, and #5, don’t really matter. For a reflective vest, does it reflect well? Am I visible? Does anything about it compromise this?

5) Price. Heaven knows I spend my fair share on gear, and safety’s important. You’ve gotta pay to play, right? But, if gear can be cycling-effective and cost-effective, even better!

Product Review: Tuvizo Reflective Vest

I received my vest as ordered without any issue. Right away, I noticed it’s minimalistic, light-weight design, so that was exciting.  In fact, I almost worried that there wasn’t enough to it to keep it in place, until I put it on.  Here’s my run-down on my 5 criteria:

Fit. It fit great. The 4 adjustments PLUS stretchy material made it easy to get a good fit for me. And in fact, each size would likely fit a good range of people, and some even smaller than me (you know, just in case 3rd-graders, Lepercans, or Hobbits feel like riding at night). The stretchy material is what really got me…how smart! It didn’t rub, chaff, or in any other way bother me, and it was quite un-noticably comfortable on rides and runs.

TRV (2)

In the pitch-black-dark, with a flash.

Weight. It’s extremely light weight at 4.23 ounces (120 grams) based on my hanging scale.  All certified weight weinies have their own hanging scales, right?

Minimal. The design is minimal.  This won’t be insulating and making me too hot.  It doesn’t affect my layer planning on cold Colorado mornings or nights. This is all a bonus for me. I know what clothes I want each time, and this vest doesn’t mess with my plan.

Effectiveness. This vest absolutely has a lot of reflectivity. On the ride, my partners and I felt 100% confident in the visibility.

Price. $20-26. Cycling socks almost cost $20. Forget most any other cycling clothing or gear I can think of. I’m very happy with this price-point and think this vest is worth the money.

In order to be a well-rounded review, I feel like I have to think of a negative. At least one con after my list of pros. I can’t. I liked it. Less was more and this simple design was perfect for me.  If I didn’t already own one, I’d order one. And I’ll remember these for great gifts for cyclists for sure. I highly recommend it.  If you’re interested in it, you can find it here on amazon (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GQTROYY) and at the Tuvizo site (http://tuvizo.com/tuvizo-reflective-vest/) .

What about you? Have you tried it? What other aspects would you consider?

Wait!  Maybe one con is that while it improves your ability to be seen and protect yourself on night rides, it doesn’t protect your own eye health or as you age or ability to see. That’s the stuff of superfoods and it’s where Loving the Bite comes in. It just wouldn’t be Thursday if I didn’t share a recipe, and this one is carrot-loaded, with nutrients that specifically protect eye health.

Recipes of the week: Delicious Carrot Cumin Soup

Ingredients:carrotsoup

  • 2 pound (approximately) carrots, sliced)
  • 1 medium sweet potato (cubed with or without skin) or 1 1/2 cups cubed butternut squash
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
  • to taste, salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons organic coconut oil, avocado oil, or olive oil 
  • 6 cups chicken stock (or 6 cups water and 2 bouillon cubes)

Instructions:

  1. Heat oil in large soup pot. Saute carrots,onions and potato for about 5 minutes on medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Add chicken/vegetable stock, and continue to cook until vegetables are well-cooked and tender.
  2. Then, in batches, blend soup in a blender until smooth.
  3. Return to pot.  Add cumin, salt and pepper (to taste).  Thin with additional stock or water if desired, and stir well and enjoy!

Comments: 

Here’s the deal. Despite what your mom told you, carrots don’t actually IMPROVE eyesight.  You’re not going to go from a 100/20 to a 20/20 by eating loads of carrots each day, nor will you gain x-ray vision. But, they can protect what you’ve got, reducing your risk of macular degeneration and glacomas. And, they go beyond the eyes to full body heatlh. Per serving, carrots have A LOT to offer cyclists.  They contain:

Carotenoids: Along with spinach and pumpkin, carrots are among the kings of carotenoids.  Specifically, carrot contain the super antioxidant, beta-carotene.  As most of us know even from early childhood, carrots and high blood beta-carotene levels are good for your eyes, specifically the prevention of glaucomas a we age.

Polyacetylenes as an anti-cancer agent:  Polyacetylenes are in carrots that inhibit colon cancer cell growth.  In fact, the polyacetylenes and carontenoids in carrots seem to work together to reduce these growths, with the carontenoids protecting the nutrients in the carrots (antioxidant action for the polyacetylenes) and our own cells.

Cardiovascular Health Protection: A recent 10-year study from the Netherlands has shown a strong correlation between carrot intake and reduction in cardiovascular risk.  In fact, carrots emerged as one of the most potent cardiovascular health benefactors among fruits and vegetables.

Healthful Nutrients: Beyond it’s unique healthful qualities, carrots also provide Vitamin C, B Vitamins, minerals such as copper, calcium, potassium, manganese and phosphorus, and fiber.  They are easy to add to any eating plan, easy to pack, and don’t need any special prep (just wash and eat without peeling!).

This week, let’s protect our sight and protect our lives with a great reflective vest. Be seen cycling!

Fuel Your Ride.  Nourish Your Body.

last image c/o tastespace.wordpress.com

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