Thursday, June 23, 2011

1 part energy drink, 1 park toxic mold, all that adds up to rocket fuel!

Last weekend I rode the HHH for the 5th time, and completed it for the 2nd year in a row. I won't bore you with the details since they are similar to before. The main differences are that I beat last years time by 21 seconds, and that Ian stayed at my snails pace for the whole time, sacrificing what would've been a much faster ride time for himself. His company was appreciated, and I owe this finish to having someone else to ride with. Our support crew was great as always, and it was probably the most fun out of the 5 rides. More than likely I will now take a year or two off from this ride, and we are thinking of taking our talents out West for one of the rides in the mountains. But undoubtedly, I will be back in Southern Wisconsin soon enough.

As long as I got the ball rolling on cycling, let's run with that theme today. Specifically, water bottles. Behold a common example:

The example here is a podium style water bottle. All that means is that instead of having to pull the nozzle up when you want a drink and then close it when you're done, the podium style has a valve in the nozzle. All you do is squeeze and water comes out of the one-way valve and then self seals when you are done. They are great and I highly recommend them (Note to any Camelbak employee reading this: I do accept freebies. Hit me up with an email. I promise to whore out any product lovingly!).

But these and the old school style water bottles have a supposed problem. Apparently, some people find it too hard to clean the nooks and crannies, and thus mold tends to become rampant within the bottle rendering it completely unfit for use. So much so, that a company has taken action to alleviate the burden of cleaning a water bottle thoroughly. I give you the bottle of the future:

This is known as the "Clean Bottle". See that blue piece at the bottom? That unscrews, thus giving you a easy access point at the bottom to wash out all that energy juice residue that is the harbinger of diseased spores.

"But wait a second Jake", you ask, "I've never seen these new revolutionary bottles at my LBS (Local Bike Shop for all the non-cyclist)."

True that. Because they are pointless.

Cleaning a water bottle properly is no harder than cleaning a glass you drink from every day. And if you have a dishwasher, you have no excuse whatsoever. I have cleaned bottles now literally hundreds of times and I have as of yet to have any mold show up. Even when my wife leaves her bottle in her bikes cage for days on end in our hot and stuffy garage, conditions that should breed mold at rabbit like capacity, not one single spore has successfully multiplied. Here now is my foolproof method of accomplishing this.

Step 1: Acquire dish soap. I recommend the yellow stuff, cause it always smells nice.

Readers who work for Dawn soap: See comment directed at Camelbak above, just change "Camelbak" to "Dawn".

One of the gripes I've heard is that people can't seem to find a good enough cleaning agent for use in their bottles. I see their point I guess. I mean after all, dish soap is so scarce to find. The only carriers of it are Target, KMart, Walmart, Walgreens, Snyders, CVS, Super America, BP, PDQ, Holiday Stations, Gander Mountain, Cabelas, Byerly's, Rainbow, Festival, Lunds, and maybe only about 214 other stores within 5 miles of a persons dwelling. But we mustn't judge right.

Step 2: Acquire hot water. May I suggest your tap in the kitchen:

Hey! I'm washing my kid there. Wait a second, where the hell did you find dish soap?!!

 Step 3 (apparently the tricky part so read carefully): Add just a few drops of dish soap to the culprit bottle. Fill about half to 3/4 full with hot water. Put cap on bottle, tighten, and shake vigorously. After 10 seconds or so of shaking, you may proceed to step 4.

Step 4: Unscrew cap, and rinse with warm water until all soap is gone. Once again, I recommend using the tap in your kitchen for the rinsing part:

Seriously. Where did you find the dish soap?

Step 5: Lay out a towel and place your bottle upside down onto it to drain water and dry out. Even better, if you have one of those fancy drying racks for bottle (whatever "cake-eater"), use that.

You'll be able to spot people that complain about cleaning out their bottles. They're the ones with velcro shoes ("laces are haaaarrrrd"), pants sagging down ("belts are hhaaaaaarrrrddd"), and constantly insist on using paper plates when they have you over ("I've looked everywhere for dish soap and have just given up").

But kudos to the folks who came up with the "Clean Bottle" and hope to capitalize on this niche of the population. Even the truly lazy should be allowed to ride hydrated right? 

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