My name is Bill...and I'm a gear addict.

It's true. I have a problem. Well maybe not a problem. But I do attend meetings. With my friends. On the river or the trails. Yes, I'm addict to endurance related gear. In the past month, I've somehow managed to acquire a new (to me) solo canoe. A new GPS watch. And...a new indoor cycling bike. Or whatever you call it. I'm not even really sure. But it's pretty freaking awesome. But for the record, I have not bought any new skis. And even though it was a really good deal (and the #PaddleWife said buy it), I resisted the urge to buy another shotgun. So...let's get to the new gear! Sawyer D.Y. Special I really was going to resist the urge to buy anymore canoes for a while. Maybe even sell one. Alright, let's not quite go that far. As many of you know, the last couple years I've spent a fair amount of time using my Sawyer Guide Special as a duck hunting platform. It's great when someone else is available to hit it with me, but solo is a little bit of a trip. Enter...the D.Y. Special. A local canoe racer whom also happens to be a waterfowler had this beauty already setup to go. To quote the 1980 Sawyer brochure- "The D.Y. Special was designed by Dave Yost as an all-out USCA marathon racer. But Dave's more than a racer. He's a solo cruiser too. So there's that little extra volume above the D.Y.'s waterline amidships for extra stability, and a touch of flare in the ends for extra dryness. And Bob Sprague, our master mold builder and the man we call The Wizard of the North, designed a sliding pedestal seat that enables you to kneel or sit with equal aplomb.

The D.Y. Special is explosively fast, and it's unique hull shape enables it to maintain a high rate of speed even when you get a bit tired. It tracks marvelously well. The asymmetrical vee/arch hull holds course well in a sharp wind. It's a most efficient C-1 hull in deeper water, and in wind, wave, and strong currents. And - it's a delightful cruising machine. Easy speed, excellent stability, good load-carrying ability, and a lilt (I had to Google this one word) and sweetness to it that you have to experience to appreciate. One more thing; it's plain pretty."

I've paddled the boat once since I purchased it, it's exactly as described. An absolute dream. I bought it to duck hunt, but can see myself spending a significant amount of time in it outside of hunting. Maybe even a race. The GPS watch- Kevin has been teasing me with his review of gadgets. I'm a Garmin nut, my first training watch was a Garmin Forerunner 305. I loved the way it recorded data that I could then go back and review. What went well, what could I do to improve, etc. Bill is a numbers nut. Since then, I've ran the gauntlet of Garmin trainers before landing on the 910xt a few years back. The 910XT is fantastic training tool, but...even though it looks like a watch, and you wear it like a watch...it doesn't actually tell time. You heard that right. The 910XT does not tell time. Introduced in 2011, this piece is still used by many people, including myself for endurance training purposes. But it was time. The newer units provide additional data, items like paddle stroke rate, length. Metrics that are useful to a competitive paddler. I wanted a unit that looked good too though. Something that I could wear to meetings. Or out with the local socialites at Spike's Keg o'Nails.

Enter...the Garmin Fenix 5x. I still haven't taken it out of the box yet. Confession. I placed the order on Amazon. And the proceeded to almost cancel it no less than a half a dozen times. My 910XT has been incredible to me. And it almost feels like I'm giving up on it before it dies. But the Fenix 5x checks sooo many boxes. And the price was incredible on Amazon. So I own it now lol.

And last but not least...the bike- As fall started to come to an end, I came to the realization that I needed to come up with an alternative means of training. It might come as a surprise to some, but writing the occasional blog and doing the podcast doesn't quite pay the bills. On top of being married to an amazing lady and raising a pair of active children, I have a professional career for a Fortune 100 company. My ability to end the work day at 5pm and be on the trails skiing at 5:15 has greatly been reduced. As we've discussed in the past, work/life balance can be a challenge. Then add in the complexities of training 200 days a year. Adapt. Overcome.


Enter...the S22i from Nordictrack. More to come on this fantastic piece of training equipment. Early feedback though is extremely positive. Very happy with this purchase, along with the ability to fuel the endorphin based cardio rush that my body and mind needs to function at peek levels.


So there you have it. An update on Bill's three newest training tools. Look for complete detailed reports in the near future.

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My name is Kevin Olson, and I created this site for the marathon canoe racing community.  If you would like to add content to the site reach out to me.

 

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