Posts Tagged ‘north face’

North Face Hayasa trail-running shoes - find them at Casa de Pedra in São Paulo

North Face Hayasa trail-running shoes – find them at Casa de Pedra in São Paulo

New running shoes..!


My old Saucony shoes… slightly worse for wear..

My old Saucony shoes have, after a year and bit of solid use running and casual walking, bitten the dust. Shame really as they were great shoes to run in. Nice and light, comfortable, pretty sturdy, and I liked the colour scheme of them. First of all holes started to appear at the front end of both trainers where my big toe is, then  gradually the fabric became weaker and weaker until finally on one of them the side fabric became detached from the sole and the shoe isn’t really useable any more, unfortunately. So it is a farewell to a good pair of trainers.

The North Face - Hayasa Running Shoes

The North Face – Hayasa Single Track Running Shoes

In their place I have got The North Face Hayasa trail running shoes from Casa de Pedra – a nice red colour which stands out well enough as well. Nice and light, with a pretty good grip, strong and also reinforced toe-ends to help protect from bumps and the like (as well as hopefully stopping my big toes from poking holes in to them!). The laces are great – a sort of soft stretchy material which just doesn’t come undone. And very importantly for me, very comfortable with a nice and snug fit. They are most decided neutral in the way they are built, so just about right for my feet. In short, it was love at first fit when I tried them on. I needed to get them before the half marathon in Rio, which I did manage to do. Unfortunately, it was only a couple of days before the race. And it really isn’t recommended to start hard running in new shoes without having worn them in. So on the day before the race, the Saturday, I just walked around in Rio for the day, just trying to get used to them and them used to me. Chugging alongIt seemed to work, though how much this was to do with my “walking-in” or the general ultra-good fit of the shoe, am not sure. As I mentioned in a previous post, I managed to get a time of 1h54m59s – a time that I was very pleased with as I imagined taking two hours and I had not done much dedicated running training, and especially not over that kind of distance. And at the end of it all, my feet felt fine, as did my knees. Just the muscles were tired, as you can imagine! But the shoes had done their job and kept my feet nicely protected with just a couple of toe blisters on one foot, but nothing bad. I never really imagined the North Face making good running shoes, and though these are more for trail running (and have received good reviews for this as well – check this one out), they were great for running along the roads in Rio and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to anyone interested.

Casa de Pedra

Among the additional equipment we have just acquired is the North Face VE-25 tent. Not the cheapest tent in the world, but certainly worth it:

It is a three-person, four season tent, which is used by mountaineers in the Himalayas and up Everest, and also by polar explorers – capable of providing good shelter in extreme cold and in strong winds.

In looking at the reviews of the tent, people have mentioned that it is heavy – which it is at just over 5 kilos when packaged. But then again, when you get a three person, four season tent, you don’t really expect that it will be light as a feather, do you? We will be able to split the load between the group, so it won’t be too much of a burden when we are cycling on the road. I have also seen a couple of people commenting that the tent is slightly hard to set up… though others have said that it can be set up easily by one person.

We never know what the weather will be like in the UK in winter – it could as easily be beautiful as it could be blowing a gale outside, so I think going with a four season tent for this journey is the best idea. Also, as we will be using this tent throughout the entire project, it doesn’t really make sense investing in a lighter, less substantial tent now, and then spending more on the four season tent in the future.

We shall soon see about how we find it – living in São Paulo, we don’t have that much space to practice setting things up – especially not in the central areas, where it is just an urban jungle, and people would probably be slightly… curious if we tried putting it up in the park! But we shall go off in to the mountains around the city soon to test this and get used to the thing.

In São Paulo, you can get the North Face VE-25 from Casa de Pedra – along with less expensive but excellent quality ones such as the Marmot Limelight 3 season tent, among a number of others. Check them out.

Back to New York

Just less than three months to go before our British winter cycle tour so not long.  I will be going to New York this coming weekend to meet Kirk, who was mountaineering with us in Bolivia, and also to pick up a load of equipment – hopefully the city will have recovered from Hurricane Sandy, which is tearing its way through the area as I write. Chatted with Kirk earlier today and he is alright, outside the city. His place looks to be outside of the flooded area (at the moment at least), and hopefully it will stay like that.

VE25 – Being put to good use…

On the kit side, as well as a new Mac to work on the editing side, and a new camera for photography and video filming, camping equipment is primary on the list. We are getting a North Face VE 25 four season, three-person, tent that has exceptional reviews and is frequently used in high mountain expeditions as well as polar expeditions. Also some -40C sleeping bags: will be a bit hot for the UK, though at least when you are warm, you can open up the zippers to stay cooler, though if you are too cold, it is much harder to get warmer. The difference in price is ridiculous… here in Brazil at one place we saw 0C sleeping bags for R$2,000… about US$1,000…! It doesn’t take much research to see that this is pretty extortionate in comparison to the costs of sleeping bags in the UK or US.

With the wintry conditions, we are fully expecting days where we will be rained on constantly, and that there will be some tough winds, so water/windproof layers are all ready to pack, as are base and mid layers to help us keep warm when the temperatures are low.

With the further training equipment – the Polar RS800CX watch will be useful to help us monitor our progress training, as will the Garmin Edge bike computer. And then of course the bikes and bike equipment… one decision to make is whether to get baggage racks with panniers, or a trailer….

BOB Yak trailer

Ortlieb Back Rollers are the options we are looking at for panniers: they can take a good amount of weight and are nice and easy to get on and off; BOB Ibex Plus and BOB Yak Plus trailers look to be interesting options – and price-wise it might make sense; they come with dry sacks, you can fit lots of cargo into them, and they are extremely stable. Problem will be getting them into the bags in New York, though they should fit into the large duffle bags… hopefully. Also trailers give us heavier loads to carry – the Yaks, 13lbs (5.89kg) and Ibex, 17lbs (7.71kg) – though the Ibex have suspension systems which would help on the rougher roads. Choices choices…

Aside from this, strong back and front lights not just to see in low light conditions, but to also help car drivers see us – especially important when visibility is low and the roads are curvy. The lights we are getting are Planet Bike Blaze – nice strong lights which can be seen  a mile away, just a problem of limited battery life at their strongest settings. And of course: the helmets. Definitely can’t be forgotten!

So on Monday we were at the Casa de Pedra store at Vila Olimpia and started building up our equipment inventory. We started with the base and mid layers and also got ourselves small 30-32 litre Deuter summit packs for when we head out from our camps to the mountain summits – no need to carry everything with us, just basic essentials such as water, things like shell layers lest the weather turn against us, and emergency necessities.

The layering we get is extremely important. Wear the wrong clothes made out of materials such as cotton and your skin won’t be able to breathe. Your sweat will be trapped in your clothes against your skin, your clothes will become soaked; you become colder, wetter, and before you know it you could easily be battling against things like hypothermia on a cold mountain-side – not something you want, really.

So the base layer – we got light Casa de Pedra and heavier Solo Power tops and bottoms (to make sure we are okay in warmer and colder weather) is important to keep you warm but also quickly transport water away from your skin.

But the base layer itself, even if very warm, won’t make you as warm as you could be without the second layer. We got North Face fleeces, though wool tops are good as are other synthetic materials. The tops continue to wick the moisture away from your body, but at the same time they trap the air between them and the base layer – the air heats up and helps keep you warmer.

I will be going to the United States tomorrow to get more equipment – mainly technical gear, though also outer layers such as down parkas and shell layers. The down parkers help to keep you enormously warm by trapping a massive amount of air in the down and between it and the second layer, though at the same time, continue to transport moisture further away from your skin. Shell layers which cover everything, will keep us waterproofed and also wind-proofed, though still staying breathable so the moisture from your body can finally be transported fully away from you. Depending on the weather you can remove different layers which aren’t fully necessary, though you need to make sure you have everything as you can never be over-prepared.

Equipment inventory so far:

  • Solo X Power (heavy) base layers (tops and bottoms) (Masculine/Feminine)
  • Casa de Pedra (light) base layers
  • North Face TKA 100 Fleece tops
  • North Face Snowboard socks
  • Deuter Race 30 Summit Pack
  • Deuter Spektron 32 Summit Pack
  • 2 closed-cell sleeping pads

Plenty more to come, especially this weekend!