Ryder Shot Eyewear Review

I was a lucky girl and put in some nice miles this weekend while still managing to have lots of fun!  The weekend kicked off mid afternoon Friday with a 29 mile bike ride.  This was an important ride because I just had my bike readjusted and needed the miles was testing a new pair of sunglasses, the Ryder Shot Photochromic, which had already passed the run test x10.  I’ve been running in these glasses for almost a month and we all know from the I Wear My Sunglasses Almost Never post, sunglasses and I normally do not get along.  I want to wear them, need them to protect my eyes but usually pitch them due to poor fit, lighting, or the irritation factor.

I have quite the collection of those which remain but never get worn:

sunglasses

Therefore, I didn’t want to be hasty on writing up a review on the Ryder Shot’s prior to really wearing them, thinking about the fit, coverage, functionality, and using them on both the run and the bike.  As a triathlete, the sunglasses are one of the most important pieces of gear on the transition mat.  They can make or break the bike/run legs if you don’t own a good pair that fit, perform well and protect your eyes.

First, how do they look?  The most important aspect, right?  Okay, not really but….

Ryder glasses-Team Tough Chik bike jersey3 

The above photo is not the best, it’s a direct result of Aby’s photo session at the bike shop on Thursday night, but it gave me giggles after a quick WTF moment of seeing the color “splashes”.  The before/after photos below are a bit better.  I’m a “little” disheveled “after” but still smiling!  Yes, that is the Team Tough Chik bike jersey if you were wondering.

Ryder glasses-Team Tough Chik bike jersey  Ryder glasses-Team Tough Chik bike jersey2

The Ryder Shot’s that I received are the photochromic type which retail for $69.  I’m wearing the silver frame with light grey lenses.  I probably wouldn’t have picked a silver frame myself, not that I don’t like it, I’m just very boring and tend to stick in the black/brown family.  However, these look good and more importantly fit really well.  They are not tight on my face but they hug and do NOT move. 

The Ryder Shot Photochromic incorporates the photochromic technology that automatically lightens and darkens the tint of the lenses according to the weather and lighting conditions.  For somebody like me, who is blind doesn’t see well, this is a huge selling factor because I can’t change my lenses while I’m on the road.  I need the glasses to accommodate whatever the weather throws at me.

Ryder Shots

The Shot’s come in various colors and styles.  The non-photochromic & non-polarized models start at $39, that’s a steal!

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I also love the nose piece which is soft and rubbery but doesn’t get stuck in my hair.  If I’m talking with someone or taking a photo, I tend to put the glasses in my hair.  The nose piece can be a big issue if the rubber piece get stuck in my hair.  That’s an immediate fail in my opinion but not an issue with the Ryder Shot’s.   You can see in these photos from yesterday’s run at Schubert Woods with Cindy & the Pancakers that I have my glasses in my hair and it’s a win.  It’s a win that they fit nicely on my face when I run, and a win that they don’t stick to my hair when they are resting for a photo op.  🙂

Me&Cindy_SchubertWoods_5-13-12 Me_Schubert Woods_bridge_5-13-12

Initially, upon receipt of these glasses, I was planning to do a list of pros & cons.  However, I have put this review off for this long because I can’t find any cons.  I wanted to make sure that I was really behind these glasses for the long term before I actually recommend something.  I didn’t buy these, that’s a first, so didn’t want to just get all crazy excited over some freebies before I really knew what I thought.  I actually like them, really like them, and you will see me wearing them exclusively on the bike and run this season and for many more to come.  Thanks, Ryder!

According to the Ryder website, these are one of our smallest, most lightweight models. A favorite amongst runners for its minimalist designI absolutely agree that they are light and certainly not only “a” favorite of mine but the only pair I have used for the last month.  They offer UV protection and are shatter proof.  As a triathlete and cyclist, the shatter proof quality is a necessity because things happen and we crash.  Although I have never crashed badly enough to crack my glasses, I have seen others who weren’t as lucky.  Protective eyewear is not a luxury but a necessity.

Please find something to protect your eyes from the UV rays, rain/sleet, bugs and debris.  I was wearing these on the bike on Friday and was amazed at the clarity.  It was absolutely crystal clear that a yellow jacket would have flown into my right eye had it not bounced off my right lens instead.  Scary.  Protect your eyes!

If you are interested in Ryder products, check out the website HERE. The prices are very reasonable in comparison to other sport brands so enjoy the savings!

Happy Running, Riding and TRIing!  ** Amanda – TooTallFritz  ** 

Schubert & Sauk Trail Woods Group Run

This morning as I got up to thunder and lightening terrifying my dogs lil man, I was thinking, “Wow, nobody is going to show!” However, the rains soon stopped and we had a nice group show to run Schubert Woods. We parked at the Chestnut Street entrance and invaded the Park Forest Running & Pancake Club’s turf. Fortunately, I used to be a Pancaker and know many of them and they are all very cool and welcoming. I knew they would be happy to have more people “running their turf” rather than feel violated like we were taking over. Today’s Schubert Crew from left: Kim, Lori, Aby (my 10 year old), Aurelia, Brian, Kevin, Matt, Wayne & Mark B (also a former Pancaker who was gracious enough to come and run hard with our F’N men).

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As I have mentioned before, I am really excited about this trail, just shocked that it is so underutilized. It is easily one of the most beautiful trails we have in the area and I feel “qualified” to make that statement as I have been running on the Southside of Chicago since circa 2004 and have covered a “few” miles in that time. My favorite things about this trail include: the foliage that shades you from the sun and gives houses a variety of visible creatures, the constant turns and small rolling hills, and the fact that the trail is newly resurfaced and without ruts or holes which some of the more popular trails have due to so much use. This trail also has a nice sized lake, which you can see at several points, and a few old bridges which I really love.

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All in all, if you can make the trip to Park Forest to run Schubert & Sauk Trail Woods, it’s worth the trip. You won’t be sorry and you will probably see me and a few Pancakers on the trail if you go on a Sunday morning around 8am. Today, Pancaker Alexis joined us, but was too quick to catch on film, plus we saw Ray & Margaret on the trail. I’m sure others, who we missed, were also floating around in the woods. It was nice to see the trail was alive and bustling with activity…….just as it should be.

See YOU on the Trail,
Amanda – TooTallFritz

Taking Back Schubert & Sauk Trail Woods

I know that the Schubert & Sauk Trail woods have a poor reputation due to circumstances beyond their control.  But I have now ran the area 2x and I am telling you it is not only a safe area but also one of the best trails we have in this area.  I was amazed today with the beauty and old world feel of this trail.  There are old bridges made of stone and railings of iron that we just don’t see on our normal trail runs.  This trail is one to be seen and enjoyed by the public.

I have started both times at the spur that begins on Chestnut Street, off of Western Ave just north of Sauk Trail, since that is where the Pancakers begin on Sunday mornings.

I love that I get to conquer a nice hill as soon as I get out of the car!

Each time out, although I fail to arrive on time, I have seen a few Pancakers on the trail and my new friend Alexis.  I saw her in the distance today and had to run a few tangents, and speed up to a pace much faster than I “wanted” to run to get close enough to shout her name.  But it was worth it, we talked and ran a short bit together before she had to turn off toward home.  She did kindly oblige my photo request before we parted.  Thanks, Alexis!  Good to see you again!

After Alexis dropped me headed for home,  I slowed down to a more leisurely pace and grabbed some photos that I didn’t have the opportunity to take last time.   These are all from “The Shoot”, the spur that crosses Sauk Trail at Ashland, runs southwest for 1.5 miles, then makes a u-turn at Steger Road & Western for a return to the loop.

Love the moss on the trail!

The noisiest creature on the trail.

Second noisiest creature.

Back on the main loop, which is 4 miles in distance, I saw lots of runners & walkers out enjoying the day!  Here is a pic of Sauk Trail Lake from the trail.

Cute little stone bridge over a stream.

Today was a very peaceful run and I really enjoyed it.  Although, I enjoy these quiet trails with low traffic, I really feel as if this trail is under utilized due to its reputation.  The trail is safe.  It’s beautiful.  It’s the perfect length with both a 7 and/or 4 mile option.  Let’s run this trail together!  I’m going to set up an event thru Facebook for next Sunday, April 15th, 7:45 am to run Schubert & Sauk Trail Woods as a group.  Let’s take this trail back and enjoy some of our tax dollars!  If you don’t get a FB invite (because we aren’t friends), then please feel free to show up at the Chestnut entrance to the Thorn Creek Bicycle Trail (south), in Park Forest at 7:45 to join us for a run.  If you can’t run, then bring a bike, it’s worth the trip!

See you next Sunday!

Happy Running,                                                                                                      Amanda – TooTallFritz

March Madness?

March Madness for many may be ball sport related but for me the Madness of March 2012 is all about the weather.  My family and I are rushing around trying to fit in as many outdoor activities as possible afraid that the weather will make an attempt to return to winter.  As of yesterday, we had 4 straight days over 80 degrees and I wonder if that is a record?  Today may “only” reach 79 degrees but time will tell.

Yesterday I met up with the F’N Running Club to enjoy a run thru the Hickory Hills extension.  It was labeled the St. Paddy’s Day run and ironically, I showed up in pink.  Don’t ask.  Kathy showed too but was in red and refused to be in the pic so she was the photog for the day.  Thanks, Kathy!  From left back:  Me, Kevin, Lisa, Brian, Jim, Kim, Susan, Nicole, Tara, & Angela.  From left front:  Jeni, Don, Julie, Diane, & Maggie.

We also saw Melissa, Wayne & Nicole F. out running the trails.  WooooHooo, F’N Runners!  It was a beautiful day with temps in the low 60s when we began. 

Since it was so nice, I took full advantage of it by stopping for several pictures.  I was having breathing issues too so it was a good break until I realized the group was waiting on me while I was lolligagging

It was a 9 mile day for me on Saturday.  Not what I like distance wise for a long run but between the hills and my breathing, it was enough for one day.

Today I set out to meet up with the Park Forest Running and Pancake Club in Schubert Woods.  I didn’t make official run plans for this morning because last night was date night and well, no need to plan something that may not happen.  But, of course, we were home and in bed by midnight and Michael gets up between 5 and 6 am no matter what, so I was up to run.  I decided to go meet up with the Pancakers since I haven’t run with them in a looooonnnnnnng time, like my last run with them was the day before I found out I was preggo with Michael in February 2009.  And the bonus is that they run at 8 am on Sunday’s and somewhat close to my house so it wasn’t a big rush.

I wasn’t really sure where I was going, which was a bit stressful, but I knew I had to head toward Sauk Trail and Western, then what??  I had the map up on Eve my gps and as soon as I got close to that intersection I saw Chestnut Street pop up to the north and that triggered a buried memory that I was supposed to head that way.  So I did, turned on Chestnut (off of Western Ave in Park Forest) and ran right into a trailhead. Yay for dumb luck!

Unfortunately, I only saw one car and nobody waiting around so I assumed that nobody was coming.  I knew this Sunday run group was really light so I thought possibly with the racing schedules today or St Paddy’s Day the long run yesterday, that nobody was going to show, so I took off running right at 8 am.  I was instantly in LOVE with the beauty of this trail and wondering why I had never been able to come before now.

The main trial is a 4 mile loop.  There were lots of access points with parking and port-o-pots, plus I even saw picnic areas.  The trail had light traffic for today and was mostly shaded.  This will be an awesome spot to run when the temps are soaring this summer!  I only had one spot where I questioned the direction, and ended up running  a short spur that lead to a road before returning to the main trail.  So if you go by yourself, just say on the loop and keep going in a circular motion.  However, my lolligagging and picture taking misdirection allowed the Pancakers to catch me!  When I came back to the main trail after that short spur, I saw Mark B, Sue & Rob H (who mostly runs with Yankee).  I picked up the pace and ran a bit with them before Sue & Rob dropped at the trailhead to return to their cars.

Mark & I ran on to hit the “The Shoot”, a set of woods across Sauk Trail for a few more miles.  And then we picked up Alexis! 

Alexis is a local chiro who I have attempted to make contact with on many occasions over the years.  However, it seems our schedule between work and kids is not very compatible so this was our first meeting and I’m super excited to have finally met her!  According to Jenny G, Ms. Alexis recently “pipped me to the pole” in a local 5K race, so it’s good to know the chick who very recently kicked my ass racing.  Now I while can keep my eyes open for her “sneaking up” on me in the future!

The “Shoot” was an older section of the trail and very shady with mature trees and mossy green on the trail.  Super sweet!  This photo was in motion, so not as clear as I’d like but still cool! 

Today was a little over 8 miles for me.  Not fast at first but a few fast miles in the middle with the group, then I had to back off toward the end because I was toasted.  But I could breathe much better today and that is a huge WIN.  I was seriously thinking I’d have to go to the doc.  Yikes!  But I’ve pocketed hubby’s inhaler and am feeling decent.  Yay!!

Have you tried any new trails lately?  Do you think all trails look the same so find yourself content to run the same place all the time or are you always up for an adventure?

Last day to enter the Aspareris Pivot Shorts Giveaway HERE.

Happy Adventuring!                                                                                                  Amanda – TooTallFritz