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    Giant Loop Klamath Rack Pack
    Having recently installed an SW-Motech rear rack on my KTM 690 Enduro R, I went on the hunt for a tail bag to compliment it. In addition to something that could put up with some trail abuse and keep my stuff dry, I wanted a solid, but simple mounting system. I really liked the adjustable fender hook system on the Giant Loop Klamath Rack Pack, so I decided to give one a shot. INSTALLATION FUNCTION The zipper-less clam shell design of the Klamath Rack pack works perfectly and is easy to live with. I had no issues opening and closing it with riding gloves and since the two halves fit together accurately, my stuff stayed clean and dry in soupy conditions. However, I can always get out the included dry bag should I be carrying anything that absolutely can't get wet. I don't see this pack leaking short of submerging it. The inner pack compartment dimensions are approx. 10"L X 7.5"W X 4.5"H and features a repositionable divider. I was able to carry a 12v micro tire pump & power cord, OE KTM tool kit, digital tire gauge, my more roadworthy gloves (for the ride home), snacks, and an extra bottle of water with a bit of room to spare. The sides and top of the pack are semi-rigid, so while there is a small amount of flex, if you force fit something, it will distort the shape, not allowing the upper and lower halves to fit together properly. The inner compartment has a key lanyard and under the lid is a zippered mesh pocket that is good for foldable maps or other fairly thin objects such as an energy bar. Finally, both the back and sides have reflective stripes so that cagers just might see us for once. There is also additional storage on the outside of the Klamath. The back flap has a full-width mesh pocket (not closeable) and the top has a zigzag bungee cord that can be cinched up. I found the bungee to be very useful for holding a medium sized machete for cutting trail overgrowth as well as as spot to stash a trail map that was rolled up in a large plastic ziplock bag. Is the pack stable? Yep! 80mph dirt/gravel roads, whoops, logs, trail brush, etc... when I got home, the Klamath always seemed to be right where I left it. Clearly, the Velcro fender hook system works as it should. When I'm riding, I don't even know the bag is that there.  Anything that I don't like? Outside of having to watch my foot snagging on it when getting on/off and already tall bike and a bit of a premium price point, nope; the Giant Loop Klamath Rack Pack is exactly what I was looking for. I also love the fact that it's made in the USA and backed by a limited lifetime warranty. If you're looking for a solid rack pack, I'd put the Klamath and your shortlist of options. More @
    Posted by Bryan Bosch on Nov 15, 2017

    The Evergood Open Experience
    Hello ThumperTalk readers! I have to say that of all the things I write about, I enjoy writing about going to races that are put on by great companies to recognize the unrecognized talent. Recently, I made the trip to such a race in Iowa, called the Evergood Open at Oak Ridge MX, and I’m here to tell you about it. I will admit, I have a certain level of bias when it comes to races like the Evergood Open or the MX Reunion races, because it was through the Vurb Classic in 2012 at Echeconnee that I was recognized for my never-quit pursuit of a W against some stiff competition. Through the help I received from Race Tech because of the recognition and my performances at other Vurb Classic events and amateur nationals, I’ve brought myself to where I am now, and that’s not something I take lightly. Being brutally honest, the top level of support in the motocross industry is a tight nit group and it is hard to break into without solid results. These events give those who truly need the help the opportunity to get the help they need to make their journey to the top a possibility. Hats off to the companies who participate in these events that are giving deserving riders the opportunity to succeed, because that’s truly what you’re doing. 2013 Vurb Classic @ MX207 The staff at Evergood Co truly put on a great event that I will not soon forget. Not only did some great riders get recognized, but the event was held at possibly the coolest track I’ve ever been on. Also, the event was just plain fun! It wasn’t super high stakes, and instead was laid back and all about everyone having a good time. Everything from the track, to the people, environment, and activities after racing made the event feel like the drive was paid back in spades. Evergood Open @ Oak Ridge MX, photo by Jordan Hoover at Evergood Co Whether we realize it or not, if you’re a racer who competes for money or the goal of making a career of it, we get so sucked into the winning mindset that we forget that there’s more fun in motocross (or whatever you race) than just winning. One thing that I found super fun about the Evergood Open was the holeshot competition! It was intense… and I was genuinely concerned when I saw a 1200cc BMW flat-track bike pull up. However, I did end up winning on the 250f! If winning it wasn’t cool enough, interviews and popping a champagne bottle is icing on the cake to top off a good day of racing on a great track! I also think it’s great for the spectators, being able to see more than just racing, and it creates a great atmosphere for everyone. I mean, who doesn’t love watching people bang bars off a start for $100 all while playing some AC/DC? Evergood Open @ Oak Ridge MX, photo by Jordan Hoover at Evergood Co Another great thing about the Evergood Open was being able to meet different people, including those that we look up to. Over the weekend I got to meet Jeff Emig and Jason Anderson… not during a schedule; just walk up and started talking. Being able to chat a bit to people you look up to and get their perspectives and simply listen to what they have to say about a track is priceless. Being able to talk to Emig one-on-one about his ideology towards racing and explaining why he maneuvers the track like he does creates a new perspective that can be utilized if implemented correctly into your own personal riding style. Evergood Open @ Oak Ridge MX, photo by Jordan Hoover at Evergood Co Overall, great time at a great track that will have me coming back next year! Hats off to the whole Evergood Co crew, as well as everyone at Oak Ridge MX, y’all killed it!   Be sure to stay tuned to the blog series and click/tap the “follow” button to stay updated on any new entries! You can also click the “follow” button on my profile to stay updated with anything I post on ThumperTalk. Thanks for following along, I’ll see you at the races!
    Posted by Scott Meshey 141 on Nov 14, 2017

    TCX Comp EVO Michelin Boots
    After a couple of years trying the ADV bit, last spring I sold my heavy bike for a more dirt worthy dual sport. Since, I've been wearing an ADV boot that is hella comfy, but lacking in the protection department for more aggressive trail riding. I was just about to pull the trigger on a pair from my old standby brand, but remembered that my riding buddy seems to rave about his TXC boots. Not having tried anything from the brand before, I checked out what they had to offer and the TCX Comp EVO  Michelin boot really stood out to me, so I decided to give some a shot. My two key objectives was comprehensive protection and all-day comfort. And, TXC nailed both...   PROTECTION The Comp Evo is the top-of-the-line mx/off-road boot in the TCX line and I think that it shows in the level of protection systems built-in. At the heart of these systems is the Double Flex Control. Without getting into the mechanics of exactly how it works, in concert with the buckles, the ankle hinge, build materials, and overall structure, it creates a boot that is incredibly rigid side-to-side, but offers lots of freedom of movement front to back (18° forward and 15° rearward). Moving around on the bike felt unencumbered, including operation of foot controls. The cost is a creaky/squeaky walker, something commonly found in full-hinged boots. However, it's unnoticeable when riding and an easy trade-off for its safety benefits. TXC also beefed up the Comp EVO in the right areas. It has a steel armored toe cap that is further hardened with a single piece of variable thickness TPU that wraps around well behind your pinky toe, but also over the instep and the full inside of the foot up to the ankle hinge. At the back of the boot, there is awesome protection from the heel, all the way the top of your calf. Between your ankle and calf is the Double Flex Control mechanism and how it connects the upper and lower of the boot creates a hardened section behind your heel and a ridge behind your calf. The replaceable aluminum buckles are protected by generously sized anti-snag TPU ramps that also add to side impact protection and the shin is fully protected with beefy strap receivers and the adjustable shin plate. I honestly can't ask for more in the protection department; I'm just not sure that it gets a whole lot better folks. Double Flex Control System SIZING & COMFORT I found the TCX Comp EVO boots to fit true-to-size wearing a pair of standard Alpinestars moto socks. Adjustment is pretty standard using push-in/pull-out serrated straps. I had plenty of adjustment for in-the-boot knee/shin protection and the upper shin plate can be extended another approx. 1/2" for those with big calves. By my measurement, I'd say the boot will fit up to a 19" (ish) calf. Adjustable Shin Plate I found no real break-in period is required, with the fully-hinged Double Flex Control System providing immediate controlled range of movement. In terms of comfort, my rule of thumb is that if I forget that I'm wearing them, they are comfy. And, that's pretty much how it went with the Comp EVOs (all day comfort).   PERFORMANCE My shifting was a little clumsy early in the day, but I expected that moving from a boot that was much, much softer. However, it didn't take long to be back to normal. I've never had a boot with notches in the instep for the shifter to index on up shifts, but found them to work positively when you're charging hard, rowing through gears. Also, the toe box on the Comp EVO with its Michelin molded sole is pretty slim, so getting under the shifter is no problem (size 10). In terms of the the Michelin soles, I like them. Tons of traction, even with wet, muddy soles and they release for foot re-positioning without any snagging, something that I've read about on boots with more aggressively lugged soles. Unfortunately the mid-sole is not replaceable, but so far it seems to be wearing pretty well. I suspect that they'll offer up a good life span, so not a huge deal for me. I also appreciate the support of the soles. They give really good support on harder hits with just the right amount of flex built in. On my last ride, I took a number of very new trails around the trees downed in hurricane Irma and in the brush was a decent amount debris and a few hidden tree stumps. I recall at least one low stump that smacked the outer toe of the boot on the way by and outside of a scuff, no pain or injuries. I know that no boot is going to protect you from every possible scenario, but this example is one of the more common where I ride and they did their job well. The boots are not waterproof, but they do a good job at keeping your feet dry. Our local trails have been soupy as best all summer and in combo with over-the-boot pants, my feet have remained dry. On the subject over over-the-boot pants, if you buy these boots, be sure your OTB pants can be opened at the bottom for fitting. These boots are pretty wide when closed up, so a few of my fixed cuff Klim pants simply don't open wide enough to slide down over the boot.  My ridin' buddy @sclaus sloggin' in TXC Comp Evo Boots Pros  High level protection Good freedom-of-movement All-day comfort Good water resistance Ease of adjustment Quality materials and build Cons  Creaky/squeaky walker Non-replaceable mid-sole   Bryan's Bottom-line  Having at least once serious injury in the last couple of years that required surgery, I'm all about a stacking the deck in my favor when it comes to minimizing them. Like my helmet, boots aren't one of the areas that I'm willing to skimp on and I'm impressed with the level of engineering and execution that went into the safety systems in the TCX Comp EVO Michelin boot. Couple this with a boot that I can wear all day in comfort and I'm sold. Good job TCX, these boots are seriously good.
    Posted by Bryan Bosch on Nov 13, 2017

    Dangers of High Intensity Training – Free Radical Production
    Dating back to 1775 and the research completed by a biochemist by the name of Joseph Priestly, it was discovered the importance of oxygen associated with sustaining life.  Ironically, he also discovered the dangers associated with the utilization of oxygen as it related to health and wellness.  As you breathe and your body utilizes stable oxygen (O2) molecules, and converts them to a free radical molecule.  Scientists now associate oxygen free radicals with every major chronic disease, including heart disease and even cancer.  Free radicals play a major role in the gaining process.  It is important to become aware of these potentially harmful substances, what increases their production and how to control them in order to reduce the negative effects on your health, performance and the aging process.  Increases in oxidative stress, whether from too much free-radical production, too little antioxidant activity, or both, speeds up the aging process.  According to Dr. Maffetone, different levels of exercise intensity can produce varying amounts of free radicals.  Low intensity aerobic training (according to your personal heart rate zones), produce little or insignificant amounts of free radicals, and the smaller amount is more than likely well controlled through the body’s natural defense system, especially if enough antioxidants are present.  A well-developed aerobic system has its own antioxidant effect.  Fat burning and free radical breakdown occur in the mitochondria contained within aerobic muscle fibers.  With this in mind, people in better aerobic shape are more capable of controlling free radicals compared to those who are out of shape.  Research validates that individuals with a higher percentage of aerobic muscle fibers have more antioxidant production and therefore more antioxidant capabilities. However, exercising at high intensity levels (above HR Z4) and lifting weights can have the opposite effect.  Such intense activity produces more oxidative stress – some research indicate as high as 120% over resting levels.  This is the result of physical damage to muscles, lactic-acid production and highter oxygen uptake, which may increase tenfold during activity.  Higher injury rates are also associated with increased free radical production.  Additionally, the development of more anaerobic muscle fibers means less aerobic mitochondria for free radical elimination. This is (amongst others) why you will see the majority of your weekly volume based on aerobic effort.  Understanding intensity levels and their influence on your health, wellness and ultimately performance is another tool for Working Smart, Not Hard! Yours in sport and health, -Coach Robb 
    Posted by Coach Robb on Oct 11, 2017

    Should You Workout Hard This Weekend or Take Some Down Time?
    Over Training Indicators include: mood swings; craving of simple sugar; interrupted sleep; loss of libido; loss of body weight; suppressed appetite & elevated resting heart rate. Once you have reached the point of over training and are experiencing associated symptoms, your satisfaction associated with training becomes less rewarding and ultimately affects other elements in your life (relationships, work, etc.) along with having a negative effect on your performance (which ironically makes you think you need to do more or work harder!). Training creates adaptations within the body's various systems (muscular, cardio-pulmonary, lymphatic, nervous and connective) and needs to be supported with rest and food for positive adaptations. Inadequate amounts (and quality) of sleep and food set the body up for a physical break down which leads to negative effects on the body (i.e. suppressed immune system and muscles with less power and endurance). In addition to adaptations within the body's systems, training causes changes at a cellular level. Dr. Sandler notes that cell mitochondria swell, metabolic wastes accumulate, essential nutrients (particularly electrolytes and stored glycogen) deplete, and muscle tissue is torn. This tearing is known as micro trauma of the cells, and torn muscle tissue doesn't work efficiently. As popularly noted, it takes 48 hours for the body to recover from this micro-trauma and has to be supported with rest and food for proper recovery and improved overall health. If your body doesn't get the opportunity to rebuild from the "work phase" of training, overall health and associated performance begin to slow down (and in extreme circumstances, cease all together). The concept of hard training days followed with easy-active recovery days incorporated into your weekly training schedule establishes the balance necessary for incremental improvements in your overall health and ultimately your performance. Consistent training without physical or mental setbacks provides the foundation for your body to absorb larger volumes of training. The larger the foundation (i.e. quality of overall health) the quicker you will recover from workouts and the quicker your body will progress to the next level of health & ultimately performance. Think about it this way, if you are not fresh, you will not have the energy (or desire) to push to the next level of performance. If your body doesn't experience the next level you will begin to stagnate within your performance cycles. So what will it be this weekend - big workout or some down time to recover? Yours in sport and health, -Coach Robb  
    Posted by Coach Robb on Oct 27, 2017

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