Gear Review: Hero Kit Road Bike Field Repair Kit

Entering the world of cycling is like learning a new language!  Lots of fun but there is also a lot to learn about "how-to's", new terminology and what to do if something breaks down on a ride. I must be honest my back up plan for a long time has been: "If something happens, I'll just call someone to pick me up."  I never carried a tube nor a pump and really didn't know how to fix anything on my road bike if something happened to me while riding.  Not a really good decision, but the Hero Kit for Road Cycling has changed that now!

The kit includes...

12 Function Multi-Tool w/Chain tool
Planet Bike Tire Levers w/tire patch kit
24 Page Waterproof Field Repair Instruction Manual
9 Speed KMC Replacement Chain Link
10 Speed KMC Replacement Chain Link
Yelo Velo High-PSI Tire Boot (Torn Tire Patch)
Frame Bolt and Cleat Bolt
Multi-Use wipe (aka Tush Wipes)
Emergency Rain Poncho
ICE (In Case of Emergency Car)
Duct Tape and LokSak (Kit plastic bag)

Regular Price: $45.00 

The Pluses!

Novice Friendly ~ I absolutely love the "Step-By-Step Instructions Tools & Materials" Manual because it explains literally step-by-step how to fix issues from a flat tired, broken chain to brake problems and more.  I'm the type of person that learns by doing rather than explaining, so having a detailed Instruction manual with a bicycle part chart is perfect for me to follow along while actually fixing the bike.  Hero Kit also categorizes the level of difficulty of fixing each issue and everything is labeled so a novice like me knows what is what!

Small Packaging ~ All the components of the kit are small, including the Multi-Tool.  The 12 Function Multitool folds down into a small rectangle and is pretty lightweight.  The whole kit fits into the LokSak (plastic bag) which is only 4.5in x 7in.  Being a hiker and now a cyclist I'm very concerned about weight, and this Hero Kit for Road Cycling total weight is 10.4 oz, (spare tube and pump not included).  This whole kit easily fits into my seat pack and would easily fit in a jersey back pocket.

It's small - 10.4 oz
Quality Product ~ When the packaging containing the road biking repair kit is a quality product, I know I have a great kit.  The LokSak has a patented Leakproof/Airtight Seal so everything inside stays dry!  Hero Kit made the manual waterproof and included a poncho just in case your day gets a little worse by being rained while fixing your bike.  The Planet Bike Levers have the tire patch kit tucked inside a little compartment, which is a great idea because I can imagine those easily flying away if they were loose in the bag.  Hero Kit's Multitool is very small but sturdy that includes a chain tool, which is great because I don't have carry our large multi-tool in our kit.  

Safety Centered ~ The kit itself is very safety centered, from protecting the rider from the elements to providing an ICE (In Case of Emergency) card that the rider can fill out.  We never like to think about biking accidents "What If's..." but having a card like that could help a passer-by or medical personnel save your life if you were found unconscious in a crash.

The Minuses

None really.  My only "minus" was that it uncovered my lack of knowledge of my very own bike but that is more of a reflection of me not the kit.  The kit has actually inspired to keep learning about bikes and riding.

Chasqui Mom Last Thoughts...

Being that I also ride with my kids, this will come in very handy with fixing any issues with my sons bike as well as my bike trailer.  It also provides me more confidence that I can go further distances when I'm riding solo and with my family.  My husband also occasionally commutes on his road bike during the week so we now share the Hero Kit.  In a good way, we still haven't had a chance to "use" the kit but I know it will definitely come in handy when we need to fix something in the future.  I highly recommend the Hero Kit for Road Cycling, as well as checking out other kits for Mountain Biking, Crash Kits and refill kits.

I would like to thank Hero Kit who provided this product for the purposes of this review.  As always these are my true and honest opinions.

Join in on the conversation by leaving a comment here! You can also join in on the conversations on Chasqui Mom's FacebookInstagram and Twitter that is updated daily with outdoor activities and other wonderful posts and links from #OutdoorFamilies!

Related Posts and Links:

  1. Hero Kit: The Repair Kit Revolution

The Joy of Riding, Outdoors, Mud and a Little Boy

Ride on little Axel! #Axelove
Riding a bike, how much is there to riding a bike? One might think that riding a bike is just that, but it is not, it is so much more.  It's something that I stopped doing for a few years but recently started riding again and it reminded me of the freedom, terror, joy, anger, energizing feelings I once had of riding a bike.

I've met a lot of people through social media and one amazing outdoor blogger I have met is Jennifer Charrette of Velo Mom.  A little over a year ago, her family went through a horrible tragedy and lost their youngest son Axel while on a trip in Mexico.  There are no words, but no family should go through anything like that.  Even though Axel was only on this Earth for a little over two years, he lived life to the fullest on his balance bike.

Over the last year, I have seen how the outdoors, and in particular riding, has helped the Charrette family grieve the loss of a family member and through all the pain this wonderful family has started a great non-profit organization, The Axel Project, in memory of their little boy who LOVED his balance bike. The Axel Project mission is "To introduce and nurture a lifelong passion for cycling to children and their families."  One of their main ways of completing their mission is to providing balance bikes and instruction to children in need.

The most recent effort of The Axel Project is Zoom! a picture book about "A little boy rides his balance bike to discover the desert, mountains, mud puddles and more."  This story follows the adventures of a little boy, his balance bike, and his dog, which was written by Axel's mother, Jennifer Charrette, and Marcia Kenne and illustrated by Kellie Day.  The Zoom! project is being funded through Kickstarter and I have also kicked in to support Zoom!

Let's keep spreading Axel's joy of riding to all families! Will you please join me in supporting Zoom!? Click here to Zoom! Kickstarter page.

The #OutdoorFamilies bloggers have come together to support Zoom! and the Charrette Family in their new endeavor.

  1. It’s a Delightful, Dazzling, Dream-Filled, Dirty World by Rocks and Sun
  2. Zoom! The Healing Power of Two Wheels by Expect Adventure
  3. Making Lemonade Out of Life's Lemons by Mommy Loves Trees
  4. Zoom! The Story of a Boy and his Balance Bike by Tales of a Mountain Mama 
  5. Today is Zoom! Day: The Story of a Boy and His Balance Bike by On The Beaten Path
  6. An Amazing Kickstarter campaign for Zoom & The Axel Project by Active Kids Active Family
  7. Let's Give a Kick Start to ZOOM! The Story of a Boy and His Balance Bike by Mommy Hiker
  8. Zoom! Remembering Axel’s Love of Biking by Colorado Mountain Mom
  9. Zoom Day - Let's Get The First Balance Bike Book Published! by Family Adventures in the Canadian Rockies
  10. Bloggies, Bikes and Books by Velo Mom

Join in on the conversation by leaving a comment here! You can also join in on the conversations on Chasqui Mom's FacebookInstagram and Twitter that is updated daily with outdoor activities and other wonderful posts and links from #OutdoorFamilies!

Pedal, Brake and Balance: My Boy Can Ride!

My boy learned to ride a bike this week! He did it the "old fashion" way with training wheels.  He started riding a bike around his second birthday on a crappy hand-me down bike (training wheels) with rust on it.  He received a balance bike as a birthday present but he wasn't tall enough to ride the balance bike right away, so he continued riding on his rusty bike.

We tried and tried the balance bike once he was tall enough but my son really likes to "be like daddy" and wanted to pedal.  Frankly, I just wanted him to burn energy so we let him learn to ride a bike the old fashion with training wheels.  First he learned to pedal then steer, then a few months ago he learned braking as well as riding fast!

Two years later on his bigger new Giant Animator Bike, on a sunny afternoon he decided to ride his bike.  2.5 hours of crashing in the bushes and falling off his bike, my determined little boy learned to ride a bike with no training wheels.  He turned to me and said, "Mommy! Now I can Pedal, Brake and Balance!!".  Lots of joyous yelling, double high-fives ensued and we even had a cake later in the day.

This isn't a pro-training wheels nor a pro-balance bike post but a "have fun learning how to ride a bike" post!  I never thought I'd have the same feeling of excitement as when I saw my baby boy take his first steps, but this is as exciting as his walking milestone except that he joined in the celebration!

Pedal, brake and balance! How did you feel when your little ones learned to ride?

Join in on the conversation by leaving a comment here! You can also join in on the conversations on Chasqui Mom's FacebookInstagram and Twitter that is updated daily with outdoor activities and other wonderful posts and links from #OutdoorFamilies!

Kid Approved Gear Review: Honey Stinger Kids' Organic Waffles

Food and snacks, something that is absolutely essential when heading outdoor with kids. Whether we are hiking or biking on the trails you will definitely find my pack full of snacks!  The snacks sometimes determine whether the time outdoors will be a success or a disaster.

I have two completely opposite toddlers: one who eats anything and the other who only likes to eat bread, milk, bananas and yogurt.  Let's say it's a struggle at almost every meal to have my picky eater eat something.  I'm always on the look out for new snacks that my children like to eat because food = fuel on and off the trail.

I always take more than enough snacks when we head out for a hike or bike ride because I never know when my picky eater will decide to eat.  Trust me it's not a fun time when a child is low on energy, there are no more snacks around and a mile is still left to be finished!

A newest addition to my snack pack is...

  • Kid Size ~ A smaller version of the adult size Honey Stinger Waffle, suited to meet children's smaller appetites and nutritional needs.
  • Flavors ~ Two flavors: Honey and Chocolate!
  • Retail Price ~ $4.99 a box, containing 6 individually wrapped waffles. Option of individual sale of $0.89 per waffle. Purchase at or local outdoor retailer store.
  • Nutritional Value: Certified organic ingredients and only 80 calories.

The Pluses!

Picky Eater Approved ~ If you can't hear my sigh of relief over the internet as you read this just imagine you heard it.  My kids LOVE the Kids' Organic Waffles and actually request for it went we hit the trails.  My picky eater is hesitant to try anything new but the second he saw the waffle he wanted to try "The Cookie" as my kids call it.  He scarfed down the waffle and wanted more, something I rarely hear!

Just  Like Daddy's (Mommy's too) ~ My kids are not easily fooled but Honey Stinger made the kid version waffle just like what the adults eat.  Whatever we are eating, my kids want to eat as well so the kids waffles are perfectly proportioned for my two and four year old appetite and they don't steal mine.

Organic Ingredients ~ We try to do "Organic" as much as we can in our household but that is not always feasible while outdoors, so I'm glad I can find organic snacks that my kids see as special treats.  My usual special treats are left over Halloween & piñata party candy, but my kids have chosen the waffles over candies.  I feel better giving them Organic Kid Waffles over candy.

Chocolate! ~ Those are magic words to get my kids moving on the trail.  My kids tasted both flavors which they both liked but I have purchased two boxes of the Chocolate Waffles because my kids get more excited when they hear "Chocolate" over "Honey".  I'm a big fan of chocolate and so are my kids.  Who isn't a fan of chocolate?!

The Minuses

Allergens ~ Thankfully my kids do not have any food allergies but Honey Stinger Kids' Organic Waffles do contain wheat, soy and may contain egg and milk.  Not suitable for children with allergies to those ingredients.

Chasqui Mom Last Thoughts...

I know that food is fuel, especially when doing any activity outdoors, whether hiking, backpacking or biking on the trail I will definitely have Honey Stinger Kids' Organic Waffles in my food pack.  My kids love "The Cookie" and I actually finally had a chance to taste the kids version and they are just tasty.  The waffle isn't the only Honey Stinger kid product, they also have Kids' Organic Chews which will be reviewed soon!  I give the Honey Stinger Kids' Organic Waffle the "Chasqui Mom Seal of Approval" for on and off the trail snacks!

*I would like to thank Honey Stinger who provided this product for the purpose of this review.  As always these are my true and honest opinions.

Join in on the conversation by leaving a comment here! You can also join in on the conversations on Chasqui Mom's FacebookInstagram and Twitter that is updated daily with outdoor activities and other wonderful posts and links from #OutdoorFamilies!

Related Posts and Links:

  1. Honey Stinger Kids' Organic Chews Review + Giveaway!

Family Road Biking Added to the Mix

I'm a hiker and I will always be a hiker at heart, but my husband has been road biking for a few years now and has really wanted to add biking to to our family outdoor activities so this summer we decided to take the plunge!  It's been almost four months of family cycling and I'm having a great time and have rekindled the joy of riding a bike.

Family Ride to Coyote Hills Regional Park

Family Road Gear:

Since my husband was all set with his bicycle gear, we needed to get the rest of us outfitted! First of all, we needed to purchase two major items a bike trailer and a road bicycle for myself:
  1. Burley Bee Double Bike Trailer (2013)

    My son is in the process of learning to ride a bike and my daughter is still too short to even ride a balance bike, so in order to get some distance when my son isn't riding his bike, we needed a double bike trailer and decided on the Burley Bee Double Bike Trailer.  Review will be coming soon...

  2. Giant Avail 5 Women's Road Bike (2012)
    I haven't been riding consistently since I road around the training base camp in Georgia on a "Cruiser" type bike in 2004.  Even back then I was very spastic and clumsy (which I still am), so I had some hesitations to start road biking.  After a few visits to local bicycle stores I decided on the Giant Avail 5 Women's Road Bike.  I tested out a few fancier road bikes but as a beginner road biker I really couldn't tell the difference so I decided on the Avail 5.  Review will be coming soon...

Our three year old son absolutely refused to learn to ride a bike with a balance bike because it didn't have pedals like "Daddy's Bike", so we ended up buying him, 
Giant Jr. Animator.  If you can't tell we kind of like Giant bikes! Our son still does not understand the mechanics of riding a bike yet so when he rides his bike we are usually walking or running along side him.

Riding So Far....

Family riding so far has been a learning experience, as any new activity normally is!  My kids are slowly building up their "Time Limit" in the double trailer.  I'm learning what activities, snacks and toys to bring along so they can keep entertained in the trailer.  Our daughter has a terrible time with wearing a helmet, she absolutely hates it so of course she has a somewhat dislike to the trailer BUT every time she is having a better and longer experience with the helmet so OVERALL it's getting better!

I'm trying to keep the same principles as
Chasqui Mom's Toddler Hiking Cycle when we are riding and taking breaks when needed, stopping and letting the kids burn their energy, etc.  A few other things we are learning are:
  • The kids love riding FAST and going over bumps.
  • I'm re-learning how to ride a bike! Not that I forgot how but just its different now as an adult!
  • Bike paths that are family and beginner friendly in the East Bay.
  • Learning that I'm a "Freddy" (a novice rider)! A mountain biker explained that to me recently....
  • How to dress when riding, what not to bring and what to bring...
  • My husband and I are learning to ride while towing our kids in a trailer! It's heavy!

Our routes so far have been close to home due to fact that we don't have a way to transport our bikes...yet! Looking into bike racks so we can start exploring other routes in the San Francisco Bay Area.  I'm really glad my husband convinced me to start riding again because I had forgotten how much fun it is to ride and it is another great way to get the family exercising!

A big "Shout Out" to +CentriPEDAL Bikes LLC, our local East Bay bicycle store, where we purchased our Giant Bicycles.  We are now loyal customers of CentriPEDAL Bikes.  You can also follow them on Facebook.

Related Posts and Links:

  1. The Inspirational Ride to Defeat ALS, Napa Valley
  2. Training for a Cause - Ride to Defeat ALS
  3. Chasqui Mom's Toddler Hiking Cycle
  4. Burley Bee Bike Trailer (2013)
  5. Giant Avail 5 Women's Road Bike (2012)
  6. Giant Jr. Animator
Join in on the conversation on Chasqui Mom's Facebook and Twitter that is updated daily with outdoor activities and other wonderful posts and links from #OutdoorFamilies!

The Inspirational Ride to Defeat ALS, Napa Valley

A few weeks ago, my husband Jesse and good friend Nate road in the Ride to Defeat ALS in Napa Valley with Team Mazzetti.  Even though I did not participate I was very glad I went for many reasons.  It was a great experience for our family, as well as seeing my husband's co-workers/friends ride together as a team.

My children and I slept in while my husband woke up early in the wee hours of the morning to meet up with his team at the starting line.  We had spent the night in the Napa Valley region so there was no risk being late!  In the late morning my kids and I headed over to the Calistoga Area to wait at one of the rest stops.  I had been following my husband on a new iPhone app called "Find Friends" but I don't know if I misread the map or GPS but I couldn't figure out where Team Mazzetti was.

I eventually figured out I came out to the race too early so I headed out to find a park and found a playground at Pioneer Park in downtown Calistoga.  The kids happily played for about an hour until I realized Team Mazzetti was near by, so we hopped in the car and headed to find the team taking a break in Napa Valley's beautiful vineyards! (picture above)

The kids had been away from daddy all day and they were having "daddy withdrawals", so we made sure the kids got lots of hugs from Jesse.  One of the team members could no longer ride, so after we said our goodbyes we shuttled him back to the finish line at the Yountville Veterans Home.

I had been to two rest stops and later at the finish line...the one thing that amazed and inspired me was a particular family who had a sign that said, "You are doing this for my daddy!!" and it literally broke my heart.  At the same time it brought the significance of the ride, that this was not a race but truly a ride to defeat ALS.  Not only were the families present but people with minor ALS were participating in the ride as well as being present at the finish line.

Over the past couple of months, it has come to our attention that family members of our friends have passed away from ALS.  Jason Fried, a fellow outdoor family blogger (1 Quest 2 The Next), was open enough to share with me that his father passed away NINE WEEKS after he was diagnosed with ALS, nine weeks.... Another friend of ours, Kevin shared with my husband that at the age of 12, his mother passed away from the "horrible condition" after six years of battling with ALS.  This whole process has changed my significance of races with running, riding, etc., to truly finding the meaning behind these activities.

60 Miles - Family Rider!!
My second inspiration was this riding family!!  I'm assuming the woman I saw riding near by was the wife/mother, she's not pictured but she was right behind them.  I saw them at the 60 mile course and my husband briefly spoke to them at one of the rest stops.  I thought to myself to ride 60 miles as a family....that takes dedication! We've recently taken up biking as a family and my kids can barely take 20 miles in the bike trailer so I can appreciate the time and effort that this family did to train

If anyone knows the family pictured above, please forward the link to them and pass on my email to them:

The Finish Line
I think I had tears in my eyes the entire time we waited for Team Mazzetti.  With every rider came cheers, hugs and riders almost passing out! Teenagers, women, men, elderly riders crossed the finish line all with smiles on their faces, some riders saying the ride's motto "NEVER GIVE UP".  My kids played in the leaves, climbed trees for and hour and a half while we waited for Team Mazzetti to finish.  At last, one by one Team Mazzetti came in and all of their FIRST Century Ride was over.

My kids were happy to have their daddy back, Team Mazzetti was happy to have finished, and I was happy to have seen this great ride.  This has left me with the desired to ride next years Ride to Defeat ALS with my kids! My goal is to ride the 27 mile ride towing my two kids, while my husband does the Century Ride and not only for the fun of it but because it is truly a great way to support this cause.

Thank you to all who supported us by donating financially, both Jesse and Nate met their fundraising goals as well as Team Mazzetti raised over $2,000 combined!  Thank you all who supported us with giving us a place to stay, prayers and sending good vibes!  I truly pray and hope someday there is a way to Defeat ALS as well as other health issues that plague our communities like cancer, mental illness and many others.

Looking forward to next year's Ride to Defeat ALS!

To read about an actual riders point of view, please visit Nate Rische's post "Road Race Report: It's Supposed to Hurt Like Hell!" on The Absence of Something Substantial.  

Related Posts and Links:
  1. Training for a Cause - Ride to Defeat ALS
  2. Road Race Report: "It's Supposed to Hurt Like Hell!" by Nathan Rische
  3. 1 Quest 2 The Next

Training for a Cause - Ride to Defeat ALS

Ride to Defeat ALS
Mazzetti, a construction and engineering firm from San Francisco, California has been organizing a company team for a couple of years to support the "Ride to Defeat ALS" in Napa Valley, California.  Mazzetti started participating in the ride on behalf of a good client's husband with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease).  This year my husband, Jesse and his best friend, Nathan will be part of Team Mazzetti on The ALS Association, 9th Annual Ride to Defeat ALS on September 28, 2013. 

"Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's Disease," is a progressive neurodegenerative diseases that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.  Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body.  The progressive degenerative of the motor neurons in ALS evenutally leads to their death.  When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost.  With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed." ("What Is ALS?" The ALS Association. N.p., 2010.Web. 08 Sept. 2013

Jesse Avery - Mazzetti
Since 2007, Jesse has been riding recreationally, mostly short rides with occasional longer rides around the San Francisco East Bay.  He started riding more frequently to and from work across the Bay to Stanford University in 2011.

As of a couple of months ago, we decided to add road cycling to our outdoor family activities and Jesse is now towing our two toddlers on our family rides as well as training on longer rides with Nate.  This will be Jesse's first century ride (100 miles), in fact when he decided to join Team Mazzetti he had never done more than 50 miles in a day.  Jesse is very excited to be riding in his first century ride for ALS.

Nathan (Nate) Rische - FedEx
Photo Courtesy of Nate Rische
A late bloomer in a family of cyclists, Nate finally jumped in the world of cycling about two years ago when his car broke down for extended mechanical issues.  He borrowed a bike to ride to work, and then walked down to the local bike shop and spent more money than he planned for his own bike.  He rode to work, then began riding on the weekends for fun, and then his rides kept getting longer and longer.  This will be Nate's first official century, a previous attempt was thwarted by a mechanical failure on his bike.  You can follow Nate's adventures and writings at In the Absence of Something Substantial.

Fundraising - Ride to Defeat ALS
Jesse and Nate are trying to raise $500 each (a total of $1,000) for Ride to Defeat ALS.  Donations go to The ALS Assocation which helps patient programs to research for ALS.  For more information in regards to donations please click here.

To donate on behalf of Jesse please visit Jesse's Participant Page.

To donate on behalf of Nate, please visit Nate's Participant Page.

Personally, I'm really proud and excited for my husband and our good friend Nate.  Jesse and Nate have been riding together for almost two years now without a particular ride or cause in mind but when Jesse received an email at work about joining Ride to Defeat ALS, Jesse jumped right in as well extending the invitation to Nate.  They've been training hard these last few weeks even with hectic work and life schedules.

Thanks guys for riding to defeat ALS!

Related Posts and Links: