Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Radio an Athlete's Companion

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Radio an Athlete's Companion

Article excerpt

The "Dog Days of Summer" are here. Now I know where the phrase comes from. The constellation containing Cirrus the Dog Star rises above the horizon during summer nights.

Wearing a radio while biking and running is so very educational. It was so hot during a recent run that I don't remember the rest of the story, but that's the gist of the matter.

With the approach of fall, many athletes are increasing their mileage. The MS 150 training rides become longer. The New York and Washington D.C. marathons come in the fall, as does the full Ironman distance triathlon in Clermont. Those people training for long events often enjoy the solitude of the long run or ride.

Others want company. A small radio is a great companion. When selecting a tiny radio for my activities, several factors play a role. Weight, size, batteries and digital tuning are the main concerns for me.

Tape or CD players are too heavy, eat batteries and have to be babied. I don't want to carry extra tapes or CDs and certainly don't want to be stuck with just one tape on a three-hour run or ride. There is a small $700 personal jukebox for sale! It holds hundreds of choices.

Weight is not a big deal on a bike ride, but I prefer an all-purpose unit. Sony's small digital AM/FM $35 radios seem to survive my efforts. Digital tuning is a nice touch because your stations stay locked when you turn corners.

Some stations still fade in and out when I go from an east-west route to north-south. But at least with digital tuning, I don't have to try to regain the signal when the manual tuning shifts on its own.

Such radios can help overcome heat and boredom thanks to the diversion they provide on those long-distance training efforts. Solo training runs or bike rides can be a chore. A companion, even the electronic kind, helps the miles slide by more easily. …

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