Monday, July 19, 2010

Why Do You Do What You Do?

I received this short newsletter from Rick Margiotta (event director for CapTexTri) yesterday that I just had to share. I want to say that the person Rick speaks about, Nicolette Maroulis is an amazing individual. She's not immune to bad days just as any other human, but she does chose, every day, to get back up and fight with everything she has to move forward. Please read on and make sure to visit her blog.

"Why do you do what you do? I get asked this question quite often while we are setting up for the CapTexTri, and even more in the days immediately following the event. Sure there are answers like "I do it for the athletes", or "I love the sense of accomplishment we get", or "I really get off on the organized mayhem", and every now and then my answer is "I do it for the money", though that answer usually gets me some odd looks because anyone in the business knows that can't be the case.
The real answer can be found in Nicolette Maroulis. Please, please, please, go to her website and read her blog about her ride from San Francisco to Virginia Beach. You will be moved.
We chose to support the Wounded Warrior Disabled Sports Project with the Capital of Texas Triathlon in 2009. After meeting the first group of wounded warriors at the race last year, Brad and I knew we made the right choice to use the race to raise money for these amazing individuals. This year, we created the Wounded Warrior Dinner to be the primary fundraising event during the Memorial Day Weekend in Austin. In preparing for the Dinner, we had the great fortune of meeting Nicolette. Many of our organizing committee members had the privilege and honor of also meeting Nicolette, and other wounded warriors who came to participate in the CapTexTri. Nicolette could not stay for the Dinner nor the triathlon, since she was headed off to San Francisco to start her ride in late May. I am looking forward to her return home to Austin once she completes her coast to coast journey. I hope we can give her a hero's welcome.

So when I am asked "Why do you do what you do?", a big reason why is that I do it to honor those men and women of the Armed Forces who have given so much to keep us free.

Thanks for letting me introduce you to Nicolette"

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Sunblock Staining Clothes: Product/Active Ingredient Alert!

I felt it important to share what I have just experienced with a product I've been using for years which seems to have suddenly changed some of it properties thus staining 3 of my favorite cycling jerseys. Jerseys aren't cheap so I'm really not too happy right now. I hope I can save someone else some trouble and money with this information.

For years I have been using Coppertone Sport and have been very pleased with it's performance. I've recently restocked my supply and noticed that now my white jerseys have suddenly turned yellow. So you know, I put sunscreen underneath my jersey especially across the back of my shoulders. I learned from a dermatologist some years ago that the rays that cause skin cancer are not the same rays that cause your skin to darken. The cancer causing rays go through your clothing so it is wise to put the sunscreen even on in areas which are covered.

I noticed that Coppertone now has "replenishing antioxidants!". I contacted Coppertone and they tell me that if I have not machine dried my jerseys there may still be hope. Now I'm not totally sure if it's the new antioxidants that they have added or if they have changed something else, but the reason they give for the staining is an active ingredient called Avobenzone of which Coppertone Sport has 3%. Since I only hang dry my jerseys they tell me that I can try to use OxyClean or Shout stain removers.

So if you own any jerseys or other clothing that is white, beware of the chemical Avobenzone in ANY sunblock you may be using. If you hang dry your jerseys and they are already stained, you may still have hope to return them to a pristine white. I am going to go try to fix mine now. Wish me luck!

Oh, and sorry Coppertone brand, YOU'RE OUTTA HERE!

Sunblock followup:
Wanted to share some additional information I've learned since my post. I took a look at several brands and pretty much all of them have Avobenzone but in different concentrations. Like I said, Coppertone Sport has 3% (forSPF 50) and does state that it may stain some fabrics. I found that Banana Boat Sport has only 1.5% (forSPF 50) but has no warnings of possibly staining clothing. I still think that something else was added to Coppertone Sport, possibly the antioxidants which caused the staining since the brand had not previously stained my jerseys. I myself will steer clear of anything with antioxidants in it just in case. Sounds like a marketing gimmick anyway. :)

Jim from Whisper Cycles was kind enough to share with me what they used to remove sunblock staining from their new kits. He said that after trying many things they found that their shop hand cleaner Stout did the best job. Stout is a gritty, pumice filled concoction that you rub in by hand. My initial search online to find some only turned up soap made of beer which seems a bit sacrilegious. Someone needs to be held accountable for doing this with beer! Jim did get back with me and provided this link for Stout.

At the end of the day there are just too many fabric types/coatings and sunblock chemicals to really know for sure what will work well together or not. As much of a pain as it is, the only way to know for sure is by doing a test patch of the sunblock you intend to use on your jersey in an inconspicuous spot and see what happens. If it stains, DON'T put it in the washer and definitely DON'T put it in the dryer. Use Stout (or OxyClean or maybe even Dawn) to get stain out by hand, then go find another sunblock.