Gifts of Action

14 09 2012
Goal Zero Guide 10+ Solar Charging Adventure Kit

So last year I was keeping tabs on Facebook on a company named Goal/Zero.  After many years of cycling across the state and taking trips to Boston and other locations to do charity events, cycling adventures, or backpacking excursions, I would occasionally fall into a situation where accessible power to recharge was inconsistent.  I began to think very deeply about investing in solar devices that would free me from this limitation. 

So many long solo cycling trips, especially down the Little Miami on the ride to Cincinnati, I would run into the limitations of power.  I got in the habit of having my Garmin GPS and a second cycling computer (more battery simplistic) as invariably one would die (most often the Garmin) and the last thing I wanted to do was to be stranded in unknown territory with vague maps, no compass, and no idea of how far I’d gone. One trip from Columbus, OH to Canton, OH to do the ALS walk there, taught me that maps and roads can often be contentious and cycling trail maps can be vague.  Having a primitive phone doesn’t help either (but then that would sometimes die after a long haul too). 

Then there were other power needs: my camera, phone, bike lights (battery and USB powered), and even laptop or media player.

I spent years researching solar unit, coveting this one and that, always with the price somewhat out of reach and wondering how it would all work.  Stumbling upon Goal/Zero I immediately realized this was a product I was interested in and began following them, to stay up on their evolution and holding out the hope that one day I would get one.

Last year Goal/Zero launched a wonderful Facebook campaign, giving away gear every weeks and the responses they got were tremendous; I was watching and participating every step of the way!  I then sent them a simple letter.  I outlined the Iron Horse Challenge and some of my cycling plans, potential adventures, and desire to make the IHC a even better event – would they be willing or interested in helping us?

I was blown away when last year Goal Zero sent a box full of RockOut speakers and each of the ‘Often Awesome Express’ riders who made the journey from Columbus to Dayton to do the Walk to Defeat ALS earned one!

Dayton IHC 2011 goal0Brian, Mike, and Steven offering thumbs up for Goal/Zero at Ha Ha pizza (some of the riders had already scooted so they were not featured).

I wanted to thank Goal/Zero for such amazing gifts of support and this year they topped themselves and donated the Goal Zero Guide 10+ Charger and Adventure kit (video above)!!!  With a retail cost around $160 this is an amazing device and I have some experience with it as I purchased one and use it on a regular basis.

The images below outline how I usually wear this around town and on my way to work.  The unit is very adaptable, light, and easy to carry.  Every corner has a flexible cord loop that allows you to secure and attach this to nearly any backpack, top bag, or harness and it can also be hung from windows, doors, or walls easily to do the solar capturing when you are not home.


goal zero promo 003goal zero promo 005this is what it looks like to bike with

goal zero promo 006goal zero promo 008

goal zero promo 007here you can see the carabiner attachment that I use and if you look close, the way I even manage to utilize a zip tie and one of the pack straps.  It can stand upright, flat, or be hung and if you look up some of the video tests they have on youtube you will see how durable the unit is.

goal zero promo 010goal zero promo 013Biking is where it really comes in handy.  On longer rides when I use a rack and a top-bag or saddlebags, it simply hangs on the tops or from the side and collects power when I ride.  The power then transfers to 4AA batteries or I can get it directly from the unit.  goal zero promo 014goal zero promo 019

The device has a power switch that indicates when its charged or empty and the switch also moves over to power a light built into the charging unit that can be used for emergency lighting or low light situations.

 goal zero promo 015goal zero promo 017

Here you can see me powering up my Garmin GPS and my main front light (both which power off the same size USB cable.

goal zero promo 016goal zero promo 018goal zero promo 020

Now here is how you get a chance to own and win one of your own:

This years Iron Horse Challenge is pleased to include a few fun Awareness Campaign opportunities.  As ALS is often labeled as an ‘Orphan Disease’, as the medical and pharmaceutical industries have little incentive to work with a disease that is fatal and degenerative, with little sign of reward for drug or other treatments, the silence on this killer and the lack of investment is tragic and painful.

Over 70 years have passed since Lou Gehrig was diagnosed and gave his famous “luckiest man alive” speech and yet no cure, helpful drugs, or treatments have been discovered.  Only within the last 5 years, with the help of many fighters like the Blazeman Foundation and ALSTDI, have signs of progress started show.

What this means is we need funds and awareness to make more positive change happen.  The Iron Horse Challenge and the Walk to Defeat ALS is part of that.

If you are following this blog, signed up to ride, or following on Iron Horse Challenge on Facebook, this means you are part of this too and your help is critical.

Here is the winning challenge for the Goal/Zero 10+ Kit

The top fundraiser, this means any individual who walks, rides, volunteers, or simply donates….Wins this Device.  That simple.

What you need to do is:

Donate to any of these three Walk to Defeat ALS events to the walk teams/cycling team that is a part of the Iron Horse Challenge and you are entered. 

Here are the links:

“Often Awesome Express” Dayton/Fairborn Walk To Defeat ALS

“Sandy’s Walk and Pancake Breakfast” Columbus Walk to Defeat ALS

“Blazeman Express” Cincinnati Walk to Defeat ALS


Remember you can donate to any of them. 

Be sure to include your name or to have others who donate to your awareness effort to indicate you and their donation will add up to count on your fund raising total.

Winner will be announced on October 10th.

It should also be mentioned that I would like the winner, once they get the Goal/Zero gift to take a picture and do a brief thank you to the company for supporting our effort to Fight ALS!



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