Woman escapes Japan’s tsunami by bike

19 03 2011

My heart goes out to all the people in Japan since the horrible events on March 11. As if the earthquake itself wasn’t enough, they have to deal with the tsunami, a nuclear disaster and now are likely facing typhoid and cholera and who knows what else. I know there are many stories of survival that we may never learn about, but I couldn’t help but share this story of 83-year-old rice farmer Tsuna Kimura escaping the tsunami by bicycle.

My apologies for the delay in blog posts. We’re in the process of selling our house, packing, etc., and it’s consumed much more time than I expected. I’m hopeful all the details will be worked out soon and regular weekly posts will resume once things get settled.

           _O
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Thanks for visiting.





Lees-McRae College now offers degree in cycling

15 02 2011

Students attending Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, NC can now minor in Bicycling Studies. The college is the first in the U.S. to offer a degree in cycling. According to an article in cyclingnews.com:

“Courses that make up the program include History and Principles of Bicycling, Business and Economics of Sports, Nutrition and Athletic Performance and Creativity and Innovation. Students will also complete a field study in cycling and an internship in cycling before graduation. This program will position graduates to obtain positions in fields such as team management, bicycle design, coaching, education, urban design, training, retail, planning, event promotion, marketing and more.”

Lees-McRae College’s cycling team won its first national title in 2003 while competing at the Division II level. The team has won over 10 national titles and continues to win individual and team championships each year. The team suffered a recent tragedy with the death of Carla Swart in a training accident in her native South Africa on January 19.  Swart had recently signed with HTC-Highroad for the 2011 season.  She was the most decorated collegiate cyclist in history with 19 national titles, and in 2008, she won a “Grand Slam”, with national titles in each of the four collegiate cycling disciplines in a calendar year, a feat no other collegiate cyclist has accomplished.

Life’s a journey. Enjoy the ride!

           _O
        \<,
…( ) / ( )

Thanks for visiting.





Bike riders = dopers?

29 01 2011

As most everyone knows, Lance Armstrong is still in the news fighting the drug allegations. And while it sounds like that investigation may not wrap up for quite a while, Alberto Contador‘s “tainted meat” defense seems to be falling apart as he received a one-year provisional suspension and may be stripped of last year’s Tour de France title (depending on the outcome of his appeal). Obviously, I have no idea who does or doesn’t dope during their career in the Tour (and in a way, I don’t really care). This guy, though seems to have it all figured out (warning: language is probably NSFW). Still, it cracked me up. Enjoy:

It’s a shame that performance-enhancing drugs seem to tarnish just about every sport to some degree. But as long as athletes have to compete against other athletes who do use drugs, there’s no good way to level the playing field. New guidelines and testing will continue to be done, but each new drug test just opens the door for someone to figure out how to cheat and circumvent the drug tests. It’s a never-ending circle. Still – drugs or no drugs – I always enjoy watching the Tour each year. I can’t wait to see what happens this year!

Life’s a journey. Enjoy the ride!

           _O
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…( ) / ( )

Thanks for visiting.





Day 365: Woo hoo! I survived 365 days!

3 01 2011

This time last year I embarked on a project I wasn’t sure I could finish. I started this blog 365 days ago. The original intention of the daily project was to share my thoughts about cycling and my attempts at weight loss. I had success with some things … other things, not so much. I plan to continue the blog posts, although it will probably be on a weekly rather than daily basis.

Looking back over the past year, this blog project has been a learning experience which enabled me to meet quite a few fellow cyclists (both in person and in the online world). While I may not have accomplished everything I originally set out to do, here are some of the things I learned from the project:

  • A 365-day commitment is much more time-consuming than I expected. Silly me. I figured each day’s post would only take a few minutes. Most of them took close to an hour, depending on the post’s topic. Some needed a bit of research, which took more time. Other posts just took a while to write because I’m not terribly comfortable writing. Getting past the initial stage of staring at the blank computer screen took me some getting used to.
  • Carrick has the patience of a saint (see previous item above). I’m not sure which one of us is happier that the daily posts are ending and life will return to normal. She’s been very patient with me through the project and is always very encouraging, which was a huge help. Thank you, Carrick.
  • I lack willpower for dieting. My original intention when I started this blog was to learn better eating habits and lose 20-30 pounds. I enrolled in Weight Watchers in July and have since lost 11 pounds. Not as close to my goal weight as I wanted to be by the end of the year, but I’m trying to not beat myself up about it. I’m learning to view my food choices as a lifestyle change rather than a diet. It’s been a slow and sometimes frustrating process, but I’m getting there. And I’m not giving up.
  • Life sometimes gets in the way of plans. Work, after-work commitments and daily blog posts sucked up much more time than I anticipated, cutting into my cycling time (not to mention my neglect of my photoblog). I’ve now learned I need to allow for time in my schedule to enjoy regular bike outings, whether those are regular rides with Carrick, group rides or solo rides. By not planning in advance, I often let the opportunity slip by.
  • I learned to fix a bike. Not a big deal to most people, but if you knew how mechanically uninclined I really am, you would understand how pleased I am that Carrick and I went a little out of our comfort zone and took the Park Tool School classes to learn maintenance and repairs.
  • Louisville is a pretty awesome bike-friendly city. In fact, it’s #21 on Bicycling Magazine’s list of America’s Top 50 Bike Friendly Cities.
  • My “rides wish list” keeps growing. Each time I hear about an interesting ride, I add it to the list. In 2011, I plan to make a more concerted effort to do some of the rides. I’m particularly interested in trying to do some long-distance overnight touring with panniers, tent, and other necessary equipment. The only thing I lack is a touring bike. Maybe that’s the next big thing to save money for.
  • I had a lot of fun rides. I may not have racked up a few thousand miles on the bike this year, like several commuters I know, but I still had a blast. Some of my favorite rides this year included (in no particular order): The Indy N.I.T.E. Ride; Lexington’s Legacy Trail; Back Bay Nature Preserve in Virginia Beach; McAlpine Locks and Dam; the Louisville Loop; and the annual Hike & Bike event.
  • I can do anything I put my mind to. Actually, I knew this before I started the blog. As I get older, I realize that really the only thing preventing me from achieving my goals is myself and I need to work on that. I intended to ride my first century ride this year, but I didn’t make it. I did, however, ride a half century during our Louisville Loop to Farnsley-Moreman ride this summer (and 50 miles of the 100 Miles of Nowhere ride back in May). Small victories, but ones I’m excited about. I learned how rewarding it can be to push myself past my comfort level at times. The sense of accomplishment inspires me to keep trying and keep pushing myself.

Thank you to everyone who has followed my blog this year and for leaving comments, tips, suggestions and encouragement. I greatly appreciate your support and I hope you’ll continue to follow the blog even though the posts will be weekly instead of daily. Probably a relief to everyone. 🙂

Life’s a journey. Enjoy the ride!

           _O
        \<,
…( ) / ( )

Thanks for visiting.





Day 357: Man eats entire artichoke, then sues restaurant

26 12 2010

Wow, there are some dumb people out there. And when those dumb people file dumb lawsuits, it’s a bit aggravating. Miami doctor Arturo Carvajal is suing a Houston’s Restaurant because they didn’t “teach” him the proper way to eat an artichoke. It seems that if you order something from the menu and don’t know how to eat it, then ask the waiter. Instead, Carvajal consumed the entire artichoke, leaves and all, which caused severe stomach pain and resulted in an exploratory surgery which revealed artichoke leaves lodged in his bowel. Now he’s suing the restaurant for “disability, disfigurement, mental anguish,” and “loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life”.

Whatever. When are people going to start taking responsibility for their own actions (no matter how stupid) instead of always trying to blame others?

Life’s a journey. Enjoy the ride!

           _O
        \<,
…( ) / ( )

Thanks for visiting.





Day 353: Louisville’s Red Zone Cycling wins USA Cycling’s Club of the Year award

22 12 2010

USA Cycling recently announced the awards for the 2010 Club of the Year – clubs recognized for outstanding programs throughout the season. The winners receive complimentary renewal fees for 2011. According to USA Cycling’s Web site, “Clubs were judged on several key areas including race promotion, membership composition, instructional clinics and seminars, club activities, charitable contributions, and racing performance.”

Louisville’s Red Zone Cycling won the Junior division for the third year in a row. Red Zone Cycling is designed for ages 6-16 of all cycling abilities and provides increased challenges to enable riders to move to higher levels of racing. The club hosts various mountain bike, cyclocross and road biking events throughout the season. It’s nice to see a great organization recognized for their hard work. Congratulations to Red Zone Cycling!

Life’s a journey. Enjoy the ride!

           _O
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Thanks for visiting.





Day 352: Cyclingforwater.com

21 12 2010

Many people every year ride the TransAmerica Trail and each cyclist has their own specific reason for doing it, whether it’s to fulfill a personal goal, enjoy the scenery or raise money for a charity. California photographer Brittany App and Oregon videographer Garrett Russell are riding the Southern Tier to raise awareness to bring fresh drinking water for those in need.

The 3,159-mile journey from San Diego, California to St. Augustine, Florida is expected to take around three months. Riding 40-70 miles each day, they make stops in cities and towns along the way to raise awareness and money for WaterAid, an international charity working to provide fresh and clean water to people in Africa and Asia. Their fundraising goal is $20,000. Throughout their trip, they are documenting the details on their Web site, cyclingforwater.com.

Ode Magazine had a good article about their ride last month, when they were about half way through their journey. To find out more or to make a donation, visit cyclingforwater.com.

Life’s a journey. Enjoy the ride!

           _O
        \<,
…( ) / ( )

Thanks for visiting