I just ran across these in my web wanderings and wanted to share them. If you ride a bike you get it. If you don’t, maybe you should consider it.
I just ran across these in my web wanderings and wanted to share them. If you ride a bike you get it. If you don’t, maybe you should consider it.
General Douglas MacArthur, Paul Newman, Angela Davis, Wayne Gretzky, Eddie Van Halen, Jules Feiffer and Ellen DeGeneres were all born on January 26.
Oh, yes, and one not so famous. It’s also my birthday. I am now 77 years old. I am happy to say that I feel great and am healthier than I was 20 years ago when I toiled in the working world.
This is from my birthday blog post last year:
One of the main reasons I feel like I have things so together is this blog. I started writing it in March of 2010 with a partner who has since left for other pursuits. From the beginning, I discovered a focus. At first it was simply trying to keep my weight down. I learned portion control and serving size. This Italian guy was surprised to learn that a “serving” of pasta was not a 10 inch plate heaped with spaghetti noodles smothered in tomato sauce. No, a serving of pasta is about the size of a baseball. Incredibly, that was a revelation to me. But I put the information to use. I began to reduce my portions accordingly. I am not going to recount all the lessons I learned in the past nearly six years, but if you want to get control of your weight, check out my Page – How to Lose Weight – and Keep it Off. Continue reading
Regular readers know that I ride year ’round here in Chicago. Through November, we barely cracked 40 degrees F which didn’t call for much extra prep beyond gloves and ear covering. Come December, however, with the advent of the 30s and below a whole new dimension of cycling wear opens up. Whether you ride a bike or not, I think you will find some useful info here.A recent Wall Street Journal had a cleverly written item on Your Outdoor Sports Survival Guide, by Jason Gay. He aptly describes “the maniacal joy of Survival Season,” and observes “Nobody looks suave playing sports in the freezing cold. If you are doing it correctly, you look a little unhinged and suspicious. Are you going to play golf…or rob the Bank of Alaska?”
As an enthusiastic bicycle rider and supporter of the exercise, I was really pleased to see the results of the American Heart Association studies. Here is a summary:
• People who bike regularly, either recreationally or as a way to commute, appear to have a lower risk of cardiovascular illness, according to studies conducted in Denmark and Sweden.
• Middle-aged and older Danes who took up biking and stuck with it had a 26 percent lower risk of developing coronary artery disease, compared with non-bikers.
• In Sweden, those who regularly biked to work were less likely to develop high blood pressure, high cholesterol, pre-diabetes and obesity — key risk factors for cardiovascular illness.
People who bike regularly, either for pleasure or as a way to commute, appear to have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, according to two separate studies published simultaneously in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation and Journal of the American Heart Association, the AHA/ASA’s Open Access Journal. Continue reading
I have been writing in these pages for nearly seven years about riding my bike on Chicago’s Lakefront. But, I haven’t shared much with you in the way of photos. So, this post is my attempt to rectify that omission.
First of all, I have a You Tube video that I made back in 2010 when I was still new to my iPhone. You will see the Lakefront, Buckingham Fountain (with its rainbow!) 12th St. Beach, Northerly Island. The huge parking lot that I rode in was the Soldier Field parking lot where the Bears play. As you may guess, I am a big Willie Nelson fan, hence his music behind it.
The second video, just 20 seconds, is one I shot of a squirrel I was feeding. As you probably already know, I ride my bike with my dog in the front basket most of the time, when temps are over 4o F. So, I stop often and take her out of the basket to stretch her legs and have some treats. Although I live on Chicago’s Lakefront, I have a wonderful world of wildlife around me. You will have seen ducks in the first one. In this, I have a squirrel that I was feeding. Rabbits and geese also abound.
I usually ride early in the morning and often before the sun comes up. Here are some shots of the sun and clouds that I get over Lake Michigan.
This next is brand new, I shot it on the morning of September 27, 2016. It only lasts 29 seconds, but you get to see a rainbow in Chicago’s famed Buckingham Fountain.
If you have enjoyed the photos and would like to see more, I invite you to my Pinterest Page which has around 100 more pics.
I hope it is obvious that I get a lot more than just good cardio on my rides.
Thanks for your time.
Just thought I would share some of these with you.
Maybe they will inspire you to get out there and pedal some. It couldn’t hurt.
Yes, I went for a ride after I posted this.
Must confess I love reading news that meets my bias. In this case, there are more benefits to riding a bicycle besides the wonderful sensation of flying across the pavement and giving the old cardio system a workout.
Opting for two wheels rather than four could lower your risk for type 2 diabetes, new research suggests.
The study found that people who bike to work or regularly cycle for fun were less likely to get the illness.
That was true even for those who started biking late in life, Danish researchers said. Continue reading
As a daily bike rider here in Chicago, I was thrilled to learn of the advancements for cyclists overseas reported by Harvard.
Solar-powered bike paths that can melt snow and ice; pollution-eating vacuum towers near bicycle paths; bicycle parking stations with lockers, rest rooms, and showers; and bicycle wheels with rechargeable batteries that help propel riders up hills are just a few of the 70 innovations—some already in place, others still on the drawing board—outlined in a new compilation of inventive ideas aimed at encouraging people to bike. “Promoting Bicycling Through Creative Design: Innovations for Bicycles and Cycling Facilities” was compiled by Anne Lusk, research scientist in the Department of Nutrition, in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the League of American Bicyclists, with support from the Helen and William Mazer Foundation.
In a podcast, Lusk talks about ways to make biking safer and easier.
“The hope is that these innovations will move the needle faster in getting people to take up cycling,” said Lusk. There are lots of good reasons for doing so, she said, noting that bicycling is good for people’s health and good for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It may also boost local economies, she said. She cited a 2010 study of a retail area in Melbourne, Australia that found that $31 was generated per hour for each square meter of parking allotted to bikes compared with $6 for similar space allotted to cars—because bikes take up so much less space than cars, thus allowing for more shoppers in the area. Continue reading
The good news about riding my bike is that it exercises my cardiovascular system, sends oxygen molecules to my brain creating new neurotransmitters that fight off dementia, promotes my all ‘round physical conditioning and, lastly, it feels like I am flying over the pavement every time I ride. The bad news is that sometimes a guy falls. While this anecdote revolves around a bike ride, it could just as easily be a runner’s accident or anything else you might be doing with your body in motion.
I took a bad fall Friday riding on the Chicago Lakefront. A runner cut in front of me and I reacted with a death grip on the hand brakes. The front wheel locked and threw me OVER the front of the bike. I was wearing my helmet and my cabeza never hit the ground, but I landed with my full weight onto the concrete on my hands and knees.
Coincidentally, 15 years ago, almost to the day, I had a similar fall when my feet got stuck in the pedal straps and I landed with my full weight on my left hand. I fractured the scaphoid bone in my wrist and spent two months in a cast and a third wearing a splint. I couldn’t ride for those three months.
After a sports injury or sprain, first aid comes first. The acronym RICE summarizes the approach:
• Rest the injured part as soon as it is hurt to avoid further injury.
• Ice the area of pain to decrease swelling and bleeding.
• Compress the area with an elastic bandage to limit swelling and bleeding.
• Elevate the injured part above the level of the heart to increase drainage of fluids out of the injured area. Continue reading
You all know I am a bike rider and hence a sucker for just about anything on the subject. I am running this illustration just to give out a general reminder about some of the many benefits of riding a bicycle.
I wanted to include the picture above so anyone stumbling upon the post would still get some positive points regarding their health and weight.
Now for the Epic Bike Ride. The book A Wheel to Moscow and Back was written about 1895 in England about a 4281 mile bike trip. The trek was interesting, but what fascinated me the most was the fact that the author had advertisements in the back for the cycling equipment that he used. This was 120 years ago. I had no idea this kind of thing was done. I am including some of the ads which absolutely fascinated me as well as the cover below. I have to wonder to what extent the ads helped to finance the endeavor.
I hope you enjoyed this little ride down memory lane as much as I did.
I like the idea of these positive fitness illustrations. Obviously, I yielded to my biking bias … just this once.
Here is one of the posts I wrote on The Health Benefits of Walking and Biking.
Go for a ride … you might like it, too.
cyber- a combining form meaning “computer,” “computer network,” or “virtual reality,” used in the formation of compound words ( cybertalk; cyberart; cyberspace) and by extension meaning “expressing visions of the future” ( cyberfashion).
I was sitting on my couch yesterday and happened to glance over at my cycling helmet which was plugged into my computer. Over on the chair, my HYDRA water bottle was charging along with my cell phone. I checked the time on my Apple Watch.
I flashed back to 30 years ago when I first started riding my bike regularly on the Chicago lakefront bike path. There were no such electronic gadgets … literally.
Because I often ride in the dark, I bought a cycling helmet that has lights in front and back that flash to increase my visibility for safety. You can read about this helmet in my post – My New Bike Helmet – the Torch2.
The HYDRA water bottle isn’t so much of what I consider a necessity as a fun addition to my rides. You can find the details in my post – What is a HYDRA Smartbottle? Briefly, the HYDRA has a bluetooth speaker on top and allows me to play music from my iPhone on it. It also lights up at night to increase visibility of the bike.
Although those gadgets are literally new to the world as I received them from my crowdfunding activities on Kickstarter and Indiegogo, I think the biggest change in my bike riding is from the smart phone which most of us already own.
With my iPhone I have instant and up-to-the-minute access to weather information which is crucial to my daily bike riding. No more do I have to look up at an overcast sky and wonder if there is rain coming and should I turn around and head home. Now, I just fire up the iPhone and check the radar. No green and yellow shapes heading my way. Good to go!
Last, but not least, is my Apple Watch. Before I set out on the bike, I select the Workout app which allows the watch to track the ride. At the end of the ride, the watch gives me a report on how far I traveled, my average speed, the exact time I started and stopped and how many calories I burned. It also includes these data in my activity log for the day.
Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?
Lest you get the wrong idea, I want to leave you with this thought:
UPdate 8 April 2016. This past week I bought a new light for my bike. My bike shop mechanic showed it to me and I had to have it. The brand is Cygolite. Here is a listing from Amazon. I am including it here because it has a rechargeable battery, just like the helmet and water bottle. I plug it into the computer after riding.
Regular readers know I ride my bike regularly and I also consider walking to be one of the finest exercises. It is nice to see this documentation from the People Powered movement.
I have written about the health benefits of walking and bicycle riding previously. Regular readers know that I rode my bike over 6000 miles last year. To read further, check out the following posts: Seniors walking, walking in general, bicycle riding. I consider walking to be the Cinderella of the exercise world, totally unappreciated.
The People Powered Movement has issued a benchmark report on some fascinating aspects of walking and bicycling.
Public Health Benefits
• Bicycling and walking levels fell 66% between 1960 and 2009, while obesity levels increased by 156%.
• Between 1966 and 2009, the number of children who bicycled or walked to school fell 75%, while the percentage of obese children rose 276%.
• In general, states with the highest levels of bicycling and walking have the lowest levels of obesity, hypertension (high blood pressure), and diabetes and have the greatest percentage of adults who meet the recommended 30-plus minutes per day of physical activity.
We could easily leave the car and walk on many errands, according to the report.
• In 2009, 40% of trips in the United States were shorter than 2 miles, yet Americans use their cars for 87% of trips 1 to 2 miles. Some 27% of trips are shorter than 1 mile, yet 62% of trips up to 1 mile long are by car. Residents of the largest U.S. cities are 1.7 times more likely to walk or bicycle to work than the national average.
• 12% of all trips are by bicycle (1.0%) or foot (10.5%).
• From 2000 to 2009, the number of commuters who bicycle to work increased by 57%.
Some folks say they won’t ride a bike because it is not safe. But the study indicated otherwise.
Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety
•14% of all traffic fatalities in the U.S. are bicyclists (1.8%) or pedestrians (11.7%).
• In the 51 largest U.S. cities, 12.7% of trips are by foot and 1.1% are by bicycle, yet 26.9% of traffic fatalities are pedestrians and 3.1% are bicyclists.
• Seniors are the most vulnerable bicyclists and pedestrians. Adults over 65 make up 10% of walking trips, yet comprise 19% of pedestrian fatalities and make up 6% of bicycling trips, yet account for and 10% of bicyclist fatalities. As a senior citizen who rides his bike almost daily, this bullet point was not fun for me to learn. I do believe that wearing a helmet and biking gloves would reduce those numbers.
Please do consider walking more often and/or taking up bicycle riding. Each is a wonderful, very inexpensive way to get that much-needed daily exercise.
This is a bit of a personal indulgence. I wanted to share some of the enjoyment I get from my bike.
Jason Gay, Wall Street Journal columnist and avid bike rider wrote in his book Little Victories about his interview with Robin Williams, “Robin Williams was fanatical about cycling.You know when you’re talking to somebody at a party about their job and they give very autopilot answers, and then when you talk to them about something they really care about … they suddenly turn into the very exuberant 11 year-old who still lives inside? It was like that. Robin Williams began talking animatedly about bike riding and his bike collection … and his trips to the Tour de France. He sounded like a different person. His happiness poured into the phone.
“At the interview I asked Williams why he liked to ride his bike so much.
“It’s the closest you can get to flying.
“That line hits me like a hammer whenever I am on the bike because I know it to be true. I mentioned it in a column after Williams died and was struck by how many people wrote back to me about how a bike had saved them in hard times. That’s exactly the way I feel, too, they said.”
I wrote these words in a post on National Bicycling Month on May 2 of this year, “I have tried to explain to myself first as well as others who asked, why I love to ride my bike. Until recently, the best I could come up with is that I feel like I am flying. Not soaring high, just flying along several feet above the bike path.” Interesting coincidence, huh?
That’s all the words, enjoy the pictures.
There will be lots of celebrations of the bicycle in the coming four weeks because May is National Bicycle Month. As regular readers know, I ride around 7000 miles a year, an average of over 20 miles per day. So cycling is a labor of love for me.
I have tried to explain to myself first as well as others who asked, why I love to ride my bike. Until recently, the best I could come up with is that I feel like I am flying. Not soaring high, just flying along several feet above the bike path.
I know that when I ride, I am at once totally in the moment of propelling the bike forward and at the same time I experience a very enjoyable feeling of expansion – an almost out of body sensation.
Easter comes at a time when the weather is mellowing and more folks think about getting outside and enjoying the air. Maybe slimming down. The whole idea of Easter is rejuvenation, right? Spring; new life. Well, biking is the coolest way I know to get outside and feel reborn.
I hope you will enjoy these images and ideas as much as I do.
Happy Easter, bunny!