Tag Archives: bike riding

Happy National Dog Day!

First of all, I want to salute my little canine companion, Gabi. She is 11-1/2 years young and has brightened my life ever since I adopted her. For details on how that unlikely event occurred, check out my post Anatomy of an act of kindness.

Meanwhile, “National Dog Day is celebrated August 26th annually and was founded in 2004 by Pet & Family Lifestyle Expert and Animal Advocate, Colleen Paige, also the founder of National Puppy Day, National Mutt Day and National Cat Day and many more philanthropic days to bring attention to the plight of animals and encourage adoption. The date of August 26th is significant, as it’s the date that Colleen’s family adopted her first dog “Sheltie” when Colleen was 10 years old.

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Here is my canine companion, Gabi, whom I adopted 11 years ago. She clocks about 4,000 miles a year in her basket on my bike.

“National Dog Day celebrates all dogs, mixed breed and pure. Our mission is to help galvanize the public to recognize the number of dogs that need to be rescued each year and acknowledges family dogs and dogs that work selflessly each day to save lives, keep us safe and bring comfort. Dogs put their lives on the line every day… for personal protection, for law enforcement, for the disabled, for our freedom and safety by detecting bombs and drugs and pulling victims of tragedy from wreckage, now they’re detecting cancer and seizures…things even humans cannot do. NDD was adopted into New York State Legislation in 2013. Read more about it here.

Tony

 

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Bike commuting may extend your life – Study

Mark Twain famously said, “Get a bicycle. You will not regret it. If you live.”

Few people realize that he was talking about riding the penny farthing bicycle which had a huge front wheel and took some skill to master. If you want a fun read on his adventure, you can experience Mark Twain in the original – Taming the bicycle.

But I digressed. New research by the University of Glasgow and published in the BMJ, has found that cycling to work is associated with a 45% lower risk of developing cancer and a 46% lower risk of heart disease, compared to a non-active commute.

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Overall the study found that commuters who cycled were associated with a 41% lower risk of premature death.

Walking to work was associated with 27% lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease and a 36% lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, but not cancer or premature death overall.

This study analyzed data from 264,337 participants from UK Biobank who were asked questions about their usual mode of commuting to work and then followed up for 5 years. The new cases of cancer, heart attacks and deaths in that 5-year period were assessed and related to their mode of commuting.

The researchers believe that their findings suggest that policies designed to make it easier for people to commute by bike may present major opportunities for public health improvement.

Dr Jason Gill, from the Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, said: “Cycling all or part of the way to work was associated with substantially lower risk of adverse health outcomes. Those who cycled the full length of their commute had an over 40% lower risk of heart disease, cancer and overall mortality over the 5 years of follow-up.

“If these associations are causal, these findings suggest that policies designed to make it easier for people to commute by bike, such as cycle lanes, city bike hire, subsidized cycle purchase schemes and increasing provision for cycles on public transport may present major opportunities for public health improvement.”

The greater benefits seen with cycling compared with walking may be because cycle commuters covered longer distances in their commutes than the walkers, the intensity of cycling is higher than walking and the cycle commuters had higher levels of fitness

Dr Carlos Celis-Morales, said: “Walking to work was associated with lower risk of heart disease, but unlike cycling was not associated with a significantly lower risk of cancer or overall death. This may be because walkers commuted shorter distances than cyclists – typically 6 miles per week, compared with 30 miles per week – and walking is generally a lower intensity of exercise than cycling.”

For the record, I consider walking to be the Cinderella of the exercise world – totally unappreciated. Check out my Page – Why you should walk more for additional details.

Tony

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The Joys and Benefits of Bike Riding – May is National Bicycle Month

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.

Riding on Northerly Island in Chicago

Riding on Northerly Island in Chicago

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.

This has been wonderfully explained by former University of Chicago professor, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in his book Flow. Continue reading

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Happy Birthday – Einstein – Belated

While my ignorance of physics is nearly pristine, over the years, I have run across a number of quotes from him that I thought were really fine. Herewith, some birthday celebration quotes:

 

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As a bike rider, I couldn’t possibly overlook this one. I also have this poster framed in my living room.

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These are just a few that I like. Please feel free to offer anything that you found particularly meaningful.

Clearly my ignorance of physics rivals my ignorance of Einstein as his B’day was March 14th.

Tony

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Happy Easter Wishes – Try Biking – Infographics

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.

benefits-of-a-bicycleI just love that little poster. The Earth sends a lil extra luv to those on bicycles… It says so right there.

8478b233cb320070783ded4e51998d43What’s not to like?

WebMost years I ride my bike farther than I drive my car. That’s something you might be able to do …

twin-cities-biking-walkingIsn’t it interesting that Minneapolis is one of the top cities for biking in the country?

c6e9f77152707d384b96d3d757e6cc3fIt’s a good day for a ride …

Happy Easter, bunny!

One little safety note: besides a helmet, get those biking gloves. If  When  you fall, you are going to put your hands out in front of you. The gloves will protect them from glass, dirt and anything else on the road.

Tony

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Filed under biking, cardio exercise, Easter, Easter wishes, Exercise, exercise benefits, regular bike riding

The Best TV Show To Feel Joy, Amazement And Awe

This is so nice to learn, both on its own and in connection with nature itself for me. As I have written more than once one of my great pleasures riding my bike on the Chicago Lakefront is being out in nature.

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This was a sunrise I witnessed not long ago.

Tony

Our Better Health

The study compared TV show genres to see which makes people happiest.

Watching nature documentaries — like being out in nature itself — can help you feel happier.

The survey of 7,500 people around the world found they felt happier after viewing clips from BBC nature documentaries.

The study compared watching the documentary to the news or a popular drama show.

People reported that after viewing the nature documentary they felt more:

  • joy,
  • amazement,
  • awe,
  • and curiosity.

At the same time it reduced feelings of anger, tiredness and stress.

Professor Dacher Keltner, who teamed up with the BBC for the study, said:

“I have long believed that nature and viewing sublime and beautiful nature in painting, film and video shifts how we look at the world, and humbles us, brings into focus our core goals, diminishes the petty voice of the self and strengthens our nervous system.
When the BBC…

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Some Good Leg Stretches for Cyclists

Here is a post I wrote a while back for another blog I do. Thought you cyclists and/or runners might be interested.

Quad-stretch

Tony

Willing Wheeling

I ride my bicycle nearly every day here in Chicago. Last year I averaged just over 17 miles per day for a total of 6350 miles. So far this  year, I am over 7500 miles in the first week of December.

In a four season city like Chicago, I am not always able to ride at all, so I end up with some longer rides to compensate.

As every rider knows, your legs can get stiff after a while.  I have found three wonderful stretches that do a super job of rejuvenating my legs. I usually do them after ten miles or so. That way the muscles are warmed up and I have good circulation.

There are pictures of each stretch, but I want to explain how I do them as that makes a difference. I do yoga for years and when I stretch, I always do the diaphragmatic breathing…

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Bike love ❤️

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.

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Maybe this is actually a yoga picture, or gymnastic shot more than a bike one, but I loved it.

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Tony

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First bike ride of 2017

The temp in Chicago this morning ranged between 28 and 32F. I rode 15 miles (around an hour) in my first ride of the year. Below is a picture of a peloton of fellow riders (you may have to squint to see them) heading south along the Lakefront bike path. I hope you can see their colorful cycling outfits. The cars behind them are northbound on Lake Shore Drive. IMG_1276 (2).jpg As you can see from the picture, it was a wonderful clear crisp day. Thankfully there was little wind in the Windy City this morning.

Below you can see from the brilliant colors how clear the light was. This is a view looking north from approximately 100 yards away from where I live.

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For the year 2016, I managed around 5300 miles. This is slightly down from recent years, but not too shabby for a 76 year old. I seem to have been busier in 2016 for some reason. I did travel to Las Vegas four times and Reno once, so there was no bike riding in those 25 odd days.

I consider myself very fortunate to live near the Lakefront bike path. When I ride before sunrise I get some breathtaking views of the sun coming up over Lake Michigan. Below is a recent shot taken just before the sun came up. That’s world famous Navy Pier with its Ferris wheel. While sunrises can be magnificent, I think the electric lights in this picture look stunning. I am guessing the sun came up about 20 minutes after I shot this.IMG_1008.jpg

I also get some wonderful views of cloud formations. Below shows an impending storm coming in from the southwest. That’s the bike path in the foreground looking south.

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Everyone knows what selfies are, right? Well, below is my version – a shadow selfie. These angles are possible just after the sun comes up. This is me in front of the stairs leading to Lake Shore Drive. You can’t see it, but Buckingham Fountain is across Lake Shore Drive just beyond these steps.

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Below is a runner just before sunrise.

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Finally, here is a picture taken on the same morning about 15 minutes later as the sun had risen further. Again, you can see the Navy Pier Ferris wheel in the background. You can see a silhouette of a runner. For some reason few of the runners I see in the morning dark bother to wear any lights or reflective items. IMG_0214.jpg

I consider myself most fortunate that I have a resource like the lakefront bike path right outside my door. I think you can see from these shots that my morning ride refreshes my soul as well as my body.

Tony

 

 

 

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Latest Apple Watch developments

I have a Page on How my Apple Watch promotes my good health which enumerates various ways my Apple Watch helps me in my good health regimen, particularly exercise. You might want to check that out if you are considering one.

What I wanted to write about today is a recent development. Apple released an update for the Watch system along with the new version of the Apple Watch. The upgrade included several new watch faces. Below is an actual shot of the one I have on my Watch this morning.

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As you can see on the picture, in the upper right hand corner is an image of a runner. When I go out to walk my dog or ride my bike, I simply touch that image and select the exercise I am going to do. That Watch then keeps track of the exercise.

Here is an example of the information it gives me after walking my dog:

The Date
Starting time
Stopping time
Total distance
Total time elapsed
Active calories
Total calories
Average pace
Average heart beat
Elevation
Weather temp and humidity.

In the upper left hand corner you can see an image of a heart. If I want my heart rate, I simply press that icon and a beating heart appears on the watch face tracking my heart beat. I don’t know if you are impressed with the ease and simplicity of this, but as a user, I certainly am.

The last element is the three rings in the center.

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They represent my exercise for the day. The top one counts my calories expended exercising. I set a goal of 500 calories a day and the red circle begins moving aroundas I exercise. The second ring works the same way only it is counting how many minutes I exercised. My goal is 30 minutes a day. This screen shot was taken at 7:42 PM on Wednesday as the Watch reads. The final ring counts the number of times I stood up in the 12 hour period. It takes 12 to complete the ring. If you aren’t aware of the dangers of prolonged sitting check out my Page – Do you know the dangers of too much sitting?

As you can see from the screen shots, it also gives you the current weather report. You can substitute other information like reminders, etc.

The best news I can tell you about the Apple Watch is that prices have come down. Mine was a birthday present when they first came out. I have had it nearly two years now. It cost over $500. You can buy the same Watch for less than $300. I think it is an absolute steal at that price.

Don’t forget, I have only covered some of the fitness aspects of the Apple Watch, it connects with your iPhone and allows you to send/receive phone call and text messages as well and many other tasks.

You might want to see if you can get a quick email out to Santa for yours.

Best holiday wishes to you and  yours!

Tony

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Riding a bike on Chicago’s Lakefront

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.

 

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This was sunrise on 13 September 2016.

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Here is a shot looking south from the bike path just after sunrise. The buildings are illuminated by the risen sun.

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This is looking directly east as the sun is rising. Aren’t the clouds cool?

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.

Tony

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The joy of cycling …

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.

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Yes, I went for a ride after I posted this.

Tony

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Riding a bike may help to cut diabetes risks – Study

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.

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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

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Solar-powered cycling paths and more coming … Harvard

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.

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Bike escalator in Norway

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

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The Joys and Benefits of Bike Riding – May is National Bicycle Month

This is in honor of May being National Bike Month….

 

Tony

One Regular Guy Writing about Food, Exercise and Living Past 100

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.

Riding on Northerly Island in Chicago Riding on Northerly Island in Chicago

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.

This has been wonderfully explained by former…

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A Modern Look at an Epic International Bike Ride

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.

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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.

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The book’s cover

 

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Note the letter of endorsement of the product by the book’s author.

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It appears that this cyclometer pre-dated our current speedometer.

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This has to be my favorite. Even in 1895 Britain, they used attractive women to sell products.

I hope you enjoyed this little ride down memory lane as much as I did.

Tony

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