Tag Archives: transportation

Las Vegas Return Plus One Day

As I wrote upon my return from three nights in Las Vegas, I was very happy to see that I hadn’t gained any weight despite minimal exercise and partaking of some wonderful meals.

On the first full day back, I took it relatively easy.

I was surprised to see waitresses selling cigars and cigarettes in the casino.

I was surprised to see waitresses selling cigars and cigarettes in the casino.

For context, I hadn’t been to Las Vegas or any place on an airplane for three years. So, I was not accustomed to the bottlenecks and delays of air travel. We left our hotel at 10:30 AM for a 12:15 PM flight. Once we got through security, we sat around for about an hour. Then the flight back to Chicago took 3 hours and 25 minutes. Another 40 minutes for the ride home through rush hour traffic. So, we got home at 6:30 PM. Don’t forget Chicago is two hours later than Las Vegas, so we, in effect, spent half a day crossing the country. Although the majority of the time was spent sitting, it was emotionally draining on me.

On Saturday, the first day back, I ‘slept in’ for me and rose at 6:00 AM. Normally, I wake between 4:15 AM and 4:45 AM. I am usually out on the bicycle at 5:00 AM on most mornings. Because I slept in, I did not go out first thing, but walked the dog after she woke up and we had both breakfasted.

I took out the bike around 9:30 Saturday morning with the dog in the basket. I only put in 18 miles as I didn’t want to overdo it the first day back. Usually, I start with a 20 mile ride and then have a second ride later. Also, on the first ride, I don’t take the dog which is an easier ride. Instead of riding, in the early afternoon, I napped for an hour and ended up going to bed at my usual time.

I conclude from that experience that my body still needed rest from the trip, or the flight, or the waiting.

On Sunday, we had wretched weather in Chicago with rain, wind and a Bears game which meant a lot of folks on the bike path. I got in 20 miles of riding and came home to watch football.

I am hoping to be back in perfect shape on Monday.


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Filed under biking, cardio exercise, Exercise, Las Vegas, Weight

Wrigley Launches Caffeine Gum

I guess this would have to be filed in the Something We Need Like Another Hole in the Head Department. Wrigley, a subsidiary of Mars, Inc., has launched a chewing gum with 40 milligrams of caffeine per piece and 8 pieces per box. The average cup of coffee has 100 mg, so just one of these amounts to 40 percent of a cup of coffee.

As you can see from the ad, the product is being advertised for free at 7-Eleven with the purchase of a Skinny Salted Caramel Mocha or other large hot — and presumably caffeinated— beverage! I was not able to nutritional info on this drink, nor the amount of caffeine.


The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) pointed out that The American Academy of Pediatrics discourages the consumption of caffeine and other stimulant substances in the diets of children and adolescents.  Too much caffeine can cause anxiety, restlessness, irritability, and insomnia in just about anyone, according to CSPI.

The release is perfectly timed to come out right around final exam time for kids everywhere.

Large amounts of caffeine can cause rapid heartbeat and seizures that are severe enough to require emergency care.  While the FDA has regulations governing caffeine in cola-type beverages, those regulations did not anticipate the widespread caffeination of the food supply.

As I oppose Red Bull and all those other stimulant drinks, I have to say this gumming up chewing gum idea really takes the cake. The opportunities for getting too much caffeine are rife. If you were to take all eight pieces you would have chewed up 320 mg of caffeine, more than three cups of coffee with caffeine.

These are a dangerous idea for adults and reckless for kids.



Filed under Alert Energy Caffeine Gum, caffeine, chewing gum, stimulants

New Year’s Resolutions, er, Revolutions

Getting through December in a four season climate like Chicago is a dicey experience for a guy who wants to ride his bike every day. You just don’t know what the weatherman will be serving up on any given day.

December usually has some of the most bizarre offerings, unfortunately. However, this year was one for the record books. No snowfall of an inch or more since March. This was the third most snow free season on record with 0.9 inch the lowest since 1939. The year 2012 was the warmest in Chicago’s 142 year observational record dating back to 1871.

Easily mistaken for Tony, this is an ad from J2 Studios. That' one hot set of wheels.

Easily mistaken for Tony, this hot-looking guy is from Shawn Jantzen’s J2 Studios. One hot set of wheels.


I just finished adding up my bike riding for the year and it comes to, wait for it … 8,433 miles. I don’t know if you are impressed, but I am. This mellow December has been most helpful in my biking. Normally, we have snow and really difficult weather for riding at all, let alone virtually every day. This year, as you can see from the first paragraph – warmer and less snow. I bought a new car on February 25. I have driven it 4200 miles.

This cycling total is most gratifying to me because last year I rode 6,300 and thought I had begun to slow down due to my age. In 2010, the prior year, my total was 7,111 which was the most I had ever ridden. I was not surprised when I slid back the following year.

The 8,433 miles comes to a daily average – 366 days in 2012 – of 23.04 miles. A 23 mile ride lasts around two hours and burns about 1000 calories, thus expanding my gustatory horizons for the remainder of the day. It also works my heart and lungs and pumps up fresh oxygen to my brain creating new neurotransmitters.
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Filed under 2012 in review, aging, biking, calories, cardio exercise, cold weather, Exercise, happiness, heart, heart rate, men's health, seniors, Weight, winter