Thursday, December 31, 2009

Open letter to Google

Dear Mr Google,

First, let me say, your company is the best. I love Gmail, love Picassa, love the online documents, love, love the maps and what they do. That is why I am writing to you.

Your company is poised to take over. Microsoft is hampered by the anti-trust and Apple charges outrageous prices for their stuff. Whereas, Google, so far is free. Can't beat free.

Over a year ago I predicted that you, Mr.Google, would be in position to topple Apple. You serve the same populations, you are a cool company, your people look plenty geeky. So from my stand point, you are very similar to Apple. You make user friendly stuff. And you both do cool things.

I hear you have a prototype cell phone with your Google interface, turn by turn directions as part of the phone. Unlike the I Phone, that app cost $60.

You have taken map making to levels never dreamed of prior to computers. You have those nifty cars with cameras that go all over the globe. Unbelievable!

Google is in a great spot to do for cycling what all the cycling advocates cannot do. Make cycling mainstream. You are a green company, I see where you grow your own food for your cafteria. What better way to make an impact than to bring cycling to the forefront. There are many cycling advocacy groups, but nothing really that organized to make any kind of impact. With lots of biking stuff coming out of Google, folks would take notice.

Here are some suggestions Mr. Google:

1. Make the Google Map system GPS friendly, in that I could import my cues routes into Google Maps. That way I can do a search for stores, gas stations and what not along my cue route.

2. Overlay weather maps over your maps so that weather could be aligned with the streets. For example, I am in West Chester PA and I want to go to Lancaster to bike. I import my cue sheet from say My Bikely (Google should have a cue sheet making program, too ) and I can then overlay a weather map. Get instant weather reports for the roads I will biking on.

3. Using your broad network of gophers, have bike routes available as part of Google Maps. Again, such sites as My Bikely and Map my Ride have these. But the stuff is all over the network and many cannot find these resources.

4. List which roads are good for biking. Is it a 2 lane road, 4 lane road, busy with traffic etc.

5. Real time construction obstacles would also be handy. The local news stations do a lot of this stuff, so the technology is there, but not in a good place for folks to make use of.

6. Make the new phrase "googbike it" as mainstream as the phrase "google it"

Mr. Google, these are just some ideas, but I am looking for you and your company to take a stand and make cycling something that everyone would want to do. With more and more folks biking all over the place, the cities and towns would have to start accommodating this huge new population.

Thank you Mr. Google for taking the time to read my letter.


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

January 1 - 12 noon C ride

IF the weather is decent, Biker Chicks will have a ride available leaving from Hot Foot at 12 noon sharp.

The A and B riders already have two rides up, so looking for some brave chicks. Check WCCC ride page for latest on cancellations etc.

An email Gem

an email gem, just some fun as here in the Northeast, it is below freezing, so biking is on hold for the time being :(

The Pastor's Ass
The pastor entered his donkey in a race and it won.
The pastor was so pleased with the donkey that he entered it in the race again, and it won again.
The local paper read:

The Bishop was so upset with this kind of publicity that he ordered
the pastor not to enter the donkey in another race. The next day, the local paper headline read:

This was too much for the bishop, so he ordered the pastor to get
rid of the donkey.
The pastor decided to give it to a nun in a nearby convent.
The local paper, hearing of the news, posted the following headline the next day:


The bishop fainted.
He informed the nun that she would have to
get rid of the donkey, so she
sold it to a farmer for $10.

The next day the paper read: NUN SELLS ASS FOR $10.
This was too much for the bishop , so he ordered the nun to buy back
the donkey and lead it to the plains where it could run wild.
The next day the headlines read:

The bishop was buried the next day. The moral of the story is . .. being concerned about public opinion can bring you much grief and misery . . even shorten your life.
So be yourself and enjoy life.
Stop worrying about everyone else's ass and you'll be a lot happier and live longer!

MORAL of the story From Libby

Get on your bike and ride, forget what others think of you!!!!!

wondering about bike clubs

Who are the members of Bike Clubs?? Mostly A and B riders and men??an even mix of A,B, C and D riders?? club officers... do they come from the A and B groups or do clubs pull from each ride category?? do women join the bike clubs??

Why, what and why not??Post comments as to the makeup of your bike club. My own experience is limited. My club seems to have a huge amount of the A and B riders, with many many rides posted each week for these groups.

I have been trying for 3 years to expand the C and D groups and have had little luck. Yes, some new folks have taken up the sport but our numbers are very small compared to the rest of the club.

A fellow posted to my bike club's email list asking about an inexpensive entry level bike for his wife. I wonder what kind of bike the husband rides and did he buy an inexpensive entry level bike for himself?

Maybe he did, who knows??

How does your bike club stack up?? What are you doing to get new members in the C and D groups??

Do you even care if the slower riders are part of your club?? Looking for suggestions on how to get ladies riding and joining bike clubs.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New Year's Resolutions for Cyclists

1. Double your last year's biking mileage

2. Bike 3-5 times each and every week

3. Learn how to stand up when going up a steep hill

4. Cross train, do some other stuff besides biking, water aerobics, jogging for example

5. Go to someplace new to bike (I'm planning on biking in the state of Michigan this summer)

6. Bike across your entire state (my son is going from Phila to Ann Arbor MI this summer, which is damn, 3 states!)

7. Do a century ride

8. Keep track of the birds and wildlife you are lucky enough to see ( i spotted a beaver made dam on a creek last week, cool)

9. Join a bike club and meet new people

10. STOP telling yourself you are not good enough to take up the sport of cycling

11. Do a 50 -60 mile ride every weekend

12. Look good when biking, get some new clothes, SPLURGE for pete's sake

13. Upgrade your shoes and cleats, get road shoes and new cleats

14. Learn how to maintain your own bike

15. Change a tire without help

16. Stop doing long bikes rides on an empty stomach, EAT on your rides

17. Clean your drive chain every 200 miles

18. Buy a new bike ( I am!!)

19. Upgrade something on your bike

20. HAVE FUN enjoying your new sport ( I plan on it)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Rational Dress Society and why Bike Chic still makes me mad

from the article I posted previously, this portion is most interesting......

"Bloomers provoked wrath in conservatives and delight in women cyclists, and the garment was to become the centerpiece of the "rational dress" movement that sprung up at the end of the 19th century. The rational dress society statement of purpose reads in part: The Rational Dress society protests against the introduction of any fashion in dress that either deforms the figure, impedes the movement of the body, or in any way tends to injure the health. It protests against the wearing of tightly fitted corsets, of high-heeled or narrow toed boots and shoes; of heavily weighted skirts, as rendering healthy exercise almost impossible.... (Dodge, 126) The bloomer quickly made a host of enemies, however, and many a bloomer clad women complained of being ridiculed, fined, and even treated "like a prostitute" by local authorities.(Willard, 94)."

got a comment via email from a reader....

"that other article was very interesting, i love the idea of the rational dress society for women,

when you think about it, much of our clothing is for the benefit of men- high heels, tight clothes, low cut shirts etc., to me no different than the burka for Muslem women- all for men ( men control religion), not for women"

My point exactly and I do think Bike Chic is a very good example of this comment above.

I really do not think any woman in her right mind would put on heels to ride a bike unless to attract the attention of men.

As much as we enlightened ladies like to think we are enlightened, I am not so sure we are. We buy clothes not for comfort but to look good for men.

For us old ladies who fought the hard fight to finally not have to wear skirts and dresses to school, who never even owned a pair of jeans until in our 20s (there were no jeans for women prior to the hippie movement), biking in a dress just takes us back 50 years to the time when we had to wear skirts all the time.

I know many say, liberation is picking whatever you want to wear, but truly, would you pick those short skirts, tight shoes and low cut tops if you were going out biking with just women.

I doubt it. Who designs all those ridiculous high heels.. Jimmy Choo (sounds like a man's name to me)??

If you want to bike to work, fine, but put on appropriate clothes, pants, sneakers and a sweater for example. You only let men control your clothing choices when you bike in short skirts and tight tops. I see no choice in your biking clothing selection, only a lady trying hard to wear what men want us to wear.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

empowering women

was sent this via email, via a Tweet from Terry Cycles, interesting article and all the more reason you SHOULD be biking........

The Possibility of Mobility: Women

Amongst the bicycles most important, and perhaps most enduring, legacies is its effect upon women's issues; indeed the mark the bicycle left upon gender relations in the 1890s is difficult to underestimate. One must remember that the America of years past was one of rigidly defined gender roles, with distinctly separate spheres of activity for men and women. The distinctions between the sexes were certainly as rigidly defined as ever in the years leading up to the 1890s--the years we popularly refer to as the Victorian era.

However, as the 19th century came to a close, women were gradually making headway into the male-dominated public sphere, through increased roles in education, social and political organizations. Perhaps as a response to the seemingly increasing potential for equality amongst the sexes, men begin to more and more delineate themselves in terms of physical prowess. Cycling, then took its natural place amongst football, baseball, and other male dominated spheres of activity. One can imagine the indignation, often expressed in terms of health or morality, that many a male felt when the woman was shown to be just as adept at handling the cycle as her counterpart.

Simply put, the bicycle allowed for movement into new spaces, literally and figuratively. The woman of the 19th century who had been given little opportunity to cultivate or express her autonomy now had a vessel with which one could not only develop autonomous power, but do so while leaving behind the old reliance upon men for travel. It's easy to see then, why Susan B. Anthony, women's rights advocate and future star of an ill-fated dollar, was to say that the bicycle had "done more to emancipate women then anything else in the world".(Willard, 90)

bloomersThis emancipation came in many forms, and not the least of which was the casting off of the impractical clothing styles that had long kept women's bodies uncomfortably covered. The advent and the ensuing popularity of the safety bicycle, with its appeal to both sexes mandated that women cast off their corsets and figure out some way around their long, billowy skirts. The answer to the skirt question was to be found in the form of bloomers, which were little more than very baggy trousers, cinched at the knee. Bloomers provoked wrath in conservatives and delight in women cyclists, and the garment was to become the centerpiece of the "rational dress" movement that sprung up at the end of the 19th century. The rational dress society statement of purpose reads in part: The Rational Dress society protests against the introduction of any fashion in dress that either deforms the figure, impedes the movement of the body, or in any way tends to injure the health. It protests against the wearing of tightly fitted corsets, of high-heeled or narrow toed boots and shoes; of heavily weighted skirts, as rendering healthy exercise almost impossible.... (Dodge, 126) The bloomer quickly made a host of enemies, however, and many a bloomer clad women complained of being ridiculed, fined, and even treated "like a prostitute" by local authorities.(Willard, 94).

Rational dress aside, the bicycle, despite being heaped with scorn by outraged men, was consistently trumpeted by progressive women as a tool for increased freedoms. Indeed, many feminist tracts of the day frequently invoked the bicycle as a metaphor for increased self-control, with perhaps the president of the Women's Christian Temperance Union Frances' Willard's How I Learned to Ride the Bicycle being among the most famous. Similarly, the author of Bicycling for Ladies, Maria Ward, bluntly notes that "Riding the wheel, our powers are revealed to us...".

Ride or DieIt is precisely this sort of attitude, empowerment coupled with visions of an increasingly egalitarian future, that angered many men greatly. Simply put, the woman on wheels was a threat to the well ingrained system of practical inferiority that men had been taking advantage of for centuries, and outraged men were quick to point to the bicycle as a threat to the social order. The cycle, it was argued, would disrupt the delicate sphere of the family unit by allowing the woman to travel beyond her previous limits without the surveillance of a knowing husband nearby. The younger woman, too was vulnerable to a bicycle induced lapse in morals, for it allowed her to stray farther a field with members of the opposite sex during courtship.

The leveling effect acheived by the woman on the bicyle was so great that the coming of the automobile and subsequent demise of the bicyle can be though of as a major step backwards for women's empowerment.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

our government run amuck

Yippee, our Congress passed a huge porkulous bill masquerading as a Health Care Bill. The wheeling and dealing only points to how corrupt and useless our government has become. The few insurance laws I have heard about sound good but what is costing $871 BILLION dollars?? Are those funds helping poor folks get insurance??

Somehow I doubt that. Seems our legislators work only for power. How to stay in Congress, collect their huge salaries, lobbying gifts and great great benefits. All of this paid for by you and me.

It does not matter the party affiliation, our government has ground to a complete halt. When the only way to pass a bill is to bribe legislators, there is a big problem.

Now this $871 billion, where is it coming from?? How can government spend money it does not have?? I guess I am just plain dumb, cuz by spending $871 billion, my government is somehow gonna save the medical industry and bring costs down.

If this happens, I think we can say, we here in America, have created a miracle.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

snow and kids and adults

oops, not this kind of blizzard!!!!

Kids love snow, snow expands their day, snowmen, snow angels, snow ball fights, snow forts, and sledding. The possibilities of fun for kids is limited only by their imaginations.

Adults on the other hand, find their days contracted, stuck in the house, cannot get to the Malls, and for mothers mostly, additional laundry and cleaning of wet snow clothes.

For many adults, being forced to stay inside, also limits their social life. We cannot visit friends,and older folks have no social contact.

For adults, driving is treacherous, and emergencies become nightmares.

But for kids, all they see is the fun of the white stuff. My kids are grown, now I have dogs that I must walk and also play with in the snow. As dogs are like kids, snow simply expands their day and fun.

So for all the adults, try to find that inner child and enjoy the huge Nor'easter blanketing the northeast.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

when biking is a habit

start em young

1. when 30 degrees starts to look warm

2. when all your bookmarks are cycling sites

3. when your Christmas list is all bike gear

4. when you start selling old stuff on ebay to buy new bike stuff

5. when you get done with a ride in sub freezing temps and feel warm

6. when you plan your day around your ride

7. when it takes 15 minutes to dress for your ride and you don't care

8. when you consider selling your gold jewelery to buy more bike gear

9. when the first website you check in the morning is the local weather

10. when wind speeds of 15-20 mph do not look so bad and you plan your ride to bike into the wind and come home with wind at your back

11. when you spend your free time making new cues

12. when you smear Vasoline on your face to protect it from the cold and don't feel foolish

and the list goes on........

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Libby's latest rant

To all joggers and cyclists, PLEASE take off the earphones while you are on the road! Holy moly, how do you expect to hear a car or another cyclist if you are plugged into the ipod?

How can you hear anything dangerous that might be coming your way?? how can you run along a busy road totally unaware of approaching cars or bikes??

Today while biking, I had a jogger out in front of me, as I approached, I yelled, "passing", the jogger nearly tripped over his feet as he was startled by the noise.

Especially troubling to me is a single woman jogger, out in the country, alone with earphones stuck to her ears. This is just so unsafe. Am I just an old fart who thinks this way??

Why would anyone run or bike on roads with cars on them and not be totally able to hear approaching cars, trucks or whatever?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

madder than hell

This Biker Chick column has nothing to do with biking, but has plenty to do with children which I am passionate about.

Last week the Philadelphia Inquirer had a column by Annette John-Hall talking about the school violence being perpetrated on Asian students at a South Philly High School. Her column which I will post below was the best piece of reporting I have read in many many years. Finally an unbiased appraisal of an event with nothing but straight reporting. This quote being perhaps the best sentence in the piece.

"Still, it would have eased the students' hurt if, Ms. Ackerman, you at least genuinely showed that you cared.

It's bad enough that you waited four days to publicly respond to a gang attack at one of your schools. But it was even worse on Wednesday, watching you sit there dispassionately, as though you were listening to your voice mails, when students asked for an apology."

John-Hall has captured so clearly what it is like when you have to go to school to have a meeting with administrators. Unfortunately, Ackerman is not alone in her dismal response to a serious school problem.

This stone face showing no emotion is what many parents face constantly when attending IEP (individual education plan) meetings or when called to the office to discuss something their child has done.

John-Hall has restored my faith in newspaper reporting. Finally something in the paper that is straight reporting, no axe to grind, no side to support, just a clear clear view of what was going on. Her perception of Ackerman's response went beyond what most people see. John-Hall really saw what was going on and that was a dismissal by administrators of a serious problem.

Annette John-Hall: Weak response to school beatings

Beaten and still bruised, physically and otherwise - but here to tell about it - Asian students from South Philadelphia High met this week with School District administrators.

In one emotional testimony after another, they described the brutal beatings they endured a week ago in and near the school. The father of Chaofel Zheng raised his son's shirt to show a bruise from the assault, just in case the teen's black eye weren't evidence enough.

"I hope," Zheng said, "that security will put more care into us."

About 150 student supporters carried signs. But one sign said it all: "Grown-ups let us down."

Grown-ups like the cafeteria workers who allegedly turned their backs on the fighting.

And the security guards who made the victims leave school property - even though the students feared the walk home. And rightly so.

And the adult staffers at the school who allegedly made fun of them frequently.

They can add one more grown-up to the list.

Superintendent Arlene Ackerman, I'm sorry to say.

Yes, I'm talking about you, Superintendent. Especially after your slow response and dismissive performance at the meeting in front of the hurt and outraged students - your students - and parents who hoped for more from you.

Since you were hired 20 months ago, you've said the right things. Made big pronouncements about how you were going to make your administration more user-friendly. Vowed to put the children first and make school safety a top priority.

And judging from the way you talked, it seemed that grown-up accountability - you know, the process of holding adults responsible for their actions or inactions - was the one thing you were committed to enforcing.

"We've got plenty of accountability for the students that we serve and not nearly enough for the adults who serve them," you said then.

So what did you say, Superintendent, when so-called responsible adults didn't intervene as a rogue group of African American students attacked Asian schoolmates so severely that many had to seek hospital treatment?

You linked the assaults to retaliation for an unwarranted attack off campus on a disabled black student by two Asian students the day before.

But how do you explain that these Asian students have been victimized for the last 18 months? Or that this time, random Asian students were targeted, as one community activist pointed out?

"We don't have to get into a back-and-forth about that," you responded.

Well, then. You know those sensitivity classes you're talking about?

Adult abuses

Chinese and Vietnamese students, some of whom have been here for only a few months and barely speak English, courageously described, in excruciating detail, how they've been relentlessly teased and taunted by adult support staffers. "Hey, Chinese." "Hey, Dragon Ball." "Yo, Bruce Lee. Where are you from? Speak English."

You don't have to wonder why 50 students have boycotted classes since Monday at a school where some adults allegedly condone such ignorant actions. I can't say I'd send my own kid back under those conditions.

We all know the problem can't be solved in a day.

Still, it would have eased the students' hurt if, Ms. Ackerman, you at least genuinely showed that you cared.

It's bad enough that you waited four days to publicly respond to a gang attack at one of your schools. But it was even worse on Wednesday, watching you sit there dispassionately, as though you were listening to your voice mails, when students asked for an apology.

You know, a simple but powerful gesture that says, " 'I'm sorry that this happened to you, I'm sorry for the slow response time, I'm sorry that we have not stood with you earlier,' " said Ellen Somekawa of Asian Americans United.

Which is the human thing to do.

But how did you, the chief executive officer of the Philadelphia School District, respond?

With silence. Defensive, deafening silence.

And then, you didn't take questions afterward.

Finally, an apology

At least School Reform Commission Chairman Robert Archie took the cue and apologized to the students "on behalf of the SRC."

Look, Dr. Ackerman. I realize you've taken some action - hired an outside investigator, increased security, suspended some of the kids involved, and put together a task force to get to the root of the problem. It's no more than any good administrator would and should do.

And you do recognize the problem is bigger than South Philly High. You said it yourself. The violence "is only the symptom of a more serious problem which has its roots in racism. . . . It is the proverbial elephant in the room."

Most leaders would not have been so forthright.

But you have to realize that all of the investigative findings, sensitivity training, and task forces for racial and cultural harmony won't quickly solve the problems at a persistently dangerous school where violence is up 32 percent under a new principal.

And that's violence against everyone - black, white, Latino, and Asian.

It takes a bold pronouncement on your part, a swift apology on behalf of the district and an unwavering vow that any kind of violence against any of your students will not be tolerated, to send a universal message, one understood in any language.

You shouldn't have to have your hand forced before you take that stand.

Just think if it had been one of your children.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

I hate Walmart

This guy is kidding, really???

If anyone has ever bought anything at Walmart and had a good experience, I would like to meet that person. I have been into Walmart about 5-8 times in my whole life and each time, it was a disaster. Nothing in stock, huge, huge aisles and long waits in the checkout lines. No one in the store is around to help and if you find someone, they have no clue where your item is.

The worst part of Walmart is the online page. Yesterday,I go to the online webpage and look up Blue Disc players. I find a Phillips for $128. I do a store check and my Walmart has it in stock.

I get in my car and drive to Walmart. I find my item and it is $178 in the store. Why? I ask the clerk, he says, don't know, sometime stuff on the Net is cheaper and sometimes it is not.

I said, "well how is a person supposed to know this?", he shrugs and moves on.

This is ridiculous, how can the store advertise one price and then not sell the item at that price?

So I will continue to hate Walmart and wonder who shops there and why. oh yeah, the line to return items was at least 20 people long and they had one lady trying to help all these folks.

I left the store, vowing to never enter another Walmart again.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

why bike in cold weather, no I am not an idiot!

Went out today, it was 37 degrees but NO wind, surprisingly it was very nice out there. We did 22 miles but could have done more as we were not cold. To know what to wear in cold weather takes practice. It is easy to overdress as well as underdress.

The more you go out and if you make note of the temps and the wind speed, the better able you are to dress right.

I know I have spoken about the Gore Windstopper jackets, these are INVALUABLE for winter biking. These jackets can make you warm in cold weather. They hold in the body heat and keep out the wind. Today I just had my jacket and bike jersey. Now I am cold tolerant but the Windstopper is just such a great bike item for winter biking. I bought one for me and one for my son and found them on the Net at great prices but look early fall or late spring for the best buys.

I also have recommended getting foot and toe warmers, buy a decent brand. I did splurge on the UnderArmour gloves I found at Sports Authority and they have proven well worth the $25 price tag.

But so far this winter, 37 and no wind is very doable and actually makes for a pleasant ride if winter-geared up right.

Plus biking in cold weather makes you feel so good, you feel strong and powerful when on the roads and it is cold. You pass a few other hardy souls on bikes and you always get a wave. Not so true in warm weather.

It is exhilarating and fun and adds another dimension to your biking. Since it requires good winter gear, start this year and buy some of it. Then next fall look for your Gore Windstopper and be ready to bike in the winter.

Goal this winter is too see how low we can go. Most likely will hit the wall if below 30 but we shall see.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Biker Chick Party/Meeting

WHEN: December 13 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm

WHERE: my house, 206 E Virginia Ave, google it

WHAT: looking for ride leaders for C+, C and C- rides

WHY: we need more leaders, only fair thing for me

I have been at it for 3 yrs, looking for folks to volunteer to lead rides, you only have to step up 1-3x per season, so that is not hard. I sometimes feel like the lady above. I NEED HELP.

Find a few Saturday mornings where you can lead a ride.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Brian's Run

Brian's Run, in its 33rd year of running came by my house this year. Lots of fun for us folks who live in town. The big shirtless kid is my son and looks happy. The one empty frame was the first place guy, he went by too fast and I missed him!

Friday, December 4, 2009

You Walk Wrong

This shoe and the stilettos and Adidas sneakers on the subsequent pages are trompel'oeil paintings applied directly to the feet. Nice as they look, you can't buy them.
Makeup by John Maurad and Jenai Chin.
(Photo: Tom Schierlitz)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

GOAL - 5000 miles for 2010

Setting my biking miles goal for 2010 at 5000 miles. Now up north here, we do have winter and if it snows, I am doomed to accomplish this goal.

But nonetheless, setting the goal. And living in Chester County means I do have to lots of those miles climbing up hills. My weekend rides will be around 50 miles and the weekday rides can be shorter. Will need 3 - twenty mile rides per week to get to this goal.

Who wants to join me?? I will have almost 2500 for this year but I now have a biking partner since my twenty something son is now living at home. He is almost at 7000 miles for this year despite fighting some illnesses that way laid him for some months.

So those of you sitting at home not biking, WHY NOT???

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

why having women on bikes can help a community

How to Get More Bicyclists on the Road is a great article about why it is important to get women on bikes and on the roads. Also today the Bicycle Coalition of Philly links to great video about this issue as well.

Why should we even care if women bike? Apparently if women are on the roads it is a good thing for biking for everyone involved.

I recently posted an article about bike chic and the post generated tons of interest across the globe. I was being derided in many countries about my stance.

Put a lady in heels on a bike and voila, the men are interested. If a cute chick rode in heels on her bike around my area here in Pennsylvania, cars would crash trying to get a glimpse of her

We are not as evolved as Copenhagen where bike chic is an everyday thing. But in reality, it says a lot about Copenhagen and its ability to make women feel safe on a bike. If women can jump on their bikes in sexy gear and still get to where they want to get to, this community is definitely bike friendly.

We are nowhere close to this in PA, heck, any time I am on my bike I am at risk of getting run off the road by a motorist.

But from what I have read, getting chicks on bikes does a community good. If ladies feel safe on a bike, that community is doing something right.

Most biking stores and bike clubs in my area are geared to the guy and his bike. Men work in these stores, men are the mechanics and men do all the fitting. Bike clubs post tons of rides for the elite riders, my club lists anywhere from 5-10 rides per week for elite riders. The one C ride I list is it for women wanting a slower ride where they feel safe.

But these elite riders according to the Scientific American article do not make biking more prevalent in a community.

from the SA article linked above....

"Women are considered an “indicator species” for bike-friendly cities for several reasons. First, studies across disciplines as disparate as criminology and child ­rearing have shown that women are more averse to risk than men. In the cycling arena, that risk aversion translates into increased demand for safe bike infrastructure as a prerequisite for riding. Women also do most of the child care and household shopping, which means these bike routes need to be organized around practical urban destinations to make a difference."

This risk factor of fear is often not understood by the male cyclist. The men pride themselves on speed and risk, it is just who they are. Bike stores and bike clubs need to understand this in order to get women riding. And from what I can see in my area, this is not happening.

Bike stores should get women working in them, bike clubs should be promoting rides that encourage women to take up bike riding. If we want biking to become a commonplace activity, we need women doing it. It seems having women on bikes says more about a community than seeing a group of guys on bikes. Sorry guys!

Monday, November 30, 2009

the cue of all cues

Cue of all cues, click here for link. DROP DOWN the SHOW menu on far upper left to view CUE.

This cue is approx 42 miles depending on where you start in the boro. From Hot Foot about 40 miles. The cue follows a creek for about the entire ride. This is such a great ride, almost flat yet scenic. On many back roads, and we pass the Kennett Y for bathrooms, Landhope for food, and a bike store and food stores on Rt 52/Kennett Pike.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

the disconnect is too large to ignore

I read this letter (below) to the Editor in the Philly Inquirer this morning and found that this letter just about sums up the biking and car fight going on in all parts of the country today where cylists and cars share the same space.

This attitude of cyclists thinking they are right and motorists thinking they are right has not changed in many years. A cyclists gets hit by a car, car's fault, a motorist is hindered by a bike, cyclist's fault. I have never seen a discussion where someone actually looked at the accident from both sides. Who really was at fault?? and what can be done to prevent it again??

There is no planning anywhere except a few cities such as Portland and Boulder. In cities in the "rust belt", there is little planning and if there is, it is not with cars and bikes in mind. One side pushes its agenda and the other side pushes its agenda.

I was biking on rt 52 in Delaware this morning riding along this rather busy highway in a nice bike lane. I get to the Pennsylvania border and voila, no more bike lane.

I do think bike lanes along heavily traveled roads are a good idea. A nice wide shoulder is all it takes to lessen the anger between motorist and cyclist.

The disconnect between motorist and cylist had made no progress at all over the years. Read the letter below to see an interesting point of view.

City bike lanes were ill-conceived

Although the dedicated bike lanes in the city were well-intentioned, they were ill-conceived. Very few people are foolish enough to actually use them. They are dangerous for the bicyclist, pedestrians, and drivers - who have accidents trying to avoid the bicycles.

Technically, almost all drivers break the law whenever they make a right turn across the bike lanes. But what is the alternative? The laws regarding turns over a bike lane - if there are any - are vague and unenforceable for practical reasons.

As more and more people join the foolish few who ride their bikes in city traffic, it is inevitable that more people will get killed or injured. You can blame the driver, the cyclist, weather, pedestrians, or anyone else, but the real blame should go to the myopic-minded folks who approved this blunder.

Center City traffic is already horrible during commuter hours. Apparently it made sense to our city planners to spend a bundle of taxpayer money to take one lane away from cars and create a lane that very few people use.

Vernon J. Linder


Friday, November 27, 2009

me,me,me and more me

Our Thanksgiving table discussion lead to talking about bikers and cars and who is right when it comes to using the roads.

Most thought the bikers had the right of way, deserved to be on the roads and the cars should just wait. Bikers have every right to be on the roads and if cars are behind the group, too bad, just wait to pass.

But that is where the discussion turned, cuz at that point, the car passing is now in a predicament of being in an unsafe position, being forced into the oncoming lane.

So who is right?? I was biking with my son the other day and he really kicked it up into high gear and zoomed past me. I saw first hand just how fast the elite riders can go on their bikes. I cannot imagine trying to pass a large group of these elite riders. Not only would it be difficult, it would be dangerous for the car.

It would certainly put a car at risk trying to pass this group. The bikers tend to forget this part of the problem. All I hear are bikers talking about getting buzzed and this or that damn car speeding past them.

All the talk in Philadelphia now is about ticketing bikers for riding on sidewalks, not stopping at stop signs and more. The bikers are outraged.

But is that outrage justified?? I lead a group of riders, we are not elite riders, we are what is called the C riders. Our groups are not large and I make every effort to watch for cars and do all i can to make passing us easier. I have even pulled over so cars can get around us without having to put themselves in the oncoming traffic lane.

The cyclist tends to think only in terms of himself on the road and his right to be there. But I hear little about how hard it is to pass a cyclist on the road. I think every cyclist riding in a large group should stop and think about what it takes to pass a group like this.

It is not always me, me, me and more me. Maybe it should be more of us, us, us. How to make cycling safer for the cylist and the car?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

that had better be God on the other end

To all reading this blog, please please do me a favor, STOP driving, biking or walking with your cell phone attached to your ear.

Today I watched a lady talking on her cell while walking, well she was so engrossed she walked right off the curb into an oncoming car. The car was an emergency vehicle (not on an ER call) and I think he anticipated the stupidity of this lady.

He laid on his horn so hard the lady fell over, still attached to her phone, she gets up and keeps going, still attached to the damn phone.

This lady was walking while talking on her phone and still could not concentrate enough on that simple skill. Can you imagine how IMPAIRED you are if driving or biking and talking on a cell phone? Yes I have seen cyclists talking on the cell.

So unless God has called you while you are driving or walking or biking, put down that phone before YOU KILL me and anyone else in your path.

Who are you talking to any how?? who is so important that you are willing to risk the lives of yourself, your kids if in the car and the other folks who cross your path?

DO me a favor and GET OFF OF THE ROAD. I cannot think of anyone on the phone other than GOD that would warrant you answering the stupid phone.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

passed the 2000 mile mark and next season's plans

Even though I was out for sometime with knee surgery last winter, I did manage to bike so far for this year, 2100 miles. Recommend Bike Journal to track your miles.

These are all Chester County miles and done mostly with the Chicks. So if you have not done this many miles, you have missed ample opps to do so. I am the 3rd highest ride poster in the West Chester Cycling Club.

Next year I am hoping to double those miles if the winter is not too brutal. First local area sponsored rides will be the Chester County Cancer Ride and Pedal to Preserve. Both are 50 miles and both are quite nice. The CCCR is challenging but doable, remember, if I can do it, anyone can. This ride takes place at the end of May and starts right at the Cancer Center on Marshall Street. Pedal to Preserve is the first Saturday in June and is one nice FLAT ride. Both rides tend to be small, so they are not over crowded and are close to home.

So if your bike needs repairs and upgrades, now is the time to do it. I recently needed a new bottom bracket for my bike. I went to the West Chester Bike Line. I know many folks bad mouth Bike Line, but the fellows at this Bike Line have been there for a long time. The mechanic is top notch. They fix your bike promptly. They are friendly. I highly recommend this shop.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

way off topic but a rant nonetheless

I was watching George Stephanopoulus this morning on ABC. He always has a good panel with good discussion.

But today, one of the panelist, got me so mad I am compelled to write about it and complain. Yeah I know, who wants to hear me complain.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla was counterpointing Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn and of course it was heated and a useless debate as neither side was willing to even listen to the other person.

Wasserman got my blood boiling when she countered Blackburn about mammograms. Blackburn and Stephanopoulus both agreed, the Senate Bill had classified the mammogram as level C and therefore, not covered at all times.

Wasserman then jumped in and said, " no way, with the Senate Bill mammograms will be free!"

Really, free, you mean the hospital will not charge anyone a penny for a mammogram. Gee that sounds wonderful. Really free tests from apparently really generous hospitals.

What Wasseman meant is this; it is not free, someone is paying, just not you.

I once worked with a wonderful women at a community center. She was careful to tell her recipients of scholarships and grants, "this is NOT free, you are just not paying for it, but someone else did!"

What does this have to do with biking you ask? Well nothing, but if you are lucky enough to be biking on a custom bike or an expensive store bought bike and you have all the gear, GPS, tights, helmets etc etc etc

I don't want to hear you complaining about the cost of your health insurance premiums! Instead, count your blessings. Cuz if you are healthy and fit enough to bike, you are not a drain anyhow on the health care system. You are doing everything right.

43 miles of back roads in Chester County

Yesterday 4 of us did a fabo ride from West Chester PA to Delaware along creeks almost the entire ride. Spectacular ride, all back roads, few cars and lots of flat land. We had a few hills but if you are biking regularly in Chester County, they were no biggies.

We wound down rt 842 and onto Marlboro and Newhall, through the back roads of Kennett Square and then down to Delaware on an appropriately named road, Creek Road. We came back on rt 52 in DE and then appropriately AGAIN, Creek Road in PA.

So for almost 43 miles we were on roads named Creek Road. Saw lots of other cylists as well enjoying the beautiful day we had.

It just does not get any better. Those of you staying at home doing all those never ending errands
you missed one fine ride. Sometimes you just have to make the time.

Friday, November 20, 2009

update-6th grader gets gym- yippee

the diabetic 6th grader was awarded gym every day, seems the district found some way through the 504 provision to approve gym everyday for the boy,

great news for the kid, bad news for the other 6th graders who are stuck in reading test prep and music

the better news would be some enlightened educator might decide that gym every day for middle schoolers would be the best solution

most middle school are war zones, kids dont want to be there, teachers get angry daily and we have multiple discipline problems

i think some running around might be just what the middle school wasteland could use

this whole story though to me is a great summary of all that is wrong with public education, kid says i feel good when i exercise, school says, too bad, if we give you gym, then the other kids will want gym every day


Thursday, November 19, 2009

would recess be such a bad idea in middle school

All we hear about is fat kids, unfit kids, poor diets in kids and too much Nintendo time contributing to these problems. Today I read in the Philly Inquirer about a family requesting their son to have gym each day after lunch. The boy has diabetes and after lunch, his sugar levels improve if he exercises.

When in grade school, he had recess right after lunch and was able to run around and get exercise. But now in middle school, kids are stuck inside all day long. The classes he would miss are test prep for the state exams and music.

The case is being taken to arbitration. Is this where we are now in education?? Where to get outside or to move around in school, you must get a lawyer.

As I have said before, when I was in school we either walked or biked. In grade school, we went home for lunch and again, biked each way.

Now today, we have legislated out any activity for kids other than the structured gym or the many organized sports parents drag their kids to after school.

We have created communities where biking or walking to school is impossible. Kids get picked up from school in cars, then get driven to organized soccer or football or whatever sport is being offered.

I have many kids in my neighborhood and I rarely see them outside. What the heck are these kids doing? The bike is the perfect exercise tool for children. But today, in order to have your kids biking for fun, you are going to have to bike with them. Since our streets and neighborhoods are so bike unfriendly, it does require a parent to participate with the child.

This is probably not going to happen. Kids today have little chance to get spontaneous exercise.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

yeah, bikes are the biggest problem cities face, gimme a break

We have runaway crime in Philadelphia, chances of getting murdered in Philly are greater than for our soldiers in Iraq. Kids are quitting school at alarming rates. Kids are shooting the cops. Kids are shooting kids. Cars park everywhere, run lights and disobey signals all the time. Folks text and talk on cell phones, many work on their business right from the front seat while driving.

But lo and behold, the great city council of Philadelphia decides it is time to regulate bikes. Yes, that is just what the city needs to do. Top priority for sure, forgot all the other stuff, these runaway bikes are a menace. " No brakes" bikes will be outlawed. Isn't that what we rode as kids for years and years and years? We wore no helmets, and had to bike in dresses and skirts in those days cuz we actually used our bikes to get us to school.

I can walk my dogs any morning of any day and see many many cars run stop lights, run stop signs, speed in a school zone and I cannot count the folks using cell phones, just too many. Yet my bike is the biggest problem the city of Philadelphia wants to work on.

One of my favorite blogs, The Wash Cycle, has a classic post on scofflaws. It is worth your time to read it.

Now the only bike reg that might need to be addressed is biking on sidewalks but I am sure there are already regs on the books for that. Maybe the cops could enforce it. But again, is this really what you want the Philly cops spending their time on? I mean, selling drugs daily from street corners just doesn't seem to generate the same anger as seeing a kid or even worse, an adult on a bike on a sidewalk.

Kids killing kids also does not generate much anger but mention a cyclist going down a one way street the wrong way, and holy hell, he should be arrested!

Gimme a break!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Cue sheet for Nov 21 Sat ride


PRINT THIS CUE, DO THIS before 9 am Saturday morning!!!

Suggest you take a look at it. Study the map that is linked here so you have some idea where you are going. Compare cue to map, if you find errors, LET ME KNOW. Map my ride generates the cue automatically and since i have spent the last 2 hrs doing this, I have not checked it, maybe someone can do this for me. thanks

This ride will take us right past the YMCA in Kennett, we can use their bathrooms.

Or we can dig holes, I swear, they must not pee in Kennett!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Fabulous ride today and Nov. 21 Saturday morning ride

For those that did not ride today, you missed one fine day for riding. We were all in shorts and bike tops. Just like summer. Ride for next Saturday if weather holds:

CUE # 42, this cue goes down to Kennett again but is longer, about 40 miles. This ride will leave Hot Foot at 930 am. Pace will be around 12.5.

Possible rest stops, are Wawa in Kennett or McDonalds. The cue continues south of Kennett, crosses rt 52 in Delaware and comes back on Fairville and rt 100.

Depending on the group, I am up for stopping at Hanks for a meal. If no one is interested, we will continue home up rt 100 (S. Creek). Will find out where bikes are safe to park at Hanks.

Bring plenty of drinks and food, do not depend on rest stops for food.

Friday, November 13, 2009

60 comments on Bike Chic and still counting

This has to be some kind of record for comments on a blog post, holy cow! glad to see all the posts and glad to hear all the different points of view, where I live, I have to bike 20-40 miles on roads just to get anywhere, so fashion is not an option for me, plus I can only afford one bike, and that is my road bike, do not have an assortment of bikes for different terrains.

Wish i could and wish I could bike in a city like Copenhagen, I cannot even imagine it. Living in a city as beautiful as Copenhagen, well I hope you natives wake up each morning and count your blessings. I have never traveled except in a few places in USA, I have biked in FL and CA as well, both sons lived in those areas, that was fun, CA is all about the sport of biking, FL as well, racing bicyclists every where on high tech bikes with high tech gear

The bike in those states is strictly for sport and exercise, triathlons being the rage in both states. Aerobars are popular and large groups of racing folks take over the streets.

Pennsylvania, where I live, is rather hostile to cyclists on the roads. Not so bad around the large cities, Phila and Pittsburgh, but forget biking in spandex in northern PA, better cover up in a plaid shirt, ya might be safer.

Bike chic seems to be for those who live in cities with support for biking. Flat terrain and easy access to nice roads. Many cities in northern USA are hilly and have brick roads and roads filled with potholes as well.

So chic is not for me. Right now I am biking in gloves, shoe covers, tights and Windstopper jackets. But for you chicks lucky enough to live and work in a city that loves the bike, enjoy yourselves. Many of us will never have that opportunity and many of us will never see the scenic cities of Europe and Sweden.

Some day in my dreams I will bike in Copenhagen.

Buying a new bike, tips for newbies

Had a comment below on my post of "common mistakes" requesting what to do when buying a bike.

I guess this is much harder, as it does require the buyer to do some homework.

1. Get educated, most ladies do not want to bother with this but it pays in big dividends if you do, a good place to start is on the Terry Bicycles Website. This video is a start. Also go to the Terry site and view ALL the videos.

2. Ask someone you know who bikes a lot and KNOWS bikes to go with you when you shop for a bike.

3. The price of a bike is determined by several things: frame, components, pedals, saddle and shoes. These can vary greatly in price and what you choose will depend on your budget. Knowing a lot about components takes lots of research and lots of visits to many different bike stores.

4. Beware of glitzy bikes with cheap components. Beware of bikes in the front of the store with a sale sign, while this may be a good bike, buyer has to be cautious.

5. Getting a good fit is also one of the hardest things for women to do. You must feel comfortable on the bike, you MUST not be stretching for the handlebars. I have seen plenty of women on poorly fitting bikes. They are stretching so far for the handlebars that they end up with sore backs. WATCH the Terry videos on bike fit. DO a search on You Tube for instructional bike videos and watch many as each specialist has her/his own feel about what makes a good bike and what makes a good fit.

6. DEMAND a knowledgeable salesperson. Make sure to tell the salesperson that you are a serious rider and want a serious bike.

After making your purchase, you are still not done, you will need shoes, shorts and bike tops and of course a helmet. Bike gloves are necessary as well as 2 water bottle cages and bottles.

YOU NEXT important thing to do is attend one of the Biker Chicks clinics that teaches bike maintenance and repair. You must carry tire changing equipment on your bike.

LOOK for a newbie clinic next spring. Do some homework over the winter and you will be ready to buy a bike in the spring.

Saturday's Ride MAY be cancelled

Right now it looks like rain for Saturday, if so, I will post the same ride for Sunday at
1:00 pm

Same cue, bring money for Landhope Farms rest stop mid point. Meet at Hot Foot.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Apple Pie a la mode- modified

Thanksgiving is coming and I hear many talking about all the pies that they are going to make. Why not try to streamline the desserts this year?

I highly recommend the Pumpkin Bars posted a few posts down. Zap the bars in the microwave after freezing them and you would think you are eating pumpkin pie. Serve with some whipped cream or frozen yogurt or just plain. These are yummy. Another good choice is the apple pie posted below.

Apple Pie

using a Crock pot and cooking for 6 hrs on low

wash and core 4 small apples -preferably from a local orchard

chop 1/4 walnuts and mix with 1/4 cup raisins

stuff each apple with the nut/raisin mixture, place in crock pot

drizzle some honey over each apple

add some apple cider to bottom of crock pot or if not apple cider, use orange juice

once cooked, eat these yummy apples with either milk, cottage cheese or low fat icecream

tastes just like apple pie without the fat

Get your kids to help make them and serve them for dessert any night of the week

Suggest putting them in a nice bowl, cut them up and serve with a spoon, pour some of the apple cider from crock pot over them as well


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Common mistakes made by women new to cycling

I have been helping women and older folks get into the sport of cycling for awhile. After 4 years, I have noticed a few common problems that usually help to derail a lady or an older cyclist.

The energetic enthusiastic lady shows up for one of my newbie rides. She comes on a heavy huge cross bike or mountain bike. She has on street clothes and a soft sneaker. She has one small water bottle, usually one bought in a convenience store and she usually loses it when she hits her first bump as these bottles are too small for bike water bottle cages.

What is wrong with this picture and why is it bad to use a cross bike or mountain bike for road riding?

1. the bike is too heavy, climbing hills is impossible, coasting is also impaired

2. you end up working 3 times harder than the lady on a nice road bike

3. most likely the bike does not fit you either

4. biking in street clothes and soft shoes means a sore bum and sore feet

SO what happens after your first ride. YOU QUIT!

So why is it that women especially end up on the wrong bike??

Most women cannot see themselves as an athlete and think the road bike is for racers. Bike shops see a lady or senior citizen and think, "this person is never going to do any serious biking, might as well sell him/her a cross bike."

Women and older folks think they are safer on the big heavy bike.

They do not want to spend the money needed to buy a good bike, so they waste $500 on a cross bike that they will never use.

Road bikes look scary to the older cyclist and to women. The thought of clipping in to the pedals sends shivers up their spines.

I often bike on the Schuylkill River trail and see many many many women and senior citizens on big heavy awful bikes. No wonder they can only go 3-5 miles. They are exhausted.

Biking is probably one the best activities for women and seniors. With the right equipment, you can easy hit the roads and do a nice 1-2 hr ride. Not only will you feel better, you will improve your fitness level quickly.

Several short rides per week and one longer ride is all it takes. There is no special science to biking. No training necessary.

Simply bike. Get a good road bike and bike well into retirement. BUT GET THE RIGHT BIKE!

from the Bicycle Coalition of Phila blog

Schuylkill River Trail Becomes Street View Trike Finalist

Click on Street View Trike and VOTE

Thanks to everyone who voted for the Schuylkill River Trail in the first round of Google's Street View Trike competition. Now we need you to vote again. As one of the first multi-use trails highlighted in Google Street View the local and national profile of this trail would be raised enormously and may help give us the political muscle to complete the trail.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Saturday's Ride Nov 14

Weather is supposed to be mild and looks to be great for a nice ride. I have picked cue #226, never have done it before. Heads down to the Kennett area with a nice rest stop at a Landhope. So bathrooms will be available and snack food if needed.

Visit WCCC ride page to download the cue sheet. Lows so far for Friday night are 40, so this ride will start at 10:00 am. Try to plan for 3 hrs.

Make sure to dress correctly, coats and gloves and headbands. Tights and nice heavy socks. Riding through the winter is my goal. I am hoping some chicks will do too.

I am closing in on 2000 miles for this year. My goal for next year is 3000 miles. Hopefully I will not be having any surgeries and missed biking time. I hope to motivate some other chicks to match my miles.

I again recommend the Bike Journal for tracking your miles.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Rides for Monday and Tuesday, Nov 9 and 10

I am heading to the Schuylkill River Trail Monday morning, leaving from Betzwood at 10

Plan on doing around 30 miles.

Tuesday afternoon ride, open for suggestions, all i want to do is around 20 miles. Something easy.

Email me if interested libbydotmaxim@gmaildotcom

Saturday, November 7, 2009

biking in cold weather

Chicks did about 28 miles today, started out at 39 degrees and rose to 52 degrees. This is not really cold weather but it does take some good gear to survive a ride in these temps.

We all had long tights, thick socks and some type of windstopper or good jacket. A nice headband that covers your ears is necessary as well.

Re-visit the blog page where I discuss winter clothing.

I do plan on TRYING to run a ride every Saturday. As long as it is not snowing and not below 32 degrees, I will try to run a ride. Biking through the winter makes a HUGE difference on your riding next spring and summer.

Hanging the bike up for the winter is just NOT necessary. You miss a good amount of riding and it can be equally fun.

suburbs and country have ZERO bike infrastructure

Here in West Chester, PA, we have nothing in place to support folks biking to work. We have many roads that are narrow with no shoulders, we have no bike lanes and we have no bike to school safely routes either. There seems to be little interest in providing anything for the residents of Chester County. Car is king in the burbs!

We have had the Chester Valley Trail in progress for 20 yrs, when, if ever built, will provide a bike route from WC to King of Prussia. This trail should have been completed years ago. I just hope I am not dead by the time this trail completes.

My boro council should be right now making plans to get a bike lane in place to connect the boro to the Chester Valley Trail. Right now there is no way to get to the trail from the boro except by car. The roads to the trail have NO shoulders at all and carry high speed traffic. This leaves the kids in the boro unable to access the trail. What does my boro council do?? talk about how to keep West Chester historical. Well it is historical alright, good for horse and buggies on the back roads.

The boro streets are jammed with cars and absolutely no places for bikes. No bike racks either.
When PennDOT resurfaces roads, what do they choose out here in Chester County??? tar and chip, the worst surface known to mankind for the cyclist.

Counties with high traffic roads get macadam, we would not want the cars on rough roads. Biking out in the burbs is not for the faint hearted. You must be in good enough shape to cover 15-20 miles, about the average commute to work, you must have a good bike and good bike gear.

If we had some decent bike trails, which tend to be flat, more folks could bike. And more folks could bike with less than great bikes. Biking in my county is a hilly job. Biking in my county requires gears and shifting knowledge. Biking in the burbs is a sport and not for commuting. Too bad!

Friday, November 6, 2009

obscenely healthy holiday food

Nancy's Pumpkin Bars


1. Spray 9 x 9 baking pan with canola oil.

2. Using a 14 cup food processor, blend eggs until creamy.

3. Add cottage cheese, molasses and vanilla to eggs. Blend until thick and creamy (approximately 1 minute).

4. Add one can of pumpkin at a time to the mixture, blending in between.

5. Add remaining ingredients, except nuts, and blend until mixed.

6. Mix in nuts until blended.

7. Taste the batter to check sweetness. Add some stevia or more spices according to your liking.

8. Pour into the sprayed pan and sprinkle cinnamon on the top before baking.

9. Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 45 minutes. Rotate the pan at 50 minutes to ensure even browning.

10. When the bars are cool, cover with plastic wrap or foil. Cracks will appear on the top and will flatten when the bars cool. Note: Bars must sit overnight for the flavors to meld. They will not taste good right out of the oven.

Nancy's Inspiration: "I make these healthy treats nearly every week for my trainers at Cressey Performance [training facility] located in Hudson, Massachusetts. They are highly nutritious, packed with fiber and they taste amazing. We often keep the tub of pumpkin bars out for the clients that need a little "extra something" during their workouts. This does the trick."

Makes 16 bars. Serving size 1 bar.

Nutrition Facts:

Per Serving: 140 calories, 9g protein, 7g fat, 9g carbohydrates, 3g fiber, 167mg sodium

Banana Bread

3/4 cup fat free plain yogurt
1 cup fat free cottage cheese
splenda or stevia to taste
4 large egg whites
2 cups oat bran
1 cup oats
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large bananas, mashed
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


1/2 cup oats
3 tablespoons creamy natural peanut butter
stevia or splenda to taste


Preheat oven to 350F, and spray 2 8x4 inch loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray.
Make bread batter by beating yogurt and cottage cheese cheese at medium speed with electric mixer until creamy.
Add splenda/stevia and eggs, beating until just blended.
Combine oats, oat bran, baking powder, and baking soda in another bowl. Gradually add this to yogurt/cottage cheese mixture, stirring just until blended.
Stir in bananas and vanilla. Pour batter into pans.
Make streusel by combining the oats, stevia/splenda, and peanut butter in a small bowl. Cut in the peanut butter with a pastry blender or fork until the mixture is well combined and crumbly.
Sprinkle the mixture over the batter, and bake for 1 hour, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. If necessary, shield the top with foil for last 15 minutes to prevent browning.
Cool bread in pans for 10 minutes, remove from pan, and allow to cool on a wire rack for another 30 minutes

from the Bicycle Coalition of Phila blog

Thousands of stranded SEPTA riders have found a two-wheeled, human-powered solution to their commute. Based on counts conducted by the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia yesterday, Day Two of the SEPTA strike saw a 38% increase in bicyclists during rush hour."

Bike Chic, WHY i hate it

High Fashion

Most folks reading my blog post on Bike Chic misunderstood my stance. What I hate is the fact that bike chic for women TENDS to be women in skirts and spiked heels. And this is true of any fashion chic involving women. I do not care what women wear on their bikes, but I do care that "chic" is skin and sex.

And what prompted my blog post in the first place was the TV show Oprah did on the same issue except it did not involve bikes.

She had her show guests pulling average looking women off of the streets and redoing them. Off came the sneakers, pants and backpacks and on came heels, skirts and expensive purses.

This is what got my blood boiling. And now I see this same thing with women and bikes. IF you want to bike naked, go for it, just don't proliferate the Net with pics of ladies on bikes half naked and call it "chic."

That term needs to be redefined to include lots of ladies on bikes. To me any lady biking, be it in heels or bike gear is a chic lady.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Bike Chic Libby style:motivating women to bike

powerful senior citizen, retired teacher, biking for the last 30yrs

future Biker Chick

Libby and her twin sister circa 1964

we did 50 miles of hills

circa 1972, homemade bike gear, Addidas sneakers, my twin sister

chicks helping chicks

chicks changing tires

my current bike, built in 1978

male bike chic: my son

the most exciting biking pic of all time

Like many dealing with the strike, sisters Napol (front) and Alice Wills get ready for a new way home from Central High School.

The pic above has to be the most exciting biking pic of all time: school kids riding bikes. What can Philadelphia do now to encourage this kind of travel for our city school kids? Obesity among our young is at an all time high. Kids standing on street corners smoking cigarettes and waiting for city buses SHOULD be a thing of the past. The article goes on to tell about a young man walking 8 miles to get to his magnet school. This strike should be a call for all who manage the streets of Philadelphia to get into high gear and start making bike lanes from school to school in Philly.

I live outside of Philadelphia, a small town with ZERO infrastructure for biking. When my youngest son was in grade school, he wanted to bike to school. So we did. We had to bike on a 4 lane highway, navigate very narrow no shoulder roads and finally we got to school. There was no place to lock his bike. Finally we found some metal post around the back of the school. The school janitor saw us at the end of the school day and he said he wondered how the heck my son's bike got there.

Why is it that biking and walking to school is now looked upon as an unsafe activity for kids. Schools do not want to be liable for kids biking to schools. Well yes, the way our stupid roads have been built, I would worry too, but it is HIGH time our communities get into action and make biking and walking to school a reality. Portland, Oregon has some great bike lanes into the city. But for the suburban kids and country kids, there is nothing on the horizon. My county, Chester, is a prime example. We have NOTHING to make biking and walking to school a reality.

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