Wednesday, September 30, 2009

map for Sunday's Widows Ride

For some reason the cue does not come out accurate, here is the map, not a hard ride and we will stop at Northbrook for ice cream or donuts or whatever you want. Ride is about 29 miles, so not long and relatively easy. A few hills over on Grubbs Mill but that is about it.

football widow's bike ride

The weather is awful this week, cold and now rain. Yikes. What happened to our beautiful fall?? So in this regards I am planning a Football Widows' Bike Ride on Sunday October 3 at 1:00 pm. Meet at my house, 206 E Virginia Ave, google it. There is no parking at the Hot Foot lot with Sunday church services.

Not sure where we will go yet, but it will be a nice ride, nothing too hard or too long. Supposed to be nice, at least according to Accuweather. After the ride, if you want any bike help, such as tire changing or how to clean your chain, I would be more than happy to help you.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

women and biking and making communities

All I see on biking blogs are reasons why women do not bike and that if trails exist, they attract women riders. The question is though, not so much why we need more trails for biking but why don't women get on the roads and bike.

I heard from 2 ladies this week about biking with other women. The first said,"I LOVE riding with you. You are a reliable, committed biker who is fun to be with and not a wimp. I've learned over the years there are a lot of women who are all talk and no action, but you are not one of them. We decide to do something and they wimp out on you due to an important reason like a hang nail. For a long time, I had the philosophy if you want to do something, count only on yourself. But biking is a sport that works better in a team environment. I commend you for working so hard to develop a biking group that supports one another."

The next lady said, " It is really great the kind of community that is building in West Chester among cyclists and you are big part of making it happen. Being there and caring about others resonates consistently in your messages."

I am not printing these messages to pat myself on the back, but to encourage MORE ladies to give biking a chance.

Both of these above ladies were scared to death to bike on the roads. Both are past the age of 40 and both have taken up bike riding and both are doing so well. Both have invested in good road bikes and both ride regularly. Both ride on the roads.

So what do these two ladies have that you (if not riding) do not. Nothing. They just decided to give biking a try and voila. They loved it.

Women do like a community. Women like to bike with other women and women like to feel safe. I get that as I like those things too. Women for ages have formed groups for social activities. From quilting bees to forming play groups for their children, women like to socialize and have fun with each other.

Biker Chicks is one biking club that will accept all cyclists and encourage you to ride on the roads, buy a good road bike and learn how to take care of it. We support you the entire ride, we teach you how to shift gears, we run biking clinics and we help each other.

It is funny, women love to talk about equality in the workforce but when it comes to recreation, they become the 1950s all over again. Sitting at home watching their husbands or boyfriends doing adventurous stuff.

On my bike ride on Saturday, I fell going up a hill. I bruised my leg but ya know what, I was fine. My bike partner helped me up and we walked to the top of the hill. And off we went. As my bike friend said, " hey, think of all the ladies our age sitting at home with their ailments and here we are in the rain and biking 50+ miles!" She was right.

So what is holding you back?? why won't you get on a bike and try something new? what keeps women from the roads? why won't you spend some money and buy a bike? I get that the economy is bad right now, but if you do your homework, you can find a good used bike too.

One young chick that rode with me in the early spring showed up on her $200 used bike. I could see right away that she had a lot of talent. I encouraged her to try biking with a faster group. She did and recently she completed a triathlon and is making plans to buy a new bike. Now that is what I like to hear.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

ode to the best biking partner EVER

Elaine and I would have been happy to find just one way to instant sunshine!

first of all I have no idea what an "ode" is but Elaine is getting one from me but before my "ode"
a few notes on the Bike Fresh Bike Local ride.

ok, it rained, it rained a lot, i was covered in grit and grim when we got back. Took me a full hour to clean my bike and shoes. the roads were very wet, and very gravelly (sp) and often had pot holes as we were on some really really back roads, they looked like some old farm's driveway.

Elaine and I and Lisa and Steve and Sara went barreling up rt 282, man we were great! That was at 8:40 am. Then came Devereux, a right turn that went straight up, naturally I fell, same old same old Redwood going down, Elaine helped me up and i walked the rest. The others took off at this point and we saw them briefly at the rest stop.

but holy wheel hubs Batman!, it took me 4 hrs to do 30 miles, yeah you heard right. If I got any slower I would have been going backwards. Lots of hills and lots of downhills,but the roads were so terrible we had to brake downhill, that is what brakes we had.

so we obviously got no running start for any hills, we met the next walking hill in French Creek. We just went up and up and up and then right at the end, the up got really UP! I managed to extricate myself from my cleats to avoid a repeat of the previous fall.

There were others walking so i had some company. There was a guy behind me in way worse shape, but he proved to one fine fellow and had either a girlfriend or wife with him and we invited both to join us on a Biker Chicks ride.

There was ONE rest stop and that was at 29 miles. I did not even walk down to the food table as I did not want to slip since like a moron i forgot my cleat covers, idiot! The next stop was at 41 miles but you had to climb a long hill and then turn around and come back down. Elaine and I said "no way in hell" and we headed home.

Elaine stayed for lunch and had pulled pork, i was so wet and dirty I headed home and straight for the showers.

Now for my "ode" to Elaine. I would have never finished this ride without her. The whole way she kept me focused and upbeat. I coulda been crawling on hands and knees and Elaine would not leave me. Elaine is one of the rare few who when she says she is biking with you, she really means it. A few times I had to slow down and Elaine slowed down. Elaine, this is one big huge public thank you, you do win Biker Chick Partner of the Year Award.

But, heck, I am not done with awards, again, me and Elaine (yeah i know that is bad grammar), anyhooo, me and Elaine get the award for doing and surviving the 3 worst rides of the year - French Creek Iron Tour, Covered Bridge and Bike Fresh. French Creek ride was just one big hill. Covered Bridge was the Iraq ride, i mean coulda it gotten any hotter?? Then we rode 50 miles in rain, dirt and hills again on the Bike Fresh. Only thing that saved me on the Bike Fresh ride was that the last 20 miles were basically flat and the rain had stopped somewhat and the roads improved, they became paved instead of the messy roads we had at the beginning. We could get a little speed downhill, so that was great, and felt great too.

But on the happy side, Elaine and I made it. We did about 53 miles as we got lost, the road markings were far and few between. We really had to use the cue sheet, Elaine went through 2 of them. The first one just melted. But Elaine is back and Elaine is good. She survived two surgeries and lots and lots of rehab. Riding with someone is a skill, you have to constantly keep your partner's well being in focus. You have to stop and rest if your partner needs it even if you do not. A good biking partner is never so far ahead that they have to stop and wait for you. Cuz if they were, they would not be a good partner.

The Bike Fresh ride required an excellent biking partner as there were very few riders on the road. I wonder why?? This ride demanded that you take care of your partner. Or you could of been in trouble. So thanks again Elaine. We made it.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

for my national readers

West Chester Public Library, built in 1885, renovated in 2005

West Chester PA Farmer's Market

Downtown during Christmas

one of the covered bridges in Chester County

Thinking of taking a biking vacation?? Really, ya should consider coming to Chester County PA. We are located west of Philadelphia and right next to Lancaster County as well. Biking in Chester County is probably one of the best areas in the nation.

I have biked extensively in Santa Barbara, CA and in the Palm Beach area in Florida and in the Ann Arbor MI area as well. What Chester County has is the combination of hills and flat and scenes to take your breath away and the huge network of tertiary roads. So many back roads you can bike for weeks and weeks and not cover all the available roads.

When I was in Santa Barbara, the mountain views were spectacular but the amount of roads was limited and many were busy roads. Florida is nice but the main road is the A1A and that is it. There are no back roads in South Florida. And the hostility on the A1A is getting out of hand for the cyclists.

In Chester County we have covered bridges, horse farms, split rail fences and gently rolling hills. You can head west to Lancaster County or south to Delaware or east to Philadelphia or north to huge hills. North has French Creek State Park which is very hilly and beautiful. You can head to Lancaster county and bike through some of the most spectacular Amish country in the nation.

You can spend a 2 week vacation in this area and bike everyday to some place new. Better yet, plan your trip when one of the local area rides is taking place. Check this link, Suburban Cylists, click on EVENT CALENDAR and check out the local rides in the West Chester PA area.

To name a few, Chester County Challenge, Dog Daze Century, Pedal to Preserve, Bike Fresh Bike Local. All of these rides take place in the Chester county area. All are spectacular. Pedal to Preserve is in Lancaster but an unbelievable tour of the Amish farms.

West Chester hosts the nationally known Iron Hill Criterium in July. Over 20,000 folks come into West Chester for this event. For the cyclists, it is known as the best of their season. The riders say that no where else in the USA is the crowd as good as West Chester. Plus West Chester is a great little town. Lots of restaurants and outdoor eating. Check out my older post called, Things to Do in West Chester.

My son is up visiting from Florida. He said, "boy I miss this scenery and varied biking." He agreed, nothing like this county for a wide variety of biking opportunities. West Chester is an old historic town, over 250 years old, so for you westerners where old is something near 50 years, you will be amazed at how different a town can look.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

attention Chicklets

Pokey Libby

No ride Thursday, life is getting in the way, stuff has come up, but Sunday's Bike Fresh Bike Local is a go, come on out. either do the 25 miles or try the 50. I have done little biking this month so I will be good to ride with if afraid of the fast riders.

You always have Pokey Libby to ride with. Steady Eddy, old reliable, whatever names you can assign to me.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

ride like a car


On our ride last Saturday, we had a group of about 12 or so riders. We were on Five Points Road heading towards QVC. We were on the right side of the road and a car behind me stopped and was trying to turn right.

As I watched with my rear view mirror, I saw the bikers still following me and NOT stopping to let the car turn right.

It was not a good situation and luckily the car was patient enough to wait for the all riders to pass by him on the right.

I am not sure what is right here but I am guessing the cyclists should have stopped and let the car turn right.

Does anyone know the rule for this situation??

Monday, September 21, 2009

Group riding, why do it?? Chicks start a new buddy system

I was reading some email posts from another club, the ride leader was wondering why some folks show up for group rides and then proceed to ride way ahead and sometimes even take off to the point that the rest of the riders never see them again.

Indeed, bike clubs and group rides exist for one purpose and that is to ride with others. Group rides provide some company on the road and let you ride with some degree of safety since there are others with you on the ride. Group rides are NOT for everyone. Some folks just want to ride alone and there is certainly nothing wrong with that.

But no matter whose bike club email posts you are reading, they all sound the same. No one rides the posted speeds, people always take off the front of the ride, either raising the group speed or just hijacking the ride completely.

What is the problem?? why show up for a group ride if you have no intention of actually doing the posted speed and if you have no interest in keeping the group together??

Some ride leaders do not really care if they lose folks or if folks take off and I have to ask, then why run a group ride? If as a group ride leader you do not really care if you lose folks then you do a disservice to those that show up.

Keeping a group together is just part of the ride. If this does not interest you, then bike alone. Cuz if you show up for a group ride and then take off, it says to the group that you have no interest in them.

This season Biker Chicks has been known for helping new riders and inspiring old riders. This season several riders have taken off in their skills and speeds. But all started in the Biker Chicks. So this says a lot about our group of riders. Julia and Melinda and Lexi all did the Marsh Creek triathlon. All three rode with the chicks, Cass did her first century this past weekend. Libby and Ellen did a century last fall. Eileen and hubby have done the Ride across Iowa for many years.

But Chicks are a unique group in that we accept all riders and are willing to help riders achieve great things. We are unlike the other groups in most clubs. We do not race each other, we teach skills to newbies, and we have fun.

So why the group rides create so many problems is a mystery to me. My own club has had its share of issues and anywhere on the Net you can read about some club ride gone awry.

In light of all of this, Biker Chicks is starting a new policy. When our group is more than 8 riders, we will pair up and each pair will keep track of each other. That way no one gets lost and the temptation to take off in the front will be lessened.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

kids and bike trailers, another rant, I hate them

this style is just plain dangerous

this is better

I saw a post on talking about a problem a cyclist had with a motorist and his bike and child trailer. He has his daughter in the trailer and got buzzed closely at an intersection. The cyclist blamed the motorist.

I am taking the reverse position in this regards. I do not like to see bike trailers on roads. To me this is just too dangerous and not worth the risks to the child. There are other options, bike trails or roads in housing developments.

A better alternative is to get a good tricycle or small bike for the child. Walk with the child while she rides, more exercise and a better all around activity. I used to jog and my youngest rode his bike next to me. He loved it and we both got exercise.

Or if lucky like me, we had a large hospital parking lot near by, which was most times half empty and especially on weekends. We would bike together to the lot and then play bike games at the lot.

In the Philadelphia area we have many trails for parents to use with children and trailers. I do plead with those parents who think dragging a child in a trailer is safe to find something else to do with the child.

A trip to a park comes to mind. Swings, slides and climbers, way more fun for the child. But get rid of the trailes, just tooooooo dangerous.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

fabo ride today

Fall is the best time ever for bike riding in Chester County, cool temps and soon we will have the extra treat of the fall foliage. We did 30 miles this morning and had a great time although we lost Thebesteverlisa (her twitter name) and her fiance, not sure what happened, I texted my phone number to her. Check WCCC ride page for posted rides coming up for Chicks, I will list my cell on that page.

Next Sunday I am doing the Bike Fresh Bike Local, a great cause and ride, Starts and ends in Downingtown, come on out.

Tentatively planning a ride for next thursday evening, leaving my house at 4 pm, (no parking in town at this time) and we will do around 25 miles. Check WCCC ride page for updates on this ride. Make sure to check it prior to heading out for the ride.

BUT COME ON OUT, this is the best and most fun time of the year for biking.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Staphylococcus aureus - A Staph Infection

My son recently got hit with staph, his exact staph was labeled MSSA, doctors thought he had MRSA, he ended up in the hospital, knee had swollen to the size of a cantaloupe.

He went to the ER, and lucky for him he went to a trauma center. He was under the knife within hrs of seeing the orthopaedist. Lucky for him as well, that his ortho guy was top notch and recognized a bad situation quickly.

He was immediately put on an IV drip of a very powerful anti-biotic and then had the knee drained and surgery followed.

So what is the point of this post, only by some luck and vigilance did my son receive such good treatment with what appears to be a good outcome.

We all use health clubs, spas, hot tubs and weight rooms. We all use health club showers and locker rooms. We all get scrapes and injuries when cycling. We all tend to ignore them as well.

We do need to be careful of treating cuts etc with care, while my son had no recollection of any cut, needless to say, he still got staph. He had no visible cut or scrape and could not remember having one within the last 6 months.

My son responded well to anti-biotics, why, who knows? I do know that he eats no meats with anti-biotics in them and tends to eat very healthy foods.

But I do know, there are more super strains of infections and we are all vulnerable. Hand washing often, cleaning and taking care of any injury are two things we can all do.

stay alert

I see many many folks driving their cars with cell phones stuck to their heads, kids in the back seat - this is a moving 2 ton automobile on auto pilot

No one is at the controls, and these folks are on the roads when we cyclists are on the roads. Many do not see us, many are impatient and many just do not care.

So when biking, you have to bike with the notion that unless you pay 100% attention to what you are doing, you may end up a statistic.

You have to use a rear view mirror, you HAVE to ride single file and you must have some road sense when on your bike. You are looking for potholes, gravel and any obstacles in your path.

If biking in a group, you must be aware of the other riders, do not follow close, do not stop suddenly and announce when you have a problem.

As ride leader, I take your safety personally, I want you safe when you ride with me. I want you thinking about safety and I want you to be courteous to cars and pedestrians. Car is KING, you stand no chance against the car. Remember that.

Club riders get a bad rep on the roads as road hogs, and rude to the cars. As cyclists we cannot change how car drivers view us but we change how we are seen on the roads. Stopping to let a car by goes a long ways to keeping that driver happy. Think of the next cyclist he encounters, he may be less impatient.

Group riding and riding 2-3 abreast

Biker Chicks are moving to promote single file biking at all times when on a two lane road with heavy traffic which happens to be many roads in Chester County. Biker Chicks are cracking down on riding near the center yellow line.

Now we all have ridden 2-3 abreast and have been talking and not paying attention. But I think at this time with all the hostility of car drivers towards cyclists, our lives are at stake.

We must ride on the side of the road, when there is no shoulder, it is suggested that we ride about 2 feet from the white side line. This gives the cyclist some wiggle room if buzzed. If there is a wide shoulder, we should ride near the white line.

I also highly recommend the rear view mirror on your helmet or glasses so you can watch what is coming from behind. Many guys think this is whimpy but I would rather be alive and whimpy than dead and not whimpy.

So when out with the Chicks, I will be serious about single file riding, and using common sense. When we bike through a housing development, single file is not necessary but most of our rides are on busy roads. When I yell single file, move over immediately. Hey wait, I should not have to yell out single file cuz Chicks will always be riding single file. Roads where single file riding is required are rt 842, rt 82, rt 162, rt 100 and Sconneltown Road. There are no exceptions on these roads

Thursday, September 17, 2009

bike fresh bike local

September 27 Bike Fresh Bike Local -ride starts at 8 am

Ride starts and ends at the Victory Brewery in Downingtown, Chicks will meet at 730 ish in the parking lot, Elaine and Libby will look for you. At this time, we will attempt the 50 miles, BUT be prepared for Libby to go slow, I hate hills and I hear there are hills on this ride, I have already told Elaine that she will have to drag me up the hills

Victory Brewing Company is five blocks off of Lancaster Ave. /Rt. 30. Acorn Lane is between Chestnut Street and Whiteland Ave.

From West Chester via Rt. 322
Take 322/Downingtown Pike. Make a right at the light onto Boot Rd. Make a left at the next light onto Chestnut Street. Make the first right after going over the bridge onto Acorn Lane. Make the first right into the parking lot. Victory Brewing Company is the stone building that starts at the corner of Acorn and Chestnut. Proceed to the back of the lot to the Victory Brewing Company Restaurant.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

two options for saturday

Saturday September 19, two options, cue #140 and cue #171

cue 140 is 30 miles, Libby will lead this option and cue 171 will take off about 3/4 way through the cue 140 and go for 45 miles

go to the WCCC ride page and click on cues and take a look at them, we will split at rt 926

we all will do cue #140, those that want more miles can continue on with cue #171

Leave at 7:50, be on time, calling any newbies, must have road bike, no hybrids

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I don't post my rides so I don't have to bike with anyone new

Now this snobby attitude is quite common in bike clubs especially among the elite riders. They have their friends, their pace lines and do not want anything to change that

well that is just a shame cuz these snobs are missing out on one of the best parts of biking and that is meeting new folks,

I have lead the Biker Chicks now for over 3 years and have met so many nice folks, but this evening the newbie that showed up wins the award for "best newbie ever"

Elaine and I and newbie Jen took off, Jen was a little worried, her husband had given her pace line instructions, she was worried about the hills

well Jen was one fine rider, shifting like a pro, using her cleats and pedals like a pro, but the best part was that Jen was just so nice, elaine and I remarked that she was just a great person to ride with, Jen was chatty and a great rider, safe and strong

while riding tonight, the elite A riders go breezing past us, same old group, not a new face in the crowd

that is a shame, Biker Chicks ride to meet folks, if you do not want to ride in a group or meet new folks, find another group

women and biking

See yourself as the great Chick that you are!!!

one thing i notice and hear when biking with ladies is that the act of biking is done to lose weight, or to be able to go home and eat a big meal or to get a smaller rear end, or anything except just the sheer fun of it

women and exercise seemed to be intertwined with losing weight, whatever a woman does in terms of exercise, the sole purpose seems to be to lose weight

i rarely hear, " I am out here to have fun." More often than not, when climbing a hill, I again hear the same thing, "think of all the calories we are burning"

it is a never ending litany of self-flagellation and I find it kinda depressing

I have no idea if men do this or not, but i do know women do it all the time, it is just part of our daily lives, women constantly running themselves down

my hips are too big, i can coast faster now cuz i am so fat, if i bike faster, maybe i will lose more weight, it goes on and on

if i eat a donut, i had better bike 10 miles, how about just eating the donut cuz it tastes good and biking 10 miles cuz it is fun

Monday, September 14, 2009

traveling mamma comes home

Calling all chicks, LAST evening ride is tomorrow night, ALL are welcome, just not hybrids, look for Ellen to post a hybrid ride again at some point, heard Saturday was rained out

I am finally home after 8 days in Florida, son survived his staph, called MSSA. Still on IV and anti-biotic therapy for 5-6 weeks but he is anxious to get back on the bike

for all the horrors that Obama talked about in his health care speech, my son did receive excellent care at Delray Medical in South Florida. He had excellent doctors, had no waits for anything, got surgery within 12 hrs from arriving at the ER door.

Had excellent nurses, only blip on the radar screen was the home health care nurse, who showed up unclean and most likely on drugs. We tossed him out of the house and made other care arrangements. Live and learn.

But the nursing staff at Delray was absolutely the best, sooooo professional, and just plain nice folks. Son is back at work this week, he teaches little kiddoes science and computers.

BUT I am anxious to get back on the bike, saw tons of bikers in Florida and envied them. The flat roads would be a nice change from Chester County.

Looking for a large group Tues night, 5:15, 20 miles

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I luvs South Florida

ok, now if you can get past the sea of old people, canes, walkers and men in polyester pants and women in pants suits, South Florida is heaven

for one thing, it does not rain all day long like it is in West Chester this weekend, matter of fact, it can be raining on one block and not the next one

it is nothing down here to bike in rain cuz if rain scares you, you will not go out, now in the winter it can be dry for days and days and even months

apparently the driver rage against the fast bikers is about as bad as you can get, last newspaper article said folks were throwing tacks on the A1A, drivers can get out and slug the cyclist, so it is not pretty for those fast guys

but if you are not part of the maniac bikers who think they are Lance and that their Thursday evening ride is the Tour de France, you are fine with the drivers

the older you are, the better it is to be on a bike

the floral and fauna is something to see down, little lizard like creatures scurrying everywhere, Palm trees with actual coconuts hanging on them, flowers and all kinds of stuff, a botanist's nirvana

and the birdies, ya know how our trash bird is the pigeon up north, well down here it is a pretty flamingo looking thing, eating next to the trash cans, hoping for a snack, but heck, they are so darn pretty even though they leave a poopie trail like nothing you have seen

you never have to wear shoes, long pants, coats, or even bras down here, no one cares and there is always some old lady ahead of you in the food line with boobs down to her feet, so no matter what, you will look better than at least her

the Intercoastal runs the entire length of Florida, you can buy an old crappy boat with a motor and breeze up and down the Intercoastal and pretend you live in one of the huge mansions lining the waterway

and remember, the ocean if FREE, and if you have a bike, you can ride without seeing a hill forever and ever, only hills are the bridges over the Intercoastal

here in Boynton Beach, there is a wonderful fruit, meat and bakery market, selling produce like nothing you have ever seen in PA, trust me, when they say fresh down here, it means just picked

and at this market, soooo cheap, your basket is overflowing and it is under $50, melons of every kind and in the winter they practically give the oranges and citrus away

so life is good in south florida, warm and humid and your skin never needs moisturizer, just step outside and it is an instant facial, again, all good stuff

Friday, September 11, 2009

obamamize the bike trail system

dear president obama,

you seem like a guy of action, and you seem to get stuff done, you know that huge health care proposal, 900 billion smackos

how about taking 1 billion and take over the bike trail system in America. Public domain your way around the country and finally get some bike trails, bike roads, public domain your way through all those snooty little townships that prevent any kind of meaningful bike trail system

i live in Chester County PA, and my county has been quagmired ( not sure that is a word in that form) in trying to build a lousy 15 mile bike trail, it is now 20 years later and lo and behold, they are gonna finally build 3.9 miles,

i mean , holy cow, is that fantastic or what??

so how about it President Obama, bring home those military guys building all that stuff in Iraq, put them to work here in America, and get a good bike trail, bike road and bike lane system in place

I know you are all about the green machine, so let's see some green action in terms of biking, if anyone can do it Obama can

I am counting on you President Obama to Obamamize the bike lane mess in our country.

sincerely yours and with great HOPE

libby, biker chick

last evening ride up for Sept 15

I will be back in town on Sept 14 and plan on leading an evening ride on tues Sept 15, leaving at 5:15 from Hot Foot lot

it will be open to all, just remember, we cannot go so slow that we do not make it back before dark settles in

will do 20 miles, so use that as your guide, let's get a big crowd for this last evening ride of the season, spread the word

see you then, libby

Thursday, September 10, 2009

on the lighter side, reading a map and giving directions

Not that my son and I are out of health care hell, we can enjoy Florida, I have been sitting at the pool all day. Did my water aerobics, soaked in hot tub and then repeated it all. This is heaven, as the pool sits right on the Intercoastal waterway.

But since I have had to drive myself around my son's hometown here in Florida,, the Delray Beach area, I have had to rely on directions from strangers in stores and on the street. I guess no one knows north from south nor east from west, no one knows street names and no one can give directions that do not involve landmarks.

Here is one set i got, " you go that way, keep going until you see Chuckie Cheese, turn when you see chuckie cheese ( which way is anybody's guess) and my shop is right there." Now the store is on a 6 lane highway, so turning thatta way is no easy job.

Gee thanks, with those kind of directions, i will be right there.

South Florida is not hard, the roads are only north/south or east/west. There are no sides roads going in any other direction. I mean how tough is it to give directions.

While in the hospital, I asked the nurse to tell me how to get to Walmart which i could see out the window. The guy stands up and points and says, over there, it is just right out there.

20 minutes later and after going around the hospital parking 10 times, I discover Walmart actually sits on Military Trail ( road name), that is all he had to to tell me.

So to make my point, we cyclists have to be able to navigate the roads we bike on. Get a map and study it, learn north, south, east and west. Learn how to give directions without saying " turn at McDonals" and go thattaway!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

my rant on health care - getting good medical care is a full time job


still in Florida seeing the health care system up close and personal, trust me, getting a government public option is not fixing anything, it is pie in the sky wishful thinking

the bigger problem is the personnel delivering the care and unless you are well educated and very verbal, you are gonna get pushed around like a ping pong ball in the wind

health care delivery is way more complicated and since Obama and his cronies in DC get first class treatment not because they have insurance but because of who they are, they will never understand the plight of the regular folks sitting in an ER, there is just no way they can wrap their brains around it, no way, trust me

my son and I have seen some pretty bad stuff and we are well educated verbal people, I shudder to think what happens to poor uneducated people, that is something i cannot wrap my brain around although we came pretty close yesterday to getting this kind of treatment

giving the choice of a public option to folks on the fringe is akin to thinking a band aid is gonna fix a broken leg

it is such a small part of the problem, and i really cannot imagine how anyone in the USA thinks adding 50 million folks to the waiting rooms is somehow gonna work

as is now, the health care personnel departments are struggling finding competent folks to do the delivery of the health care

so having insurance is definitely not the magic bullet, the effort should be on addressing the lack of nurses and support personnel and medical drs as well

i would put in place right now a system where people in American could get money to go to nursing school or medical school, i would be sending money to colleges to train nursing professors, cuz right now nurses can make almost double the money of what a professor makes, so who wants that job, this needs to be fixed

until yu have a system in place to handle the all the new patients you are simply building a house of cards

have to start from the bottom up, not the top down, so I have no faith that just giving people insurance is somehow gonna make everyone healthy and happy

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

obama death panels

that'll get your attention, hey folks, I am down in Florida, one son ended up in ER, long story but I have had ample time to watch many many old disabled people here in Florida

this is "walker, wheel chair and cane world" down here, people in wheelchairs, people with backs so hunched they look like they are bending down,

people who can barely take one step with their walkers, many many old folks in bad shape

no wonder Obama wants to get ride of them, (again, kidding)

but the point of this post, if you are sitting at home and saying, " i cant bike, I am afraid, I cant bike far" trust me, that attitude will get you to "walkercity "faster than you can say, I am afraid

take my advice, no matter how bad of a biker you think yu are, GET OUT ON THAT BIKE

and do something physical, cuz the alternative is not pretty

Friday, September 4, 2009

from the Bicycle Coalition of Phila blog

New Plans For the Betzwood Bridge

The long awaited replacement of the of the Betzwood Bridge between the Schuylkill River Trail and Valley Forge finally appears to be moving forward. The Bridge was closed in 1993 and severed access to Valley Forge National Park from the Schuylkill River Trail.

The closing of the bridge raised the ire of the Bicycle Coalition of the Delaware Valley who staged a protest at the bridge. Several protesters were arrested when the fencing blocking the bridge was cut (charges were later dropped) but the result was a series of meetings with PennDOT that helped reopen access. First a bike shuttle service was initiated and that was replaced by the construction of the current "temporary walkway" that was cantilevered from the US 422 Bridge. The original Betzwood Bridge was eventually demolished.

Montgomery County originally planned a reopening of the bridge with a physically separated multi-use path and was supposed to be constructed in the late 1990's. However the latest proposal calls for a bicycle and pedestrian only bridge, the result of right sizing the project with the adjacent Schuylkill Crossings Route 422 bridge project.

At this time the design build contract could be let as early as December 2010 although it is likely that construction won't begin until sometime in 2011.

Scenes from the Betzwood Bridge Protest in February 1993

the need for speed

Chicks are growing, some chicks are now biking faster than the posted speed for Biker Chick rides, which is 11-13, I am not one of them but there are several now.

The C speed for the WCCC club is 11-13, and based on the other groups that are posting on the WCCC ride page

C+ would be 13-15 even though there are folks posting that speed, they are not doing that speed.

I do wish these other groups would actually post the speeds that they do, but this seems a never ending issue. But I do not want the Chicks to fall into this category.

SO what to do? me, Libby, will continue to run 11-13 mph average rides, and I am looking for someone to start posting 13-15 as a C + group as an offshoot of the Chicks. Those of you posting 13.5 or higher, post as a C+ group and be willing to lead it. This requires you to join the club and then sign up as a ride leader.

It is not fair to those looking for 11-13 to end up in a group going faster and visa versa, not fair for fast folks to have to go slower.

So looking for someone to step up, if you want you can post evening rides for next summer, it is probably too late in the season to do this now.

thanks and hope to see someone step up, this may be an end to the Biker Chicks as we now know it, but the discrepancy in the levels of the chicks is making it tough for some riders.

let me know what you think??


no one wants to get involved

Was watching TV yesterday and saw a show about the Jaycee Dugard kidnapping. Many neighbors were interviewed. All had seen weird stuff, yet no one bothered to get involved and call the cops. One complained the fence was 8 feet tall, the FBI man on TV suggested they should have gotten a ladder and peered over.

One neighbor said they had loud parties with lots of men in the backyard. We can only imagine what went on.

We all have those weirdos in our neighborhoods, most amount to nothing but many could be dangerous. Yet no one will call and complain about them. Why?

what makes it so hard today to call and complain, fear of retribution?? a good reason, folks have guns now and that certainly is a good reason to fear

what can be done??

how can we take our neighborhoods back and not be afraid to get involved??

certainly in the 18 years that those children lived in that house, others were aware of it. If they had parties, someone had to notice something odd. Apparently the children went to parties. Again, no one noticed anything odd that a sex offender had children??

Thursday, September 3, 2009

if you have never been on bike in Chester County

I took my hubby to the restaurant, Whip Tavern, last night. I did the Brunch ride to this place last weekend. Whip Tavern sits on rt 841, off of Rt 82. We of course drove to the restaurant.

I was amazed when driving, just how spectacular this part of Chester County is. We were in Newlin Township and others. But horse farms all around. And I mean rich horse farms all around. The area around rt 841 is unbelievable.

If I was not a biker, I would never know about this fabulous part of Chester County. Gentle rolling hills, horses everywhere, covered bridges and small winding roads.

Now we do not bike down rt 82 as it is narrow and can by busy but the scenery along this road is worthy of anything you see in New England.

You do not have to travel far to see some of the most beautiful horse farms in the country. The restaurant Whip Tavern sits alongside a beautiful small creek. rt 841 or N Chatham Road is so pretty, windy, flat and scenic. Beyond pretty

But to see this scenery up close and personal, you have to get on your bike. You have to get off of rt82 and take the back roads. To find these back small roads, you need a bike. When taking my hubby on some of these roads,, I was amazed at just how small they are. We bike on roads that you normally do not drive on. I would never know about these roads had I not been on a bike. My husband was amazed at the roads we bike on. He said he never knew these roads existed. I spotted a red tail hawk and again, wished I was on a bike as we could not stop and enjoy watching the hawk.

IF you have not yet biked with the chicks, you are missing some great times. Costing no money and only requiring a few hours on a Saturday morning, you can take a ride through the most beautiful scenery. I can only imagine this area come Fall.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

to be a nosy neighbor or not??

Which are you, do you peek into the backyards of the neighbors' yards, are you aware of new cars parked on the street, would you notice a person who was not a neighbor?? do you even care?? have you ever looked out of your windows???

In light of the recent bizarre events in Berkely CA with the kidnapping of Jaycee Dugard, I have to wonder, how could neighbors NOT KNOW that three people were living in the backyard??

I am a nosy neighbor, I have been in the same house for 32 years. I know everyone, maybe not by name, but I know all the faces of the folks within 3 or 4 blocks of my house. I know the faces of the kids that live near me, I know the cars. I walk my dogs everyday, it is impossible not to see into my neighbor's yards. I have been walking dogs for 9 years, everyday of the year. What else to do other than look at my neighborhood??. I notice when folks are redoing their kitchens, there are two projects going on right now. The other day, a group of kids were playing on my neighbor's gym set, I quickly saw that they were neighbor kids.

DO I spend all day looking out of window, heck no, but I am out in the yard, I do walk the streets and I do notice. I notice way more than my husband who walks the same streets. He is oblivious to the goings on. But not me, I am the proverbial nosy neighbor. But I think all neighborhoods could use a nosy neighbor or two.

On my evening local news, there was a story about how the neighbors all thwarted a burglary taking place in one of the houses. The neighbors got the guy and held him till the police showed up. When interviewed, the one lady said, " we take care of each other in this neighborhood."

Cheers to this lady and her neighborhood, maybe Jaycee would not have been kept for 18 years with no one seeing or suspecting anything if there had been a nosy neighbor nearby. How could 3 people, two of them children, hide in plain sight for so long?

I am baffled by this, how could neighbors never poke their noses in to see what was going on? I mean, the babies had to cry once in a while. I hear my neighbor's kids when they are crying. But as I said, this lack of any interest in this neighborhood is a crime as well.

for brave souls, from the Bicycle Coalition of Phil blog

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

PNBR - That Other Sunday Ride in September

Sunday's Philly Naked Bike Ride should be a really neat warm up ride for Bike Philly. Except your naked, riding at dusk and in traffic (Bring Lights!). Actually the ride is really clothing optional (along with some creative concealment) and you may want to consider leaving the 200 lumen Dinotte light at home. You won't need your wallet either, its free.

What you do need is an email sign up for the exact time and start point of the 90 minute ride which is available on their website. They also have a Facebook page which claims more than 400 fans, a good number of those are probably just that.

Philly Naked Bike Ride
Sunday September 6 2009
Start point TBD
Start Time - Sometime after 5PM

Do I really need to put in a disclaimer? Good, lets just say that neither BCGP nor the Bicycle Ambassadors are not affiliated with this event.