Saturday, January 30, 2010

losing weight by not trying

Hunky (eastern european slang term of which I am) FOOD, some call this stuffed cabbage, in my world we call it "hapulchi"

I have heard from a few folks asking me if I have lost weight. I DO NOT own a scale nor do I want to buy one. I never weigh myself. ALL I am doing differently is not thinking about it.

I eat 3 large meals a day, and with my son home, we cook up a storm. We make everything from scratch. We buy nothing in a box except chicken broth. We do buy lots of frozen fruits though to add to drinks or hot cereal.

We eat so much fruit and veggies that I had to resort to buying many of them from Sam's Club. Large bags of oranges for 7.50, large bags of apples, large boxes of kiwis and huge pineapples. We buy the organic spinach there too as it is half of what it is in the food store. My son eats a large bowl of cottage cheese spiked with nuts, wheat germ and tons of thawed out frozen cherries each day. Sam's sells large containers of cottage cheese for a fraction of what the food store does. We also started using regular bars etc for our bike snacks and we get these at Sam's. Much of my food is laying on the floor in the dining room and my kitchen is not large enough to store it all. I need two iceboxes and 2 kitchens, none of which I am ever going to have.

I use the Ellie Krieger Healthy Living Cook book for some recipes. Some are Rachel Ray and some are off of the Net and some are just plain food, baked chicken, salads etc.

We spend a small fortune on food. For those of you who have never seen a 20 something large man (who exercises a lot) eat, you have NO CLUE as to how much food gets eaten and bought in a week. Men who are over 6'5" eat like no one else on the planet.

Tonight I am making a pork chop dinner with apples, cabbage and carrots and onions, all cooked together in one pan. Again, tons of veggies. I will also make a large fruit salad. Oranges, bananas, apples, kiwi, pineapple and mango and grapes.

You would be surprised if you cut up the fruit into small pieces, you can really stretch your fruit budget.

Eating well requires TONS of cooking. But like biking, the more you do, the faster you get. Since I have been cooking for 3 large men for the last 30 yrs, I have become as good as a short order cook. I can make 3 meals at once and actually did that last week. Then we ate leftovers for 3 days, so that makes it worthwhile.

So we eat a lot of food. NOT eating to lose weight is surely the key to gaining it all back in a short amount of time.

I am convinced you have to learn how to eat a lot of good food and lose weight at the same time in order to keep it off for a lifetime.

I hope to lose more weight but DO NOT plan on doing it in some time frame, if it takes years, it takes years.

If starving oneself was working, Oprah would not be so fat. That woman has no idea how to eat.

So my theory, and my son has been telling me this for years, START eating and lose weight.

Just keep biking and exercising with all the eating. He has told me, the one sure fire way to derail a good exercise plan is to skimp on food.

He keeps telling me to eat MORE. So if you are starving yourself and not eating, you are doomed to failure, trust me, I have been there.

If you have lost weight due to not eating, it will not last. It will come back. Again, been there, done that.

If you take meds or have a medical condition that causes you to gain weight, I dont care, all you have to do is start eating well and exercising.

Well, I am heading to the health club, 40 minutes on the step machine, some pool time and then home for a huge lunch. Making homemade chicken fingers, homemade blue cheese dressing and a large salad. Now that is a meal.

By the way, stuffed cabbage last only a few days, we eat it with kielbasi, the eastern Eurpoeans know how to use cabbage, stuffed sausage and potatoes, their mainstays!! They were poor.

5000 miles for 2010 update

Today is Jan 30 and so far I have done 250 miles. For the month of January this is pretty good. Last week I did 2 thirty mile rides as the weather was rather mild. Both my son and I have found that we enjoy the colder weather. You do not run through bottles of water the way you do in the summer heat, and with the leaves down, you can see much more scenery.

Plus when you do see other rides, these riders are way more friendly than in the summer. Seems to be a mutual respect.

I have also mastered the solo ride. For some time, I was not keen on riding solo. But now I have come to enjoy it. Some pluses are:

1. can ride as long or short as you want

2. can stop whenever you want

3. don't have to shout out directions to other riders

4. lots of time to think and ponder

5. cars are not nearly as angry when it is a solo rider out in freezing weather

6. very peaceful

I do believe the key to getting better on the bike is merely to BIKE. You do not have to waist money on fancy computer training programs, spend time on the spinning bikes nor feel that you must get faster.

Just BIKE, that is all you have to do. Go slow, go fast, does not matter. It is simply a matter of laying down the miles. The more miles, the better you will get. Nothing magical.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

here's to a gentler and kinder way to fitness

this can't be fun

I have posted before about my goal of 5000 miles this biking season. GOOD news, I have already motivated one chick to join me, she is right now squeezing in cycling even though she is busy. She goes out for a quick 10-20 miles in order to accumulate miles. Now this is how it is done.

I am heading out today for 25 miles. Every time you bike you DO NOT have to do 30 or more miles. While at my bike fitting yesterday, Tom K said it is actually better to ride 4 times during the week and do just 20 or so miles each time. My son has repeatedly told me this. But like all of you, this just seems too easy. He said in terms of conditioning, this scenario is better and increases your conditioning. SO more times on the road is the best plan. Running out for a quick 20 miles does the body good, better than doing 3 long rides per week.

As women, we all think, "got to go for the burn, got to feel the pain, no pain no gain, if it doesn't hurt it won't work" and the list goes on and on.

We need to change the paradigm. Women and I guess men too, are conditioned by the media and diet book promoters that in order to get fit and lose weight, we have to suffer. Have to be starving ourselves, have to be exercising so hard we drop and must do the exercise with intensity.

Here's to the gentle way to fitness. JUST BIKE. No need to speed around the countryside, no need to climb hills all the time. JUST BIKE.

NO need to go to training classes, no need to kill yourself in spinning classes, no need to eat a small bowl of cereal for breakfast and that is it till a miniature lunch. Then more exercise.

Just eat and exercise and HAVE FUN!! Fitness will follow.

Change the paradigm!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

a barn, a pair of eyes and a conversation

Now this is a bike fitter, we are in Spectrum's Barn Workshop. Tom Kellogg is watching me bike. Tom watches from every angle.

That is all Tom does, WATCH plus he listens and he listens very well.

This is a fitting like none other. This is low tech fitting, this is a fitting by a master, someone who has been fitting and building bikes for over 30 years. Tom does not use a computer with electrodes, nor does he use fancy measuring tools.

Tom uses his gifts and those are his eyes and his ears.

I was with Tom for 3 hrs, no ringing phones, no other customers, unless you count his dog.

Tom has the paint cans right in his shop, I picked bright red, bright blue and white.

Tom is one low key fellow, he loves the bike, he loves biking and it shows.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

100 miles and counting

Libby on January 1,2010

As you know I have set the goal of 5000 miles for this calendar year. That means on average I have ride about 100 miles per week.

Now in January and February this might not happen. So I will have to make it up in the warmer weather. I hope to do about four 25 mile rides during the week and then do a long ride on the weekend.

Look for 50 mile rides being posted by me for almost every weekend once the weather warms. These long rides will either be on Saturday or Sunday morning and I will be leaving early. Maybe as early as 7 am.

I am heading out today, 22 miles. I have several cues that are between 22-25 miles. Today is my Westtown cue. I do the Cannery cue and I do a ride out to Eagleview as well. So I try to go in a different direction each time.

Anyone is welcome to JOIN ME. During the summer I will be posting Tues and Thursday evening rides taking off at 5 pm so that we can do at least 25 miles.

The rest of my weekday rides will be early morning, around 9 am.

Will start posting these as well once the weather warms.

SEE YOU on the bike!!!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

my dream bike

I go to my bike fitting this Wednesday at Spectrum Bike. The fitting is 3 hrs long, Tom has over 30 yrs experience building bikes. So not your average guy setting up a bike shop and saying he can fit bikes and has done about 100 bikes and is age 22.

SO buyer beware when it comes to fitting. In my book nothing can replace experience,

I will be getting a titanium bike with outstanding components and wheels. This is my 60th birthday gift. Don't want a cruise, don't want a vacation, and really don't want a party, all colossal wastes of money in my book, but hey, whatever floats your boat when you turn 60.

If you want to pop balloons and invite friends over, more power to you. For me, all I wanted was a bike.

Hey you ask, why get a custom bike?? Well, I am taller than the bikes made for women and of course not long enough in the upper body, arms, hands etc as well to fit on a man's bike.

So for really tall or really short people, sometimes custom is the only way to go.

I am gonna pick the colors etc when I am up at Spectrum. So far thinking of bright red with some blue and white trim and some titanium left exposed.

Wish me luck.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

how to get good in biking

How do you get good at biking?? Buy a trainer?? Take a computer driven training class?? Go to spinning classes?? All of these sound good and probably would help make you a better a cyclist.

But in the long run, in my humble opinion, the best way to get good at biking is to bike. Bike on roads, go as slow as you want or as fast as you want. Bike on varied terrain, some hills and some flat. Get out in all weather. If it is at 32 degrees, biking is very doable.

As you can see in the photos above, my son and I did 28 miles and found the temps of 35 degrees to be quite balmy compared to what the Northeast has been experiencing.

I did splurge on a balaclava and Underarmour gloves which I posted about before. I bought outergloves also by Windstopper. And I recommend shoe covers as well. Even if temps rise, the roads are still very cold and your feet will feel it.

We have temps coming in the mid forties for the next week or so. Good weather for biking. If you have locked yourself out of winter biking, you are missing a great way to get outdoors and enjoy your bike.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

at least some kind of bike trail is being built

If I keep waiting for the Chester Valley Trail to be completed, most likely I will be dead and buried. 20 years and they finally get a few miles contracted out, yippee!!!

Whereas Delaware is starting an ambitious bike lane along rt 52 from rt 1 to Wilmington. Holy car rage Batman, an actual bike lane in the state of PA that is not in the inner city limits.

This would be a nice ride for the citizens of PA and DE. Delaware has indeed kept the shoulders wide and clear on the DE side of rt 52. PA has not done such a great job.

But here is a detailed article from the Daily Local News.

KENNETT — With $925,000 in grants in hand, a scenic bikeway along Route 52 (Kennett Pike) from Route 1 to Wilmington, Del., could be a reality soon.

Plans to make Kennett Pike safe and useful for bicyclists have been in the works for four years. Bicyclists who use Route 52 currently take their chances with motor vehicles zooming past them.

Improvements officials say are needed include removing foliage engulfing much of the road's shoulders, rebuilding the shoulders, enhancing drainage and creating rest stops.

"If the engineering contract is approved soon, construction work would likely begin in the fall. From there, completion would be six months to a year away," said John Haedrich, a project co-leader and member of the township's planning commission.

About 90 years ago, Pierre Samuel du Pont, DuPont executive and developer of Longwood Gardens, purchased the Wilmington and Kennett Turnpike Co. and re

built the road. He then deeded it over to Delaware and Pennsylvania as the Kennett Pike. Since then, because the du Pont families own so much of the road frontage, commercial development of the Pike has been limited.

Delaware has maintained its 5-mile section of the pike so that it retains wide shoulders and adequate right of way for bicycles and pedestrians.

But the 2.8-mile stretch of Kennett Pike from the Pennsylvania state line to Route 1 has seen its shoulders deteriorate and the adjacent landscaping become overgrown in many places, making it dangerous and unfit for bicyclers and pedestrians, planners say.

Recognizing the value of a safe bikeway connecting Wilmington to Longwood Gardens, and from there to other scenic bikeways in Chester County, representatives of the pennsylvania Department of Transportation and the Delaware Regional Planning Commission began meeting in August 2005 to discuss grant applications for funding to improve Kennett Pike.

Their efforts resulted in the formation of a 45-member steering committee, which eventually broke into smaller working groups to plan and develop the new bikeway's concept.

A consultant for the committee, Urban Engineers, issued the planning committee's final report in October 2009. The report detailed the working group's 2008 discussions of data collection, analysis and concept development. This work led to the committee's primary report: the "Preferred Bikeway Concept" for Kennett Pike.

According to the report, creating the bikeway will involve reconstructing Kennett Pike's existing shoulders to create a minimum 5-foot-wide bicycle lane on both sides of the road.

"This is the most costly aspect of the plan, estimated at about $726,000," Haedrich said.

The concept also calls for appropriate striping, signage and pavement markings in both directions.

In addition, drainage improvements and significant landscaping work along Route 52 will be necessary. Better drainage is needed to ensure that the bicycle lanes remain clear of debris. This will involve regrading and cleaning adjacent swales along on both sides of Kennett Pike and possibly reworking existing drainage pipe as necessary.

Immediate landscaping will include removing brush and other vegetation that extends into the bike lanes.

A more detailed landscape plan and total cost estimates will be done during the final design phase.

Most of the funding for the bikeway project will come from the federal government, but Kennett is also providing significant assistance. Of the total grant amount of about $925,000, 80 percent will come from the Federal Highway Administration, 15 percent from the township and 5 percent from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Regarding the funding, Haedrich said, "Some uncertainty still exists — even though our FHWA grant is fully approved — because of today's economy and everyone's need for funding."

Haedrich also noted the bikeway project is tied to another project — the relocation of Route 52 near Longwood.

"We need the final design of that project so that we know what it looks like in the Hamorton area at Route 1," Haedrich said. "We need to know about crosswalks and how bikes will safely cross Route 1 from Kennett Pike."

Friday, January 8, 2010

sports companies ignore tall women

I am not that tall, 5"10", size 12 shoe. But this size has locked me out of any sports equipment for the feet or bike tights, bike jackets, Speedo bathing suits and the list goes on and on.

I wear a Long Torso Speedo, it comes in two colors, black and LESS black, i guess tall ladies have no fashion sense, hence the thinking that we do not mind wearing a black suit year after year. Isn't this a stunner!!!

Bike shoes are worse, there is no option for a women's cycling shoe over size 10. I wear a size 45 Sidi Men's shoe. Would love to buy a women's shoe but none are to be found.

Hey how about Crocs , I need an XL in Croc, only colors are usually black, brown and beige or army fatigue. Oh boy.

Would love to buy a pair of Keen sandals,
but they only go up to size 11.

Most bike shorts, tights and jerseys are too short as well. A few brands are longer. Velor, SheBeest to name two.

Terry Cycling sells a LONG tight and has come out with a new short this year. 10 inch inseam and a longer rise, yipppppeeeeee. THANK YOU TERRY

This winter I am getting a brand new custom bike from Spectrum. I cannot buy a bike in a store, too tall for lady's and too short in the upper body to buy a man's bike.

I know tall men have the same issue. My son is 6"8" and also on a custom bike. He pulls and stretches most bike clothes on but struggles to get into a lot of the stuff on the market.

You regular sized folks have no idea how hard it is to find stuff for sports when you are tall. I gave up skiing long ago as the boots were a problem. No size 12 ski boots for ladies either.

I look through Land's End, so many nice sports shoes, but alas, no size 12.

Running shoes are a different matter, many companies make size 12 and larger for women. Asics and New Balance to name a few. If size 12 running shoes sell, why not the other sports??

I have long given up trying to figure out why. I know a family of 7 girls, they all are tall and wear size 12 shoes. So there are folks out there. But we buy our men's shoes year after year.

Someday, I want to own a pink pair of size 12 shoes!!!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

going the distance-aiming for 5000 miles

Biker Chicks is changing this year. I will no longer be posting C rides on Saturday morning. I am hoping someone from within our ranks steps up to take over this job. We may have a C+ group this year as well, a few ladies have volunteered to lead this group.

To be a ride leader:
1. must be a member of WCCC
2. must be willing to give of your time
3. must be willing to keep the group together and safe
4. must learn the cue routes
5. must attend a spring meeting to go over ride leader responsibilities

Hopefully I will hear from someone or maybe you know someone. The WCCClub is in dire need of offering more options for riders other than A and B rides which on some Saturdays can number close to 10 different groups taking off.

With just one C group, this is pretty bad. We need more ride leaders and less whining as to why you cannot lead a group or why the club is not for you. If the club seems to be for fast riders only, DO something about it. BE A RIDE LEADER and make the club for you.

I will be offering rides on Saturday but I am starting a new group. My Saturday rides will be at least 50 miles and we may meet at places other than Hot Foot. Look for me to have the Pedal to Preserve ride up for May. I now have the cue and will be offering this ride in May on either a Saturday or Sunday morning.

My rides will often have a food stop as part of the ride. I will be doing the Chester County Cancer ride, Pedal to Preserve and maybe the French Creek Iron Tour as well, all long distance rides. I may also do the Seagull Century again. This ride is in October.

I will continue to do Tues and Thurs eve rides but these rides will take off at 5:00 pm and NOT 5:30 pm

These rides will also be around 25 miles long. These rides may also take off at different places in order to get more variety. Most times these rides will take off from my house in the boro.

So this is early in the year, make plans to keep some Saturdays open for these long distance rides. Do something different this year with your biking. More miles is a good start.

So email me if interested in being a ride leader.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Google phone has gone public

why do i care??

The new Google phone has the google maps, and interactivity with the maps built right into the phone. You simply type in the address you wish to reach, and up comes turn by turn directions and the google earth view as well.

Now if Google could just incorporate or find a way to set a setting that would pick bike worthy roads as opposed to four lane highways.

If this would happen, your phone could replace your GPS unit. Now it is not waterproof, a big plus for the GPS unit and if you want all that fancy stuff like cadence and who knows what else,

then turn by turn directions are not gonna be enough for you.

But for folks who want to find their way home when biking and lost, this phone is IT.

The phone sells for $529 without a plan or $179 with T Mobile. Verizon will have it available in the spring of 2010.

As I have said in a previous post, Google really needs to take biking and route making to a new level that only Google can do.

Big bike sale at Terry Cycling

Terry is selling its Demo bikes. Great sale. The company is moving to Vermont and wants to sell off its demo bikes. Check it out, great great prices. Now you have no excuses.