Biking Birthday

Does time ever fly! On Presidents Day, (Monday the 20th,) I’ll be biking every other day for one year! I am both excited and shocked at what I pulled off. I didn’t miss many days. I never felt like quitting but there were some very low times where I kind of wanted to slack off.

Looking back there was so much blood, sweat, and tears. I had falls, (lucky this over 60-year-old didn’t break bones,) bumps, and terrible bruises. I not only hated hills but had to walk my bike up some of them at first. My face would be so red when I got home and looked in the mirror I used to look like a heart attack walking. I would collapse on my bed until I recovered.

dscn4618

When I started riding my bike I had already lost 30 pounds but I was still plenty chubby and out of shape. You can see it best in this picture. I was on a diet of 1,200 calories which helped get me to where I am today. My bike, however, was like new then.

20170126_124859

My hair is not the only thing that changed this year. If you compare the pictures you now see a healthy woman with a better (although a little beat up) bike. A woman at her target weight since last August. A woman who didn’t gain weight back through the holidays while drinking eggnog and a little dark rum. A woman who’s in, and stays in shape. It’s certainly something to celebrate!!

bekkiescheapsunglasseseyes

I feel like a movie star and so can you! I’m a real person who’s done this without any expensive diets, fads or help. You just need to do it, don’t give up, and don’t give up.

There are a few things I couldn’t have done without:

  • Myfitnesspal is an application that will help you keep track of your food calorie intake and nutrition needs. You fill out a profile and it uses your info to help you know how to eat. It’s easy to use, has all the foods, a bar code reader and you can enter your own meals. It also connects to various health bands, and exercise apps reporting your meals (calories) to them. It will also import caloric burn from other apps (including Mapmyfitness) and add it to your day’s calories.
  • Mapmyfitness is an application with GPS that keeps track of calories burned during various different exercises. I use it for my biking and it maps my ride keeping track of everything. I enter my type of bike, wheel size and profile info so it’s pretty accurate. It gives me my average speed, fastest speed, time biked, calories burned, time of day, altitude and much more. It compares my rides with other members in my area which is very interesting. It works with your phone, shoes, or fitness band including Myfitnesspal. It’s a free bike computer that’s easy to use and will announce your stats to you out loud while riding.
  • Jawbone’s UP3 is a fitness band that measures sleep cycles, steps, exercise activities, resting heart rate, food intake, and more. I’ve been wearing one since Oct. 2015 and found it has many features that are very helpful. It features a digital coach that crunches your data and gives you personal help and great articles to read. I’ve become addicted to monitoring my sleep, having this helped me with my insomnia to become a champion sleeper. It connects to Myfitnesspal and Mapmyfitness trading food, caloric and other info.

I use these apps for free but if you pay monthly they have some great features worth paying for. Connecting applications to each other isn’t new but I don’t think people realize how useful it is and how much you can get done using less.

There are wonderful tools to use when improving your health but it’s really up to you. If you don’t take the first step you won’t get in shape. If you’re in bad health most of the time you will be obese. Lose the weight and some of those medical problems will disappear. Add biking to that and soon you might be celebrating your own Bike Birthday and living a longer life.

You just need to do it, don’t give up, and don’t give up.

Signs You Might Be A Cyclist

You’ve seen “them” riding on their 10 speeds, hunched over, no fenders, wearing colorful stretchy biking outfits and zooming by you barely managing a nod. Cyclists!

I swore this would not happen to me as I turned up my nose while riding (sitting up) on my 31-year-old dutch style bicycle on the Bay Trail. Of course, in no time I was wearing colorful stretchy (in my case Yoga) outfits zooming by people…and nodding.

~gasp~

I was “one of them”!

There are all kinds of bikes to choose from sporting all types of riders but there is a common thread throughout that bonds us together as cyclists. The rituals and quirks that rub off on us all as we navigate our lives around our bicycles. Isn’t it good to belong?

6-easy-ways-to-embrace-the-cycling-lifestyle

Photo from MapMyFitness

Signs You Might Be A Cyclist 

  • You can’t recognize your biking friends when they aren’t wearing colorful stretchy biking outfits.
  • The “check engine” light in your car has been on for months, but the most minor mechanical issue on your bike is fixed first.
  • You have at least one Facebook profile shot of you posing on or next to your bike with a gorgeous landscape behind you.
  • Your bike has a nickname.
  • When your driving you watch out for other riders, you slow down to a near crawl and give them plenty of room. You know what it means to be in that bike lane.
  • You also know what it’s like to use choice words when a vehicle cuts you off or a hater honks and nearly startles you off your bike. (They are out there.)
  • You run errands after your bike rides while wearing your colorful stretchy biking outfits. (Don’t forget to take the helmet off!)
  • You spend more time biking spending weekends and planning vacations around bike rides and rides with groups.
  • Stripes on your thighs and ankles, cut-out shapes on the tops of your hands, your colorful stretchy bike outfits tan lines will incite laughter at the beach and pool.
  • You ride to and from work because it’s the fastest way, and you’ve become a pro at changing in the office bathroom.
  • You don’t notice the grease on your clothes or tear in your pants until you’re at that meeting.
  • If you’re a woman, you take better care of your favorite bike clothes than your finest lingerie. (They can be expensive.)
  • If you’re a man, you have smoother legs than your wife or girlfriend.
  • You embrace fluorescent jackets, vests, and shirts. The brighter, the better.
  • You know what it means to do time in the saddle.
  • You’ve felt the shame of having to walk your bike up a hill and the pride of conquering that climb on your bike after a few weeks’ of riding.
  • You have more colorful stretchy biking pants (or shorts) in your laundry basket than jeans.
  • You’re baffled when your roommate or partner doesn’t understand why your bike can’t be stored outside.
  • Some of your hardest falls have happened when you’ve stopped or slowed to a crawl, which doesn’t make sense but happens none-the-less.
  • You take a bad fall with bloody hands and knees, but your first question is whether or not your bike survived.
  • You look and feel better than you have in some time, can’t stop smiling, and have oodles of extra energy.

~large smile~

148432939257608-1

My bicycle photo made into a GIF using Masterpiece Art Filters from PhotoLab Pro and LunaPic.

ef64a62a0f63e085c36dbb5402da48c6

 Rules 2 Remember While Riding

sameroads

5a23b708dc9f78871648a1cae1373805

Use Your Hand Signals

You may not have fallen prey to all of the signs yet but I predict you will. If you fall in love with cycling you’ll enrich your health and life becoming stronger with more energy. You can do it.

You’re a cyclist! One of us, one of us, we accept you, we accept you!

Shadow Dance

Yesterday was the shortest day of the year and I took a long bike ride. The light was fantastic! All day it seemed around 3 pm and it was a warm 64 degrees with bright sunlight not at all winter-like. Made me break out in a happy shadow dance!

Shadow Dance was me dancing to a song (playwright protected so not used) with my shadow. I had no idea James was filming me until I turned around. James rode with me on Wednesday, when this was filmed and I rode again the next day (yesterday) by myself taking advantage of the weather. I was just having fun and the music I used instead is hilarious.

20161221_132427

There was more shadow play during those rides. The texture of the mud at low tide is wonderful and varied.

20161222_132838

Near the 19 hole golf course, the frogs are making a comeback. We’ve had tons of rain that is washing the drought away. The grass is sparkling.

20161222_123427

There was no water here just months ago. This field is across from the wetlands, on the other side of this fenced-in area there’s a park and this area fills up with rainwater only. There will be a lot more water soon.

20161222_133243

This is another area across from the bay that fills with rainwater and city run-off. The water used to stay but it’s been drying out during the summer. I love to sit on this bench and listen to the frogs that mysteriously appear along with the return of the water. They give a good concert if you take the time.

Notice my bike shadow. Nice!

20161222_132946

San Francisco is my riding buddy as I zoom along the Bay Trail.

20161222_123432.jpg

The sun shines on my path in the distance. You can see where the water is still not full up on the left behind the fence.

20161222_133051

Looking South towards the San Mateo Bridge, Highway 92. I ride under and past that bridge on a normal ride day.

20161221_132832

This is low tide with San Francisco in view. San Francisco is down the peninsula from San Mateo, not across the bay as these photos might suggest. These major areas are points that were picked because they stick out along the coastline. The airport is in-between us and the city.

20161221_132403

The city in the distance, surrounded by mud and water. The colors of blue, brown and sometimes green are amazing. The water is the color of the sky, reflections in the calm water, and deep winter shadows make for great sights! When the tide comes in this will all be covered with water again.

20161222_123518

I’ll be biking again tomorrow unless it’s pouring rain. I’m excited to be nearing a year riding my vintage bicycle on the Bay Trail. I started last year around February 20th riding my bike after starting a diet. When I found it enjoyable and found it working I decided to try and ride every other day.

Riding every other day has so many advantages over planning 3 workouts a week or such. A day to rest and get things done and a workout day. If something comes up skip it and go the next day, this keeps you regular so you don’t quit. Your body will shape up faster and regular workouts will make your body healthy giving you surprising energy reserves.

Today I’m proud to say I’ve fulfilled that schedule only missing occasionally due to illness, injury or terrible weather to start again. It’s not as hard as it seems but you must keep your motivation going when it’s low and it will be at times. I keep my eye on the prize (my figure and health) and work through it. Can’t wait to celebrate a year soon.

Do it, be it and enjoy it!

 

Bicycles And Christmas

The holidays are upon us and my mind turns to…bicycles and Christmas! Let’s not forget the New Year but one holiday at a time, please!

0a3713ffd6883bda96fe3665327908e5

Visions of, and internet searches for, a new touring bike have been buzzing around my little head this season. I have seen some amazing bikes. Not that I can afford one but one but I’m saving my bucks.

I love my old bicycle I really do but I don’t have the talent, tools or room to refurbish it like I’d like to do and it needs work. I like the fact that it’s made really well, a 10 speed and I don’t have to pedal to switch gears. This was a thing that Schwinn came up with in 1986.

There are many things I like about my bike but there have been updates to bicycles and parts in 30 years.

When the time comes I’ll have to decide just what I want to do probably this spring. I could see my old bike refurbished/repainted it would look great! Something to look forward to in the New Year.

14822531111197091746

I got curious about what kind of artwork I could find about bicycles and Christmas. I found some great things to share.

Above and below are postcard type Christmas cards.

70149b1538f60b9a01658704f37123b6

'Dear Santa, if you leave a new bike under the tree, I will give you the antidote to the poison I put in the milk.  Timmy.'

One way to get a new bike…

imageedit_3_4701135631

An old Schwinn holiday commercial. Look at that white flocked tree!

1482253vcccc97091746

DE3085185-28-Facebook-bike-wheel-wreath-hack-1200.jpg

il_570xn-678981729_c523

I would love to own and proudly wear this sweater! Ugly, or not?

poinsettia-bicycle-christmas-card_1024x1024

fyv9uh6houg7rwf-medium

869c18ec-ba85-11e6-b255-0a6afe88c81b

xmasbikemediasantared1000_small1

14822539709haha1746

article-0-0f25860200000578-546_634x894

A 12-metre tall Christmas tree made with 230 bicycles has been installed at a shopping mall in Shenyang, China, this year.

imageedit_6_6815222427

santa-rampage-7214

Santa Cycle Rampage Day in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin.

p5pb5997120

Laurence Crossman-Emms’ 2015 Christmas Shot.

7fd462ff09e264cfc284beee41889380

The 2013 ZeroCelsius Christmas Tree bicycle parts repurposed from the dump to the Wealth Studio.

TOD74192

 

image-from-yudu-com

2010_xmas_ornament

Christmas Tree Made of Bicycles Unveiled At The Rocks

dbd405b8ff31b9c406b387753763a92e

santa-bike

I’m making a turkey on Christmas day with garlic mashed potatoes, giblet gravy, roasted carrots and some other goodies. Some rice pudding for desert. Right now I’m drinking egg nog with dark rum. I am splurging for Christmas but in moderation watching the waistline.

Hope you enjoyed the artwork. Whatever your plans I hope you have a nice Christmas. Wishing you all the best in health and bike riding!

Love, Bekkie

p1030387-1

Tis the season to be jolly!

Daily Articles-Cycling Sunday

I know I haven’t been writing daily here and I plan on changing that. This is the perfect time to share what I’ve learned this last year about health and biking with you during the winter season when things slow down a bit. (Who am I kidding? Lol!) Not that I’ll quit biking here in the Bay Area, in California, I can bike all year as the weather doesn’t get close to freezing very often.

This was my first summer biking and hitting my target weight in August. Exciting times for me while I made many discoveries about myself and my health. I learned a lot and through strengthening my bad knees with my biking was able to walk for miles again. I was buying awesome new workout clothes, biking in beautiful areas and taking great photos to share. I wasn’t spending much time sitting down to write.

I’m changing all that by starting Cycling Sunday, each week on Sunday I’ll share some things I’ve learned or photographs I’ve taken while riding. Sometimes I’ll write more often but there will be a new post each Sunday starting with this coming Sunday. I hope you will stop by and share with me.

Please don’t be shy either, this site has been awfully quiet with no comments on my posts. I’d love to know what my readers are thinking. I hope it’s not, “What is this crazy old woman mumbling about?”

It’s not summer anymore! My biking wardrobe now includes a knit cap under my brain bucket (helmet), long underwear under my compression jacket (with thumb holes), leather gloves, and a scarf if I need it. I wear compression capri workout pants but my legs don’t get cold enough in this weather. I keep a cheap rain suit (clear pants and coat) in my bike bag and do use it. Keeps me going until springtime.

When my core temperature warms, I get into my target heart-rate zone, my muscles warm up and I feel like I’m flying (a half hour into my ride) there is complete zen. I am one with the world and my rubber on the ground is the only thing holding me to the earth.

Guess I’ll keep biking and writing about it. Lol!

20161206_112728

BTW, I’m putting up more photos on my sidebar. Pictures from my rides on the Bay Trail and riding mates of course! Please be patient as I add them.

Please check back for Cycling Sundays and other articles this winter.

Happy Biking During The Holidays!

Bike Rally Artfest

I thought today we’d just reflect on how awesome our bikes make us feel through some cool artwork and sayings I found on the internet. So let’s rally together and enjoy!

ef64a62a0f63e085c36dbb5402da48c6

schwinn-inner-child

c371376b1ef6077d8b36f4e954af06d8

a151a65dfd213e371930f92aff84b67a

a34168cd7555191bd07d70f925dae4f7

3d081d960b80cb4a0ad3c0934d3cb59d

4aab907d374fb0a8874465855f42afc6

0612c57e3c92fa3d2bc54a019ce11419

54bdddd1fa7dbea9c11026e13436d7ed

c0c01fe825678193fcf9ec55ed8b338e

31728ef7269b48d8bb13b8b44877ebe5

5f86a3ba6abd36ec8f086f39f2007a05

02cee9369636357e4b30125d22f37f95

3bcadcd8c22fea04a23d331e4709cb20

d0a57f019b1a2fbd4df9724e307750ea

cb10e66b5971a09d2e1ca2b50eabbdeb

96e855258aa68b55712ac430d2ab6439

45c939f67661785a6aa783fa6a43dd01

20160507_093005

(This is from a Tshirt I own.)

bca4ded079550cbe706f2f062c1df9da

e5f5fd42ac17766338d4400bb1262b1c

f6c36fd1a00433cb9fb9cf802019af61

I hope you liked these as much as I did! They’d be great on Tshirts, wouldn’t they? The artists that come up with this stuff are so talented!

Now take this good mood get out there and ride!

Just My Bike And Me

Wetlands passing by
the waterbirds feed
it’s a very good day
on San Francisco Bay.

To be out of the city
yet see it ‘cross the bay
even foggy days
it’s there on display.

Wind in my hair
just a gentle breeze
sun hot on my back
as I follow the bike track.

The sharp salt smell
clicking of the gears
the songbirds sing
colors on the wing.

Drifting down the trail
I feel like I’m flying
at peace so quietly
just my bike and me.

© Rebecca Sanchez 2016

I am very lucky to be able to bike the Bay Trail up close and personal at this time. Sharing my photographs and poetry is one way I can show you just how special this area is to me and why we should keep it as pristine as we can. The animals who live here and nature depend on us.

20160529_133452

The featured image is San Francisco with the fog coming in as seen from Coyote Point. This image is the San Mateo Bridge, Highway 92, looking from Foster City towards San Mateo. The tide is out so the wetlands are exposed but when the tide comes back in the waters of the San Francisco Bay will be all the way up to these rocks and beaches.

Earth Day

As bike riders, we have seen pollution first hand, up close and personal. If you ride in the city it’s in the gutters of the bike lanes, in the parks (despite the many garbage cans) you see bottles and trash all over the ground. I always ask myself, “What’s wrong with people?” But there is no answer.

Riding in the country is no picnic either. Dumping is done anywhere and everywhere. There can’t be trash cans placed all over the earth and it’s really not that hard to carry your trash back home. Then why can’t people do it?

There are recycling centers and places to dump any kind of garbage you can produce and yet people just don’t have the time or inclination to do it. I’ve seen every type of person out there chuck garbage. Parents littering with their children are teaching another generation not to respect our planet. I hate to say this but people are just that selfish.

We are creatures that want fulfillment instantly. If we don’t feel it’s going to benefit us immediately we’re probably not going to do it. We are a short-sighted race with limited intelligence for all of our so-called smarts. I notice many people can look at a nature area covered in litter and not even see it. That kind of thing chills me to the bone.

To me, there’s nothing worse then riding the beautiful Bay Trail and seeing the trash and dumping that’s still going on. There are trash cans all along the trail and sometimes there’s trash on the ground right by the can taking laziness to new heights.

DSCN4629

Looking towards San Francisco during low tide you can pick out all kinds of trash in the mud including a whole bicycle that’s been out there since I’ve been riding. Tires are numerous and I’ve seen shopping carts. I’m not surprised by anything anymore.

I try not to include the trash in my daily photos of the Bay Area but the birds pick at cigarette butts, the fish are swimming in god knows what and it makes me sick. One part of the trail has a large tidal pond where I take pictures of white herons, ducks and other large waterbirds feeding when the tide is low and there are tied bags of trash floating amongst them. San Mateo residents should be ashamed.

There’s not much that can be done about controlling other people’s littering. Shaming doesn’t work and education is falling short of making a difference. I’m usually a positive person seeking answers but each year when Earth Day comes around I find myself a little sadder. Talking about it once a year is not enough when it’s a daily problem.

tumblr_mwn6r5kjX21ru5h8co1_500.gif

Make A Difference-Don’t Add To The Problem

We can make a difference by making sure we don’t add to the problem. I will even pick up other people’s trash if I find a plastic bottle or yogurt container at my favorite bench and have a place to carry it. There’s always a trash can ahead or at home. In our own lives, we must be proactive and pick up our messes. By doing so we are helping the planet by being responsible and it adds up.

When we control our own trash it never turns into a problem for someone else to handle. We can be proud that we are doing the right thing keeping the earth clean and our trash away from wildlife. They don’t know any better but we do!

If You Have To Smoke-Take Your Butts With You

Both of my parents smoked around me growing up, I was lucky enough to be turned off by it and never start. I know people who religiously pick up their litter but never think about what they do with their spent cigarettes. They don’t disintegrate or go away and the filters last forever. I see them everywhere on the bike trails it’s a disgusting habit. Hurt your own health but don’t ruin my view!  Please don’t empty ashtrays on the ground near your vehicle either take it back home.

earth

I’m a poet and can’t let Earth Day go by without writing about it. Hope you like it.

Earth-Day-Dana-Gray

Believe

Believe in a better tomorrow
believe that the air is pristine
believe that there’s nothing endangered
the future remains to be seen.

Believe in a world that is caring
believe that the oceans are clean
believe companies are recycling
the future remains to be seen.

Believe in a healthier planet
believe if together we lean
believe we can all do what’s needed
the future deserves to be green.

© Rebecca Sanchez 2016

Artwork: Earth Day by Dana Gray

e16e74a63567ecb44ade5c87002bb1d9

Have a great Earth Day! When you ride your bike pick up your litter!

Earth Day is every day-your actions make the difference!

Look What I Found On My Ride

Yesterday when I was on the return leg of my trip I saw something dark on the trail ahead. As I pulled up I saw it was a young seal! It was right in the middle of the trail and I saw a cyclist stopped nearby talking on his cell phone. He was calling the Marine Mammal Rescue Center in Sausalito so I pulled over to assist.

DSCN4593

Seal in danger! Cyclist’s and even state vehicles pass through here.

I found out his name was Luke and he was talking to the rescue people. While I waited to find out what they said I dialed a few numbers. The Humane Society was not helpful at all telling me they “didn’t do marine mammals.” I found them cold and not willing to even give me a phone number that would help. In fact, everyone was passing the buck. It made me sad.

DSCN4596.JPG

I carefully herded him into the grass on the side of the trail. Look at how much his coat shines in the sun.

DSCN4600.JPG

Once in the grass, he looked at me and seemed curious. It was lucky he was young because full grown, these seals can be vicious even attacking people.

Luke was instructed to take a photo of the seal to send to the rescue center. He did so and was told they’d send someone out. Sausalito California is far away but they said they’d find a local volunteer.

DSCN4601.JPG

Look at that face!

I called the same rescue center myself for good measure. They acted like they didn’t know about it even though Luke had called and sent a photo. They told us they’d send someone out. I had to be somewhere by 6pm so I had time to wait. Luke had to go back to work so I sat on a nearby bench watching.

Many people passed by not even seeing this little guy. A few people stopped and one guy was touching him. I asked him to stop telling him it was vicious and would bite him. I was just stretching the truth a little to make him leave the poor thing alone. He backed off. I can’t believe how ignorant and selfish people can be. You should never touch a wild animal unless you have to.

a9316857f7

I figured out that he went up the walkway (see map) and ended up on the trail. These rocks are big and sharp he wouldn’t have made it over them otherwise. You can see the bench I sat on.

I was worried because 3rd street (in Foster City) is not far away. I have to hope the seal just went back the way it came after sunning itself. After waiting over an hour taking videos and photos no one came to even check it out and make sure it wasn’t sick. They may have shown up after I left but I don’t think so they just didn’t seem interested.

DSCN4608

I think this seal was a little girl. Once she fell asleep she was unconcerned about the lack of care or the problems of the human world.

DSCN4609.JPG

What looks clumsy on land makes seals acrobats in the water.

DSCN4604

The seal checks me out as I check her out. You can see the city street behind us. In many areas the Bay Trail is close to city streets and highways.

DSCN4614

Begrudgingly I left to go home missing one of my afternoon appointments but what a story and experience.

DSCN4612

It was an extremely windy day going home with gusts up to 26 miles an hour making whitecaps on the water. The wind surfers were out in force if you look closely you can see them “making air” with San Francisco in the background. I almost got blown off of my bike and had quite a workout!

Seals showing up in people’s yards and in city streets is just a part of the spring season when they have pups and seek out places to keep them safe not realizing these places are inhabited. There was a story on TV this week about a small California fur seal pup being found in a front yard in Fremont. This young seal is the same kind.

It was such a precious experience yesterday, one I could never have had without my bicycle. I’ve seen the sea lions that hang around Fisherman’s Wharf but never see the seals especially up close. I’ll never forget this day and hope the young, unnamed seal is swimming in the bay and happy.

My videos from my cell phone aren’t the best but I uploaded the seal videos I took to YouTube. Check them out on my channel.

Marine Mammal Rescue Center, 415-289-7325 (seal), you should be ashamed of yourselves! Telling us you would send someone out and then not following up. At the very least, you could have called me back to update the situation. There’s no excuse.

When the wind works against you get a sail.