May Bike Check-Up

May is a good month to get your bicycle ready for summer. Either you’ve had your bike put away for the cold season or were lucky like me and rode all year but now’s the time to see what kind of shape your ride is in. Even new bikes can need maintenance.

If your bike is in relatively good shape you still need to keep it that way by keeping your chain adjusted and lubricated. If you have gears the derailleur might need to be adjusted and cables/brake pads can wear out.

How do I know if my bicycle needs work?

Some things will be obvious when broken but many aren’t. Those things are something a professional will be able to find and fix. You might not notice things are amiss while riding but once fixed you will be able to tell the difference.

If your bicycle’s dirty wash it like you would a car with soap and water. It’s important to keep your bicycle frame clean and dry. Even with full fenders, my bicycle gets dirty. A little car wax works wonders on the paint and makes your bike look like new while protecting it.

Now give your bicycle a thorough visual inspection.

  • cables and cable housings
  • tires/hubs/
  • drivetrain (chain)
  • front or rear derailleur
  • caliper/pads or disc brakes
  • brake levers/handlebar tape

Worn tire treads are easy to see and you want to check the walls of your tires too. Cracks in the walls (sides) of your tires come with drying and age. If you have them, or your vintage bike has it’s original tires it’s time for new tires.

Take a short ride, go through the gears, check the brakes, and look for wear and tear. If you’re not sure of something take notes so you can ask the mechanic. Most of the time your bicycle will just need some tender loving care and lubrication. There’s plenty of how-to’s to be found online.

If you can’t work on your own bicycle there’s plenty of shops that will. I take mine to the shop I bought it from. Do a search and see what’s available in your area. Most shops have websites with good information. Always read reviews if available.

Take it to the nearest bike shop for service.

Most shops will have a schedule for maintenance work so when you call for service ask them what they do for that price and what service specials they have. Ask how long they’ll have your bike and about the warranty on their work/parts.

While you’re at the shop ask them to be sure your bike is set up correctly for your body. Many people don’t realize they’re riding on an ill-fitted bike. If your seat isn’t right or you can’t reach your handlebars comfortably you won’t be riding your bicycle for long!

Maybe you want to upgrade parts on your current bike or look for a new bike. Your local bike shop can help you with that too. Most shops have refurbished bikes that can get you on the road this summer for cheap. Vintage bikes like mine are in style again and ride like a dream.

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The featured image is my 1986 Schwinn World Tourist. Once you get your bike back take it out and enjoy the seasonal blooms and weather.

If you take your bicycle to a shop for service do it now before they get busy. The closer to summer the longer it’s going to take to get your bike in and out of the shop. Avoid the rush and keep yourself safe. Accidents often happen due to worn parts or tires.

And wear that helmet!

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Bicycles aren’t just for transportation bicycles are healthy and fun!

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Lazy, Fat and Crazy Lifestyle Change-Sleep and Exercise

If you’re logging your food, cutting calories and eating healthier congratulations, by summer you’ll be looking and feeling marvelous! Just a few more tweaks and you too will find the Fountain Of Youth that being in good health offers us.

Although they stand on their own, if you missed the first parts of the Lazy, Fat and Crazy Lifestyle Change you’ll want to read these for the full plan as this is the 3rd part.

  1. Lazy, Fat and Crazy Lifestyle Change-Food
  2. Lazy, Fat and Crazy Lifestyle Change-Logging Your Food

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Now that we covered food logging and healthy eating it’s time to talk about the most important thing you can do for your health and that’s getting enough sleep. All sleep, however, is not created equally when you have a good nights sleep you can feel it the next day. You have more energy, find yourself in a better mood and perform better but there’s more to sleep than meets the eye (sheets.) By introducing exercise into your routine while practicing good nutrition you’ll sleep like a baby reaping all the benefits of a balanced healthy life. (See graph above.)

What do you like to do for exercise?

Weight loss alone can be done by limiting calories without exercise but there’s a good chance you will gain it back within the first year sometimes gaining back more than you lost. The good news is there are so many ways to exercise these days that you’ll be able to pick something you can manage and if you get bored with it there’s more to try. There really is something for everyone.

I want you to consider bike riding, not just because I love it but because it works for people of all ages. Bike riding daily (outside with 2 wheels not spinning) gives you the benefits of aerobic exercise without weight or strain on the joints. It strengthens your core and gives you nice legs while enjoying nature and getting sunshine. Best of all, it burns crazy calories.

Exercise is your friend and path to good health.

If you haven’t exercised for awhile, any type of physical activity will be new, so it almost doesn’t matter what you do for the first several weeks whatever it is will do wonders on its own. Walk, hike, cycle, row, jog, dance, swim, repeat.

Be patient with yourself, you didn’t gain all that weight in a day. When it gets easy for you then do more. Keep it up!

You will be tired, sore, you will sweat and struggle but stick with it because it will get better. One immediate and positive side effect of exercise is that you’ll start sleeping better after wearing yourself out.

Once you get started your priority should be taking your chosen exercise and establishing it into a routine habit. For that, more frequent workouts and a daily routine are best.

How often should I exercise?

Since 250 minutes per week of exercise is recommended, you might think that you have to work out every day to lose weight. Instead, you can exercise every other day or even every third day and still lose weight effectively.

If you prefer shorter workouts, then daily exercise is probably best for you. If you work out for 20-35 minutes every day, you’ll meet the expert recommendations for weight loss. Exercising every day will also help you to build a regular and healthy habit of physical activity.

Sometimes daily workouts aren’t realistic on your schedule.

If your work week is hectic, you might choose to work out every other day. But if you exercise fewer days during the week, each workout needs to be longer.

For example, if you do one 60-75 minute workout on the weekend and four 35-40 minute workouts during the week, you can skip a few days of exercise and still meet the guidelines for weight loss exercise.

If you have to skip several days during the week, you can still exercise to lose weight, but each session will have to be longer to meet your goal. It’s also hard to build an exercise habit if you don’t exercise very often.

I bike ride every other day. That gives me 4 workouts a week, a day of rest in between each ride and it works out to be a different day of the week each week which gives me variation. If something comes up I skip a workout and just start again on the next day. The important thing is if I have to take off a week or so here and there that it doesn’t stop my routine for good.

A Balancing Act You Can Do

Exercise is part of a balancing act important to our bodies and the way they function. Without it, eating healthy foods and getting quality sleep isn’t possible which is why so many of us fail without it.

Are you an insomniac? Eating poorly yet exercising and still overweight? Depressed? Do you wake up feeling lousy after a good nights sleep? Or maybe you aren’t overweight but don’t have energy?

You need to Eat-Move-Sleep every day.

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An example of what it takes to balance our bodies and be truly healthy.

Get moving and improve your sleep!

Want to fall asleep faster and wake up feeling refreshed? As little as 10 minutes of aerobic exercise, (such as walking or cycling,) can dramatically improve the quality of your nighttime sleep when done on a regular basis. What’s more, exercisers may reduce their risk for developing troublesome sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome.

The sleep/exercise connection.

Physical activity improves sleep quality and increases sleep duration. It reduces stress and tires you out. Early morning and afternoon exercise may also help reset the sleep-wake cycle by raising body temperature slightly, then allowing it to drop and trigger sleepiness a few hours later. It can be especially helpful if you are able to exercise outdoors and let your body absorb natural sunlight during the daytime hours.

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Tips for a good nights sleep.

  • Get daily exercise. One 10 minute walk a day can improve your sleep.
  • Make a daily bedtime routine brushing your teeth, etc. before bed.
  • Have a bedtime and stick to it even on weekends.
  • Make sure your bedroom is cool, quiet and dark. Blackout curtains can help.
  • Block blue light (with apps, glasses or filters) on your devices 2 hours before bed.
  • Avoid spending time awake or working in bed. The bed is for sleeping and sex.
  • Expose yourself to at least 10 minutes of sunlight in the morning.
  • Ignore stressors before bed save your worries for the daytime. Try deep breathing or meditation to relax.
  • A warm bath, reading a book, or listen to calming nature sounds before bed works wonders.
  • Get a full 7 1/2 to 8 hours sleep or more a night.

De-stressing is the one thing we all need to do these days so I suggest taking a good (solid) hour before laying your head on the pillow to calm down. Push the negative out and bring in the positive, whatever that may be to you. It’s so easy to fall into bed with a head full of the day’s activities only to have it keep you awake.

Good sleep planning sets you up for quality sleep and you once you get it you’ll know it. When I have a solid chunk of Deep Sleep I feel so refreshed and rightly so.

Sleep stages and benefits.

There are 3 kinds of stages our bodies go through during sleep. Light Sleep, Deep Sleep, and REM. Inbetween them we have Wake Cycles, times we wake up at night. Each person’s sleep cycles are unique to the individual but with trackers like Fitbit, it’s easy to see the trends of age groups and study how our stages of sleep affect us.

Each stage does something different while we sleep so if we miss out on a full nights sleep we’re messing with one or more stages of sleep our bodies need. Our bodies detect that and try to make up for it in other, sometimes more unhealthy, ways. This is why not sleeping enough hurts our general health.

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Sleep 101 will help you learn more about sleep and how to get a good nights sleep.

Your bed counts, what you put on it and what you wear:

  • Sleep naked. It’s been shown that it helps keep the body temperature even.
  • Buy a new mattress, get a new one every 10 years (think of the dust mites.) There’s something for everyone.
  • Re-evaluate your pillow. There are so many new kinds to choose from.
  • Get good bedding. Whether bamboo or microfiber, there are so many choices! You’ll want something that is soft and breaths.
  • Sleep under a heavy blanket. This is the time to have a favorite blanket on your bed and if it’s heavy it will help you sleep better. The weight of the blanket on your body has something to do with it.
  • Get a body pillow for support. Sleeping on your side with a pillow between your legs keeps your back straight. A body pillow supports your whole body. It promotes great sleep. Get a good one.
  • Cool your body. If you get too warm at night and can’t sleep invest in a cooling pad. People who use them swear by them.

Oversleeping The Effects Health Risks Of Sleeping Too Much

Sleep has superpowers.

There are new studies coming out all of the time about the powers of sleep. It’s been proven that getting enough sleep makes you live longer. People who get enough sleep actually eat 300 fewer calories a day when they were well rested. Sleep brightens your mood for the day. People who get enough sleep don’t get sick as much. Your blood pressure goes down when you sleep giving your heart a break. Sleep helps you make better decisions and boosts your creativity. It also gives you more energy. They are finding out new things about how sleep helps us all of the time.

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Balancing Sleep, Exercise and Nutrition is the secrect to good health and long life.

Invest in a tracker to monitor your lifestyle changes they’re fun and simple to use. You buy the tracker, put it on, download the free app on your phone and pair it with Bluetooth. You’re good to go.

I have had a Jawbone UP3 and now have a Fitbit, Charge 2, and am awaiting my new Aura Ring. They measure, sleep, activity, exercise, heart rate and more. At any time I can see my live stats and it gives me something to work towards when I make my steps.

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16 country comparison from 2016

  • China leads this trends, standing at 45 percent of its online population.
  • Brazil and the USA come next, but significantly lower, at 29 percent each, closely followed by Germany (28 percent) and France (26 percent).
  • China, Russia, France, Australia and Canada are the only countries surveyed that have more women than men tracking their health or fitness.

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There are many things to consider when we think about the whole picture of our health and fitness.

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Recovery is important when exercising that’s why it’s important not to go overboard. Moderation is the word. Always take off a day of rest after each day of exercise and if you have a fever don’t exercise sick. Always get your doctors ok before starting any exercising program.

I’ll be posting more to the Lazy, Fat and Crazy Lifestyle Change until summer but you have everything you need to follow in my footsteps. If you do, I guarantee you’ll lose weight (inches all over) and make your goal weight in a year keeping it off. Your stomach will be flat, you’ll feel great and depression will be a thing of the past. Eat-Move-Sleep my friends!

More on the Eat-Move-Sleep Movement—-Coming Soon

There have been many new studies about sitting and what it’s really doing to us. Experts are saying that sitting all day is the same as smoking a pack of cigarettes (maybe worse!) Also, I have more to say about our diets. I think we should eat what we want in moderation if we are exercising regularly. I don’t believe in fads, or diets just good food. And of course, I’ll be writing about biking and showing off my photography. Group hug!

Let me hear about how you’re doing! Got any questions or can I help you in any way? I know I’m getting readers but you are very quiet. Lol! I wish you the best this isn’t easy I’ve been there.

Eat-Move-Sleep it’s a good anthem for the Lazy, Fat and Crazy Lifestyle Change!

Spring Time On The Bay Trail

It’s springtime on the Bay Trail and after all of the rain, the drought is over in California making it a happy time for plants, flowers, birds, bees, and me! I’ve been aware of the Bay Trail for decades but since Feb. 20th, 2016 I’ve been riding regularly and taking photographs of the Bay Trail on my rides.

I’m thankful that I live close enough to ride this beautiful nature trail all year round and my photographs have grown into an amazing collection.  The photos in this post are from this spring (2017) and I hope you enjoy them as much as I did taking them.

If you check out my sidebar you can see even more of my photos and I change it occasionally so always check for more. 

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The water levels in the bay and surrounding natural sloughs are always changing with the tides. There is mud on the far left, deeper water channeling in the middle and shallows on the right. The patterns in the mud and water are always changing as nature is the best artist.

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There are crushed shell beaches along the San Francisco Bay that are great for walks when I need a bike break. The white is a nice contrast to the colors of the various plant life. This is low tide and in the distance is the San Mateo Bridge which is highway 92.

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Take a walk through Coyote Point, a 670-acre park which houses a yacht harbor, the CuriOdyssey museum and lots of places for picnics/cookouts all within a small forest of Eucalyptus trees. The paths up and down the cliffs are breathtaking with views of San Francisco, the airport, and the peninsula shoreline. There’s a full golf course nearby, a pistol/rifle range, and a playground. Kite and windsurfing are just some of the sports enjoyed here and the Bay Trail runs through it.

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Coyote Point used to be much more! As you can see here it was the Merchant Marine Cadet School in 1942 and after that, the College Of San Mateo campus until 1962. Coyote Point used to be an island connected by marshlands to the mainland. It’s now landfill turned into a golf course.

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The yacht harbor at Coyote Point with wildflowers in the forefront. Some of the flowers were brought in and some are natural it’s hard to tell which is which anymore but they’re all lovely to look at.

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I love to look for everyday shapes in nature like this rock that’s shaped like a heart. The yellow blooms are ice plants they almost bloom year round but go crazy in the spring.

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Just look at these yellow flowers, there were only 2 bushes like this. While I was taking close-ups of the flowers I almost missed this tiny hummingbird. The back of his head was bright red but my camera didn’t pick it up.

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This was one of my favorite flowers this year due to the color and detail but they weren’t around for long.

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Daisies are found all along the Bay Trail of numerous kinds and colors.

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After the purple blooms, little white flowers come out from the insides of these flowers.

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After all of the rain, we had many kinds of mushrooms growing. Not edible but very interesting.

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I like the striped petals and color of this flower. I tried to look up some of these flowers using Google Image Search but wasn’t that successful. It’s not a perfect system.

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Even the trees are amazing along the Bay Trail. That’s San Francisco in the distance but look at this tree! The foliage along the cliffs at Coyote Point and along the bay are bent and twisted from the winds and weather into some neat shapes.

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There are so many different flowers in this world and I never tire of them.

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These have yellow centers that look like the color’s running. Some are bushes some are single flowers.

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This was one of the first flowers to bloom and the petals look like someone crushed them but that’s how they grow. There’s still some left as of this write.

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Aren’t these pretty with the spotted petals? They are tiny things.

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Can you see the hawk in the center of this photo? The yellow and purple blooms are ice plants. They close at night and open with the sun.

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Get a load of these colors! They’re almost done blooming now. (These look like, but aren’t ice plant blooms.)

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The petals and shape of this flower are interesting!

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Bottlebrush flowers are the Hummingbirds favorite. I had a few trees near my patio once and didn’t need to have a feeder.

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These purple, white or pink flowers on stalks are the bees favorite and they will swarm you if you get too close. The tree (with the bare branches) looks dead but it’s not. I never see anything grow on them so it’s a mystery to me. That spot in the sky is not a plane it’s a bee.

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Can’t leave out California poppies. Bright orange, you see them everywhere even in the middle of the freeway. This year down south they had so many bloom that they could see them from the Space Station. They call that a super-bloom.

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These tiny yellow flowers grow everywhere in the wild grass.

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I had to include this cactus in a nearby garden although there are plenty of succulents that grow wild. I’m still waiting for it to bloom. (The ice plants are succulents.) Love those tiny blue flowers too!

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I could show you more flowers and plants but that’s enough for today. I’m closing with this photo of some stunning clouds above the San Mateo Bridge at low tide. The bay and sky are ever-changing from minute to minute. The birds are busy feeding and everything is peaceful on the Bay Trail.

This site is fairly new but I’m troubled by the lack of comments. Please leave your thoughts I’m waiting to hear them. If you want me to write about something now’s the time to let me know. I plan on more articles about health and biking but surely there’s something you want to hear?

Happy 200th Anniversary to the Bicycle! Read about it from the Wall Street Journal.