Monday, December 7, 2009

Make it Fun

The Fun Theory is a site dedicated to the thought that something as simple as fun is the easiest way to change people’s behaviour for the better. Be it for yourself, for the environment, or for something entirely different, the only thing that matters is that it’s change for the better.

Can you get more people to take the stairs if it's made fun rather then taking the escalator or the elevator. Take a look at the Piano Staircase and see for yourself

How about getting more people to throw away their trash

I like the idea of a Bicycle Bus submitted by Dobromir Hristov. Her theory is many people take the bus even for short distances rather than walking. So if you put peddles underneath every seat you would get your daily exercise in and reduce pollution.

Any thoughts on how we could make cycling more fun to get people to cycle more? That is one reason for the name change to Cycling Made Fun

Thursday, December 3, 2009

We Got Elfed

Wishing Everyone a Merry Christmas. Thanks to Sheila and Al for being a good sport.

To see more and to send your own card, click on the logo. They are hillarious.

JibJab Holiday eCards

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Red Light

A friendly reminder from these guys
By MA Shumin, David Pagano, and Sean Kenney

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Take a Chance And Help Someone

What a georgeous day it was today. I got up this morning with big cycling plans, but just couldn't get myself to do it because I was so depressed. The radio was broadcasting an informercial this morning about Vitamin D. It said that Americans suffer from depression and cancer because of lack of Vitamin D which you can get from the sun. Only 20 min. a day in the sun and you have all the Vitamin D you need. That's why people who live closer to the equator are happier people.

Well I truly believe that I have been lacking Vitamin D because I haven't been getting much sunlight lately. As a matter of fact, I can't even tell what the weather is like from my room, then I have no windows.

Eventually I did force myself to go out on my bike. Imagine, something that is my passion is so hard to do some times because of depression. I didn't want to miss this beautiful day and forced myself to go out. Just do a few miles and then come right back, so I thought.

When riding on the Capital Crescent trail, which was crowded by the way, I was about to pass a mother riding her bike with two teenaged girls. I saw that they all were too low on their bikes. I can't stand to see this. In my mind, I thought, should I mention something to her or not?

Well, I couldn't resist and with caution I said "Ma'am may I mention that you are way too low on your bike and that you will kill your knees that way." To my astonishment she replied "Really? I didn't know. I'm actually a runner trying to get into bike riding more. So where should the seat be?" I couldn't believe it. She was actually happy that someone told her she was doing it wrong. I then took it a bit further and told her that the two girl's seats were way too low as well. Gratefully, she tells the girl to adjust her seat who suffers from knee pain. She was so thankful that someone took the time to show her the right way.

I mentioned that I lead bike rides and that she should come and join us at repeated it twice to make sure she remembers) She told me that she was actually looking for something like that.

Well, 5 hours later discovering a new trail and route and soaking in the sun, I'm a happier person. Not because of the sun,but more because I was able to help someone who needed my help. Now back in the dungeon with me and finally finishing up this website.

Friday, October 23, 2009

WABA Socks to the Rescue

Joseph and I volunteered to be a bike marshall for family the ride at the Bike DC event this past Saturday. Despite the rain, I was surprised to see so many participants ...

... especially children, who were brave to come out in this weather

We had to wait underneath the WABA tent until the family ride began, so we enjoyed the free coffee and pastry from Starbucks, complimentary of WABA for the bike marshalls.

I was getting cold, especially my feet, from standing around until the ride began. Then I spotted them on the table, just laying there, about 10 WABA socks. I asked and they told me to help myself. Well, I didn't think twice and grabbed 9 of them, then I always need socks. Later on, I was so glad I did.

We started our ride in the rain. My feet were freezing and wet and I was still coughing, not totally recovered from a cold. It was so unbearable for me that, Joseph and I, and a few others, stopped underneath the tunnel about a few miles into the ride, to change into dry cloths. My socks were totally drenched and my toes were numb. Luckily, I had the dry WABA socks to change into.

Despite having 2 pairs of dry socks on and plastic bags over my shoes, I was still freezing. Then Joseph mentioned the word... "Pneumonia". He said that I ought to stop because I'm still coughing and that I could get Pneumonia. Well, he scared me and I realized he was right, that I shouldn't push it. I never quit a ride, so this was the first time I did.

In the car, I took off the WABA socks and put on 2 more pair of dry WABA socks, trying to warm up my feet because they were numb. These socks aren't ideal for winter/cold riding, but they sure helped me out on that day. Thank you WABA, they went to a very good cause. A thank you also goes to all the volunteers who stood out in the rain, directing us on the ride.

If you want to learn more about what gear to wear to ride comfortably in cold weather, join me at the FREE Bike Clinic at the Bicycle Pro Shop in Alexandria on Friday, Oct. 30th.

Won't Quit, Will Commit!

The documentary "Race across the Sky" an intense 100 mile mountain bike race in Leadville, Colorado situated at an evulation of 10,152 ft. with Lance Armstrong and 6 time winner Dave Wiens was amazing. Watching this movie has inspired me to want to look into mountain bike riding more (maybe a race too?)

Before the movie, I stopped at Cafe Deluxe at Tyson's corner to eat my favorite tilapia sandwich. Heading towards the end of the bar, I sat next to a big group of people. I overheard them talk about biking and it turned out that they were also going to go watch the documentary. We started talking about the contents of the movie and one of them happened to be Roxanne Hall from Leadville Colorado, who was in the movie.

It was quite emotional to hear Roxanne tell me that she was almost killed by a car driver who hit her while training for the event. It was inspiring to see Roxanne in the movie showing her laying in the hospital with a broken back and internal injuries and how she recovered to be able to partake in the event. I didn't have my camera with me, so I asked her mother who was in the group to make a picture of the two of us and email it to me.

If you are into biking like me, it was a great, funny, emotional, inspiring movie.Incredibaly, Lance Armstrong won the race despite the flat tire he got with only 7 miles to the finish line. He rode with the flat tire and mentioned in the panel discussion that he can't fix a tire.

This movie wasn't so much about Lance Armstrong but more about 1400 regular people like you and me, who won the lottery to partake in this challenging race and trained to accomplish the unthinkable. It was about believing in yourself.

The movie left me with the following, inspirational words from the race president Ken Chlouber, who gave a motivational speech to the participants before the race: "Won't Quit, Will Commit!"

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Bicycle Lift in Trondheim, Norway

This bicycle lift is used by cyclers to get up a steep hill. This would be great on some of my hill rides

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Go By Bike Challenge

Did you know that 50% of all car trips taken in the USA are less than two miles?

With the world facing skyrocketing obesity rates, escalating traffic congestion and the concerns of global climate change, the bicycle is an ideal solution.

Take the Go By Bike Challenge

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Matthew Henson Creek Trail Ride 7/29

We, the Maryland Cycling Group, had a great time on the Matthew Henson Creek Trail, a 4.8 mile trail that is hardly used. Despite a few walkers, the trail belonged almost to ourselves. Many of us were able to see a snake in the middle of the trail that just ate dinner and 3 bucks. A few that went ahead got a bit lost, but eventually caught up with the rest of us that were waiting at the end of the trail.

Afterwards, we enjoyed dinner to get to know each other. Here is a video I took of the trail

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Ciclovia Alexandria gives first aide

It was a beautiful day on the C&O canal. Teri, Claudia, and myself met up at Lock 10. Teri, not a morning person, went ahead to find a portapotty because she had to go real bad. Claudia had to go too, so we did stop at a porta potty. In the meantime, Al caught up with us, however, he went ahead to see if he could catch up with Teri.

Claudia and I didn't see anyone until we were at the Great Falls lookout, there we met up with Teri and a dog that was tied to a post but managed to bite himself free and was desperately looking for his owner. Al was no where in site, so I assumed he was already in Harpersferry somewhere. Teri and Claudia, who hasn't come out for a bike for a year, were wanting to ride more, so we biked more all the way to Carderock. There, we took another porta potty break, filled up our water bottles and headed back.

When heading back, a father and his son, were riding in front of me, while the mother was behind us. I was watching how the boy was serving on his bike back and forth , waiting for the accident to happen. Sure enough, the boy lost control and fell. Hearing him cry and bleeding a bit, I stopped and searched for my band aides in my backpack. I ended up giving them bandaides and Teri gave them an antibiotic.

It's good to be prepared on a ride

Next time I will bike

Saturday I had to ride from Wheaton to Alexandria to take care of business with a bike shop. My plan was to take Rock Creek to Capital Crescent. On the way, I passed two bikers. When we stopped at the traffic light,one of them, Santiago, thanked me for picking up the pace. I decided to have some fun and pace behind them. I learned that the two of them,try to ride together on weekends. Santiago who was headed to Haines Point, told me he can show me another way to Alexandria, so I followed them. It was a beautiful route in Rock Creek that I have never done before with some hills. I was very thankful that they showed me another route. Tom had to turn back but Santiago and I continued. We made a rest stop at the Boat House in Georgetown and filled up our water bottles.

Here is Santiago. What a coincidence that he has a Fuji Roubaix and is a Realtor.

We continued until we were on the 14th street bridge and then said good bye to each other. I had a great time and was glad I got the chance to do a new route and meet new people.

I continued my journey to the bike shop to pick up a check. My nearest bank, TD Bank, was on Van Dorn Street, so I pedalled there to cash it. The bank was closed for walk-ins, however, the drive through was opened. So here I am at the drive through with my bike which I have never done before.

After cashing in the check, I pedalled to Subway for lunch on Duke Street. I conducted some business afterwards and given the time, I decided to take the metro back. What a mistake that was. There was track maintenance work on the Yellow/Blue line and it was chaotic again.

So many people boarded the train at every stop that it was full. I was in one car with another biker, when an oboxious lady passenger boarded and started screaming, that bikers shouldn't be here, there's no room, we are taking up all the space, it's still rush hour.

Eventually people started calming her down, letting her know that bikers were aloud on the train. At L'Enfant Plaza, that's when it got chaotic and fustrating. The doors wouldn't shut and we stood there for 10 minutes while they were telling people to move away from the doors. Some door wouldn't shut, so we all had to get off the train.
Here is the chaos

I finally was able to board another train on the yellow line to Fort Totten, but realized I was having to deal with another chaos. The ongoing investigation on the Red Line, where you can not go any further than Silver Spring and have to take the shuttle bus which takes forever. 6:45 pm, and I thought I would never get home. A train pulls in and no one knew what was going on because it was heading back from where it came from. There was a total lack of communication from the metro employees.

So here I am in Fort Totten trying to board a train. I ended up being lucky then the next train came a little bit after 7 pm, the time the investigation was over for the day and the train went to Glenmont. In Wheaton I pedalled about 2 miles to the house and after 43 miles total was glad I finally made it home. I think next time I will ride home.
Want to take your bike on the metro? Here is some information to help you

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Your Reality Show

Commitment is what transforms a promise into reality.

It is the words that speak boldly of your intentions. And the actions, which speak louder than the words.

It is making the time when there is none.

Coming through time after time, year after year.

Commitment is the stuff character is made of, the power to change the face of things. It is the daily triumph of integrity over skepticism.


Not sure who wrote that, but here is my definition of commitment: Commitment is putting a lot of energy into the bike group, although it is not going fast enough for me and sticking with it despite setbacks in my life. It's leading bike rides regardless if anyone shows up or not. And when there are times I don't feel like it (depressed) or not feeling well, it's kicking myself in the butt to do it any ways. At the end, I was glad I lead the ride.

What about you? Are you tired and don't feel like doing anything but staying at home on the computer or watching reality shows on TV? Look in the mirror baby, that's reality! Some of you want to lose a few pounds and some want to build endurance. But it sure won't happen watching other people's problems and doing nothing. They don't care about YOU!

You need to block off time on your busy calendar and devote it to taking care of your body, such as coming to a bike ride. If your goal is to build endurance and participate in the metric training, then you need to commit yourself to biking at least 3 times per week to get use to sitting on the saddle. There may be times when work or family obligations do get in the way. However, there are 24 hours in a day, seven days a week... you can find time to make it up. And when your favorite show is on during a bike ride event, remember, we live in the 21st century, there are VCR's.

Now thats Reality!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Bike Lingo

Even in cycling there is a lingo. When riding in a group its important and courteous to let the r person behind you know what you are doing to avoid a possible accident.

1. When wanting to stop, put one arm straight down to your side, palm facing towards the cyclists behind you to let the person know you are stopping (if you can not let go of the handlebar, simply shout "stopping") and make sure you keep a bit of a distance from the person ahead of you.

2. Car Up, say car up if you are riding in the street and there is an oncoming car approaching from the front.

3. Car back,say car back when there is a car coming from behind on the street. It is best to not to cycle side by side and go into a single file. Make sure you don't get too close to the parked cars on the side. (More next time on How to Ride in the Streets safely)

4. When making turns, make sure you put your right arm straight out to make a right turn, you can also make an "L" shape with your left arm (but rarely used any more). To make a left turn, put your left arm straight out.

5. If there is a car approaching from the left or right, let the person behind you know, by saying "car to your right" or "car to your left"

6. If there is an obstacle on the road, debris or something hazardous that you see and will be avoiding, let the person behind you know, by pointing to the ground

7. If you are coming to a stop sign (and you stopped, naturally) and you looked left and right and it was clear of cars, let the person behind you know by saying "clear". HOWEVER! My advice for the person behind is to make sure yourself as well that it is clear to go and not rely on the person ahead of you and ride blindly.

So there you have it. Become aware of your surroundings and you will be safe!

Top Ten Excuses for not Commuting by Bicycle

10. I need my car for work
Many transportation tasks could be handled equally well if not better on a bike. Meet with your employer and see if your company might not benefit from a more environmentally friendly image if you conducted your business by bike. Consider that many traditional tasks adapt well to cycling, whether it’s police work, meter reading, postal delivery, etc.

9. I’d have to get up much earlier if I rode my bicycle
You’d be surprised! Because of traffic in urban areas, cycling generally takes less time than driving for distances of three miles or less, and about the same time for trips of three to five miles. But even if your commute is longer, 30 minutes of extra sleep won’t be nearly as invigorating as an early morning ride. You’ll arrive at work alert and refreshed.
Likewise, your evening ride home should leave you more relaxed since you won’t face the aggravation of sitting in rush hour traffic. And you won’t have to rush off to an evening work-out to unwind. You’ll already have accomplished that! Also, don’t forget your savings of time, money (and the environment benefit) when you eliminate visits to the gas pump.

8. I’m out of shape
If you leave yourself plenty of time and go at an easy pace, you’ll find cycling no more difficult than walking. As you ride more, you’ll ease your way into better shape, building fitness that is an intergral part of your schedule. If you have health problems, consult your family doctor for suggestions on getting started.

7. I can’t afford a special commuting bicycle
You don’t need one. Your old beater bike gathering dust in the garage will suffice if properly adjusted and maintained, and it’s less attractive to thieves. If you have a recreational bicycle you can outfit it with a lightweight rack and bag or use a fanny pack to carry necessary commute items.
With the fixed cost of operating an automobile at around $.30/mile, the money you would save commuting by bicycle on an average 10 mile round trip would buy you a $400 bicycle in six months.

6. I have to dress nice for work.
Some bicycle commuters simply ride in their business attire – they seem to command more respect from motorists. Most ride in casual or cycling clothes and change when they arrive. You can carry your change of clothes in a pack or in panniers on the bike or even transport Boldthem back and forth on days when you don’t ride.

5. There’s no secure place for my bike
There is probably a storage room or closet where your bike can be secured behind a locked door. Maybe you can even take it to your office – what a status symbol! Or check and see if parking is available in nearby buildings or garages. Otherwise, fasten it to an immovable object with a U-bolt lock, preferably where you can see it.

4. I can’t shower at work
Depending on the weather, you may not need a shower if you ride at a leisurely pace. If you do, take a washcloth, soap, towel and deodorant and clean up at the restroom sink. Or look for a public facility or health club within walking distance of your workplace where you can shower. Then encourage your employer to install showers where you work.

3. What if it’s rainy or cold?
Start as a fair weather bicycle commuter – when the forecast is bad, don’t bike. Some people may conquer the elements and commute every day, but it doesn’t mean you have to. If you only ride when the weather report is favorable, it will still make a dramatic improvement. The more you enjoy bicycle commuting, the more you’ll look forward to your daily ride. You will eventually decide to invest in rainwear and cold weather gear so you can commute year-round.

2. I’d have to ride in the dark
Wear light colored reflective clothing, use a good lighting system and choose a route that avoids major thoroughfares. There are a variety of bike mounted lights that can help you see and be seen.

1. It’s not safe to ride in traffic
The fear of riding in traffic is often much greater than the actual danger. Minimize risk by riding properly – visibly and predictably. In stop-and-go traffic, a fit cyclist can generally keep up with the traffic flow, so it’s acceptable to maintain your place in the roadway. Hugging the curb invites danger as cars try to squeeze past you. To help prevent injury always wear a helmet.
You can also reduce the risk of riding in traffic by using less-congested secondary roads. You may travel a few extra miles, but you’ll be able to enjoy the ride, a worthwhile trade-off.

This article was copied from a Web page by Arthur Ross the Madison (WI) Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator, who authored the article for the May 30th, 1997 Bike To Work Day.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

JoAnn Got a New (midget) Bike

I get excited when someone decides to leave their $50 road/hybrid bike from ebay in the garage and gets a road bike. Here is JoAnn on her new Ruby Specialized Green (midget)bike. I'm so happy that she even got clipless pedals. Way to go!

We took our bikes for a short spin today. It was a different riding experience for her from sitting upright on her other bike. Getting use to the different riding position, the saddle, shifting and beaking will take some time. It will be well worth it though when she sees she can conquer the hills better and use more of her legs.

Free Ride

We were off doing the metric training. Everyone was doing quite well that day. I was partiucularly impressed with JoAnn that day and told her how well she was doing. And then it happened. A few minutes later, JoAnn got a flat.

A few of the people who were behind were watching me fix a flat and having a good time. I put a new tube in and pumped up the tire. Then suddenly it went "pop". The tire had a hole in it because of wear and tear. Not only did the tire pop, I lightly touched the head of the valve and it fell off.

I fell to the ground in disbelieve because it was going so well and now this. And I thought I wouldn't see JoAnn for a long time. We were debating what to do, go back, call someone to have her be picked up. One neighbor came over and asked us if needed tools. Knowing JoAnn wouldn't get to far with the damaged tire although the tire was still hard, we continued on.

Well, she didn't get to far, but farther then I thought. Here we are taking another break. I say this because I get on their case sometimes because I'm trying to get them to do 10 miles straight. The rest of the riders were far ahead of us now and wondering what happened to us.

So here we are in the middle of the street again, when a guy in a jaguar pulls up and asks us if we needed help. What do you know, the nice guy is a cyclist and pulls out his bike rack from the trunk to give JoAnn a lift back to the parking lot.

The two of them hit it off right away. Here is JoAnn having a good time with the guy and getting a free ride back, while the rest of us continued on.

What On Earth Is In The Bag?

Before the ride, I decided to go grocery shopping because I wanted to bike straight home after the ride. Well, I guess I got carried away and my backpack ended up weighing about 25 pounds.

After half into the ride, Al was so nice and took my backpack so that I can have enough energy for the next day's ride. He couldn't believe how heavy it was.

We arrived at the bottom of Whispering lane, a humungus hill, and looked up to see how high it was. I told him to go up a bit to see if he really wanted to conquer this hill. He was on a mountain bike and I was on my road bike. He came back after evaluating the hill and said "that is a big hill." Al was up for the challenge and so we biked up that hill. I was impressed that he was able to go up that hill, regardless if he had to bike criss cross up the hill on a mountain bike and with my backpack of 25lbs. Out of breath and sweatng we reached the top where one of the residents congratulated us for making the hill.

Riding with a 25lb backpack is good training, especially on a mountain bike. Al was having a good time. So if you need something to be carried, you know who to go to!

Dominique's Journey to Metric

Dominique, who has only been able to bike 2 miles, has build her endurance up to 20 miles after only 6 weeks by being persistent and one of the regulars on the bike rides. This is truly a great accomplishment and she's an inspiration to many.

She has taken on a new challenge, the Metric Challenge training, to be able to ride 64 miles after 12 weeks. And don't think she is stopping there, find out what she is doing next by watching the video.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Lake Accotink Trail

We took their table!

We were meeting at Shirlington Village for a ride on the W&OD trail. Howevcr, I wasn't aware that the Potomac Peddlers had a ride scheduled that day and the same meeting place.

Debby Curry, pictured here resting under a tree, came for the first time with her new bike. I pumped up her tires while others started arriving. We had a huge turn out.. so I thought. Some of the potomac peddlers were not aware there were two groups there and many were signing up with our group. I almost recruited them too.

After fixing some bikes, pumping up some tires and making pictures, Joseph, Steve, David, Al, Paula, Debby, Julie, Nicola, Phil and myself were off to the W&OD trail. Not even a mile on the ride, Debby's rear fender was rubbing on the tires, causing her to slow down and making noises. Unfortunately, we couldn't take off the fender on the trail, so she tried to pedal on.

Joseph lead the faster riders (of course he got lost again) racing with each other, pushing each other and having fun, while the I stayed behind with the slower ones. But I squeezed in a little race myself coming back.Those who were tired and couldn't do any more, stayed behind and rested underneath a tree. We picked them up coming back. David was very helpful and stayed behind to help Debby and taught her how to get on and off the bike.

We arrived back in Shirlington and we all decided to get lunch. We locked up our bikes and were undecided as to where we should go. So we walked towards the restaurants to see if there was seating available outside for 10 of us. We walked up and down and saw an employee setting up a table for 10 people outside. I asked an employee inside to see if the table was available for us to have. The employee said "yes, it's for you". I couldn't believe it was for us, because every restaurant's outdoor seating was taken, but he kept saying that David came in a reserved the table for us. I asked David if he did and he said that he didn't. I told the employee that David didn't reserve table, but he insisted it was David who reserved the table for us. So I didn't argue with the employee and told the group the table is for us.

Everyone was a bit surprised but happy that we were able to sit outside. I thought this was a set up and David was playing mind games with me. David was so nice and wrote down our food and went inside and ordered for us.

The potomac peddlers were pulling in and someone jokingly said to them "what took you all so long". They were doing the Arlington Loop Ride. They went inside the same restaurant as us, but came out real fast with the employee. We found out that the table belonged to them. The ride leader for the potomac peddlers had a full beard like David too, so I guess you could get the two of them mixed up. The employee said that the table was ours now. I felt bad, not only did some of the riders do my ride, but we stole their table. We laughed and couldn't believe what had happend. However, I did go to the ride leader to explain what happened and that we didn't do it intentionally. I think he was ok with it. They ended up getting another table.

It was a great day. Redbull parked their car right next to our table, passing out free redbull for everyone. How lucky can you get?

Here are videos I took. Unfortunately they aren't that good because I had ithe flash one.

Henson Creek Trail Maryland

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

16 Ways to Get Motivated

1 One Goal. Whenever I’ve been in a slump, I’ve discovered that it’s often because I have too much going on in my life. I’m trying to do too much. And it saps my energy and motivation. It’s probably the most common mistake that people make: they try to take on too much, try to accomplish too many goals at once. You cannot maintain energy and focus (the two most important things in accomplishing a goal) if you are trying to do two or more goals at once. It’s not possible — I’ve tried it many times. You have to choose one goal, for now, and focus on it completely. I know, that’s hard. Still, I speak from experience. You can always do your other goals when you’ve accomplished your One Goal.

2. Find inspiration. Inspiration, for me, comes from others who have achieved what I want to achieve, or who are currently doing it. I read other blogs, books, magazines. I Google my goal, and read success stories. Zen Habits is just one place for inspiration, not only from me but from many readers who have achieved amazing things.

3. Get excited. This sounds obvious, but most people don’t think about it much: if you want to break out of a slump, get yourself excited about a goal. But how can you do that when you don’t feel motivated? Well, it starts with inspiration from others (see above), but you have to take that excitement and build on it. For me, I’ve learned that by talking to my wife about it, and to others, and reading as much about it as possible, and visualizing what it would be like to be successful (seeing the benefits of the goal in my head), I get excited about a goal. Once I’ve done that, it’s just a matter of carrying that energy forward and keeping it going.

4. Build anticipation. This will sound hard, and many people will skip this tip. But it really works. It helped me quit smoking after many failed attempts. If you find inspiration and want to do a goal, don’t start right away. Many of us will get excited and want to start today. That’s a mistake. Set a date in the future — a week or two, or even a month — and make that your Start Date. Mark it on the calendar. Get excited about that date. Make it the most important date in your life. In the meantime, start writing out a plan. And do some of the steps below. Because by delaying your start, you are building anticipation, and increasing your focus and energy for your goal.

5. Post your goal. Print out your goal in big words. Make your goal just a few words long, like a mantra (”Exercise 15 mins. Daily”), and post it up on your wall or refrigerator. Post it at home and work. Put it on your computer desktop. You want to have big reminders about your goal, to keep your focus and keep your excitement going. A picture of your goal (like a model with sexy abs, for example) also helps.

6. Commit publicly. None of us likes to look bad in front of others. We will go the extra mile to do something we’ve said publicly. For example, when I wanted to run my first marathon, I started writing a column about it in my local daily newspaper. The entire island of Guam (pop. 160K) knew about my goal. I couldn’t back down, and even though my motivation came and went, I stuck with it and completed it. Now, you don’t have to commit to your goal in your daily newspaper, but you can do it with friends and family and co-workers, and you can do it on your blog if you have one. And hold yourself accountable — don’t just commit once, but commit to giving progress updates to everyone every week or so.

7. Think about it daily. If you think about your goal every day, it is much more likely to become true. To this end, posting the goal on your wall or computer desktop (as mentioned above) helps a lot. Sending yourself daily reminders also helps. And if you can commit to doing one small thing to further your goal (even just 5 minutes) every single day, your goal will almost certainly come true.

8. Get support. It’s hard to accomplish something alone. When I decided to run my marathon, I had the help of friends and family, and I had a great running community on Guam who encouraged me at 5K races and did long runs with me. When I decided to quit smoking, I joined an online forum and that helped tremendously. And of course, my wife Eva helped every step of the way. I couldn’t have done these goals without her, or without the others who supported me. Find your support network, either in the real world or online, or both.

9.Realize that there’s an ebb and flow. Motivation is not a constant thing that is always there for you. It comes and goes, and comes and goes again, like the tide. But realize that while it may go away, it doesn’t do so permanently. It will come back. Just stick it out and wait for that motivation to come back. In the meantime, read about your goal (see below), ask for help (see below), and do some of the other things listed here until your motivation comes back.

10. Stick with it. Whatever you do, don’t give up. Even if you aren’t feeling any motivation today, or this week, don’t give up. Again, that motivation will come back. Think of your goal as a long journey, and your slump is just a little bump in the road. You can’t give up with every little bump. Stay with it for the long term, ride out the ebbs and surf on the flows, and you’ll get there.

11. Start small. Really small. If you are having a hard time getting started, it may be because you’re thinking too big. If you want to exercise, for example, you may be thinking that you have to do these intense workouts 5 days a week. No — instead, do small, tiny, baby steps. Just do 2 minutes of exercise. I know, that sounds wimpy. But it works. Commit to 2 minutes of exercise for one week. You may want to do more, but just stick to 2 minutes. It’s so easy, you can’t fail. Do it at the same time, every day. Just some crunches, 2 pushups, and some jogging in place. Once you’ve done 2 minutes a day for a week, increase it to 5, and stick with that for a week. In a month, you’ll be doing 15-20. Want to wake up early? Don’t think about waking at 5 a.m. Instead, think about waking 10 minutes earlier for a week. That’s all. Once you’ve done that, wake 10 minutes earlier than that. Baby steps.

12. Build on small successes. Again, if you start small for a week, you’re going to be successful. You can’t fail if you start with something ridiculously easy. Who can’t exercise for 2 minutes? (If that’s you, I apologize.) And you’ll feel successful, and good about yourself. Take that successful feeling and build on it, with another baby step. Add 2-3 minutes to your exercise routine, for example. With each step (and each step should last about a week), you will feel even more successful. Make each step really, really small, and you won’t fail. After a couple of months, your tiny steps will add up to a lot of progress and a lot of success.

13. Read about it daily. When I lose motivation, I just read a book or blog about my goal. It inspires me and reinvigorates me. For some reason, reading helps motivate and focus you on whatever you’re reading about. So read about your goal every day, if you can, especially when you’re not feeling motivated.

14. Call for help when your motivation ebbs. Having trouble? Ask for help. Email me. Join an online forum. Get a partner to join you. Call your mom. It doesn’t matter who, just tell them your problems, and talking about it will help. Ask them for advice. Ask them to help you overcome your slump. It works.

15. Think about the benefits, not the difficulties. One common problem is that we think about how hard something is. Exercise sounds so hard! Just thinking about it makes you tired. But instead of thinking about how hard something is, think about what you will get out of it. For example, instead of thinking about how tiring exercise can be, focus on how good you’ll feel when you’re done, and how you’ll be healthier and slimmer over the long run. The benefits of something will help energize you.

16. Squash negative thoughts; replace them with positive ones. Along those lines, it’s important to start monitoring your thoughts. Recognize negative self-talk, which is really what’s causing your slump. Just spend a few days becoming aware of every negative thought. Then, after a few days, try squashing those negative thoughts like a bug, and then replacing them with a corresponding positive thought. Squash, “This is too hard!” and replace it with, “I can do this! If that wimp Leo can do it, so can I!” It sounds corny, but it works. Really.

By Zen Habits

Monday, June 8, 2009

National Harbor Ride

Thanks to Rita, Nicole and Phil, Andrea, Dominique, Al, Rachel, and Joseph (Kamita tried to catch up but we missed each other and she joined us for lunch) on the National Harbor ride. It was a beautiful day to the bridge from the Mount Vernon Trail. Some minor hills and a small part of the trail at the Harbor was not totally finished.

Andrea, who came out with her brand new bike had to cut it short and stop at the bike shop to get a higher seat post raised because it was causing her pain.

Al and Joseph,who did the ride the day before, led the faster group. At first, Rita didn't think she would be able to finish the ride and wanted to head back early, but she stuck with us and finished the entire route. Dominique, are die hard cyclists, did a back to back ride and was sore from playing softball the other day. Besides, her bike wasn't shifting correctly and we ended up having to push the bikes a few times.

We stopped at the National Harbor to get some coffee and to get to know each other. We had a good time and talked a lot, especially me I think. Some of the people were starting to stiffen up, so it was a time to get going. We then continued back to the car and a few us went to Don Pablos for lunch.

The Skewer Rod

There is no need to take the skewer rod out of your wheel. Just release the quick release lever, loosen it up, release the brakes and pull the bike so that the bike forks come off the skewer.
or come to the New Bike Orientation to show you how.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Don't leave home without it

Water! It is very important to stay hydrated while on the ride. According to Lance Armstrong's coach, Chris Carmichael, one should drink water every 15 minutes. Being even slightly dehydrated can affect performance. By the time you feel thirsty, you are already entering the first stages of dehydration.

Drinking too little water or losing too much water through sweat can inhibit the body's ability to function at its full potential.

As the primary component of blood, water also transports glucose, fats, and oxygen to working muscles and carries away metabolic by-products such as carbon dioxide and lactic acid. Most important during exercise, water is essential to regulating body temperature by absorbing heat from working muscles and dissipating it via sweat. As your body's temperature rises, your sweat rate will increase to preven overheating.

A general rule of thumb is to drink enough water each day so that your urine is clear and oderless at least once a day, or you find yourself making trips to the bathroom every two to four hours. If your urine is dark, it means that it is concentrated with metabolic waste products and you need to drink more water. If you are always tired, have headaches, and become sleepy often, this cuold also mean that you are chronically dehydrated.

Don't make the mistake to not drink before the ride because you don't want to go to the restroom and hold up the group. There are plenty of places to have a rest stop and use the restroom on the ride. What good is the bike ride if your performance dropped because of thirst and

We are entering the hot summer months soon, so hydration is extremely important. How can you carry water with you on the ride? Suggestion: Get a water bottle cage for your bike and a water bottle. If you can't ride and drink at the same time, get a hydration backpack (Target).

So regardless what kind of exercise you do.. stay hydrated!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Our Die Hard Cycling chics

It ended up being a beautiful day despite the rain earlier in the morning. Anna came out for the first time and did 17 miles on the C & O canal to Great Falls. Dominique, becoming a reqular, has pushed herself with no problem to do 17 miles .. looks like we have some Level B riders here soon!

For photos of the ride, click here


Monday, May 25, 2009

Tired of Taking the Front Wheel Off?

After the Sunday ride, Paula and I went to pick up her new SARIS Bone bike rack from REI and I helped her put it on her car. It was a funny scene the two of us in the parking lot at Bailey's REI, rack, bikes and box spread out in the parking lot, reading the owner's manual.

However, I ended up tossing the owner's manual and figured out how to mount the rack on Paula's car. Compared to the rack I use to own, hers had no straps and was easier to mount. Technology has really improved.

So now Paula doesn't need to remove the front wheel to squeeze her bike into the car every time she comes for a bike ride. This was fustrating and a lot of WORK! If you are considering getting a bike rack but don't know where to start, I recommend this site to learn about various bike racks and brands and to see which would fit on your car.

But if money is tight and the only option is to remove the wheel , I suggest watching this video "How to take your wheel off"

Monday, May 18, 2009

Sunday Ride Report, May 18, 2009

Kudos to Dominique (unfortunately, my camera is messed up and all the photos I took didn't turn out). She joined us on the Sunday ride after a long hiatus on the bike and mentioned she only recently did 2 miles of riding.

Being in a group environment, pedaling at an easy pace and taking her mind off of wanting to stop and head back to the car by having a good conversation with the girls, Dominique was able to ride 8 miles for the very first time!

Dominique was amazed of her accomplishment, just as I was amazed to find this deer on the Holmes Run Greenway trail (the only picture that survived)

.... " I didn't even sweat", she said.

And you can do the same. Whether you want to sweat or not, we have 3 ride levels to choose from. Just come and try us out!

Biking Tips

The correct way: the helmet should cover the entire head, be balanced and snugged, low enough upfront by placing 2 fingers above the eyebrow, the straps should be below the earlobe and the strap below your chin should be tight enough to be able to only place 4 fingers through it.

Below is an illustration of how to wear the helmet correctly. For more information, go to

Monday, May 11, 2009

Sunday Fun Ride May 10th, 2009

Thanks to Teri, Paula, Josh and Joseph for a great casual Sunday ride, with great weather and great conversations ... and of course the highlight of the day was having coffee afterwards!

Did you hear what happened to Paula?


Paula came out during the week to do the Mount Vernon trail ride. She told me the most she had ever ridden was 6 miles.

She didn't give up and pushed herself to finish the ride. At the end, Paula accomplished to do 8.2 miles, the most ever! Congratulations!

Paula works with a personal trainer, exercises 3 times a week and is incorporating cycling into her fitness plan. Her goal is to do 1 bike ride a week.