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!