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On Your Mark, Get Set...

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Okay, tomorrow I'm going to start my efforts to bike back and forth to work 2-3 times each week!

I've been waiting for the sun to creep up early enough for safe biking along with temps that are warm enough and the stars are finally aligning properly! :-)

Last weekend's biking was yet another exercise in *P*A*I*N*...afterwards when sitting on a hard chair it felt like I was sitting on an APPLE...yikes! So okay, been too stubborn...went out and bought biking shorts tonight. I am crossing all my digits that this will do the trick and enable me to bike in relative comfort...!

I've been holding off on committing myself to any biking events until I get things squared away on my posterior...!

Had a nice SPARKING effort today even though been up since 5:30 and it's now heading for 11 pm...ugh...(note to self: let's wrap this up in a hurry! the bed calleth!) got an hour of Nordic walking in during the dreary, chilly noon hour and later during the gloriously sunny dinner hour...!

Wish me luck in my first run tomorrow with those goofy shorts!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SASSYCHRIS1952 4/1/2010 10:19PM


Couldn't resist! There's a song for just about everything LOL!
emoticon emoticon

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TRAINOF4 4/1/2010 10:11PM

    I like the idea of a new seat. There are tons out there - just a matter of finding one that works with your particular anatomy, right!?

Ride On!! emoticon

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RAINBOWFALLS 4/1/2010 12:58PM

    Good Luck. I just bought a different seat and now I can ride in moderate comfort in my own clothes.


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AMETHYST0809 4/1/2010 12:27PM

    We got a padded seat for our stationary bike, and have played with the forward/backwards positions to find the right one, but I have to admit that there is no such thing as perfection with this endeavor! Even with the padded seat, I find that I can hardly ride for the 20 minutes I am currently doing, much less extending the time as I had hoped to do by now. Good luck with the bike shorts Don! emoticon

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GRACEFULIFE 4/1/2010 10:44AM

    goofy shorts? Dorky pants! *grin*

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JESPAH 4/1/2010 9:31AM

    Hey, goofy shorts aside, you're a hero. :)

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 4/1/2010 9:04AM

    LOL. If it makes you feel any better, I sometimes have the same issue on my longer rides...

When I got home on Saturday after my 27-miler I dubiously poked at my (split) seat, wondering how it could possibly LOOK padded, and FEEL padded to my finger, but not to my rear!

At least this seat is wide enough for my female sit bones. The one that came with the bike was not so I gave it back to them.

Eventually your butt gets used to the abuse and settles down.

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DAISES2 4/1/2010 8:31AM

    woo hoo shorts already.i hope they give you a bit more comfort.
split saddle? what will they think of next

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SVELTINGTON 4/1/2010 8:16AM

    Good Luck Don!
What about one of those split seats?

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CARRIE1948 4/1/2010 8:14AM

    The shorts aren't that strange when you see the difference they can male

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ZELLAZM 4/1/2010 7:19AM

    Spring has sprung - Don's in bike shorts - all is well with the world :)

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FERRETLOVER1 4/1/2010 6:48AM

    I sure hope the bike shorts help you out. Have you also checked into some of the newer bike seats - there's a ton of different types available now. Good luck - enjoy this fantastic weather! Oh, & thanks for being up so early this morning & commenting on my blog already!! emoticon

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DAYHIKER 4/1/2010 6:26AM

    Glad to hear you will finally be able to ride your bike to work and I hope the shorts work for you, Don. Nothing like being miserable doing something you love to do. Went Nordic walking yesterday and I always think of you when I do--weird huh? emoticon It's already 60 here this morning at 6:30 emoticon


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COLOURFULME 4/1/2010 3:33AM

    Get well soon and I am very sure you can do it!!

Are you joining the team challenge of http://www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/
groups_individual.asp?gid=38424 as well?

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JO11YMON 4/1/2010 1:37AM

    i hope that the new shorts help you out. another option is the weird looking split saddle i use one on my mtn bike and it makes a big difference

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JCORYCMA 3/31/2010 11:45PM

    emoticon to you. Don't forget to pack your trousers. A patient would feel awkward talking to a therapist in bike shorts emoticon

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L*I*T*A* 3/31/2010 11:13PM

    best of luck to you........... emoticon
blessings and hugs............lita

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Radio Head

Sunday, March 28, 2010

One of the down sides to biking is being unable to use my mp3 player for tunes while I'm on the road. However a "trick" I've been using at times has been to play my tunes in my mind's "ear" as though I AM wearing an mp3 player. Sometimes it can be a bit garbled, sorta like George Carlin's old skit where he's turning the radio dial through the channels...lol, but other times it helps me to keep on keepin' on, like having a radio in my head.

Makes me wonder about those who go on long distance touring bike rides of hundreds of miles a day as to how they do it and what goes on in one's mind during all those hours of biking.

Haven't had the kind of time I'd like to have for biking just yet...waiting for it to be light enough in the morning for me to be able to safely start biking back and forth to work.

Yesterday's ride convinced me that even though I never needed them before with my other bike, I'm going to HAVE to invest in a pair of biking shorts...YEOUCH! Even after 5 days off the bike, the pain came back in a hurry! Still was great to get out again, even at a nippy 38 degrees!

I've been on a dried bean streak lately and almost ALWAYS cooking up either a soup or making my own hummus...which is so CHEAP compared to the OUTRAGEOUS prices for hummus at the stores! Died garbanzos and other beans are far less expensive than the canned varieties and no BPAs to worry about...yum! Love to spice it up with the cumin, jalapeno, crushed red pepper, LOTS of black pepper, chili powder, etc. Great for dipping my veggies...!

Looking forward to warmer temps this week...everyone keep on SPARKIN'! :-)


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SASSYCHRIS1952 4/1/2010 10:16PM


Couldn't resist emoticon emoticon

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USARUNNERGIRL 3/29/2010 9:08PM

    On a busy road I sometimes put in one ear plug so I can hear in one ear and just keep the volume down a little low on the other when I am out there running.

Your homemade hummus sounds yummy.

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RAINBOWFALLS 3/29/2010 8:57AM

    I think I would invest in an ipod speaker for the bike if I was riding in a long distance touring bike ride. I love to listen to the tunes while walking. A couple of years ago I rode my bike to and from work. It was about 6 miles each way. I loved the morning ride.

Speaking of beans, we made the best Spicy Black Bean soup this weekend.

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FERRETLOVER1 3/29/2010 6:39AM

    When I used to ride my bike, I would find that I would do a lot of "interior singing" while I rode. That helped to pass the time. Also, when I did longer rides, I would just do lots of thinking about things - that helped too.

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BEKKI42 3/28/2010 6:26PM

    Keep up the good work you are truly an inspiration!

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GR8CATSBY 3/28/2010 4:30PM

    This is a comment on Sveltington's comment: For me, I want both ears available when I'm biking. I ride on the shoulders (mostly) of the roads, and I need to be constantly aware of what's happening - so do car drivers, of course, but bicyclists are more vulnerable in that they're not protected by a car frame, they're harder for drivers to see, and sometimes drivers harass them. The guy behind me - might he pass me and do a right turn, cutting me off (a cousin of mine - wearing earbuds in both ears - was killed a few years ago this way)? Or if I need to make a left turn - does the driver who's approaching see me? Having music on my handlebars would be slightly distracting, but having the music in even one ear would distract me even more. I've had enough close calls (sometimes the driver's fault, sometimes mine) where I'd rather be too cautious than not cautious enough.
That being said, when I snowshoe I wear my earbuds. And I often wear them cross-country skiing as well. And I refuse to jog without them!

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 3/28/2010 3:08PM

    I'm pretty sure my SwiMP3 player would work on a bike. And the bonus is that since it transmits sound through my cheekbones, it doesn't cover my ears and block out other sounds.

But I've never ridden with music. I do find spinning songs coming to mind and playing over and over, though. LOL!

Mostly there's a dialogue going on between me and my body. We discuss things such as:

- the fact that my seat feels awfully hard although I'm *sure* I felt padding in it,
- the lactic acid buildup in my quads,
- my toes going numb,
- whether or not I can push a little faster / raise the cadence,
- what that car up ahead is likely to do,
- how far we are,
- whether to cut the loop short or keep going,
- to watch out for that pothole / glass / dead oppossum up ahead, etc.

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SVELTINGTON 3/28/2010 1:46PM

    I have never been on a bicycle. Why can't you listen to your mp3. I listen to mine in the car but only put it in one ear. Even in both ears I can still gear sirens and horns.
Yum! Hummus! I have been experimenting making my own too.

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JCORYCMA 3/28/2010 12:52PM

    Hasn't somebody invented a bike helmet with tunes in it yet? I love Humus but haven't attempted to make my own. Perhaps you could blog your recipe??

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GR8CATSBY 3/28/2010 12:51PM

    I see cyclists using one earbud sometimes, but I think that would still be dangerous. I've thought about getting a small pair of speakers to clip to my handlebars or fanny pack but haven't done it. Don, if you end up doing something like that please report how they work for you! I, too, miss having my music when I'm out riding.

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SASSYCHRIS1952 3/28/2010 10:53AM

    LOL! I thought I was the only one that did that with tunes! Talk about coincidence, right now, as I post, I'm listening to different upbeat tunes before I take my after-breakfast walk! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DAYHIKER 3/28/2010 10:43AM

    The mornings are getting lighter little by little now! It won't be long! Leftover beans make good "refried" beans for tortillas and tostadas, too! Hubby was raised on them (9 kids) so he is happy to have them any time. You're a busy fellow between your bike and your Nordic walking! Life's good! emoticon

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VALERIEMAHA 3/28/2010 10:35AM


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ZELLAZM 3/28/2010 10:32AM

    I assume you don't use headphones because of the danger of using them in traffic. But I think you can get a little clip-on radio for your handlebars that might work. Or can you just use one earbud?

I'm also a fan of dried beans lately...you can even freeze them. Cheap and the salt content is zilch.

Have a good Sunday,

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This Little Engine COULD! :-)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Had AWESOME times out on my bike today! Racked up 24 miles which wasn't TOO bad, considering my first rides of the season are always a bit wobbly as I reclaim my bike legs and "posterior"...lol!

Made up my mind I was going to tackle one of the WORST hills in my area with my new bike and see how I could do. On my former bike I'd be lucky to get a quarter of the way up and would have to wimp out and walk the remainder.

Was HOPING to get a running start going up the hill, however it involved a left turn off the road I was on...too much traffic so yeah, had to start from a dead stop.

For the first time I kicked the left gear down to 1st and left the right side gear all the way up so I'd have those gears to work my way down as I "granny-geared" my way up this hill...!

I was huffing and puffing just like that proverbial little engine and as I got around 3/4 of the way up I discovered I had no more gears to "granny"...it was just up to me now...thought of Commander Cody & Hot Rod Lincoln:

"My foot was glued like lead to the floor
That's all there is and there ain't no more"

It was such a feeling of VICTORY to reach the top with no walking! And so satisfying to "feel it" in my legs when I finished my ride and arrived home...woo hoo!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUSTYSHAW1 3/24/2010 1:26PM

    TWENTY-FOUR MILES AND A HILL!? Oh my goodness, that is awesome. My hill was staying in constant motion last Saturday for seven hours. Not as many calories or as big muscles development but I felt like you, Woo Hoo.
It is ALL good. Always enjoy your blogs. Rusty emoticon

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ZELLAZM 3/22/2010 3:06PM

    Woohoo! Great job tackling that hill!

What are we going to do to celebrate 3 years on SP?

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USARUNNERGIRL 3/22/2010 11:34AM

    Wow what a great story Don, you are so awesome. I am proud of you for reaching the summit and not giving up. Woohooo.

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JCORYCMA 3/21/2010 9:15PM

    emoticon emoticon 24 miles! I'm impressed. In fact you've inspired me to think about getting a bike....

Comment edited on: 3/21/2010 9:16:21 PM

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DAISES2 3/21/2010 2:18PM

    24 miles and hills emoticon

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L*I*T*A* 3/21/2010 1:24PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GRACEFULIFE 3/21/2010 10:12AM

    Nice! Just imagine yourself as Alberto Contador, out of the saddle and dancing on the pedals, maybe riding up alpe d'huez! :)

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SASSYCHRIS1952 3/21/2010 9:19AM

    emoticon emoticon
I'm glad you enjoyed your bike ride!

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AMABILE75 3/21/2010 9:06AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

That is wonderful!!! GREAT JOB!!!

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MADTOWNBUDDHA 3/21/2010 8:32AM

    Nice job Don, Congrats! Pushing through is starting to become one of my favorite things...helps me so much to feel better & better about myself. Glad you are feeling healthier too, being sick is a real drag. Ryan

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FERRETLOVER1 3/21/2010 8:28AM

    Good for you!! What a great feeling it must have been to reach the top of that hill still astride your bike!! Keep on going', man!

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CARRIE1948 3/21/2010 8:04AM

    I wouldn't worry so much about hills. It's often the difference between short-twitch and long-twitch muscles. I was an avid racer who could never do hills. But, I could go forever.

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RAINBOWFALLS 3/21/2010 8:04AM


When I was working in the yard yesterday I saw many bikers and had hoped you were able to tar out the new bike. 24 miles that is quite impressive.

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SVELTINGTON 3/21/2010 7:06AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 3/21/2010 5:12AM

    Yay for new bikes and sunny cycling weather!

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MIZZSB 3/21/2010 4:20AM

    way the go Don!!
I can imagine how great it must have felt...!!

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KEENTINA 3/21/2010 3:32AM


My knees still won't let me ride. I keep looking at bikes and wishing. Lots of things to work on after I move. Right now, I'm just trying to make it through that without putting myself into too much pain. I did burn off over 2000 calories today, though, so I'm happy - went way over my exercise requirements early in the week. Wish I could keep going with that!

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COLOURFULME 3/21/2010 2:27AM

    emoticon indeed! emoticon It's time to emoticon Enjoy your Sunday!

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Beware Your Chair!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sharing a GREAT blog from the NY Times here...basically enlightened me to the dangers of sitting for long periods of time, which persist EVEN IF YOU WORKOUT!

Check this out:

Stand Up While You Read This!


"Your chair is your enemy.

It doesn’t matter if you go running every morning, or you’re a regular at the gym. If you spend most of the rest of the day sitting — in your car, your office chair, on your sofa at home — you are putting yourself at increased risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, a variety of cancers and an early death. In other words, irrespective of whether you exercise vigorously, sitting for long periods is bad for you."

One of the things I've noticed since losing weight is that I get restless when I sit for very long and am often fidgeting...drives my DW CRAZY! Uh oh...looks like I've found valid justification... :-)


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

XENA1956 3/20/2010 11:02PM

    If I don't move around every 15 mins or so my toes go to sleep. I know you should get up and mover around no less than every 30 mins. Thanks for the get info.

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JWBRIGHTEYES 3/20/2010 6:12PM

    I try to get up and move every so often, whenever I am stuck needing to sit for long periods i.e. job, driving, etc. I just get so stiff and achy if I dont.

I think if I had a desk job in an office and I was a boss, I would institute "dance breaks" and every so often during the day just fire up the music and get everyone up to dance!

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SVELTINGTON 3/20/2010 6:00PM

    I also am a fidgety sitter. I must stand up and walk in place every little while.

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USARUNNERGIRL 3/20/2010 10:34AM

    Yeah I have to sit, and sit, and sit some more at my job. I am always trying to find ways to get up and move about. Hate sitting. In fact most days I stand in my kitchen and spark standing up. LOL.

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FRANNIEDID 3/20/2010 9:15AM

    I try to get up and move during the day, fortunately my job requires me to do a certain amount of running around!

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MADTOWNBUDDHA 3/20/2010 9:14AM

    no question...since I moved away from working on my feet as a chef about 15 years ago and into office/desk work...there is no question my body has taken the biggest hit of it's life. More walking, less Sitting....new mantra...Thanks Don! Ryan

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FERRETLOVER1 3/20/2010 8:50AM

    I have read something about this before. It has made me aware that I need to get up from that chair more often.

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COLOURFULME 3/20/2010 3:50AM

    Yep I recognize that too....restless that's why I take the stairs when going to another colleague on a different floor and have put my water cooker in the kitchen in stead of at my desk. That way I have to get up.

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JCORYCMA 3/20/2010 1:06AM

    Rather than be discouraged because I sit a lot at work, I'm going to take the attitude that we do what we can where we can and that's all we can do. In my list of priorities, sitting on my stool at the end of the exam table at work or talking on the phone with patients is pretty important. So I try to make up for it by exercising, taking the stairs, and parking further away. I'm not going to worry about it because isn't excessive worry bad for you??? I guess I could always take up gum chewing...

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Join Me On My RiverWalk...!

Friday, March 19, 2010

I took time today to take a few snapshots along the way during my noon hour Nordic Walking along our RiverWalk. We are blessed with yet MORE stupendous weather with tomorrow promising yet another day...time to get my motor revving and head out on my BIKE...woo HOO!

I've put the pics together into a slideshow here:


The really cool thing about Nordic Walking is the duo focus on walking and simultaneously working one's arms, shoulders and abs while thrusting the poles. It's like cross country skiing without the skis (or the slips and flopping around on the ground if you're ME...lol!). After an hour of this I can really feel it in my arms and shoulders.

I love discovering how much of our beautiful city I can take in during our noon hour! Far too often I am guilty of not thinking of places to go, things to do which keep me moving & keep me LIVING! Cars, work, daily grind...before one knows it the day is over and there hasn't been any time to SPARK!

Hope you all find ways to get off the beaten path and savor the beauty that's around you every day!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

L*I*T*A* 3/20/2010 12:11PM

    loved your great pictures made me feel like i was right there !!!
have a wonderful weekend............
blessings and hugs................lita

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SOULCOLLAGESUE 3/20/2010 12:02PM

    It felt like I was walking with you. I love hearing your experience Nordic Walking (new to me). What a beautiful city. I wanted to be sitting on that bench on the path right before the picture of the bridge. Great photos - an amateur photographer, to boot? Have a great weekend, Don. Thanks for taking the time to share your day in photos.

Comment edited on: 3/20/2010 12:04:19 PM

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DAYHIKER 3/20/2010 9:48AM

    Loved the slide show--thanks!!

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FERRETLOVER1 3/20/2010 8:53AM

    Sounds to me like you won't ever have to worry about sitting in your chair too long, huh?

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SVELTINGTON 3/20/2010 8:39AM

    Great pictures! We have a riverwalk in CT I am inspired to check it out.

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JCORYCMA 3/20/2010 12:06AM

    Great photos, Don! You've inspired me to get out as soon as our snow clears -- Iowa weather's hopefully last hurrah -- and take some pictures of our pretty local scenery! Your nordic poles remind me of why I like the elliptical!

Comment edited on: 3/20/2010 12:06:47 AM

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