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Why Walk When You Can Fly?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

So I've been feeling WAY less than satisfied with the fitness center over the past few days...feeling more & more like a "grind" in which even my hand-picked tunes on my mp3 player weren't much help...might as well have been elevator music! Montavanni or some such...!

Plus today I was cooped up with a conference / workshop which was an attempt to provide some reassurance of the onslaught of Medicaid changes that awaits us community mental health providers...all the while a gorgeous sun outside beaming away.

All right...time to take a breather from the fitness center and get out after work to grab me some fresh air and some of that sunshine!

Great thought and plan, except...the clouds rolled in and by 4:30 it's pretty well dark anyway. But I don't let that stop me from grabbing my Nordic poles anyway and striking off toward downtown. After a few steps I decide, what the heck...let's kick it up to a jog? Working the poles while jogging can be done, but since one is moving along it's hard to really "dig in" with the poles and get any significant upper body work done. Instead of using 'em I just carry the poles along.

Although I've jogged these couple miles before without a break it has been a long time...months maybe? I was pleasantly surprised to find myself able to do this again cold without any practice or building up to it!

So hey, Why Walk When You Can Fly? :-)


It was just the change of pace I needed!

Just wanted to ALSO give a terrific shout out to GUITARWOMAN who has lost 100# and celebrated her first year of maintenance this past Sept. 2011!!


She also happens to share a deep appreciation for playing her Yamaha Classical Guitar...of which I *also* happen to own and love to play as well! Mine looks to be a lower model, the G-231-II which I see bops around eBay for around a whopping $150. Be that as it may, I have played a number of guitars, both electric and acoustic and this is the one with the mellow, rich sound and spacious fretboard that works mighty fine for me!

Now the challenge is: squeezing more time in for my guitar and me! :-)


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PUDLECRAZY 12/15/2011 9:17PM


Never too little time for your guitar! Let your Yamaha sing!

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VARMINT3 12/15/2011 5:01PM

    Sounds like a good day!

I've found that as long as I do *something*, I can usually get back pretty quickly into other activities that I have have temporarily dropped for some reason. But if I stop moving for a week or two, forget it, I'm pretty much starting from scratch.

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SASSYCHRIS1952 12/15/2011 3:36PM

    There is nothing like the great outdoors emoticon

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L*I*T*A* 12/15/2011 10:04AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FERRETLOVER1 12/15/2011 8:57AM

    Way to go, Flying Man!!

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DEBRA0818 12/15/2011 7:32AM

    Congrats on kicking it up a notch without effort. You were ready to do that!!!

There's no question that outside is better than inside for making exercise feel fun to me. Just one of the reasons why I love SW Florida -- the pool where I do water aerobics is outside, the path around the lake I walk on is outside (and right outside my door), and exercise is always just a step away into the sunshine. Feels good!

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FRECKS96 12/15/2011 7:21AM

    Awesome! Feels so good to get in some brisk exercise outdoors!

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JLITT62 12/15/2011 5:14AM

    Good for you for getting out in the dark & working up a sweat!

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REDSHOES2011 12/14/2011 10:45PM

    I always feel better no matter what happens to me out in the free.. I can't always say the gym visit is always relaxing with some of the idiots that surround me some days..
Out on the road you don't have to deal with other people getting in your face, win win situation especially with good music in the ears..


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ANDALEX 12/14/2011 10:43PM

    man, there's nothing quite like the feel of a good jog! sounds awesome!

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ROOTIHAUSMAN 12/14/2011 10:40PM

    Good luck!

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Bikely.com: Great Resource for All Cyclists!

Friday, December 02, 2011

Bikely ( www.bikely.com ) is a terrific resource for cyclists of all levels!

If you're new to cycling you can check out Bikely for routes which other cyclists have already scoped out in your local area. This can give you an idea of what other cyclists have found to be "do-able" routes. You'll find rides of all lengths and levels of challenges. You can double-check a route by driving it in your car first to get an idea of how it might "ride" on your bike.

It's also handy when traveling and cycling as you can see what routes others have taken which can guide you in choosing your route.

You can also "pay it forward" and submit routes of your own to share with others. Have to admit I haven't yet done that...adding it to my "to do" list...lol!

Pretty sure this is an international resource as well so it works 'round the globe. Just happened to think of it today and thought I'd pass it on.

Oh, and I highly recommend Martin Scorsese's new movie "Hugo"( www.imdb.com/title/tt0970179/ )...it is a wonderful fairy tale for young and old on following your dreams, despite all obstacles, and by doing so inspiring others to do the same. Although fitness is nowhere in this movie it is a magical story of paying one's SPARK forward! Just in time for some holiday inspiration!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANDALEX 12/5/2011 6:28PM

    thanks for sharing this, and for your support on my blog!

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MIQUEY73 12/4/2011 9:21PM

    Thanks for sharing this!

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BILL60 12/3/2011 8:11AM

    Sounds like a great movie. Thank you for sharing.

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ZELLAZM 12/3/2011 4:54AM

    Thanks for the recommendations! Have a great weekend!

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L*I*T*A* 12/2/2011 10:15PM

    very interesting.....
will be seeing Hugo soon....
blessings and hugs..lita

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WATERMELLEN 12/2/2011 8:53PM

    This is amazing indeed!! Yup, even has bike routes in my neck 'o the woods!

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OUTDOORGIRL69 12/2/2011 8:19PM

    Sounds interesting

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PUDLECRAZY 12/2/2011 5:35PM

    I am looking forward to seeing Hugo.

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VEEJAY3 12/2/2011 4:21PM

    Funny story about Hugo (which I ADORE, by the way, and plan on seeing a couple of more times before I can't see it in 3D anymore):
My friend has a son who's at the age where he's just beginning to doubt Santa ... and my friend is desperate to keep the magic alive at least thru this year. But on her son's Christmas list this year (thanks to loving the movie)? A writing automaton.

Not kidding! Now how is Santa going to pull THAT off??? hahaha

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PIGSOFGREEN 12/2/2011 12:46PM

    I completely agree about Hugo, my daughter, husband and I all really enjoyed it - and seeing it in 3D was a treat, it's a beautiful movie visually as well.

Love all the cycling resources you post - makes me want to hop my bike and brave the ice LOL

Maybe in the spring... emoticon

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The Bicycle as an Instrument of Experiential Understanding

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Lately I've come across some additional articles about cycling in New York City and urban cycling in general which I thought were worth passing along. I'm finding some of the comments posted on the articles very interesting also.

Here are some experiences shared on cycling the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway:

A Cyclist Discovers a Country Edge To the City:


A great description of the New York City Century ride I did earlier this fall:

"The city felt at once vast and intimate."

One of the comments sent me to these great thoughts shared by Kasey Klimes:

The Real Reason Why Bicycles are the Key to Better Cities:

She shares some great thoughts on how much more "connected" one feels to others when cycling through a city, how much more observant and aware one can be. “Invite a motorist for a bike ride through your city and you’ll be cycling with an urbanist by the end of the day. Even the most eloquent of lectures about livable cities and sustainable design can’t compete with the experience from atop a bicycle saddle.”

While I love cycling in the country where there are far fewer encounters with cars and other urban "hassles" and one can soak up the wonders of nature; there is much to be said for the wealth of variety in points of interest and awareness of aspects within our environment that we would NEVER have in a rural setting. If cycling in a rural setting is your usual MO, I would encourage you to consider mixing it up by putting an urban ride on your itinerary.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JESPAH 12/6/2011 8:18AM

    There are places around Boston where you can rent a bike for a while and then drop it off at one of the others. One of these is near the grocery I go to; another is near where I work. I've never tried either (keep in mind, I haven't been on a bike for perhaps 3 decades, and the city drivers around here aren't exactly patient). But I do think about it and realize - great idea.

Truth is, I look forward to the day when car commuting is rare, and most people telecommute or get in via bus, trolley, train, bike or walking. Or skateboarding!

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ANDALEX 12/2/2011 11:15AM

    i used to bike to work sometimes (i lived closer then) but have been scared off lately by how awful baltimore city drivers are. they are so oblivious to everything, it seems! there are some efforts to make baltimore more bike friendly, but it's still pretty dangerous. that said, it IS a pretty awesome experience and i agree wholeheartedly that it improves your awareness of your environment significantly.

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KLONG8 12/2/2011 12:19AM

    Makes me want to ride!

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L*I*T*A* 12/1/2011 10:54PM

    sounds like so much fun.........
maybe one of these day will attempt the biking scene....
blessings and hugs......lita

emoticon emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 12/1/2011 10:11PM

    This is really interesting -- the urban "bixi" bike concept is an intriguing one which has taken off in Toronto and in Montreal . . .


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REBECCAANN08 12/1/2011 6:47PM

    I LOVED this blog! I'm trying to bike more just going to and from places, but that's harder now because it's so COLD outside. Still, I'm much more motivated to bike when the weather is nice now!

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TOOTHFUL99 12/1/2011 4:04PM

    I was just having this conversation with a fellow biker this morning about this very subject. Both rides have their pros and cons, but both are a lot of fun.

Today was a completely urban ride through Chattanooga. Great time!

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SKINNYPOWELL1 12/1/2011 12:19PM

    You are really making me consider giving biking a shot.

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VEEJAY3 12/1/2011 11:15AM

    I'm an urban cyclist with the BEST situation: Denver has over 800 miles of bike trails, which wind through our suburbs and throughout the city. I can hop on a "rural" trail right outside my suburban home, and in 30 minutes, I'm able to hop off the trail right into the city. Amazing!!!!

Gosh, you had to go and make me want to get on my bike ... it's snowing and FREEZING in Denver today. Yesterday was a cycling-heavenly 65 degrees. Today? 20. Blizzard. Sigh. I guess I could go to a spin class and close my eyes and pretend ...

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VALERIEMAHA 12/1/2011 10:38AM

    Although I don't rack up the miles you do, I totally concur on mixing up urban and rural. And I will be checking out your links, as always, since they're so full of useful information and reflections.

Thanks Don, your presence in this community is so important!

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Crossing 2,000 Miles for 2011!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Adbusters, the originators of the Occupy movement, started Buy Nothing Day twenty years ago as the antidote to Black Friday:


When I reflect on all the "stuff" I already have I just *KNOW* that there is really nothing that I need or HAVE to get. There is so much to be said for simplifying our lives.

I and six other bike club members all got out for a glorious bike ride today, leaving all that commercial garbage in the dust! Woo hoo!

I noticed, however (getting ready to duck the rotten tomatoes...!) there wasn't a single woman joining us on the ride...now this wouldn't have anything to do with the lure of Black Friday would it...? :-)

We stopped at one of our local Greek diners for a lunch of home-made, vegetarian Yankee Bean soup...yum!

Got home but didn't remember that DW was heading out for an errand (NOT to shop...lol) and forgot to bring my keys to the house. Since I had time to kill I decided my mulch-mowing left too much debris on the lawn and got out the rake to tidy things up a bit.

All in all a wonderful day outdoors! This November has been AMAZING with it's warm, sunny days! I know it won't last, but will soak up all I can while I can!

Biked 34 miles today and at long last crossed the 2,000 mile mark in total cycling miles for 2011. Believe me, if the weather allows, I'll keep racking up some more during the next several weeks!


PS...folks in Thailand are already preparing their bicycles to be ready for climate change: www.grist.org/list/2011-11-15-thaila

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MPLANE37 12/12/2011 2:13PM

    That is outstanding! More than 5 miles a day every day!!! I might do the same in 2012 if I can get the wednesday group moving in addition to the sunday group...

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SKINNYPOWELL1 11/29/2011 11:33AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Super Fantastic - 2000 miles. YOU ROCK dude !!!!!!!

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ZELLAZM 11/28/2011 2:46PM

    You've been prolific since my last blog-reading session. I think we could all do with a lot of "buy nothing" days whether it be Black Friday or any other day. Love the bargain you got on cross-country skiing gear. It's been such a warm sunny November here that I wonder when the winter is really going to start so you can use it? But I'm NOT complaining!

Have a good new week!

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2WHEELER 11/27/2011 7:19AM

    Wow!! 2000 miles--what an accomplishment. We're having unseasonably warm weather over this Thanksgiving weekend and I've gotten out twice for biking. Just love it! Today I'm pulling out the balaklava, shoe covers & gloves to have them on hand so I can continue biking as long as the snow isn't flying. It's just around the corner . . . will probably arrive next weekend for the annual Polar Bear Plunge! emoticon

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MYLADY4 11/26/2011 10:55AM

    Awesome. I would love to be able to get in that many miles in year.

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CARRIE1948 11/26/2011 8:21AM

    Way to go! I spent the day steam cleaning my carpets.

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BILL60 11/26/2011 8:20AM

    Congrats on your super accomplishment. Wanted to remind you that you do need to purchase one little biking-related items..........PEDALS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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JLITT62 11/26/2011 5:47AM

    Great accomplishment!

Ok, yes, I went to one store. But also bought some stuff for DH.

Been looking online too, tho. Does the economy good, right?

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GOODGETNBETR 11/26/2011 1:48AM

    emoticon Don on crossing 2000 miles! Hope we keep getting more of these beautiful days.

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TOOTHFUL99 11/25/2011 11:09PM

    Congratulations on your mileage! I always like to imagine how many pedal rotations that is. Mind blowing!

Great job!

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ANDALEX 11/25/2011 10:32PM

    woo hoo!!!!! that is super awesome!!!!!! congrats!!!!

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OUTDOORGIRL69 11/25/2011 8:19PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 11/25/2011 8:05PM

    Fantastic number of miles: and such a better way to spend the day than buying more stuff.

"Getting and spending we lay waste our powers" . . . a phrase from a poem learned many long years ago!!

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MIZPAM25 11/25/2011 7:48PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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L*I*T*A* 11/25/2011 6:42PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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VALERIEMAHA 11/25/2011 6:11PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Hip Hip HooRAY! Hip Hip HooRAY!! Hip Hip HooRAYYYYYYYY!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SAC-6582 11/25/2011 6:05PM

    That is a lot of miles. Congrats. So what do you do in the winter? Do you ride a stationary bike on bad weather days?

Keep up the good work.

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Just In Time: Laughter Class!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Listening to my public radio station before going into the dentist's to have my molar pulled what should come up but Jonathan Groubert's Radio Netherland's "The State We're In." Today's show featured: "Tita Begashaw loves to laugh. In fact, she teaches people how to laugh till their sides ache."

This, she does despite (or perhaps because?) tragedy which struck within her family:


Unfortunately I don't believe the entire interview is here, because I listened to it for around 15 mins. and this is only 5 mins. long. I "believe" the entire show may be at this link:


My first reaction was skepticism. A class? On laughing? But oh my...who could resist? What a great belly laugh and "lightening up" before heading into the dentist! Going to have to hang onto this story to replay on those days when I'm just taking myself and life all too seriously!

The molar is gone. Had to bust it into a few pieces as she nearly had to put her foot on my jaw to yank it out in one piece...lol! Sadly, no strenuous activities so that the socket can heal. Bye-bye workout and dancing. So I'm home and lying low.

I should have planned ahead and gotten my cardio in this morning...grrr! At least I did my strength training yesterday.

I'm already eying the forecast for Friday...mid-50's and sunny! What better way to spend "Buy Nothing Day" ( youtu.be/1uK0_jwyh_0 ) than to light out onto the open roads with my bike? I've already sent an invite out to my bike club to see if there might be any takers to join me.

Going to have a quiet Thanksgiving here, being careful not to have too much of or the wrong kinds of foods on hand.

Have a healthy, happy Thanksgiving everyone!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DINGALLSTOO 11/24/2011 9:27AM

    sorry about the tooth, that is a drastic way to keep you eating healthy. LOVED the laughter link. Happy Thanksgiving emoticon

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 11/23/2011 11:54AM

    What an effective (if unpleasant) way to ensure you won't overdo it this weekend!

Hang in there, Don!

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VALERIEMAHA 11/23/2011 10:06AM

    The morning after....

How's it going, brother? I LOVED the laughter video and story.

Here's a smile video for you (unrelated, just wonderful...and I think you can use some *wonderful* right now):


FYI: SP is being bad...the link ends after the numbers "77284."

Comment edited on: 11/23/2011 10:13:30 AM

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BILL60 11/23/2011 8:37AM

    Very contagious. Here I am laughing out loud by myself. Thanks for sharing.

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DEBRA0818 11/23/2011 8:25AM

    Laughter is the daily ingredient that keeps me feeling grateful and blessed by this crazy thing called life. I think it was a very fortuitous program for you to be listening to as you headed to the dentist! Wishing you lots of laughter in the healing as well...


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FERRETLOVER1 11/23/2011 8:09AM

    Tooth pulling can be awful, but laughter truly is the best medicine!

Have a great Thanksgiving, Don!

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L*I*T*A* 11/22/2011 11:10PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 11/22/2011 8:06PM

    Terrific concept!!

And: great timing!

The tooth removal sounds really strenuous. Yikes. All best with that recovery.

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JOY73YL 11/22/2011 6:30PM

    Ya, at first a class on Learn to Laugh took me by surprise but I only had to think about it for less then a minute and it is a GREAT IDEA.
Usually it is easy for me to laugh but there have been time it wasn't. I'd get in the car to go joy hunting or it really hurt my pride to apply for Food Stamps but I still had a teenager to feed.
I would get in the car (that was about to be repossessed). I would say to myself SMILE. I would answer myself "I don't want to" but would do a fake one anyway. I would keep this up until I was smiling and laughing at myself. Life finally got better. That was 30 years ago. Now I count my blessings most every day.
I know it sounds crazy but it worked.
My name is Joyce but I like to shorten it to Joy & try to live up it being Joyful

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MSCRISPIN 11/22/2011 6:17PM

    Laughter help tot he rhythm of your heart and has many other benefits to your health, so continue laughing. emoticon

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