Thursday, December 31, 2009

22 Bicycle Fun Facts

22 Bicycle Fun Facts




History


1. The first human powered land vehicle was constructed by Giovanni Fontana in 1418.

2. The term "bicycle" first entered into popular usage in France in the 1860s.

3. The prototype of the mountain bike was not developed until 1977.


Trivia



4. The longest "tandem" bike ever built was almost 67 feet long and could seat 35.

5. The smallest adult bicycle ever created had wheels made from silver dollars.

6. Unicycling is a mandatory subject at St. Helen's School in Newbury, Ohio.

7. Half of all the parts of a typical bicycle are in the chain.




Sports


8. The slow cycling record was set by Tsugunobu Mitsuishi of Japan in 1965 when he stayed stationary for 5 hours, 25 minutes.

9. The fastest speed ever recorded on a bicycle was attained by American Olympic Cyclist and Ironman triathlon competitor John Howard, when he reached 152.2 mph in 1985.

10. Lance Armstrong's heart is one-third larger than "normal." (Lance is also the seventh cousin of Katie Couric and sixth cousin of Hilary Duff.)


Numbers


11. There are roughly one billion bicycles in the world (about twice as many as motor vehicles).

12. An estimated 130 million bicycles were produced worldwide in 2007 (more than twice the 52 million cars produced).

13. There are at least 400 bicycle clubs in America, with membership ranging from 10 to 4,000 members.

14. According to Transportation Alternatives, 10% of New York City's work force--approximately 65,000 humans--commute by bicycle.




Safety


15. A study found almost three-quarters of fatal crashes (74%) in NYC involved a head injury and nearly all bicyclists who died (97%) were not wearing a helmet. Helmets have been found to be 85% effective in preventing head injury.

16. From 1990 to 2005, only one fatal crash with a motor vehicle in NYC occurred when a bicyclist was in a marked bike lane.

17. Research has shown that tripling the number of bike riders on the street cuts motorist-bicyclist crashes in half.


Greenness


18. How many bikes can be parked in a single car parking space in a paved lot?
Anywhere from 6 to 20.

19. Bicycles currently displace over 238 million gallons of gasoline per year, by replacing car trips with bicycle trips.

20. When Worldwatch Institute compared energy used per passenger-mile (calories), they found that a bicycle needed only 35 calories, whereas a car expended a whopping 1,860. Bus and trains fell about midway between, and walking still took 3 times as many calories as riding a bike the same distance.

21. Bicycles use 2% as much energy as cars per passenger-kilometer, and cost less than 3% as much to purchase.


Actionable Bike Fact:


22. Becoming a bicycle activist has never been easier.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Cheers

Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man. ~Benjamin Franklin

To all the wonderful friends, family, and fellow bloggers. I wish everyone the very best in the new year. I hope that 2009 ends in a spectacular bang, busting a move, clinking of glasses, and general merriment in the company of the very finest or what ever "shakes your tail feather." May the coming new year and decade be filled with hope, joy, clairity, and prosperity.  We really do live the good life.
~Michelle~

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Goals

A light bulb just went off. I have a goal and it is exciting!

I have been drooling over road bikes in order to get me over the hump and it has worked so far. I am extreamly stoked to get on a fresh mountain bike in the summer but I understand that it is going to take a while to feel solid bombing down trails, plowing through puddles and dodging trees. A road bike will bring strength and endurance back to my legs while being low impact and stable.  I have my eyes on this one so far. I am slowly starting to get excited for long rides through the county, to Birch Bay and down into Skagit County.

My goal for 2010.... THE MOUNT BAKER HILL CLIMB!
I have tossed around the idea from year to year but never had the drive to actually commit to it. Here I am, lacking the base fitness found by running, I am going to swing my leg over the bike and learn to pedal harder and faster than I can imagine right now.

Until then, I am basking in the free time I have until I my time comes, dreaming of long walks, bike rides and a healthy body.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Week Two

Today marks 14 days post surgery. I am back at the office, free from the wrath of pain killers, and have ever increasing mobility. A blessing all around. My knee now bends from zero to 80 degrees. Progress! I still lack some nerve activity but that will come with time.
All things considered I am coming right along. I do have bad days, we all do. There are a few things that pull me through. I know there are people that deal with this sort of day in and day out. I will be free from mine in about a year. There are so many things in my life to look forward to including the thought of walking again, riding a bike, yoga, a new moutain bike, and a fresh road bike to strengthen the non exsistant quadricept. It will come, mobility, freedom and strength, it just takes time. Right now I can hear the the minute hand ticking off in space... It is like a day at the office that will never end, but it will and unlike the office, everyday gets better. I know I will heal. I am able to get back into some light yoga, light strength training and can move about the house rather well.
Here is some age old advice for general well being:

1) Get enough sleep

2) Eat the right food

3) Exercise

4) Reduce Stress

5) Spend time with loved ones.

Next: What I have learned so far...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Recovery

Here I am a week later. I made it through surgery, the hardest part of of the following days, now it is on to see the doctor today tp hear what actually happend while under the knife, begin physical therapy in the next couple of days... hopefully begin to walk soon.
I couldn't have done it without my hubby J. He was and continues to be my cornerstone. He has kept positive, understanding and increadibly patient. The first couple of nights he was up with me every couple of hours, made every meal for my picky appitite, brought me movies and watched them with me. I am a very lucky gal and I am sure that this road to recovery has just begun.
My Grandma and the rest of my family here and across the country have been increadibly supportive, and as I now know, the support is priceless and this would have been unbearable without everyone's help.  It really does take a village.
I took two weeks off of work, it has been a week and I still spend more than 3/4 of the day in bed or laying in various places in the house with my leg over my head. I wish that I would have known this. I had no idea that the recovery would be this intese. All I want to do is rest, rest and rest. Life has become increasingly more enjoyable now that I have cut out the pain killers. They are horrible and they don't kill the pain.
It is time to go put my leg up and have a date with the ice pack.
Merry Christmas~

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Morning ~ Moby ~ Music



Walk With Me
Walk with me, Lord
Walk with me, Lord
All alone.
This tedious journey
Won't you walk with me?
Walk with me, Lord
Walk with me, Lord
Walk with me
All alone.
This tedious journey
Won't you walk with me?
Take my hand, Lord
Take my hand, Lord
All alone.
This tedious journey
Won't you take my hand?
Let me sleep, Lord
Let me sleep...Lord
Let me in.
This tedious journey
Won't you let me sleep?

Each Thursday morning, I listen to 89.3 fm KUGS from 6 - 7am. The show I'm hooked on is Etown. It is increadible and showcases new/up & coming artists as well some favorites. This morning Moby was on and played from his new album. Some times music can absolutly move me, bring me to my knees, and often make my eyes well up. This is the song hit me this morning and absolulty moved me. Enjoy!
Podcast.Etown.org

Ideal job #3

Okay, in a perfect little Bellingham, doing a perfect little job..... I would be a professional athlete. That is broad I know, since one criteria is that I have to be able to do this job here in Bellingham I narrowed it down, and it wasn't hard at all....
I would be a professional trail runner.
Trail running is about the only sport or hobby that I feel as if I could compete in. I wouldn't settle for just any kind of competitive running, I would never be a marathon runner (my knees would obviously not take that kind of output) but I could race shorter distances, such as half marathons, if I really needed to. It is all in the training. To trail run, east and west of the Cascades, in BC, all over the northwest for that matter, and would that be a dream job. I have the determination and drive that I could run several 50 km races a year (well at least I used to have the drive), or I could run several shorter races, I could be happy training to run (and getting paid for it).... in a perfect world.

Here is the closest I have ever been to being competitive. 2nd place (women) in the North Face Endurance Challenge (2007)

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Keeping my cool

J. has a way of keeping increadibly cool in most situations. He has an uncanny ability to resist reacting to most circumstances and situations. He tries to instill the same behavior in me. It works, sometimes.... I would like to imagine that this time in limbo be a time of relaxation, a time to rekindle old hobbies... reconnect with friends. I have been mildly successful. I did make four differnt kinds of cookies last night in preperation for the holiday season, I have planned and primped for a wild party this weekend.... I am trying... but some times pitty gets the best of me. I am human after all.....
The reason I am putting all this dirty laundry in the street is to share some worrds of wisdom that J. often imparts. **Side note: Someday I am going to create a book of these "wisdoms" it has me on the floor laughing often** One of my favorite sayings of his has been around for awhile, but he reminds me not to take myself too seriously. Really? So simple!?! This is usually all I need to get me down off the (imaginary) railing and back to reality.  
Today's goal, yep, just be graceful throughout the day, this does not include being too serious and dramatic about some silly little injury that is about to heal.

Ideal Job #2

Following the lines of a career that entails doing whatever I want (a limit is that the job is still located here in Bellingham) and making a little cash, I think I have came up with a second job that I would love to do.
I would love to be an artist. I would love to spend the days in a cozy little corner studio, a studio that is all windows, creating whatever my heart desires.
As I let my imagination take the best of me and this post... the studio would have to have a kitchen, I would want to bake all kinds of tasty and beautiful treats, take all kinds of pictures and then write about it and then create a cookbook/internet site to share everything with all walks of life all over the world. Then there would be a sewing station, a huge bookshelf so I could collect magizines and books, then all the supplies to draw, paint, glue, cut and create. There would be a big comfy couch so people would come visit me... and so Natasha and Sophee have a place to hang out. There would be a wonderful esspresso machine in another corner to fuel the experiance (this would also ensure timly visits from J.)
In a perfect world...... this is what I would do....

Friday, December 04, 2009

Ideal Job #1

Everyone around me has been dreaming of these ideal jobs.
Oh it is fun! I am going to start a little excersice of writting down what I would like to do, as far fetched as it might be.

My ideal job for the holidays just came to me! I would LOVE to have people hire me to do their holiday cookies.
I would love to bake several varities, shapes, colors and sizes package them in little tins, make fancy little cards, and SELL them to people to give away.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

The flame within


Pre 2009 Chuckanut 50 km race. photo source: Garrett Grove

Here I go again; all I can think about is the looming surgery. It might be the time on my hands, the idleness, the looming date, the increased discomfort. Whatever it is I am getting a wee bit nervous. I know it is a rather minor surgery and there are other people who face life threatening ailments around us all. I am really focused on one aspect of the surgery, am not worried about the ACL replacement, or the patella problem.... I don't want to remove my meniscus. The meniscus is part of the "cushion" on the knee. With the removal of this portion of the knee, arthritis is sure to set in early. Okay, I have come to terms with this and understand that it is inevitable. The problem I have is the fact that my running career may be over. Pwhew! That is a hard one to swallow. So as of right now, I know it may be a possibility but I am going to leave it at that because I know in my heart that I am not ready to be done with running.


I have said in the past that I know long distance running is not a lifetime sport for me. I don't think that my body can handle it. That is okay. I am not willing to give up running all together though. There is something incredibly simple and beautiful about running. I can leave my house, be on trail, in parks with just a quick change of clothes and a healthy pair of shoes. Then there is the efficiency of running, it only takes about an hour to get a great work out running, it might take twice that on a bike. I won't crash running (well not as often). What about the infamous "runners' high" it is one of the most satisfying feelings.

I haven't run in months, and I have come to the realization, the kind that comes deep within, I am not ready to stop running. I am unsure now what this means and what it is going to take but I am not ready to hang those tennies up.

To be honest, I thought that I would totally love the break from being active. Over the summer I yearned for more time to work around the house, do art, cook, and read but found myself biking increasingly more, yoga and lifting weights. Now I understand, I mean I have came to terms with the idea of balance. THere can be too much of a good thing, and too much of anything can be tiring (and even cause serious bodily injury!) and make one desire for something else, anything else. Now I have all the time in the world. I love it, I have started to actually cook, read, write, fix up the house (A HUGE THANKS TO J. & MY DAD!!!), decorate the house..... spend quality time with J. all the rich things in life. There is something missing, it is being active. My body does not feel the same (enough time has past to really notice) my energy levels have dropped considerably, my moods have changed, my body has changed. It has taken a few months but I know that even though I may never be at the same caliber that I was a year ago, I am going to lead a BALANCED active lifestyle for the rest of my life.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

A bit of a suprise!



Way back when Facebook was new and exciting I filled out one of the chain letter deals and wrote 25 things about me. It was actually a really fun thing (who really doensn't like to talk about themselves... really be truthful!). I read several friends 25 things and was rather intrigued by all the people in my life. So the other day J. sent me a little note during the day, he reminded me that he had also came up with his own 25 (oh wait, of course it is 26) random facts. What a surprise, it was enough to bring tears to my eyes and remind me why I LOVE this man so much!

Here is a glimpse into J.'s lovely little world.

1. I love solutions. They have a way of eliminating problems.
2. I am quite calculated and typically judge the situation dispassionately.

3. I love my wife Michelle and her unyielding patience for me…(see above)

4. Nothing makes me happier than going fast, period. Bikes, Skis, Shopping Carts, whatever.

5. My dog Natasha has impressed me more over the last 11 years than any of god’s creatures that I have ever come in contact with. I’d take another one just like her!

6. I don’t believe in fear, but certainly calculate risk.

7. I have a wonderful family. Immediate, extended and in-law. I am truly blessed and continue to learn from them all.

8. My idol would still have to be my dad. Stoic, poised, and surefooted in all endeavors.

9. I thrive on commitment. Whether soloing on rock or rolling into steep technical terrain on a bike, when failure is not an option you bring the A-Game goods. And that my friends, is what it is all about.

10. I love coffee and red wine. Because what goes up, must come down.

11. “I am a part of all that I have met” Tennyson, and I have been unbelievably fortunate in the people, places and moments that I have “met”.

12. Chicken and Dumplins’ are the shit! (that is a good thing)

13. I am grateful to have a beautifully creative wife. Because to second my friend Dale, I too have no use for art.

14. I absolutely believe in form following function. See above and see my car.

15. Duct tape is amazing.

16. I am confident that I can fix anything that moves or shakes, and if it isn’t broken I can make it work better. It is just in the blood. You should meet my Papa Ralph!

17. My sister Corrie is the Yin to my Yang and I think that is pretty cool. She is so full of ideas and creativity. She has an intuition for the subtly beautiful. I just want to know what it does.

18. I love taco trucks.

19. I am most definitely a morning person.

20. I can’t live without music.

21. I love chocolate, thanks Mom…

22. I rely on my friends for inspiration, energy and motivation as they rely on me for the same. Everyone can’t bring it all the time, but certainly someone can.

23. There is nothing quite like clean polished white granite. Can I get an Amen?

24. You’ll never get all those ducks in a row, so stop tryin’. Have faith that they will fall into place individually at that critical time.

25. I have battled depression my whole life. Enjoy all things in moderation, even happiness. It takes a little bit of darkness to balance an individual, don’t fret. The sun will continue to rise. “Strikes and Gutters”, the Dude.

26. ”I love lamp”, Brick Tomlin. That’s right 26. Bucking the system since 1978.

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