Sunday, September 28, 2008
You don’t have to be super-fit to enjoy cycling, and it’s good for you! When looking to lose weight, diets rarely work long-term, regular exercise always does. Any type of regular exercise is of benefit, but cycling is particularly good because fewer injuries occur as a result. Cycling is also a great calorie user, which has various benefits.
According to the British Heart Foundation, cycling at least 20 miles per week reduces the risk of coronary heart disease to less than half that for non-cyclists. Cycling at a gentle 12 mph on a flat road uses 450 kcal per hour. It also makes you feel younger and reduces stress. It is also claimed that cycling raises the speed of your metabolism for hours afterwards, so your body continues to burn calories even after exercise.
Cycling is mainly an aerobic activity (except when going uphill). This is beneficial to the lungs which expand to push as much oxygen into the body as possible and the heart which beats faster to transport this oxygen around your body. A strong heart and powerful lungs form the basis of general fitness. Even if you cycle only a few miles per day, your muscles will gain the benefit, usually becoming trimmer and more toned. The main muscles you use when cycling are the upper thigh muscles, backside, and calf muscles.
Exercising releases what are known as endorphins into your blood - these create a feeling of contentment and happiness, therefore helping to reduce stress. Naturally, if you cycle in pleasant surroundings - your contentment level will be even greater!
My good friend George said “no” to her travel card, and hopped on her bike instead. From my observation, it worked out well- she has saved hundreds of quid a month, plus has lost quite a lot of weight- an all round package that you cannot say “no” to.
Source: ArticleSphere.com / by Jamie Jaggernauth/ photo courtesy of austriatravel.co.uk
Source: Bike Lane Diary (photo by Marla Lu/ Flickr)
The bike-builder from British Columbia bested his previous record of 81.02 mph during a picture-perfect run through the desert during the World Human Powered Speed Challenge outside Battle Mountain, Nevada.
"On the one hand, it's terrifying, but also completely exhilarating, Whittingham, who's won the competition every year since its inception six years ago, told the Vancouver Sun after taking home the $26,748 deciMach Prize for Human-Powered Speed. "It's like going down the steepest hill you can find on your bike, but you get to do that all the time."
Except Whittingham's bike is nothing like your bike. Read more
Source: Wired Blog Network
Well, more people than ever, anyway.Helen Pidd has been taking cycling trips for some time. Little did she know she was one step ahead of a growing trend
My friends thought I was tragic trundling off on my cycling holidays, but now I know I was simply fashion-forward (though possibly not in those shorts). These days everyone is doing it. Well, more people than ever, anyway.
Britons spent £120 million on dedicated cycling holidays in 2006, according to research from Mintel. The report estimates that 2.25 million holidays taken by Brits last year included some kind of cycling adventure, such as a day's bike hire or a mounted city sightseeing tour.
I have always enjoyed cycling, but until a few years ago saw it mostly as a way to get from A to B without paying for the bus. It wasn't even a hobby, let alone a mode of holidaying. Then I moved down to London and, after spending weekdays choking on fumes, was quite literally gagging for a bit of fresh air on the weekends.
At first, I - with my far hardier cycling companion and puncture repairer-in-chief - went day tripping. Then we decided to spread our wheels a little, and started our weekend trips an hour out of town from places like Bognor Regis, Oxford and Great Yarmouth, hefting our bikes on to trains and then pedalling off into the countryside. The only downside was having to call National Rail Enquiries and battling with the operators over whether we could take bikes on our chosen route. (If we both called, we would invariably be given different answers.)
One of my best holidays ever was the cycling odyssey I undertook last summer. Too wussy and annual-leave-deprived to tackle the full End to End, we decided to have a go at London to Land's End. We didn't pay tour operators to sort out our itinerary, but set off armed with panniers full of Ordnance Survey maps, a list of B&B phone numbers and a spare inner tube each.
Apart from the tantrum I had just outside Minehead attempting Porlock Hill (gradient: 25% - it was like cycling up a wall), it was a dream, albeit an expensive one. By my reckoning, the cost of 14 nights in B&Bs and youth hostels (we went a very circuitous route), lunches and dinners, and the train back to London from Penzance was about £500. Unless you can be bothered lugging a tent around, cycling holidays are very rarely cheap.
As to why they are en vogue, well, I can only answer for myself. I loved seeing the landscape change, as Berkshire became Wiltshire, Wiltshire became Somerset, and Somerset segued into Devon and then Cornwall. And without being too much of a pathetic girl about it, I was delighted to return with far firmer thighs at the end of the fortnight. I also got off on the knowledge that my holiday wasn't spewing out huge amounts of carbon - apart, of course, from the heavy breathing involved in tackling Porlock Hill.
Source: guardian.co.uk/Travel/ by Helen Pidd
Saturday, September 27, 2008
"Cycling is fun, great for children's health and everyone's environment. Many more children will be cycling with Patrick to and from St. Matthews Primary School as part of our daily "cycle train". Pedal for Scotland is in it's 10th year and there are already more families at Patrick's school who have asked to join in next year, the more the merrier." Mark Kiehlmann, Sustrans Volunteer Ranger.
"Both myself and the event organiser Ian Aitken met Mark and Patrick after the event and were stunned to discover that Patrick had completed the whole ride on his own. We see a lot of young children on tandems with their parents, but as far as I know there has never been anyone else as young as Patrick to complete the ride completely independently. To top it off, Mark showed us home video footage of Patrick on the last few miles of the route, where I myself was feeling ready to drop, and Patrick was still speeding along at twice the pace of everyone else. It really was quite inspirational and I'd like to offer congratulations on behalf of Pedal for Scotland to our youngest and most enthusiastic rider. Patrick's achievement really does show that more or less anyone can take part in Pedal for Scotland." Andrew Pankhurst, PR & Marketing Officer, Cycling Scotland, organisers of Pedal for Scotland.
Patrick started cycling just over a year ago, going to and from his preschool with his mate on their Islabikes. This summer we decided to try and cycle around Cumbrae for an afternoon. We were astonished when he had finished in just an hour. So we took a trip along the Fourth and Clyde Canal from Bishopbriggs to Auchinstarry Basin and back, then Patrick asked if we could go to the Falkirk Wheel. I knew then that it was very likely that he would be able to make the trip to Edinburgh on the Pedal for Scotland, celebrating cycling with over 5,000 others.
Above: Footage of Patrick on the home stretch of the ride, clearly loving it and going like a miniature steam-train
Patrick loves to cycle everyday to school in Bishopbriggs. We are working with the school, East Dunbartonshire Council and Sustrans to ensure that Patrick, and every other child, can continue to cycle on a safe route to school, away from the high pollution levels on the Kirkintilloch Road.
Source: Everyday Cycling
Monday, September 22, 2008
A look at Team Columbia’s schedule on Friday, the day of the 99-mile seventh stage at the Tour de France. Riders were given the schedule before going to bed. Often, before breakfast, medical teams show up unannounced to test the riders’ blood or urine for drugs or anomalies.
- 8:55 A.M. Wake up.
- 9 Breakfast is coffee, bread, croissants, eggs and cereal.
- 10 A carbohydrate-rich meal of pasta is served about three hours before the start.
- 10:45 Riders pack their bags, which are loaded onto a truck and sent to the next hotel.
- 11:15 The team bus leaves so that it arrives at the start an hour before the stage begins. On the bus, the team directors meet with the riders to plan tactics.
- 1:10 P.M. The stage starts.
AFTER THE RACE Riders return to the bus, where they clean up, change, eat and relax on the way to their hotel.
- 6 P.M. Each rider has an hour of therapeutic massage. It is also time to chat with friends and family on the phone.
- 8 Dinner.
- 10-11 Bedtime. Some riders watch TV, others read or go online. This is a time to forget about the race.
Source: The New York Times - Other Sport - by Michael Barry
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Scotland on Sunday has obtained remarkable details of one of the most memorably bizarre episodes of the Bush presidency: the day he crashed into a Scottish police constable while cycling in the grounds of Gleneagles Hotel.
The incident, which will do little to improve Bush's accident-prone reputation, began when he took to two wheels for a spot of early-evening exercise during last year's G8 summit at the Perthshire resort.
After a hard day's discussion with fellow world leaders, the president was looking for some relaxation. Instead, he ended up the subject of a police report in which the leader of the free world was described, in classic police language, as a "moving/falling object".
It was "about 1800 hours on Wednesday, 6 July, 2005" that a detachment of Strathclyde police constables, in "Level 2 public order dress [anti-riot gear]," formed a protective line at the gate at the hotel's rear entrance, in case demonstrators penetrated the biggest-ever security operation on Scottish soil.
The official police incident report states: "[The unit] was requested to cover the road junction on the Auchterarder to Braco Road as the President of the USA, George Bush, was cycling through." The report goes on: "[At] about 1800 hours the President approached the junction at speed on the bicycle. The road was damp at the time. As the President passed the junction at speed he raised his left arm from the handlebars to wave to the police officers present while shouting 'thanks, you guys, for coming'.
"As he did this he lost control of the cycle, falling to the ground, causing both himself and his bicycle to strike [the officer] on the lower legs. [The officer] fell to the ground, striking his head. The President continued along the ground for approximately five metres, causing himself a number of abrasions. The officers... then assisted both injured parties."
The injured officer, who was not named, was whisked to Perth Royal Infirmary. The report adds: "While en-route President Bush phoned [the officer], enquiring after his wellbeing and apologising for the accident."
At hospital, a doctor examined the constable and diagnosed damage to his ankle ligaments and issued him with crutches. The cause was officially recorded as: "Hit by moving/falling object."
No details of damage to the President are recorded from his close encounter with the policeman and the road, although later reports said he had been "bandaged" by a White House physician after suffering scrapes on his hands and arms.
At the time Bush laughed off the incident, saying he should start "acting his age".
Details of precisely how the crash unfolded have until now been kept under wraps for fear of embarrassing both Bush and the injured constable. But the new disclosures are certain to raise eyebrows on Washington's Capitol Hill.
Jim McDermott, a Democrat Congressman, last night quipped: "Not only does he break the law over here on eavesdropping and spying on our own citizens, but it seems he can't even keep to your law when it comes to riding a bike. It's another example of how he can't keep his mind on the things he should be thinking about."
Bush often takes to two wheels for exercise, after pain in his knees forced him to give up running. He regularly rides at secret service training facilities near Washington, and the G8 accident is just one in a long list of mishaps. In May 2004, he fell off his mountain bike, grazing his chin, upper lip, nose, both knees, and his right hand, while riding on his ranch in Texas. In June 2003, he fell off his hi-tech Segway scooter.
In Scotland, an accident such as the one at Gleneagles could have led to police action. Earlier this year, Strathclyde Police issued three fixed penalty notices to errant cyclists as part of a crack-down on rogue riders. Legal experts also suggested lesser mortals could have ended up with a fixed penalty fine, prosecution, or at least a good ticking-off from officers.
John Scott, a human rights lawyer, said: "There's certainly enough in this account for a charge of careless driving. Anyone else would have been warned for dangerous driving.
No-one was available for comment from the White House.
Source : The Scotsman
- Do not ride on pavements unless there are signs permitting this.
- Give lorries space and hold back -- a lorry might be turning at any corner. Never cut inside
- Carry a good lock -- Try to lock the frame and wheels to an immovable object, preferably a bike stand
- Cycle in different conditions -- a dry summer's day is perfect for cycling. As you discover how convenient cycling can be for everyday trips, you may find yourself cycling in different conditions.
- Cycling at night is just as practical and brings all the same benefits as cycling by day. However there are some simple but important steps to ensure that you are both safe and within the law. Use lights at night
- Dress for visibility by wearing bright, reflective clothing when cycling at night. A reflective jacket or waistcoat that slips over your coat will help to define your shape in the dark. Reflective patches, badges, tape and stickers can be applied anywhere on the bike or rider, and are recommended to maximise your visibility
- Be alert at night -- it is easier to spot approaching cars because of their headlights but remember that you may be dazzled by lights on full beam
- Ensure your bike is safe and check that your brakes, tyres, lights and steering are working properly
- Ensure your bike is properly adjusted -- wrongly positioned saddles and handlebars are uncomfortable and inefficient.
- Consider wearing a cycle helmet that meets current safety standards
- Plan a route that suits your abilities if you have not ridden recently. You could also ride with someone who’s used to riding on the road to increase your confidence.
Don’t take it from me. The entire cycling world is a bit confused about why Lance Armstrong would risk his unblemished run of seven straight Tour de France wins by returning, at age 37, to try for an eighth.
“Why is he really doing this?” wondered Marc Sergeant, director of the Silence-Lotto team of Tour hopeful Cadel Evans.
“Personally the story so far doesn't do it for me,” said Columbia manager Bob Stapleton. “But maybe it is about something bigger. He is passionate about cancer.”
But perhaps Carlos Sastre, the man whose title Armstrong will try to regain as his own, put it best. “If he wants to return, it’s because he believes he has an opportunity,” said the 2008 winner to VeloNews.
An opportunity, yes, but for what? Read more..
Source : Bicycling Magazine - By Joe Lindsey
Thursday, September 18, 2008
“In the initial stage they will be stationed from 5pm to midnight at the Corniche, Rumaillah Park and Souq Waqif, areas which are crowded, especially during weekends,” an official of Hamad Medical Corporation’s Emer-gency Medical Services said yesterday.
The well-trained personnel would provide emergency first aid to those in need prior to the arrival of an ambulance to rush patients to the Accident and Emergency Department.
The bikes are equipped with a first-aid bag for the treatment of mild injuries, a heart resuscitation system and an oxygen cylinder. The service could be availed of by dialling 999 and reporting the injury and location of the patient.
“The number of Bike Emergency Service stations is expected to be increased in the near future to cover sports events as well,” the official said.
The new service, which has been running for two weeks now, has been described as “efficient, prompt and timely in providing emergency first aid for a number of cases”.
Source: Gulf News
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
The testicular self exam is best performed after a warm bath or shower.
(Heat relaxes the scrotum, making it easier to spot anything abnormal)
The TCRC recommends following these steps every month (keep in mind that the point is not to find something wrong, it is to learn what everything feels like so that you will know if something changes):
- Stand in front of a mirror. Check for any swelling on the scrotal skin.
- Examine each testicle with both hands. Place the index and middle fingers under the testicle with the thumbs placed on top.
- Roll the testicle gently between the thumbs and fingers -- you shouldn't feel any pain when doing the exam. Don't be alarmed if one testicle seems slightlylarger than the other, that's normal.
- Find the epididymis, the soft, tubelike structure behind the testicle that collects and carries sperm. If you are familiar with this structure, you won't mistake it for a suspicious lump. Cancerous lumps usually are found on the sides of the testicle but can also show up on the front. Lumps on the epididymis are not cancerous.
- If you find a lump on your testicle, see a doctor, preferably a urologist, right away. The abnormality may not be cancer, it may just be an infection. But if it is testicular cancer, it will spread if it is not stopped by treatment. Waiting and hoping will not fix anything. Please note that free floating lumps in the scrotum that are not attached in any way to a testicle are not testicular cancer. When in doubt, get it checked out - if only for peace of mind!
Other signs of testicular cancer to keep in mind are:
- Any enlargement of a testicle
- A significant loss of size in one of the testicles
- A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
- A dull ache in the lower abdomen or in the groin
- A sudden collection of fluid in the scrotum
- Pain or discomfort in a testicle or in the scrotum
- Enlargement or tenderness of the breasts
I hesitate to mention the following list, since anything out of the ordinary down there should prompt a visit to the doctor, but you should be aware that the following symptoms are not normally signs of testicular cancer:
- A pimple, ingrown hair or rash on the scrotal skin
- A free floating lump in the scrotum, seemingly not attached to anything
- A lump on the epidiymis or tubes coming from the testicle that kind of feels like a third testicle
- Pain or burning during urination
- Blood in the urine or semen
*** Remember, only a physician can make a positive diagnosis ***
For that matter, only a physician can make a negative diagnosis too. If you think something feels strange, go see the doctor!
Finally, embarassment is a poor excuse for not having any problem examined by a doctor. If you think there is something wrong or something has changed, please see your doctor!
Eric Shanteau, 24, went to the Olympics after finding out he had testicular cancer in June. He didn't qualify for the finals, but he did swim a personal best. Shortly after he returned home, Eric had the definitive surgery at Emory University Hospital. At this time, he does not need further treatment.
Lance Armstrong, perhaps the most famous testicular cancer survivor, announced this week that he will return to professional cycling. Armstrong was treated for testicular cancer in 1996. His cancer had spread to his lungs and brain. He had two surgeries. In the first, the cancerous testicle was removed and in the second, two brain lesions were removed. He then had four rounds of chemotherapy.
How common is testicular cancer?
How is it detected?
What's the treatment?
Is fertility retained with treatment?
How is testicular cancer prevented?
Source : NBC5 - Heath by Dr Mary Ann Malloy
Thursday, September 4, 2008