Greg and I are active people – we really enjoy being outdoors in the summer. This year I replaced my mountain bike with a comfort bike so we can spend more time cycling. The comfort bike is so much easier to ride than a mountain bike as it placed a lot of pressure on my back and neck. And I really did not need a mountain bike since we do not go off roading. In the month of owning my new bike, I have done more cycling than in the 10-years I owned the mountain bike!
I purchased a Trek Navigator 3.0. It has 8-speeds with trigger shifters that are easy to use. The suspension is great for when you hit those bumps on the bike trail. The tires are not too thin so I feel secure riding on the road or bike path. Plus I love the flat handgrips as it allows you to rest your palm taking some of the weight off your hand. I find it easy to reach the speed controls and the brake. Since we are always going up and down hills it is important I can quickly react through adjusting my speed. We adjusted my seat height a couple of times until I got the right comfort plus you can adjust the stem. Overall, I LOVE this bike and highly recommend it if you are looking for a comfort bike.
Biking is a great way to see new scenery, spend time with your spouse, as a family, with friends and get some great exercise. Part of my rationale for a new bike is to help me train for our hiking trip in September especially since a new bike is not cheap! It is amazing how expensive a bike costs – but it is worth the investment! Last year Greg and I went to New Hampshire on a hiking trip. The terrain is much more rugged than here in Western New York. We had a great time last year but I realized I needed to get into better shape before September!
It seemed for awhile we were living at the bike store as we were purchasing and then returning accessories that did not work for my bike. I added a gel seat cover for those long bike rides. Then padded bike shorts were added. I have to wonder how did we ride our bikes for hours when we were a kid? As for any sport, the proper clothing is important for both functionality and to have an excuse to go clothes shopping! I purchased bike short liners that you wear under shorts; regular padded biking shorts; and a few colorful shirts. Who knew there would be so many options when it came to biking shorts! Of course we acted like we knew what we were doing when the young sales person came over to offer assistance. But if you are purchasing padded shorts it is nice to have padded liners so you can wear a pair of shorts over them if you are going into restaurants, stores and such. The padded bike shorts I purchased fit tight to your legs and I wear them when we are going on serious cycling trips as they have more padding than the liners.
I added a nice bell to my bike so people will know I am coming (it is gold and located to the right of my iPhone). I wanted to get a horn but Greg would not hear of it since he knew I would be honking it at him! But the bell did come in handy when we ran into a flock of geese who did not want to move. So we just rang our bells and they cleared out a path for us! We are able to track our distance, calories burned, and other important stats through an iPhone application that provides history on all saved trips. I don’t know what I would do without this application and information! It seems technology has a role even when it comes to biking. And as a Software Testing Manager I keep testing it to see if the information is correct! A special order was placed for an iPhone holder to securely hold our iPhones; it has a strap for extra protection. Plus I added a mirror to see if anyone is coming up behind, a water bottle holder, and a rack on the back to secure a small bag. If you have any questions on my bike or accessories, let me know and I would be happy to answer them.
So far I have cycled 11-miles at one time and my goal by the end of summer is 20-miles during a single outing. Cycling 11-miles was not too bad – however the recovery time was more challenging. This is where eating the proper foods not only provides the energy for our active lifestyle but also helps us recover as we continue to push the bounds on what we can accomplish.
A quick option if you are low on time or ingredients is a straight-up protein shake with a banana. My husband and I like to use skim milk with a scoop of EAS 100% Whey Protein power. You could use water instead of skim milk if you are low on milk or want to make a protein shake when you are not at home. Over the years we have tried different protein powders. We use EAS 100% Whey Protein because it provides 26 grams of protein, we can buy it in a 5-pound bag at our local BJ’s, it taste good, and mixes easily with milk or water. And as an extra bonus it works well with your favorite fruit smoothie to make it even healthier!
Based upon our experiences we both highly recommend EAS 100% Whey Protein. However, when trying any protein powder for the first time see if you can get a sample pack or a small container.
There are a lot of different methods to blend your milk with the protein powder and I think I have tried all of them! Some work better than others. I like to use a blender bottle with a whisk ball that allows you to shake the ingredients together. I find it blends the protein power without leaving a lot of lumps. My husband and I have had our fair-share of lumpy protein shakes!
I place the whisk ball into the blender bottle – I do this first so I do not forget! I pour 1 to 1 ½ cups of skim milk into the bottle with 1-scoop of vanilla protein. (I draw a line on my bottle with a permanent marker so I do not need to measure my milk for every shake.) You could use chocolate or strawberry protein powder if you want to introduce a flavor into your shake. Press the white pouring lid into the bottle top (you will hear it snap), then tightly screw the bottle top and shake for about 20- to 30-seconds. We shake our containers over the sink for that rare situation when we are tired and do not properly seal the container. My husband can tell you stories about cleaning up a protein shake that spilled over the countertop. Luckily that rarely happens!
The protein shake will have some foam that you do not want to drink as it might upset your stomach. Either let the shaker bottle sit for a few minutes or pour into a glass and let it sit for a few minutes until the foam to diminishes. (You can also drink your protein shake out of the blender bottle for one less glass to wash!) If I am having a protein shake for breakfast, I make this first to let the foam diminish while I get my vitamins and lunch ready.
After a few minutes you are ready to have your protein shake and banana to either prepare for an outing or recover from an active afternoon!