Cycling – Warm Up and Stretching Exercises

Warming up before riding gets your body ready for the effort it’s about to exert. The idea is to gently move one’s joints through all their ranges of motion. Afterwards, stretching when your muscles are warmed up is aimed at mobility as well as stretching muscles out to avoid poor muscle function or imbalances. These warm ups came from the LIVESTRONG web site…I put them all on one powerpoint slide for easy access.

If you’d like a PDF of these for your phone, email me:




Here’s the link to the original livestrong site:



Cycling Fashion, Cycling Performance

Here’s my quote and photo from my last post. “I’m all in for cycling now. Proof? Check out the CUTE IMG_3886cycling jersey I bought today! Dude Girl. Can’t wait to try the matching accessories.”


IMG_3931On my first ride in my new jersey, a woman drives up in the parking lot tooting her horn when she saw my jersey. She jumped out of her car and whoa…she is the one who IS ALL IN, in more ways than one. First, she has ALL the accessories to go with the jersey… the pants, a windbreaker vest, arm warmers, red sunglasses AND a bike with red trim. Second, she and the folks pictured here were off to Muir Beach, a mountainous climb. I don’t know which to be more jealous of…the outfit or the ability to do rides like that (and much more).

Fashion aside, what about cycling performance? I’ve ridden 81 miles in the last 8 days, the longest ride was from Nicasio to Inverness, 31 miles. Average times are getting close to 15 mph compared to my first ride in May averaging 8.5! I’m still striving. This older body hasn’t peaked in aerobic fitness yet. At one point I rode by a good sized group of younger riders (ok, probably not that young) who were spread out so I had to announce my passing on the left. I just couldn’t help myself, I called out several times, “Little old lady passing on the left.” (They did laugh.) I almost added, “…on a hybrid bike,” but I contained myself.

Today I talked hubby Jeff into going along. He did great for someone who hasn’t been riding, a testimony to his Crossfit training. We both were so grateful to be fit and able to ride outside along this beautiful stretch of the San Francisco Bay.

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Next goal: maybe I don’t have one. Come to think of it, I sure would like a road bike.

Moving Right Along with Cycling!


I’m all in for cycling now. Proof? Check out the CUTE cycling jersey I bought today! Dude Girl. Can’t wait to try the matching accessories. Referencing my May 2nd and 10th posts, it was hang up my bike due to rustiness and fear or ride and get over the pain and uneasiness. Every week I’ve gone for at least one ride supplementing it with riding the spin bike and strength training at the gym. A little over three months later, I’m braver, faster (uphill AND downhill), with much more stamina in every way (distance, aching body parts especially arms and tush, and speed). My improvement in cardio fitness in my 60’s is astounding to me. Did the Paradise Loop with Marin Cyclists last Thursday and China Camp today and excited to meet the most inspirational riders I could imagine,  a majority of which are over 50. One woman, around 70ish, who rides at least 20 miles most days, just finished an Idaho cycling vacation of 50-70 miles per day for 6 or 7 days. Centuries are a given with this group. Much to aspire to. Or not. So far 24 miles has been my max. Next goal: 30 or 35 miles. Next ride: in my new jersey.



Out of shape at 61, Fit at 90!

90 years old. His workout? 100 pushups, 100 sit-ups and 2919 steps! Cardio and strength training combined! After retirement at age 61, over the years he took up jogging, calisthenics, and hitting the local Larkspur stairs.  Not only has he become a fit senior, he’s become somewhat of a folk hero in his community along the way. It’s never too late to get in shape!




Link to the Marin Independent Journal article.

Breakfast Culture in America at the Yolk in Chicago

More about breakfast culture in America. This is a follow up to my previous post on the appalling breakfast plates at Embassy Suites when we were visiting Chicago. My son and I went to Yolk for a late breakfast. It’s menu claims it’s been voted best breakfast in Chicago. A line went out the door waiting to get in.


Here’s what I saw:

5 egg omelet PLUS more…                                     Screen Shot 2015-07-24 at 9.25.58 AM


Breakfast for BIG appetites
Screen Shot 2015-07-24 at 9.21.25 AM







Screen Shot 2015-07-24 at 9.24.32 AMCake and cream cheese dipped in batter and grilled…top that off with whipped cream.


Crepes, waffles, pancakes made with white flour have nearly no nutritional value, but what the heck, it might be something we want to eat on special occasions. But then, why, chocolate chips and chocolate sauce, whipped cream, nutella, peanut butter piled on top??? I saw a young boy eating one of the plates below and I swear I saw mini-marshmallows on top of the chocolate sauce.

That is so wrong.

Screen Shot 2015-07-24 at 9.23.53 AM  Screen Shot 2015-07-24 at 9.24.55 AM

People responding to my Embassy Suite breakfast posts have told me, they’re just giving people what they want. I’m saying, PEOPLE, stop ordering and eating these obsurdly unhealthy breakfasts! It’s not just Chicago, it’s not just breakfast. We, as consumers, are voting for what we want corporations to sell us every time we order at a restaurant or pass an item over the scanner at the grocery store. We can change our culture by our choices. Look what we did with cigarette smoking!


Eat Healthy and Exercise – Corporate America (in this case Embassy Suites) Makes It Hard

During my recent stay at Embassy Suites in Chicago I witnessed hundreds of people, mainly families, piling on “free” breakfasts. In my visits to the tiny gym I saw 0 to 4 other people. There’s lots of families traveling and Embassy Suites caters to them. I wish for a cultural shift where the family attraction doesn’t have to be unhealthy food; maybe even fitness could be an attraction.

Breakfasts consumed were huge and not nutricious. I don’t remember seeing a vegetable. True, some healthy choices were offered which the platters of food didn’t reflect. Clearly a culture of get-and-eat-as-much-as-you-can prevailed. Later in the day the scene repeats with free cocktails and non-foods snacks such as Chex mix. It’s vacation, after all. It wouldn’t have been so disturbing if most of the adults and children hadn’t been overweight, a sign that it’s not just at Embassy Suites where poor food choices are made.


Don’t we all know how to eat? The message is everywhere, it seems to me. Michelle Obama sure has tried.


Michael Pollan, journalist and food activist, puts it simply: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Compare to the plates pictured above:

  • questionable how much “food” (little nutritional value)
  • clearly too much
  • no plants

We can’t blame Embassy Suites, can we? Don’t we all know the price we pay from poor diets and excess weight (heart attacks, diabetes, joint pain and injury, high blood pressure, etc.)? But where do we start to change the culture in America? Corporations can take the lead. Can you imagine less food, paired down to the healthiest options, with a bigger, more visible gym, maybe even with a section for kids?

Take a look below at CEO of the Worldwide Hilton chain (owners of Embassy Suites), Christopher Nassetta .






Here’s the CEO of Embassy Suites, John Rogers with celebrity Brooke Burke- Charvet at an event held at Dylan’s Candy Bar promoting family travel at Embassy Suites.


Whatya bet you wouldn’t catch them eating platters full at breakfast, and I’m guessing you’d meet them in the gym. CEO Christopher Nassetta loves to cook and is known for visiting kitchens in Hilton hotels. I urge him to infiltrate the dining area of the Embassy Suites on N. State Street in Chicago this summer and see what people are putting on their plates.

I don’t know the answer to changing our breakfast culture. Why do I care? I guess it’s wanting to have pride in being an American. I want  an America on the cutting edge of health, a country of people taking the lead in eating less, wasting less, and exercising more.


More from Michael Pollan:

More about CEO, Hilton Worldwide, Christopher Nassetta

Stretching Does Reap Benefits

The physical therapist prescribed more stretching for me today, hamstrings and quads. Hmmm. No surprise that these are areas in my body that need it. To inspire myself,  I’m posting photos here to remind myself of the two stretches I want to do daily.

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To further inspire myself, and maybe you, too, here’s a repost of THE MAN WHO TOUCHED HIS TOES IN 41 DAYS!

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Great time lapse video showing his progress.


Click here to see how he did it!

What are the stretches you need?


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