Seasonal Instructional

   "Better Care For Bicycles"
Aside from romance, biking is an activity that has stayed dear to many of us at YLS (as in TOPS!). Naturally, several setbacks do occur for those of us on the road regularly!
Here's a collection of hints that could save some time and money, since lots of the conditions we will mention usually lead to breakdowns....
   Mainly we must pick roadways that shall remain free from broken glass and nails; however, most aren't aware of the biggest danger to modern biking:  THORNS !!
   After off road experiences lead to plenty of slow leaks in the tires, we set out to better understand this mystery! Noticing on a random trek, that when a branch with thorns on it sprung up like a lever into the side of the tire when we rode over it, all of a sudden riding off road wasn't appealling anymore!
   While "fun" is indeed a key ingredient to our pathway toward better health and fitness via a bicycle, some disappointing problems arose when seemingly minor practices led to trouble...
   It does seem cool to backpedal on those bikes with many gears, but on occasion the chain will snap in the wrong direction when we get back to normal. Once, the bottom gear sprocket got yanked up into the rear tire; being a few miles from home, it was a good thing to be able to bend it back into place (but never could all the gears be used again properly)! For an activity that only ends up in a cheap thrill, try to avoid it!
   Lots of switching of gears can seem like such a neat thing! Usually, there'll be no consequence for indulging in a playful act like this. Yet, on occasion we either set the gear wrong and disregard the road, or play too much and the chain doesn't catch right; either way, we could end up with unnecessary repairs and/or a safety hazard!
   Acting a bit more like this machinery is a crucial link to our continued health likely will hint we need to take great care of it!
   When I started biking a long time ago, it seemed necessary to stay up with other riders seen. We are exercising, after all, so shouldn't we pedal like crazy?
   If our schedule is too busy, we could consider a power ride; just jump on the bike and go quickly, to be sure our day includes some exercise. However, a long term commitment requires variety!
   Try some or all of the following to keep your heart in the mix:
   * walk the bike up hills, and make stops to enjoy water
   breaks (sit by the ocean for 10 minutes, or so)
   * ride with friends
   * include a pastime, or meeting - a favorite coffeeshop
   with outside tables works here (where we get ice coffees)
   * do different routes, with varying times
   [have different timed routes that fit better on different
   days, based on time restrictions]
   * take along bottles of drink, and music - as long as they
   don't interfere with your safety concerns
   * don't automatically consume lots of extra calories after
   a nice ride - many beginners/athletes think weight will
   drop off naturally just by exercise (do try some dietary
   changes should eating be a big joy for you - lots more
   fresh fruits and raw protein, like cheese/nuts)
Just like all of us wish to meet our fans in Aruba some day, we'd LOVE TO SEE YOU ON THE ROAD TOO!


Bikers' Caution:
     loose dirt is
   with any bike, try to stay on pavement; sandy patches not only prove slippery, they disallow forward progress when deep enough!!
   to travel somewhat slowly is a cool practice, until familiar with each journey's hazards....