Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Press Release: Schwinn Sponsors TNT



Schwinn Bicycles, America’s most recognized bicycle brand

Madison, WI, April 1, 2008 —

Schwinn Bicycles, America’s most recognized bicycle brand, is pleased to announce the signing of a partnership with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training (TNT), the world’s largest endurance sports training and fundraising program, to become its first-ever national bicycle sponsor.

Under the terms of the two-year agreement, Schwinn will become the exclusive bicycle sponsor of TNT starting April 1, 2008. With the help of its dealer partners nationwide, Schwinn will provide relevant cycling information, bicycle demos, on-site event support and product discounts to the 39,000 cycling, triathlon and marathon participants who train and fundraise through the organization each year.

“For more than 100 years, Schwinn has helped people realize their two-wheeled dreams,” said Steve Reeds, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Schwinn Bicycle’s IBD division. “We are honored to carry on this tradition by helping Team In Training participants achieve their training goals.”

Now in its 20th year, TNT participants have raised more than $850 million for lifesaving cancer research and to help blood cancer patients live longer, better lives. The program provides coaching to help support participants crossing the finish line at century rides, triathlons and marathons.

“Over 20 years, we have seen Team In Training expand from a single sport program - the marathon - to a multi-endurance sport program with challenges such as triathlons and 100 mile rides,” said Nancy L. Klein, LLS senior vice president marketing communications. “We are thrilled to have Schwinn’s support because it’s a brand that people already know and trust.”
To learn more about Team In Training, please visit www.teamintraining.org.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

March for Babies


An online writing friend of mine, Angie Rayfield, is training to participate in a charity fundraising event. On May 4th, she will be participating in the March of Dimes, March for Babies walk.

Here's a message from Angie
:

"If anyone here is so inclined to make this organization part of their charitable giving plan for the year, I would be most grateful for any contributions made through my site, which is at March for Babies. Fond wishes and words of encouragement are also highly sought, and will be gratefully accepted. As well, of course, as suggestions for the appropriate charity-walk-cocktail.

In return, you will receive the pleasure of supporting a good organization. If you're in the US, you get a tax-deductible contribution. And most of all, you will receive my undying gratitude and toasts will be made in your honor from the aforementioned cocktail canteen.

What more could anyone want?"


Check out Angie's fundraising website: March for Babies. Good luck Angie!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Discount for Team in Training Members


Right: OYM owner Matt GoForth with customer Robert Smythe. Rob is being measured for a professional bike fit using the Wobble Naught precision laser bike fitting method.

A friend of mine, Matt GoForth, has recently opened a bike shop in Palm Beach Gardens. I just asked him if we could put him on the list of south Florida bike shops that offer a 10% discount to Team in Training members. He just emailed me and said “Absolutely, anything for TNT!”

Here’s his store information:
On Your Mark Performance Center
7100 Fairway Drive, Suite 39
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418
Phone: 561-694-6090
Website: www.oymbike.com

About OYM
I just wrote an article about Matt, his store, and his racing club: On Your Mark Racing Club.

Take care,
Lynn Smythe AKA the Bike Diva

Monday, April 14, 2008

Kari and Cheryl invite you to FLASHBACK to the 80’s


My friend Cheryl, who is a member of the Team in Training marathon team, is training for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 12, 2008. Please visit her website www.active.com/donate/tntpb/irun4jordan to make a donation and get updates! Thank you for your support.

Cheryl is co-hosting a fundraising event at Aspen Jack’s in Delray Beach. Here are the details:

Host: Kari Haluska and Cheryl Goldstein
Location: Aspen Jack’s
307 East Atlantic Avenue, Delray Beach, FL 33483 US
When: Wednesday, April 23, 6:30PM
Phone: 954-336-0329 / 561-504-6790

Kari and Cheryl, along with Aspen Jack’s, are hosting a fundraising event. Our mission is to raise awareness and funds to help find a cure for Leukemia, Lymphoma and other Blood Cancers.

Make sure to pop your collars, roll up those acid washed jeans and get your penny loafer wearing selves to Aspen Jack’s to totally have an awesome time with some valley girls and studs. Don’t be lame, get stoked and bring everyone and anyone or come alone to listen to some like for sure rad 80s music, play some bitchin 80s trivia and help raise some moola for a majorly awesome cause!

P.S. Bring beaucoup bucks (lots of cash)!!!!!!
Raffles and contests to the max!

Hope to see you there!

In order to maintain an accurate guest list, and be courteous to Aspen Jack’s, we ask that you please promptly RSVP on/or before April 19. To RSVP for this event, visit the Evite invitation page. Or email Cheryl at caggybaby@msn.com.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Fundraising Methods

WHAT FUNDRAISING METHODS WORK FOR YOU?

Here are suggestions for ways to help you raise funds for your next charity fundraising event. Do you have different and unique methods of fundraising that have been successful for you? Add a comment at the end of this blog post to share your fundraising hints, tips and suggestions.

1. Set up a fundraising website. Most charity organizations, whether it is the Multiple Sclerosis Society, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society or American Diabetes Association, have a way for their fundraising members to set up a fundraising website to keep track of donations made in their name.

2. Letter writing campaign, see my previous post for an example of an effective fund raising letter. Print out the letter on the charity organizations letterhead if possible, for a more professional look. Copies of the letter should be sent to:

  • family
  • friends
  • high school classmates
  • college classmates
  • people that have donated to you in the past
3. E-mail campaign. Compose an email, which can simply be a copy of your fundraising letter. Email the letter to friends, family, high school classmates, co-workers, etc... I only send out emails to people that I know, otherwise a mass email could be considered spam. You can start out by sending out your fundraising letter, then a few weeks later send a follow-up email if you haven't started to receive donations.

4. Donation box. Attach a picture of yourself participating in a past fundraising event to the donation box. I attach a photo of my husband and I in our team jersey's which has been taken at one of the charity century rides we have participated in. I found a large, clear plastic container with a screw-on lid which my husband took in to work. The container is placed near his desk. He encourages co-workers to deposit their pocket change and dollar bills into the box. A copy of our fundraising letter is attached on the wall next to the donation box.

5. Business cards. Print out business cards with your fundraising website listed on them. The business cards can be handed out while you are in line at the post office, grocery store, bank, doctors office, etc... I also include a copy of the business card whenever I send someone a fundraising letter. The business cards are small enough to fit into your pocket, wallet or purse. Encourage friends to hand out copies of your fundraising business card to their friends, family and co-workers.

6. Newsletter. Put together a newsletter, of your fundraising efforts, that you can hand out to everyone in your neighborhood. Bribe your children or one of your neighbors children to hand these out to everyone in the neighborhood. Don't put the newsletters in or on anyone's mail boxes. Either knock on your neighbor's door and give it to them directly, or place it near their front door.

7. Lawn Sign. Place a sign in your front yard for all your neighbors to see anytime they drive past your house. The sign can include a copy of the logo for the charity organization you are raising funds for and the url to your fundraising website. The sign should be laminated so it will survive outdoors.

8. Fundraising Event. Host a fundraising event at your house or at a friends house. We have gotten very creative over the past few years with our fundraising events. Our two most successful fundraising events were a Halloween Costume Birthday Party and a Girl's Club Tea Party. Print out invitations with a suggested donation of $20 per adult and $10 per child. Limit attendance to 20-30 guests. I'll be adding more details on these events in a future post.

9. Highway Holdup. The idea is to put on your team jersey's, hats, etc.... and take over a street corner or two. You need to have at least one donation box, for each location, for people to place their money in. This works best if you have teams of 2 at each location. I've seen our local fire department, high school sports clubs and street bums do this type of fundraising with great success. This method of fundraising doesn't require a lot of planning, costs nothing to setup and only requires a few hours of your time. Check with local authorities, in s. Florida you need to obtain a permit to legally hold a highway holdup.

10. Business Donation. Get your boss, or local business, to donate a percentage of sales on a certain day towards your fundraising campaign. For example, a local sub shop recently donated 25% of their Sunday sales to a friends family, who's daughter has a brain tumor.

11. ASK-ASK-ASK! Ask everyone you see for a donation. You aren't asking them to donate money to you, you are asking them to donate money towards a worthy charity. Tell them how the charity you are raising money for uses the money - towards cancer research, patient care, etc...


Monday, April 7, 2008

Sample Fund Raising Letter

Here is a copy of the fund raising letter I am sending out this season to help raise funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. You can use it as a guide to help you write your own fund raising letter for whatever charity events you happen to be participating in. I also added a copy of this letter to our fund raising website.

Along with the fund raising letter, I include a TNT donation form and a business card which includes our contact information. I print out return address labels which include a TNT logo and our fund raising website url along with our return address information. The top of the letterhead includes a full color TNT banner logo, similar to the image shown at the top of this blog post.

The company my husband works for just obtained a new, bionic color copying machine. So we took a copy of the fund raising letter I printed out at home, in to his office and made 100 color copies. I could have printed the letter out in black and white to save money, but color makes a much bolder impact. I sent out this fund raising packet (letter, donation form and business card) to our friends and family along with anyone that has made a donation to us in the past few years.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

20th Intracoastal Waterway Century Ride

As some of your might remember, last year Rob and I raised money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society through their Team in Training program. The event we trained for was the 109 mile El Tour de Tucson, which took place on November 17th, 2007.

We were the mentors for the Palm Beach County cycle team. It was a phenomenal experience, both the ride, and working towards raising money for such a worthy cause. Last season we were featured on the front page of the September 19th, 2007 issue of the Delray Forum newspaper. This year we are featured in an ad for the TNT program, on page 44 of the April, 2008 south east edition of Competitor Magazine.

This year, Rob is going to be the coach, and I will be the mentor for the group training for the 2008 Intracoastal Waterway Century Ride. This 100 mile road bike ride takes place on October 26th in Cocoa Beach, FL.

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is a charity that does much to further research towards cures, and ease the burden of those battling leukemia, Hodgkin's disease, lymphoma and myeloma along with improving the quality of life of patients and their families.

Please consider making a donation to support our participation in Team in Training and help advance the Society's mission. You may make a donation by visiting our fund raising website which is located at: http://www.active.com/donate/tntpb/roblynnsmythe. Or you may send us a check, made out to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, to our home address listed below.

I hope you'll visit our web site often. Be sure to check back frequently to check our progress. Thank you for your support!

You may contact us by sending an email to thebikediva@yahoo.com. Details of our training program and fund raising efforts can be found on the Charity Fitness Events website: http://charityfitnessevents.blogspot.com.

Thank you for your time,
Rob Smythe, Palm Beach TNT Cycle Coach
Lynn Smythe, Palm Beach TNT Cycle Mentor

Sweat for Savannah

IFTA LogoLAC Logo
What: An entire weekend of fitness dedicated to our friend's daughter, Savannah Cash. A jam packed three day event open to everyone!

Who: Savannah is the daughter of Shannon and Laurie Cash and sister of older brother Connor. Shannon was a member of our El Tour de Tucson Team in Training cycle team. We became friends with the entire Cash family during the 6 months of training for El Tour de Tucson. Shannon brought Laurie, Connor and Savannah out to Tucson along with the team in training cycle team. We had a blast the entire 4 days we were out in Arizona.

When: May 2 - May 4

Where: Lifetime Athletic Club, 1499 Yamato Road, Boca Raton, FL

Phone: 561-208-5900

Special group fitness classes being held all weekend long to raise money for Savannah. Classes include circuit training, outdoor studio cycling, cardio kickboxing, zumba, drums alive, aqua toning, senior dance, bosu muscle, step, sunset yoga and more.

Join much of Lifetime Athletic's group fitness talent featuring: Michelle Mascari, Bryan Sussman, Jojo Nicholson and Latty Hawkes. Also featuring well-known trainers and instructors including Gay Gasper, Greg Sims and Jeff Borden.

Classes and Fitness Certification
Saturday and Sunday include many individual fitness classes held throughout both days. Friday offers all day certification classes, Kickbox Certification, Cycle Certification, or Aqua Certificcation, for fitness trainers and personal trainers. The certification classes are through IFTA: Interactive Fitness Trainers of America. For additional information, or to register for these classes call 1-800-582-1814 or visit the website at www.ifta-fitness.com.

Message from Savannah: "Hi Everybody, I'm Savannah Cash. I'm 14 years old and attend West Boca High, but am now taught at home and here's my story. In January 2008 I was diagnosed with a brain tumor. I just finished 30 radiation treatments and will now begin chemotherapy. I don't know if I will lose my hair totally, but the radiation already gave me 3 bald spots that I cover pretty well!

The medicine makes my face feel numb and chubby. My brother calls me a chipmunk! I am having a hard time walking and my words are a little slurry because of the steroid medicine. But other than that, I feel pretty good!. I really appreciate you caring about me and all the kids dealing with cancer. Believe me, it isn't fun to go through this, but your efforts help out so much. Guess what!?! I AM smiling, you all help me smile!"

Love and Peace
Savannah Cash

Note
Rob and I got a chance to see the entire Cash family, including Savannah, today in Boca. Savannah's brother, Connor, works at Jersey Mike's subs in west Boca. Today Jersey Mike's was donating 25% of sales to the Cash family. Rob and I were in the area so decided to stop by at around 12:30 to pick up a couple of subs. We were happily surprised to see Shannon, Laurie and Savannah in line, waiting for Connor to finish making their subs. Although she is now confined to a wheel chair, Savannah was happy to see us. We didn't recognize Connor behind the counter at first. In support of his sister when she started to loose her hair, he decided to shave all his hair off. Nice haircut dude!

We will be participating in the MS150, along with Shannon, on May 3rd and 4th. But Laurie, Connor and Savannah plan on attending many of the events during the 3 day Sweat for Savannah fitness weekend.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Link to Charity Fitness Events



How would you like to link to the Charity Fitness Events site? If you have a charity, fitness or fundraising website we would be interested in trading links with you.

There are two ways to link to our site. You can either place a text link to our site or a graphic logo to our site on your page. To add a graphic logo link to your site first you need to copy the widget logo at the top of this page to your computer. Then add the widget logo to your website, and make the logo an active link to the Charity Fitness Events site: http://charityfitnessevents.blopspot.com.

Once the Charity Fitness Events link has been added to your site, send an email to thebikediva@yahoo.com letting us know. Once we verify the Charity Fitness Events link is on your site we will ad a reciprocal link to your site.

Any questions? Send an email to the Bike Diva.

Garmin Edge 305


For Christmas of 2006 I bought new cycle computers for both my husband and I. I purchased a top of the line GPS enabled Garmin Edge 305. At the time they listed for $399 each, I found ours online for $250 each which I thought was a fantastic bargin. I just did a quick search on Google and right now they are selling from a low of $224 to a high of $399.


Prior to this time we were using simple cycle computer’s we purchased at Walmart for under $40. Why buy such a fancy piece of equipment? We are bike addicts and especially enjoy riding our road bikes. We don’t drive fancy cars, take expensive vacations or wear designer clothing. So I thought we could treat ourselves to a nice computer for our road bikes.


The Garmin attaches to the front of the handlebars of your bike. It comes with a wireless sensor which gets attached to the rear chain stay, a spoke magnet which gets attached to one of the spokes of the back wheel and a crank magnet which gets attached to the crank arm of your bike. It also comes with a heart rate monitor which you wear around your chest, underneath your bike jersey.


I’ve got my Garmin setup to display my speed, time in the saddle, distance, time of day, calories burned and heart rate. After I get back from riding I hook my Garmin up to my laptop computer. This is so I can recharge the battery in the Garmin and at the same time download all the information from the ride to my laptop computer. Additional data from my ride is displayed using the included software program that comes with the Garmin. The additional information includes maximum speed, average speed, cadence, elevation gain and elevation loss.


You need to turn your Garmin on a few mintues before you plan to start your ride. This is so the Garmin has time to acquire a satellite signal. Why do you need GPS on a bike computer? When you download data to your home computer or laptop, you can see a map of your exact bike route. The free program Motion Based is designed to work with the Garmin data. You can download your bike ride data to Motion Based and then see a Google Earth map of your actual ride - COOL!!!!


Other features of the Garmin Edge 305, according to the Garmin webiste, include:



  1. Easy to install; no calibration required. Just snap it into the bike mount and go.


  2. High-sensitivity GPS receiver tracks your position even in tree cover and canyons, making it extremely reliable for distance and speed information.


  3. Virtual Partner® lets you race a virtual competitor over a specified distance and speed.
    Courses let you race against a previously recorded workout, so you can compare your current and past performances over the same ride.


  4. Auto Pause® pauses the timer when you slow down or stop and resumes when you speed up again, so you can focus on your ride.


  5. Auto Lap® automatically starts a new lap each time you pass a specified location or travel a preset distance.


Bike Diva Squidoo Lens


Squidoo is a site that I have just started playing around with. So far I have setup five lenses on Squidoo.


1. Magical Scriptorium - Fine Writing Supplies for the Discriminating Connoisseur
2. Freelance Writer Lynn Smythe - links to all my writing sites
3. The Bike Diva - companion site to the Bike Diva blog
4. Freelance Online Writing - resources & tips for freelance writers
5. The Moon is Made of Cheese - a silly Monkey Brain lens.


The Bike Diva Squidoo lens has companion biking information that I can’t easily place on my Bike Diva blog. So far the information I’ve got added to the lens includes:


RSS Feed from the Bike Diva blog
U-Tube video on a training road bike ride that I participated in
Links to cycling books for sale on Amazon
Links to cycling related merchandise for sale on Cafe Press
What’s your favorite bike poll
RSS Feed from On Your Mark Performance Center blog
Flickr cycling photos
Delicious cycling bookmarks
Links to cycling blog posts on Google


Unlike a blog, a lens is a single page of information concentrated on a particular topic. A lens does not have to be updated as often as a blog. Lens making is totally new to me, so I am waiting to see if I will actually start to make any money from my lenses or not. Squidoo recommends making multiple lenses if you want to start making any revenue. They say that single lenses, with rare exception, usually don’t make a significant amount of money for the lens owner.


The main reason I created the Bike Diva Squidoo lens was to use it as another way to get the word out about the Bike Diva blog. Do you Squidoo? Let me know if you have any lenses on Squidoo and maybe we can trade links.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Lynn & Rob Smythe's Team In Training Page


Rob and I had a chance to visit the Palm Beach office of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society today. We met with TNT Campaign Coordinator Jill Kieta to go over Rob's responsibilities as a coach and my duties as a mentor.

We are looking forward to starting to train the Palm Beach County cycle team while getting ready for the Intracoastal Waterway Century Ride. This 100 mile road bike ride takes place on Saturday, October 26th in Cocoa Beach, Florida.

Here is a link to our fundraising page. Please consider making a donation to support our participation in Team In Training and help advance the Society's mission.

I hope you'll visit our web site often. Be sure to check back frequently to see our progress. I will be updating the Bike Diva site with details of our training program and fundraising efforts.
Thank you for your support!
Rob Smythe - Palm Beach TNT Cycle Coach
Lynn Smythe - Palm Beach TNT Cycle Mentor


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Road Cyclist's of South Florida


Meetup Group: Road Cyclist's of South Florida
The Road Cyclist's of South Florida Meetup Group is back in action. Karina Kfuri just stepped up to become the organizer for the group. Karina emailed me earlier yesterday and asked if I wanted to be one of the Assistant Organizers so I said "sure thing!" Check out the new group. We'll be planning road bike rides in the south Florida area - Palm Beach, Broward and Dade counties. For newbies to hammerheads and every roadie in between.

Here's the welcome message from the website:
Road cyclists welcome! Got a road bike and can't find a group to ride with? Welcome again. We are not in Colorado, we're in flat country...so let's ride and train in Florida! But, we have hills, believe it or not. Check out our rides and see for yourself.

The purpose of this group is to road cycle. We'll tackle anywhere anyone wants to ride. Want to do bridges? We got em. Want to do the Everglades...yep. We can even head north and do major meetups.

You tell me where you want to ride and we will try to do it.
Beginner, Intermediate and the opportunity to ride with advanced riders!

April 2008 Competitor Magazine

2007 Palm Beach Cycle Team

My husband, Rob, and I are in the southeast edition of the April 2008 Competitor magazine! My husbands friend, Carlos G., saw us in the magazine and brought a copy of the magazine to Rob the other day. Thanks Carlos!

On the bottom half of page 44 there is a large, full color ad for the Leukemia Societies Team in Training Program. The middle picture shows Rob and I, along with 3 of our Tucson cycle team members, getting ready to start the El Tour de Tucson ride.

At the top of this post is the picture that was included in the magazine ad. From the left is Shannon Cash, Larry Goldberg, Coach Dennis Harkins, Rob Smythe and Lynn Smythe. Those funny looking things attached to the top of our helmets are palm trees. Each Team in Training team attaches something representative of the area they come from to their helmets.

The Las Vegas team had a cool mini neon sign with LCD lights. Other teams had pig snouts, shark fins, pink flamingos - I have to remember to take pictures at this years ride. It’s too funny to see a bunch of hard core cyclists, getting ready to do a 100 mile bike ride with these strange icons attached to the top of their helmets.

Too cool, we are famous!

No autographs, please.

20th Intracoastal Waterway Century Ride



Cocoa Beach Century Ride
As some of you might remember, last year Rob and I raised money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society through their Team in Training program. The event we trained for was the 109 mile El Tour de Tucson, which took place on November 17th, 2007. We were the mentors for the Palm Beach County cycle team. It was a phenomenal experience, both the ride, and working towards raising money for such a worthy cause.

This year, Rob is going to be the coach, and I will be the mentor for the group training for the 2008 Intracoastal Waterway Century Ride. This 100 mile road bike ride takes place on October 26th in Cocoa Beach, FL. We are looking for people to participate as a member of the Palm Beach County TNT cycle team.

This is a great way to get the support and structure you need to get in shape, meet new cycling friends and achieve something many people haven’t - riding 100 miles on a bicycle in one day! The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is a charity that does much to further research towards cures, and ease the burden of those battling leukemia, Hodgkin’s disease, lymphoma and myeloma along with improving the quality of life of patients and their families.

In exchange for the support and training, you commit to raising a certain amount of money. The participation minimum for this ride is $2100. This might seem like a large amount, but you’d be very surprised at how quickly and easily this amount of money can be raised. Last year Rob and I raised over $6,500!

ALL CYCLISTS WELCOME
Last year’s team had everyone from very athletic road bikers, to recreational cyclists, to diehard couch potatoes, to a 63/73 year old couple riding their tandem bicycle. EVERYONE is welcome, no matter what prior road biking experience you may have. The Palm Beach County cycle team will have a coach, and a mentor to help you out with your training and fundraising goals. Each training ride also includes a SAG vehicle, filled with snacks and goodies, that sweeps the ride route should anyone have a mechanical problem or any health issues.

INFORMATION MEETINGS
Information meetings will be starting in Palm Beach County over the next few weeks. Rob and I will be attending most of these meetings, and will spend a few minutes at each meeting talking about our experience with the Team in Training program.

BOYNTON BEACH - Monday, April 14 - 6 pm - West Boynton Beach Library

JUPITER - Monday, April 14 - 6 pm - Jupiter Community Center

WEST BOCA RATON - Wednesday, April 16- 6 pm - Fleet Feet Sports Boca

EAST BOCA RATON - Monday, April 21- 6 pm - East Boca Community Center

ROYAL PALM BEACH - Tuesday, April 22- 6 pm - Royal Palm Beach Library

WEST PALM BEACH - Thursday, April 24- 6 pm - South Florida Water Mgmt District

PALM BEACH GARDENS - Saturday, April 26- 9 am - NIKE Women, The Gardens Mall

WEST PALM BEACH - Saturday, May 3- 9:30 am - The National Croquet Center. This is also the Fall Season Kickoff for all TNT events including the Accenture Chicago Triathlon, The Nation’s Triathlon, The Bank of America Chicago Marathon, Nike’s Women’s Marathon and the 20th Annual Intracoastal Waterway Century Road Bike Ride.

If you are interested in joining the TNT program, know someone who might be, or would like more information, please drop me a note.

Lynn Smythe
Team in Training Cycle Mentor
Thebikediva@yahoo.com
thebikediva.blogspot.com


For more information about Team In Training and the Palm Beach Area Chapter, visit their website at www.teamintraining.org/pb or give them a call at 561-775-9954.

My Left Foot

MY PITY PARTY
My freakin left foot has been killing me since Sunday -let’s all have a pity party for me. 1-2-3-AWWWWWWW!

On Saturday Rob and I did our normal road bike ride with the Boca Raton Bicycle Club. Did the normal route from Palmetto to Lake Worth Inlet and back for total of 38 miles. My feet were fine the entire ride. My feet were fine for the rest of Saturday. My feet were fine most of Sunday.

Around 9 PM Sunday I decided to take the flyer for the Bike America Cycling Festival out to Rob, who was in the family room, to see how early we would have to leave the house on Saturday morning. When I got to the dinning room, it suddenly felt like someone smashed the bottom of my left foot with a baseball bat. I took another step, and more pain. WTF!?!

I couldn’t freakin walk and had to hobble around the house like the old lady that I really am.

I think Rob and I have an open tab at the Boca Raton Orthopedic Group so I called them first thing Monday morning. They said to come in first thing today (Tuesday morning) to see Dr. Bromson who specializes in surgery and sports medicine of the foot & ankle (and dance medicine too - how versatile ).

X-RAYS
They took a bunch of x-rays of my left foot and knee. My left knee was hurting too, but I think that’s because of the strange way I’ve been walking/hobbling/hopping since my foot started to hurt. My knee pain could also be because I’m riding in a slightly different position on my new bike and my body has to readjust to the new, aerodynamic position.

BOTTOM FOOT PAIN
Nothing showed up on the x-rays though. Dr. Bromson said the pain on/in the ball of my foot could be a couple of things. His best guess was either a neuroma (benign tumor of a nerve running between the metatarsals) or bursitis (inflammation of the bursa, which is the fluid-filled sac between tendons and muscles and bone).

TOP FOOT PAIN
And the doc say the pain on the top of my foot could be the beginning of a stress fracture. But looking at a few websites, stress fractures usually don’t show up on x-rays until 2-3 weeks after they happen? He said to get some sort of metatarsal pad for my foot and come back to see him in a week and eat a bunch of ibuprofren/aleve.

I thought the OLD inserts I had in my road bike shoes had a metatarsal button on them which ended up causing me a lot of pain. I took the old inserts out and got a pair of those heat moldable inserts from Matt/Knobby. My feet felt great ever since putting in the new inserts. So I don’t understand what a metatarsal pad will do the help alleviate the pain in my foot?

WHERE’S MY MEDS?
I didn’t get a prescription for drugs, a shot of drugs, a lolly pop or anything. What a freakin RIP OFF! $30 co-pay, I should get a pen or a pack of gum or something.

TO RACE OR NOT TO RACE?
Well, I can barely walk to the other side of the house to do laundry. So maybe racing this weekend wouldn’t be such a good idea. My doctor didn’t say I couldn’t race, but he asked me, if I’m not able to ride at all during the week, did I really think I’d be able to get up on Saturday and go do a race? The freaky bike rider in me says - HELL YES!!! But the practical mom side says, take two aleve and call me in the morning.

I think Rob plans on racing. So maybe I’ll take a ride with him, to at least check out the course for next year. And I can be the unofficial cheerleader.

ADVICE
Anyone out there that’s dealt with similar injuries that could offer their advice, opinions?

Press Release - Livestrong.com to Launch 2008


Demand Media and the Lance Armstrong Foundation Announce Agreement to Build LIVESTRONG.com.

Launching in Q2 of this year, LIVESTRONG.com to become the definitive online social conversation for health, fitness and wellness

SANTA MONICA, CA, January 28, 2008 — Demand Media, Inc., the next-generation social media company and the Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF) announced their plans to work together to build LIVESTRONG.com, which will launch next quarter. By leveraging the social media platform and online expertise of Demand Media, the LIVESTRONG.com destination will engage users by providing a full spectrum of content, including actionable and personal online tools and professional health, wellness and fitness related content, to help them live better. Per the agreement, LAF and Lance Armstrong will become shareholders in Demand Media.

LIVESTRONG is a global movement dedicated to changing the world through living well. Demand Media will help us drive awareness of ‘living strong’ to a broader audience through its powerful social media tools and Internet marketing expertise,” said LAF founder and chairman Lance Armstrong. “The LAF will continue to support cancer survivorship and call on our nation’s leaders to wage a new war against cancer through LIVESTRONG.org. LIVESTRONG.com will be a practical resource to find information from experts and the community, and a proactive way to have a daily conversation about being healthy and living an active lifestyle.”

As a strategic advisor and ongoing content contributor, Lance will work exclusively with Demand Media to build and promote LIVESTRONG.com for the next four years. Demand Media will have an exclusive and perpetual license to the LiveStrong.com domain and work with the foundation to develop LIVESTRONG.com into the leading health, wellness, and fitness destination. Demand Media will provide a perpetual license of its proprietary social media tools to support the LAF army of volunteers on LIVESTRONG.org. Donors, supporters and survivors will be able to interact on the non-profit site via profiles, messaging, photos and blogs. Members of the LAF army will be invited to preview LIVESTRONG.com before its public launch in Q2.

Demand Media was formed to capitalize on the evolution of media where users consume and interact with content based around their own passionate interests. We have developed our platform and network to dynamically create the right combination of professional and user-generated content and applications. We will use this approach to build LIVESTRONG.com into the leading health, wellness and fitness destination on the Web, where users help themselves and then help others,” said Demand Media co-founder, chairman and CEO, Richard Rosenblatt. “Working with Lance and the LAF to launch LIVESTRONG.com is our most exciting venture to date. By leveraging LIVESTRONG’s brand, Lance’s prominence, and our social media platform, we will change the way people find and engage with health information on the Internet.”

About the Lance Armstrong Foundation
The Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF) unites people to fight cancer, believing that unity is strength, knowledge is power and attitude is everything. We provide the practical information and tools people battling cancer need to live life on their own terms. We take aim at the gap between what is known and what is done to prevent death and suffering due to cancer. We engage the public at large to pursue an agenda focused on preventing cancer, ensuring access to screening and care, improving the quality of life for people affected by cancer, and investing in needed research. Founded in 1997 by cancer survivor and champion cyclist Lance Armstrong, the LAF is located in Austin, Texas. UNITE at LIVESTRONG.org.

About Demand Media, Inc.
Demand MediaTM is a leading social media company that provides an interactive, personalized and vertically-focused media experience for users. By using its proprietary social media tools and the unique distribution platform of the world’s second largest domain registrar, Demand Media connects content creators and eager audiences to grow its network of vertical media web properties. The privately held company was founded in May 2006 and is based in Santa Monica, CA, with offices in Austin, San Francisco and Seattle. For more information about Demand Media, Inc., visit: http://www.demandmedia.com.

Save the Ft. Pierce Mountain Bike Trails

Hi,

I wanted to draw your attention to this important petition that I recently signed:

“Save the Fort Pierce Mountain Bike Trail”:

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/SaveFtPierce?e

I really think this is an important cause, and I’d like to encourage you to add your signature, too. It’s free and takes less than a minute of your time.

Thanks!
Lynn Smythe - The Bike Diva

2008 South Florida Road Bike Events


2008 Bike Event Schedule
From time to time my husband and I participate in various road biking events in south Florida. Here is a listing of the events we plan on doing for the remainder of the year. This is not a comprehensive listing of Florida events, just the ones we are thinking of riding.


If you would like more information on any of these events, click on the links to be taken to each events website. You can also email me at thebikediva@yahoo.com if you want to talk to me directly or want to carpool to any of the events or whatever. On the events with question marks, I’ll fill in the exact dates as they become available. And I couldn’t find the 2008 websites for some of the events, so they will be added as I find them.


I’ll also be adding additional events as I find out about them. For instance, last fall, JD State Park in Jupiter had a criterium race series that my husband participated in. If they plan on doing the series again this fall, I may actually sign up to participate.


WPB Time Trial Series - 16KWest Palm Beach, FLSunday, April 13th


Pedal for PAL Bike Tour - 62 or 100 milesWest Palm Beach, FLSunday, April 20th


MS150 - 150 milesCoral Gables, FLSaturday/Sunday, May 3rd & 4th


State Time Trial Championship - 40KWest Palm Beach, FLSaturday, May 31st


WPB Time Trial Series - 16KWest Palm Beach, FL?Sunday, June ?


Lauren Katzenstein Ride - 62 milesLake Worth, FLSunday, June 29th


WPB Time Trial Series - 16KWest Palm Beach, FLSunday, July 27th


WPB Time Trial Series - 40KWest Palm Beach, FLSunday, August 17th


WPB Time Trial Series - 16KWest Palm Beach, FLSunday, September 7th


Intracoastal Waterway Century Ride - 100 milesCocoa Beach, FLFriday, October 24th through Monday, October 27thRide is Sunday the 26th, we are doing this ride through the Leukemia & Lymphoma Societies Team in Training Program. My husband, Rob, is going to be the coach for the team and I’m going to be one of the team mentors. We are going to Cocoa a few days early with our son and daughter so we can take them to the Kennedy Space Center and hang out at the beach.


WPB Time Trial Series - 16KWest Palm Beach, FLSunday, November 2nd


Leach/Lil Bleeder/Tick Adventure RaceJonathan Dickinson State ParkSaturday, November 15th


Kids in Distress Inlet Challenge - 62 or 100 milesFt. Lauderdale, FL?early December

3rd Place in Time Trial

Hello!

My husband, Rob, and I did our first time trial today. I think the getting up at 5:15 AM in 47 degree weather was the worst part. I think it was going to snow!?! That’s just slightly sarcastic - we live in SE Florida, so 47 is cold, but that would probably be a heat wave for the rest of the country.

The time trial was part of the West Palm Beach Time Trial Series. We missed the first one of 2oo8, which took place last month. But we are going to try to do as many of the remaining races as possible.

The time trial was only a 15K = ~9 1/2 miles. Don’t remember our exact times - 30 minutes maybe? Nasty headwind first half of the ride - I couldn’t freakin’ move my legs. Rob got 9th place for his age group - some hammerhead old dudes were out in force. The overall male finished in like 19 mintues - he had calves the size of oak trees.

And the best part of all - I got 3rd place in my age group - yippie! I don’t really think that means anything - I think there were only 4 girls in my group. But I got a $10 bill and a nice, shiny medal - cool!!!! So now I’ve got the bug, got to see if I can beat my own time next time. They give out a KILLER trophy for first place overall - I want one!

RIDE-A-BIKE, RIDE-A-BIKE, RIDE-A-BIKE, IT’S FUN - WEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Take care,
Lynn

My Trek Madone 6.5 is Here!


MY NEW ROAD BIKE IS HERE!!!
Rob got the call on Saturday afternoon that my new bike had arrived. He took my old bike over to Bike America so that it could be raped and pillaged for parts. They had to build the new bike and switch my pedals, water cages and cycle computer from my old bike to the Trek. So I couldn’t actually pick my new bike up until 11 AM on Sunday - torture waiting for it, felt like a kid at Christmas time!

Went for a short ride out of Boynton Inlet after we got the bike. It was too freaking hot and my legs were tired from the day before and Rob’s butt hurt so we decided NOT to do the double century ride (do you detect a hint of slight sarcasm here?). But it was still a good test ride.
My bike ROCKS! It is super smooth even going over rough road, pot holes and manhole covers. Rob says that’s because it’s totally carbon, guess my Cannondale still had a bit of aluminum components mixed in with the carbon. Rob says the seat fits my butt cheeks very nicely - I think that’s his way of saying the Trek (at 52 cm) is a better fit for me than the Cannondale (at 50 cm) was.

I even rode in the drops for quite awhile and didn’t feel out of control. Never could ride the drops on my Cannondale - always felt like I was going to go careening off into space. The only problem I had was the brakes are much more responsive. I need to have a lighter touch if I want to avoid doing an endo into oncoming A1A traffic. I always had to squeeze the sh*t out of my Cannondale brakes.

I thought my Cannondale synapse 2 was the bomb, but now I’m ready to get my passport, buy a ticket to France and ride in THE Tour. Now I have to save my pennies for carbon water bottle holders, prettier pedals, etc…PIMP MY RIDE!!!

Here’s a description of my new bike:
Lighter. Faster. Stronger. Trek’s Madone 6.5 WSD features their revolutionary OCLV Red Series carbon for a super-light, super-stiff frame that is specifically designed for women. Plus, Bontrager’s Race XXX Lite carbon fork and Race X Lite wheels keep the weight to a minimum, while an oversize bottom bracket shell and asymmetrical chainstays help you throw down the power. And, with top-of-the line components, including a full Shimano Dura-Ace 20-speed drivetrain with adjustable-reach levers for smaller hands, the Madone 6.5 WSD dances up climbs, rockets across flats, and descends like a dream on your way to victory.
And they forgot to mention - only 14.1 pounds - SWEET!!!!!!

Technical Details
Brakeset - Shimano Dura-Ace w/adjustable reach STI levers
Cassette - SRAM OpenGlide 1070 11-26, 10 speed
Crank - Bontrager Race X Lite 50/34
Fork - Bontrager Race XXX Lite, full carbon w/E2 carbon steerer
Frame - OCLV Red Carbon
Front Derailleur - Shimano Dura-Ace
Handlebars - Bontrager Race X Lite Blade Carbon, 31.8mm
Headset - Cane Creek IS-8 Integrated w/cartridge bearings, sealed, alloy
Model Year - 2008
Pedals - n/a
Rear Derailleur - Shimano Dura-Ace
Saddle - Bontrager Race X Lite FIT CRZ+
Seat Post - Carbon seat mast cap
Shifters - Shimano ST-R700 STI, adjustable reach, 10 speed
Size - Women’s 52 cm
Stem - Bontrager Race XXX Lite Carbon, 7 degree, 31.8mm
Tires - Bontrager Race X Lite, 700×23c, foldingWheels - Bontrager Race X Lite

Women's Cannondale Road Bike for Sale



My old road bike is for sale. It's priced to sell - $1500, OBO. The bike, pictured above, is a 2006 Cannondale Synapse 2 WSD (women’s specific design) carbon frame road bike. List price for a new one: $2,999.99.

I’m not sure of the exact specs of the bike - come see it in person!!

I think this is pretty close:

Weight: 17.1 lb.
Size: 50. I'm 5′ 5 1/2″ tall, the seat can be raised or lowered for taller or shorter bikers.

Component Highlights: Shimano Ultegra crankset (50/39), cassette (12-25), brakes, reach-adjust 10-speed shifters and levers; Mavic Ksyrium Elite rims; ITM Elle Elite handlebar; FSA SL-K carbon seatpost.

The bike is located in Delray Beach. For further details or to see the bike in person contact Rob at 561-239-2880 or email robsmythe01@aol.com.

Here’s a review of the bike that is for sale from the bicycling.com website:

Best Women-Specific Road Bike: Cannondale Synapse Feminine Cabron 2

History may remember 2006 as the year female bike riders were, finally, given the gift of choice for performance-oriented bikes. We chose finalists for their combination of quality carbon frames and up-level componentry, and found excellence across the board, but with subtle variations. The Synapse Carbon Feminine gets our nod because of its balanced ride quality, the result of a stiff, efficient and lightweight carbon-fiber frame shaped into a geometry suited for both fast-paced rides and more-casual events.

One tester noted that the Synapse felt the most responsive of the three, while another said the bike’s proportions and stable ride made her feel especially confident and aggressive (Mavic’s stiff Ksyrium Elite wheels enhanced the performance). Cannondale offers this bike, available June 1, in a double or triple chainring-we’re hoping for a compact option, currently available on the men’s Synapse and the R1000 Feminine, sometime in the future.

©Mitch Mandel

The Need to Feed


I don’t recommend biking without following proper nutrition. I went for a 39 mile road bike ride today, like I do most Saturday mornings, but I didn’t have anything for breakfast before the ride. I normally try to eat a granola bar just to get a few calories and carbs into my system. But my stomach was a bit upset so I couldn’t even look at food this morning. I have been dealing with IBS, irritable bowel syndrome, for years and some days are better than others.

I made sure I had a package of electrolyte blocks with me so I could eat those during the rest stop. But stupid me forgot to put them in my bike jersey when I got to the ride start. I felt pretty good the first half of the ride and was taking my turn pulling in the pace line.

When we stopped at the half way point I realized I had forgotten my package of Sharkies - they are shark-shaped, gummy electrolyte blocks. Sort of like a Clif Shot Block but smaller, and shark shaped. See my article, Instant Bike Nutrition, for details on various sports blocks, bars and beans you can eat during your rides. I thought, no worries, I have plenty of gas in the tank. Well, starting the second half of the ride we had a bit of a headwind. Then a friend of mine caught up to our group at a red light - I tried to keep up on the sprint, but my lack of breakfast and sharkies was already starting to have an effect. The rest of the riders in my group caught up to me and passed me like I wasn’t even moving.

So that meant I got to do the rest of the ride by myself, with a headwind, with no one to draft behind. I normally wouldn’t have a problem riding by myself, I occasionally go on short rides during the week by myself. But I started to bonk with 14 miles left to go. I sure wish I had eaten something for breakfast before heading out. I had to stop 3 times on my way back. My heart rate was sky high (180’s), I couldn’t freakin breath and I started getting sort of light-headed and dizzy. The last 4 miles of the ride were pure hell, I kept putting my head down and I was weaving all over the place.

I should have stopped riding and called someone to come pick me up. But I also have a problem with being a bit stubborn. I’ve ridden with other riders that have had this same problem. I made them stop riding and take the SAG wagon back to their car. Once you get to this stage, you are a danger to yourself (you could drift into the road and end up as road kill) and to other riders (not cool to zig zag all over the place while in the pace line). But I didn’t have the luxury of SAG support so I slugged along on my own.

When I got back to the parking lot where my van was parked I was like the drunken sailor. I could barely stand up straight while I was taking off my bike shoes. I threw my bike into the van and headed straight for the cafe that was there. Two of the other riders were sitting outside waiting for their breakfast to be served. I went inside and got a raspberry iced tea and a fresh fruit salad. I took this outside to sit with the other bikers. They were looking at me funny, asking if I was okay. They could see that I was shaking - guess my blood sugar/carbohydrate reserves were totally depleted.

After eating a bit of the fruit and feeling less shaky I drove myself back home. I ate a whole bagel with cream cheese and started feeling a bit better. After my shower I decided to be a semi-couch potato - that’s where I am now, writing this post.

Here’s the word on bonking according to the Lance Armstrong Performance Program: “Symptoms of bonking can include a heavy feeling in the legs, difficulty maintaining pedal cadence, dizziness, severe headache, disorientation, and sometimes hallucination. The remedy is to eat immediately.” Where was Lance when I needed him this morning? He could have pulled me back to my van. And another Lance gospel: “A common mistake is skipping breakfast. This puts your body in a caloric deficit and hampers your ability to train properly.” WORD

Okay, and finally I can blame my husband. He decided to play with his mountain bike today instead of road riding. So I didn’t have him there to drag my a*s back home the last few miles. And he can also be a bit like a drill sergent in the morning “you gotta eat something on the way to the ride.” Yeah, yeah, yeah - you and your cast iron stomach can bite me! He actually would make a good coach - oh yeah, this fall he will be coaching the Palm Beach County TNT (Team in Training) cycle team as they train for the Intracoastal Century Ride in Cocoa Beach - cool!

Let Levi Ride


(Palo Alto, CA) – Speaking at a press conference on the eve of this year’s Tour of California Prologue, defending Tour of California champion and 2007 Tour de France podium finisher Levi Leipheimer unveiled LetLeviRide.com, a grassroots campaign to appeal the Amaury Sport Organization’s (ASO) recent decision to ban Leipheimer’s team, Astana, from participating in this summer’s Tour de France. Visitors to LetLeviRide.com have an opportunity to pledge their support for Levi and add their name to a petition directed at the ASO.

“With LetLeviRide.com I’m not disputing the ASO’s right to decide which teams it invites to the Tour and which teams it doesn’t,” notes Leipheimer. “I’m drawing attention to the fact that this decision by the ASO is completely arbitrary and unjust. I had nothing to do with Astana prior to joining the team this year. There are many other teams with tainted pasts that haven’t changed management or structure like the new Astana has, yet Astana is singled out and excluded. Where’s the consistency? By taking action now it looks political. It looks like the ASO has a grudge against a team that can win its races. My hope is that this campaign will encourage the ASO to reconsider its decision.”

On February 13th, the ASO barred Team Astana from competing in any race or event organized by the ASO in 2008. The ASO owns premiere cycling events like Paris-Nice, Paris-Roubaix, Paris-Tours, and the famed Tour de France. To justify its decision, the ASO cited the doping scandals of last year’s Tour de France.

For anyone who has followed cycling’s ongoing battle against doping, the ASO’s rationale is suspect. Astana’s entire organizational structure has been rebuilt under the direction of the team’s new General Manager, Johan Bruyneel, who has thoroughly cleaned house. What’s more, Astana has adopted the rigorous doping controls developed by the highly respected, anti-doping expert Dr. Rasmus Damsgaard, and Astana now spends more money on anti-doping controls than any other team in the pro peloton. There’s no comparison between the Astana team of 2007 and the new Astana.

“That the happenings of last year…prompted the Tour organizers to leave Astana out of the season’s most important race sounds understandable,” notes Bruyneel. “However, Astana Cycling Team 2008 has nothing to do with the team of last year. We have done everything to change the dynamics of the team. New management, new riders, new philosophy. Only the name of the sponsor remained.”

The ASO has nonetheless largely ignored the new Astana’s restructuring efforts, and as a consequence of barring the entire team from competing in ASO events, has stripped athletes like Levi Leipheimer of the opportunity to realize their life’s ambition of competing in the Tour.

“I’ve trained my whole life to race the Tour,” notes Leipheimer. “It’s my dream to win the Tour de France; it’s my life long goal.”

Shimano Buys Pearl Izumi


IRVINE, Calif. USA 2/19/08 — Bringing premium sports apparel and footwear to its offering of industry-leading cycling and fishing products, Shimano has completed its purchase of DashAmerica, Inc. (dba Pearl Izumi USA, Inc.) from Nautilus, Inc., announces David Pfeiffer, president of Shimano American Corporation. Pearl Izumi becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of Shimano’s U.S. operations, and will continue to operate from its facilities in Broomfield, Colorado and Kirchzarten, Germany.

“The acquisition brings together two companies started by Japanese families who share a passion for cycling,” said Pfeiffer. “Both have strong research and development backgrounds, offer industry leading innovations, and share an obsession with quality and performance. We’ll continue to build the respective brands and remain dedicated to the healthy independent dealer networks we’ve both enjoyed.”

Pfeiffer also noted that Pearl Izumi would be maintained as a stand-alone company with its own management team.

“Pearl Izumi is a leader in the performance sports apparel and footwear market, and we plan to keep them in that position,” Pfeiffer said. “Pearl Izumi’s design expertise creates products for the avid cycling and running enthusiasts and we’ll provide Juergen Eckmann (Pearl Izumi’s president) and his team with all of Shimano’s support and resources needed to continue that tradition.”

Eckmann said the acquisition is a great fit for both companies. “The entire team at Pearl Izumi USA and Europe are excited about opportunities and benefits we gain in becoming part of Shimano,” said Eckmann. “Shimano provides knowledge and expertise which will make our brand stronger and we in turn have a great deal of experience in performance apparel, fabric technologies and run footwear that Shimano did not previously possess.”

As part of a broad dual brand strategy, Pfeiffer states that Shimano will continue to offers its branded apparel and cycling footwear along with the Pearl Izumi apparel and cycling footwear in all markets.

Shimano’s acquisition includes Pearl Izumi’s facility in Kirchzarten, Germany, and the rights to Pearl Izumi sales and distribution throughout North and South America, Europe, Australia and select other countries. Pfeiffer notes the purchase does not include sales and distribution rights of Pearl Izumi branded products in Japan and most of Asia.

Shimano American Corporation is the U.S.-based subsidiary of Shimano, Inc. a multi-national manufacturer of bicycle components and fishing tackle. It now has operations in Irvine, Calif., Woodland, Wash., Broomfield, Colo., Peterborough, Ontario, and Kirchzarten, Germany.

“The reality is that everyone is really excited here,” said Geoff Shaffer, Pearl Izumi’s marketing director. “There were a bunch of people that came and looked at the business and a lot of them were venture capital people and that was super scary for us. We just had a meeting downstairs and the president [of Pearl Izumi] basically said that each one of those people already had a plan to sell. So we’re fired up.”

“The consumer and the retailer shouldn’t notice anything,” said Devin Walton, Shimano’s marketing manager. “Pearl, in its own right, has been an incredibly successful company with really well-developed product and good strategies; the intent in purchasing them is not to go in and change things that have made them successful. So there are no plans to go in and change anything. They will continue to operate autonomously; they have their own executive management and their own strategies in place. Their entire product lines will continue forward.”

Public Bike Transportation in Spain




Bicing (yes, that’s how it’s spelled) is a new public transportation opition in Spain which launced on March 22, 2007. Here is additional information from the official website which is located at http://www.bicing.com/:

“Bicing is your new public transport by bicycle. This new service is simple, practical and secure, which you can use on your way through the city, to go wherever you want, whenever you want without pollution and noises. Combine it with the other public transports and you will go as far as you want.”

Thousands of people have already signed up for this subscription bike rental service. There are currently over 3,000 bicycles located at 200 bicing stations located throughout Barcelona. The bikes can be used for up to 2 hours at a time.

The bikes can be borrowed from any of the bicing stations and returned to the same station or any other bicing station. Users are issued a credit-card type subscription card which allows them to access the bicycles at any of the bicing stations where there is an available bike. You must be at least 16 years old to use the bike rental service.

The name bicing is derived from bici the Spanish or Catalan version of bicycle and the abbreviation of Barcelona which is BCN. As well the English continuous ending of -ing is used for other means of transport in Spanish like footing (Anglicism used for jogging) and vueling, which is a Catalan airline.

Bicyle Retailer Website


I just found this website the other day while I was researching information about the recent sale of Cannondale Bicycle Corp. Bicycle Retailer’s website is located at: http://www.bicycleretailer.com/.
Bicycle Retailer covers all aspects of the bicycle industry including tradeshows, trends, merger/acquisitions, awards, events, distributor news, recalls, people, advocacy/charities and more.

Dorel Industries, headquartered in Montreal, has just purchased Cannondale for an estimated cost of $200 million. Dorel is the parent company of Pacific Cycle. Pacific Cycle is the USA marketer of Schwinn, Mongoose and GT brand bicycles.

The official Cannondale press release with all the details on the sale can be found here:
Dorel Acquires Cannondale Bicycle Corporation.

Instant Bike Nutrition


Here’s a copy of the Bike Diva’s article on bike nutrition, which originally appeared on the Associated Content website on 1/03/08.

Instant Bike Nutrition
My husband was looking for a new, healthier addiction a few years back and took up mountain biking. Soon after he started, I rarely saw him on the weekends anymore. That’s when I decided to give it a try. Now, my 40-plus-year-old body and I are always looking for ways to make our biking experience more enjoyable. Here are my personal favorite energy supplements that I use whenever I’m out riding my bike, whether on road or off.

Nutritional Bars
I never eat nutritional bars during a ride. I find they aren’t that easy to eat while riding a bike and they end up feeling like a lump of lead in my stomach. My husband and I use nutritional bars as an instant breakfast solution while we are driving out to the trails. We like to eat one or two bars around a half hour before we plan on arriving at the trailhead.

My husband likes PowerBars but I can’t stand them. I’ve tried them chilled, right out of the refrigerator but they are still horrid. However, there are many other nutritional bars on the market that I actually enjoy.

Clif Bars by Clif Bar & Co. come in a variety of flavors. A couple of my favorites are crunchy peanut butter and carrot cake. Luna bars, also by Clif Bar & Co., come in delicious flavors such as nuts over chocolate, lemon zest and chocolate pecan pie. Although I don’t like the regular PowerBars, I do like PowerBars Pria nutrition bars, especially the chocolate mint crisp flavor. I had one the other day on my way to a long bike ride and thought I was eating a candy bar because it tasted so good.

Nutritional Gels
I always thought those gooey gel packs were for macho men. I tried choking down a few gel packs once or twice but just couldn’t get past the “I’m eating baby doo-doo” stage. But my husband and I started doing some longer bike rides while training for a century ride for a local charity. I was experiencing major bonking half way into the rides so my husband kept bugging me to try the gels again.

He said they have a much better consistency when cold. So now we bring a small cooler filled with ice in our vehicle on our longer rides. I can manage to choke down the double latte, chocolate and vanilla flavors of the PowerBar gel packs. It’s almost like eating raw cake batter and doesn’t remind me so much of baby poo anymore. I also really like the vanilla bean flavor of Gu Energy Gel packs by GuSports.

Nutritional Blocks
I discovered the Clif Shot Bloks about a year ago. These large, square-shaped blocks remind me of petrified Jello and have the consistency of a soft gummy bear. Shot Bloks are not too sweet so I can manage to eat these even when they are really warm from being in my Camelbak too long. The black cherry and cranberry flavors are pretty good. The strawberry flavor is okay but it wouldn’t be my first choice. Some of the ingredients included in Shot Bloks are organic brown rice syrup, organic cane juice and green tea extract.

Another of my favorite block type supplements is Jelly Belly Sport Beans. They are little pieces of energy that are shaped like jelly beans. I like all flavors of Sports Beans - berry blue, fruit punch, lemon-lime and orange. A few of my friends find them to be a bit too sweet for their taste; it is kind of like eating candy. Sport Beans are also available in cherry and watermelon, but I haven’t been able to find these flavors at my local bike shops.

I found Sharkies on sale online just a few months ago. They are my new favorite nutritional supplement. Sharkies are organic energy sports chews that are gluten free, wheat free, dairy free and vegetarian. I bought a box of their fruit splash and berry blast flavors from one of my favorite online bike accessory vendors. Sharkies, which are unsurprisingly shaped like a shark, remind me of gummy bears. The fruit splash package contains a mixture of cherry, blackberry, tangerine and lemon sharkies while the berry blast package contains cherry and blackberry sharkies.

Energy supplements, like those mentioned in the article, are now available at most sporting good stores. I have even seen a good selection at our Super Target. Online vendors, such as Bike Nashbar and Performance Bike, also offer a terrific selection of energy supplements.

Charity Bike Ride




Above: 2007 Office Depot Team
My husband and I will be riding in the SE Florida MS150 which takes place on May 3rd & 4th, 2008. This is a 2 day, 150 mile bike ride that benefits the Multiple Sclerosis Society. Each biker makes a pledge to raise a minimum of $300 for the society. There will be approximately 3,000 bikers taking place in this ride.



We are riding with the Office Depot Foundation team - cool!!! The husband of one of my bike chick friends is a corporate lawyer for Office Depot. Although he owns a road bike, he only rides occasionally and doesn’t participate in these long charity bike rides like his wife does. My friend said that anyone can ride for the Office Depot team so my husband and I signed up. A couple of weeks ago we started going on weekly training rides with members of the team. So far there are 65 people signed up to ride with the Office Depot Foundation. I can’t wait until the team jersey’s come in so I’ll have bragging rights in front of real riders. “Yup, I ride for the Office Depot Foundation Team.”

From the Multiple Sclerosis website:
What’s New? Drum Roll Please…MS Bike, formerly known as the MS 150 Bike Tour, is proud to introduce our new title sponsor Zimmerman Advertising and the Zimmerman MS Bike Ride Presented by Wachovia!!! The Ride kicks off on Saturday, May 3, 2008 from the UM BankUnited Center in Miami, stops overnight at Metro PCS Village in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in Key Largo, then heads back to Miami on Sunday, May 4, 2008.

We are introducing an amazing lineup of changes for the 2008 Bike Season: New Title Sponsor, New Bike Route, New Dates, New Logo, New Branding!!! It’s the same event you’ve grown to love and live for with added flavor.

New Cyling Websites




Cycling.com is a brand new website that just launced a few weeks ago. It’s been in the planning stages for months and they finally have the site up and running. This site looks like it’s going to be focusing on road biking, while their companion site, biking.com, looks like its focus will be on mountain biking.

Here’s some information from their website:

“Capturing all the adrenaline of a downhill race Cycling.com stands alone as the premier destination for bikers of all skill levels. Detailed reviews of the best new bikes and gear, comprehensive technique and mechanical workshops, and the ability for bikers to browse and share pictures, stories and video are just a few of the features that make Cycling.com the only web destination a biker needs, period.”

In my previous blog, Bike Diva Articles, I posted information on a couple of articles I wrote for this new website.

Check out either, or both of these sites when you get the chance. They both are organized the same with online forums, video library, photo gallery, biking gear reviews, regional groups, theme groups and expert advice & articles.

Bike Diva Articles

In addition to being a gear head, bike addict my main occupation is that of a freelance writer. I write for a variety of online and print publications including Helium, Suite101 and Associated Content.


Although my main topic of interest is herbs - growing herbs, harvesting and storing herbs, cooking with herbs, history and folklore of herbs, recently I have begun to write a few biking related articles.

If you look on the right hand side of the bike diva page you will see links to other sites. Under the heading that says Bike Diva Articles you will find links to my current biking articles.

Two of the articles, Pearl Izumi SyncroPace and Shimano R300/M300 Bike Shoes, have been uploaded to the new cycling.com website. They are product reviews of a running shoe and a heat moldable biking shoe. I originally wrote these articles for Associated Content who said they might sell them to cycling.com. Unfortunately the formatting got messed up when they were copied from Associated Content over to cycling.com. Oh well, they are still readable and contain good information.

Check out my articles when you get a chance, and HAPPY BIKING!!!

Confessions of an Amateur Biker


Bike Diva at the 2006 Intracoastal Century Ride


NOTE: This post relates how the Bike Diva got into road biking two years ago.

My husband and I are recent converts to road biking. We had been enjoying mountain biking at various locations throughout south Florida for a number of years. The mountain bike trails closest to us were destroyed in one of the multitude of hurricanes to hit south Florida in recent years. We decided to purchase road bikes as a way to continue riding while waiting for the off road trails to be rebuilt.

A few months after purchasing our road bikes I received information in the mail from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society regarding their Team in Training (TNT)program. TNT is the Leukemia Societies main fund raising program. This program trains amateur athletes for local and national events such as triathlons, marathons, and century rides while at the same time raising funds for their organization.

I went to their website to find out more about the century rides and discovered there was a ride scheduled in 5 months time in Cocoa Beach, Florida. I was 42 years old at the time and my husband would be turning the big 50 a week before the century ride. I thought joining a team would be a good way for us to increase our road biking skills while at the same time increasing our level of fitness. The longest road ride I had done up to that point was around 22 miles so 100 miles seemed nearly impossible. But I like challenges so I signed us both up for the century ride.

My husband has a bit of an addiction to bike shops and is always reading about and researching the latest and greatest gizmo’s and gadgets in magazines such as Bicycling. We were riding fairly new aluminum frame Cannondale road bikes and thought they were great. But he began to read more about bikes meant to make your ride more comfortable for longer, leisurely rides such as the rides we were beginning to do while training for the century ride. My husband decided he needed to buy himself a carbon frame road bike and worked out a deal where he traded his current road bike and two other bikes for his new Cannondale carbon frame bike.

After his very first ride on his new carbon frame bike my husband started talking about getting me a new carbon frame bike. Apparently he noticed such a difference in the comfort of his ride by switching from an aluminum frame to a carbon frame bike that he felt guilty that I still had to ride on an aluminum frame bike. I had just switched from my clipless mountain bike pedals to clipless road pedals so I was doing just fine and didn’t even ask for a new bike. But a few days later he went to our local bike shop and ordered me a new Cannondale Synapse 2 Feminine specific carbon frame road bike.

No one will ever mistake me for a hammerhead. My preferred speed is in the 18-20 MPH range, with occasional bursts up to 26-28 MPH. Initially I didn’t seem to notice much of a difference but my first ride on the new bike was by myself without anyone to draft behind. I think I hit a nasty headwind on the second half of that ride and I struggled to make it home, barely getting above 15 MPH. But on our group rides with our fellow TNT members I noticed a huge difference in my riding. I was able to keep up with the fast group almost the entire way. Overall my ride seemed much smoother and I was finally starting to climb out of the saddle when we had to go over any hills.

Welcome to Charity Fitness Events

Welcome to the Charity Fitness Events site!


Hello, my name is Lynn Smythe and I will be your Charity Fitness Events blogger.

My husband and I participate in a variety of charity biking events throughout the year. Our main volunteer efforts are with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Societies Team in Training program.

We have also done events that benefit other charity organizations such as the Multiple Sclerosis Society, Kids in Distress and Police Athletic League of Palm Beach County.

The Charity Fitness Events site will focus on sporting events, such as marathons, triathlons and century rides, that help to raise money for non-profit organizations.

Take care,
Lynn Smythe

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Privacy Policy

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