Biking through the heat: tips and tricks to keep your cool

Hello and happy Friday! This week was a super weird one in terms of weather for Southern California – through out the weekend and early into the week, we had rain and thunder storms, so that kept me off my Pedego electric bike… and the next few days we had scorching 95 degree heat. Yowch! Neither of these make an ideal environment for a prego looking to get some outdoor activity. I was sad to miss out on quality time with Cora, especially when I felt all accomplished for learning how to adjust the swivel of the seat all by myself. (Hey, it’s the little things.)

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Today was a cooler day (85), so I felt comfortable taking a ride through the neighborhood. I also spent some time researching hot weather biking tips, because I feel like this is one of those things you don’t think about… and then before you know it, you’re outside exercising and you’ve got the uncomfortable spins from being overheated. It’s happened to me before during a particularly ass-kicking krav maga session on a hot day (before I was pregnant), and overheating during exercise SUCKS! So — here are a few of the most helpful tips I use, with clarification from Biking.com:

1) Water. Yes, obviously. But, if you don’t make sure you have water with you, you can get dehydrated so quickly, especially when you’re sweating. Take it a step further and hydrate with a sports drink — something like Gatorade with electrolytes and sodium. I never gave the Gatorade thing much credence until I started doing a bootcamp in the morning and found that I felt considerably better after sipping some light Gatorade. Placebo? Who knows, but it works.

2) Freeze it up. Go a step further with your water bottle by pre-freezing a layer of ice in the bottom. This helps prevent your nice, cool water from turning into gross, lukewarm liquid.

3) Need to cool your skin down? Either invest in cooling fabric shirts, or for a more inexpensive but effective solution, try a cool-tie. I recently bought one of these specifically for biking/walking during a hot day, and it’s awesome. Simply wet it, and the cooling ingredients activate, and you’ve got a nice chilly neck wrap or something you can press against your inner arms, wrists, or hands. (Note: affiliate link.)

4) Sunscreen. A sun burn doesn’t help anything, but just the act of a barrier on your skin can help keep you cool.

5) Take breaks. Find a shady tree and rest, and don’t put out as much exertion as you’re used to. Hot weather can quickly zap your energy, so you have to take it a little lighter.

I hope these tips are helpful to you whether you’re walking, biking, or doing something else in the hot hot heat. While I have you, won’t you please take a moment and vote for Pedego in the Small Business, Big Game contest. They have a chance to win a Super Bowl commercial! You don’t have to provide any personal information, and it’s just one quick button click. For a quick reminder about what Pedego is all about, watch this video.

Stuff the FTC makes me say: Pedego provided me a complementary bicycle in exchange for my coverage on the Double Chin Diary and social media as part of being a Pedego Electric Bike Ambassador. All opinions are my own.

People of Pedego E-Bikes: Meet Mary and Patrick

Happy Saturday, friends! When I got my Pedego, I was added to a Facebook group called the Pedego E-Bikes Owners Group. It has just over 400 members and is a bustling community where people share photos of their rides, bikes, ask questions, share tips, and generally just enjoy being a part of the e-bike club. (It’s certainly come in handy for me a few times as I’ve had questions about my bike.) One of the first Pedego owners to befriend me was a friendly lady named Mary. Over the past few weeks I’ve noticed her posting more and more amazing photos of the adventures she and her husband take their bikes on, so I wanted to find out more about Mary, her husband, and their bikes. Mary and Patrick are from Redding, CA, which is Northern California, and have lived there since 1986. Enjoy!

Mary and the bikes in Moab, Utah

Mary and the bikes in Moab, Utah

(Editor’s note: That blue color in the photo is the other photo I really debated about when ordering my bike! It’s the same color as my car… isn’t it a great color?!)

I asked Mary why she decided to get a Pedego. “We used to ride regular bikes all the time with a group of friends. We are older, I being 65 and my husband is soon to be 63. It became increasingly hard for some of the members of our group to ride anymore so we quit riding. Patrick, my husband, has type 2 diabetes and our doctor said it was mandatory that he loose some weight. So, we started researching exercising methods. We have machines (treadmill and stationary bike) but we didn’t do them often enough and it wasn’t much fun. Patrick started looking into bikes and stumbled upon electric bikes. There are many on the market but the Pedego brand stood out because they seemed to have everything we were looking for such as pedal assist, a throttle and that it was made in the USA. We decided on the Interceptors because they had all the components we required and are built the best (heftier frame, disc brakes, slimed tires and digital display).

We found the closest dealer to us was in Sacramento. We hopped into the car and two and a half hours later we were test driving two Interceptors. It only took 15 minutes of riding these bikes that we knew these were the bikes we had been searching for. No more sore muscles climbing hills and no more down time the next day. We ordered two Interceptors on the spot, mine a 24 inch step through and Patrick’s a classic. That was the first part of December 2014. We received them a week before Christmas.”

Amazing photo by Mary and Patrick of the Pedegos at Arches National Park

Amazing photo by Mary and Patrick of the Pedegos at Arches National Park

One reason I wanted to talk to Mary is that I see amazing pictures she posts from all over the country. I asked her favorite place she’s taken her Pedego.

“I think one of our favorite places we have ridden is Moab, UT (first photo in the post). They have a fantastic paved bike trail that should be the model for all cities. Another place that was great was Yosemite. We rode the whole valley. We also have a wonderful trail system in Redding that keeps growing. We are going to the Grand Canyon in a week and I hear they have a good rim trail now. So many wonderful places.”

Next I asked Mary, what is the most important thing about Pedego that you would tell someone who stops you on the street?

      “We talk to a lot of people when we are out and about. People are always surprised when we tell them that we can ride 20 plus miles a day. Then they find out the bikes are electric. A big smile usually comes after that and many questions. We tell them that no matter your age or disability you can still ride this bike and  have FUN. Both of us have joint problems and this bike allows us to get exercise again without all the pain. We have let people demo our bikes and you see the surprise and delight when the motor kicks in and a big smile follows. We have been told a couple of times “we’re going to get one of these!”

A great selfie of Patrick and Mary and the bikes!

A great selfie of Patrick and Mary and the bikes!

Lastly, I asked Mary if there’s anything else she would add about Pedego bikes. I love her response!

“Patrick has lost about 20 lbs since he started riding. He sometimes rides twice a day. I am not an early riser and he is so sometimes he goes out really early in the morning and then he will go out again in the afternoon when I’m ready to go. He feels bad when he can’t go out because it’s raining or there is no opportunity for him to ride. These bikes have given us something to do together which is important at this time of our lives. He retired two years ago so this trip that we are on is one that we have been planning on for many years. We’re having lots of fun and can say without a doubt that purchasing Pedego bikes was one of the best purchases we have made in a long time.”

Don’t Mary and Patrick sound like a fun couple? Big thanks to Mary for taking the time to answer my questions and share with us here about her Pedego experience. Do you guys have any questions for her or Patrick?

I think taking my bike to Arches National Park is a new goal… now to get Matt a Pedego, and a baby seat for our little lady!

I’ll be back next week to report about some fun, longer rides I’ve been taking with my bike. :) In the meantime, I hope you have an amazing weekend!

Stuff the FTC makes me say: Pedego provided me a complementary bicycle in exchange for my coverage on the Double Chin Diary and social media as part of being a Pedego Electric Bike Ambassador. All opinions are my own.

Bumpin’ while bikin': What I saw in 3 miles with my Pedego

Stuff the FTC makes me say: Pedego provided me a complementary bicycle in exchange for my coverage on the Double Chin Diary and social media as part of being a Pedego Electric Bike Ambassador. All opinions are my own.

After work today, I knew I wanted to get some sunshine and also some low-impact exercise. In my 21st week of pregnancy I have a new symptom: tight/stiff hips and an achey lower back. It feels really good to gently stretch it out, so I knew bike riding would be just what the doctor ordered. (Also, after I entered my activity in my pregnancy app, I got a little reward alert that said “Biking is a great way to minimize swelling!” Good to know!)

I set a goal for myself that for this three mile ride, I wouldn’t use the Pedal Assist or Throttle at all. Both of these features are awesome, but I knew for max cardio impact, I needed to push myself a little bit. I can be lazy (something I’d try to blame on pregnancy but let’s be real here… I am firmly a fan of the “horizontal running” camp with Fat Amy, and need to push myself to work hard in exercise.)

I took off for a leisurely ride in my neighborhood and I decided to take pictures of some things I noticed. First off, look how perty my bike is! I’m so glad I chose the coral color with blue accents… it’s so fresh and fun, perfect for this southern California summer. And… it’s basically summer here 350 days out of the year, so I’m not going to get sick of its beachy vibe anytime soon.

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Second thing I noticed made me sad. Our neighborhood is quite literally TRASHED! How can people be so careless? I understand that stuff might occasionally blow out a window or out of a can (even that is me giving the benefit of the doubt) but this is just horrid. April would freak out! I should volunteer with the Reseda City Council to get this area cleaned up.

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Third thing I noticed is this cute house for rent. While Matt and I are staying in our rental place for awhile to get used to a new budget with baby, if anybody is looking for a 3BR place in Reseda, you may want to look here. Uh, just pretend I didn’t just talk about the big bad trash problem. 😉

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Then, I rode another mile and took a selfie in the shade, because #selfie. Also, in honor of transparent tuesday (which exists to remove the veneer and filter of perfection from posts in social media), I did not photoshop my zits out. You’re welcome.

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I biked on for another half mile, now lightly sweating, and had to stop and snap a pic of these fun yard statues that someone put 4th of July headbands on. Now that’s festivity!

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Then, I pedaled the remaining mile home, and decided to relax on my back patio and do some light stretches. This bike ride was exactly was hoping getting a Pedego would do for me: get me out of the house when I’m feeling lazy and uninspired, but help me get some activity. It was also fun how a leisurely three mile ride turned into somewhat of a scavenger hunt for me, like “Hey! What can I show people who read this post?”

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Stretching with the bump.

I challenge you to get out this week for a quick bike ride or walk and notice a few things in your neighborhood you may not have seen before!

 

Smile, because it’s July 1!

Holy cow – how is it July?! ALREADY?! I just got back from Fitbloggin in Denver and am looking forward to sharing photos from that adventure later, but first I wanted to update you on a few things!

1) Tomorrow we get confirmation of our little one’s gender! I’ll be sharing on the blog, so keep your eyes peeled for an announcement. If you’re curious how my pregnancy has been going, I post bumpdates on LaLaLyssa.com when I can.

2) I didn’t get to ride my Pedego as much as I would have liked last week because 1) I was gone and 2) It’s been over 96 degrees here every. freakin. day., but I am squeezing in small rides when I can. Yesterday it was awesome because I realized at 4:45 my rent check was due the next day (OOPS), and I zipped onto my bike to race it over to the post office. Our post office is under construction so the parking is notoriously bad, so I considered it a major win win to avoid parking AND get some exercise. I also got to scope out the crazy dark gray skies brewing in tandem with the 98 degree heat. Tornado weather, anyone?

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Speaking of Pedego, would you guys mind taking ten seconds and VOTING for them to win a Superbowl Commercial? It seriously takes just a second and you don’t have to enter anything like your email or anything. Just click the pretty green button and that’s it! Easy as pie, right? (mmm, pie.) (reminder ‘cuz I like to be upfront and it’s just the good thing to do: I’m a Pedego ambassador and received a bike in exchange for my discussion and promotion of it.)

3) I occasionally get to write for my friends at DietToGo.com, and this week, I shared some summer grilling tips. It was fun playing with new tricks like lemon slices on the grill for fish, and as usual, I enjoyed doing some food photography outside. (PS: Kebabs? One of my favorite things to eat. So light and delicious.) Check it out here, will ya? Use lemon slices directly on the grill to cook your fish!

4) You should watch this video of puppies getting their dinner as they grow over the course of a year. Because it’s adorable, and that’s a good enough reason.

 

Biking while bumpin': Adventures of being pregnant with a Pedego

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So what if it’s my helmet and not an actual bump? ;)

When my friend Linda first told me about Pedego’s call for applications for Brand Ambassadors, I was rockin’ a little secret. I was about five weeks pregnant, and I knew that getting a Pedego would be an awesome way to maintain some level of fitness without going crazy during my pregnancy. But, I was struck with that fear of spilling the beans in my application before I hit the supposed “safe” mark of 12 weeks. I noodled about it for a few days and decided to let them know my story, and that yes, part of that story was that I was newly pregnant and plus-sized, and determined to not let my pregnancy be an excuse for abandoning all I knew about the healthiest way for me to live my life.

Well – Pedego agreed it was a good fit, and here we are: me loving my Pedego! I can happily say I’m one week away from being half way through my pregnancy, and I’ve gained one whopping pound. I’m so happy to type that because I had major fears of being plus-sized and pregnant, that I would gain tons and tons of weight and my body, with its fondness of storing every extra calorie, would balloon to massive proportions. Now – I still have 20 weeks to go, and I know a lot can change very quickly, so I’m not out of the woods yet. I’m at the point in my pregnancy where I will start to gain weight, because that’s what happens, the fetus begins to grow and so will my appetite. But I’ve been instructed to try and limit my weight gain to 12 pounds, 25 being the absolute max, and I’m going to work hard to try to stick to those limits.  What does that mean? It means 1) continuing to eat within reason, not depriving myself of cravings, but reminding myself that portion control and healthy choices are best, and 2) continuing to ride my bike and take walks. I want to take my Pedego on more leisure rides, as I’ve mostly been using it to run errands. Running errands on the Pedego is great, but when I use it for grocery shopping, I have an awkward balance of a heaping bike basket and trying to make sure I don’t hit any lumps and dump my dinner :) (See picture… tonight I used it to buy pork chops, lemonade, strawberries, grapes, lemons and a chocolate croissant. That basket was heavy!) (It’s also my fault because I went to the store for pork chops. Everything else just happened to fall into the basket. What can I say? The baby loves fruit! Ha!)

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I also want to check out a prenatal yoga class so I can get my zen on and stretch out some of the parts of my body that are getting achey (lower back!). Someone recently asked me if riding the bike is uncomfortable while being pregnant, and I can gratefully say, not at all. That may change as my stomach gets gigantic, but the nice thing about this bike is I have the step-through model, which means I don’t need to swing my leg over the seat to get on it. Preggo-approved!

So, at 19 weeks, you have a very happy, healthy-feeling prego, thanks to my Pedego. :) Ladies who’ve been pregnant: how did you exercise during those nine months? Even if you’re not pregnant or don’t intend to be, what’s the one form of exercise you never mind doing?

Stuff the FTC makes me say: Pedego provided me a complementary bicycle in exchange for my coverage on the Double Chin Diary and social media as part of being a Pedego Electric Bike Ambassador. All opinions are my own.