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Bike Friday Tandem Traveler XL Review

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Occasionally I have the opportunity to review product for Bicycle Times magazine. This review is in issue #25, which came out in Sept and was on the newsstand until early Nov. There are also some other swanky bikes and various products reviewed in this issue as well as a story about a fat bike tour from Alaska to New Mexico. You buy print back issues here.

Check it out and let me know what you think.



Books: Homemade Beauty Products, A Body Book for Girls and Upcycling old T-shirts!

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I've been on a good book streak lately and there's a couple I thought I'd share. Sharing is fun.
The first is EcoBeauty by Lauren Cox.

The book is written for the older teen/early twenties individual in mind, but I found the simplicity of the recipes and straight talk of the importance of taking care of your body refreshing. Everything is raw ingredients and often needs to be refrigerated. I find that to be "extra work" going all the way to the kitchen! But, for an occasional mask and toner it was worth it. The book has face washes, masks, toners, hair products, body washes, and gift ideas. Quite a few had ingredients that I had around the house, otherwise were more involved and required some hunting out in my neck of the woods. 
Here is one of my favorite recipes: Bye Bye Blackheads 1 tablespoon granulated sugar 1 tablespoon baking soda 2 tablespoons water Stir all the ingredients together until well mixed. Massage into damp skin, let sit for a few minutes then r…

Winter Gardening Take 2

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We had some good luck last year with garlic and a few different types of onions, so we have expanded our winter garden 4 fold. Let's hope we get some yummy veg. Some of the seeds are 90day and some 120+.



4 beds of onions, garlic, winter lettuce, kale, peas and some other yummy wintery/early spring items. All seeds from Territorial Seed Company, we have always received nice seeds from them. They offer a decent amount of organic in their catalog.

So 3 rectangle raised beds, 1 circular ground bed and a few smaller side beds full of hopeful deliciousness. Hubby has most of the hoops up and that super thick plastic will be going over those hoops soon as evening temperatures are starting to get closer to the 30º.

The hoops are PVC and semi-circle brackets that are attached to a wood panel insert in the bed. The circular hoop house is a bit more challenging and we feel like we have a good plan to make it work.


We also planted some winter wheat in 2 of our outside beds. We have had not gr…

Bike Jewelry!

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Another kick ass blog for work! Some of my favorite bike related jewelry. Check it out here.

My kid won’t ride a bike!

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I've neglected my NOM blog over the past months, but have done a few for work.
Here is one blog on the ups and downs of my daughter finally getting over her fears of riding a bike. Click here to read more.




Dirt Fest 2013!!!

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After almost year of planning, booking, permitting (thank you Evan), booking, proof reading, beer wrangling, sponsorship organization and so on and so on. Dirt Fest. Riding bikes, drinking beer and riding bikes. Solid weekend.

Welcome!
First on the scene. 
Event boat for Epic and Rays to Lake ride. One now, 18 more to come.
Can never have too much firewood for this weekend.
Ray lent a hand to prep for the weekend. <3!

I was thrilled to have the opportunity to assist with the women's skills clinics and rides. 
Sweeping the Night Ride! (Osprey was crazy, fun at night.)
Dirt Fest is always full of Fraken-bikes. Skid contests, tall bikes, reverse bikes, pit bike.... the list keeps going.
More photos and video to follow from Dirt Rag. In the end it was an amazing Dirt Fest. We impacted a lot of riders to more bikes, more trails, new adventures, new skills and new friends. Thanks to everyone who volunteered there personal time to make this happen and keep things flowing.  As well as …

A Day at the Office.

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The Dirt Rag and Bicycle Times headquarters is in a house just on the skirts edge of Pittsburgh. It has been here for many years and because of that, occasionally you find hidden "treasures". Like a photo copy of boobs in a bible, or a closet full of old printers, a saxophone, and then some.

Here is a glimpse:

 Bike Tree.
The Dirt Rag pig.

Self explanatory. Boobs are fun. (FYI: This set is not mine)

BIKES!!!


Pinball! The publisher and founder has a passion for pinball.
"Hey you, with the face!" My kids love coming to the office.

A weekend with no riding ahead. My poor back and hips having a bit of a bad spell. Looks like a movie marathon in order, or just basking in the sun and read. Tough choice.


No More Snow, All Hail Spring!

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Woohoo! Spring is finally here in western PA and I'm overjoyed that I can send my kids outside for longer periods of time. Lots of adventure already happening and more planned ahead!


Like me, pretending I race mountain bikes. Please, I laugh and smile way too much to focus on going faster than other people. I did accomplish my first "real" drop at the Baker's Dozen in Leesburg, VA last month. Thanks to Jon Pratt for the photo.

 Plenty of pink, tiara cowboy hat wearing.

 Maybe an occasional disco helmet. Had a short and sweet visit to the Sea Otter Classic.

You can never hang out with Zero the Zombie Killer too much.

And some family tandem riding and touring happening, hopefully soon! (Also, bear with me as I'm entertained with this whole Instagram thing.) Stay tuned...

Grocery Cycling in the Snow.

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Riding in the Snow is actually fun, for you non-believers out there.
I generally take out a mountain bike this time of year, bit I've also invested in some nice treaded 700c winter tires that are likely to last a few seasons for my touring bike.
The hubby and I try our best to grocery shop via bike as much as possible, it doesn't happen as much as we would like in the winter. Not because of the cold, but because we live in a suburban - "I own a big truck!" area. Taking the kids along is not an option even on backroads where careless and aggressive driving is common and babysitting isn't always available. We also just enjoy going together. Laughing at each other, as we attempt to slide down steep grass hills where I usually end up on my back in the snow.

Here is a quick breakdown of what I wear and manage to stay mostly dry and warm once my body temperature rises: Smart Wool base layer leggings, Modrobes base layer top (Smartwool offers tops also and they are real…

Indoor Mountain Biking Date

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The hubby and I had the accidental chance to indulge in a kid free retreat to Cleveland, OH this weekend, and play around at Ray’s IndoorMountain Bike Park. Cleveland reminds me a lot Pittsburgh, lots of little fun things to do they are just sprinkled about the city.
I have been to Ray’s once before, last year for the Women’s Weekend. I did a blog about it; you can check it out here. If you have an indoor mountain bike park near you go scope it out.  I only know of a few: The Lumberyard - Portland, OR;  Ray’s – Milwaukee & Cleveland, WI; and CranX – Syracuse, NY. Hopefully I can add The WheelMill – Pittsburgh, PA to this soon. Did I miss any...?

Pump Track!
While there I was able to play on the 2013 Trek Evo Lush and ride the cross-country course. I wouldn’t shy away if from playing on one of these outside.

Trek Evo Lush - Full Suspension Women's Specific bike.
A couple of key highlights for me when I head up to Cleveland are the West Side Market and Great Lakes Brewery. The Ma…

GoGirl Review!

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I haven't done a blog post in a bit, but I did one for work. So, go check it out!
http://www.bicycletimesmag.com/content/review-gogirl-female-assistant


Snot & Cough Season

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I must once again, hail the Buff. They are great for riding in the cold months; nose warmer, snot wiper and cough spewing shield. And! I got a new wool Buff for Christmas from the Hubby, cannot wait to cough, sweat and snot into it.

Winter is here. 
They also make great kid cough spewing shields and emergency snot rag for when they're at school. Plus, a great gift for friends/family who hunt in chilly weather.

Food Shopping with My Mini Me.

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Last night my 10yr old daughter joined me in the ever challenging food shopping agenda. She was reading a book while leaning on the cart and "listening" to me. Both kids like to pick out the vegetables and fruit, on a side note; this method has worked wonders for when we go to eat the veg as well. "Hey, lets get out those green beans you picked and make them for dinner!" It so exciting! Let's see if that works when they are 16...

Quite a few months back the hubby taught "D", our daughters exciting nickname, to look at sugar quantity in ingredients. Let's just say it was a good lesson to learn. Thus the start of homemade honey nut cheerios and raisin bran.


Off we went to try and find food that have ingredients we could pronounce and did not have a shelf life that exceeded her age. After all the reading and getting grossed out, she now wants to help cook our own black beans, make our own soups and noodles.
Success! One point for Mom and Dad.
The big…

Chicken Brain.

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Everybody should know by now that KFC tortures their chickens. The PETA campaigns, the demonstrations, etc. Some folks could care less, "its a chicken, who cares if its tortured." Thats totally fine, I eat chicken occasionally, its yummy. I want my own chicken so I can fatten it up and eat him.

If all the lovely photos of meat paste that make 70% of that fast food sandwich you ate the other day doesn't change your mind about how to perceive the food industry....

Pink Slime.


This nasty shit, just might.


KFC says they don't know of thats a brain or a kidney that made it pass the preparation process. Does it really matter or make any difference if it was a brain or a kidney? Um, no. It doesn't.

One lucky young man had the chance to look down into his 2 piece chicken lunch and find this. Kid has a stronger stomach than I. A Stand By Me, The Revenge of Lardass Logan moment.

Bad resolution, but if you haven't seen Stand By Me, its a really great flick.
Everybody th…

Eat your Vegetables Kid.

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Raising kids is a challenge, they don't come with an instruction manual. Teaching them to eat healthy can be an even bigger challenge in a world of fancy packaging, cable tv (which we don't have but Grandma does) and not so healthy school friends.

The hubby has been trying to get me to eat healthy for years, I grew up on Spaghetti O's, frozen burritos, Doritos and salsa for breakfast, cheesecake for dinner, etc. After 12yrs of marriage, he finally started to succeed about a year and a half ago. Let's just say, no wonder I felt like shit all the time.

We live in an area where the school lunch lady called me once to tell me that my son was eating breakfast at school and wanted to make sure he was suppose to. Isn't that nice... except when we started talking about what he ate and the new healthy initiative changes to the food program. This statement made my jaw drop, "We don't have the sausage links wrapped in a pancake anymore. Poor kids, all they get is whe…

The Art of Spange.

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Many, many moons ago, the hubby and I "spanged". Which just means we asked people for spare change. I squatted my way up the coast from southern California and almost made to Seattle, dog in tow. The hubby traveled around Europe, hanging out with Dick Lucas and drinking heavily in the streets. And we smelled, drank, went to concerts, attended protest in a fury of anger and enjoyed youth.

We kind of looked like this. Portlandia nailed it.
Today, while taking a large load of recyclables to the drop off, we had to stop for the hated but inevitable gas station. Two young adults were sitting in a nice car in the pump next to us, well... it was nicer than the car I had at 20yrs. They proceded to approach and tell the hubby that they were short on money and couldn't buy gas to get home, which I was fine with, been there, done that. What was not fine, was when the hubby asked for clarity "listen, what are you asking me for? money?" and the response was "money, or y…

2013. The "More" and "Less" List.

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Yes. Resolutions, goals, improvements. I have a few.
The more list: Ride. Travel. Camp. Read. Blog.
The less list: Social networking. Making excuses. Overworking.
Sounds pretty easy.