Outdoor Activity of the Soul

mountain-bikerThe world is such a beautiful place. The sky is so broad, some wonder how it would feel like to fly, and some pursue it through sky diving. Perhaps the gorgeous scenery of the mountains may attract you to do some hiking or camping. Remembering the wonderful scent of the ocean just drives you to go to the beach to swim, grill fish, and relax. All of these are outdoor activities.

To which outdoor activity caught your attraction? Most would either say an activity done on the ocean, and some would prefer the mountains. Have you ever thought of engaging through bike cycling? It’s a wonderful outdoor activity where you meet fun individuals. Let me share a little bit of my experience to help you decide, if you’re still wondering which would be more fun.

The plain and simple answer is that they are all fun. I would even suggest doing all of them. This option however consumes quite a lot of time. If you only have a little bit of time to spare, you could go with the most doable one. Depending on your location, you can engage on an enjoyable outdoor activity without consuming too much of your time going to the designated place.

In my experience, I mentioned bike cycling because my friends suggested we do it all together. Initially I was going for the beach, however with so much repetition of this activity, I’d like a change of scenery. This decision led me, and my friends, to New Zealand. I was quite glad to make that decision, because of that I acquired quite a memorable experience with my closest friend, and even making new ones.

My friend brought up this idea from a pamphlet she read offering a cycle tour in New Zealand. It appears that there’s actually quite a lot of cycle tours being offered, so we just chose one. You can choose any because the people in New Zealand are quite friendly and will be happy to answer questions. You also get to meet other groups and engage into friendly conversations. Even if you do this alone, it’s completely a wonderful experience.

Bike cycling in New Zealand is one of the safest place in the globe to explore around. The scenery is spectacular, leaving your breathless almost each time. Stops are suggested by guides where you can relax and take time taking photographs and sharing friendly conversation with the locals. There was even a time where we just stopped at a random place, staring at the horizon, admiring the beautiful view.

It was certainly fun taking a pleasurable outdoor activity with my friends, and I highly suggest that you do this with your group of friends as well. Even if it rained, we all just had so much fun, we just laughed it off. On the next stop, we were offered to enter a local person’s home and relax, change clothes or even take a shower. It was quite healthy for both the body and the soul, simply an astonishing experience.

A Read for Basic Mountain Bikers

One of the fun ways to exercise and relax is through biking. Not only that you burn fats, but you get to go to places and explore. For starters you begin at your own neighborhood. Then after a few weeks you can start going around your city. However, this would require a mountain bike. Mountain bike are specially made with gears that can help you maintain the right amount of speed and force when biking uphill or downhill. Be sure to choose the correct mountain bike that fits you. This must have the right weight (not too heavy especially if you’re a female) and the correct height.  If you are purchasing a new bike, try it first so as to know if that’s the perfect bike for you.

Now that you have your chosen your ideal mountain bike, and is now ready to bike around the city, make sure to have the safety gears which are very essential. You must have an enclosed shoes, helmet, knee pads, gloves, wrist protection, and padded shorts, elbow pads and shin guards. There are other protective gears but what I have mentioned are more or less the basics. Other than these, make sure your bike is full equipped with a bell, and lights. The brighter your bike at night, the better since this would protect you from other vehicles. Also, make sure you have a water bottle to hydrate yourself every now and then. Lastly, always be ready with a handy first aid kit.

Once you have the correct protective gears when biking, this would give you the confidence to overcome your fears on mountain biking. You are now ready to face possible dangers. Other than having the protective gears, it is ideal to plan where you are going. By doing so, you would already know your preferred route. Best if you also install a mobile application that would guide you and track your biking exercise. There are a lot of bike apps nowadays that shows you how many calories you’ve already burned plus the distance and speed you are taking. This would also add up to your confidence since you have a GPS tracking (just in case you get lost). However, it’s still best to bike along with a group of friends. This is more fun and you would have people who could guide you especially when you are a beginner.

Don’t forget to always maintain your bike, make sure to check the tires, oils and breaks. When you are out to bike always be mindful on any changes that you may hear or feel when biking.  Never risk if you feel there is something odd.

Knowing that you are prepared adds up to your ability to go mountain biking. You may stumble down a few time at the beginning but when you have the correct gears you have nothing to fear when you try again. We all know the saying – try and try again until you succeed. This is still effective especially in mountain biking.

Some great tips for beginners:

The Great Thing about Biking in New Zealand

There are a lot of things I love about New Zealand, apart from the fact that the bike trails are amazing and always have jaw-dropping views; the whole country does not have any pests that could kill you. Sure there might be a few things that could bite you, maybe make something itch, but nothing too bad or excruciatingly painful. There aren’t any real big concerns to exterminate them once found in the house, unlike back home where a black widow would be best responded to a call to a good Pest Control Company Jackson.

The last time I biked through a path, or more specifically lost my way through a bike path, I had no concerns of something creeping or crawling up to me and giving me a fatal nibble. The country is so safe when it comes to pests and critters that I have thought of moving permanently to live here. A place where dangerous people, plants, and animals are at a relatively low enough level to raise children without worrying too much of what could hurt them while playing outside.

Biking in New Zealand allowed me to learn a lot about the country; there is no one great thing about the country, but the fact that there’s a lot fewer things that could kill you is probably at the top of the best things about it.

Biking Tour Gone Bad

I was very lucky to have the opportunity to visit my family in Charlotte. It was a big family reunion, and everyone from the side of my father’s family is invited. Knowing me, I wouldn’t pass the chance to give my bike a roll when an opportunity presents itself.

Aside from meeting the rest of my family, I joined my friend Will in touring some of the attractions in Charlotte on our bikes, of course. Some bike trails are too good to be ignored that we decided to stay the night in hostels and continue our journey the next day. Our trip was one for the books, and I promised Will that we would do something the same when he visits me in New Zealand.

The only problem I had during those overnight stay at the hostel was that it seems that I brought bed bugs to our host’s house. I am worried to cause a major infestation at my grandfather’s home, so I came clean and confessed that I saw some bed bugs on my things. I even got some bites to show for.

My grandmother was so upset about the situation, as any grandma who has kept their house in spic-and-span condition through the years, bed bug infestation is a major problem. I just promise to foot the bill for pest clearing operations. We visited the site of the pest control company recommended by my uncle and scheduled an inspection.

The good news is that the bed bugs were not located anywhere else in the house. They applied bed bug treatment in the bedroom I was using, and I disposed of my bag and all the clothing I used during my biking tour. The pest control guys will conduct a follow-up visit to ensure that there is no bed bug infestation.

I went back to New Zealand after the reunion and I emailed Will a list of the places we can explore once he visits me. I am sharing it with you here because I am too excited.

Around the Mountains Cycle Trail

Every cyclist should try this trail when they are in New Zealand. This trail features the rustic landscape of Southland. This route takes two to three days to complete. But no need to worry because this trail is not isolated and there a lot of shops and people to meet along the way.

Queen Charlotte Track

This ride features the beautiful Queen Charlotte and Kenepuru Sounds. The unique experience in this track is the boat ride. There are water taxis that can shuttle your things in between your accommodation making it convenient for you to concentrate on your ride. The entire track could take two to three days to complete.

Roxburgh Gorge Trail

This trail could be completed in one day. However, due to the distance of the place, you need to book your biking tour ahead of time. A part of the track is inaccessible by land, so you need to ride a water taxi. There is a one-day pass that needs to be paid per person to access the trail. There is also no food and drink sellers along the path, so you need to bring them or eat before you start your journey.

There are other excellent cycling trails around New Zealand that you can explore.

Biking For Kids

Biking is a good recreational activity for families. However, families with small kids are discouraged from doing this activity anymore. They think that the kids will be left out so they just opt for another activity or just stay home. This shouldn’t be the case because biking is perfect for kids. In fact, a lot of fond memories of childhood are from biking. It is not a bad idea to teach your kid to bike at a young age.

Kids as young as four can start biking. At this age, they already develop their balance and leg strength. They can now also follow sets of instructions. However, some kids may not be physically and emotionally prepared for the rigor of riding the bike. Usually, it is the fear of falling or bumping into a dumpster that keeps them from trying. If this is the case with your child, do not pressure him if he is still not ready. Be encouraging and supportive. In time, he will have the courage to give it a go.

Once your child has mustered the strength to try, here are tips to help you teach your child to bike.

Buy a bike

Do not be enticed by fancy designs. It might be the most expensive bike but if it is not the right size, it will make it hard for your child to learn. Ask your child to ride the bike and check if his feet can touch the ground with straight legs. If it does, this is the right bike height for him. The wheels size should run between 14-16 inches. If you can, select a bike that can stop by pedaling backwards.

Read this helpful article that explains what to look for when buying the first bike for your kid.

Be safe 

Look for an open space area away from moving traffic. Parks with well-trimmed grass or paved playgrounds are good options. Like in our place, this company has always kept our area free from unnecessary clutter because of their efficient service. One less thing for a child and parent to worry about. Do not forget to let your child wear safety gears such as a helmet. Make sure the helmet fits the child well. Knowing that he is safe will add to his confidence.

Keep it slow but sure

Ask the child to try to balance with the bike without pedaling. This will help him be aware and practice his balance. Teach him about the parts of the bike and most importantly, how to stop it. Once he’s comfortable, it is pedal time! Hold the back of the bike or the child’s nape to keep him steady. Ask the child to keep looking forward while pedaling. Do not let go until you feel the child is well-balanced and moving at a good speed. It will take a lot of tries so be patient and encouraging.

Let go

Once he is able to pedal the bike without your support, it is time to teach your child how to do it by himself. Ask your child to straddle the bike with one foot on the pedal, while the other one is on the ground. He needs to get ready to pedal and mount the bike at the same time. It is a bit tricky at first but he will soon get the hang of it. Your kid may learn to bike in a few minutes or weeks. There is no rush so stop when it is not fun anymore.

Six Ways of Pest Control for Bike Cycling Shoes

bike-cyclingWhen I was still a kid living in Oregon, I loved bike cycling with my friends during the weekends. We started our routes in nearby roads that our parents permitted us to go. When we got to high school, we were free to ride in nearby mountain tracks that weren’t too dangerous for our level of riding. Those were the best times of my young life, and the passion for adventure never left me even though I have moved to New Zealand for work. During my free time, I still engage in mountain trail cycling—it would be a waste not to with all the possible choices in this place.

 

To be an efficient cyclist, I always looked to it that I took care of my bike and gear, especially my shoes. I have always been a sweaty person, and the dirt easily got into my precious cycling shoes. Also, it always hassled me that some pests could get into the shoes if they are not anti-pest or at least well taken care of. Luckily, my mother was very efficient in taking care of things, and she passed on some tips on how to prevent pests from infesting my shoes:

 

#1 Wash the Shoes

Washing my pairs is always a must. Once I had the time or if the shoes got a bit dirty from the sweaty activity, I see to it that they were cleaned inside and out. Some cycling shoes can be washed with a washing machine so I carefully read each pair’s list of instructions. Believe me, the time reading all those instructions are worth it because they saved a lot of time. But in case they weren’t for the machine, I just use regular soap and water. The bugs inside the shoes die from all the cleaning.

 

#2 Don’t Store When Wet

This would be a pretty obvious thing. Aside from the possible mold getting into the shoes, some pests like to live in humid or wet places so the bugs would really make them their living space. I always made sure that my pairs would dry out completely after washing. When they got wet from the rain, I either washed them immediately or let them air dry first instead of storing them in a cramped place.

 

#3 Put Them in Ziplocs or Boxes

I remember my mother using Ziploc bags for almost anything, because those are really great for keeping things safe especially for those which will not be used for months. At present, I still buy Ziploc bags for safe storage, particularly for my shoes and gear. But in case I run out, I just use clean and tightly secured boxes to keep my shoes safe.

 

#4 Use Cedar balls, Not Mothballs

Ever heard of cedar balls? I wouldn’t know of them if it wasn’t for my good ol’ mother. They are like mothballs with keeping the bugs out, but the cedar ones are non-toxic and safer. Personally, I don’t have sensitive skin, but it would really bother me if I put harmful chemicals near my skin. Another plus point for the cedar balls: those never made my shoes smell awful. Yay for freshly scented shoes!

 

#5 Bang the Bugs Out

Pest control Portland Oregon - NPMGREENPROThis tip is kind of a no-brainer, but it does work for me. Whenever I inspect some bugs in my pairs, I always shook them out by banging them on a wall outside or even just somewhere outdoors. They eventually fall out so I made sure to step on them. They wouldn’t breed more of their kind with that.

 

#6 Use a Non-toxic Insect Spray

There are a lot of green insect sprays available in our regular supermarket so it wasn’t really difficult to find one suitable for my cycling shoes. I bought those insect sprays that are non-toxic to avoid harmful chemicals getting in contact with my feet. After spraying, I let them air-dry then I bang the dead bugs out. Voila! No more creepy crawlies.

So far with these tips, I had minimal problem with the possible pests in my gear and shoes. I guess I should thank my mother for that. Maybe she could have been a better cyclist than me.

One Man’s Tool is Another Man’s Pleasure

New Zealand is such a beautiful place. Gorgeous sceneries and friendly locals. The beach has such pristine coastlines. If you’re ever thinking of visiting there, I suggest that you do. There are many ways to explore that wonderful area. If you’re young and also eager to do a little bit of exercising while you’re at it, I suggest bike cycling in New Zealand.

There are a lot of guides that would love to offer their services. Some are even free if you go in a group. You’ll get to see recommended locations for the best and most interesting sceneries they have to offer. A few years ago, my friends and I went there for a bike cycling tour. The experience just really struck us, and we have always wanted to take another memorable experience some time in the future.

Bike cycling is indeed a great recreational activity for all ages. One can go for bicycle touring, which my group of friends did in the past. One can also join organized rides, even mountain biking, among many other possibilities. Some even just uses the bike to relax and have a wonderful afternoon bike. Bike cycling with a group of friends is quite different though, and even more so if you are all doing it in a different country.

In 1817, Drais invented what he called the Laufmaschine. Translation, bicycle, technically it means running machine. Baron Karl von Drais, was a civil servant to the Grand Duke of Baden in Germany. Karl was one of the most creative German inventors, unfortunately he was mercilessly ridiculed by his contemporaries. Never the less, I’m quite grateful for his invention which led many people to enjoy this wonderful activity called bike cycling.

The very first bicycle was nothing like you see the ones today. Eventually it was improved to the more comfortable version that we all use. Discovering the convenience of such an invention, many people uses it daily for either working, exercising, or for pleasure. We created activities to further utilize the bicycle through racing competition or outdoor touring activities.

Bike cycling tours, in my opinion is one of the best activities you should do. Certainly, New Zealand is quite the best place for a bike cycling tour. However, there are also several other places you can tour using the bike. I strongly suggest you go with your friends on New Zealand, if you’re looking for a fun and memorable outdoor group activity.

I can only imagine that the inventor of the bicycle created this vehicle in order to shorten the time used to get from one point to another, with the most convenient method. Today, not only quite a lot of people are doing this, some has even went above and beyond with the capabilities of this wonderful invention. A lot of people may have ridiculed and viewed him as mentally incapable. However this may be due to jealousy or it’s just breaking the common sense at that time. Today, we see this invention as a convenient tool to help us with our work, please, and daily lives.

Biking in Utah While Waiting For My Wife to Recover

biking-utahIt has been quite a year for me, while the end of the year is still two more months away; I just ended an interesting adventure. Earlier this year my wife decided that she was going to get some work done on her body, and being the supportive husband I decided to agree, but in return I was to choose where she would get the surgery, last year I had the pleasure to gain the friendship of a doctor from Utah, he was visiting New Zealand as part of his biking around the world tour. After accompanying him around, he told me that if I am ever in Utah, he would make some time to ride with me and show me around the state.

I called him and asked if he was acquainted to a plastic surgeon, and that I might have the chance to go and visit him and take up his offer. Luckily enough he knew a good number of great surgeons, and told me that in Utah mommy makeover surgery can relatively cost less than most places, and that he was also very much free during our stay.

I told my wife about the good news, and informed her that I would be biking around the state while she gets the procedure and spend time recovering. She allowed me to do so only if I were to pay for her stay in a resort of her choosing, which was only seem fair.

During my stay, my friend took me around and showed me a lot of great places, like Bike Zion and Eagle Mountain Bike Park. There were so many places to visit and discover in Utah,  my favorite place was Capitol Reef Scenic Drive, though we needed to pay three dollars to enter, it was very much worth it. Biking through eight miles of historic sites, rock formations hundreds of millions of years old, which so much natural beauty you just want to go again.

There were times that I was worried about my wife’s recovery, though every time I called she kept on telling me not to worry and that I should enjoy my trip, as she was enjoying hers.  She also reassured me by telling me that the doctors my friend introduced us to, did a great job and that she was recovering very well.

Knowing that everything was fine with my wife, I was free to enjoy every moment of the natural beauty of our biking adventure. Though we spent a good amount of time in Utah, I felt that the whole adventure ended quickly, but as we returned home I carried with me great memories of a wonderful outdoor adventure with a good friend.

I am also happy with the work the doctors did on my wife, apart from recovering well, she looked stunning. I can certainly say that when it came to plastic surgery, Utah might be one of the best places to go.