Anapa Travel Discussion and Events

ANAPA Co Logo.

September 18 2015 – On Ward to Cheq 40
Hayward Travel Blog › entry 1 of 6 › view all entries
September 18th, 2015 – by: world-traveller123

Bike in car – ready to go
September 18 2015

So get home from work this morning and now off to the town to Hayward Wisconsin for a big mountain bike race. It is called the Cheq 40, one the biggest attended events in North America. Anyways with only 30mins sleep, i leave and make the drive towards Wisconsin.
On route stop at the Trading Post in Grand Portage. Take advantage of a nice deal on Rockstar drinks, 3 for 4 dollars can beat that. So from then on i guzzle all the rockstars to stay alert on my drive down. I stop in Grand Marais to admire the nice day and the waterfront. So nice. From then on ward to my next stop is in Two Harbours, for some gas. Also i buy a sandwich and some milk, yum yum. So now i am set. I drive rest of way through Duluth all way to Hayward.

Feeling good but tired at this point. I arrive to my motel which is the Northern Pines Motel. Different place then where i stayed before. Just wanted to try different accomodations here. As i been here a few times. I will post my full review in the review section.
Anyways after eating a healthy meal of Mcdonalds as i was desperate for calories. I drive all way to Cable to get my number plate. The excitment is starting. Get in my line and then walk to the big tent to get my number plate, t shirt and of course information. finally I am checked in. Ready to go. I walk around check out the vendores near by. Then head back to Hayward. as i need to get a small ride in and go to sleep early. So i stop at this grocery store in Cable, nice store. I get some chips, and some cookies and muffins, yay. Then back to my motel in Hayward to get some bike time. I go out and ride around Hayward a bit. and things are looking good. So back to motel and sleep rest of night. To get ready for the day of racing. oh ya i set up my bike for the race. Number plate is 1259. Yay.

Cheq 40 – Race Day and The Way It is
Hayward Travel Blog › entry 5 of 6 › view all entries
September 19th, 2015 – by: world-traveller123

the mass start
September 19 2015

I love amusement parks. Better yet, I love amusement parks with fast roller coasters that have big climbs and huge drops. The ones that give you a permanent smile as you fly up, down and around. It sounds like I’m talking about Great American but this past weekend it was the Cheq 40.
My 2nd attempt at the coveted Cheq 40 was this past weekend. I have heard about the event for years.
I rode the event last year for my first time. Having much experience bike racing, this event is always an honour to be part of. Having done a few 100 milers as well, thinking this would be easy. Its not, 40miles you do so different then to a 100 miler

How could you not? It is a staple in the Midwest cycling scene and part of the Midwest Triple Crown.

My next recon session was the morning of the race as I rode across Rosie’s field and over the first couple of climbs.

The roll out of this event is quite neutral but is the most exciting part as your in a mass start of close to 3000 other riders. You roll down Main St. in Hayward with people cheering you on.The noise on main street was deafening, people blowing horns, shaking cowbells, and screaming for the riders! As we rounded the corner to the highway I saw the guy changing a flat. You know, that guy that you see at every race changing a flat a half-mile after the start. Glad it wasn’t me. Two miles into the race I saw the guy that crashed- the guy that undoubtedly got hung up on a wheel and face planted on the highway. Then onto HWY 77 where the real action starts.
Here i figure i am at line of 1259 so i take advantage of the room and go hard and get as far to the front as possible
We arrived at the first section of Birkie trail and riders were jammed up, fighting to climb the hill to Rosie’s Field. I cautiously stayed to the far left and avoided getting boxed in. Handlebar to handlebar, wheel to wheel we clawed our way up. We spread out in the field and I was encouraged by familiar faces of spectators. Another rider was down and the pack split in two, like a school of fish, merging on the other side. From here we began the rolling up and down of the Birkie hills. I tried to work the downward momentum to carry myself up the proceeding ascents but we were still too tight to ride free, I had to get over to the side and ride thicker, grassy sections to pass slower riders.

As the hills rolled I stood in the saddle and slid my weight back while flying down, down, down. I visualized being “one with the bike” to lessen the impact of rocks, roots, washboard and gopher holes. Like a white tail deer, “Cali” and I floated over debris. By mile 12 I realized the miles were ticking away and I wasn’t even thinking thoughts, my body just moved. It occurred to me that I had found an energy and power inside of me that I hadn’t felt in over a month. I was busting past other riders on climbs- riders I never saw again! Up, down, grass, rocks, sand, up, up, down.

Mile 17 came were still on Birkie trails and ahead of me was a massive descent, a wicked washboard from one side to the other. I was approaching 33 miles per hour when I felt my last water bottle jump out of its cage and hit my calf! Thankfully my pedal stroke was just right at that moment and my leg slammed it back in place.
Close call! But I reined in a little to avoid losing my last hydration. Soon after, we reached a fire lane. The first section was quite boggy with sand but eventually firmed up and I was able to give her grief in there to make up for lost time.

Mile 27 appeared quickly and we were given aid and a cautionary description of the approaching Seely Fire Tower Hill. But even that couldn’t get me down. I knew I only had 13 miles left and the beast within me was roaring. I was going to finish.ire Tower Hill came, I clawed my way up, and it was over. The stories of horror I had heard seemed exaggerated as I looked at this hill and thought, “Is this really it?” Don’t get me wrong- it’s a bugger, but when you know that it’s the last great obstacle, you hunker down and you get ‘er done! it is not a bad hill actually.
After Fire Tower we had about 8 miles left. We were once again back on the Birkie trails and the climbs loomed.
The last section turned back onto double track with sandy, rocky climbs and debris from loggers. It looked like the Apocalypse in there. The ground showed evidence of bicycle destruction, chains lay in the dirt, tubes littered the trail, I even saw a wheel skewer. I prayed my own demise wouldn’t come at mile 38 1/2. I could barely haul the bike up the terrain but knowing I was so close gave a sense of security. I could almost hear the announcer, the crowd roaring, smell the food, and was that the clanging of a cowbell in the distance?
So ya I have to say I didnt push my self hard enough in this event. but did a personal best from last year.

OH ya i forgot about the ending, you round the corner and get onto this old ski hill of the old Telemark ski resort and its more like a smooth, grassy downhill to the finish. So finally I finish. I am like an overall of 703 out of 1899 which is more then halfway. which is ok. not bad, but for sure im back for the Cheq 2016. And with this place will bump me up a start gate for sure.

September 20 2015

Well not much to say on this day. just a feeling of getting things done. And having completed this mission. So head on out and make travel back home. I can see other people with bikes on their cars leaving as well. I think many left the night before.
Drive is quite uneventful. but a nice stop in Grand Marais to admire the waterfront of course.

Exciting World Travels

Visit Carnival.com to see our Caribbean cruises.

Exciting World Travels

Training for Endurance Sports and Your Immune System
Endurance athletes think they represent the pinnacles of health with their ability to perform multiple sports longer than other mere mortals. As the miles get logged away (although only 45.5 percent keep training logs1), they believe their superpowers become greater and greater. They willfully subject themselves to the same, and sometimes more, insults to their immune systems as other athletes. This progresses nicely until suddenly it seems they find themselves sick, unable to tap into the top gear, unable to be at their best. Toward the end of last year, triathlon research stalwarts Veronica Vleck, Gregoire Millet, and Francisco Alves published a review article of all of the possible health effects of triathlon training and racing that have occurred in the research literature. The original paper can be found in the Journal of Sports Medicine (New Zealand)2, providing many insights into how the immune system may be affected by the level of activity in which an athlete is engaged. Through several different mechanisms, the immune system may be depressed during intense endurance activity, resulting in a loss of superhuman abilities. Interestingly, though, many of those same “negative effects” from training might actually be associated with adaptation. Some of the interesting observations the team found in analyzing the literature will be highlighted here, along with practical, research-based methods for minimizing illness during the thick of training, some of which may surprise you.

What We Actually Know
While the review article provides wonderful insight into what has been found through research, it only shows that part of the puzzle. Coaches, physiologists, and their athletes all see different degrees of empirical evidence that they may feel under the weather. It appears that when we track athletes, the rate of illness in competition season is between 35 and 38 percent3. While that may compare favorably to the general population if we assume a competition season of 3 to 6 months (the average adult experiences 2 to 4 colds annually4), endurance athletes are seeking “optimum” health, not just “better” health. I submit that even this is not good enough. This is especially true if you are an elite athlete reading this article whose livelihood depends upon your body.

Endurance athletes, by the nature of their training, put themselves in danger of a decreased immune response. According to one study, triathletes may show a decreased number of monocytes and white blood cells5 (WBCs, disease-fighting immune cells). A drop in the number of leukocytes (WBCs) to below 4000 per microliter of blood is often tied to an infection. This infection could be otherwise undetectable and essential to combat if it lasts for too long, especially when compounded by other stressors.

The research team also highlighted that an increase in intensity of running, even more than cycling, was correlated with an increase in upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) and increased congestion6. It also appears that decreased immune function occurs quite frequently in the window immediately after a competition7, increasing again the susceptibility to URTI. It’s still even a possibility that prolonged intense training could result in DNA damage8.

What are we to do to maintain and even fine-tune our abilities? Methods to attenuate the negative impact on the immune system vary from increased monitoring of the body to nutritional interventions. More exciting methods will be continuously coming down the pike as more health-tracking devices enter the market.

Stress Indicators and Interventions
The stress of training and competition has a great impact on our ability to fight infection. It appears that intense training depresses the immune system to a greater extent than does moderate training. This is according to the position statement9 published in 2011 in Exercise Immunology Review on the association of immune function with exercise. Those feelings of malaise and fatigue that occur after intense bouts might actually be related to increased levels of inflammation markers10, same as occur during URTIs11. If this stress continues or worsens, ignoring the consistent signs of what scientists call “non-functional overreaching,” the effects could result in overtraining or, worse, adrenal fatigue.

Adrenal fatigue is essentially when the glands on top of your kidneys give up on trying to produce enough hormones to keep up with the stress in your training and/or life in general. The Adrenal Stress Index12 is a list of what to monitor that includes levels of IgA, a marker for your recent exposure to pathogens. A basic blood panel will reveal pertinent information in this regard.

Psychological stress has been shown to suppress our immune system13 and given the stress related to competition, it follows that we would have an increased risk of infection during these times. Taking care to track your stress levels and even take control over our responses will help us to ward off infection. One unconventional method for improving stress tolerance is the timing of periodic exposure to the cold. Cold thermogenesis while swimming or in the shower will also help fight stress and harden the body to fight better in the future14. While this may not prevent the cold, it will certainly enhance your ability to deal with it and knock it quickly.

Measures of morning heart rate variability (HRV) have shown promise in revealing increase susceptibility to illness and even injury in athletes, particularly in swimmers15. In fact, URTIs are roughly one week from their onset when an athlete sees a sudden rise followed by a sharp fall in HRV over a couple of days. Tracking this variable daily is quickly becoming a more common method to assess readiness to train based upon nervous system fatigue. Plus, it utilizes tools that most endurance athletes already own (i.e. a heart rate chest belt and a smartphone).

Nutritional Interventions
Better nutrition will generally improve16 our ability to fight infection. But what do we do as endurance athletes seeking to eek out the last bit out of our bodies? Yes, we can take our multivitamin supplements and they may improve our abilities to fight infection17 (well, not always18), but we are looking for the best of the best. Hyperphysiologic doses of specific vitamins, especially vitamin C, lack consistent support19 in the research, though many still swear by them. Many endurance athletes have turned to low carbohydrate diets in an effort to decrease inflammation and fight disease. This has worked for many, though ultra-marathoners training on a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet do not necessarily see mitigated inflammation20 as many may believe. However, the optimal strategy for health and performance I think has yet to be elucidated21.

Further, previous research found that intense exercise in a glycogen-depleted state does have a negative impact on circulating stress hormones, leading to decreased immune function22. It is my opinion that training in a depleted state is not necessarily detrimental23, so long as it is timed correctly and used appropriately. I think that glycogen-depleted training can serve to increase our toughness and resilience, even strengthening our immune systems24. Fasting actually improves our immune system and protects our brains25 even without the added running or activity26. I suggest timing these depleted sessions in the beginning of the season before the training becomes too intense or the necessity to perform at a high level increases. Place these sessions early in the morning in a fasted state, either fully rested or after an intense session the previous evening, depending upon the adaptation you are seeking.

Scientific studies continue to reveal the connection between the immune system and gastrointestinal function27, with increased damage to the gut resulting from endurance running. Generally, protein intake that matches your individual requirements will help to optimize your ability to recover, which by extension, means your ability for your immune system to tackle inflammation. Specifically, the amino acid glutamine has positive effects on the lining of the gut28 and immune system function29 because of its prevalence in the blood stream and in intestinal tissues. Check out Ilana Katz’s entry30 about protein intakes related to immune function on this same blog. Bovine colostrum has seen several research inquiries, with many of them turning out positive results. In particular, the consumption of colostrum surrounding31 a particularly intense training block aids in maintaining the integrity of both the lining of the gut and the immune system, causing a reduction in risk for URTIs. Of course, the fully story of the link between the gut and the immune system32 is only in its opening chapters.

Practical Advice
The topic of how exercise affects your immune system is necessarily complicated. Make sure to take practical steps to find out more about your body and its reactions to various stressors. See your physician to obtain a baseline on your immune function and repeat blood tests periodically, at least once per year. In the interim, measure your stress responses using HR variability paying particular attention to when there are large fluctuations in scores related to food, exercise, or exogenous stressors. Take tangible steps, incorporating stress management techniques, and engage in “hardening” activities, to improve your resilience. Improve your nutrition and ensure an appropriate protein intake. Explore each of these topics in greater detail to endure at the pinnacle of health throughout your season.

References

Vleck, V. (2010). Triathlete Training and Injury Analysis: An investigation in British National Squad and age-group triathletes. VDM Verlag Dr. Müller.
Vleck, V., Millet, G. P., & Alves, F. B. (2014). The Impact of Triathlon Training and Racing on Athletes’ General Health. Sports Medicine (Auckland, N.Z.), 44(12), 1659–1692. doi:10.1007/s40279-014-0244-0
Pyne, D. B. (2005). Characterising the individual performance responses to mild illness in international swimmers. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 39(10), 752–756. doi:10.1136/bjsm.2004.017475
Mossad, S. B. (n.d.). Upper Respiratory Tract Infections. Www.Clevelandclinicmeded.com. Retrieved August 3, 2015, from http://www.clevelandclinicmeded.com/medicalpubs/diseasemanagement/infectious-disease/upper-respiratory-tract-infection/Default.htm
Horn, P. L., Pyne, D. B., Hopkins, W. G., & Barnes, C. J. (2010). Lower white blood cell counts in elite athletes training for highly aerobic sports. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 110(5), 925–932. http://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-010-1573-9
Robson-Ansley, P. J., Blannin, A., & Gleeson, M. (2006). Elevated plasma interleukin-6 levels in trained male triathletes following an acute period of intense interval training. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 99(4), 353–360. http://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-006-0354-y
Libicz, S., Mercier, B., Bigou, N., Le Gallais, D., & Castex, F. (2006). Salivary IgA Response of Triathletes Participating in the French Iron Tour. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 27(5), 389–394. http://doi.org/10.1055/s-2005-865747
Wagner, K.-H., Reichhold, S., & Neubauer, O. (2011). Impact of endurance and ultraendurance exercise on DNA damage. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1229(1), 115–123. http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1749-6632.2011.06106.x
Walsh, N. P., Gleeson, M., Shephard, R. J., Gleeson, M., Woods, J. A., Bishop, N. C., et al. (2011). Position statement. Part one: Immune function and exercise. Exercise Immunology Review, 17, 6–63.
Croft, L., Bartlett, J. D., MacLaren, D. P. M., Reilly, T., Evans, L., Mattey, D. L., et al. (2009). High-intensity interval training attenuates the exercise-induced increase in plasma IL-6 in response to acute exercise. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 34(6), 1098–1107. http://doi.org/10.1139/H09-117
Bachert, C., van Kempen, M., & Höpken, K. (2001). Elevated levels of myeloperoxidase, pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines in naturally acquired upper respiratory tract infections. European Archives of Otorhinolaryngology, 258(8), 406–412.
http://www.diagnostechs.com/Pages/AdrenalStressIndex.aspx
Segerstrom, S. C., & Miller, G. E. (2004). Psychological stress and the human immune system: a meta-analytic study of 30 years of inquiry. Psychological Bulletin, 130(4), 601–630. http://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.130.4.601
Siems, W. G., van Kuijk, F. J., Maass, R., & Brenke, R. (1994). Uric acid and glutathione levels during short-term whole body cold exposure. Free Radical Biology & Medicine, 16(3), 299–305.
Hellard, P., GUIMARAES, F., Avalos, M., HOUEL, N., Hausswirth, C., & Toussaint, J.-F. (2011). Modeling the Association between HR Variability and Illness in Elite Swimmers. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 43(6), 1063–1070. http://doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0b013e318204de1c
Chandra, R. K. (1997). Nutrition and the immune system: an introduction. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 66(2), 460S–463S.
Barringer, T. A., Kirk, J. K., & Santaniello, A. C. (2003). Effect of a multivitamin and mineral supplement on infection and quality of life: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Annals of Internal Medicine, 138(5), 365–371.
Braakhuis, A. J. (2012). Effect of vitamin C supplements on physical performance. Current Sports Medicine Reports, 11(4), 180–184. http://doi.org/10.1249/JSR.0b013e31825e19cd
Gleeson, M., Nieman, D. C., & Pedersen, B. K. (2007). Exercise, nutrition and immune function. Journal of Sports Sciences, 22(1), 115–125. http://doi.org/10.1080/0264041031000140590
Bartley, J., Munoz, C., Kunces, L., Saenz, C., Creighton, B., Freidenreich, D., et al. (2015). Influence of Habitual Carbohydrate Intake on Exercise-Induced Inflammation in Ultra-Endurance Athletes. The FASEB Journal, 29(1 Supplement).
Noakes, T., Volek, J. S., & Phinney, S. D. (2014). Low-carbohydrate diets for athletes: what evidence? British Journal of Sports Medicine, 48(14), 1077–1078. http://doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2014-093824
Gleeson, M., Nieman, D. C., & Pedersen, B. K. (2007). Exercise, nutrition and immune function. Journal of Sports Sciences, 22(1), 115–125. http://doi.org/10.1080/0264041031000140590
Van Proeyen, K., Szlufcik, K., Nielens, H., Ramaekers, M., & Hespel, P. (2011). Beneficial metabolic adaptations due to endurance exercise training in the fasted state. Journal of Applied Physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985), 110(1), 236–245. http://doi.org/10.1152/japplphysiol.00907.2010
Radak, Z., Chung, H. Y., Koltai, E., Taylor, A. W., & Goto, S. (2008). Exercise, oxidative stress and hormesis. Ageing Research Reviews, 7(1), 34–42. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.arr.2007.04.004
Bruce-Keller, A. J., Umberger, G., McFall, R., & Mattson, M. P. (1999). Food restriction reduces brain damage and improves behavioral outcome following excitotoxic and metabolic insults. Annals of Neurology, 45(1), 8–15.
Faris, M. A.-I. E., Kacimi, S., Al-Kurd, R. A., Fararjeh, M. A., Bustanji, Y. K., Mohammad, M. K., & Salem, M. L. (2012). Intermittent fasting during Ramadan attenuates proinflammatory cytokines and immune cells in healthy subjects. Nutrition Research, 32(12), 947–955. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.nutres.2012.06.021
Round, J. L., & Mazmanian, S. K. (2009). The gut microbiota shapes intestinal immune responses during health and disease. Nature Reviews Immunology, 9(5), 313–323. http://doi.org/10.1038/nri2515
Reeds, P. J., & Burrin, D. G. (2001). Glutamine Metabolism: Nutritional and Clinical Significance. Proceedings of a symposium. October 2000, Bermuda. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 131(9 Suppl), 2447S–2602S.
Calder, P. C., & Yaqoob, P. (1999). Glutamine and the immune system. Amino Acids, 17, 227–241.
http://home.trainingpeaks.com/blog/article/nutrition-and-the-immune-system
Davison, G. (2012). Bovine colostrum and immune function after exercise. Medicine and Sport Science, 59, 62–69. http://doi.org/10.1159/000341966
http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=nutrition+gut+immune&btnG=&hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C10&as_ylo=2011
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Karl Riecken is the Coordinator of Performance Testing and Exercise Physiologist at the USA Triathlon Performance Training Center-Certified National Training Center in Clermont, FL. There, he conducts analyses of athletes, from biomechanical and physiological perspectives, utilizing the data in custom-built training programs that he offers through TrainingPeaks. Karl also serves as an adjunct faculty member of the University of Central Florida’s Sport and Exercise Science Department instructing courses on fitness assessment and evaluation.
SUBSCRIBE
Get the latest training
advice
Join over 550K
athletes and coaches

Triathlon Running
Cycling Coaching
SUBSCRIBE
Take your next step:
start
training now with TrainingPeaks

SIGN UP FREESELECT A TRAINING PLANFIND A COACH

Exciting World Travels

 2015 Road Race Results
Barrie Loop da Loops #2 August 8 /15 +1 6 cloudy
Category Name Place Points Time
Category 1 Aaron Arndt 1 25 1:39:10
Keith Ailey 2 20 1:40:32
Josh Gillingham 3 16 1:40:32
Chris Mitchell 4 13 1:41:44
Geoff Chambers Bedard 5 11 1:43:21
Joel Gerry DNF
Category 2 John Rescigno 1 25 1:41:40
Matt Lapointe 20 1:41:40
Dave Pinner 16 1:41:45
Chris Nisula 13 1:45:46
Dave Krasnichuk 11 1:45:46
Berto Pasciullo 10 1:41:57
Chris Morden 9 1:49:29
Len Tuhkanen 8 1:51:23
Lorne Morrow 7 1:51:25
Kayla Kjellman 6 1:51:25
Thomas Quinn DNF
Category 3 Iain Mettam 1 25 1:29:09
Marty Saranpaa 2 20 1:29:09
Fred Bauer 3 16 1:29:27
Exciting World Travels

2015 Time Trial Results
Aug 6 /15 20 miler Lakeshore Drive
+16C cloudy
Name Time Avg speed
Female Senior Kayla Kjellman 0:55:03 35

Female Veteran Marilyn Ailey 0:53:43 35.90
Nicki Wilberforce 1:04:16 30.00
Pam Saranpaa 1:17:15 24.90

Female Masters Sherry Lynn Hill 0:57:01 33.50

Female Super Masters Linda Browning Morrow 1:09:22 27.80

Male Junior Ate Saranpaa 1:15:41 25.50

Male Senior Josh Gillingham 0:45:12 42,7
Matt Lapointe 0:52:53 36.50
Byron Ball 1:01:49 31.20

Male Veteran Keith Ailey 0:48:05 40.10
John Rescigno 0:48:57 39.50
Doug Scott 0:54:13 35.60
Marty Saranpaa 0:54:18 35.50
Jeff Wark 0:57:00 33.80
Steve Tanquay 1:02:50 30.70

Male Super Masters Lorne Morrow 0:51:26 37.50
John Esposti 0:53:38 36.40
Iain Mettam 0:58:57 32.70

2-UP Team Chris Mitchell Geoff Chambers Bedard 0:48:42 39.60
Aaron Arndt Sarah Baum 0:52:40 36.60

Exciting World Travels

Exciting World Travels

Exciting World Travels

Our Commitments
We are passionate about the Tanzania and the continent. That is why we want to maximise the benefits that tourism can bring, whilst protecting the heritage, culture, and wildlife of the country.
We also feel strongly that our work should directly benefit the communities that our clients visit wherever possible through sustainable travel, environmental protection and social projects.

Exciting World Travels

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1xgq3iWhYBhsWY_PvrYEzwv0hG5eaYOvKH_wWXgni1Qc/edit#gid=1138053162

Exciting World Travels

Exciting World Travels

Welcome to Iconic African Safaris

You Can Find Us at http://iconicafricasafaris.com/

We Are a Great New Safari Company in Tanzania. At Your Service

Iconic_logo3a

Exciting World Travels

 2015 Road Race Results
Barrie Loop da Loops #1 July 4/15 +18C sunny calmish
Category Name Place Points
Category 1 Josh Gillingham 1 25
Chris Mitchell 2 20
Sorry for delay in results Dave McIsaac 3 16
Aaron Arndt 4 13
If anyone has times on GPS please forward them to race director or text me Rodney Puumala 5 11
Keith Ailey 6 10
Jeff Chambers Bedard 7 9
Category 2 Bernie Lacourcier 1 25
John Rescigno 20
Chris Nisula 16
Robert Boileau 13
Roberto Bucci 11
Dave Krasnichuk 10
Doug Scott 9
Doug Thiesson 8
Berto Pasciullo 7
John Esposti 6
Lorne Morrow 5
Andrew Conly 4
Chris Hegge 2
Jason Dewar 1
Category 2 Women Marilyn Ailey 1 25
Sarah Baum 2 20
Category 3 Fred Serratore
Thomas Quinn
Iain Mettam
Andrew Mitchell
Fred Bauer
Exciting World Travels

June 18/15 Moose Hill Climb +18C 3.2 km due to construction on bridge
Category Name Time Avg Speed
Female Senior Sarah Baum 0:09:33 20.1
Aili Saranpaa 0:23:21 8.2
Female Veteran Lori Knott 0:09:01 21.2
Nicole Reid 0:10:33 18.1
Pam Saranpaa 0:14:06 13.6
Male Junior Ate Saranpaa 0:11:56 16
Male Senior Josh Gillingham 0:06:47 28.3
Chris Mitchell 0:07:20 26.1
Jyles LaBoeuf 0:07:28 25.7
Male Veteran Keith Ailey 0:07:07 26.9
Matt Lapointe 0:07:51 24.4
John Rescigno 0:07:59 24
Marty Saranpaa 0:10:03 19.1
Male Masters Dave Krasnichuk 0:07:56 24.2
Male Veteran Berto Pasciullo 0:08:08 23.6
Bob Shine 0:08:19 23
Male Super Masters Frank Wilson 0:10:28 18.3
Exciting World Travels

 2015 Road Race Results
June 13/15 +19 sunny
Hymers Classic
Category Name Time Place Points
Category 1–69km Josh Gillingham 1:49:26 1 25
Aaron Arndt 1;49;55 2 20
Dave MacIsaac 1:50:22 3 16
Joel Gerry 1:51:33 4 13
Keith Ailey 1:51:43 5 11
Bernie Lacourcier 1:51:58 6 10
Phil Brown 1:52:37 7 9
Chris Mitchell 2:01:49 8 8
Emile Hamm 2:03:00 9 7
Category 2–69km John Rescigno 1:56:20 1 25
Dave Pinner 1:56:20 2 20
Matt Lapointe 1:56:33 3 16
Robert Boileau 1:56:41 4 13
Roberto Bucci 1:56:45 5 11
Dave Krasnichuk 1:56:51 6 10
Doug Thiesson 2:06:22 7 9
Karen Rosehart 2:17:35 8 8
Kayla Kjellman 2:20:55 9 7
Sarah Baum 2:27:33 10 6
Marilyn Ailey 2:32:44 11 5
John Esposti DNF
Category 3–50km Lorne Morrow 1:35:10 1 25
Thomas Quinn 1:35:47 2 20
Chris Hegg 1:35:51 3 16
Marty Saranpaa 1:37:47 4 13
Tim Knutson 1:38:05 5 11
Iain Mettam 1:44:08 6 10
Fred Bauer 1:45;02 7 9
Ate Saranpaa 2:08:52 8 8
Womens Only Category -50km Marianne Stewart 1;38:45 1 25
Lori Knott 1:44:09 2 20
Alison Thompson 1:45:02 3 16
Lis Salmon 1:46:41 4 13
Pam Saranpaa 5 11
Aili Saranpaa 6 10
Exciting World Travels

Jun 11/15 Gov’t Road 10 km +19 sunny
Category Name Time Avg Speed
Female Senior Sarah Baum 0:17:54 33.5
Amy Kwarka 0:19:08 31.3
Aili Saranpaa 0:24:07 24.8
Female Veteran Marilyn Ailey 0:15:37 38.4
Karen Rosehart 0:16:03 37.3
Lori Knott 0:16:32 36.2
Alison Thompson 0:18:22 32.6
Michele Verdenik 0:19:17 31.1
Nicole Reid 0:20:12 29.7
Michelle Allain 0:20:24 29.4
Pam Saranpaa 0:20:41 29
Female Masters Lis Salmon 0:18:06 33.1
Sue Hay 0:18:34 32.3
Female Super Master Linda Browning Morrow 0:19:47 30.3
Male Pre Junior Ewan Stewart 0:24:02 24.9
Male Junior Ate Saranpaa 0:21:23 28
Male Senior Jyles Laboeuf 0:14:54 40.2
Chris Mitchell 0:15:15 39.3
Brodie Pasciullo 0:16:24 36.5
Male Veteran Keith Ailey 0:13:32 44.3
John Rescigno 0:14:49 40.5
Joel Gerry 0:14:56 40.1
Roberto Bucci 0:14:59 40
Rodney Puumala 0:15:02 39.9
Doug Scott 0:15:07 39.7
Dave MacIsaac 0:15:11 39.5
Matt Lapointe 0:15:15 39.3
Liam Dowds 0:16:15 36.9
Thomas Quinn 0:16:33 36.2
Jean Louis Charette 0:16:35 36.1
Marty Saranpaa 0:16:37 36.1
Steve Tanguay 0:18:08 33
Byron Ball 0:18:34 32.3
Male Masters Darrell Hay 0:15:22 39
Berto Pasciullo 0:15:35 38.5
Dave Krasnichuk 0:15:45 38
Lud Krysl 0:17:27 34.3
Male Super Masters John Esposti 0:15:22 39
Lorne Morrow 0:15:49 37.9
Iain Mettam 0:17:00 35.2
Exciting World Travels

Results of Blacksheep XC 2  – June 3 2015

Group: All
Place    Bib    Name    Group    Team    Time    ±
1.    104
Ruthie Zavitz
Lambateur Female        00:05:48.7    00:00:00.0
2.    102
Rhae Thomas
Lambateur Female        00:05:51.5    00:00:02.8
3.    103
Mikkai Jones
Lambateur Male        00:07:37.4    00:01:48.7
4.    105
Callum Macisaac
Lambateur Male        00:09:06.0    00:03:17.3
5.    54
Eli Greenwood
Male Sport 0-15        00:36:04.9    00:30:16.2
6.    51
Alexander Randall
Male Sport 0-15        00:37:22.0    00:31:33.3
7.    63
Peter Macgregor
Male Sport 0-15        00:37:51.0    00:32:02.3
8.    58
Christa Campbell
Female Sport 16-20        00:40:19.2    00:34:30.5
9.    7
Kai Meekis
Male Advanced 0-15        00:40:19.9    00:34:31.2
10.    57
Alexandra Campbell
Female Sport 16-20        00:40:21.2    00:34:32.5
11.    9
Jacob Lacosse
Male Advanced 21-35        00:40:26.9    00:34:38.2
12.    29
Kevin Marier
Male Advanced 16-20        00:40:28.8    00:34:40.1
13.    64
Joshua Zavitz
Male Sport 0-15        00:41:03.6    00:35:14.9
14.    125
Emile Hamm
Elite Male 16-20        00:41:41.6    00:35:52.9
15.    28
Tristin Radley-Hansen
Male Advanced 16-20        00:41:42.6    00:35:53.9
16.    123
Colin Pendziwol
Elite Male 21-35        00:42:35.2    00:36:46.5
17.    13
Keegan Tremblay
Male Advanced 16-20        00:43:06.8    00:37:18.1
18.    132
Josh Gillingham
Elite Male 21-35        00:43:13.6    00:37:24.9
19.    124
Matt Lapointe
Elite Male 36+        00:43:24.4    00:37:35.7
20.    11
Thomas Hoshizaki
Male Advanced 21-35        00:43:27.8    00:37:39.1
21.    12
Kevin Throop
Male Advanced 21-35        00:43:29.0    00:37:40.3
22.    52
Oak Thomas
Male Sport 0-15        00:43:54.2    00:38:05.5
23.    127
Chris Mitchell
Elite Male 21-35        00:44:45.6    00:38:56.9
24.    22
Eric Bailey
Male Advanced 36+        00:45:05.0    00:39:16.3
25.    25
Matt Pavlik
Male Advanced 21-35        00:45:55.5    00:40:06.8
26.    2
Erik Schlyter
Male Advanced 0-15        00:45:57.3    00:40:08.6
27.    5
Nicholas Randall
Male Advanced 0-15        00:46:05.6    00:40:16.9
28.    27
Dave Sokolowski
Male Advanced 21-35        00:46:11.7    00:40:23.0
29.    34
Cory Schick
Male Advanced 36+        00:46:18.3    00:40:29.6
30.    129
Keith Ailey
Elite Male 36+        00:46:35.9    00:40:47.2
31.    32
Jordan Davidson
Male Advanced 21-35        00:46:36.0    00:40:47.3
32.    128
Zack Kondrat
Elite Male 16-20        00:47:18.7    00:41:30.0
33.    131
Rodney Puumala
Elite Male 36+        00:47:40.4    00:41:51.7
34.    4
Michael Thomas
Male Advanced 36+        00:47:56.3    00:42:07.6
35.    121
Mark Maranzan
Elite Male 21-35        00:48:16.9    00:42:28.2
36.    20
Thomas Quinn
Male Advanced 36+        00:48:31.0    00:42:42.3
37.    30
Randy Berg
Male Advanced 36+        00:48:34.6    00:42:45.9
38.    31
Steve Zavitz
Male Advanced 36+        00:48:38.3    00:42:49.6
39.    1
Simon Haslam
Male Advanced 21-35        00:48:41.6    00:42:52.9
40.    3
Kevin Schlyter
Male Advanced 36+        00:49:28.8    00:43:40.1
41.    56
Kyran Klazek-Schryer
Male Sport 0-15        00:50:46.0    00:44:57.3
42.    19
Paul Cormier
Male Advanced 36+        00:50:48.4    00:44:59.7
43.    8
Christopher Tenhunen
Male Advanced 21-35        00:51:20.5    00:45:31.8
44.    23
John Rescigno
Male Advanced 21-35        00:51:22.7    00:45:34.0
45.    18
David Krasnichuk
Male Advanced 36+        00:51:26.0    00:45:37.3
46.    24
Laura Inkila
Female Advanced 16-20        00:51:28.4    00:45:39.7
47.    15
Jarek Tremblay
Male Advanced 16-20        00:52:38.5    00:46:49.8
48.    17
Christian Kachkowski
Male Advanced 21-35        00:52:42.2    00:46:53.5
49.    130
Marilyn Ailey
Elite Female 36+        00:52:45.4    00:46:56.7
50.    122
Paul Inkila
Elite Male 36+        00:53:39.4    00:47:50.7
51.    33
Lesly Moulson
Female Advanced 21-35        00:54:06.6    00:48:17.9
52.    61
Jordan Geils
Male Sport 0-15        00:55:42.6    00:49:53.9
53.    62
Jamie Geils
Male Sport 36+        00:55:45.7    00:49:57.0
54.    60
Nathan Coceanic
Male Sport 0-15        00:56:41.9    00:50:53.2
55.    126
Dave Pinner
Elite Male 36+        00:57:15.1    00:51:26.4
56.    65
Hannah Zavitz
Female Sport 0-15        00:58:24.0    00:52:35.3
57.    26
Seija Grant
Female Advanced 21-35        00:58:24.4    00:52:35.7
58.    55
Maureen Page
Female Sport 36+        00:58:32.7    00:52:44.0
59.    21
Paula Tremblay
Female Advanced 36+        01:03:46.9    00:57:58.2
60.    16
Katherine Morency
Female Advanced 21-35        01:04:55.3    00:59:06.6
61.    53
Dylan Fisk
Male Sport 0-15        01:08:05.2    01:02:16.5

Exciting World Travels

Mud N Mayhem Race Report

The Blacksheep MTB Club kicked off the 2015 XC racing season with our annual Mud N Mayhem festival race on May 24. First, we would like to thank our platinum sponsors, Petrie’s Cycle and Sports, Fresh Air Thunder Bay, & Rollin’ Thunder. We would also like to thank Maltese for donating the delicious burgers! A huge thank you goes to all of our wonderful volunteers and, of course, all participants!

Conditions for this year’s event were relatively dry (although compared to last year anything would feel dry) with beautiful temperatures in the mid 20s. There were lots of smiles in the finish area, with general praise for the courses set by XC Race Director Gerald Hamm. The Sport class did a longer than usual race, while Elite had an added section of technical single track.

Young racer Emile Hamm proved he is ready to race the veterans, winning the Elite Male category while Marilyn Ailey took Elite Women. Laura Inkila continued her winning ways from last year winning Advanced Female with new comer Jacob Zavitz on top in Advanced Male. Youngster Peter Macgregor was first in Sport Male with Sheila Sundell winning Female Sport. Biggest smiles were on the Lambateur podium with Hannah and Ruthie Zavitz going one – two, while Willem Abbink won Lambateur Male on a course entirely within the Trowbridge playground area.

As usual a satisfying BBQ hamburger lunch and mini bike races completed the festivities.

Next up…the twisty turns of Shuniah Mines on June 3. Course details have been posted on facebook as well as the website!

Make sure to check us out on instagrm @blacksheepmtb

Results at http://racesplitter.com/races/03193F07D

Photos at
https://plus.google.com/…/112503…/albums/6152554857496410385

Exciting World Travels

 2015 Road Race Results
May 30 /15 Rossyln/Hymers – 71 km
Name Time Place Points
Cat 1 Dave MacIsaac 1:55:06 1 25
Josh Gillingham 2 20
Joel Gerry 3 16
Rodney Puumala 4 13
Phil Brown 5 11
Aaron Arndt 2:00:00 6 10
Bernie Lacourcier 2:00:08 7 9
Cat 2 Chris Nisula 2:05:45 1 25
Matt Lapointe 2 20
Robert Boileau 2:06:10 3 16
Berto Pasciullo 2:11:20 4 13
Dave Krasnichuk 2:11:25 5 11
John Rescigno 2:13:53 6 10
Andrew Conly 2:23:10 7 9
Cat 3 Tim Knutson 2:33:30 1 25
Iain Mettam 2:38:24 2 20
Womens Only Kayla Kjellman 2:33:30 1 25
Sarah Baum 2:35:00 2 20
Exciting World Travels

You may have guessed we had some technical issues with the results for Mud & Mayhem last weekend. Results are now posted at the link below.
If you notice something not quite right, please send an email to info@blacksheepmtb.com explaining the problem. We’ll do our best to correct it. Or let the timing crew know at our next XC event – Shuniah Mines June 3, Registration open at 6pm.

Group: 7 Selected
Place    Bib    Name    Group    Team    Time    ±
1.    23
Jacob Zavitz
Male Advanced 16-20        00:40:50.1    00:00:00.0
2.    7
Jacob Lacosse
Male Advanced 21-35        00:40:51.3    00:00:01.2
3.    24
Kai Meekis
Male Advanced 0-15        00:42:48.4    00:01:58.3
4.    2
Matt Pavlik
Male Advanced 21-35        00:45:00.0    00:04:09.9
5.    16
John Rescigno
Male Advanced 21-35        00:46:30.0    00:05:39.9
6.    15
David Krasnichuk
Male Advanced 36+        00:46:32.0    00:05:41.9
7.    1
Keegan Tremblay
Male Advanced 16-20        00:48:20.0    00:07:29.9
8.    19
Steven Anderson
Male Advanced 21-35        00:48:40.0    00:07:49.9
9.    8
Erik Schlyter
Male Advanced 0-15        00:49:00.0    00:08:09.9
10.    20
Robin Lessard
Male Advanced 36+        00:49:20.0    00:08:29.9
11.    22
Steve Zavitz
Male Advanced 36+        00:49:22.0    00:08:31.9
12.    27
Cory Schick
Male Advanced 36+        00:49:42.1    00:08:52.0
13.    17
Thomas Quinn
Male Advanced 36+        00:49:44.2    00:08:54.1
14.    12
Dave Sokolowski
Male Advanced 21-35        00:49:55.5    00:09:05.4
15.    4
Christopher Tenhunen
Male Advanced 21-35        00:50:38.8    00:09:48.7
16.    26
Randy Berg
Male Advanced 36+        00:50:52.1    00:10:02.0
17.    9
Kevin Schlyter
Male Advanced 36+        00:51:23.5    00:10:33.4
18.    29
Colin Lee-Mitchell
Male Advanced 16-20        00:54:06.9    00:13:16.8
19.    5
Kade Berlinquette
Male Advanced 0-15        00:55:41.4    00:14:51.3
20.    13
Laura Inkila
Female Advanced 16-20        00:56:10.3    00:15:20.2
21.    28
Lesly Moulson
Female Advanced 21-35        00:57:47.0    00:16:56.9
22.    14
Nathan Petrie
Male Advanced 21-35        01:01:57.1    00:21:07.0
23.    3
Paula Tremblay
Female Advanced 36+        01:03:59.8    00:23:09.7
24.    25
Chantal Paquette
Female Advanced 36+        01:04:18.2    00:23:28.1
25.    21
Katherine Morency
Female Advanced 21-35        01:07:27.9    00:26:37.8
26.    11
Seija Grant
Female Advanced 21-35        01:11:25.6    00:30:35.5

Exciting World Travels

THESE ARE ACTUAL COMPLAINTS RECEIVED BY “THOMAS COOK VACATIONS” FROM DISSATISFIED CUSTOMERS:

1. “On my holiday to Goa in India, I was disgusted to find that almost every restaurant served curry. I don’t like spicy food.”

2. “They should not allow topless sunbathing on the beach. It was very distracting for my husband who just wanted to relax.”

3. “We went on holiday to Spain and had a problem with the taxi drivers as they were all Spanish.”

4. “We booked an excursion to a water park but no-one told us we had to bring our own swimsuits and towels. We assumed it would be included in the price.”

5. “The beach was too sandy. We had to clean everything when we returned to our room.”

6. “We found the sand was not like the sand in the brochure. Your brochure shows the sand as white but it was more yellow.”

7. “It’s lazy of the local shopkeepers in Puerto Vallartato close in the afternoons. I often needed to buy things during ‘siesta’ time — this should be banned.”

8. “No-one told us there would be fish in the water. The children were scared.”

9. “Although the brochure said that there was a fully equipped kitchen, there was no egg-slicer in the drawers.”

10. “I think it should be explained in the brochure that the local convenience store does not sell proper biscuits like custard creams or ginger nuts.”

11. “The roads were uneven and bumpy, so we could not read the local guide book during the bus ride to the resort. Because of this, we were unaware of many things that would have made our holiday more fun.”

12. “It took us nine hours to fly home from Jamaica to England. It took the Americans only three hours to get home. This seems unfair.”

13. “I compared the size of our one-bedroom suite to our friends’ three-bedroom and ours was significantly smaller.”

14. “The brochure stated: ‘No hairdressers at the resort.’ We’re trainee hairdressers and we think they knew and made us wait longer for service.”

15. “When we were in Spain, there were too many Spanish people there. The receptionist spoke Spanish, the food was Spanish. No one told us that there would be so many foreigners.”

16. “We had to line up outside to catch the boat and there was no air-conditioning.”

17. “It is your duty as a tour operator to advise us of noisy or unruly guests before we travel.”

18. “I was bitten by a mosquito. The brochure did not mention mosquitoes.”

19. “My fiancée and I requested twin-beds when we booked, but instead we were placed in a room with a king bed. We now hold you responsible and want to be re-reimbursed for the fact that I became pregnant. This would not have happened if you had put us in the room that we booked.”

BE AWARE …

THEY WALK AMONG US and THEY VOTE!

Exciting World Travels

ANAPA 2

Exciting World Travels

Executive summary
Hotels, airlines and others in the travel and hospitality industry are in a fierce bid for a piece of the 4.9 billion global leisure travel pie1 know they must reach consumers at every step of the look-to-book process and the journey beyond.

Most recently, that’s on any number of mobile devices, from phones to tablets. Travel bookings on these devices grew 20 percent in the first half of 2014, compared to a scant two-percent growth for bookings on desktops, according to the personalized ad firm Criteo1. The result? A proliferation of thoughtfully designed apps that provide users streamlined mobile functionality.

The next frontier is wearables. Just as mobile devices have freed consumers to communicate on the go by giving them mini-computers that fit in their pockets, wearables like smartwatches are moving essential updates to the wrist. For travelers, that means there’s no longer the need to pull out a smartphone to check a flight status, show a boarding pass or receive weather updates.

This report will explore how wearable devices can enhance a traveler’s journey from the minute she arrives at the airport to her hotel stay, which brands are leading the race to capture this segment, and what those in the industry that are interested in getting started need to know before jumping into the fray.

Exciting World Travels

2015 Time Trial Results
April 23/15 River Road 10km +6 sunny
Category Name Time Avg Spd Km/Hr
Female Senior Kailey Trodd 0:19:00 31.5
Julia MacArthur 0:21:18 28.1
Female Veteran Marilyn Ailey 0:17:03 35.1
Lori Knott 0:18:01 33.3
Michele Verdenik 0:20:49 28.8
Pam Saranpaa 0:23:10 25.8
Female Masters Sue Hay 0:21:34 27.8
Male Junior Ate Saranpaa 0:24:09 24.8
Male Senior Josh Gillingham 0:14:13 42.2
Jyles Leboeuf 0:16:04 37.3
Chris Mitchell 0:16:27 36.4
Jean Louis Charrette 0:17:06
Male Veteran Keith Ailey 0:14:37 41
Darryl Hay 0:16:42 35.9
John Rescigno 0:16:56 35.4
Thomas Quinn 0:18:05 33.1
Liam Dowds 0:18:08 33
Marty Saranpaa 0:18:28 32.4
Male Masters Lud Krysl 0:18:27 32.5
Male Super Masters Iain Mettam 0:18:40 32.1
Frank Wilson 0:21:23 28
4/30/2015 Rossyln Road 20 km +15 sunny
Category Name Time Speed
Female Junior Sarah Hay 0:41:20 29
Female Senior Kayla Kjellman 0:34:15 35
Kailey Trodd 0:36:41 32.7
Michelle Allain 0:42:47 28
Female Veteran Lori Knott 0:34:46 34.5
Marianne Stewart 0:35:40 33.6
Pam Saranpaa 0:46:11 25.9
Alison Thompson DNF
Female Masters Sherry Lynn Hill 0:35:19 33.9
Sue Hay 0:39:22 30.4
Male Junior Ate Saranpaa 0:50:13 23.8
Male Senior Josh Gillingham 0:27:05 44.3
Jyles Laboef 0:31:26 38.1
Chris Mitchell 0:31:36 37.9
Jean Louis Charette 0:34:04 35.2
Male Veteran Keith Ailey 0:28:47 41.6
Dave Pinner 0:29:34 40.5
John Rescigno 0:31:53 37.6
Doug Thiessen 0:32:02 37.4
Darryl Hay 0:32:34 36.8
Liam Dowds 0:35:00 34.2
Thomas Quinn 0:35:21 33.9
Jeff Wark 0:36:53 32.5
Male Masters Bob Shine 0:31:36 37.9
Dave Krasnichuk 0:33:44 35.6
Lud Krysl 0:37:22 32.1
Male Super Masters John Esposti 0:31:25 38.1
Frank Wilson 0:39:56 30
Exciting World Travels

ears roll down her face as she answers the question: If Humane Society International (HSI) did not save these meat dogs in South Korea, what would happen to them?

As a South Korean residing in the U.S., this question tugs at Sung Girtler’s core emotions.

“They will end up on the kitchen table, on top of tables to be used as meat,” she says in a soft voice.

Sung adopted one of the 57 meat dogs that HSI rescued and transported to the U.S. in March.

Sung’s family have named their new dog Jin Joo, which means Pearl in Korean.

“I think Jin Joo and the other 57 dogs are very lucky,” Sung says, still with tears in her eyes.

HSI and their partner groups have re-homed thirty-two of the fifty-seven dogs rescued from a South Korean dog meat farm.

Twenty-five of these dogs are still at HSI’s partner shelters or with foster families.

“Many of these are the heart-worm-positive dogs and those who need extra care to help them recover and adjust to life in the States,” a HSI spokesperson said.

Once these dogs are in full health physically and psychologically they will be adopted out.

Out of the 16 dogs taken in by San Francisco SPCA, 12 are have been adopted, two are in foster care, one is receiving medical treatment, and want is available for adoption to the right family.

“We particularly looked out for people who had experience with dogs, who had a quiet home and that had time to spend with them,” co-president of San Francisco SPCA Dr Jennifer Scarlett said.

Katie Mickey adopted “meat” dog Sunshine from the San Francisco SPCA.

“This was an opportunity where I could do something and save someone’s life and bring her into our family. She literally would have died if she had not been saved by everyone at the Humane Society,” she says as her voice starts to tremor, while she pats Sunshine.

Mickey said that despite Sunshine being classified as a “meat” dog in South Korea she is a normal dog.

“I think it is important to judge each dog as an individual versus lumping them into groups and pretending that [meat] dogs are different to other dogs, because they are not.”

“They do make great pets and Sunshine is the perfect addition to our family,” she said.

James Dress, director of behavior and training at the East Cast SPCA, said that when the rescued dogs arrived they were very shy.

“Even the social dogs would not leave their crates,” he said.

Staff and skilled volunteers worked with the dogs to undo the psychological trauma they endured and integrate them into living with families in the U.S.

“They are getting used to new people, taking food from people which a lot of these dogs would not do when they came. We go in and work with the dogs everyday,” Dress said.

“These dogs are different in that while many of them are not comfortable interacting with humans, you can see they are conflicted. They seem like they want to connect with people.”

Ginelle Ng said that when she first adopted Coda he was often petrified and often cowering.

“He was so fearful of everything and anyone. When he went to my house he just went to the corner of my room and just did not want to be touched.”

Coda, like many of these dogs, has developed pro-actively via personalised training at the Puppy Manners Class and living in a loving family environment.

“I am just happy to see him grow and have a life that he should be having.”

Ng said the dogs and the adopters are getting all the required support from HSI and their partners.

“The dogs got all the medical and behavioural attention they needed and people are adopting them. I am one of them.”

Nancy McKenney, CEO of Marin Humane Society, said that she is happy to see the transformation with the 13 dogs they took in.

“We have had great success. We are just amazed by the turn around the dogs have shown. At the same time we have devoted a lot of staff time and resources to work with the dogs.”

McKenney said she and other partners support the work and methodology of HSI.

“HSI is trying to convince these farmers to farm something that is more humane and give them the resource and plants in exchange for these dogs. That felt like a very humane and reasonable approach.”

Mickey said that she is grateful that Sunshine’s life was saved but it was still difficult to think about all the other dogs that look like her that will be killed and eaten in South Korea.

“It is not about villainizing someone who has a different practice or trade than we did, it is about what we can do to reduce suffering for all animals.“

Humane Society International has successfully re-homed all 55 of the 80 dogs rescued from South Korean dog meat farms this year with the remainder in foster homes or undergoing medical treatment.

Via these adoptions, HSI have dispelled the myth that “meat dogs” are different to pet dogs.

Exciting World Travels

Book your African safari now 7Day Tanzania safari and Go for 10Day safaris. 40% off
Offer discount valid for 1st April to 30th May Only
First come First will serve.

Higlight of the daily to daily itinenary

10Day Safari to Tarangire- Lake Manyara- Serengeti- Ngorongoro- Lake Eyasi& Lake Natron.

Tour Overview:

A Ten day safari take you to Experience the best of Tanzania has to offer, Have your own local guide and private jeep 4×4 open roof. Set out each day in search of big cats, wondrous giraffes and playful colobus monkeys. Trek through some of the country’s greatest National Parks for a chance to encounter wildebeests, warthogs, baboons, hippos and elephants. And, when you’re craving a little human connection, meet the Datoga and Barbaig tribesmen who still forge spears and jewelry from local silver.

Tour type: Youth and Family, Nature& Wildlife, Extreme Sport. Availability 95% Sure, Book today.

Tour Code:ATT10

Minimum Rate Per Traveller: Start from US$ 1590

Best time: All year around

Duration:10Day/ 9night

Departures: Daily

Departing From: Arusha

Departure Time: 0800 Hrs (possible to leave earlier than)

Minimum Travelers: 2

Language: You would have a guide who he is speaking One language among these (English, Italian, French, Spanish, and Germany).

Transportation Method: Land cruise/ Land rover, 4 by 4 cars models are available.

Itinerary:

Day 1:Arrival day

Arrival at the Kilimanjaro International Airport CODE: JRO you will welcomed by ANAPA Company representative who will usher you into a waiting vehicle and transfer you to the Hotel in Arusha. Our representative will have a short safari briefing session with you at the Hotel and leave you to relax and have dinner.Hotel category, LUXURY: Mount Meru Hotel. COMFORT: Impala Hotel. EASY:Le Jacaranda Hotel.

Day 2:Arusha- Lake Manyara

Breakfast during morning at Hotel with your picnic lunch, drive to Lake Manyara National park for game viewing it takes 2 Hours and 20minutes drive to a main gate.Lake Manyara is ideal for viewing birdlife with over 400 species and Tree Climbing lions dont miss this. Dinner and overnight stay at LUXURY: Ngoro-Ngoro Farm House or Lake Manyara Serena. COMFORT: Country Lodge or Bouganville Safari Lodge or Octagon Lodge similar category. EASY: Panorama Safari Camp or Camping at the Jambo Lodge similar category.

Day 3:Lake Manyara- Serengeti

After breakfast, drive to Serengeti National Park through Ngorongoro Conservation Area, it takes 4 to 5hours by driveride with optional visit to Olduvai Gorge.Serengeti, Tanzania’s most famous and largest national park and one of the most spectacular parks in the world. The “endless plains” cover some 14,763 square kilometers including large plains, short grass plains, kopjes, and lakes Game viewing en-route, Dinner and overnight stay at LUXURY: Serengeti sopa Lodge or Serengeti Serena Lodge. COMFORT: Lobo Wildlife lodge or Ikoma bush Camp or Seronera wildlife lodge similar category. EASY: Camping at Seronera public campsite or Camping at Mbuzi mawe similar category.

Day 4& 5:Serengeti

Full day game drive viewing in Serengeti, meals and overnight at selected above Lodges/ Campsites.

Day 6:Serengeti – Ngorogoro

Walk up Early morning 0600A.M game drive in Serengeti National Park and back for breakfast 0930A.M then drive to Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Ngorongoro is the largest intact crater in the world abundant with wild game including elephants, rhinos, cheetahs, lions, leopards, and hyenas. Dinner and overnight stay at LUXURY: Ngorongoro sopa Lodge or Ngorongoro Serena Lodge. COMFORT: Ngorongoro Wildlife lodge or similar category. EASY: Camping at Simba public Campsite .

Day 7: Ngorongoro Crater rim

After early breakfast, with picnic lunch, descend into the Ngorongoro Crater floor for game viewing. In late afternoon or evening hours ascend on driving to your hotel for dinner and overnight stay at LUXURY: Ngoro-Ngoro Farm House or Ngorongoro Exploreans Lodge. COMFORT:Crater Forest Tented Camp or similar category.

Day 8: Ngorongoro- Lake Eyasi

After breakfast, go for a nature walk on the Ngorongoro highlands. Later drive to Lake Eyasi, home to the Hadzabe people, a reclusive tribe of bushmen who live as they did 10 000 years ago. The Hadzabe are among the last hunter-gatherers of Africa. You will be fascinated by their clicking language and hunting techniques. The dinner and overnight will be at COMFORT: Tindiga Tented Camp or Kisima ngeda Tented Camp similar category. EASY: Camping at Tindiga Campsite.

Day 9:Lake Eyasi- Tarangire

Early morning breakfast at your camp go for hunting and gathering exercise with Hadzabe Bushmen. On afternoon hours you would open your Lunch boxes then drive to Tarangire National Park, game viewing en-route to the lodge/Camp for dinner and overnight stay.LUXURY: Tarangire Sopa Lodge or Tarangire Tree top lodge. COMFORT: Tarangire Safari Lodge or Roika tented Lodge. EASY: Camping at Tarangire public Campsite.

Day 10:Tarangire- Back Arusha

Morning game viewing in Tarangire National Park, Tarangire is a beautiful park filled with Baobabs and Acacias with a large variety of game such as zebras, elephants, giraffes, and waterbuck.After game drive back to Arusha Town. Depending on your plans you may Extend to Relax at Zanzibar or transfer to the airport for onward flight.

Safari Include:

– Flying Doctors Emergences

– Full board accommodation whilst on safari in the hotel category.

– Private guide

– Private 4 x 4 safari jeep with pop up roof for game viewing

– Transfers in both directions between the International Airport

– Park fees

– Crater fees

– Airport Arrival/Departure Meet and Greets at the airport

– On safari : Vehicles equipped with ice chest with mineral water, Complementary of printed Safari hat and T-shirt

– Government taxes, VAT and service charges relating to accommodation and included meals

Excludes:

o International flight ticket

o Tanzania Visa: per person on arrival, USA and CANADA passport holders USD.100

o Personal Expenses (e.g. laundry, telephone, beverages, etc.)

o Meals not listed above

o Optional Tours (balloon rides USD. 500 per person etc)

o Tips and any items of personal nature.

Exciting World Travels

1 DAY ARUSHA CITY EXCURSION.
Trip overview:

This is a popular day trip, requiring only some three hours and little or no transport. On this trip you will get an idea of day-to-day life in one of the most colorful cities of Tanzania. People of many different tribes and religions live together in Arusha.

clock tower round about arusha

On foot, our guide will begin somewhere around the Clock Tower and usually begin walking northwards in an anti-clockwise direction, taking in such sites at the Natural History Museum, various monuments, celebrating independence, the local market, and some craft shops. A town tour typically takes some 2-3 hours and covers around 4km.Tours are completed on foot with one of our guides. The cost is USD 20 per person.

Exciting World Travels

Daily Promotions for Anapa TRavel – Check it out

1 DAY ARUSHA CITY EXCURSION.
Trip overview:

This is a popular day trip, requiring only some three hours and little or no transport. On this trip you will get an idea of day-to-day life in one of the most colorful cities of Tanzania. People of many different tribes and religions live together in Arusha.

clock tower round about arusha

On foot, our guide will begin somewhere around the Clock Tower and usually begin walking northwards in an anti-clockwise direction, taking in such sites at the Natural History Museum, various monuments, celebrating independence, the local market, and some craft shops. A town tour typically takes some 2-3 hours and covers around 4km.Tours are completed on foot with one of our guides. The cost is USD 20 per person.

Exciting World Travels

Food Fight: High Carb or High Fat Diet For Endurance Athletes
Wednesday, April 22, 2015 | By Asker Jeukendrup

Email this article
Food Fight: High Carb or High Fat Diet For Endurance Athletes
There is a lot of debate about “training low”, low carb diets, Paleo diets, Atkins diets, fasted training, keto diets, etc. and the more traditional high carbohydrate approach. It seems that people are in one of these two camps and there is little or no middle ground. The low carb group shouts, “carbohydrate is bad”, while the high carbohydrate group, you shout “you must carboload”! The purpose of this short article is to provide some clarity. We will take an evidence based approach to the questions and start to analyse the issue. It is a difficult topic to address in 900 words and therefore I will refer the reader to my blogs on www.mysportscience.com.

The issue gets contaminated a little by the fact that people may use certain dietary approaches for different purposes. The two extremes are: an elite athlete who wants to perform well in an endurance event and a couch potato trying to eat to lose weight or be more healthy. These are completely different purposes and it would be wrong to assume that two completely different problems should be solved with one common solution.

Let’s have a look at the theories first:

A Brief Overview of the High Carbohydrate Theory
In the 1960’s it was discovered that carbohydrate (muscle glycogen) plays an important role in fatigue. It was also discovered that carbohydrate intake during exercise can improve endurance capacity. Essentially, when carbohydrate is available, endurance is improved. When consecutive days of hard training are performed, carbohydrate will reduce symptoms of overtraining.

There are many studies to support these observations and it is further supported by a clear physiological mechanism: At high exercise intensities (>80 percent of maximal oxygen uptake; VO2max), carbohydrate is the main fuel, regardless of the diet.

A Brief Overview of the High Fat Theory
Our bodies are adapted to carbohydrate because the Western diet contains a relatively large amount of carbohydrate. Therefore we have become more dependent on carbohydrate as a fuel. If we adapt to a diet that is high in fat and low in carbohydrate over the course of many weeks, our bodies adapt and will become better at oxidizing fat.

There are several studies that show that a low carbohydrate diet result in increases in fat oxidation. Some of this is simply because the body is now depleted of carbohydrate, but some of this is a genuine adaptation. There are not many studies that have investigated the effects on performance. The studies performed will fit into one of these categories:

Short duration studies that show no changes or even decreases in performance with low carb diets
Long duration studies with large variability in outcomes
Studies with performance measurements at very low intensities you would not find in any real life event
There is some truth in both theories although there is more evidence available supporting the carbohydrate theory, especially when it comes to performance effects. However, below are some more interesting observations:

Interesting and Important Observations

When a high carbohydrate diet is followed, fat oxidation is suppressed a lot of the time and fat metabolism may not be as developed as when a low carbohydrate is followed.

The reverse is also true. When a low carbohydrate diet is followed, the body’s ability to use carbohydrate as a fuel is diminished. In turn, this can have detrimental effects on high intensity exercise where carbohydrate is the primary fuel. A few studies clearly demonstrated impaired performance during periods of intensified training with a low carbohydrate diet (1), or high intensity exercise (2).

To me, this is a bit like the question which is better, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) or endurance training? They both have specific advantages and disadvantages. Would you recommend an athlete to do only HIIT rides or that they only do long endurance rides? Or would you put together a program with different stimuli for the body and mix up the training a little?

When consuming a low carbohydrate diet, transporters in the intestine will be downregulated. As a result, less carbohydrate can be absorbed. This may be the reason that athletes who avoid carbohydrate, often get gastro-intestinal problems and run out of energy in longer endurance events.

High Carb or High Fat?

My suggestion is to abandon the idea that one diet is significantly better than another. There is not one perfect diet. The composition of a diet should depend on the goals of the athlete, the goal of a workout, and the individual’s makeup.

High carb or high fat? We don’t need to choose one OR the other. We can have BOTH and this will allow us to develop our fat metabolism as well as carbohydrate metabolism. Let’s develop the art of integrating nutrition and training and not see them as two different independent entities.

What you eat and how much you eat should depend on what you just did and what you are going to do. Sometimes an athlete may want to “train low” (train low refers to low carbohydrate in the diet and/or during training) to make sure fat metabolism gets challenged and ultimately optimized. Other days an athlete may want to train high intensity, focus more on quality or train the bodies capacity to absorb carbohydrate. Those days there should be a focus on carbohydrate, before and during training. Why would you do the same thing over and over again, day after day?

Exciting World Travels

Athletes tend to have laser-like focus when it comes to their workouts and training. As an athlete, you are always looking for ways to tweak your training so that you can improve overall fitness, body composition, endurance, strength, power and speed.

What if it was possible to help assist in improving all of these factors without having to train more or train harder? Well, it is very possible to do so. One of the main keys is to put some focus and attention towards fueling the body properly prior to each workout. Most of you lead very busy lives and as a result, once a workout is completed, you’re off to your next task for the day. And, many times, this means that the proper recovery fuel did not find its way into the mix. Nutrition is a very dynamic process; it’s not static. Therefore, the fuel you are putting into your body post workout is not just helping to assist in recovery from that specific workout. Rather, this recovery fuel is also helping to assist in fueling our bodies properly for tomorrow’s workout. Here are a few refueling tips that will help to improve recovery which in turn will help to improve performance.

Load and Reload Glycogen
Glycogen is the storage form of glucose that is stored in the liver and muscles. Reloading and replenishing glycogen stores following a workout is one of the main keys to recovery success. The main macronutrient that will help with reloading glycogen is carbohydrate (read also: Why Athletes Need Carbohydrates). When carbohydrates are consumed post workout, this stimulates insulin production, which helps in muscle glycogen production.

Double Down On Glycogen
In addition to ingesting carbohydrates following a workout, research also shows that a recovery fuel source containing carbohydrate and protein can nearly double the insulin response. In turn, this results in more glycogen storage. In addition, the protein will also provide the body with amino acids which can help assist in muscle recovery.

Amount and Timing
Now that you understand the importance of carbohydrates and protein following your workouts, how much of each is ideal? Research shows that a carbohydrate to protein ratio of either 4:1 or 5:1 is optimal for reloading. This means 4 or 5g of carbohydrate to every 1g of protein.

“All too often, athletes think that protein, and more of it, is the key to recovery. That is not the case.”
More protein following a workout is going to slow glycogen replenishment and rehydration; both of which would be huge negatives to the athletes’ recovery process. Liquid calories tend to be a great go-to recovery fuel source for athletes as they are easily digested and absorbed. For example, a recovery drink/fuel source containing approximately 10g of protein and approximately 40-50g of carbohydrate would be ideal for maximizing glycogen replenishment. In terms of when recovery fuel should be consumed following a workout, there have been various ‘magic window’ time frames mentioned. Ideally, post workout fuel consumed 15 to 30 minutes following a workout is ideal in order to properly reload glycogen.

Hydrate, Hydrate, and Hydrate
As important as reloading glycogen is following a workout, rehydration is just as important. Just as I discussed earlier in regards to proper post workout recovery fuel helping to assist in improving future workouts, the same holds true for proper rehydration. If you do not properly rehydrate following each workout, you will then go into our next workout slightly dehydrated. This can easily start to negatively compound on itself and you can quickly find yourself in an acute or even chronic state of dehydration.

One quick and easy way to determine how much water you need following a workout is to weigh yourself before and after your workout. For every 1-pound that you lose during your workout, consume 16-24 ounces of water. Yes, that may seem like quite a bit, but this is necessary in order to promote proper rehydration. In addition to water, your body may also require additional electrolytes following a workout (sodium-potassium-magnesium-calcium) depending on length, duration, intensity, weather conditions, etc. during your workout. These electrolytes can be very easy to consume following a workout. For example, emptying the contents of an electrolyte capsule into your recovery drink is an easy and convenient way to have all of your recovery fuel needs in one beverage.

If you are looking to stay in the game and maximize recovery and performance, put these recovery-fueling tips into action.

Exciting World Travels

The subject of electrolytes is a common one amongst endurance athletes. A majority of the focus has been sodium, calcium, and potassium, which which are certainly important. Unfortunately, magnesium is often overlooked. This critical electrolyte plays a key role in many functions of your body and is crucial to your performance.

The Importance of Magnesium
Electrolytes are ionized minerals that conduct electrical impulses and action potentials (e.g. contraction of a muscle), and are present throughout the human body. Simply put, the balance of the electrolytes is critical for normal function of cells and organs. Magnesium plays a critical role for extended bouts of muscular contractions and cramp prevention– just as much as the other three. Most people do not realize that magnesium plays an important role in calcium and oxygen transport throughout the cells of the human body. In fact, more than 300 nerve impulses and enzymatic reactions require magnesium as a co-factor. Besides calcium and oxygen transport, magnesium can directly affect sodium and potassium inter-cellular transport throughout cells as well. Longer and more intense exercise can deplete magnesium levels. Magnesium is excreted primarily through sweat and urine, therefore, cold fluids (empty out of the gut faster) are the preferred choice for replenishment during exercise.

Regardless of the type of sport or exercise, muscular contractions could not consistently occur without magnesium’s presence. Through aerobic and anaerobic metabolism- glycolysis occurs, in short, oxygen is delivered and utilized via magnesium. Therefore, O2 delivery to working musculature and energy production in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) (the source for all energy production) would not happen without magnesium presence.

Causes of Imbalances
Magnesium imbalances may often be caused by things such as diuretics (e.g. caffeine), alcohol consumption, sweat loss, and both high intensity and high volume endurance exercise. Therefore, if you’re one who monitors your nutrition and electrolytes, and you’ve ruled out sodium, potassium, and calcium, look to magnesium intake as your possible cramping or contractile issue culprit.

For athletes, especially those training and racing in endurance sports, magnesium deficiency indicators may be one or more of the following:

Abnormal muscular weakness
Muscular cramping and locking
Muscular spasms
Impaired glucose breakdown (for ATP/energy production)
Inability to sustain exercise intensity for extended periods
Irregular heartbeat (e.g. elevated performance heart rate)
Disorientation and confusion
Conversely, excess magnesium is filtered by the kidneys; however, if overly excessive, kidney function is adversely affected. When this occurs, just as with deficiency, side effects may surface in the form of muscular spasms, and as I call it, muscular “locking”. Through proper monitoring, athletes can often supplement with 300-900 milligrams (mg) per day without contraindications. Larger dosages as in 700-900mg, should be broken up into 2 to 3 doses throughout the day with food. Female athletes should supplement at the lower end of this range, and don’t normally require any dosage above 300-400 mg. If oxygen uptake increases are a result, no matter how minor, this could, for example, improve a cyclists sustained power output. At approximately 5,500 revolutions per hour, such impacts may facilitate improved performances over normal homeostatic processes.

Good Sources
Magnesium is found in unrefined whole grain breads and cereals, as well as green leafy vegetables, lentils, peas, beans, nuts, and seeds. Meat, fish, fruit, dairy products, and processed foods are poor sources for magnesium.

In summary, endurance athletes should look for beverages that not only have calcium, potassium, and sodium, but ones with magnesium as well. If you’re cramping during longer training sessions or races, and have ensured that the other three are being replenished, then there’s a good chance what you’re experiencing is attributable to low magnesium levels.

Exciting World Travels

The Grand Tour consists of 1,000 miles of railroad and highway journeys connecting both well-known and lesser visited destinations throughout the country. Switzerland Tourism is hoping to direct more long-haul customers to places not called Zurich or Zermatt in an effort to extend room nights and drive new business to traditionally underserved regions.

Featured
Partner Content
Automated Messaging Could Be The Key To Brand Loyalty
+
With the rise of Millennials and technology-savvy travelers, guest expectations are evolving. Read More
Follow Revinate:
In preparation for the Grand Tour unveiling last month, the tourism board developed traditional online and print marketing materials to promote the initiative, but they also wanted something additional that was specifically designed for the North American market. In 2014, U.S. arrivals to Switzerland grew 3.7% over the previous year, but most of that was directed at luxury hotels in the iconic Alps destinations.

The Swiss marketing team chose National Geographic Traveler to promote the Grand Tour to Americans, because they felt the media company could best capture the two things underpinning it—the legacy of the iconic European Grand Tour and the adventurous spirit of Swiss alpine tourism.

“We saw in various research papers this trend of touring is still one of the most important drivers for international travel, to explore a destination from one place to another in different forms,” says Alex Herrmann, director of the Americas for Switzerland Tourism. “At the same time, there’s a very long history of touring in Switzerland, starting over 150 years ago with Thomas Cook, who took one of his very first international tours to Switzerland to Bernese Oberland in the 1860s.”

Nat Geo lives in that sweet spot of travel media that can cover luxury and adventure equally well to appeal to a wide spectrum of demographics. The company sent one of its veteran Digital Nomad writers, Robert Reid, to explore over 50 destinations of his choosing by rail and car to prepare the content presently featured on the Grand Tour microsite.

The sponsored portal begins with a comprehensive map embedded with pins highlighting Reid’s trip, ranging from the CERN nuclear research center near Geneva to a local spot selling bündnerfleisch jerky in the Engadine Valley outside St. Moritz. Below that, longer editorial content is categorized by Attractions, Activities, Food & Drink, Events and Transport, further supported by existing Swiss content throughout the Nat Geo site.

This has been the largest destination sponsored content project for both the client and the agency to date. The interesting thing is that Switzerland Tourism was completely hands-off in the editorial development of the project, except to make a few recommendations on places to research.

“I’ve been a travel writer for over 15 years but I’m pretty new to writing anything connected to a sponsor, and I have no complaints about it,” Reid told us. “Fortunately with this Switzerland project, I’ve been able to research and write essentially the same as I’ve done for independent pieces in the past. I picked the places, came up with all the story ideas myself, researched them on my own, and wrote only with a Nat Geo editor questioning it.”

Reid suggests this only works with travel media groups that have established a certain level of trust with experienced travelers.

He says, “I think the challenge for some media companies or websites is that they lack the position or confidence of a Nat Geo to be able to say, ‘Hey, we know what we’re doing,’ and be trusted to do so.”

Switzerland Tourism then created its own crowdsourced content program called “Lights! Camera! Switzerland.” to drive visitors to the Grand Tour site. The tourism organization sent out a request for submissions on social media asking North Americans why they should win a trip on the Grand Tour and ,000 spending cash.

The final ten contestants are now posted online for public voting. The winner is scheduled to be announced on June 5, who will also host a professional television series filmed during his or her trip through Switzerland.

We sat down with Herrmann for a little more background behind this content marketing partnership.

Skift: How did the concept of the Switzerland Grand Tour develop?

Alex Herrmann: This idea of the iconic European Grand Tour, visiting most of the key places in Europe in the 1900s, for us seemed to be something that allowed us to bring that tradition, that history, into the 21st century. So the Switzerland Grand Tour started as a concept to connect the different parts of the country to showcase the diversity of Switzerland and the different language areas, the different natural environments, and also some of the most popular destinations with some of the much lesser known parts of Switzerland.

So when you look at this tour, the highlights are in there as well as some of the areas where we don’t get a whole lot of international travelers, especially from overseas.

Skift: How did you decide on the scale of the project?

Herrmann: We thought it just can’t be a quick trip through Switzerland. It has to be a rather substantial tour, which also has several entry points from France, Germany and Italy. And it had to be a tour that was about 1,600 kilometers, so for us in the U.S. market, it’s a perfect marketing message because we can now talk about the 1,000 miles of Switzerland.

Skift: There are so many iconic destinations in Switzerland that grasp the imagination of Americans. Do you expect many of them to visit those unknown areas?

Herrmann: We of course love to welcome first timers to Switzerland, and we’re aware that they only want to see the highlights, or that they may only have time to see the highlights. But maybe we can interest people to come back and explore the places they’ve already seen a little bit more, and then also explore beyond that. Maybe to places like the Italian-speaking Switzerland, like Ticino, which many people don’t know exists. Or maybe the Appenzell area, which is quintessential Switzerland in the northeast of the country that rarely gets visited by anyone outside Switzerland.

Skift: What was the process behind the content collaboration with National Geographic Traveler?

Herrmann: For this big collaboration with National Geographic Traveler, we didn’t give them a lot of guidelines, although we gave them some ideas. But it was their trip and where they wanted to go and how much time they wanted to spend at each place. It was also their decision to pick the 50 top experiences from that tour, and that was all documented with video, lots of photos and then also written content.

Being in a long haul market here in America, we wanted to bring in a strong U.S. angle so that’s why we decided to go with National Geographic. It’s a first for them, and it’s a new way for us to collaborate with their readers because there’s a social aspect.

Skift: What has been the response to “Lights. Camera. Switzerland.”?

Herrmann: We had over 3,000 entries in about the first five weeks, and many of them were videos. The 10 finalists were selected by a jury, and over the next few weeks the public can vote for these candidates. There’s nine Americans and one Canadian. The person will then travel with a professional TV crew and a producer, and the final program will be shown on a major network in September distributed nationwide. We’re still in discussion with several networks.

We were really amazed that we got 3,000 entries, and over 700 videos, and the quality was amazing too. And then within the first night after posting the finalists, we had over 1,000 people voting, so that’s been another great way to use content to promote the Grand Tour throughout North America.

Exciting World Travels

You can bring your beach towels and floral headbands, but forget that selfie stick if you’re planning to go to the Coachella or Lollapalooza music festivals.

The devices, which grasp cellphones to allow people to take pictures of themselves farther away from their faces, are banned at this summer’s multiday festivals in Indio, California, and Chicago. Coachella dismissed them as “narsisstics” on a list of prohibited items.

Selfie sticks have become a popular but polemical photo-taking tool: Avid picture takers like snapping their own shots in front of monuments and sunsets, but critics dismiss them as obnoxious and potentially dangerous to others around them.

A spokeswoman for Coachella would not comment on the restriction. Lollapalooza representatives did not immediately return a request for comment.

Coachella and Lollapalooza are among dozens of popular events and landmarks taking a stand against the sticks.

In Europe, the Palace of Versailles outside Paris, Britain’s National Gallery in London and the Colosseum in Rome have all banned selfie sticks, saying they need to protect exhibits on display and ensure the safety of visitors.

In the U.S., Ultra Music Festival in Miami, one of the world’s largest electronic music festivals, also prohibited selfie sticks at last weekend’s event.

Read MoreVirginia Museum Celebrates the ‘Birthplace of Country Music’
“They will be turned away and we’ll probably make fun of you,” Ultra said on its Twitter account early this month.

Some concertgoers welcomed the decision, saying the sticks get in the way of seeing the stage and enjoying the concert.

Exciting World Travels

Most athletes understand the basic Principle of Specificity, meaning that if you want to get better at something, you have to practice or train that specifically. If you want to be a better bike racer, you better spend a good amount of training riding your bike. Want to run a marathon, better do some run training. Seems simple, because it is simple.

The basic premise of periodization is changing the training stress over time, from general training, (skills and abilities that are not specific to the race event, but important still), to very specific training, mimicking the demands on race day as the main goal event nears.

Athletes and coaches need to understand what general abilities are holding an athlete back, such as their technical skills or basic aerobic conditioning, and focus on those during the general preparation phase. Once that phase ends, whether because it is closer to race day, or the athlete has plateaued in these areas which they focused on developing, then it becomes time to train to mimic the specific demands of the goal event.

Common Mistakes
There are two common mistakes I find that athletes make in training. The first is never changing the training stress over the course of the year. I find this happens because many athletes don’t really understand the difference between specific training and general training. They simply do the same workouts week after week, with no planned goal of what skill or energy system they want to develop. Some athletes take a period of the year to do “easy aerobic base training”. Even if these skills don’t need to be address significantly, the fact these athletes recognize the need to mix up their training and build their specific fitness in a different part of the year can do wonders for their development.

The other common mistake I see is athletes not really training specifically for what they want to accomplish. I find many athletes do this because they are not aware of what their specificity really is. If you’re a bike racer preparing for a stage race, you need to be able to pack a few days of specific types of training stress over the course of those days, not just one big group ride on a Saturday with your friends and local club. If you’re an IRONMAN triathlete, you need to prepare for a large single day stress, not a series of stressful days in a row, beating you down.

If you’re a sprint triathlete, doing long century bike rides aren’t specific, and don’t fit in with what you’re attempting to be successful at. If you’re a non-drafting Olympic triathlete, doing group rides with big attacks and sitting in the peloton, soft-pedaling or coasting most of the time, doesn’t match the race demands of steady-state effort near threshold power. Those types of workouts can be helpful for athletes in their overall development, but not in the specific period, where sessions should be as exact to the demands of the race as possible.

Looking at this graphically, it is easy to show how power outputs compare in distribution by power zones for a circuit race, compared to a non-drafting Olympic distance triathlon, using Andy Coggan’s Power Zones in TrainingPeaks.

In this circuit race file, you can see how the distribution of power is mostly on the two ends of the spectrum of very hard and intense, or very easy, even coasting. In the Olympic distance file, over a rolling course it is much more concentrated in the middle zones.

You can see the clear difference in the race demands these individuals are preparing for, so these two athletes should have very different looking workouts during the specific preparation period.

One of the most important questions you can answer for yourself as an athlete is, “What is my specificity?” Go back and look at major race files you may have, and see how they compare with the training you did in the weeks leading up to the goal events. If they matched very closely in the demands you placed on yourself, then you likely did a great job preparing yourself! If they didn’t match, it is time to address your preparation, and make sure you are aware of what you’re specifically preparing for.

Exciting World Travels

For many athletes, pre-competition hydration routines tend to be oriented around one main goal, avoiding dehydration. This is understandable since dehydration has been proven to negatively affect performance and sweat rates can easily exceed the body’s ability to absorb fluid so starting an event ‘topped up’ makes logical sense. However, dehydration should not be the only concern as there is a bigger picture to consider when optimizing pre-competition hydration.

Human beings are not camels- we cannot store up vast quantities of fluid for use later on, rather once we are fully hydrated the body has to ditch any excess. To state the obvious, this is why when you start drinking a lot sooner or later you start peeing at least some of it back out. Many athletes believe peeing a lot is a good thing because we’ve been told time and time again that producing clear urine in large quantities is a sign of ‘good hydration’ and therefore something to strive for.

As a result of this and despite having to make more and more regular trips to the bathroom, many athletes forge ahead in the lead up to races drinking increased quantities. This is perceived to be a smart idea, with the frequent deposits of clear urine serving to reinforce the belief that they are doing a good thing. Ironically, this is most often the case with athletes who tend to suffer with hydration related issues during races. Those who struggle with cramps or headaches for example have more of a tendency to overcompensate, as they are conscious they must not become ‘dehydrated’. Simply drinking more and more fluid pre race won’t solve any of those issues; in fact it could make them worse.

The reality is that pre-competition hydration is actually a bit of a balancing act and definitely not just a battle to get as much water in as you can. Having a better understanding of why this is and some of the more subtle factors involved might just help you to figure out a more appropriate hydration strategy that works for you and gets you to the start line in good shape.

Body Fluid Balance
Your body is roughly 65 percent water and this is held in two main compartments. Nearly two thirds of it is found inside your cells (intracellular fluid) and the remaining third is outside the cells (extracellular and interstitial fluid). Of the extracellular fluid, roughly 20 percent (around 5 liters in an average adult) is in your blood. However, since you are a living, breathing, peeing, sweating, drinking, metabolically active human being your exact hydration status is in constant flux. Your body does an amazing job of maintaining optimal fluid balance by shifting fluid around internally, by peeing out any excess and by making you thirsty so you drink when you need to take more in. This all works incredibly well in the context of the normal range of inputs and outputs.

Therefore, what this really means for the days running up to competition is that as long as you aren’t massively dehydrated to begin with or sweating excessively at this time all you need to do in terms of figuring out how much to drink is to listen to your body and drink to the dictates of thirst. If over time you can learn to read your body’s signals accurately you are highly unlikely to arrive on the start line significantly dehydrated by following this approach. Whilst it is probably sensible to take in an extra cup of fluid here and there in the final days to make up for any slight level of lingering dehydration, overall there is no great benefit to drinking way more than you normally would.

If athletes do challenge their bodies by drinking vastly more than it requires, (probably thinking it is a good ‘insurance policy’ again dehydration) they can end up causing real problems in other areas. Most of the issues over-drinking creates are related to the fact that body fluids are not just water but are in fact, a very salty mixture containing electrolytes. Electrolytes are crucial for performing a host of bodily functions including cellular communication, nerve impulse transmission and muscle contraction so their relative concentrations have to be regulated very tightly to allow them to do their jobs properly.

The main electrolyte found in extracellular fluid is sodium, which needs to be held at a concentration of around 135-145mmol/l in your bloodstream for everything to function optimally in the body. Essentially, what happens if you drink too much is that you begin to dilute this critical level of sodium in the blood, potentially arriving at the start line depleted of electrolytes. In extreme cases this can lead into a dangerous condition called hyponatremia.

Avoiding Hyponatremia
You have probably have already heard about hyponatremia in the press in recent years as awareness of the issue grows in athletic circles. The condition most often occurs in those who drink too much during exercise as they struggle to pee out the excess (your body slows down urine production when you’re active), although it has also been known to occur at rest in some people as well. Hyponatremia is dangerous because as more fluid enters the bloodstream the body has to move some of it back out again to balance the sodium content. If the excess can’t be urinated out easily fluid is forced into the intracellular space instead. This causes swelling of the cells which, if it occurs in the brain, leads to headaches, confusion and even coma or death. Due to the fact that a few people are indeed dying from this every year in sport it is a hot topic in sports medicine at the moment and provides a very compelling reason for not drinking to excess during training and races. It is widely suggested that drinking to thirst (i.e. listening to your body and only taking in as much as your sense of thirst tells you that you need) is the best way of preventing hyponatremia, and this seems to be good advice to follow in most normal circumstances.

Whilst hyponatremia may well be less likely to occur in the immediate build up to an event as your body is more able to pee out any excess water you take in, this still does not mean that drinking very large volumes of fluid is either necessary or safe, especially at times when sweat losses are not great as is often the case when you are tapering down. If you do dramatically increase fluid consumption whilst preparing for an event you may inadvertently be setting yourself up to be more at risk of hyponatremia once you get going as in effect you are beginning to dilute the body’s level of sodium before you get to the start line. This is because as you drink more and pee more, additional sodium is lost in urine and the overall levels of sodium in the blood gradually get diluted down to their lowest acceptable levels. Whilst this might not manifest itself as a serious case of hyponatremia, even a mild case can adversely affect your performance as low blood sodium levels make you feel fatigued and lethargic. This scenario probably happens to more athletes in competition than is widely recognized as it’s rare that anyone does blood monitoring of athletes in races who are just struggling to perform, but not presenting critically ill to the medical tent.

What Should You Do?
In essence, a good pre-competition hydration routine should deliver you to the starting of your race optimally hydrated (i.e. neither under nor over-hydrated). It will ensure that your body fluid levels are at the top end of normal but bear in mind that taking in too much fluid to try to achieve this can lead to the depletion of sodium levels in the blood.

To get to this optimum state the first and most important thing to do is to avoid dramatically over-drinking. Whilst it is a good idea to take in one or two additional cups of fluid each day in the final couple of days to make up for any lingering shortfall in your system it is certainly not necessary or beneficial to go crazy with the drinking over and above what your body is telling you that you need. Urine colour and thirst remain the most helpful indicators of hydration status that you have at your disposal. Ensure your pee is not too dark in colour or low in volume and don’t mistake a large amount of really clear urine as a universally good thing. If you are getting the balance about right you should be passing reasonable quantities of straw coloured pee a few times a day and not feeling too thirsty. Trust your body on this.

In regards to balancing sodium levels, it can be helpful to increase sodium intake in the last couple of days as well. The extra sodium will both increase fluid uptake into the bloodstream by helping to ensure sodium levels are not diluted and increase your sensation of thirst causing you to naturally drink a little more. You can increase sodium intake by adding electrolyte supplements to the water that you’re drinking or by putting additional salt on your food. Just bear in mind that most typical sports drinks are actually relatively low in sodium (at around 400-500mg/l) and that you need something stronger than that (around 1500mg/l or more) to actively pull more water into the bloodstream and keep it there effectively. On that note, there are specific sodium loading protocols that some elite athletes will use prior to competition to really significantly boost blood volume and electrolyte levels. However, discussion of these is quite a big topic on its own and requires a further write up at a later date.

Exciting World Travels

It’s Friday night and you have your plans all set for your ride tomorrow. Your coach has put in a specific workout for you, or you have created your own workout that you know works well for you.

Then you get a text or call from a friend trying to convince you to change your plans and go on a group ride. Now you have a decision to make. Do you go out solo, drawing all motivation from within, make yourself suffer, and doing what is right for you? Or, do you go out with your buddies on a big group ride, do what the group does and try to fit in parts of your planned workout? We have all been there and it is a hard decision.

The Benefits of Training Alone
Motivation
Solo training allows you to focus on yourself and builds your mental toughness. You have your objective and it is solely up to you to complete. It comes down to you, your bike and the ride. With no other cyclist to use for motivation and chase down or ride away from, you find your own personal motivations. Done successfully, you will not only make yourself physically stronger, but now you are mentally stronger.

Focus
Your plan is unique to you. Whether you are working directly with a coach, using a training plan, or have set out your own plan, that plan is designed to get you where you need to be. It is based on your time constraints, strengths, weaknesses and racing goals.

Focusing on your individual plan provides several key benefits. First, even if your teammate or riding partner is on the same schedule for the day, most likely your target numbers for efforts, or even your recovery between them, are different. You do what you are supposed to do and they do what they are supposed to do, it’s that simple. Next, we all have a competitive side. Training with others can tempt you to compete against each other, forcing you to go above and beyond what you are supposed to be doing. It can also have the opposite effect if you have to tone down your workout for your partner. Riding solo keeps you in check and allows you to focus on your form too. You are able to pay more attention to your position on the bike, pedaling technique, etc.

Riding on the road has enough natural distractions. Your buddy riding next to you chattering away can take your mind out of the game. The less you have pulling you away from your objective, the more you can concentrate at the job at hand.

Independence
From a purely selfish standpoint, a big benefit to riding solo is that you only have to answer to yourself. There is no meeting time, other schedules to accommodate or having to wait for those that are late. You are not dependent on those around you to dictate the pace or effort. You get to choose the route. If you feel good you can extend it, or if the legs are shutting down you can simply soft pedal back home.

Benefits of Joining the Group
Handling
Riding safely in the group is a skill that needs to be practiced. Riding with others quickly teaches you how to handle your bike predictably and be safe when others are mere inches from you. Multiple skill sets such as working in a pace line, descending, and sprinting with others are all enhanced through the group ride. You can also work on skills like positioning yourself correctly, learning to move up with minimal effort, and working as little as possible to stay in the group. Remember, race day is as much about the work you don’t do as the work you do.

Race Simulation
So when do you answer the call to join your buddies in a group ride? More than just the social aspect, organized group rides have a place in your program. Group rides can provide a sort of race simulation. Having an official finish line that will let you pick a “winner” for the day is a chance to work on bike handling under pressure. Another benefit of the group ride is the chance for you to work on specific tactics. Try the long shot attack from 1k out, or sit in and wait until the last second to unleash your sprint. Try sprinting in a bigger or smaller gear than normal. Practice different ways of winning so you can choose and execute different tactics.

You can also work on team tactics against others. Getting a solid lead out requires three to four riders to be in perfect rhythm and to know their role. Executing this in group rides makes it easier to perform when the pressure is on. Time dedicated to these skills is valuable and should be balanced with solo training in order to reap maximum performance.

Whether you have structured your own plan or you are working with a coach, your schedule was written with specific goals or targets in mind. Each day is a separate puzzle piece that when put together will hopefully help you achieve your target. Training by yourself allows you to follow your prescribed workout by concentrating on your plan without distractions. Training with others allows you to work on specific skills and tactics that are crucial to successful racing.

Exciting World Travels

Did the Fat Bike Birkie in March 2015

Here is my overview of the event from personal experience.

So I wont talk about the drive to Hayward. Just talk about the Fat bike Birkie
This being my first year of actual Fat Biking . Purchased my first fat bike back in November 2014 and was hooked ever since. So wanted to get into the full frontal experience of fat bike racing as well and signed to 3 events this years of 2015
The FRozen 40 in Maple Grove MN , The Frost Biter in Grand Portage and this event Fat Bike Birkie in Cable Wisconsin.

So hearing about the popularity of the Fat Bike Birkie found out that over 800 people signed to this event.
Arriving to Cable in the day before the event got a chance to preride part of the course.
Trail seemed nice and groomed and i was able to figure out a decent tire pressure. around 8 and 9 psi i had determined. Riding in the area see other people preriding as well. Only put in about 12 km at a slow pace. Rode parts of this trail before back in September 2014, for the Cheq 40. But riding a fat bike on a snowy trail is a different in night and day.
Anyhow figure I have ridden enough today and dont want to waste energy for tomorrow race. Pack up and rest for the night. Anyways on ward to race day.

So here we are on March 7 2015 and I am at the Fat Bike Birkie at the Telemark centre in Cable Wisconsin. Lots of people here and weather looks amazing. about -1C at moment and no wind. I go for a warm up ride down part of course which is a road and its nice and salted. So confidence is there.
Go back to start line and there is options of where to position yourself in the starting. from anyone who will finish in the 47km under 2 hours goes near the front for the main challenge. Then the rest of us who position more less in the general population of the over 2 hour people. which is myself but i am here to do the event and finish and come back next time and do better using my results from this time.

So almost start time to go off and spend time observing people around. See people some are dressed up in costumes. One guy dressed as a barbarian, another guy dressed up as a slice of pizza. quite funny. So finally hear the final count down and it is time to race. I am starting in the middle of the pack of 600 people here. Anyways our side heads out and down this road we go. I am riding in my most outside gear when i notice trouble. My rear cogs are coming loose!!!
Well it is what it is. So I gear to more easier gear and spin like mad to salvage my time and at least be able to ride. So I am able to ride for another 15 minutes. Anyways trail is good, lots of rolling hills and up and down. At the first hydro line i no longer have gears and cog is spinning around. so off the bike, off the wheel and forced to tightened the freewheel by hand, so much for having a personal best time, but all well.

This situation continued on about 5 more times throughout the event, but all well.
Even the trail was groomed after having 100+ riders in front of you ride over it all. And temperature at +1c the downhills become all ruts. So on all the downhills, one had to pick lines carefully. Many ruts and have to admit i tumbled over my handlebars about 8 times during this process even though I did lower my Psi on my tires more, but all well.
Being a first time in a mass participant fat bike race in this trail system was an experience. so more less rest of race i was just riding it out and enjoying the ride with others.  If temperature was more cooler then probably less ruts in the downhills.
I have to say only had to walk up 2 hills entire route. the 47km was a great course and many aid stations around with an army of volunteers everywhere.  handing out nuun and gels etc. I got my water situation on my to  science now. I use 2 thermos drinking containers for the cold rides. They work amazing well. rode in -29C with them and my liquids still hot. on a day like this at +1C well a thermos is not really needed.
So continue on and ride with others. Nearing the end we ride into a head wind which made it a bit cold and more work. Finally after being endless come near the finish line. Seeing the telemark center in the distance brought confidence to humanity once again that today will be over soon. So round the corner and cross the finish line. Wont mention my time or placing but it was a day to participate. As i confirm for sure i will do the 2016 Fat Birkie. things would been more enjoyable if not for my mechanical problems. But all well. thats life.
So finish in time to see the award ceremony of the top finishers. All pros but still fun to watch.
Anyways see you all for Fat Bike Birkie 2016!

Also here is the news article about the Birkie and who won etc.

2015 Fat Bike Birkie

Under patchy clouds and blue skies riders in the 2015 Fat Bike Birkie were met by a warm and soft course. A record 800 riders met the challenge in Cable, Wisconsin for the 20K and 47K race

The start of the Fat Bike Birkie rolls out with some formidable competitors gunning for the title of Fat Bike Birkie Champion.
The official Fat Bike Birkie announcement is included below. Look for more Fat Bike Birkie coverage coming up this week as well as Gomez’s coverage of the NAHBS show in Louisville, KY!

Will Ross hoists his 9:Zero:7 after claiming the 47K Fat Bike Birkie Title. Photo: Kelly Randolph
CABLE, Wis. (March 7, 2015) – This year’s finish of the Fat Bike Birkie was nearly a carbon copy of last year’s race, with Jenna Rinehart (Specialized) and Ned Overend (Specialized) repeating as women’s and men’s champions. But that wasn’t to be in the third edition of the event.
Overend crashed with two kilometers to go and lost the wheel of this year’s winner Will Ross (9:Zero:7), who cruised in 20 seconds ahead of Overend for the win. Ross of Anchorage, Alaska, finished the 47-kilometer race in 1:55:30. Brendan Moore was third and Jeff Hall, fourth

Rinehart won her second Fat Bike Birkie and was in control of the women’s race from start to finish. The Minnesota rider dropped eventual second and third place riders April Morgan (Salsa/45 NRTH) and Amber Stull (9:Zero:7) by the time she had rolled over the Powerline hills four kilometers into the race. Rinehart was never seriously threatened after that and repeated as women’s champ in 2:12:27.
In the men’s race, even without his crash, Overend didn’t think he could have stayed with the stronger Ross in the closing kilometers. “I was fully blown,” said Overend of Durango, Colo. “I was not going to catch him. He was stronger today.”
Ross, who was second to Overend last year, said a group of a dozen or so riders made it together to the halfway turnaround at Highway OO. After the turnaround, the serious attacks started with Ross, Overend and Jeff Hall animating the race. According to Overend, his strategy was to wait until the halfway point and attack as he did last year when he won on a solo break, but this year a persistent headwind on the way back to Telemark made solo attacks more difficult.
Even so, the attacks whittled down the group, and with 10 kilometers to go, the leaders rode onto the churned up section used by the riders in the shorter 20-kilometer race. “The course was great until 10 kilometers to go,” said Ross. “Then it turned to mush, but that’s great because those are my conditions.”
Ross’s technical skill and daring on the descents in the soft conditions of the closing kilometers overcame the ageless experience of the veteran Overend. At 59, Overend says he’s enjoying every minute of his 50s. Overend won the first ever USAC Fat Bike Championships held in Oregon this past January.
Rinehart’s second Fat Bike Birkie title is impressive since this was her first mountain bike race of the year, but she has won multiple Chequamegon Fat Tire 40 titles and knows the hills and terrain around southern Bayfield and northern Sawyer counties. She understands the hills are relentless and uses them effectively to separate herself from the rest of the field.
“I rode most the race by myself, which is a bummer,” said Rinehart. “There was quite a breeze coming back.” Rinehart had a bad spell in the middle of her race, but told herself to be patient and finished the closing kilometers strong.
For the women, the race was for second and third place as Morgan and Stull battled it out. “We traded places,” said Morgan. “I made a hard push with eight miles to go.” Morgan started to pull away from Stull of Anchorage, Alaska, who started 9:Zero:7 with her husband James.
“She’s a really good descender,” said Stull of Morgan. I was catching her on the hills, but she was killing it on the descents.” Morgan put nearly four minutes into Stull to earn runner-up in the women’s race, finishing in 2:17:22.
Local rider Tom Meyer won the 20-kilometer race using his fitness from the cross country ski season to propel him to victory in 55:32. Rebecca Ireland won the women’s short race in 1:00:02.
This year 812 riders registered for event. Last year’s event was capped at 500.
Men’s winner Will Ross used 4.0 tires with eight pounds of pressure in the rear and seven in the front. Ross said he didn’t want to sacrifice rolling resistance by running lower pressure.

Exciting World Travels

Did the Fat Bike Birkie in March 2015

Here is my overview of the event from personal experience.

So I wont talk about the drive to Hayward. Just talk about the Fat bike Birkie
This being my first year of actual Fat Biking . Purchased my first fat bike back in November 2014 and was hooked ever since. So wanted to get into the full frontal experience of fat bike racing as well and signed to 3 events this years of 2015
The FRozen 40 in Maple Grove MN , The Frost Biter in Grand Portage and this event Fat Bike Birkie in Cable Wisconsin.

So hearing about the popularity of the Fat Bike Birkie found out that over 800 people signed to this event.
Arriving to Cable in the day before the event got a chance to preride part of the course.
Trail seemed nice and groomed and i was able to figure out a decent tire pressure. around 8 and 9 psi i had determined. Riding in the area see other people preriding as well. Only put in about 12 km at a slow pace. Rode parts of this trail before back in September 2014, for the Cheq 40. But riding a fat bike on a snowy trail is a different in night and day.
Anyhow figure I have ridden enough today and dont want to waste energy for tomorrow race. Pack up and rest for the night. Anyways on ward to race day.

So here we are on March 7 2015 and I am at the Fat Bike Birkie at the Telemark centre in Cable Wisconsin. Lots of people here and weather looks amazing. about -1C at moment and no wind. I go for a warm up ride down part of course which is a road and its nice and salted. So confidence is there.
Go back to start line and there is options of where to position yourself in the starting. from anyone who will finish in the 47km under 2 hours goes near the front for the main challenge. Then the rest of us who position more less in the general population of the over 2 hour people. which is myself but i am here to do the event and finish and come back next time and do better using my results from this time.

So almost start time to go off and spend time observing people around. See people some are dressed up in costumes. One guy dressed as a barbarian, another guy dressed up as a slice of pizza. quite funny. So finally hear the final count down and it is time to race. I am starting in the middle of the pack of 600 people here. Anyways our side heads out and down this road we go. I am riding in my most outside gear when i notice trouble. My rear cogs are coming loose!!!
Well it is what it is. So I gear to more easier gear and spin like mad to salvage my time and at least be able to ride. So I am able to ride for another 15 minutes. Anyways trail is good, lots of rolling hills and up and down. At the first hydro line i no longer have gears and cog is spinning around. so off the bike, off the wheel and forced to tightened the freewheel by hand, so much for having a personal best time, but all well.

This situation continued on about 5 more times throughout the event, but all well.
Even the trail was groomed after having 100+ riders in front of you ride over it all. And temperature at +1c the downhills become all ruts. So on all the downhills, one had to pick lines carefully. Many ruts and have to admit i tumbled over my handlebars about 8 times during this process even though I did lower my Psi on my tires more, but all well.
Being a first time in a mass participant fat bike race in this trail system was an experience. so more less rest of race i was just riding it out and enjoying the ride with others.  If temperature was more cooler then probably less ruts in the downhills.
I have to say only had to walk up 2 hills entire route. the 47km was a great course and many aid stations around with an army of volunteers everywhere.  handing out nuun and gels etc. I got my water situation on my to  science now. I use 2 thermos drinking containers for the cold rides. They work amazing well. rode in -29C with them and my liquids still hot. on a day like this at +1C well a thermos is not really needed.
So continue on and ride with others. Nearing the end we ride into a head wind which made it a bit cold and more work. Finally after being endless come near the finish line. Seeing the telemark center in the distance brought confidence to humanity once again that today will be over soon. So round the corner and cross the finish line. Wont mention my time or placing but it was a day to participate. As i confirm for sure i will do the 2016 Fat Birkie. things would been more enjoyable if not for my mechanical problems. But all well. thats life.
So finish in time to see the award ceremony of the top finishers. All pros but still fun to watch.
Anyways see you all for Fat Bike Birkie 2016!

Also here is the news article about the Birkie and who won etc.

2015 Fat Bike Birkie

Under patchy clouds and blue skies riders in the 2015 Fat Bike Birkie were met by a warm and soft course. A record 800 riders met the challenge in Cable, Wisconsin for the 20K and 47K race

The start of the Fat Bike Birkie rolls out with some formidable competitors gunning for the title of Fat Bike Birkie Champion.
The official Fat Bike Birkie announcement is included below. Look for more Fat Bike Birkie coverage coming up this week as well as Gomez’s coverage of the NAHBS show in Louisville, KY!

Will Ross hoists his 9:Zero:7 after claiming the 47K Fat Bike Birkie Title. Photo: Kelly Randolph
CABLE, Wis. (March 7, 2015) – This year’s finish of the Fat Bike Birkie was nearly a carbon copy of last year’s race, with Jenna Rinehart (Specialized) and Ned Overend (Specialized) repeating as women’s and men’s champions. But that wasn’t to be in the third edition of the event.
Overend crashed with two kilometers to go and lost the wheel of this year’s winner Will Ross (9:Zero:7), who cruised in 20 seconds ahead of Overend for the win. Ross of Anchorage, Alaska, finished the 47-kilometer race in 1:55:30. Brendan Moore was third and Jeff Hall, fourth

Rinehart won her second Fat Bike Birkie and was in control of the women’s race from start to finish. The Minnesota rider dropped eventual second and third place riders April Morgan (Salsa/45 NRTH) and Amber Stull (9:Zero:7) by the time she had rolled over the Powerline hills four kilometers into the race. Rinehart was never seriously threatened after that and repeated as women’s champ in 2:12:27.
In the men’s race, even without his crash, Overend didn’t think he could have stayed with the stronger Ross in the closing kilometers. “I was fully blown,” said Overend of Durango, Colo. “I was not going to catch him. He was stronger today.”
Ross, who was second to Overend last year, said a group of a dozen or so riders made it together to the halfway turnaround at Highway OO. After the turnaround, the serious attacks started with Ross, Overend and Jeff Hall animating the race. According to Overend, his strategy was to wait until the halfway point and attack as he did last year when he won on a solo break, but this year a persistent headwind on the way back to Telemark made solo attacks more difficult.
Even so, the attacks whittled down the group, and with 10 kilometers to go, the leaders rode onto the churned up section used by the riders in the shorter 20-kilometer race. “The course was great until 10 kilometers to go,” said Ross. “Then it turned to mush, but that’s great because those are my conditions.”
Ross’s technical skill and daring on the descents in the soft conditions of the closing kilometers overcame the ageless experience of the veteran Overend. At 59, Overend says he’s enjoying every minute of his 50s. Overend won the first ever USAC Fat Bike Championships held in Oregon this past January.
Rinehart’s second Fat Bike Birkie title is impressive since this was her first mountain bike race of the year, but she has won multiple Chequamegon Fat Tire 40 titles and knows the hills and terrain around southern Bayfield and northern Sawyer counties. She understands the hills are relentless and uses them effectively to separate herself from the rest of the field.
“I rode most the race by myself, which is a bummer,” said Rinehart. “There was quite a breeze coming back.” Rinehart had a bad spell in the middle of her race, but told herself to be patient and finished the closing kilometers strong.
For the women, the race was for second and third place as Morgan and Stull battled it out. “We traded places,” said Morgan. “I made a hard push with eight miles to go.” Morgan started to pull away from Stull of Anchorage, Alaska, who started 9:Zero:7 with her husband James.
“She’s a really good descender,” said Stull of Morgan. I was catching her on the hills, but she was killing it on the descents.” Morgan put nearly four minutes into Stull to earn runner-up in the women’s race, finishing in 2:17:22.
Local rider Tom Meyer won the 20-kilometer race using his fitness from the cross country ski season to propel him to victory in 55:32. Rebecca Ireland won the women’s short race in 1:00:02.
This year 812 riders registered for event. Last year’s event was capped at 500.
Men’s winner Will Ross used 4.0 tires with eight pounds of pressure in the rear and seven in the front. Ross said he didn’t want to sacrifice rolling resistance by running lower pressure.

Exciting World Travels

With an expanded field of 800 racers, the third annual Fat Bike Birkie—which includes the concurrent National Fat Bike Championships—will draw hundreds of enthusiasts of the fast-growing sport to the north half of the Birkie Trail Saturday, March 7. Hosted by the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation (ABSF) with Free Wheel Bike as the title sponsor, the Fat Bike Birkie features a 47-kilometer long race and a 20-kilometer short race. Starting at 9 a.m. for the long 47-kilometer race and 9:15 a.m. for the shorter 20K race, bikers will roll away from the start line on McNaught Road next to the former Telemark Lodge and head south. They will finish at the Telemark stadium. There are 600 riders registered for the long race and 200 riders for the short race. Riders will turn around at the CTH 00 trailhead and head back to Telemark. The Birkie Foundation will operate three refreshment stations along the course, offering Gu Energy gels, Nuun Electrolyte drink, and water to riders. Long-course racers will pass through the stations twice. Ben Popp, executive director of the ABSF, said last year’s Fat Bike Birkie champion, Ned Overend from Durango, Colorado, is back to defend his title. Some of the other elite riders who are registered for the 2015 race are Travis Brown, Jesse LaLonde, April Morgan, Diana McFadden, Jenna Rinehart, Danielle Musto, and the 907 Bike pro staff. “It should be a pretty good group of people,” Popp said. The weather is predicted to be in the 30s and sunny, favorable for spectators as well. The Fat Bike Birkie provides a once-a-year chance for cyclists to ride their fat-tire bike (with tires 3 inches wide or wider) on the groomed American Birkebeiner Trail. Fat bikes and mountain bikes are otherwise not allowed on the snow covered, groomed trail system. From improved traction on dirt to flotation when riding through snow, the wide tires let a bike roll where it has not rolled before. The wide rubber—some fatty tires are 4+ inches across, or twice as wide as most mountain-bike tire tread—adds notable grip on the ground, and the extra surface area does not allow the wheel to sink as much into soft surfaces like snow or sand. Popp said Birkie Trail manager Chris Campbell and his crew will do extra grooming on the Fat Bike Birkie course to “try to get it nice and firm.” Fat Bike Birkie rider Tom Gaier of Seeley said he believes the trail conditions will be “really good” this Saturday. Following a few inches of new snow early this week, warmer temperatures are predicted for Friday, followed by cold temps at night. That will allow the groomed trail to set up “rock hard and be rocket fast,” he said. The first 20K racers are expected at the finish line around 10:10 a.m. and the first 47K racers (the national champions) around 10:55 a.m. Gaier is a member of the local Namekagon Fat Bike Club. Club member Jeff Schmid grooms the Seeley area fat bike trails, including the CAMBA Seeley Pass between CTH 00 and the fire tower high point, using a Rokon all-wheel drive motorcycle and home-made drag. Spectators can watch the racers finish at Telemark, or see them on the trail at the CTH OO halfway point. A large tent next to the finish line will serve as event headquarters, similar to the Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival format. Awards The U.S. National Fat Bike Championship this Saturday offers cash prizes to the top three men and top three women in the 47K race: 0 for first, 0 for second and 0 for first. Great Lakes Fat Bike Series awards will be presented to finishers of the 47K race. Awards will be presented to 20K overall winners and age group winners in the celebration and expo tent at 11:30 a.m., and to the age class award winners in the 47K race at 12:30 p.m. The Birkie Foundation will host the post-race party in the large heated finish line tent. Spectators also can eat there for . There also will be door prizes. A post-race party with vendors, raffles, door prizes and games will be held Saturday afternoon and evening at the Sawmill Saloon in Seeley, hosted by Fat-Bike.com. This event is a fundraiser for the Namekagon Fat Bike Club, which grooms the local CAMBA fat bike trails. Participants will have a chance to participate in a raffle for rims, tires and a frame at The Cabin Stop in Hayward, with proceeds going to the Chequamegon Area Mountain Bike Association (CAMBA). Title sponsor The American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation (ABSF) has an ongoing relationship with Freewheel Bike as Title Sponsor of the Fat Bike Birkie on March 7. Now in its third year, the Fat Bike Birkie event was launched in 2013 with input from Freewheel Bike and a closely aligned group of Fat Bike industry insiders who were seeing the potential for this kind of event. Fat bikes were just beginning to explode onto the biking scene, and the early-adopter support of Freewheel Bike helped the Fat Bike Birkie event take off as well. The first Fat Bike Birkie set and reached its cap of 300 riders. Now, the March 7, event has met its newest cap of 750 riders at a record pace, filling weeks before the race. This year Freewheel welcomes Borealis Bikes as its partner and Presenting Sponsor of the Fat Bike Birkie. Borealis Bikes and the Fatbike Company are headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colo., “With more and more people riding and racing fat bikes,” said Free Wheel Bike owner Kevin Ishaug, “it seems only fitting that the venue grand enough to crown the fastest fat bikers in the U.S. is the greatest ski trail system in the country, the American Birkebeiner Trail. “The non-stop rolling hills on the Fat Bike Birkie course test your lungs and legs, but the reward of cresting these roller-coaster hills is that the downhills are fast and smooth,” Ishaug said. “Ripping down the corduroy trails I found myself pushing gears that I hadn’t used since the Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival. By capturing the downhill momentum I found Velcro-like traction, allowing out of the saddle ‘spider monkey’ attacks on the climbs. This style of riding is a blast. This is a whole other fat bike riding experience that you only get on this trail. There are no road crossings except at the turn-around on the long course. This mega-course is a must for any fat biker.” Popp thanked all the Fat Bike Birkie Sponsors, including Freewheel Bike, Title Sponsor of the Fat Bike Birkie, with Borealis Bikes, Presenting Sponsor, as well as 45NRTH, HED, Bar Mitts, Life Time Cycle, 9:ZERO:7, Fat-bike.com, 1 Up USA, Riverbrook Bike & Ski, Cabin Stop of Hayward, Mt. Borah, Framed Bikes, Wheel & Sprocket, Gu Energy, and Nuun Hydration.

Exciting World Travels

This is a review of doing the Frozen 40 Fat Bike event in Maple Grove MN in 2015.
First of all here is a low down on a bit of the event.
In year 1, over 50 racers registered.  In year 2, the 100-racer cap was reached months in advance of the February 16, 2013 race date.  In year 3 (2014) we were able to expand registration to 200, and the race sold out yet again with racers coming from 7 states and 2 countries.
Although fatbike races are still considered “niche” to some, the explosive growth and the unwavering enthusiasm for the Fatbike Frozen Forty demonstrates that there are plenty of riders and racers who appreciate the opportunity to participate in a well-organized race with a unique and fun format.

So for the Frozen 40 for 2015. there was over 200 people registered for this event.
On arrival of day of the race. Drive to the race venue of Elm Creek park. This being my first time at this place will come to a surprise. As I have not had chance to preside any trails the night before. On entry seems the area has gotten a good amount of snow. Well at least enough to make it worth while to use a fat bike in the snow. Looks like good number of people at the event.

I managed to get in a small warm up on the course with some of the other riders and was pleased to see that my tire pressure was just about perfect and the freshly groomed trail was in awesome condition.  It was shaping out to be a great day. Considering this area had been not getting much snow at all in all winter. Seems we have way more snow up in Thunder Bay. Finally getting through the gate, i set up my bike and get in a little warm up ride. Really i am very confused and unaware to where this is going. At moment I have no clue where the race course is or what direction or how the day will fold out.

Just a note at moment it is very cold – around -25C with a wind chill as well. Which is -13F. for everyone else.  So not sure what to do i stand in the warm up tent after my warm up so i dont get chilled. After there about  3 minutes we get kicked out by  some guy as race is about to start. We go to the where everyone is getting ready on this dirt road. At this moment I have no clue where i am ,so i just position mid way. I hear the announcer talker on the blow horn but hard to hear. Lots of wind and we are all cold. So finally we just start. and roll out. I have to put my foot down at start as some guy beside me is riding into my wheel. Beginners!. so we roll as a pack down the road and turn around and around again before hitting the trail which is all single track. So having not ridden this area before. My confidence is low. So taking it easy, and following others. Trail is very twisty, and lots of up and down, not many huge climbs. Overall it is tonnes of fun to ride at least. So little by little, let people pass me and I pass odd person as well.
Lots of variety on this course. Best part of course is along this hill side. Where you look up and see people riding and see people below you riding as well. Lots of technical there such is riding over logs and tree stumps, interesting. One section where we are riding out in the open, but that was not too long.
Being a very cold day and when riding hard, you dont realize how cold it is.
So i rode out first lap and feeling good and didn’t spend time to hydrate myself from my water bottles
On part way of second lap i finally got to my water bottle on my bike. Only to find it had fully frozen over. Well not a problem i had a back plan. 2 extra bottles which i stored in my jersey back pocket under my jacket, put them in there with liquid at boiling level , so should be all still warm, after all i am using insulated water bottles, right. Well i was wrong, for some odd reason those were totally frozen. so be able to access some hydration or electrolytes was out of the question. Looks like riding on empty this lap. Well as i was getting end to lap 2 i was totally winding down due to hydration, so much for my race day. Now it was just a point of being there to finish. so once back at lap part i went inside to the heated tent and had a 3 chicken wraps and lots of water and the electrolyte drink provided. more less made a pig of myself but all well, its all in fun. Anyways back on trail and do another lap, even though i was far back now. but all well, seems some people have finished at this point. Anyways so i go about 2 more laps to finish my Frozen 40. Was actually a fantastic time regardless. Lots of fun and i made a goal to at least finish which i did. Now i can use my time to come back for 2016 and better my time and do a personal goal. Often i have to do an event twice to get better confidence at it. So i will be back for 2016 for the Frozen 40. Good times. Thanks to all the organizers of this event. Good job.

Exciting World Travels

I strain against the tug of normalcy and because of that every once in a while I need to toss off the reigns of that insidious beast and head for parts unknown to me.

With winter dragging on I decided with my friend Casey, to toss our Fat Bikes in the truck and head north from Duluth to Thunder Bay for some frozen inspiration.

view

We grabbed a nice room at the Prince Arthur Hotel, a place I have haunted before. The Prince Arthur is like a favorite old sweater that you pull on to relax, comfortable, clean but just a little bit fuzzy at the elbows. I love the P.A. because its staff is super friendly it’s centrally located to downtown and some good watering holes and it’s a quick drive to the Fat Bike trails in Centennial Park.

bike in elevator

It’s always a risk to travel for Fat Biking. Conditions are fickle and if they are too soft or the snow too deep, you can be shut out in a hurry. Luckily in Thunder Bay there are a myriad of great XC Ski trails as well so we also packed skis because, what’s so bad about a ripping skate at Kamview if the Fat Biking is not making the grade?

Related: Add Cross-Country Skiing in Thunder Bay to Your Bucket List

That fortunately was not an issue for Casey and I. The trails at Centennial were in epic condition. Just enough snow to make the place look like a fairy land but packed and buffed enough to truly fly at high speeds, through the Cedars and the tall pines of the forest.

We were also lucky enough to run into Blacksheep Mountain Bike Club member Mark Maranzan who gave us a tour of both Centennial and then the more technical Shuniah Mines Single track.

The contrast was striking; if you are new to the sport stick to Centennial, if you’re a grizzled ripper head for Shuniah eh’.

guy on corner

For two days and nights we bounced down sweet single track, “braaped” berms and got loose on the twisty flowing white ribbons of the Mines.

For dinner we hit the Sovereign Room, for breakfast we of course went to the famous Hoito, a Finnish Workers café.

hoito

Related: A City of SISU, Finnish Culture in Thunder Bay

After two days of blasting single track we wanted to step out and do some adventure by bike so we drove over to Sleeping Giant Provincial Park.

We decided on a trailhead that 6.5 km later took us to Tea Harbor. The hikers and snowshoe folks on the trail were excited to see our big bikes and after several conversations we realized in the summer this was a popular riding spot for folks to ramble down to Tea Harbor.

The trail while not packed was slow but passable and we slowly but surely worked our way to the Lake and it was 100% worth the effort. The wild views of Lake Superior and its high shear cliffs made it feel like you were anywhere but the Midwest. It feels more like Baffin Island or Newfoundland to me. The views were truly exceptional and on par with any spot I have been lucky enough to visit in the world and to do it by bike made it all the better. We toasted the sunset from the dock at Silver Islet.

ice by water

Thrashed and inspired we staggered back to T-Bay. With bike maintenance much needed, we stopped by Petrie’s Cycle and Sport for some help and then hit the Bean Fiend on Algoma Street for a tasty Mocha.

petries

If you’re looking to experience a Northwest Ontario winter by riding a fat bike, Thunder Bay is ready and waiting for you.

riding the stairs at hillcrest

Fat Bikes are available for rent in Thunder Bay from Petrie’s Cycle and Sport.

To read Hansi’s blog and see even more great photos from this trip click here.

Exciting World Travels

Canada’s Matt Lapointe on helping first-time snow riders at Snow Epic

Matt Lapointe from Thunder Bay, Ont., competed in this year’s inaugural Snow Epic, a fat-bike festival based in Engelberg, Switzerland. For three days, from Jan. 15 to 17, he took to the snow on a fat bike with more than 100 participants. There were five events that included a 26-km ride with 1,000 m of climbing and a slalom down a ski hill at night. Lapointe finished 30th overall.

Lapointe and his partner Chelsea Lynn got in touch with Canadian Cycling Magazine during their trip back home from the winter cycling event.

CCM: How did you hear about the Snow Epic?

Matt Lapointe: I saw the race mentioned on a fat-bike page on Facebook. I immediately knew it was something I wanted to do so I signed up for their newsletter. A few days later, they sent me an email inviting me to participate. After a very short discussion with my girlfriend, we decided we couldn’t let this opportunity pass and we were off to Switzerland.

CCM: Why did you enter the event?

ML: I was inspired by the short film 35, which I saw at the Banff Film Festival World Tour. I wanted to do something big for my 35th birthday and when this came up I knew it was meant to be.

CCM: What was the atmosphere like?

ML: It was extremely relaxed. Most of the participants had never been on a fat bike and a few had never even seen snow! Everyone was very friendly. I shared a lot of tips about tire pressure and technique to ride in the snow and ice. There was quite a few of us in the hotel bar after the racing was done for the day just chatting and telling stories. I made many new friends and have been offered places to stay all over the world.

The race organizers did a great job of dealing with some very difficult conditions. They were able to roll with the punches to keep everyone happy and safe. Overall, it was much more like a festival atmosphere rather than a race.

CCM: What’s next for you?

ML: I don’t really have any big plans…yet. I’d love to do the BC Bike Race in 2016. (This year is sold out.) I’ve had a dream to do the Leadville 100 and the Maah Daah Hey 100 has piqued my interest lately, so we’ll see what happens this summer. I plan to race my fat bike exclusively this season in everything but timed downhill events, although that would change if someone wants to loan me a full-suspension fat bike!

Most important, I just want to continue to have fun on my bike and lead a happy, healthy life with my girlfriend and step-daughter.

CCM: Chelsea, what was your role at the Snow Epic?

Chelsea Lynn: I was Matt’s supporter. I did not ride. Riding is his passion. I was there here to support his dreams just as he does mine and I am so very proud of him.

My experience with the race was incredible. From making my way up and down mountains to see the start, (middle at times) and end of races, to getting in the helicopter (the one that took video coverage of the race allowed the supporters to go for a ride after the races), to genuinely feeling as much a part of the experience as Matt was amazing.

Exciting World Travels

Exciting World Travels

Fat Biking in Thunder Bay – December 28 2014

Exciting World Travels

Exciting World Travels

“There’s no point bringing water, it would just freeze.” That sage piece of advice is from Nathan Petrie, Thunder Bay’s unofficial Fat Bike Ambassador, who has shuttled three fat bikes from Petrie’s to Centennial Park to give us a primer.

I’m no stranger to winter cycling, but unlike my usual utilitarian winter commute, this ride is all about recreation. I’m saddled up with the Salsa Mukluk 3, which is sporting 4” tires. They look unwieldy to me, like pontoon/bike tire hybrid. According to Petrie, this bike is “nimble,” compared to the 5” tires he is about to spin. I think that maybe that word doesn’t mean what he thinks it means, but I take my bike through a quick test spin through the parking lot anyway, and the rest, as they say, is history.

“Nimble” as they turn out to be, fat bikes work best on packed snow. Inflated to 8 psi, the tires that I thought looked goofy just minutes before make for a very forgiving ride. With gearing low enough that I can crank up the tobogganing hill, I’m able to manoeuvre around and warm up in no time. The ride down is remarkably smooth, and far less painful than tobogganing. The bike allows a good mix of stability and agility, sort of a mountain-bike-meets-bouncy-castle experience.

We hit the trail, with a few tips about trail etiquette before we start. As a skier, I’m glad that Petrie makes sure we respect the classic ski tracks. I’m intrigued at how fat bikes literally follow in skiers’ tracks; the packed snow highways that are skate-ski groomed trails are ideal terrain for fat bikes. Having just returned from the City of Lakes Fat Bike Loppet in Minneapolis, where the bikes follow the ski trails after the loppet is done, Petrie is hopeful that similar trail sharing can happen here.

It’s a strange sensation to ride in the winter the same trails that I ride in the summer. And everything is easier—all the roots and rocks are buried deep under the snow, and the soft tires take care of the rest. It feels clean, riding a bike with a shiny new chain, with tires that leave hardly a whisper of a mark on the packed snow. At the end of the ride, there’s no mud to clean off the bike, or my face.

I’m not sure my basement can hold one more bike, but my mind is already scheming how to rent one for a day, and try it out on Lake Superior. This year, we might just have enough winter for me to squeeze in one more sport.

Exciting World Travels

Exciting World Travels

Thoughts of the day. For people who want to travel, adventure or anything, tour packages etc , solo, road trips

What type of things would one like to learn about?

 

Would you attend a class to learn more about travel? would you like to learn to become a smarter traveller/tourist? etc?

Would you attend a class for such type of thing? your thoughts and feedback please.

Exciting World Travels

A Comprehensive Initial Travel Guide for Visiting Australia
Introduction
Australia is not only an island and a country, but also a very big continent as well. Multifariousness is deeply rooted in the spirit of the continent, whichever geographic or political description you opt to go with. On one hand, there are the posh, ultra-modern cosmopolitan cities and sunny beach towns to visit, while on the other hand, there lies the extreme, hot, harsh outback. You must be ready to lose yourself in the apparently infinite bunch of holiday activities that Australia can offer. One must not be surprised that Australia easily finds a place in the list of global holiday packages these days. Therefore, start planning your programs in order to get a taste of Australia today!
Here we have mentioned some essential initial guides for the backpackers to visit Australia.
1. The Cities
Sydney (or the Harbour City), Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide, Darwin and Hobart are only a few of the largest and most speedily growing cities on the quickly emerging urban front of the continent. Not only have these cities provided a taste of the global cosmopolitan lifestyle, but also provided a particularly unique Australian taste. Urban beaches, luxury shopping, bars and sun-drenched harbors packed with the most gorgeous spirits are all waiting for visitors in Australia’s metropolitan cities. 
2. The Food
While Australia lacks a cooking base that is as distinct and local as that of any of the Asian countries, it doesn’t merely settle for a tasteless imitation of pizza and hot dog, either. Modern Australian gastronomy, or Mod Oz cooking, is actually a delicious blend of Australian ingredients and European techniques, with special importance on seafood, which is found in abundance from the nearby ocean. The reputed King George Whiting, the ‘bugs’ of Moreton Bay in Queensland, and also freshwater fare (Australian bass and Murray Cods) are all available here. Those with a more daring appetite are served with exotic meats, such as that of crocodiles, kangaroos and even alligators. Without an ideal complimentary beverage, good food has got no value after all! Australia is rapidly becoming one of the most prolific suppliers of wine and beer in the world.  
3. The Outback
It is a fact that the outback is sultry, unforgiving and harsh. It is best to explore Australia’s dusty, red backyard by car, preferably a big, all terrain, four-wheel powered vehicle. The vastness and isolation of the outback make it an ideal place to rehearse one’s off-roading talents, while stealing visits to the countless parks which punctuate it. In case the impression of a rough drive out of the suburbs doesn’t have any impression on your senses, then you should not forget that Australia can easily boast of one of the finest networks of road transportation on earth.
4. The Climate
Australia’s climate is influenced a lot by the ocean surrounding it. The climate in the continent varies a lot. The winters are too cold for those who like to explore the beach and get a pleasant suntan. Nevertheless, the skiing season in Victoria and New South Wales is open only from July to September. Australia is a land blessed with an abundance of sunlight, lovely golden and white beaches with a limitless view of the ocean. 
Conclusion
Australian Visa is a must for those who desire to travel to this continent, whether they want to reside there permanently or visiting as a tourist or just going there for a short span of time. Luckily, Australia has a modern updated visa system where it is possible to apply online. So, don’t delay to apply online now and receive your visa as soon as possible.
Author Bio:
 I am Rosie Alison, a Blogger and Freelancer. I love reading blogs, and writing for them on various themes like Travel, Auto, Lifestyle, Education and Health. As of now I am doing research of Australian Visa which provides Visa service to enter into Australia

Exciting World Travels

Have You Always Wanted To Do a Safari in Africa??

You Come to Right Place

Welcome to ANAPA Travel Tanzania Ltd!

We are African Travel adventure Specialists based in Tanzania.

ANAPA Travel Tanzania Ltd is a Tanzanian local travel company owned, registered and licensed tour operator with offices in Arusha, Africa.

We offer all types of Adventure Travel:

Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing,
Hot air balloon ride,
Cultural safari tours,
Game driving safaris to Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda.
Flying charter safari,
and Zanzibar beach holidays.

” We’re a travel company founded on passion: a passion for people, a passion for wildlife and a passion for the magnificent landscapes of Africa.

Some Examples of Our Trips

Tanzania camping safari
Tanzania tours and safari
Great Serengeti migration
Hot air Balloon ride safari
Serengeti and Masai Mara Kenya

Our services

We offer Holiday Safaris in Tanzania, Mount Kilimanjaro climbing& Zanzibar beach Holidays. When you hear the word Tanzania, instantly you think of the wildlife, the big 5, the roaming plains of the Serengeti, white sandy beaches, coral reefs and of course the jaw dropping background of Mount Kilimanjaro.Make Tanzania and East Africa the perfect safari locations.

As local, African Adventure Specialists, we offer you the best holidays with quality, value for money and personal service.

WHY CHOOSE US

We are a mid-range tour operator, providing a high standard of service fore good price. Luxury operators charge prices much higher than ours for things you do not need, while Budget operators charge prices lower than ours and leave out things you do need.

All Inquires Contact www.excitingworldtravels.com

And Also Email Direct Here.

Our Representative is Ready to Answer All your Inquires

Exciting World Travels

Exciting World Travels

Day 7
November 7 2014

So final day of cruise today. I will not speak about the next day which is more of transport from Florida to home, so boring.
So anyways get up early this morning and make it to the buffet area before everyone else this time. Looking at time we should be docking in Bahamas around 10am or so.
So have a power house breakfast this morning. Then pack up things in room and looking out window looks like we arriving to Nassau, Bahamas early. First site is the view of the resort of Atlantis, which looks amazing. We arrive at port early and i get out and finally off this ship. more less spend the entire day walking the town of nassau. Go to a few beaches, and the straw market. etc. Interesting place, actually like it here would like to visit more some day. In market many straw things for sale and many merchants trying to sell their goods.
So walk all way on Bay Street to one point and then back . Going past the main government buildings. Also see all the diamond shops that are sold by the cruiselines.
Then walk across the bridge to paradise island to ATlantis resort, go to paradise beach and actually very nice beach, i buy a can of coke. then walk back to ship and almost time to go. Overall been a good experience this cruise. Will cruise again but looking for a different experience for sure.

Exciting World Travels

Day 6 of Cruise
November 6 2014

So today is just an at sea day. now nearing end of cruise, with one more port of call. Thank goodness
Good thing i did this 7 day cruise as did it for the experience and be an observer to the whole experience. As being one more for adventure travel and sightseeing, and trying out this package tourist thing, it is different, good and bad like anything else. However with all the amenities that ship has to offer i am finding i am suffering from a huge case of boredom. Considering not a big social bar person, most of the ship is made up of bars and restaurants. having simple needs, this is all not in my interest what so ever. However experience of this type of cruise has been good. now i know what i like and dont like, will do a cruise again, but look to options of having more ports of call , which give a better balance to the day vs doing nothing. Doing this package tourist route, is one observation, many of people who do this are more like just dumb people or out to get away from it all and be mindless. Good and bad with it all. Being a big ship has been good but finding that being around the general public all the time has given away from the experience. Its like being at work all the time. Almost good in some aspects but lacks the private function of it all. Perhaps in a future cruise will go with more of a smaller ship or something with less people on it. type of thing

Anyways will make a more longer review of my cruise experience later on. So being a sea day. end up being a boring day. Being at sea and looking at the water is priceless, but like i said most of things on the ship i done, and dont need to do again and other things are not my thing. So have breakfast today, and its fruit and bacon. Then sit on the deck for a few hours, then buy 2 shirts from the store. gift shirts from the Garden alley and show the ship on it. Then have lunch and have a salad and fruit. Then have private time all afternoon in state room on the balcony, however i love it, just keeping it simple. Then clean up and have dinner, in the buffet again of the cattle herding. but good. then some ice cream, then walk around deck and do my usual rounds, walking all over the place, having wait for cabin steward to finish room, then its done and time to write this blog, keeping it simple. Anyone out there who reads this, please help and i like your feedback if u read this. thanks anyone who cruised as well.

Exciting World Travels

Day 5 of Cruise
November 5 2014

So get up for another exciting adventure aboard the Getaway. Up at about 5am this morning so i could watch the entry to port of St Thomas. still dark outside but can see the lights of the island in view. Seems my cabin is on best side of the ship so i can see the city appear as ship arrives. Getting light out and have some coffee. Get the ship and watch entry to port of St Thomas, So far looks amazing, more manicured, more richer place.
So we get there early and i have a tour booked this time to see how the cruise ship runs these things.
So tour is called the Ecohike and Beach of St John Island. Go to getaway theatre and get organized. Then follow the tour people out of ship and to a small boat. Boat heads to st john island about 45 minute boat ride. going by all these homes that stars and high end people own. Seems many people own the homes but never use or live in them ever.
Guide gives some interesting facts about this US Virgin Island etc. How it is a separate country but yet us doesnt recognize it as so, yet people have to pay a federal us tax but not able to vote for US federal elections or are consider US citizens.
Arrival on to island of st john is nice, get into a group for the hike. Hike is like a mile and shorter then expected, could have done it on my own. Guide points out interesting things, like how some plants are poison and some of the insects that live near by, quite interesting. We finally make it to a beach but only have 15 minutes there as we were supposed to have an hour, all well.
So we get some water there and head back through this resort to a jeep and back to the boat. Seeing this one fortress nearby. Get back on the ferry to get to the cruise ship again. Overall decent tour but short but a way to see St Thomas, a sample of it all. BAck on ship have lunch which is salad bar and milk as stomach is now saying, no more meat please. for sweets just have watermelon and call it a day. Afternoon is spent relaxing on movie deck in a chair watching everyone. I think no more alcohol or meat for rest of trip.
Finally around 430pm we leave St Thomas. watch the Carnival Glory leave port before us which is interesting. Then our ship leaves. Good day overall.

Exciting World Travels

Day 4 of Cruise\
November 4 2014

On another day of the cruise, finally doing a port of call today. Considering have eaten so much in last many days. Try to cut calories today. so no meals at all till later. Get up early this morning to watch the ship arrive to the island of st, Maarten, which is both a dutch and french island.
Arriving you can see rain in distance but smells quite fresh. Arriving at port, was able to get off ship quickly. However was my first time going down the decks and got lost trying to find way out of the ship. But able to get to deck 4 and leave the ship for once. Onto the pier and get a map. Make the mistake of paying 7 dollars for the water taxi only to realize it was faster to walk to the town and easier. all well, on the town, it starts to pour rain abit but is a tropical rain. Nice.
Once stopped walk around the town, at port are confronted by people wanting to sell tours and everything else. Town is full of shops but all north american crap. like Nike shoes and Iphones. So really nothing to buy here. Town is quite bustling and does seem different. So finally take a taxi from port about and take to Orient Beach, Nice beach as this is one of the highlights of the St Maarten, nice white sand and green water. After here head in taxi to Maho beach to watch the airplanes take off and land . if you seen videos on youtube, this is considered one of the most craziest airports in the worlds. Planes take off direct at the beach, you basically can literally stand behind the plane and get blasted when it takes off. Very fun times. So finally after good times taxi back to boat and simple buffet for dinner. Later in evening fireworks at H20 Club and more less rest up for St Thomas next day.

Exciting World Travels

day 2 of cruise

november 2nd 2014

Getting up this morning on day 2 of cruise was great. Bed in room was so comfy that slept the best ever.
early morning so head to the above deck running track. Run for about an hour, and try to burn the 10000 calorie a day meal plan. Then running hard for an hour its breakfast time. So load up on eggs, coffee and bacon, so much for running.
Later that day do the Cruise Critic meet up in Cagney’s Steakhouse. Fun little event, chat to a few people and have a muffin and juice. Then off to deck 6 for a information session about the running of a ship. From questions and answers to how the staff run the whole process.
Then off to rest of day doing cruise stuff. From sitting on the sun deck, doing some new drinks.
Lunch time is at the Bar and Grill restaurant which has another buffet style of food.
Supper time is seafood night in the buffet area. Lots of all types of food to choose from. I make a sample of everything that is offered.
Evening , play some video games on the arcade and then check out the casino. Play some games in the casino and lose about on slots. But at least have a glass of wine.
From later later check out the H20 deck for the night time, dance club. Done up very well actually. Video dance screen party type of deal. Cruise director is making the evening pleasant. not a dancer at all myself so sit there and more less just observe. Quite good as they run it like a show, interview people and lots of photos being taken.
Overall i am here to just observe the daily operations of a cruise vacation experience.

Exciting World Travels

1 November 2014

1st day of cruise
so doing a vacation type of trip, seems less interesting to read vs more on sightseeing. But shall blog about this anyways.
Get up early and have breakfast at the buffet again, very nice. Then relax till check out time. Figure i get to the cruise port early. So leave hotel and take yellow taxi to port of Miami. Cab driver talks about the tunnel into the cruise port etc.
Arrive at cruiseport and see the big ships towering overhead. finally to terminal 3 and see the ship i am on . Norwegian Getaway. So far looks amazing. So check in early and go through security. I decide to be smart and bring on my bags. Not worry about the checked bags. like everyone else who uses such service.
So get to waiting area and avoid getting photo done. Then only wait an hour till boarding. Finally time to board Everyone around is excited and happy. Walking onto the ship and getting the first sight of it is so very amazing. Thing is huge , brand new and amazing. Once on board i walk about and check out whole ship and all the floors. Then go have lunch in the Garden room. more less a huge all you can eat buffet. full of everything you can imagine, you can eat anytime you wish and all day long. in general an amazing experience. See my stateroom, which has a balcony, amazing. Big and nice. Service is amazing. and full luxury.
more less day is spent, eating, going on pool and a few drinks. Overall a different experience. Recommend this whole thing to everyone. Later in evening go to a meet and greet for solo people. Nice idea. People are a bit sluggish so nto really my thing. Go and see the Solo lounge which is quite neat. Overall good service. Cabin stewards do the rooms around 3 times a day. So always have a clean good room. Onward to next day.

Exciting World Travels

Another great day in Paradise. So being at a style resort. things are simple to write about so i keep this short.

More less got up early before everyone else. Watch the morning sunrise and was amazing. Keep calories down so BK is in room have rest of the grapes I have

Get ready and head out for the morning of beach time and swimming in ocean, doing this all morning.

Finally start to feel hungry. So head back to hotel and get some food at the tiki bar. Have the drink special of the blue lagoon. Yummy, have 3 of them. Also food today i have the Newport Burger, quite good and yummy. Would recommend again.

Afterwards to room to nurse my alcohol buzz. Back at around for more swimming in ocean, then go for dinner at the Beach Front Pier Bar, Amazing

first do a walk about of the pier, and that is so nice, get some amazing views of the area. Then head to the restaurant for another alcohol induced dinner. Have 2 glasses of wine and a coke and some chicken, amazing , highly recommend and will come back here agai.

Exciting World Travels

hi folks sorry for delay on lst few blogs site was down due to invoice

host gator didnt give me notice it was due

so anyway here is more blogs

Oct 29 2014
In Sunny Isles Miami

So get up early this morning as a transport day. Leaving Panama city Beach and going to Miami for a few days prior to cruise. So after packing up this morning get to drive the mustang one last time. I guess being so early in morning i was not thinking, getting to the airport is easy , up one road and simple right turn . however i set my GPS and for some reason it picks up another airport at another location but labels it the International airport. Without thinking i follow GPS and find i am way off track. At another airfield near a military base. All well, oops! seems, my GPS doesnt have the proper airport in the memory. Anyhow. I turn off GPS and follow instinct to get to airport. Only to find the directions are so easy, a monkey could follow. All it is is labels and signs posted to get to airport. So i get there in just enough time. park car in proper spot and drop my bags off. Looks like i will make my flight.
Flight is with Delta. Board this flight and fly to Atlanta, while on my lay over have some breakfast. Which is eggs and bacon, not bad. Finally get on my next Delta flight and get to Fort Lauderdale. now flight rules during landing all people have laptops off and stored away, tables up. Well some arrogant business guy in some suit didnt follow the rules, i think he was better then everyone else. cause he had suit. Was on laptop whole time during landing with tray down, attendants not notice. All well not my problem
Anyways get my bags and go wait for the Go shuttle. which is like shared hotel shuttle, good system, got to hotel in good time, However driver had bad attitude, no manners, but at same time funny. regardless i did offer a tip as right thing to do and driver refused, said i was cheap, all well. anyways staying at this Newport Beachside and did not realize it was more of a resort then a hotel, very very nice place. So more less spend time here . Go to the mall CV pharmacy to get some wine and have drinks the Tiki bar. Also have a chicken sandwich and vodka . quite good, rest of evening walk beach and look at the stars, i know boring blog but this is the life of beach time.
more adventure tomorrow

Exciting World Travels

Day 8 USA and Cruise 2014
October 23 2014

So another day and time to leave Santa Fe NM . Start day off with coffee and the quick start breakfast at the hotel. Waffles and a muffin. Not bad. Back to room and pack up things and get ready. TAking it easy today and then wait in lobby for the Sandia Shuttle. The shuttle arrives early which is amazing service. Get on the van and pick up a few more people. Van is full. Seems all these people were enjoying time in Santa Fe. Shall be back some day, Very nice place.\
So finally leave the city and head back to Albuergque, to the Sunport Airport. Drive is very nice get to see the desert and the mountains, very good. Arriving in good time at airport. I tip the drive and off to check in. Flight is with Delta and i have to connect in Atlanta.. So go through the security crap at airport. While waiting i go have lunch . Some chinese and its good and eat with chopsticks. Then wait the observation deck in the airport. Watch a few flights take off, Southwest. See one plane come in and a team of fire trucks are escorting it on the run way. Interesting. So time to board. Delta airlines has a system that is slow for boarding, go by zones. So i am in zone 3. get to board last. What the point really when plane takes off at same time as everyone else. so plane leaves and good flight to Atlanta. during flight i heard this guy a seat behind, talk the whole time, claiming he is a a professional astronomer and knows the universe. He just went on and one about his hobby, geez. Finally landing in Atlanta and get off. There is a gate change for flight to Panama city. but make the connection in good time. Short flight, less then an hour. so no drink service on plane. landing in Panama city one of my favourite places. So now it starts to get good. Get my bags and i go check in to get my rental car at Hertz. I booked economy car and lowest price. So sign contract and go pick up car. Turns out my economy car is a Ford Mustang, with leather seats. very nice. so driving car is very nice, now iwant to do some good driving in area Going down hwy is very good and smooth. Arrive at the Beachcomber by the Sea, Same place i stayed last year. but hear long, love it here. check is great and fast and i will provide a review of this place in other area. So go to room and figure out plan, late now, so i just order a pizza from dominos and bread. And coke. Good food. Amazing fast and i tip the guy well. so evening is drinking pop on balcony and listen to sound of ocean so good. Anyways onto next day.

Exciting World Travels

Day 7 USA and Cruise 2014
October 22 2014

On last day in Santa Fe, Getting up and can’t figure out what i should do in the city today. Wishing I had gotten a rental car as without one its quite limited. However i will be creative.
Start day off with the start up breakfast in main building. Today i make waffles on the instant waffle maker, quite fun actually. With a muffin, juice and some coffee.
Head back to room and figure out what i have not scene that i could walk to.
I find that i have not gone to the Cross of the Martyrs and Old Fort Marcy Park in same area. So leave the hotel and start walking up the main streets. Lots of construction on roads today. Weather is good today, sunny and can see all the mountains nearby. Quite nice. Then head i see the cross in this park and climb up the stairs, not that big of a hill after all. From hill top, get a good view of the city from here. Can see in a full circle, nice and see whole city. Good view
Then walk up the path and see the site of where Old Fort Marcy was. Actually nothing here at all, just some signs, some nice homes with gates on them and a few gravel paths, nice quiet area. Could sit here all day long, but can’t
From there head on back down the hill into town again, walk around for a few more hours, towards the shopping center and back to plaza. Looking for a place to eat for lunch, walk around and check out a few menus, and i end up back the buritto places from day before. good food there. I have the lunch special which is a grilled chicken wrap. Amazing tasting.
I could eat there all day long.
Anyways after lunch head on back to hotel as i have done everything i need to do in Santa Fe. Work on this present blog at time. Hope to head out later for another day adventure .

Exciting World Travels

Day 6 of Usa and Cruise 2014 Oct 21 2014 Ok another day. in sante Fe. at moment this morning is pouring rain outside, go into main building for the start up breakfast. simple but decent. I have rice crispies, coffee, toast and juice. People are making waffles as well. After done there i set off for adventure in the city. I walk across the street to Railway park. Quite a simple place but ok. Then i check out the farmer’s market going on other side of the street. lots of good food to buy. Then make it to plaza again. Check out 2 museums. History of New Mexico and Palace of the Governors. Very good attractions. learned lots about the state and history. Good museum. Well made. Good galleries. Good way to tell the history of the area. Would make anyone happy to learn a history lesson. Then after that had some lunch. Went to this Burrito place. Was amazing good. Had grill chicken burrito and a Coke. so amazing. Then head off to Canyon Rd and found this whole area lined up with endless galleries. So spend the afternoon going in and out all the galleries. Some with modern art, contempoarary. Abstract. Everytime you go in one place, the artist greets you at the door. All art is on sale. out of my budget as some pieces going for over 0 000. Good way to spend a day when it is raining out. So get soaked in the rain walking back to motel, but all well. Then rest of time doing up this blog. more to come folks.

Exciting World Travels

Review of Santa Fe Sage Inn

Stayed at this property as trip in Oct 2014. As my yearly big trip. Santa Fe was a nice city. Getting dropped off here was amazing. nice property. Lots of rooms. Check in by front lady, was friendly and fast. Got the low down and happy a breakfast was included. Sounds like a good place. Lobby is simple but good. Lots of parking here. very very good. they sell doritos in the lobby. On entry to room. it was very clean, nice and quant, good tv, bed looked amazing, view simple, but good. coffee maker. and fridge. Hot water on command and good privacy, going barefoot on carpet is good. Location is very good. Grocery store around corner. Walking distance to old town, 20 minutes if you walked slow, so not far at all. Highly recommend this property to anyone. anytime. to solo, families, couples and seniors, anyone actually.
I like to forward my thanks to the people who run this property good work.

Exciting World Travels

Day 5 of USA and Cruise 2014
October 2014

Day 5 of adventure today off to Santa Fe New Mexico and leaving Denver.Get up this morning around 530 as flight is around 9 but have to take shuttle to airport. Pack things up and just have coffee in room. then go downstairs and wait for hotel shuttle. shuttle comes and several people are on it. Do a pickup at the holiday inn then head to airport. smooth going and no traffic. Get to the Denver airport. have a hard time trying to find the Southwest airline checkin. Then realize in other terminal. So go and i already checked in. First time flying with southwest so i tell you about it. Anyways going through airport security For ID I show the TSA person my drivers licence. She tells me she won’t accept a Canadian driver’s licence, so i show her my passport. Anyways, whatever. so go and wait to get on Southwest. So with Southwest you dont get a seat number. instead its a free for all when boarding. you get a line number. So you line up according to your number. Odd concept. I am in the B line. So after a few minutes board. I get a seat in back in the dreaded middle spot. all well. So plane takes off and drink service comes. I have an orange juice that bout it. hour long flight to Albuerque. So land there and go to get the shuttle to get to Santa Fe. Sandia Shuttle. It is booked for 1130am but i am early and let me on it. A few other people are on board this bus. I am first off the bus in Santa Fe. at the Santa Fe Sage in. I tip the driver and he is grateful.
Check in at the Sage in is fast. hotel is nice. i have a review for you in another area.
So get a Dr pepper at room and figure out day. Head out and walk towards old town. I come across for lunch this nice burger place near by called the Shake Foundation. very good sell burgers with Green Chile. Amazing. Will have review for you in other part of Tripadvisor.
So walk into old town and to the Plaza of the city. Very nice place. old buildings and very historical. I share rest in my photos on this one. Visit a couple of churches and see 2 museums i will do next day. Overall good experience. However i am here for 3 nights. seems like i have covered what i needed to do in Santa Fe. so im stuck at what to do next. for the other 2 days. All well i was going be suggestions.
Anyways head back to hotel later and buy some food from the Whole foods grocery store around the corner, very convenient. I find most of the products in that store are all organic. however very expensive, wow. Buy a bottle of wine and get carded by cashier. but all well.
So back to room and just take it easy, naked. lol, well one has to relax.
dinner tonight is in room, wine, cheese and organic sandwich actually quite good
then i wrote this blog.
Stay tuned for next day.

Exciting World Travels

Day 4 of USA and Cruise 2014

So final day of time in Denver. I was planning to do a trip of drive in mountains but i like the city too much to leave it. Figure city has lots to offer and spend more time here.
Take my time getting up today and go have some coffee in the room.
Then set off from hotel and walk to downtown . another 7 mile walk to downtown. Figure be a good way to burn off supper from night before. Walking is good, nice and sunny out and get to see more residential areas of the city. Finally making it to downtown area. Have to admit I have done too much walking. Feet are hurting. Anyways onward to 16th street as to look for a place for lunch Mission is to find the Tilted Kilt as my choice to eat today. If your not familar its a place similar to Hooters but apparently different and better. So walking on 16th street i search for it and finally find it. Only to decide i rather not eat there. Very busy at moment being lunch hour and noisy people watching football in there. so i go look for something else. I finally find this one plaza area with several restaurants in it. I walked past the Coyote Ugly bar and bouncer is standing outside warning people to not go in cause it sucks lol.
Walking by i can see no one in there and one girl dancing on the bar. all well. I find this pizza place that is Italian in the plaza. go in and sit down. Local business and sell local beer. I think. I have this Belgian White beer, very nice . Pizza you order by custom, you select the toppings. The name of the pizza place is Grimaldis. Very good I recommend. Will have a review in separate page. I get an extra beer as well on the house. Good service. So leave here and walk around more in mall area. Ride the free mall bus up the street just to ride it. Check out the bridge that is over the tracks and a few other nice pedestrian bridges. Come along to a nice park as well. Overall been a good time in Denver. Feet are sore so need to take time off of them again. So take taxi back to hotel and rest again in room. Rooms is cleaned up and ready. Relax with a nice glass of Dr Pepper and write this blog. Dinner tonight is in the hotel’s restaurant. a Good meal. Chicken parmesian. with Cheesecake and wine. Good combination. Overall i recommend everyone to check it out.Rest of evening is doing this blog and lights out. Onward to a new adventure tomorrow. To Santa Fe New Mexico, going to be fun and exciting. thanks.

Exciting World Travels

Day 3- Oct 18 2014 – USA and Cruise 2014

This day 3 on Colorado and time in Denver. Get up this morning and looks like going to be a nice sunny day.So today start off the breakfast at the hotel. Which is an all you can eat buffet. For what you get its worth it over just ordering a packaged breakfast. So i take pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage and cereal. Oh yes the juice and coffee were amazing. back to room and today I just want to take it easy. Now the sun is shine really well. So I open the balcony door and let sun shine in. During this time get some rays while sitting there, its all warm , a perfect package, add this to some wine in the morning, good package. for sure.
So finally get ready and plan out day. Going to go check out the Cherry Mall today which is a posh place. I head out walking in hopes to find a taxi to take me there. After walking on main road and trying to flag down taxis, to a fail, none stop for me. Odd. So i end up walking for 2 hours to get to Cherry Ridge Mall.By this time i am sick of walking.. Mall is nice. lots of nice looking girls walking around. Time for lunch so for some asian food at the mall. Take break and have some water and read my map. From here I walk up to 6th street and head into another shopping district. I find the bike path by the river, nice place for sure. Denver is a very nice outdoor city, everyone is healthy and fit. By this time my legs are sore from walking all day. I go back into downtown to 16th street. There is some halloween festival going on. People are all walking around dressed as zombies here. Quite neat actually. So after walking up the street, feeling tired. Decided its time to go. Back to hotel. This time i found some taxis by one of the hotels here. Take taxi back for about 20 bills. But its ok, i had enough of walking all day. Back at hotel have some wine and relax rest of day. Evening just have a simple supper. Go to Arby’s first time i eaten at arbys. have the roost beef sandwich and curly fries. Dr pepper. i have to say it was really good. Better then mcdonalds and burger king. I think i will go back.
After that i just spent time writing out this log, hope you enjoy this, Denver has been amazing so far.

Exciting World Travels

Day 2 – Oct 17 2014 – USA and Cruise 2014 Started this day off planning it all out. Considering Denver is a nice outdoor city. Figure i do most of my first day on foot. so set off and walk in the proper direction to get to my first stop will be City Park. Nice walking in various residential areas. good homes in this city. Day is sunny but cool out at this time. Finally after walking a very long time, make it to city park. see a nice golf course and Downtown Skyline of the city in view. Going to be good time. First attraction is the Denver Science and Nature Museum. Looks like a nice building so i will go inside. Experience here was truly amazing. Museum has animal exhibits from all over the world. Things about whales, Planetarium, and Imax Theatre. Things about history of space. More less a big package of wonders good for everyone. I posted a review on other areas. From here then i did the mile long walking path in City Park. goes around this old lake and then i ended up at the zoo. Weather is nice. sunny, and very warm. I enter the Denver Zoo. Zoo is very good. Has animals of all types. monkeys, elephants, birds, you name it. Very well lay out. Very very busy though. Seems that it is full of school children running around. So have to be careful of where you step. Have a small break for lunch which was some overpriced grease pizza and a bottle of water, yay. On wards to more walking around in the city. I then walk down to downtown to Capital Hill. The state capital building of Colorado. Quite impressive as there seems to be many great buildings in this city that are old and interesting to see. AT this point my legs are stumbling a bit from walking all day long. i think over 15 miles so far. Then i make way into downtown and walk up 16ave. Which is a pedestrian, mall, full of shops, bars, restaurants, more less the place to be seen. Quite neat as there is like a free bus that goes up and down the street. so you no need to walk. So then i walk to one of the main stadiums in the city the Coors Light stadium where the baseball team plays. A good structure wish i could be here for a game, all well next time. Now its been a long day. so I start to walk back to hotel. I didnt realize how far i had walked today. WAlking back is a long journey back. So walking back i thought i was on right street which was 38th Ave. Which should been a straight walk to Quebec Street. However i came to an end at some golf course. Have no clue why a course was in way of the street. Anyways i had to walk around to another street. However then that came to construction and some condo community. So i had to detour all over the place. Seem my hotel kept being so far far away. Finally I made it to Quebec Street. Way too much walking today.I think i should have gotten a rental car, lesson learned. So finally relax back at the hotel, hotel is nice. So evening is just quite simple. Go for dinner at the IHOP across the street in hopes of a big pig out session. So i go an order there the buttermilk pancakes. and a Chocolate milk , quite good. However i guess Denver lives up to being one of the most healthy cities. Seems the portion sizes in restaurants are not over huge. Even at IHOp the servingportion was not big at all, normal size but fulfilling. So a good observation. Anyways Offer a small tip and back to hotel for an easy evening. Onward to day number 3.

Exciting World Travels

Review of Denver Renaissance Hotel.

Stayed at this hotel in October 2014. First time at Mariott brand. Travel as a solo on this. I do lots of travel and have much experience in hotels. I have to say this hotel was amazing.First things first. They offer a free shuttle to and from airport. Which is so convenient. As well a shuttle to downtown area. and within a 7 mile radius of the hotel. so worth it. The exterior of the hotel is amazing nice. Atrium style inside and out. Sticks out in Denver, perhaps the best hotel in the city. entering the hotel. Lobby is amazing, business like but good for anyone. Check in was fast. I have to compliment the girl at the front, not sure of her name but she had dark hair, good work. Very fast. Keys were issued right away and gave good overview of the hotel. Felt welcome.
So then go to level 9. taking the elevator was amazing, window over side of restaurant and lobby, wow is all i can say. Entering room, was big, and so very clean. Big bed, good tv, balcony as well over looking Denver. Clean clean towels and business center. Internet was fast. A couch in the room and good carpets. coffee maker etc. Wow is all I can say. The restaurant in hotel was great too i will make separate entry on that as well.
Overall I give this hotel top stars. too amazing for words. I recommend this hotel to anyone worth it. Good location as well. parking is very good, rental car place near by, Walmart across the street. Also other places to eat as well. Stay here next time in Denver. I recommend this is strict advice from Worldtraveller. Take my word for it . Thanks

Exciting World Travels

Day 1 – Oct 16 2014 – USA and Cruise 2014

This is first entry of this trip. On Oct 16th 2014 . head off to get to Denver Colorado. Going to be first time going to this state. Just want set foot in as many states as i can. so this be one other one i can take off my list.So give a quick lowdown on first day. more less fly from Thunder Bay to Toronto. On Air Canada Jazz and no problems. Land in Toronto at Toronto Pearson.Go through US customs and Security again without a hitch. More less quite boring time. We all do it when we fly. So time on my lay over in Toronto. Figure i go for breakfast/ I end up just doing a cheap sandwich and milk as the restaurant i was going to try stops serving breakfast at 1030am and its 1026 am at moment, weird.Anyways i then go to waiting lounge and find they have these tables setup with tablets on them, connected to a restaurant nearby. So if u order u dont order from the server just on the tablet. And its free to use the internet on tablet for anyone, no need to be a customer. So i order a coffee from the tablet, its ok.
Anyways that is all. So then board plane on United and fly to Denver, good flight, no problems. We arrive to Denver in 30 minutes early. On first impression of Denver it looks amazing. Airport looks new and very modern/. get my baggage and proceed to get hotel shuttle, the hotel staying at offers a free shuttle, so good deal. Arrive in good time at my hotel. Denver Renaissance hotel, very good. I will include review of hotel in next entry as .

Check in at hotel is great . Good hotel. Check to room and room is amazing, have great view of Denver. So being first day and later afternoon just keep it as a day to relax. Go for dinner in the downstairs italian restaurant. Very good food, a bit pricey but good.
I will have a review of restaurant in other area.
Rest of evening is to plan out the day for next day. will have lots of walking and many great things to see. Can’t wait, this city seems amazing. Stay Tuned.

Exciting World Travels

This is just a preview of Things to Come. Will be doing trip this year of from Oct 16 to November 2014.

Solo almost. Doing time in Colorado and New New Mexico

2 more states I have not visited yet. So after those 2 i will only have less then  9 more USA states to step in.

For Colorado doing time in Denver , tour of Rocky Mt National Park. , Denver Zoo and more of the city

then off to city of Santa Fe New Mexico to see some historic attractions in city.

After a few days there off to a return of Panama City Beach, enjoyed it last time so returning

Then to Miami Beach area again, few days before cruise, enjoy Halloween here as well

Then sail on Cruise – on November 1st 2014

Will have a balcony room.

Hope to meet others on ship,, will be a fun time. Lots of photos

So low down

Denver Oct 16 to 20th

Santa Fe Oct 20th to 23rd

Panama City Beach Oct 23rd to Oct 29.

Miami Oct 29 to november 1st

Norwegian Cruise  Nov 1 to Nov 8

Cruise ports are Miami – St Maarten, St Thomas and Bahamas.

Exciting World Travels

Travel Alone – Where and How
At The Dead Sea in Jordan at Mujip nature reserve
At The Dead Sea in Jordan at Mujip nature reserve
This is a resource page for those wanting to travel alone. It points you to many posts within Solo Traveler.

It’s designed to help you quickly find the posts that go to the heart of the matter:

How to travel alone safely
How to travel alone – tips for fun
Where to travel alone.
Over on the Best of Solo Travel resource page, you’ll find posts about why it’s great to travel alone and  stories to inspire your travels. But here its all about where and how.

Traveling alone is an amazing experience but it can also be demanding. Everything from your itinerary to how much fun you have is all up to you. Check out these posts to help you thoroughly enjoy your experience as a solo traveler.

All you need to know about solo travel in one place. Click on the book to go to Amazon.com. Available in paperback and all ebook formats in your favorite online stores.
How to Travel Alone

Tips for Newbies

The Solo Travel Society on Facebook offers lots of information from experienced travelers. Here are some of their great tips for those new to traveling alone.

How to Travel Alone Without Being Lonely: 10 tips & 5 posts

After safety, the number one concern of solo travelers is feeling lonely. I’ve addressed this issue in many ways. This post pulls all those ways together in one place. Please share this resource with friends so that everyone can enjoy solo travel.

Travel Solo on a Budget Part I: avoiding the single supplement

In addition to being expensive, the single supplement is annoying. Travel alone and choose tours by using these tips on beating it – at least some of the time.

Cheap Solo Travel – 21 posts to help you travel solo for less.

I received an email on the weekend that made me realize that I have written lots about traveling on a budget but I haven’t made that information easy to find. So… here you go.

10 Simple Tips for Successful Solo Volunteering

Volunteering is a popular travel activity that is especially great for solo travelers. It connects solo travelers to community and other travelers. Here’s 10 simple tips to get it right.

Bare Minimum Packing

Packing lists are the key to packing light. Most people have trouble with this but, in my opinion, it’s an important skill for the solo traveler. Here’s how to do it.

Thanks to everyone who helped make this guide possible.
FREE! Click on the guide to get a free download.
My Favorite Travel Gear

As you know, I’m all about packing light so don’t have a long gear list. I consider every one of these products worth its weight to…

FREE Accommodation Guide.

The Solo Traveler Accommodation Guide contains some of the best places to stay for solo travelers in over 51 countries. It was crowdsourced from readers, other bloggers and sponsors. Full colour ebook that’s free!

Travel Alone and Yes, Talk to Strangers

We are all raised not to talk to strangers. But it can be a good thing. A really good thing. Here’s how to travel alone and talk to strangers safely.

Travel Technology: Increase your security and reduce costs

Every trip I try to improve my use of technology. This time I’m making a big leap forward with the help of Doug from iHelpinnovate.com. Doug has refined my technology strategy. Here’s his first post in a three part series.
Solo traveler in Jordan with young woman

10 Tips on Clubbing & Pubbing Solo

There were many responses to the post last week on Pub Life in the Lake District. It seems that people want to go out at night when they travel alone but are somewhat intimidated. So… I give you 10 tips on Clubbing & Pubbing Solo.

Overcome Your Fear: how to practice safe couchsurfing

Is couchsurfing out of the question when you travel alone? Maybe not, if you follow tips from an experienced couch surfer.

Tips for the Shy Solo Traveler

Here are 5 tips for traveling alone in silence and 5 more for traveling solo socially that even shy people can use.

Travel Alone to India: 32 Tips You Need to Know

How to make the adventure of traveling solo to India a bit easier.

Meeting People: The Chili Cheese Omelet Opener

Meeting people as you travel alone is easy with techniques like the Chili Cheese Omelet Opener.

5 Ways to Enjoy Restaurant Dining – Alone

Before I started this blog, I did a survey and discovered that dining alone was one of the greatest fears about traveling alone. Well, here are five ways to overcome them.
Petra the bank building

Travel Alone Safely

Addressing Travel Alone Objection #1: ten safety solutions.

Solo travel objection #1 is about safety. Well, fear not. Here are ten ways to travel solo and safe.

Safety: 10 ways to blend in when you can’t.

My white curly hair stands out in a crowd – especially traveling places like South America or the Middle East. Here’s how to blend in when you really can’t

Safety: 20 Common Sense Tips

Common sense in one country is not necessarily common in another. Travelers must have travel common sense. Here are 20 tips to help you get yours.

Exciting World Travels

5 Steps to Stretch Your Solo Travel Muscles

March 4, 2013 by Janice 10 Comments

Take one bold step and another will follow.
Take one bold step and another will follow.
There were a couple of occasions this past weekend when, for different reasons, I referred to Leonard Cohen’s song “Anthem”.

There are two lines in this song that I have held onto over the years.

There is a crack, a crack in everything

That’s how the light gets in.

You see, when change is desired but seems impossible, I think of these lines. I remind myself that a small, even a tiny step, can be the beginning of great things. And once that small step is taken, the momentum to change has begun.

Of course, Mr. Cohen was talking about large issues of global importance. But I don’t think he’d mind me applying his words to the much smaller details of my life. And as I was thinking about my post for today and wanting to deliver encouragement for whose who worry about going solo – whether because they’ve not done so before or because they are stretching their boundaries – I thought about these lines again and the small steps one can take to change.

Five steps towards better solo travel.

The unknown is what makes taking your first solo trip or traveling to more adventurous destinations alone a challenge. To allay these fears, I suggest a few trip planning steps.

1. Spend a little time with yourself. Take an inventory of your strengths, weaknesses and desires. What do you want out of your trip? What do you need as a person? Knowing yourself well is fundamental to having a great time and being safe as you travel solo.
2. Plan and pack appropriately. Plan your travel time so that you arrive during daylight – night is not a good time to arrive in a new location. Book accommodation that is social such as a hostel or B&B. Look for restaurants with communal tables and local coffee shops. Do this before you go so that you time away is spent experiencing rather than organizing. Pack as lightly as you can for your destination.
3. Network and talk to people with experience. These conversations will be quite different depending on whether you’re a newbie or an experienced solo traveler stretching your wings, but they will all be helpful. When I went to Chile, I was trying to figure out how to go to Patagonia. It was really hard to figure out and I couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t figure it out. I scoured my network and found a couple of people to get first hand information from. I also learned that they had found it a difficult trip to plan for as well. (After that trip I wrote How to Travel Solo to Patagonia: Top 10 Tips which has been featured on the Chilean Tourism site for over a year.)
4. Plan the technical aspects of your travels. Currency, documents, language, communications… there are many aspects of your trip that you’ll want to have a handle on before you leave. Know how you’ll manage your money, how you’ll communicate with home and more. The more you have these issues under control the easier it will be to relax and go.
5. Read fiction and non-fiction from your destination. I love reading works by the top authors of the country I’m visiting but there is also a practical purpose to such reading. Doing so introduces me to some of the unique characteristics of the culture and makes it more familiar to me. This makes the destination easier but there’s more. When there, I enjoy testing what I’ve read against what I see and experience. For some, just the idea of traveling solo is a stretch. For others, traveling solo to a certain destination is a stretch. I hope the tips above will make doing so easier because stretching is good. It is good for the mind and the soul. Enjoy!

Exciting World Travels

Another take on Heck of the North from another voice

 

Updated: 10/08/2014 10:55 PM
Created: 10/07/2014 10:02 PM WDIO.com
It’s not your average bike ride.
Dailo Bibancos a bicyclist from Brazil said, “they said it’s basically a bunch of crazy guys that want to ride in super cold weather.”
It’s called the Heck of the North. This event catches the eyes of some of the most daring to peddle through its course.
Jeremy Kershaw the Event Director said, “so most of it is unpaved. People realize there is a lot of untapped roads out there that are beautiful to ride on if you have a little sturdier bike.
The bikers come from all over. rain or shine with bikes of different styles. The event starts in Two Harbors and goes to Duluth and back, but not in a straight line.
Ryan Sportel a bicyclist from Inver Grove Heights said, “I think i’m expecting the unexpected. So yeah that is part of the draw.” Bibancos added, “I have yet to do a hundred miler. So this is going to be a feat of the mind. If I can survive.”
Over one-hundred miles through some of the most rugged back trails northern Minnesota has to offer. As for a GPS? the tread marks in the mud the riders before you left and a piece of paper.
Sportel said, “it’s turn-by-turn directions. So it depends. Part of the fun to is sometimes you get a hurd of cats following each other and you can take some wrong turns and get on some extra adventure, which is what you don’t want to do.”
Dirt roads, mud, thick grass you name it. they ride through it. The half way point is Lester Park in Duluth for the riders to grab a bite, change their socks or wipe mud from their face.
“we had to go in a couple of the state trails, and it was just marsh.” said Brett Swenson from Bayport said. “it looks green on top, you step in and your feet sink in six inches. There is water all around.”
After duluth it’s back to two harbors, with a sense of accomplishment, and the chore of cleaning up.
Swenson said, “once you get home the wife hates all of the dirt in the washing machine. Cleaning the bike up, it’s a long process.”
As many are learning, It’s more then riding a bike. It’s the Heck of the North.

 

http://www.wdio.com/article/12628/?vid=5380489&v=1

Exciting World Travels

For those not familiar the Heck is a relatively flat ‘gravel’ race on what are often bumpy/dusty gravel roads NW of Duluth.  The route is punctuated with a long finishing climb and a scattering of trail sections.  Most years the trail sections are very wet to the point of requiring dismounts.  The flat nature of the course often keeps a large lead group together late into the race which has made for some exciting finishes.

I’ve been going good and was willing to try to take a flyer early in the race.  Such a strategy had been bubbling up since late summer and was further reinforced by my experience at the Gravel Conspiracy.  The pace always starts pretty high but I was looking for a way to get up the road from the start.  Figured I had to get it done early as possible or else it wouldn’t seem ‘stupid’ on my part and wouldn’t be allowed to happen.

So started my first ever Gravel Grinder. on Oct 2014. With just mt bike racing and road racing background, figure this be different. At this time I had done a few 100 mile bike races like Lutsen 99 and Mohican 100. This concept of a gravel grinder seemed different, being unsupported and unmarked where you have to follow cue cards to figure out the course.

So start off at the water front in Two Harbors. Weather is brutal, today, cold, lots of wind and wet. Going to be tough.
Now traditional for gravel grinders you ride a cross or cyclocross bike. Which i dont have. I am going to be one of the few on a Mt bike. On entry seems about 85% of the field are on cross bikes. With a few of us on mt and a few fat bikes as well, wow.

Well at least I am not only one. So get to start area and its quite low key atmosphere from other events i done. More less we just start and go.
Just around within the first 50 feet i see a few stacks of cue cards already on the ground, quite funny. First part of event is just a rolling start up along the highway to northward on to some county rd’s and dirt where the racing actually starts.

Run into a few more people riding mt bikes and one guy on another rocky mountain, so quite good. By this time, the pack is now splitting apart. front to back.

So getting onwards, lots of dirt roads, and weather was steady strong winds all day. Rainy and snow at many times. So into about mile 4 we come across this stream crossing. Almost impossible to ride through it, and only way was to walk it. However being cold out and October, this is a recipe for disaster. So i took leap of faith and ran through it. Now feet all nice and wet ready for a very cold ride rest of the day.
So a few things on doing this event which i entered just to try out a gravel grinder. One cross bike is rule of the day. Being on a mt bike is a HUGE handicap when on these dirt roads. If you ride a mt bike in a gravel grinder get some skinner tires for it. As it does feel sluggish more. However during this event on the trail systems we biked. I was at an advantage to all on cross bikes. Was able to handle and ride faster on the trails over the cross bike people. so hit and miss.

During this event from doing other long distance events, i got my on bike nutrition and hydration system all good.
Camelbak full of water with some fizz in them, and 2 water bottles, one full of Perpetium and other water bottle with electrolyte replacement.

On first part of event, about 3 times did go off course, thats the part of this type of racing, reason was i just following other riders and not watching the cues. So one point rode off at a cross turn with a few other people , and trail kept going. to a point which the bike tracks ended. so we turned around realized the mistake. Then back on another trail in lots of water and mud.

Overall a good ride for most of first part. Second time and 3rd time going off course. was when riding on a road, get into a steady pace and the turn off was some trail entrance off side of road, easy to miss almost, good thing we ran into people at end going on other direction who realized they missed the turn. So a few back tracking in this adventure. so far a good experience.

So going back up the road about more people turning off onto this trail. For some reason seem a good move though, as now i was with a big group of people , everyone seemed happy and smiling and happy so it was good time. On this trail part , now i was riding past people again since being on a mt bike. Come across a few guys on fat bikes too, very interesting. So after trail part come across to more dirt road and then steady paved road.

Going up a hill i can see the waterfront of Duluth in the view. Seems close to turn around point now at the Lester Park. So this is now at mile i think 67 or so. My feet are stone cold and wet all over. Hands are cold as well, it has been a big adventure so far. So go to a nice downhill and i almost ride past park but i see a few volunteers waving me in. This is a check point so one must check in here.  It is good to stop at this moment. I quickly take off my wet socks and put on new ones i had in my drop bag. Wow what a difference. Also change gloves as well. There is a nice fire pit here as well so i am warming up my hands now as well. Have 2 bananas and few cookies and refill my bottles with water, i could sit here rest of the day. But still have over 40 miles to finish.
Seems a few people at this point were calling it a day, too bad but it happens. Have to say “ been there down that’ AT this point since i was in a 4 week training burn out. I am ready to go but not 100% fitness i was early this summer.

So anyways make my way back on the course and head back. AT this time seems i am going to be riding solo rest of the day. I am now in auto pilot so just going to cruise it and enjoy the ride. I wont be able to pass people in my state but i will be able to finish. So continue riding and now i have to actually read my cue cards exactly. I am finding it actually fun to follow the directions instead of following someone else, more fun and i can do it better it seems. So going back up a few hills i am barely making it, but riding it, all well.
AT this point course is part on a two way back and i am seeing riders just heading to lester park. And they are fair way back. So it does give me confidence that i am not going to be last and not only that, not even in the last of the pack.

So continue on on more roads and tails. Having more gels and patting some dogs along the way on some dirt roads. Fan club i assume.

So later one reach one more trail. Catch up to one guy on a cross bike. We ride this muddy section and come across one part of trail and little confused, but looks like we are on right way. Back out onto a road and realize its almost done. So finally ride down this nice road, sun has finally come out. The end is also near, been a long long day, but great adventure. So being a nice grassroots events, i see a team of amazing volunteers at the timing check point. we call our number to them and that is it, we have finished, rest of way is a neutral ride to the waterfront to cross the official finish line.
Looks like a great event will do it again.
Overall came in 90th spot, so not bad seems half field did DNF perhaps or not sure how many started, but i was under 9 hours on this one. considering i had a 3 week training burnout.

Putting bike away is nice, but cold. As cool down time now. Other people are finishing but seems the area is happy. People did have a good day. Looks like i will be back for next year. I think only one from Ontario, and Canada here or i think one guy from Alberta was in it, but not sure.

So this was my first time on a gravel grinder event, have to say a good experience and will do it again for sure.
Thanks for listening. Check out my blogs and website at
www.excitingworldtravels.com

Thanks everyone!

Exciting World Travels

For those not familiar the Heck is a relatively flat ‘gravel’ race on what are often bumpy/dusty gravel roads NW of Duluth.  The route is punctuated with a long finishing climb and a scattering of trail sections.  Most years the trail sections are very wet to the point of requiring dismounts.  The flat nature of the course often keeps a large lead group together late into the race which has made for some exciting finishes.

I’ve been going good and was willing to try to take a flyer early in the race.  Such a strategy had been bubbling up since late summer and was further reinforced by my experience at the Gravel Conspiracy.  The pace always starts pretty high but I was looking for a way to get up the road from the start.  Figured I had to get it done early as possible or else it wouldn’t seem ‘stupid’ on my part and wouldn’t be allowed to happen.

So started my first ever Gravel Grinder. on Oct 2014. With just mt bike racing and road racing background, figure this be different. At this time I had done a few 100 mile bike races like Lutsen 99 and Mohican 100. This concept of a gravel grinder seemed different, being unsupported and unmarked where you have to follow cue cards to figure out the course.

So start off at the water front in Two Harbors. Weather is brutal, today, cold, lots of wind and wet. Going to be tough.
Now traditional for gravel grinders you ride a cross or cyclocross bike. Which i dont have. I am going to be one of the few on a Mt bike. On entry seems about 85% of the field are on cross bikes. With a few of us on mt and a few fat bikes as well, wow.

Well at least I am not only one. So get to start area and its quite low key atmosphere from other events i done. More less we just start and go.
Just around within the first 50 feet i see a few stacks of cue cards already on the ground, quite funny. First part of event is just a rolling start up along the highway to northward on to some county rd’s and dirt where the racing actually starts.

Run into a few more people riding mt bikes and one guy on another rocky mountain, so quite good. By this time, the pack is now splitting apart. front to back.

So getting onwards, lots of dirt roads, and weather was steady strong winds all day. Rainy and snow at many times. So into about mile 4 we come across this stream crossing. Almost impossible to ride through it, and only way was to walk it. However being cold out and October, this is a recipe for disaster. So i took leap of faith and ran through it. Now feet all nice and wet ready for a very cold ride rest of the day.
So a few things on doing this event which i entered just to try out a gravel grinder. One cross bike is rule of the day. Being on a mt bike is a HUGE handicap when on these dirt roads. If you ride a mt bike in a gravel grinder get some skinner tires for it. As it does feel sluggish more. However during this event on the trail systems we biked. I was at an advantage to all on cross bikes. Was able to handle and ride faster on the trails over the cross bike people. so hit and miss.

During this event from doing other long distance events, i got my on bike nutrition and hydration system all good.
Camelbak full of water with some fizz in them, and 2 water bottles, one full of Perpetium and other water bottle with electrolyte replacement.

On first part of event, about 3 times did go off course, thats the part of this type of racing, reason was i just following other riders and not watching the cues. So one point rode off at a cross turn with a few other people , and trail kept going. to a point which the bike tracks ended. so we turned around realized the mistake. Then back on another trail in lots of water and mud.

Overall a good ride for most of first part. Second time and 3rd time going off course. was when riding on a road, get into a steady pace and the turn off was some trail entrance off side of road, easy to miss almost, good thing we ran into people at end going on other direction who realized they missed the turn. So a few back tracking in this adventure. so far a good experience.

So going back up the road about more people turning off onto this trail. For some reason seem a good move though, as now i was with a big group of people , everyone seemed happy and smiling and happy so it was good time. On this trail part , now i was riding past people again since being on a mt bike. Come across a few guys on fat bikes too, very interesting. So after trail part come across to more dirt road and then steady paved road.

Going up a hill i can see the waterfront of Duluth in the view. Seems close to turn around point now at the Lester Park. So this is now at mile i think 67 or so. My feet are stone cold and wet all over. Hands are cold as well, it has been a big adventure so far. So go to a nice downhill and i almost ride past park but i see a few volunteers waving me in. This is a check point so one must check in here.  It is good to stop at this moment. I quickly take off my wet socks and put on new ones i had in my drop bag. Wow what a difference. Also change gloves as well. There is a nice fire pit here as well so i am warming up my hands now as well. Have 2 bananas and few cookies and refill my bottles with water, i could sit here rest of the day. But still have over 40 miles to finish.
Seems a few people at this point were calling it a day, too bad but it happens. Have to say “ been there down that’ AT this point since i was in a 4 week training burn out. I am ready to go but not 100% fitness i was early this summer.

So anyways make my way back on the course and head back. AT this time seems i am going to be riding solo rest of the day. I am now in auto pilot so just going to cruise it and enjoy the ride. I wont be able to pass people in my state but i will be able to finish. So continue riding and now i have to actually read my cue cards exactly. I am finding it actually fun to follow the directions instead of following someone else, more fun and i can do it better it seems. So going back up a few hills i am barely making it, but riding it, all well.
AT this point course is part on a two way back and i am seeing riders just heading to lester park. And they are fair way back. So it does give me confidence that i am not going to be last and not only that, not even in the last of the pack.

So continue on on more roads and tails. Having more gels and patting some dogs along the way on some dirt roads. Fan club i assume.

So later one reach one more trail. Catch up to one guy on a cross bike. We ride this muddy section and come across one part of trail and little confused, but looks like we are on right way. Back out onto a road and realize its almost done. So finally ride down this nice road, sun has finally come out. The end is also near, been a long long day, but great adventure. So being a nice grassroots events, i see a team of amazing volunteers at the timing check point. we call our number to them and that is it, we have finished, rest of way is a neutral ride to the waterfront to cross the official finish line.
Looks like a great event will do it again.
Overall came in 90th spot, so not bad seems half field did DNF perhaps or not sure how many started, but i was under 9 hours on this one. considering i had a 3 week training burnout.

Putting bike away is nice, but cold. As cool down time now. Other people are finishing but seems the area is happy. People did have a good day. Looks like i will be back for next year. I think only one from Ontario, and Canada here or i think one guy from Alberta was in it, but not sure.

So this was my first time on a gravel grinder event, have to say a good experience and will do it again for sure.
Thanks for listening. Check out my blogs and website at
www.excitingworldtravels.com

Thanks everyone!

Exciting World Travels

Exciting World Travels

Chequamegon 40 2015

Day of Cheq 40
Here is the low down of what the race is all about direct from the website. Then I have my account personal of doing the event myself.

Each year 2,100 participants are selected in a random lottery to take part in this challenging, 40-mile fat tire event that takes place on Saturday of the Festival weekend. While a few compete for the chance to be called champion, it is the citizen class athletes who are in it for the adventure and personal challenge inherent in the sport that make up the bulk of the race field.
The Chequamegon 40 begins travels from downtown Hayward, WI over the famed American Birkebeiner Ski Trail, forest roads, snowmobile trails and other wooded paths in Sawyer and Bayfield counties to the finish line at Telemark Resort in Cable, WI.
The large field size dictates that the race course have a carrying capacity suitable for the masses. Characterized as a power course, the linear nature favors the fittest and not necessarily the most technically accomplished rider. This is not to say it’s an easy 40 miles by any stretch of the imagination. The race course is long and fast, and the never ending profile fluctuations wears down even the fittest participants.
he mass start of the Chequamegon 40 is spectacle unmatched in the sport. The pre-race anticipation reaches a pinnacle when the black powder cannon is fired. As the rollout heads down Hayward’s Main Street, the hum of the wheels, cheers of the crowd and shifting of gears energizes the parade start. The tempo is controlled down Main Street as the riders pass the large crowd of spectators lining both sides of the street.
Rolling down Hayward’s Main Street
A left onto Railroad Street and then another right onto Highway 77 are negotiated by the anxious race field. Once on the highway, the tempo is increased as the peloton heads east on Highway 77 to Fish Hatchery Road. It is here that the riders hit the dirt and connect with the southern end of the American Birkebeiner cross-country ski trail. Following a tricky off-camber transition from the pavement into Rosie’s Field, the race is on as the fat-tired flyers make their way north to the finish line.
Rosie’s Field: The race is on
Over the miles the off-road drama is played out one rider at a time as mind, muscles and two-wheeled machines roll up and over the unforgiving race course profile. The race-day logistics of a 40-mile, point-to-point course are significant. Aid stations, course control monitors, emergency medical staff, and evacuation vehicles for the drops and spectators are scattered from start to finish.
Seeley Fire Tower climb
A pivotal point in the race comes at the Seeley Fire Tower climb at 11.5 miles from the finish. Following the climb the elevation gained is lost again and the climb back to the high point on the Birkie Trail at seven miles from the finish presents yet another knockout punch.
Final approach
The final approach to the finish line is rewarded with a long-distance ski hill vista at Telemark Resort. Augmented by the sounds of music, the roar of the crowd and the fragrance of Wisconsin’s favorite grilled bratwurst, riders complete their long journey through Wisconsin’s North woods.

Personal Account

Cheq 40 – Wisconsin September 2014 – Great Event – Good course – Rolling hills on ski trails and ski do trails,  lots of fun – amazing start m – many crashes at beginning by others on the road section – had fun at event – did ride not at fullest potential, more less felt Fat during entire event and a little weak, not powering up hills as normal, had to walk up many hills and let people go by me, but all good, – good way to set myself up for Cheq 2015!! which know course and what event is all about so can good about better next time, but had fun regardless, good experience, nutrition and hydration was at par, but felt a little weak, at this event, time for long term recover in a few weeks, for sure after i do the Heck of the North event on Oct 4th in two harbours, – otherwise Cheq 40 – 2014 was a success on my side!

Start of event was the most interesting part. Your sitting at the start line surrounded by over 2000 other riders. The drone is flying over and people are getting excited. Was a good place to be on this fine day. Temperature wise was around 50F or 7C with a frost warning. but many riders are in short sleeves and shorts. So warm up and get ready. Put bike in the gate 4 and let it sit. Finally the announcer says for a 930am start to get to your bikes as we roll out at 10am.  So as 10am rolls around, everyone is ready.
Finally at 10am the start buzz goes off. Now being way in middle of pack it took a while for the riding to move. So we stood there a few extra minutes before the congestion moved. then again with over 2000 people what do you expect. The most valuable piece of information was to avoid crashing on the highway. People get all jazzed up on the pavement leading to Rosie’s Field and every year cyclists end up in a tangled mess. The gun… we were rolling. I cautiously followed the masses and avoided wheels, leaving a bubble around me for safety. The noise on main street was deafening, people blowing horns, shaking cowbells, and screaming for the riders! As we rounded the corner to the highway I saw the guy changing a flat. You know, that guy that you see at every race changing a flat a half-mile after the start. Glad it wasn’t me. Two miles into the race I saw the guy that crashed- the guy that undoubtedly got hung up on a wheel and face planted on the highway.My nerves were still running the show and I knew I had to pedal until I couldn’t feel them anymore. Riders were ripping past me on the highway and I feared I would be left behind, but also feared I would burn up if I attempted to keep that pace. My game plan was to ride with caution and to finish.

I at this point was not riding to my potential, HRT Was up but i didnt and couldnt get into my groove from all my training i was like on my ass basically. like i never ridden a bike before.  very strange, so more less people were passing me and i couldnt keep up but i was there to do the Cheq 40 as it was on my bucket list of events.

We arrived at the first section of Birkie trail and riders were jammed up, fighting to climb the hill to Rosie’s Field. I cautiously stayed to the far left and avoided getting boxed in. Handlebar to handlebar, wheel to wheel we clawed our way up. We spread out in the field and I was encouraged by familiar faces of spectators. Another rider was down and the pack split in two, like a school of fish, merging on the other side. From here we began the rolling up and down of the Birkie hills. I tried to work the downward momentum to carry myself up the proceeding ascents but we were still too tight to ride free, I had to get over to the side and ride thicker, grassy sections to pass slower riders.

Mile 20. Half way. Still feeling ok. Actually this point i got my groove back. I had to walk up one hill and i rested, normally i can  push and ride hils like this no problem so after one minute the groove i was supposed to have from start go to me. so rest of race i was playing catch up .
At least i was able to ride like what i was trained to do. The pedals spun. I would see bottles of electrolytes laying on the trail, rattled loose from cages, and wondered if I should pick one up.
I was telling myself I was strong and I was visualizing the competitive beast inside of me that wakes up after 20 miles of labor. Fire Tower Hill came, I clawed my way up, and it was over. The stories of horror I had heard seemed exaggerated as I looked at this hill and thought, “Is this really it?” Don’t get me wrong- it’s a bugger, but when you know that it’s the last great obstacle, you hunker down and you get ‘er done!
After Fire Tower we had about 8 miles left. We were once again back on the Birkie trails and the climbs loomed.
From there one many many more hills and many more trails.
After many more hills and riding quite confident it was almost over. I thought the 40 miles would feel like a piece of cake as i have ridden many 100 mile mt bike races before. but its more the mindset. This 40 miler felt like i was almost done the 100 milers . I was happy to finish it. Finally reaching the ski resort in Cable. Down the ski hill and around to finish line, was good success.

Was a great day. Out of the deal of this event. get a shuttle back to Hayward on a school bus but convenient. as it being a one way race. So back to hayward. I forgot how far my motel was from start line. as i had biked to start line in morning to save on driving. Had 4 mile walk to motel, after doing that race, was not wanting to walk. Finally back to motel, have something to eat and feel better.
Back drive to Cable to pick up my bike, still many people here. Stay to hear all the thank you’s from the organizers. Very good event. Will be back again for 2015.

Back to motel later in evening before stopping at McD’s for a cheat day dinner. Relaxing at motel in evening and that was my experience of the Cheq 40 event.

Exciting World Travels

Chequamegon 40 2015

Day of Cheq 40
Here is the low down of what the race is all about direct from the website. Then I have my account personal of doing the event myself.

Each year 2,100 participants are selected in a random lottery to take part in this challenging, 40-mile fat tire event that takes place on Saturday of the Festival weekend. While a few compete for the chance to be called champion, it is the citizen class athletes who are in it for the adventure and personal challenge inherent in the sport that make up the bulk of the race field.
The Chequamegon 40 begins travels from downtown Hayward, WI over the famed American Birkebeiner Ski Trail, forest roads, snowmobile trails and other wooded paths in Sawyer and Bayfield counties to the finish line at Telemark Resort in Cable, WI.
The large field size dictates that the race course have a carrying capacity suitable for the masses. Characterized as a power course, the linear nature favors the fittest and not necessarily the most technically accomplished rider. This is not to say it’s an easy 40 miles by any stretch of the imagination. The race course is long and fast, and the never ending profile fluctuations wears down even the fittest participants.
he mass start of the Chequamegon 40 is spectacle unmatched in the sport. The pre-race anticipation reaches a pinnacle when the black powder cannon is fired. As the rollout heads down Hayward’s Main Street, the hum of the wheels, cheers of the crowd and shifting of gears energizes the parade start. The tempo is controlled down Main Street as the riders pass the large crowd of spectators lining both sides of the street.
Rolling down Hayward’s Main Street
A left onto Railroad Street and then another right onto Highway 77 are negotiated by the anxious race field. Once on the highway, the tempo is increased as the peloton heads east on Highway 77 to Fish Hatchery Road. It is here that the riders hit the dirt and connect with the southern end of the American Birkebeiner cross-country ski trail. Following a tricky off-camber transition from the pavement into Rosie’s Field, the race is on as the fat-tired flyers make their way north to the finish line.
Rosie’s Field: The race is on
Over the miles the off-road drama is played out one rider at a time as mind, muscles and two-wheeled machines roll up and over the unforgiving race course profile. The race-day logistics of a 40-mile, point-to-point course are significant. Aid stations, course control monitors, emergency medical staff, and evacuation vehicles for the drops and spectators are scattered from start to finish.
Seeley Fire Tower climb
A pivotal point in the race comes at the Seeley Fire Tower climb at 11.5 miles from the finish. Following the climb the elevation gained is lost again and the climb back to the high point on the Birkie Trail at seven miles from the finish presents yet another knockout punch.
Final approach
The final approach to the finish line is rewarded with a long-distance ski hill vista at Telemark Resort. Augmented by the sounds of music, the roar of the crowd and the fragrance of Wisconsin’s favorite grilled bratwurst, riders complete their long journey through Wisconsin’s North woods.

Personal Account

Cheq 40 – Wisconsin September 2014 – Great Event – Good course – Rolling hills on ski trails and ski do trails,  lots of fun – amazing start m – many crashes at beginning by others on the road section – had fun at event – did ride not at fullest potential, more less felt Fat during entire event and a little weak, not powering up hills as normal, had to walk up many hills and let people go by me, but all good, – good way to set myself up for Cheq 2015!! which know course and what event is all about so can good about better next time, but had fun regardless, good experience, nutrition and hydration was at par, but felt a little weak, at this event, time for long term recover in a few weeks, for sure after i do the Heck of the North event on Oct 4th in two harbours, – otherwise Cheq 40 – 2014 was a success on my side!

Start of event was the most interesting part. Your sitting at the start line surrounded by over 2000 other riders. The drone is flying over and people are getting excited. Was a good place to be on this fine day. Temperature wise was around 50F or 7C with a frost warning. but many riders are in short sleeves and shorts. So warm up and get ready. Put bike in the gate 4 and let it sit. Finally the announcer says for a 930am start to get to your bikes as we roll out at 10am.  So as 10am rolls around, everyone is ready.
Finally at 10am the start buzz goes off. Now being way in middle of pack it took a while for the riding to move. So we stood there a few extra minutes before the congestion moved. then again with over 2000 people what do you expect. The most valuable piece of information was to avoid crashing on the highway. People get all jazzed up on the pavement leading to Rosie’s Field and every year cyclists end up in a tangled mess. The gun… we were rolling. I cautiously followed the masses and avoided wheels, leaving a bubble around me for safety. The noise on main street was deafening, people blowing horns, shaking cowbells, and screaming for the riders! As we rounded the corner to the highway I saw the guy changing a flat. You know, that guy that you see at every race changing a flat a half-mile after the start. Glad it wasn’t me. Two miles into the race I saw the guy that crashed- the guy that undoubtedly got hung up on a wheel and face planted on the highway.My nerves were still running the show and I knew I had to pedal until I couldn’t feel them anymore. Riders were ripping past me on the highway and I feared I would be left behind, but also feared I would burn up if I attempted to keep that pace. My game plan was to ride with caution and to finish.

I at this point was not riding to my potential, HRT Was up but i didnt and couldnt get into my groove from all my training i was like on my ass basically. like i never ridden a bike before.  very strange, so more less people were passing me and i couldnt keep up but i was there to do the Cheq 40 as it was on my bucket list of events.

We arrived at the first section of Birkie trail and riders were jammed up, fighting to climb the hill to Rosie’s Field. I cautiously stayed to the far left and avoided getting boxed in. Handlebar to handlebar, wheel to wheel we clawed our way up. We spread out in the field and I was encouraged by familiar faces of spectators. Another rider was down and the pack split in two, like a school of fish, merging on the other side. From here we began the rolling up and down of the Birkie hills. I tried to work the downward momentum to carry myself up the proceeding ascents but we were still too tight to ride free, I had to get over to the side and ride thicker, grassy sections to pass slower riders.

Mile 20. Half way. Still feeling ok. Actually this point i got my groove back. I had to walk up one hill and i rested, normally i can  push and ride hils like this no problem so after one minute the groove i was supposed to have from start go to me. so rest of race i was playing catch up .
At least i was able to ride like what i was trained to do. The pedals spun. I would see bottles of electrolytes laying on the trail, rattled loose from cages, and wondered if I should pick one up.
I was telling myself I was strong and I was visualizing the competitive beast inside of me that wakes up after 20 miles of labor. Fire Tower Hill came, I clawed my way up, and it was over. The stories of horror I had heard seemed exaggerated as I looked at this hill and thought, “Is this really it?” Don’t get me wrong- it’s a bugger, but when you know that it’s the last great obstacle, you hunker down and you get ‘er done!
After Fire Tower we had about 8 miles left. We were once again back on the Birkie trails and the climbs loomed.
From there one many many more hills and many more trails.
After many more hills and riding quite confident it was almost over. I thought the 40 miles would feel like a piece of cake as i have ridden many 100 mile mt bike races before. but its more the mindset. This 40 miler felt like i was almost done the 100 milers . I was happy to finish it. Finally reaching the ski resort in Cable. Down the ski hill and around to finish line, was good success.

Was a great day. Out of the deal of this event. get a shuttle back to Hayward on a school bus but convenient. as it being a one way race. So back to hayward. I forgot how far my motel was from start line. as i had biked to start line in morning to save on driving. Had 4 mile walk to motel, after doing that race, was not wanting to walk. Finally back to motel, have something to eat and feel better.
Back drive to Cable to pick up my bike, still many people here. Stay to hear all the thank you’s from the organizers. Very good event. Will be back again for 2015.

Back to motel later in evening before stopping at McD’s for a cheat day dinner. Relaxing at motel in evening and that was my experience of the Cheq 40 event.

Exciting World Travels

Ganther Race The Lake August 2014

Race the Lake was a fun event. More less run similar to Gran Fondo, but they did placing and timing as well. they ran it with 12 heats i think,each heat having a max of 150 riders  1st heat was pro/elite and then down from there. each going off 10 minutes from each other.  with the lower waves being people just there to casual ride etc
i was in 3rd wave.so was hoping for a challenge
Course was 90 miles. Quite an easy course. Just only one hill that required a moderate amount of effort otherwise mostly flat and fast.

For summary, was learning experience overall. Start was told it would be a slow motor paced rolling start for first few miles. Was misleading as it just took off within the first 10 seconds. Was stuck at not quite almost back of the pack while the pack of 20 at the front literally took off.  Not all people in wave were into chasing, so ventured up and did work with other guys to try to catch lead group, as there was possible time, but the 2 guys i was riding with gave up even though we gained ground , so all well and just went back and ride with a group of other 18 pack right behind and hope for the best.
overall was good ride, everything went well. was able to push it , and have energy.
the pack i was in for 3 wave was a little less challenging as many times pace was going slow then picked up so was a mix. After doing the one climb, i dropped the group as many seemed not interested in pushing it on climb, so rode on my own for a while and caught a few more people and ride with more others later on.
completed the course in just over 3 and half hours. so not a bad time . Being a first time experience riding with a large group of people always a learning experience.

with the front group breakaway early, seem i think even catching up would probably have a chance to probably keep pace with them as final times were quite similar

So a few things i figure to learn for next time.
if do same event another time, position near front of pack at start, so just in case group break aways , get in the group and hope for the best. and try for a chance
remember my timing chip, lol . left timing chip in room, so not officially in results for event,  but at least i timed it on my garmin and was physically there, lol

Otherwise fun event. would consider again for sure.

Exciting World Travels

Ganther Race The Lake August 2014

Race the Lake was a fun event. More less run similar to Gran Fondo, but they did placing and timing as well. they ran it with 12 heats i think,each heat having a max of 150 riders  1st heat was pro/elite and then down from there. each going off 10 minutes from each other.  with the lower waves being people just there to casual ride etc
i was in 3rd wave.so was hoping for a challenge
Course was 90 miles. Quite an easy course. Just only one hill that required a moderate amount of effort otherwise mostly flat and fast.

For summary, was learning experience overall. Start was told it would be a slow motor paced rolling start for first few miles. Was misleading as it just took off within the first 10 seconds. Was stuck at not quite almost back of the pack while the pack of 20 at the front literally took off.  Not all people in wave were into chasing, so ventured up and did work with other guys to try to catch lead group, as there was possible time, but the 2 guys i was riding with gave up even though we gained ground , so all well and just went back and ride with a group of other 18 pack right behind and hope for the best.
overall was good ride, everything went well. was able to push it , and have energy.
the pack i was in for 3 wave was a little less challenging as many times pace was going slow then picked up so was a mix. After doing the one climb, i dropped the group as many seemed not interested in pushing it on climb, so rode on my own for a while and caught a few more people and ride with more others later on.
completed the course in just over 3 and half hours. so not a bad time . Being a first time experience riding with a large group of people always a learning experience.

with the front group breakaway early, seem i think even catching up would probably have a chance to probably keep pace with them as final times were quite similar

So a few things i figure to learn for next time.
if do same event another time, position near front of pack at start, so just in case group break aways , get in the group and hope for the best. and try for a chance
remember my timing chip, lol . left timing chip in room, so not officially in results for event,  but at least i timed it on my garmin and was physically there, lol

Otherwise fun event. would consider again for sure.

Exciting World Travels

Time Trial Results on Murillo 15km

July 31 – Murillo 15 km +25 sunny
Category Name Avg Speed
Female Senior Kayla Kjellman 0:24:36 36.5
Sarah Baum 0:25:19 35.5
Kailey Trodd 0:27:59 32.1
Female Veteran Marilyn Ailey 0:25:24 35.4
Alison Thompson 0:27:41 32.5
Nicki Wilberforce 0:28:49 31.2
Pam Saranpaa 0:29:48 30.2
Michele Verdenik 0:31:12 28.8
Female Masters Sue Hay 0:28:24 31.6
Nancy Shine 0:32:51 27.3
Male Junior Jon Kettle 0:24:00 37.5
Emile Hamm 0:24:33 36.6
Fred Serratore 0:24:41 36.4
Ate Saranpaa 0:30:48 29.2
Male Senior Josh Gillingham 0:19:48 45.5
Aaron Arndt 0:21:56 41
Male Veteran Keith Ailey 0:21:43 39.6
Dave Pinner 0:22:08 40.6
John Rescigno 0:23:15 38.7
Thomas Quinn 0:25:11 35.7
Male Masters Bob Shine 0:23:19 38.5
Berto Pasciullo 0:23:28 38.3
Dave Krasnichuck 0:24:14 37.1
Male Super Masters John Esposti 0:22:54 39.3
Tim Knutson 0:25:01 35.9
Frank Wilson 0:27:22 32.8
Iain Mettam 0:28:52 31.1
Exciting World Travels

Time Trial on Murillo 15 lm on July 31 2014

 

Resultes

July 31 – Murillo 15 km +25 sunny
Category Name Avg Speed
Female Senior Kayla Kjellman 0:24:36 36.5
Sarah Baum 0:25:19 35.5
Kailey Trodd 0:27:59 32.1
Female Veteran Marilyn Ailey 0:25:24 35.4
Alison Thompson 0:27:41 32.5
Nicki Wilberforce 0:28:49 31.2
Pam Saranpaa 0:29:48 30.2
Michele Verdenik 0:31:12 28.8
Female Masters Sue Hay 0:28:24 31.6
Nancy Shine 0:32:51 27.3
Male Junior Jon Kettle 0:24:00 37.5
Emile Hamm 0:24:33 36.6
Fred Serratore 0:24:41 36.4
Ate Saranpaa 0:30:48 29.2
Male Senior Josh Gillingham 0:19:48 45.5
Aaron Arndt 0:21:56 41
Male Veteran Keith Ailey 0:21:43 39.6
Dave Pinner 0:22:08 40.6
John Rescigno 0:23:15 38.7
Thomas Quinn 0:25:11 35.7
Male Masters Bob Shine 0:23:19 38.5
Berto Pasciullo 0:23:28 38.3
Dave Krasnichuck 0:24:14 37.1
Male Super Masters John Esposti 0:22:54 39.3
Tim Knutson 0:25:01 35.9
Frank Wilson 0:27:22 32.8
Iain Mettam 0:28:52 31.1
Exciting World Travels

1. 64 Nathan Coceancic Male Lambateur 00:17:09.3 00:00:00.0
2. 57 Steven Anderson Male Sport 16-20 00:22:31.9 00:05:22.6
3. 60 Nicholas Randall Male Sport 0-15 00:23:37.6 00:06:28.3
4. 63 Joshua Zavitz Male Sport 0-15 00:28:32.4 00:11:23.1
5. 56 Serena Radley-Hansen Female Sport 0-15 00:29:19.8 00:12:10.5
6. 62 Alexander Randall Male Sport 0-15 00:30:43.0 00:13:33.7
7. 54 Niklas Harkonen Male Sport 0-15 00:30:56.9 00:13:47.6
8. 58 Ate Saranpaa Male Sport 16-20 00:31:29.8 00:14:20.5
9. 51 Ethan Nuttall Male Sport 0-15 00:32:14.7 00:15:05.4
10. 53 Aidan Johnson Male Sport 0-15 00:32:39.1 00:15:29.8
11. 55 Trish Thomas Female Sport 36+ 00:34:11.2 00:17:01.9
12. 52 Maureen Page Female Sport 36+ 00:36:40.6 00:19:31.3
13. 61 Matthew Randall Male Sport 0-15 00:43:55.7 00:26:46.4
14. 24 Zack Kondrat Male Advanced 16-20 00:47:50.2 00:30:40.9
15. 11 Keegan Tremblay Male Advanced 0-15 00:49:51.1 00:32:41.8
16. 14 Jacob Lacosse Male Advanced 21-35 00:49:57.8 00:32:48.5
17. 13 Garin Schoonhoven Male Advanced 21-35 00:51:00.7 00:33:51.4
18. 9 John Alt Male Advanced 36+ 00:51:32.9 00:34:23.6
19. 23 Matt Ager Male Advanced 21-35 00:52:40.5 00:35:31.2
20. 17 Frederick Serratore Male Advanced 0-15 00:52:44.1 00:35:34.8
21. 5 Michael Thomas Male Advanced 36+ 00:53:23.5 00:36:14.2
22. 4 John Rescigno Male Advanced 36+ 00:53:40.5 00:36:31.2
23. 18 Jacob Zavitz Male Advanced 0-15 00:53:47.8 00:36:38.5
24. 15 Adam Harju Male Advanced 36+ 00:54:12.4 00:37:03.1
25. 12 Todd Randall Male Advanced 36+ 00:57:29.6 00:40:20.3
26. 1 Callum Johnson Male Advanced 16-20 00:58:15.0 00:41:05.7
27. 3 David Krasnichuk Male Advanced 36+ 00:58:26.1 00:41:16.8
28. 22 Randy Berg Male Advanced 36+ 00:58:28.2 00:41:18.9
29. 133 Colin Pendziwol Male Elite 0-20 00:59:39.2 00:42:29.9
30. 2 Laura Inkila Female Advanced 16-20 01:02:00.3 00:44:51.0
31. 19 Steve Zavitz Male Advanced 36+ 01:02:36.7 00:45:27.4
32. 20 Christian Kachkowski Male Advanced 16-20 01:03:41.1 00:46:31.8
33. 126 Keith Ailey Male Elite 36+ 01:04:24.7 00:47:15.4
34. 121 Jon Kettle Male Elite 0-20 01:05:50.0 00:48:40.7
35. 132 Dylan Bailey Male Elite 21-35 01:07:42.9 00:50:33.6
36. 16 Jarek Tremblay Male Advanced 16-20 01:09:01.8 00:51:52.5
37. 8 Tim Kennedy Male Advanced 36+ 01:11:48.6 00:54:39.3
38. 131 Rodney Puumala Male Elite 36+ 01:16:31.7 00:59:22.4
39. 123 Paul Inkila Male Elite 36+ 01:18:01.9 01:00:52.6
40. 128 Kailey Trodd Female Elite 21-35 01:23:26.7 01:06:17.4
41. 125 Marilyn Ailey Female Elite+36 01:23:28.5 01:06:19.2
42. 129 John Twiest Male Elite 36+ 01:25:17.3 01:08:08.0
43. 135 Sam Niemi Male Elite 36+ 01:36:36.7 01:19:27.4
DNS 7 Tristan Radley-Hansen Male Advanced 16-20
DNS 21 Kyle Wright Male Advanced 16-20
DNS 122 Chris Mitchell Male Elite 21-35
DNS 124 Gerald Hamm Male Elite 36+
DNS 127 Allison Sauder Female Advanced 16-20
DNS 130 Josh Gillingham Male Elite 21-35
DNS 134 Emile Hamm Male Elite 0-20
DNS 137 Unnamed Racer
Exciting World Travels

BlackSheep Mountain Bike Race

July 30th 2014

At Trowbridge Falls

 

results

 

1. 64 Nathan Coceancic Male Lambateur 00:17:09.3 00:00:00.0
2. 57 Steven Anderson Male Sport 16-20 00:22:31.9 00:05:22.6
3. 60 Nicholas Randall Male Sport 0-15 00:23:37.6 00:06:28.3
4. 63 Joshua Zavitz Male Sport 0-15 00:28:32.4 00:11:23.1
5. 56 Serena Radley-Hansen Female Sport 0-15 00:29:19.8 00:12:10.5
6. 62 Alexander Randall Male Sport 0-15 00:30:43.0 00:13:33.7
7. 54 Niklas Harkonen Male Sport 0-15 00:30:56.9 00:13:47.6
8. 58 Ate Saranpaa Male Sport 16-20 00:31:29.8 00:14:20.5
9. 51 Ethan Nuttall Male Sport 0-15 00:32:14.7 00:15:05.4
10. 53 Aidan Johnson Male Sport 0-15 00:32:39.1 00:15:29.8
11. 55 Trish Thomas Female Sport 36+ 00:34:11.2 00:17:01.9
12. 52 Maureen Page Female Sport 36+ 00:36:40.6 00:19:31.3
13. 61 Matthew Randall Male Sport 0-15 00:43:55.7 00:26:46.4
14. 24 Zack Kondrat Male Advanced 16-20 00:47:50.2 00:30:40.9
15. 11 Keegan Tremblay Male Advanced 0-15 00:49:51.1 00:32:41.8
16. 14 Jacob Lacosse Male Advanced 21-35 00:49:57.8 00:32:48.5
17. 13 Garin Schoonhoven Male Advanced 21-35 00:51:00.7 00:33:51.4
18. 9 John Alt Male Advanced 36+ 00:51:32.9 00:34:23.6
19. 23 Matt Ager Male Advanced 21-35 00:52:40.5 00:35:31.2
20. 17 Frederick Serratore Male Advanced 0-15 00:52:44.1 00:35:34.8
21. 5 Michael Thomas Male Advanced 36+ 00:53:23.5 00:36:14.2
22. 4 John Rescigno Male Advanced 36+ 00:53:40.5 00:36:31.2
23. 18 Jacob Zavitz Male Advanced 0-15 00:53:47.8 00:36:38.5
24. 15 Adam Harju Male Advanced 36+ 00:54:12.4 00:37:03.1
25. 12 Todd Randall Male Advanced 36+ 00:57:29.6 00:40:20.3
26. 1 Callum Johnson Male Advanced 16-20 00:58:15.0 00:41:05.7
27. 3 David Krasnichuk Male Advanced 36+ 00:58:26.1 00:41:16.8
28. 22 Randy Berg Male Advanced 36+ 00:58:28.2 00:41:18.9
29. 133 Colin Pendziwol Male Elite 0-20 00:59:39.2 00:42:29.9
30. 2 Laura Inkila Female Advanced 16-20 01:02:00.3 00:44:51.0
31. 19 Steve Zavitz Male Advanced 36+ 01:02:36.7 00:45:27.4
32. 20 Christian Kachkowski Male Advanced 16-20 01:03:41.1 00:46:31.8
33. 126 Keith Ailey Male Elite 36+ 01:04:24.7 00:47:15.4
34. 121 Jon Kettle Male Elite 0-20 01:05:50.0 00:48:40.7
35. 132 Dylan Bailey Male Elite 21-35 01:07:42.9 00:50:33.6
36. 16 Jarek Tremblay Male Advanced 16-20 01:09:01.8 00:51:52.5
37. 8 Tim Kennedy Male Advanced 36+ 01:11:48.6 00:54:39.3
38. 131 Rodney Puumala Male Elite 36+ 01:16:31.7 00:59:22.4
39. 123 Paul Inkila Male Elite 36+ 01:18:01.9 01:00:52.6
40. 128 Kailey Trodd Female Elite 21-35 01:23:26.7 01:06:17.4
41. 125 Marilyn Ailey Female Elite+36 01:23:28.5 01:06:19.2
42. 129 John Twiest Male Elite 36+ 01:25:17.3 01:08:08.0
43. 135 Sam Niemi Male Elite 36+ 01:36:36.7 01:19:27.4
DNS 7 Tristan Radley-Hansen Male Advanced 16-20
DNS 21 Kyle Wright Male Advanced 16-20
DNS 122 Chris Mitchell Male Elite 21-35
DNS 124 Gerald Hamm Male Elite 36+
DNS 127 Allison Sauder Female Advanced 16-20
DNS 130 Josh Gillingham Male Elite 21-35
DNS 134 Emile Hamm Male Elite 0-20
DNS 137 Unnamed Racer
Exciting World Travels

Norith is a Travel writer on a Journey around the world
Norith

Exciting World Travels

Lutsen 99er 2014  –  Main Results of Top Riders

 Personal Best from 2013 hour better in time

Bib
469
JOHN RESCIGNO
99 Mile » Thunder Bay, Canada
Finished
08:05:07
  • ntervalTime of DayChip TimeChip PaceGun TimeGun PaceStart7:30:00AM    30 mi9:52:31AM02:22:3112.63 mi/hr02:22:3112.63 mi/hr47 mi11:18:57AM01:26:2611.80 mi/hr–99 mi3:35:06PM04:16:1012.18 mi/hr–Finish3:35:06PM08:05:0712.24 mi/hr08:05:0712.24 mi/hr
  • 39 Mile 
    Rank Athlete Bib Time
    1 Jason Johnson 883 02:07:42
    2 Fitzgerald Ryan 1226 02:07:42
    3 Darcy Cornish 746 02:07:55
    4 Calder Glowac 817 02:09:04
    5 Matt Zak 1214 02:13:44
  • 99 Mile 
    Rank Athlete Bib Time
    1 Michael Naughton 404 05:51:49
    2 Jeff Hall 205 05:52:31
    3 Garth Prosser 459 05:52:43
    4 Kasey Bacso 361 05:54:26
    5 Matthew Ryan 485 06:08:08
  • 19 Mile 

  • Rank
    Athlete Bib Time
    1 Robert Wharton 1393 01:11:11
    2 Collin Maynard 1355 01:13:46
    3 Jake Condon 1316 01:16:19
    4 Logan Frantz 1333 01:23:30
    5 Sara Johnson 1397 01:24:2
Exciting World Travels

Lutsen 99er 2014  –  Main Results of Top Riders

 Personal Best from 2013 hour better in time

Bib
469
JOHN RESCIGNO
99 Mile » Thunder Bay, Canada
Finished
08:05:07
  • ntervalTime of DayChip TimeChip PaceGun TimeGun PaceStart7:30:00AM    30 mi9:52:31AM02:22:3112.63 mi/hr02:22:3112.63 mi/hr47 mi11:18:57AM01:26:2611.80 mi/hr–99 mi3:35:06PM04:16:1012.18 mi/hr–Finish3:35:06PM08:05:0712.24 mi/hr08:05:0712.24 mi/hr
  • 39 Mile 
    Rank Athlete Bib Time
    1 Jason Johnson 883 02:07:42
    2 Fitzgerald Ryan 1226 02:07:42
    3 Darcy Cornish 746 02:07:55
    4 Calder Glowac 817 02:09:04
    5 Matt Zak 1214 02:13:44
  • 99 Mile 
    Rank Athlete Bib Time
    1 Michael Naughton 404 05:51:49
    2 Jeff Hall 205 05:52:31
    3 Garth Prosser 459 05:52:43
    4 Kasey Bacso 361 05:54:26
    5 Matthew Ryan 485 06:08:08
  • 19 Mile 

  • Rank
    Athlete Bib Time
    1 Robert Wharton 1393 01:11:11
    2 Collin Maynard 1355 01:13:46
    3 Jake Condon 1316 01:16:19
    4 Logan Frantz 1333 01:23:30
    5 Sara Johnson 1397 01:24:2
Exciting World Travels

 

 

 

July 3 – La

keshore 20 miler +19

Category Name Avg Speed
2-UP teams Josh Gillingham AAron Arndt 43.8
Berto Pascillo Lori Knott 38.4
Sarah Baum Kailey Trodd 35.7
Lis Salmon Thomas Quinn 33.1
Female Senior Kayla Kjellman 36.2
Alison Thompson 31.8
Michelle Allain 29.9
Female Veteran Joanna Wiersma 35.8
Marianne Stewart 34.3
Karen Murphy 34.9
Heather Saunders Sutherland 29.2
Pam Saranpaa 28
Michele Verdenick 27.1
Female Masters Nancy Shine 27.8
Female Super Masters Linda Browning Morrow 29.1
Male Junior Darcy Cornish 40.6
Ate Saranpaa 27.9
Male Senior Chris Morden 36.1
Chris Mitchell 35.3
Jeff Wark 34.5
Robert Thomson 32.7
Andrew Leach 32.7
Male Veteran Keith Ailey 39.7
John Rescigno 38.4
Male Masters Bob Shine 38.9
Dave Krasnichuk 36.6
Fred Bauer 31.7
Randjid Balboolal 29.5
Male Super Masters John Esposti 39.2
Tim Knutson 35.3
Frank Wilson 32.8
Iain Mettam 32.5
July 10,11 ITT Dauphine
Name Points TT#1 Time TT#2 Points TT#2 Total Points 2 Races
Cat 1 Aaron Arndt 0:01:27 25 0:06:43 20 45
Darcy Cornish 0:01:41 20 0:06:47 16 36
Josh Gillingham 0:01:42 16 0:06:10 25 41
Rodney Puumala 0:01:55 13 0:06:51 11 24
Joel Gerry 0:06:50 13 13
Cat 2 Chris Mitchell 0:01:51:71 25 0:07:36:78 9 34
Berto Pasciullo 0:02:02:63 20 0:07:18:99 16 36
Lori Knott 0:02:02:98 16 0:07:36:66 10 26
John Rescigno 0:02:14 13 0:07:32 11 24
Sarah Baum 0:02:24 11 0:07:55 7 18
Kailey Trodd 0:02:27 10 10
Darrel Hay 0:02:30:44 9 0:07:18:60 20 29
Marty Saranpaa 0:02:30:78 8 0:07:45 8 16
Dave Pinner 0:06:37 25 25
John Esposti 0:07:29 13 13
Cat 3 Lorne Morrow 0:02:19 25 0:07:25 20 45
Tim Knutson 0:02:21 20 20
Kurt Breitspecher 0:02:38 16 16
Thomas Quinn 0:02:40 13 0:07:40 16 29
Rob Thomson 0:02:51 11 11
Fred Bauer 0:02:57 10 0:08:25 10 20
Iain Mettam 0:03:00 9 0:08:04 11 20
Frank Wilson 0:03:28 8 0:08:40 9 17
Ate Saranpaa 0:04:00 7 0:10:02 8 15
Jean Louis Charette 0:07:44 13 13
Jon Kettle 0:07:23 25 25
Womens Only Cat Karen Murphy 0:02:33 25 25
Marianne Stewart 0:02:38 20 20
Nicki Wilberforce 0:02:41 16 16
Alison Thompson 0:02:45 13 13
Michelle Allain 0:03:14 11 11
Lis Salmon 0:03:18 10 0:08:34 25 35
Linda Browning Morrow 0:03:24 9 0:09:18 20 29
Michele Verdenick 0:03:43 8 8
Pam Saranpaa 0:04:22 7 0:09:25 16 23
Heather Sanders Sutherland 6 0:08:28 13 19
Exciting World Travels

Past Cycling Results

July 3 rd  Lakeshore Drive and July 12 tour de Dauphine

July 3 – Lakeshore 20 miler +July19
Category Name Avg Speed
2-UP teams Josh Gillingham AAron Arndt 43.8
Berto Pascillo Lori Knott 38.4
Sarah Baum Kailey Trodd 35.7
Lis Salmon Thomas Quinn 33.1
Female Senior Kayla Kjellman 36.2
Alison Thompson 31.8
Michelle Allain 29.9
Female Veteran Joanna Wiersma 35.8
Marianne Stewart 34.3
Karen Murphy 34.9
Heather Saunders Sutherland 29.2
Pam Saranpaa 28
Michele Verdenick 27.1
Female Masters Nancy Shine 27.8
Female Super Masters Linda Browning Morrow 29.1
Male Junior Darcy Cornish 40.6
Ate Saranpaa 27.9
Male Senior Chris Morden 36.1
Chris Mitchell 35.3
Jeff Wark 34.5
Robert Thomson 32.7
Andrew Leach 32.7
Male Veteran Keith Ailey 39.7
John Rescigno 38.4
Male Masters Bob Shine 38.9
Dave Krasnichuk 36.6
Fred Bauer 31.7
Randjid Balboolal 29.5
Male Super Masters John Esposti 39.2
Tim Knutson 35.3
Frank Wilson 32.8
Iain Mettam 32.5
July 10,11 ITT Dauphine

 

 

P

Name Points TT#1 Time TT#2 Points TT#2 Total Points 2 Races
Cat 1 Aaron Arndt 0:01:27 25 0:06:43 20 45
Darcy Cornish 0:01:41 20 0:06:47 16 36
Josh Gillingham 0:01:42 16 0:06:10 25 41
Rodney Puumala 0:01:55 13 0:06:51 11 24
Joel Gerry 0:06:50 13 13
Cat 2 Chris Mitchell 0:01:51:71 25 0:07:36:78 9 34
Berto Pasciullo 0:02:02:63 20 0:07:18:99 16 36
Lori Knott 0:02:02:98 16 0:07:36:66 10 26
John Rescigno 0:02:14 13 0:07:32 11 24
Sarah Baum 0:02:24 11 0:07:55 7 18
Kailey Trodd 0:02:27 10 10
Darrel Hay 0:02:30:44 9 0:07:18:60 20 29
Marty Saranpaa 0:02:30:78 8 0:07:45 8 16
Dave Pinner 0:06:37 25 25
John Esposti 0:07:29 13 13
Cat 3 Lorne Morrow 0:02:19 25 0:07:25 20 45
Tim Knutson 0:02:21 20 20
Kurt Breitspecher 0:02:38 16 16
Thomas Quinn 0:02:40 13 0:07:40 16 29
Rob Thomson 0:02:51 11 11
Fred Bauer 0:02:57 10 0:08:25 10 20
Iain Mettam 0:03:00 9 0:08:04 11 20
Frank Wilson 0:03:28 8 0:08:40 9 17
Ate Saranpaa 0:04:00 7 0:10:02 8 15
Jean Louis Charette 0:07:44 13 13
Jon Kettle 0:07:23 25 25
Womens Only Cat Karen Murphy 0:02:33 25 25
Marianne Stewart 0:02:38 20 20
Nicki Wilberforce 0:02:41 16 16
Alison Thompson 0:02:45 13 13
Michelle Allain 0:03:14 11 11
Lis Salmon 0:03:18 10 0:08:34 25 35
Linda Browning Morrow 0:03:24 9 0:09:18 20 29
Michele Verdenick 0:03:43 8 8
Pam Saranpaa 0:04:22 7 0:09:25 16 23
Heather Sanders Sutherland 6 0:08:28 13 19

f

Exciting World Travels

Trying to figure out a trip is always hard. Especially when you long term goal is to do every country in the world.

At moment thinking of several ideas of places to go to. Such as Morocco. Dubai, Ireland, Costa Rica. Very difficult to decide on this as having many wants is hard. wish at times if someone else could help in making the final decision.

What would you do in a situation as this?

Exciting World Travels

Write up about the Mohican 100 by someone else

When I arrived in Loudonville, OH for the Mohican 100 registration packet pick-up on Friday evening, it was raining pretty hard and I had a flashback to the really muddy 2010 race I did here. I was hoping things would not be that bad again, but the weather.com radar map I viewed on the morning of the race did not look good and made the threat of more rain seem certain. With the course more than likely going to be muddy and wet, I decided at 5:00 AM on race day to take off my front suspension fork and replace it with a rigid fork. I also put on a frame fender to keep mud from splashing in my face all day. I don’t like making game day changes, but I was positive these changes were the wisest.

After completing the work on my bike, doing my other pre-race prep, and rushing off to the race a little later than I would’ve liked, I had the “joy” of starting the Mohican 100 with its usual painful sprint straight up the wall-of-a-road-climb on the outskirts of town. Since there was a 0 preem on top of this climb, the pace was fast and furious to the top. The pace didn’t let up from there and even though I was able to catch on to the tail end of the lead group of riders before entering the trails, I didn’t hold the fast pace being set at the front for very long. I found the trails to be a bit slick from the rain showers that fell over night and after losing traction through one turn and banging my shoulder off a tree, I decided to back my pace down to a more comfortable and controllable speed. One thing I’ve learned over the years of doing these 100 mile races is that these things are long and it’s better for me to not over extend myself too early in the race.

During this time of riding the initial miles of single track alone, I must admit that I did have some concern that the two singlespeed racers ahead of me, Ron Harding and Patrick Blair, might be hard to catch because they were riding with a fast group of geared riders. But, I decided to stick to my game plan of riding a more steady beginning pace to conserve my energy for later in the day. Eventually, the seemingly endless single track trail came to a hike-a-bike section about 20 some odd miles into the race and I was happy to see Ron directly in front of me and Pat not too far in front of him. I caught Ron by the top of this steep hill and we rode together until the trail exited onto the roads leading to checkpoint two.

I had a slight gap over Ron coming out of the trail and I could see Pat and four other geared riders perhaps ten seconds up the road. I put in a hard effort to bridge the distance to these riders and was able to drop Ron in the process. My legs still wanted to go when I closed this gap, so I kept my speed high to see if Pat would try to match it. He was the only one to come with me and we rode away together into checkpoint two. At the checkpoint, Pat requested a pump and I was able to sneak out of the checkpoint before him. Luckily, a 100K racer, Brian Schworm, made a quick transition out of the checkpoint also and the two of us rode together to checkpoint three where the two race course distances split.

After the two courses split, I rode the rest of the race alone. There are so many fast gravel road and trail sections on this part of the course that I thought for sure I would be caught by some geared riders. As a matter of fact, I was actually hoping to be caught by a geared rider, so I would have someone to help share my workload. But, I would look back and see nobody in view, which forced me to keep my pace high alone. At some point after checkpoint four, I received a time split of three minutes behind the overall race leader from some people watching the race out on the trail. Before hearing this time split, I was pretty content to be the second place overall rider and the lead singlespeed rider. But, once I heard the time split, I was motivated to push myself harder to see if I could catch the overall race leader, Mike Simonson.

When I eventually did see Mike in front of me, I could tell he was tired by the way he was riding. I shared some words of encouragement when I caught him and then continued on my way. I knew if I could maintain my lead heading into the last section of single track after checkpoint 5, I had a chance of being the overall winner of a NUE Race on a singlespeed. I did make into the final section of single track first and had an absolute blast riding the final 8 miles of these buffed-out trails to the finish. Riding across the finish line in the first overall spot was an awesome feeling and being able to do it on a singlespeed made it feel even more special.

It really blows my mind that I was able to win this race because I wouldn’t consider the Mohican 100 course to be a very good course for a singlespeed bike. This is because the 100 mile Mohican course has a lot of super steep climbs and also a lot of long, fast gravel road sections that make picking the perfect gear difficult. Otherwise, the course is a pretty good 100 mile race course with a good mix of everything to keep it interesting, especially for bikes having the ability to change gears. But, since I’m a singlespeed racer, I’m never too concerned about whether or not my one geared bicycle will be able to keep up with bikes having gears. Instead, I prepare my bike to be the fastest against competition with other singlespeeders and not the fastest overall.

The gear I picked (40×23) and my other equipment choices, including my day of race changes, had me feeling confident that my bike was ready to go. Fortunately, my legs and body were also ready to race. Over my many years of racing I’ve had a lot of good races, but never one that seemed almost effortless like this one felt. It is probably as close as I will ever get to having a perfect race. And, to make the day even better, the big radar blobs of rain I saw in the morning never materialized. Yes, it was a perfect day!

Exciting World Travels

Mohican100startOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Mohican 100

Exciting World Travels

IMG_1902

IMG_1911

IMG_1912

IMG_1913

Exciting World Travels

20140525_30

20140525_40

20140525_65

20140525_99

20140525_118

20140525_370

20140525_454

Exciting World Travels

May 8 – Government Road 10k +8C coolish
Category Name Time Avg. Spd
Female Senior Kaylee Trodd 0:18:44
Sarah Baum 0:18:47
Michelle Allain 0:21:18
Female Veteran Joanna Wiersma 0:16:45
Lori Knott 0:17:25
Natalie Bedard 0:22:07
Female Masters Sue Hay 0:19:03
Kathy Stajkowski 0:19:58
Lis Salmon 0:20:37
Male Pre Junior Emile Hamm 0:16:25
Nathan Hay 0:18:01
Fred Serratore 0:18:19
Male Junior Darcy Cornish 0:14:40
Toby Quinn 0:17:31
Male Senior Josh Gillingham 0:13:38
Male Veteran Keith Ailey 0:14:37
Dave Pinner 0:15:11
Dave MacIsaac 0:15:14
Darryl Hay 0:15:52
John Rescigno 0:15:55
Joel Gerry 0:16:05
Thomas Quinn 0:18:11
Male Masters Berto Pasciullo 0:16:40
Bob Shine 0:16:59
Ranjit Baboolal 0:20:12
Male Super Masters Iain Mettam 0:18:32
Tim Knutson 0:18:45
Frank Wilson 0:19:57
Clyd Tuyl 0:20:09
Exciting World Travels

May 8 – Government Road 10k +8C coolish
Category Name Time Avg. Spd
Female Senior Kaylee Trodd 0:18:44
Sarah Baum 0:18:47
Michelle Allain 0:21:18
Female Veteran Joanna Wiersma 0:16:45
Lori Knott 0:17:25
Natalie Bedard 0:22:07
Female Masters Sue Hay 0:19:03
Kathy Stajkowski 0:19:58
Lis Salmon 0:20:37
Male Pre Junior Emile Hamm 0:16:25
Nathan Hay 0:18:01
Fred Serratore 0:18:19
Male Junior Darcy Cornish 0:14:40
Toby Quinn 0:17:31
Male Senior Josh Gillingham 0:13:38
Male Veteran Keith Ailey 0:14:37
Dave Pinner 0:15:11
Dave MacIsaac 0:15:14
Darryl Hay 0:15:52
John Rescigno 0:15:55
Joel Gerry 0:16:05
Thomas Quinn 0:18:11
Male Masters Berto Pasciullo 0:16:40
Bob Shine 0:16:59
Ranjit Baboolal 0:20:12
Male Super Masters Iain Mettam 0:18:32
Tim Knutson 0:18:45
Frank Wilson 0:19:57
Clyd Tuyl 0:20:09
Exciting World Travels

May 8 – Government Road 10k +8C coolish
Category Name Time Avg. Spd
Female Senior Kaylee Trodd 0:18:44
Sarah Baum 0:18:47
Michelle Allain 0:21:18
Female Veteran Joanna Wiersma 0:16:45
Lori Knott 0:17:25
Natalie Bedard 0:22:07
Female Masters Sue Hay 0:19:03
Kathy Stajkowski 0:19:58
Lis Salmon 0:20:37
Male Pre Junior Emile Hamm 0:16:25
Nathan Hay 0:18:01
Fred Serratore 0:18:19
Male Junior Darcy Cornish 0:14:40
Toby Quinn 0:17:31
Male Senior Josh Gillingham 0:13:38
Male Veteran Keith Ailey 0:14:37
Dave Pinner 0:15:11
Dave MacIsaac 0:15:14
Darryl Hay 0:15:52
John Rescigno 0:15:55
Joel Gerry 0:16:05
Thomas Quinn 0:18:11
Male Masters Berto Pasciullo 0:16:40
Bob Shine 0:16:59
Ranjit Baboolal 0:20:12
Male Super Masters Iain Mettam 0:18:32
Tim Knutson 0:18:45
Frank Wilson 0:19:57
Clyd Tuyl 0:20:09
Exciting World Travels

May. 3, 2014
Category 1 Racers prevail!!

Under wet cold and bluster north winds the Category 1 riders made up the time handicapp on both the Cat 2 & 3 riders crossing the finish line first. Dave Pinner was able to jump on the Cat 1 riders as they went by and joined Josh Gillingham, Aaron Arndt and Darcy Cornish in a great finish on Highway 595 today.

Over 20 riders enjoyed this popular Australian Pursuit format which requires categories to work together in a pace line to be successful. Several talented new riders participated; A big welcome to Joanna Wiersma who road a strong ride with Cat 2 ridrers as well as Andrew Hamilton and Kaylee Trodd in Category 3 and Women’s Divisions respectively.

Robert Boileau rode a strong race in his return to racing from last year. John Rescigno showed that his training is paying off with a strong showing in Category 2.

Many thanks to the Berto Pasciullo, Race Director and Maureen Page for the timing and results. Let’s hope for some better conditions at the next event.

10272663_10203721776587216_3803215902983325397_o 10013370_10203721776667218_521982481297670760_o

Exciting World Travels

May. 3, 2014
Category 1 Racers prevail!!

Under wet cold and bluster north winds the Category 1 riders made up the time handicapp on both the Cat 2 & 3 riders crossing the finish line first. Dave Pinner was able to jump on the Cat 1 riders as they went by and joined Josh Gillingham, Aaron Arndt and Darcy Cornish in a great finish on Highway 595 today.

Over 20 riders enjoyed this popular Australian Pursuit format which requires categories to work together in a pace line to be successful. Several talented new riders participated; A big welcome to Joanna Wiersma who road a strong ride with Cat 2 ridrers as well as Andrew Hamilton and Kaylee Trodd in Category 3 and Women’s Divisions respectively.

Robert Boileau rode a strong race in his return to racing from last year. John Rescigno showed that his training is paying off with a strong showing in Category 2.

Many thanks to the Berto Pasciullo, Race Director and Maureen Page for the timing and results. Let’s hope for some better conditions at the next event.10013370_10203721776667218_521982481297670760_o

10272663_10203721776587216_3803215902983325397_o

Exciting World Travels

2014 Road Race Results
May 3rd 2014
Hunted #1 Rosslyn to Hymers 40k +4C windy
Name Place Points
Overall winners of Pursuit Josh Gillingham
Aaron Arndt
Darcy Cornish
Category 1- Josh Gillingham 1 25
Aaron Arndt 2 20
Darcy Cornish 3 16
Keith Ailey 4 13
Joel Gerry 5 11
Category 2- Dave Pinner 1 25
John Rescigno 2 20
Darryl Hay 3 16
Robert Boileau 4 13
Berto Pasciulo 5 11
Dave Krasnichuk 6 10
Tyler Hogan 7 9
Chris Mitchell 8 8
Joanna Wiersma 9 7
Lori Knott 10 6
Category 3- Andrew Hamilton 1 25
Tim Knutson 2 20
Thomas Quinn 3 16
Women’s only- Sarah Baum 1 25
Kaylee Trodd 2 20
Exciting World Travels

2014 Road Race Results
May 3rd 2014
Hunted #1 Rosslyn to Hymers 40k +4C windy
Name Place Points
Overall winners of Pursuit Josh Gillingham
Aaron Arndt
Darcy Cornish
Category 1- Josh Gillingham 1 25
Aaron Arndt 2 20
Darcy Cornish 3 16
Keith Ailey 4 13
Joel Gerry 5 11
Category 2- Dave Pinner 1 25
John Rescigno 2 20
Darryl Hay 3 16
Robert Boileau 4 13
Berto Pasciulo 5 11
Dave Krasnichuk 6 10
Tyler Hogan 7 9
Chris Mitchell 8 8
Joanna Wiersma 9 7
Lori Knott 10 6
Category 3- Andrew Hamilton 1 25
Tim Knutson 2 20
Thomas Quinn 3 16
Women’s only- Sarah Baum 1 25
Kaylee Trodd 2 20
Exciting World Travels

Many times this year. I have come across Shellin Australia. Their products are truly great. The quality of each product was so high end. It would put all over companies to shame. I recommend you all to try Shellin Australia

Exciting World Travels

I have made many purchases from Shelllin Australia. The best product I have bought were the sheepskin boots. Very amazing. The service i received was so fast and amazing. I highly recommend this store for all my clothes.  I have told many others about this store and to buy their sheepskin boots.

No one else compares. I have shopped elsewhere before and this is the best source so far. Once again The best products I have ever used and purchased.

Exciting World Travels

I have made many purchases from Chillin Australia. The best product I have bought were the sheepskin boots. Very amazing. The service i received was so fast and amazing. I highly recommend this store for all my clothes.  I have told many others about this store and to buy their sheep skin boots.

 

No one else compares. I have shopped elsewhere before and this is the best source so far. Once again The best products I have ever used and purchased.

Sincerely

JR of Canada

Exciting World Travels

Exciting World Travels

The hills appear to be buckling against the weight of one another in the retreating sun, cramming onto the horizon in a battle for the on-looker’s admiration. I am standing at the bus stop staring at these hills, but rather than feel inspired by their beauty and warm pink backdrop, I feel overwhelmed by the looming darkness. The woman who was supposed to be waiting for me at the bus stop hasn’t answered her phone for hours. There are no hotels here, and I am looking at the flora enveloping the hills with disdain, as if it is the fault of the hills that their seemingly soft lushness will make my bed for the evening. My day pack feels heavy, despite the fact that it is completely void of food, or any other basic supplies (besides water, thank God) that would make a night of unplanned camping less burdensome.
IMG_1140-310x232
I sigh, conscious of the fact that every pair of eyes in the village is fixed on my back. Shaking my head in exhausted frustration, I turn around, feebly intent on finding a way to deal with my unfortunate situation. How do I get myself into these situations?

Looking around, I am struck by the number of men staring at me. I see one young girl of roughly 12 years old.  I approach her and ask if she knows The Nurse Yamilet. Confused, she stares back at me, slowly and deliberating shaking her head. She gazes thoughtfully over her shoulder for a moment to a small structure that presumably serves as her home. Then looking back ahead in my direction she says, “This is all that I know.”IMG_1146-310x232

Shit.

I turn around and see a group of teenage boys constructing a wall in front of another house. I walk up, bidding them a good evening. No one moves. They just look at me, gape-mouthed. “Does anyone know of anyone, perhaps their mother, who would be willing to rent me a bed for the night and sell me some food?”

Everyone shakes their head, not saying a word. I sigh.

Then a man behind me calls out, presumably one of the many villagers who has been watching me since I got off of the bus, “She is looking for The Nurse Yamilet.”

I don’t turn around. I keep my eyes on the boys. One of the teenage boys blazes red in the fading light, and smiles shyly at me. “I know The Nurse Yamilet. I..take you to her house?”

“Yes! I mean…please. I would be very grateful.”IMG_1166-650x487

The boy puts down his tools and motions for me follow him. The other boys immediately burst into a fit laughter. We both ignore their cackling. His name is Joseph, and he isn’t 100% sure that The Nurse Yamilet is the nurse that he knows, but she is the only nurse that he knows in the village. Less than 10 minutes later we are standing in the narrow street that leads to Yamilet’s house. Three children walk outside. I ask if Yamilet is home. They all stare at me. The eldest says no. I ask if she mentioned that I was coming to visit for a couple of days. No, she didn’t, but that’s okay.

I spend the rest of the evening watching poorly dubbed, extremely violent action movies in the living room with the children until Yamilet gets home. She laughs, happy to see me. Her friend apparently forgot to meet me at the bus stop. The next couple of nights I sleep in the same room with Yami and her two youngest, who share the bed next to me. The chorus of the animals permeates my subconscious, and I dream of animal revolutions and uprisings.IMG_1145-650x487

I met Yami while I was walking down the street in Matagalpa. I was lost, like usual, and I asked her for directions. She was very friendly, and offered to take me in the direction of where I was going. She asked me where I was from, and then I asked her where she was from. She told me that she lived in a small community an hour and a half from the city. She said that I should come visit sometime, and laughed. I said that sounded like a delightful idea. Surprised, she stopped mid stride and sized me up. I smiled, unwaveringly. “Okay,” she says, “what day works for you?” I came five days later.

She called every day to confirm that I was still coming.

March marks the health ministry’s vaccination campaign, where nurses all over the country walk from house to house vaccinating both adults and children, and providing small children with a preventative parasite treatment. I spent my Saturday walking through rural areas with a group of nurses, a couple of doctors, and our locally hired guide, who helped us navigate back paths in an effort to find some of the homes that were hidden from the dirt “highway”. We rode out of town in an ambulance, complete with two wooden benches built into the side walls of the van, with multiple people sitting in the aisles on the coolers holding the vaccines. We walked all day from house to house, asking to see people’s vaccination records, throwing rocks at angry dogs to scare them off as we walked uninvited on to countless properties.

Exciting World Travels

Results of First Ever Cross Country ski event
2014 Loppet at Sleeping Giant Thunder Bay

***********************************************************************
*************************** 50 KM M RESULTS *****************************
***********************************************************************
******** PRELIMINARY OVERALL FINISH ORDER RESULTS ********
**** PLEASE MAKE SURE THAT ALL YOUR INFO IS CORRECT & REPORT ANY ERRORS ****
*** THE DIV/TOT COLUMN IS YOUR TENTATIVE PLACE IN YOUR AGEGROUP FOR AWARDS ***
Place Div/Tot Bib# Div Name City Time Pace
===== ======== ==== ====== ================== ================ ========= =====
1 1/5 612 M25-29 Chris Hamilton Canmore AB 1:42:27.5 2:03
2 1/5 427 M19-24 Andy Shields Thunder Bay ON 1:42:35.0 2:04
3 2/5 237 M19-24 Bob Thompson Thunder Bay ON 1:42:43.5 2:04
4 3/5 236 M19-24 Jack Carlyle Thunder Bay ON 1:46:18.8 2:08
5 2/5 654 M25-29 Harry Seaton Thunder Bay ON 1:48:45.4 2:11
6 4/5 129 M19-24 Greg Kilroy Thunder Bay ON 1:49:01.7 2:11
7 1/6 617 M30-34 Jeffrey Cameron Kakabeka Falls O 2:02:15.2 2:27
8 2/6 562 M30-34 Robert Edman Saint Paul MN 2:02:56.8 2:28
9 3/6 40 M30-34 Justin Faulkner Thunder Bay ON 2:03:28.4 2:29
10 3/5 453 M25-29 Victor Wiltmann Thunder Bay ON 2:04:24.9 2:30
11 1/8 20 M50-54 Jim Keyes Thunder Bay ON 2:06:00.3 2:32
12 1/6 81 M45-49 Bill Baldus Minneapolis MN 2:07:39.5 2:34
13 1/3 642 M55-59 Lars Moller Wilson WY 2:13:58.4 2:41
14 1/5 45 M35-39 Phil Brown Thunder Bay ON 2:14:27.8 2:42
15 2/5 331 M35-39 Keith Ailey Thunder Bay ON 2:15:40.6 2:43
16 2/3 48 M55-59 Ron Mahler Shuniah ON 2:16:51.3 2:45
17 3/5 106 M35-39 Joel Gerry Thunder Bay ON 2:21:17.1 2:50
18 2/8 214 M50-54 Peter Lovis Thunder Bay ON 2:22:19.4 2:51
19 4/5 478 M25-29 Matthew Cuddy Thunder Bay ON 2:22:21.4 2:51
20 1/3 451 M40-44 Eric Brandt Minneapolis MN 2:23:02.2 2:52
21 2/3 602 M40-44 Eric Kemp Duluth MN 2:24:13.2 2:54
22 2/6 43 M45-49 Roberto Bucci Thunder Bay ON 2:26:46.8 2:57
23 3/8 268 M50-54 William Field Thunder Bay ON 2:27:49.1 2:58
24 3/3 131 M55-59 David Melcher Richfield MN 2:31:09.8 3:02
25 3/6 195 M45-49 Kevin Cookson Thunder Bay ON 2:32:01.1 3:03
26 1/4 98 M60-64 Hans Anderson Carlton MN 2:32:49.2 3:04
27 4/8 560 M50-54 Gerald Hamm Thunder Bay ON 2:34:45.8 3:06
28 4/6 89 M30-34 Jonas Holmberg Thunder Bay ON 2:36:17.0 3:08
29 5/5 481 M25-29 Josh Robinson Atikokan ON 2:39:15.2 3:12
30 5/8 587 M50-54 Michael Wright Kanata ON 2:40:54.1 3:14
31 4/6 436 M45-49 Russell Clark Thunder Bay ON 2:41:05.1 3:14
32 6/8 574 M50-54 Brian Campbell Thunder Bay ON 2:42:03.3 3:15
33 5/6 42 M45-49 Robin Raplinger Virginia MN 2:42:28.1 3:15
34 5/6 83 M30-34 Erik Ross Thunder Bay ON 2:43:40.6 3:17
35 3/3 498 M40-44 Dave MacIsaac Thunder Bay ON 2:44:49.5 3:18
36 6/6 615 M30-34 Adam Kates Thunder Bay ON 2:50:03.3 3:25
37 2/4 262 M60-64 Nick Makletzoff Thunder Bay ON 2:55:28.6 3:31
38 5/5 275 M19-24 Michael Perrier Thunder Bay ON 2:56:37.2 3:32
39 4/5 126 M35-39 Sam Niemi Thunder Bay ON 2:58:51.6 3:35
40 7/8 270 M50-54 Erich Zappe Gatineau QC 3:00:26.7 3:37
41 6/6 77 M45-49 Mike Cotterill Wawa ON 3:13:33.3 3:53
42 8/8 157 M50-54 Jack Haggarty Thunder Bay ON 3:16:16.1 3:56
43 3/4 425 M60-64 Emir Vidjen Thunder Bay ON 3:20:39.9 4:01
44 5/5 23 M35-39 John Rescigno Thunder Bay ON 3:26:13.5 4:08
45 4/4 183 M60-64 Bryan Heppler Thunder Bay ON 3:42:53.6 4:28
11:16:34 02/03/2014

A very poor performance on my part due to getting sick on course.
The rest is history

Exciting World Travels

Getting a grip

By Matt Vis, tbnewswatch.com

View larger pictures
Be Bob’s Friend: Join our FacebookEverything is COZIER, WARMER, SEXIER, with a fireplace. Stylish Luxury meets functional heating at Bob’s Intelligent Heating DecorClick Here

Winter cycling is gaining traction across Thunder Bay.

In the past couple of years cyclists across the city have started to embrace fat bikes, which have special oversized winter tires to allow riding in the harsh winter months.

Black Sheep Mountain Biking Club president Mark Maranzan said the fat bikes are a natural fit for riders looking to get their full year fix.

“Obviously we have a long winter up here and I think that’s been a big market for fat bikes,” he said at the Kinsmen Park in Trowbridge on Saturday.

“They’re great for the snow and compact trails and there are a lot of great options for trails. It’s a great way to extend the riding season.”

The tires are the distinguishing feature of the fat bikes. They are nearly twice as wide as a normal bike tire and have additional grip to provide traction on the snow and ice.

The size of the tires, along with a lower air pressure, gives the rider a sensation as if they are floating on top of the snow.

It’s not the same as normal cycling.

“It’s definitely more difficult,” said Keith Ailey, who started fat biking last year and competed in a 70 kilometre event in Minneapolis last weekend.

“You’re always putting more power into the pedals to cover the same amount of distance.”

Maranzan estimates that there are now nearly two dozen fat bike riders in the city, up from just a small handful one year ago.

“Here in town I think there were about three people who had the bikes last year,” he said. “Already that has grown close to 20 riders at least that we know of and possibly more.”

A significant appeal of the fat bikes is the ability to explore some uncharted terrain on a bicycle. Winter conditions allow cyclists to follow snowmobile tracks on frozen lakes and rivers to get new vantage points of different areas.

“A couple of weeks ago I rode on the frozen McIntyre River all the way from the hospital up to the Tapiola ski trails off Government Road,” Ailey said.

“I was weaving my way along the river on snowmobile trails and it’s somewhere I’d lived close to all my life and I’d never seen any of that. I didn’t know what was coming around the next corner.”

The only major downside to the fat bikes, as riders were reminded at the planned first annual Abominable Bike Race, is that they are at the mercy of Mother Nature.

The snow and high winds completed covered the track that organizers were planning on using as a race course, leading to last minute improvisations. Instead of holding a formal race, organizers just conducted a group ride.1505464_10152006765624331_1306768102_n 1797316_10152006765809331_26868619_n 1891084_10152304428664136_1574525164_n 1891191_10152006765894331_506361243_n 1962721_10152006765719331_1118188550_n 1970522_10152006765944331_648398322_n

Exciting World Travels

 

 

Amazing Place To Check Out

Exciting World Travels

Problems in the Caribbean

Tuesday, January 28, 2014
I’m writing in regards to the headline of the “high crime rate” warning for the Dominican Republic. Since the article was very vague and non-specific, and given that the majority of hard-working Dominicans survive on tourism dollars, I feel there should be more perspective given on the matter.Dominican_Republic_map
From my experience of several extended trips to the D.R., where I have used local transportation in Puerto Plata to travel “off resort,” ventured into the back country on tours and with Dominican friends, and travelled from near the border of Haiti to as far as Samana in the east, I have to say I’ve never felt unsafe in any way. Locals were usually helpful and friendly despite their often poor economic conditions.
It is my understanding from personal experience, research prior to my trips to the D.R., from speaking with expats living there, and from my Dominican friends that crime against tourists is relatively low. Most Dominicans don’t want to jeopardize their own livelihoods.
The Canadian government travel advisory issued on Dec. 5, 2013 mentions theft of personal items or passports in the airport and from hotels, and the occasional violent crime against tourists. These sorts of crimes aren’t uncommon in most countries. A friend of mine visiting Canada from Barcelona had her bag stolen from practically under her nose in the Toronto airport, so we’re really not much different.
The best way to avoid problems is to use common sense. Don’t pack expensive goods in your suitcase, or flash money, phones or jewelry in public. Don’t venture out alone at night in unfamiliar areas, and, for females, be careful of overly friendly attention from the opposite sex.
With a bit of research, planning and common sense, anyone should be able to have a safe time in the Dominican Republic.
Here is a link to the travel advisory with safety advice for visitors to the Dominican Republic:http://travel.gc.ca/destinations/dominican-republic. Trip Advisor forums are an excellent resource for asking questions and information to help plan for your trip.
Arlette Hunnakko
Thunder Bay

Exciting World Travels

Gaucho Love

By Ashley Carrithers

Ashley Carrithers is the owner of a rare slice of paradise at the foot of the Argentinian Andes – Estancia Ranquilco. This remote family-owned 100,000-acre horse and cattle ranch stretches across high steppes, river valleys, green meadows, and jagged cliffs, into the very heart of the Argentine cordillera. The Estancia is open to guests, offering horseback riding adventures, pack trips into the mountains, some of the world’s best fly fishing, rustic and luxurious accommodation, and the most precious thing of all – respite from the incessant electronic buzz of daily life and a foray into undiluted nature. horestt

To win a one-week stay at Estancia Ranquilco (worth USD7000), head on over to Warp Place, an online community of environmentally aware artist-activists started up by Ashley himself. Enter their inaugural annual writing contest to stand a chance to win a priceless foray into one of the world’s last frontiers.

 This is Ashley’s story – one of many – about settling in with the gauchos of Argentina. 

When I first arrived in Patagonia and was suddenly the patron – or boss – of vast leagues of land populated with animals that turned the grass into meat, and then into wine and such – I inherited a posse of gauchos as well. I spoke no Spanish and initially had to rely on occasional visits to “neighbors” – most of whom were a day’s horse ride away, to check in on what it all meant, this patron business. I was only 30 years old and had to wonder what I was to do, having purchased these delicious lands for their magic waters, lakes and mountains.

At the county fair, where I was already famous for a) being a Yankee, b) paying in cash overnight for one of the larger estancias in this part of Patagonia and c) being young and a mash-up of Marlboro Man, hippie and prepster, I easily horse2and quickly ascertained which of my neighbors spoke English.

They informed me that I was not to fraternize on any level with the peons, or workers; that it would breed familiarity and I would lose work ethic and effectiveness – performance would drop.

Wanting to be a good neighbor, and not wanting to display inappropriate behavior, and not speaking Spanish any old way, I pretty much did as instructed. This had not been my lifelong standard operating procedure, but when in Rome…

But over time, these guys were my heroes; wildly riding horses in all weathers, working leathers, roping bulls and throwing them to the ground to do strange things with knives to their testicles, dressing in bombachas and scarves, cooking amazing asados on campfires, dancing with handkerchiefs twirling in smoky dens, joking with each other all the day long and throughout all these ceaseless activities whistling little tuneless tunes of happiness and of place, of fast women and lonely horses.

I was jealous of their fun and abilities. Listen to this: they would take an unbroken horse, after tethering him to a strong post all night, put a leather thong in his mouth, tie him around the neck to a tame horse ridden by a buddy, and then hop on to go out into the camp for fun and games, bucking and prancing out of sight in a dust cloud and coming back each riding independently his horse,  and… whistling. Goodness.

I could not help but join in, especially as I began to grab hold of communication abilities via a delectable cutie who spoke no English, but we both had good pillow talk skills and some actual Spanish evolved out of it. Soon I found myself sharing mate with them and joking. Everything with them is a joke: the weather, the guy who got bucked off and broke a wrist, the lion that killed 6 sheep in the night, the patron fly fishing in the rivers.

They say that there are no longer any true gauchos – that they all died out a half century ago, and todays cattlemen are but a tame version of the legendary dudes who rode the endless planes of the pampas and of Patagonia – homeless always, but never horseless. We honor our peons by referring to them as gauchos and they are way more hands on then the American cowboys who now mostly ride four wheelers and sport beer bellies punching closely watched time clocks. Woefully warped as the Wild West has become.

Still, today, down this way, when you ask for a favor from someone, it is termed a “gauchada”.

 

Exciting World Travels

Shipping & Delivery Policy

Regalkart  is committed to deliver your order with good quality packaging within given time frame. We ship throughout the week, except Sunday & Public holidays. To ensure that your order reaches you in good condition, in the shortest span of time, we ship through reputed courier agencies only. If there is no courier service available in your area, we will ship your items via Government Registered Book post or Speed post.

medium1.359749.1

Exciting World Travels

I’ve said form decades that bike infrastructure is (in economics terms) a lagging rather than a leading indicator.

In plain language, decent numbers of riders lead to infrastructure, but that in turn leads to only marginal changes.

IMO- what drives urban bicycle use are external factors like economics, demographics and trendiness. Right now we’re on the third ripple from the WWII baby boom, so there are larger numbers of young single adults, and young childless couples. This is the age group that is most likely to live downtown and go carless. Some years down the road (no pun) many of these will have kids, move to the burbs, and buy some sort of car.

Economic factor like a slow (no) real growth economy and high fuel, and insurance costs are also making people delay buying cars. Lastly, while bicycling, especially urban cycling seems cool right now, this has happened before and if history is any guide will blow over to an extent.

I hate to be so pessimistic, and actually expect that discounting cyclical trends, that cycling will remain a larger part of the urban landscape.

OTOH- many of the stats being trotted out to show that infrastructure leads to ridership, are only showing a parallel, not causative relationship.

I might also point out that, like many things, bicycling suffers from the success plants the seeds of failure mode. Greater number of bicyclists, lead to greater numbers of accidents. Actually not only do the number rise, but for a while so do the rates while the percentage of newer riders is higher. These accidents eventually catch the eye of the media who start reporting them creating the illusion of an epidemic. Eventually the message gets out that bicycling is dangerous (despite the fact that as more riders gain experience the accident rate is actually declining) and politicians feel they must do something (doing meaningless unnecessary things is how they get re-elected). Eventually the numbers revert to a more historical level setting the stage for the next generational cycle.

My only hope is that this particular cycle doesn’t reach the point where folks talk seriously of things like helmet regulation.

A few comments that are recurring features here in A&S got me wondering if there really is a direct, provable correlation between building bike-specific infrastructure and people changing their primary means of transportation over to bikes from, well whatever it is noncyclists use. Obviously, completely answering that is a bit beyond my pay grade, to quote a famous person. However, I thought I would start by looking at the city that almost everyone agrees is THE leader in infrastructure building in the U.S., Portland, Oregon, and see how that is going.

After digging through an immense, if expected, amount of PR, here’s where we find ourselves:

From the U.S. Census American Community Survey, here’s the percentage of Portland residents riding bikes to work:
2006: 4.2%
2007: 3.9%
2008: 6.0%
2009: 5.8%
2010: 6.0%
2011: 6.3%
2012: 6.1%

Let’s put that together with a little something from the Portland city government:

1. It’s called the saturation point. It applies to many if not most trends and/or products. No matter how fine, desirable, or valued a product you make… there is a limit to what percentage of the population will buy it. Is the bicycle commuter limited to 6, 8, or 22 percent the population? Honestly… NO ONE knows. But there is a point of saturation… where nothing will cause a continued increase.

2. Profit centric organizations have been reporting a drop in cycling sales (and use) since the peak of the 2009 great recession. The number I saw was 43 million cyclist in 2009 down to 39 million in 2012. That’s a drop of roughly 7%. Yet every city in America that has “invested” in alternate transportation reports continued increases in usage. There is a math problem for you!

3. The numbers are fudged! If the politician that favored… and associated their name with… a public expenditure wants the project to look successful they will do what they can to cause that to happen. Of course… nothing lasts forever. But if you are compiling numbers and spitting out stats and your boss thinks the numbers should look… better. With a lack of provable data… the boss gets what he wants.

I’ve never been to Portland… but I have heard great things about the city… and I am sure it’s a fine community. But in the Midwestern city [near] where I live I’ve seen alternate transportation “investments” that seemed very suspicious. Even the most dedicated cyclists make comments regarding the soundness of the infrastructure.

People hoped and dreamed of human powered transportation centuries before Harry Lawson invented the “safety bicycle”. And not much has changed with the basic bicycle design since 1876. Back then… whether it was a Dandy Horse, or an Iron horse, penny-farthing, or safety bicycle… bicycles inspired the world.

In Harry Lawson day immigrants to America spoke of smelling America a full day before their ship arrived within sight of port. That’s how much odor the horse waste created. The fly populations were unimaginable to present day people. Residents of NYC wrote of not being able to smell food in summer months because of the overwhelming stench. Horse manure made its way into the drinking water. Life in the city with animal powered transportation was nearly unbearable.

Replacing horses with machines… was a dream. And with the creativity and investments of people from around the world. Solutions were found, machines replaced the animals. Although many people loved the horses… others loved bicycles. Many loved the steam powered trains and boats. Almost everyone loved the gasoline powered cars.

Some think we should turn back the clock and get a re-do for the bicycle. Since 600 million cars seem to have problems of their own. But… in my experience… going back… getting re-do’s… living in a simpler time… doesn’t ever happen. Iron… er.. mechanical horse-machines will always have a place in society. As much as I love cycling myself…. I also accept that human power will never dominate in the modern world.

There will be new and creative solutions. Fantastic and fascinating inventions. Bicycle paths… won’t alter that.

Exciting World Travels

Seven Things You Need to Understand about Being Poor in The USA

by 

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

As you may or may not have noticed, I disappeared briefly from the internet when I got back to the states.

Why, might you ask? Well, I guess the honest answer is that I have been depressed. I have spent the last four weeks sleeping on my friends’ couches and lounging

around while they are at work in between crashing at my parents’ farm and eating their food. I try to take care of the occasional first world issue, but I mostly do nothing.

Gas is expensive. Produce is expensive. Living is expensive. I go for walks and indulge in gas station coffee. I read until my head hurts, watch crimes shows,

and take pictures of my parents’ chickens. When I’m feeling really low, I blast cumbia and dance around, or go for walks and study Spanish colloquialisms or Portuguese.

I’m spending a little too much time in my head and on social media clinging to my South American friends. I try to write occasionally, but the inspiration simply isn’t there. I didn’t even realize I was depressed until a week or so ago when I completely snapped after not being able to get ahold of an actual person at the IRS. They still haven’t issued me my tax return; money that I desperately need and can make the difference between 8 months and 11 months of traveling.

I initially wrote this off as nothing more than a powerful case of culture shock. However, after a few days of visiting friends, I was hit with a chilling realization.

You know how people say that travelers are always running from something? I used to deny this. I would say that it is my lifelong dream to travel, and I love Latin culture.

Of course, both of these things are true. However, I realized that I am, in fact, running from something. Actually, I am not running, I am hauling ass. I am retreating from my own poverty.

I have been poor for a long time. The economic crisis hit my family hard. It hit me hard. I worked as many as three jobs when I was in school fulltime at my community college,

and I would be lying if I said that I never got hungry or felt cold. It didn’t help my situation that poverty in the states is horribly stigmatized. (People actually spread rumors that

I was doing heroin because I got so thin.) I think that in many ways this is worsened by the fact that poverty is becoming more widespread, and that people who have never

struggled before are now struggling.

So why stigmatize something that is becoming so increasingly common? Well, I think that the answer is very simple: People want to be able to blame the poor for their

own struggles in order to convince themselves that they are immune. It is treated like a contagion, something that can be avoided by taking certain precautions.

And you know what? It’s fucking bullshit.

Last March, my Peruvian ex came to the states and we did a little traveling and site seeing. After a few days, he said to me, “You know, it’s strange. In your country you can choose to not see poverty.”

And it’s true. If you aren’t poor, you make that decision daily. Whether you realize it or not, you are choosing to be conscious of (or remain blissfully ignorant of)

the situation that many of your fellow Americans are facing. However, as it becomes more widespread, it is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore, and in recent

years it has really starting to unnerve even the moderately comfortable American.

I think it is long since time that we cleared the air and started talking about it, because I really want you to actually understand what exactly it is that you DON’T understand

about being poor in the United States.

1) Government programs are not as straightforward or as accessible as you might think.
I have said many times, and I will continue to stand by this statement, that one of the defining things that separates us from developing nations is the existence of government

programs and resources for those in need. This is true and wonderful, but it is important to understand that they aren’t without flaws. People will often say, “Well, why is he sleeping on the street?

There are shelters.” Or, “You can’t find a job? Just sign up for unemployment.” Unemployment runs out. Not everyone who is poor is eligible for welfare.

(Though those who do enroll actually strive to get themselves off of welfare, despite the stereotypes.) Food stamps are not as easy to sign up for as you probably think, can’t

be used to buy everything, and can’t just be picked up just anywhere the second that hunger strikes. Additionally, did you know that the average recipient manages to live on under a day?

Proving your income as a poor person is often times complicated and requires a lot of time and paperwork, and until you get the hang of it, can result in multiple visits to a particular office.

In fact, all of these things require a lot of time and paperwork, which can be daunting if you have kids to feed and multiple jobs to work. It can be stressful, and even cause depression.

Hell, just biting the bullet and admitting that you can’t cut it on your own can be grounds enough for stress.

2) Once you are in the system, good luck getting out.
I think this is probably the biggest one for me. I recognize that coming back to the states means one of a few things for me. First of all, it likely means signing up for things like food

stamps and unemployment. It means getting a minimum wage job while I look for something better. Given the job market right now, finding something better is difficult.

I have friends who graduated college and spent as long as two years waiting tables or working as cashiers before they were able to find an above minimum wage job.

Not necessarily a great job, just something that actually permitted them to live a life that didn’t require anxiety and micromanagement between paychecks. And that’s just

the people that did actually find jobs. As for friends with kids, they struggle all the more. Try supporting multiple children as a single parent sans food stamps and welfare, and

let me know how that works for you.

Since getting back, two friends have said to me, “I’m just trying to get ahead.” But how do you get ahead when you have mouths to feed, car and health insurance to pay,

and rent? Not to mention heat in the winter time, and gasoline to get to work.

3) Healthcare is a whole different animal.
Now I know that Obamacare is supposed to fix it, but I believe it is only going to further fuck things up before we see improvements. [Want specific examples?

Feel free to message me.] Anyways, in the meantime, most people below the poverty line are going to continue to go without coverage. This means paying out of pocket

or getting prescriptions through local clinics that cater to those in need. And you know what? For those of us that have insurance, it really isn’t much better.

Did you know that 62% of bankruptcies in the US are the result of medical expenses? Bet you didn’t. And I bet it will surprise the hell out of you to learn that

4 out of 5 of those people had health insurance. Wait, what? Copays aren’t cheap, and with deductibles stretching into the 1000s, I would hardly call that coverage.

Even with insurance, I find myself in local health clinics struggling to prove my income (or lack thereof, rather). A massive part of my current depression is due to the

fact that I feel terrible, and can’t afford to go to the doctor. I have had a migraine consistently since I got back, dizziness, visual and auditory distortions, tingly sensations

in various sections of my head, and a general feeling of being underwater. Sure, it has occurred to me that I need a cat scan or an MRI. I know those symptoms are bad and scary,

and in all honesty, when they start acting up, I can’t drive and I feel unnerved. But I also know that I can’t afford the ,500 deductible and I still have a ridiculous amount of debt from

my last cancer scare that I simply can’t pay off. So I endure. I take Excedrin, drink coffee, and sleep a lot on my various friends’ couches and in the guestroom at my parents’ house.

The last time that I almost collapsed, I thought, “I would really just like to make it to 25, damn it.”

It’s a sad thought based on disheartening statistics. Those hit hardest by poverty experience a significantly lower life expectancy than the comfortable in the USA. One study

showed that the rich are living an average of FIVE years longer than the poorPoor white women in particular have actually seen a decrease in life expectancy.

4) Free food doesn’t equal healthy food.
A lot of people criticize the diets of the poor. Three of the years since moving out of my parents house I managed to eat a healthy diet. One of those years I was on a full need-based

scholarship, one I took out some loans in addition to my need-based grants and worked nights as a waitress, and the other I was teaching in the public school system. So why is being

poor and eating healthy so damn difficult? Well, first of all, if you are receiving aid and feeding multiple people, you are faced with a disheartening question with regards to many purchases: Quality or quantity?

Things like fresh produce are expensive in the states. Chicken nuggets? Cheap as dirt. The only fresh fruit that I could afford when I was dirt poor in the states was bananas and clementines. I

ate a lot of frozen vegetables, but fresh was virtually always out of my budget. Additionally, a healthy meal often means a home-cooked meal. And who has time to cook when they are working

14 hours a day and often times taking care of people outside of themselves? I sure as shit didn’t-and I was just supporting me! My diet when I was poor? I went to the overstock grocery store

and would buy a gallon of whole milk, a block of overstock cheddar, some tortillas, and two and a half dozen eggs. I also ate a lot of beans and rice. I was working days that would sometimes

stretch on for as long as 16 hours and I had to stay full. Milk and cheese keep you full, and boiled eggs are easily transported. I ate very little vegetables outside of what I would get when the

Farmer’s Market was in season, and then it was pretty much just raw peppers on the go for me… Food banks are great too, but you sure aren’t going to get fresh produce. Lots of beans,

and rice, and canned goods. Try living on the SNAP Diet, and get back to me. (I’m convinced that rock bottom is eating a room temperature can of green beans that you opened with a knife in your car.

If I ever find myself in this situation again, I am going to off myself. Period.)

5) We really need to stop criticizing homeless people.
I have been subject to two blessedly brief spells of homelessness in my life. Now, let’s be clear, homeless does not necessarily mean sleeping on the street. It can be sleeping in your car or

sleeping on friends’ couches. I was infinitely blessed to have to spend relatively few nights in my car, and not be homeless for an extended period, thus wearing out my welcome. However,

I still felt ashamed of my situation and thus spent my fair share of nights in my car. I bore these stages of my life with a stoic resignation, and the vast majority of the people closest to me

don’t even know this happened for more than a couple of nights. It’s scary, and picking the right spot is an art form in and of itself. Parking lots like Walmart and Home Depot are under surveillance,

but they are bright.

And while a 24 hour Walmart is safer, there is constant pedestrian traffic, so getting a good nights sleep is virtually impossible. (Although I did once get woken up by a crackhead jumping between

the hoods of cars, and security trying to get him under control. I hid under my blankets and hoped he didn’t jump on my car, thus revealing the fact that there was a hobo in their parking lot adding to the to-do list.)

Rest areas are not safe and a really stupid idea. They are also the only place where men ever tried to take advantage of my obviously bleak situation by attempting to solicit me for prostitution.

Motel parking lots are not necessarily safe, and always make me think of serial killers. Hotel parking lots may seem safer, but the chances of you not being asked to leave are slim to none.

I found that church parking lots were the safest, but I was woken up a couple of times by people threatening me with the police. I was always able to calm these people down, explain a little of my situation,

apologize, and move on with my day. Homeless shelters are a seemingly great idea, but they often practice restricted hours and you have to get there early to guarantee a bed. This is a challenge if

you are working or looking for a job. Furthermore, theft is a problem, and a few of my guy friends/a close family member who had crashed at them strongly encouraged me to stay away from

them as a single female.

Additionally, being homeless is expensive. Most of the food in food banks requires that you have access to a kitchen, and no kitchen access automatically bumps up your food bill and leaves you stuck

with dollar menu delicacies. If you are fortunate enough to have a car, gas is expensive. Finding a bathroom sucks, and I’m convinced that washing up in a gas station sink is one of the most humbling

experiences to which you can be subject.

A lot of people say, “Get a job, get an apartment.” At one point, I had 0 dollars in my account, was coping with PTSD, was weeks before my job was set to start with a 30-minute commute

between me and my employer, and it would be two additional weeks after starting before I could anticipate the first paycheck. I needed to make a security deposit of 0, plus the first month’s

rent of 0, plus a deposit for water and electricity just shy of 0. Just to kick my homeless status, I needed 00. That isn’t counting gas, and feeding myself. I reiterate: I had 0. I called

a friend and told him that I found a place that was cheap and would wait for the deposit, but that I was going to need to get a gun, and probably some form of steering wheel lock for my car as well.

I wouldn’t have a bed, or anything for cooking other than my set of knives and a wok, but I would have a roof over my head. I think it was pretty obvious that I was panicked and desperate.

I was justifying an obviously dangerous and unhealthy environment. The next day, he sent me 00, and told me to just pay it back when I could. If it wasn’t for this friend, I probably would

have spent weeks bouncing from my car to my friends’ couch and struggling to make myself look acceptable for those first couple of weeks of work. Now imagine all of those people who don’t have amazing

friends with the ability to intervene like I do…

Oh, and did you know that 50% of homeless women are in that situation because of domestic violence? Or that nearly 25% of the estimated over 600,000 homeless are actually children? I think it is

long overdue that we kicked the bullshit stereotypes.

6) You are faced with seemingly impossible questions and situations.
There are multiple times that I have expressed these concerns. In fact, I would say it is a pretty popular topic of conversation amongst most of the people in my American social network. Do I buy

gas to get to work or do I buy food? I have enough money for half of my rent, or my water and electricity, which one do I pay? I really need to go to the doctor, because I have had this horrible pain

in my stomach for months, but I just don’t have the money. I would love to go back to college, but I am a single mom and even with financial aid, I would have to come up with money for after school

care or cut back on my work hours during the day. My cellphone is going to be shut off, but I need food, the registration on my vehicle is expired, and rent was due three days ago.

7) Shit comes up that keeps you in your place.
Just when you think that you are getting ahead, something happens. I have come to think of this as the universe’s way of keeping me in check. You get caught up on all of your bills, only to have the

transmission blow on your car. You get a second job to save money, only to have your apartment broken into and your computer and television stolen. You pay off your credit card, just in time to get

into a car accident and accumulate a massive pile of bills in medical expenses and car repairs. You put gas in your tank and pay your cell phone bill, right before you drop the cell phone in a puddle and

run over broken glass. Every time I thought that I was getting ahead in the states, something like this would happen. Every. Bloody. Time.

I know that this article stands to come off as horribly pessimistic. However, this is based on the knowledge that I have gained through my own personal experience. I can’t afford to live in my home country,

and I have no current desire to move back and make a life for myself here. Regardless, as I watch many people that I love fight to keep their heads above water in a country that stigmatizes their situations

with an utter lack of empathy, I can’t help but feel outraged.

I’ll be hitting the road again at the end of January. Starting out in Guatemala and working my way down from there. If you haven’t yet, show a sister some love and give me a like on Facebook to follow along.

Who knows, if I get enough of those, maybe one day I’ll be able to afford to come home for longer than a couple of months ;)

Exciting World Travels

Día de Todos Santos

by 

In America, we go nuts for Halloween. People drop mad money on their costumes, or spend weeks making them. For many, the decision of what-you’re-going-to-be isn’t taken lightly, and decisions are often made months in advance.

When I was in Peru last year, I was surprised to witness a similar level of enthusiasm. Costumes are rented out of stands that line streets near the central market. Halloween night is an event of utter chaos, where just changing venues can be hazardous. I saw beer bottles flying in the air, and people fighting in the overly crowded street. In the wee hours of the morning, a swat team in full gear forms a single file line and marches through the street giving drunken hoards the boot.coca-cola-offering-300x225

 

 

 

 

 

This year, I spent Halloween in Bolivia. However, Bolivians aren’t all about Halloween. The Bolivian family I was living with mentioned that there is a growing interest in the costume-trick-or-treat craze. However, the only costumes that I saw were donned by the cashiers working in the westernized supermarkets. For Bolivians, thereal festivities start the next day on Día de Todos Santos, or All Saints Day. At midday on the first of November, the souls of loved ones return to earth for twenty-four hours. At this point the festivities start and continue until the following evening (despite the fact that the souls leave at midday on the second). Bolivia is not the only country that celebrates Dia de Todos Santos, and customs vary from country to country.

I headed to the central cemetery in La Paz on the morning of the second. I took the bus from Plaza Alvaroa. Any bus with “cementerio” listed as a destination will take you there. However, you should anticipate restricted schedules since it is a holiday (not that there are ever really schedules). I had to wait an hour just to get a seat on a bus. They told me, “We don’t pass by the cemetery.” Don’t listen. What they mean is that they don’t pass directly by the cemetery, they just drop you off nearby. Be sure to bring change to pay the fare.

When I got to the area, I was hit by an immediate sensory overload. Smells of street food flooded the area and intermingled with enthusiastic vendors and crowds working their way to and from the cemetery. People are selling everything from flowers to ice cream. I even came across one guy selling documentaries of extraterrestrials and human sacrifice. The only way to enter is thorough La Puerta Principal, or The Principal Door. Once you go through security, you are welcome to wander around and mingle with the locals.

Flowers for sale just outside of the cemetery.

Flowers for sale just outside of the cemetery.

Many graves are elaborately decorates. The most elaborately decorated and well-tended of these often being those of young children.

Cigarettes and tobacco are another common offering.

There is a distinct difference between the graves of the upper class and the lower class.

The paths are crowded with people leaving offerings for the souls of loved ones. Offerings are made in the form of tobacco, liquor, flowers, and food products such as fruit and bread. People crowd around the graves of loved ones and have picnics of puffed cereal dyed bright colors, as well as traditional breads and bananas.

There are musicians wandering the isles. For a small fee they will perform in front of the tombs to honor the memory of the deceased. Ladders are available so that people with relatives on the upper levels can climb up to pray and leave offerings. I saw many families crowded around the graves singing hymns and praying in both Spanish and indigenous languages.

It seems as if everywhere that you turn there are million things going on. In any given area, there are people playing music, setting up their offerings, eating, and praying in groups.

It seems as if everywhere that you turn there are million things going on. In any given area, there are people playing music, setting up their offerings, eating, and praying in groups.

I initially thought that this would be a sad holiday, but it is not. It is a time to honor the memory of the deceased and welcome their brief return. If you should ever find yourself in any country during the beginning of November that recognizes Día de Todos Santos, then I strongly encourage you to find a cemetery and join in on the festivities.

 

 

La Puerta Principal del Cementario Principal.

Lady on a ladder.

Puffed cereals are a common snack in Peru and Bolivia, but Dia de Todos Santos is the only day where I've seen them THIS brilliantly colored.

If you haven’t yet, show a sister some love and give me a like on Facebook.

 

 

 

Exciting World Travels

55 bicycles confiscated by Charleston SC Police for illegal parking

  • Charleston also requires bicycles to be registered and decaled. Now they are cracking down on illegal bicycle parking on King Street. However, I do agree with the crackdown on illegal parking. Charleston spent countless ,000s of dollars putting in bicycle racks and corrals to crack down on all the bikes chaining themselves to poles and trees blocking sidewalks and even making it hard to enter businesses

bike-m
“Two weeks ago, in the thick of exam season, College of Charleston senior Taz Dossaji chained her purple beach cruiser to a lamppost in front of Joe Pasta on King Street. When she finished eating dinner and realized her bike was missing from the lamppost, she assumed it had been stolen. It hadn’t. In fact, it had been confiscated by Charleston police under the city’s new bike parking pilot program, which prohibits the locking of bicycles to anything other than bike racks on the stretch of King Street between Spring and Calhoun streets.

Less than a month since the ordinance took effect on Nov. 15, Charleston police report they have confiscated 55 bicycles from the popular shopping and entertainment district. Owners must pay a fine to retrieve their bikes, and they also have to buy new locks since their old ones have been destroyed. The ordinance created a one-year pilot enforcement program that City Council will revisit next fall.

Dossaji never heard about the law until she broke it. In fact, she only found out that the police had taken her bike when a friend saw a Live 5 News report that evening that showed an officer cutting the chain and hoisting Dossaji’s bike into the back of a pickup truck. Dossaji’s friend recognized the bike and called her immediately. “She literally said, ‘The police stole your bike,'” Dossaji says.

At the Charleston Police Department headquarters on Lockwood Boulevard, where all of the confiscated bicycles are kept, bike owners have been walking in flabbergasted for the past few weeks, explaining to employees at the front desk that they were blindsided by the new law. There are no signs on King Street to indicate a no-parking zone for bikes.

Public Information Officer Charles Francis says the department gave people fair warning about the ordinance. “We gave it to the media. We put it on Facebook,” Francis says. A press release went out to all of the major local media outlets, and several TV news stations picked up the story. “I don’t know what else we could have done,” Francis says.

The rationale for the law is that a bicycle, when chained to a tree on a narrow sidewalk, can fall over and obstruct the entire walkway. Bicycle advocacy group Charleston Moves supported the ordinance in theory, but they’ve been less than jazzed about its execution.

“We’re not sure that the punitive approach is the best one. Obviously, the best approach is providing adequate parking,” says Stephanie Hunt, board chairwoman of Charleston Moves. The city of Charleston has been installing bike corrals in place of parallel parking spots around the peninsula this past year, but Hunt insists those corrals aren’t enough.  Her organization is pushing for one bike corral on each side of the street for every block within the area covered by the ordinance. “Adequate signage” is another must, she says.

City Councilman Mike Seekings, a bicyclist and Traffic and Transportation Committee member who pushed for the King Street ordinance, has frequently come out in favor of bike-friendly ordinances in his time on Council. “I have some quarrel with people who say that ordinance is an anti-biking ordinance. It’s not, and it’s not perfect. That’s why it’s a pilot,” Seekings says. “I think it puts the ball squarely in our court to expand bike parking, access to corrals, and access to biking.”

Seekings echoes the position of Charleston Moves, saying that the city should set a minimum standard of one bike corral per block per side of the street in the affected area. He also says the city needs to put up signs notifying bicyclists of the rule change, and he says he’s working with city officials to get that done.

In the meantime, though, what about the folks who have already had their bikes confiscated? “Call me. That’s what I tell them, and I’m happy to talk to them,” Seekings says. “The buck stops here on that one.”

As for Dossaji, now reunited with her cruiser and in need of a new bike lock, she says she would gladly have obeyed the law — if she had known about it.

“It wasn’t publicized. If there was a sign, ‘No Parking,’ then obviously I wouldn’t have parked there,” Dossaji says. “To be honest, I think it’s just a ploy for the city to get money off of college students.”

Exciting World Travels

Fatalities of Pedestrians, Bicycle Riders, and

Motorists Due to Distracted Driving Motor

Vehicle Crashes in the U.S., 2005–2010

 

ABSTRACT

Objective.

Distracted driving is an increasingly deadly threat to road safety. This study documents trends in and characteristics of pedestrian, bicycle rider, and other victim deaths caused by distracted drivers on U.S. public roads.

Methods.

We obtained data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System database from 2005 to 2010 on every crash that resulted in at least one fatality within 30 days occurring on public roads in the U.S. Following the definition used by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, we identified distracted driving based on whether police investigators determined that a driver had been using a technological device, including a cell phone, onboard navigation system, computer, fax machine, two-way radio, or head-up display, or had been engaged in inattentive or careless activities.

Results.

The rate of fatalities per 10 billion vehicle miles traveled increased from 116.1 in 2005 to 168.6 in 2010 for pedestrians and from 18.7 in 2005 to 24.6 in 2010 for bicyclists. Pedestrian victims of distracted driving crashes were disproportionately male, 25–64 years of age, and non-Hispanic white. They were also more likely to die at nighttime, be struck by a distracted driver outside of a marked crosswalk, and be in a metro location. Bicycling victims of distracted crashes were disproportionately male, non-Hispanic white, and struck by a distracted driver outside of a crosswalk. Compared with pedestrians, bicyclists were less likely to be hit in early morning.

Conclusions.

Distracted drivers are the cause of an increasing share of fatalities found among pedestrians and bicycle riders. Policies are needed to protect pedestrians and bicycle riders as they cross intersections or travel on roadways.

 

bike2
Exciting World Travels

Thoughts About Riding On Sidewalks

 

From John S. Allen, LAB Regional Director, New York/New England:

“The evidence that bicycling on sidewalks and similar facilities is more hazardous than bicycling on streets is overwhelming.”

From “Adult Bicyclists in the U.S.” by Dr. William Moritz:

Relative danger index 24.8 times as high for sidewalk riding as for major street without bicycle facilities. (ADULT BICYCLISTS IN THE UNITED STATES – CHARACTERISTICS AND RIDING EXPERIENCE IN 1996, William E. Moritz, Ph.D., Professor (Emeritus) Human Powered Transportation, University of Washington, Seattle WA)

According to Dr. Eero Pasanen, Helsinki City Planning Department, Traffic Planning Division, HELSINKI
FINLAND–

“A recent study in Helsinki showed that it is safer to cycle on streets amongst cars than on our two-way cycle paths along streets. It is hard to imagine that our present two-way cycling network could be rebuilt. But in those countries and cities which are just beginning to build their cycling facilities, two-way cycle paths should be avoided in urban street networks.

Even in more advanced cycling countries like Denmark and in the Netherlands, with a lot of cyclists and with their one-way lanes and paths, cycling is still much more dangerous than car driving or public transport. “

Alan Wachtel and Diana Lewiston published in the ITE Journal, Sept/Oct 1994 (from the Institute of Transportation Engineers):

“The average cyclist in this study incurs a risk on the sidewalk 1.8 times as great as on the roadway. The risk on the sidewalk is higher than on the roadway for both age groups, for both sexes, and for wrong-way travel. The greatest risk found in this study is 5.3 times the average risk for bicyclists over 18 traveling against traffic on the sidewalk.”

“Wrong-way sidewalk travel is 4.5 times as dangerous as right-way sidewalk travel. Moreover, sidewalk bicycling promotes wrong-way travel: 315 of 971 sidewalk bicyclists (32 percent) rode against the direction of traffic, compared to only 108 of 2,005 roadway bicyclists (5 percent).”

“Even right-way sidewalk bicyclists can cross driveways and enter intersections at high speed, and they may enter from an unexpected position and direction for instance, on the right side of overtaking right-turning traffic. Sidewalk bicyclists are also more likely to be obscured at intersections by parked cars, buildings, fences, and shrubbery; their stopping distance is much greater than a pedestrian’s, and they have less maneuverability.”

There are of course many more supporting expert opinions which are easily found.  These only scratch the surface, but should be more than enough to convince a novice.

Compass
Exciting World Travels

Bike helmets less protective than previously believed, study

Bike helmets seem to be getting less protective. That, or their safety benefits have been exaggerated in the past.

A re-evaluation of a 2001 bike helmet safety study by Rune Elvik, a leading traffic researcher in Norway, suggests that the claim bike helmets reduced the risk of head injury by 60 per cent was wrong.

Elvik, the chief research officer at the Institute of Transport Economics in Oslo, reviewed the 2001 Australian study and said the conclusions were misguided because of publication bias and that recent studies show different results.

The study was a review of others that came before it, most of them showing that helmets provided significant protection from head injury. Elvik claims the bias of the time was to only publish studies that showed helmets to be useful. He also pointed out that newer studies between 2000 and now have trended toward showing less of a benefit from wearing helmets and suggests the number today is probably closer to 33 per cent head-injury risk reduction from bike helmets. However, when accounting for publication bias it may be almost zero.

“One would think that the earliest bike helmets that were made would be less effective than the ones that are made today, but we’re actually seeing an opposite trend: it has become less safe to wear a bike helmet over the years, and that is surprising,” Elvik said in a statement reported by Science Nordic.

It is unknown why helmets seem less beneficial today than they used to, but one suggestion put forward is that newer helmets with ventilation holes in them are less sturdy than older ones that more closely resembled motorcycle helmets.

Exciting World Travels

Snow Ride in Chapples

 


 

Exciting World Travels

6 Stereotypes Sure to Drive Every Expat Nuts on El Camino Gringo

I recently read this article after a couple bottles of wine with a fellow expat. We laughed. We were in total agreement that these stereotypes are indeed real, and, of course, that we could do it better.

gringo

Just because it’s awesome

However, my perspective is very different based on how I travel and the fact that I live in Peru. Somewhere along the last 14 months, I made the transition for backpacker/traveler to expat, and there is simply no going back. I was hit by the divide between the two when I started to brave some of the gringo trail. It can really be summed up in one standard conversation amongst backpackers: “How long have you been traveling and how many countries have you done in that period of time?” When it comes to my turn and I respond with an inconceivable “a year” and “just Peru” the conversation tends to awkwardly die.

I admire your endurance, and I understand now that my frame of reference forces people to reanalyze what they think they know. I’m sorry to say that no, you aren’t going to learn a whole lot about the culture, language, and local people when you are plowing through city after city. Regardless, I still think it is bad ass that anyone can throw all of their crap in a nap sack and head overseas to live out of said-nap sack for x amount of time.

Unfortunately, this divide exists. When I went to Africa, my American volunteer coordinator said something to me that I will never forget, “I realized last year that just because someone comes to Africa, does not mean that they are a cool person.”

Below are the stereotypes that are bound to drive any expat nuts when they wander onto El Camino Gringo AKA The Gringo Trail1.

1)      The Guy Who Knows Better

His bartering skills are top notch. He’s tried all of the local cuisine, not to mention that he

A prime example of "guy who knows better" behavior.

A prime example of “guy who knows better” behavior.

knows where to get it. He pronounces restaurants, foods, and basic items with perfect pronunciation. We will just let him continue paying double for produce, eating in the places your local friends have warned you about, using incomprehensible slang from three countries back, and taking crazy-stupid transit. After all, he knows better.

Time on el camino: 1-3 months

2)      The Guy Who Is Fluent Until You Introduce Him to Your Local Friends

He’s been traveling Latin America for a few months. He took three years of Spanish in high school, and an additional two years in college. He’s very open about that fact that all of this education has culminated in his preparation for his fluency exam to begin working as a translator. So you invite him out for a night on the town with your local friends, thinking that they’ll get along just fine. After 15 minutes of awkward one-way conversation, he fakes an illness and goes home. (Tragically, this guy and guy #1 are sometimes the same person.)

Time on el camino: 3 months

3)      The Idealist

The idealist has been around for three days, and this is without-a-doubt the most amazing city in the world. And you, you miserable, jaded expat, are a pathetic excuse for a human being for no longer acting like this is the most amazing place in the world. The language, the food, the music, the produce, the markets, the lax drinking laws, and the cheap transit all have the idealist convinced that this the coolest place on Earth and thus it is where she shall poetically dwell until the end of time. I’ll keep appreciating your enthusiasm, sweetie, because those things are awesome. In fact, they are indeed what drew me here, and most certainly what keep me here. However, from where I am sitting, I also see a serious poverty issues, a total disregard for sustainable environmental and safe hygiene practices, and an oppressive class system that is bordering on caste system. I’m tired of paying an hour’s wages for a box of tampons. I am sick of being treated like I am rich when I am so freakin’ poor that I can’t afford to go home, and I secretly have dreams about reliable plumbing and drinking the tap water.

Time on el camino: Less than a week

4)      The But-These-Drugs-Are-So-Cheap Guy

He touched down four weeks ago, and he hasn’t come down since. He has a bright future in drug trafficking and international smuggling. What’s more is that he is convinced that the cops won’t touch him because he’s a gringo. He knows all of the street dealers, smokes mari walking down the street, and tactfully sniffs bumps in front of la comisaria. In the intermission, he is more than happy to remind you that you are nuts for not taking advantage of the rock-bottom market. Honey, I just hope you keep enough money on you for a bribe.

Time on el camino: A month

5)      The College Kid(s) Traveling on Mommy and Daddy’s Budget

You, my devout expat, starved yourself living well below the poverty line so that you could pay for your one-way ticket to an unknown land where you knew you would continue to

What I imagine their parents look like...

What I imagine their parents look like…

live way below the poverty line while getting ripped off by locals for the foreseeable future. Then these kids come along, seeing everything in dollars and failing to understand that your ability to survive is centered around your ability to negotiate and think in the local currency. They eat in gringo restaurants and stay in the most expensive backpackers’ hostels, but refuse to be identified in tourists. They travel in packs even in broad daylight, out of fear that separation will result in imminent robbery…or worse. If one of them doesn’t feel like participating in an activity, the world ends and they all stay inside. Well, all we can say to them is, “Kudos to you for making it out of the country for your first time.”

Time on el camino: 2 weeks

6)      The Superior Volunteer

There are NGOs all over South America. Many of these are targeted a young college students who are expected to pay for the opportunity to offer their services. I participated in one of these in Africa post-graduating and I absolutely believe that they are an excellent opportunity to learn more about another culture, world, people, etc.Howevermany of these South American NGOs over staff their school, projects, initiatives, etc. with temporary PAYING interns/volunteers. This means that you get situations like three teachers per classroom of 10 students. Rather than realizing that they have been ripped off and are in fact making no difference whatsoever, they adopt an air of superiority. They are the kind of people that say to recently inaugurated backpackers, “Why don’t you speak Spanish?” They, much like the college kids, stay in their groups. They get rip-roaring drunk four nights a week, because deep down they know that it won’t make a lick of difference at “work” tomorrow.

Time on el camino: 2 months

If you haven’t yet, please give us a like on Facebook.

1: The Gringo Trial (or El Camino Gringo) is the standard path that gringos take in between popular cities and sites. It is not uncommon for backpackers to run into each other multiple times while traveling the Gringo Trail.

**I do not own nor do I claim to own rights to any of the photos in this post.

Exciting World Travels

San Pedro AKA Mescaline

The Basics

The view from Santa Apolonia.

The view from Santa Apolonia.

San Pedro is a cactus that contains mescaline. It has been used as a means of spiritual cleansing by ancient South American cultures for more than 3,000 years and originates from the mountains of Peru and Ecuador.

Many people come to Peru seeking out Ayahuasca and San Pedro. Both of these substances are legal and natural. Though Ayahuasca is significantly more intense and should only be taken under the supervision of a qualified shaman.

I want to be clear about something. This is not a drug. This is a medicine. What you take away from it, as well as your individual experience is your own and no one else’s. However, in my opinion, those who take this as a drug are abusing the power and benefit of this plant. To the Incans, as well as the numerous empires than came before them, San Pedro was and still is a sacred plant. Below is my personal account of my experience with San Pedro.

The Beginning

Sliced and ready for dicing.

Sliced and ready for dicing.

I met my friend Simon in Huanchaco when we were volunteering together in a hostel. He started to talk to me about San Pedro and how it was the difference between a spiritual cleansing and the spiritual awakening of Ayahuasca. He told me about how it was a lot less intense than Ayahuasca and explained to me the potential benefits of the plant. He told me that if I was interested, he thought that I might benefit from it and he was willing to travel to the mountains in Cajamarca with me so we could take it together. I was skeptical at first. I am not a fan of “drugs”, but I sheepishly started to ask around town. When I asked people if they knew where I could find the “drug” San Pedro, I always got the same confused response, “But that’s not a drug…”

I came up with nothing and Simon decided that he was going to endeavor to cook it. The

A view of the inside of San Pedro.

A view of the inside of San Pedro.

thing about San Pedro is that it is often used as an ornamental plant and it grows pretty much everywhere. There was a rather large cactus outside of the hostel and the owner gave him permission to cook a portion of it. He had a ceremony, cut off his beard as a way of giving something back (after 6 months of growing it!), and got to cooking. Because of the high quantity that he cooked to give to other people, the process took him two days. However, you definitely don’t need such a high volume. The general rule is one foot per person and it takes about five hours to cook. The cactus is tough, so you should have a sharp knife, and you are going to need a blender. You can read more about how to prepare San Pedro here. The preparation of San Pedro may be a post all its own in the future if my dear friend should decide that he would like to write it. <3

Physical Preparation

The day before we took San Pedro, we cleansed. We drank only water and ate only fruit and nuts. This helps with a number of things. It prepares your body to accept the medicine by making it easier for the mescaline to get into your system. It also helps if you have nothing in your stomach, because it can cause vomiting (more on that later). I’d also recommend over-hydrating the day before. San Pedro is very acidic, and you may not want to have to worry about things like remembering to drink water.

Picking a Place

 

Santa Apolonia in all of its glory from the top.

Santa Apolonia

It is best to take San Pedro in a natural environment. However, it is also nice to have access to a bathroom in the event that you vomit. We chose our place in advance, a beautiful park on the side of the mountain on the outskirts of town. The park is oriented around a significant landmark in Cajamarca, the small church, Santa Apolonia. However, we first took San Pedro in our room so that we could pass the nausea.

Drinking It

The day of I joined Simon at around 8 a.m. for some yoga and breathing exercises. It is best to prepare yourself mentally to accept the medicine. You want to go into the trip with an open mind and minimal expectations. Remember, this experience and what is taken away from it is different for everyone. We did buy some chasers. This sounds like a wonderful idea, because San Pedro is literally the vilest thing I have ever tasted in my entire life. It tastes like bile. Regardless, I recommend just chasing it with water. There is acid in juice. Soda can also be acidic and gassy. Things like sports drinks have too much sugar. Water will help to equalize the acid, and dilute the liquid. Also, if you do puke, it will make it easier.

Some people, mainly those who choose to see this plant as a drug, choose to down as much as possible as fast as possible. San Pedro is not meant to be chugged. Part of the spiritual experience is a gained awareness of your surroundings and yourself. Listen to your body. The batch that you have may be super strong and you may not need much, or you may need a couple of glasses. We took what were essentially double shots every 10-15 minutes.

After three, I threw up. This is a form of purging and it actually felt incredible. After about 20 minutes, though I will confess that from here on out time became irrelevant, I took a couple more. It was extremely condensed, so we soon realized that we didn’t need anymore. After we were fairly certain that I wasn’t going to puke, we ventured outside.

The Trip

Yeah, Simon may have gone a little overboard ;)

Yeah, Simon may have gone a little overboard ;)

**I would like to take a moment to tell you that according to those that I have spoken with, my experience was not the norm. The most common “side effect” is a heightened sense of sight: brighter colors, the ability to slow down movements (like a humming bird’s wings flapping), seeing patterns intensified in everything, etc. While visuals were a huge part of my experience, I feel like they were a lot less significant for me than many of those with whom I have spoken. Your experience is entirely your own.

The journey through the city center to the park was intense to say the least. I don’t mean this in a negative way. The first thing that I noticed was that the buildings were brighter. The next thing that I noticed was that my sense of smell and taste were extremely intensified. The fumes from the cars were overwhelming, people’s perfumes were suffocating, food was even more alluring, and everything that I smelled I could taste. When I went to take a sip of my sports drink, I nearly spit it out. In the case of things like the perfume and the sports drink, it was a hyperawareness of the chemicals. In the case of the fumes, I was suddenly hyperconscious of the pollution.

The path to Santa Apolonia. If only this image truly grasped those stairs...

The path to Santa Apolonia. If only this image truly grasped those stairs…

The journey up the long steps to the church was long, but beautiful. We took our time and I couldn’t have asked for a better person to do this with. Simon was patient and understanding and stopped when I needed to stop. San Pedro can make you slow and tired. I was very tired for about 15 minutes once it really started to kick in, but this did pass.

(I am a very spiritual person. So while I understand that I am about to sound like a stereotypical hippie, I want to be clear when I say that I this is how I believe the world is intended to be seen on a daily basis-with or without the use of mescaline.)

Once in the park, the world suddenly changed. I saw God in everything. I saw the aura of plants. The trees dancing on the mountains slowed down. All of my senses were suddenly intensified. At one point, I closed my eyes and listened to the sounds of the surrounding wildlife. I was able to isolate the calls of a pair of birds and then climb a set of stone steps to find them in the top of a tree. I know this all may sound bizarre, but I didn’t fight any of this. I let myself reflect on all of the beauty that was around me. I let myself close my eyes and listen to the flies around me, the bees buzzing, the trees rocking in the wind, people talking in the distance, and the sounds of every nearby animal. In a single moment I was aware of all of this. I was also aware of the smell of the grass, the patterns on my finger nails, and the movement of the clouds over the mountains, or a lizard running over the rocks nearly 20 feet away.

I am not going to lie. I felt nauseous for a great deal of this time, but San Pedro offers you

The finished product. Smells like nothing. Looks like bile. Tastes like bile.

The finished product. Smells like nothing. Looks like bile. Tastes like bile.

the ability to truly understand what it means to conquer mind over body. I chose to ignore it.

Moreover, once I let my mind begin to focus, I was aware of myself. I began to meditate upon myself; the things that I need to work on, the things that I choose to ignore, parts of myself that I have lost that I need to recover. I began to weep for an integral part of myself that I have lost over the last year: the part of myself that recognized the importance of the individual and a connection with nature, the part that recognized that no one has power over me and my attitude except for myself, the part of myself that saw beauty and hope and would never give up on either of those ideals.

After an immeasurable amount of time, we started to venture back to the hostel. We stopped to buy an ice cream, and it was the most amazing thing that I have ever tasted in my entire life. We went into a couple of ferias and enjoyed the bright colors of the artisanal goods. I would say that this was the only part of the “trip” that was purely fun. For those who are concerned about this “drug” making them freak out or act irrationally, know this: San Pedro did not affect my ability to have coherent social interactions or speak Spanish.

Afterwards, we ventured through the crazy streets. I felt completely aware of every single person on the street. I felt aware of their energy, of their presence. It was beautiful. I really saw the beauty in everything: children playing in the street, indigenous women selling produce and flowers, men gathering around the juice stand-everything. When we got back to the hostel, we spent the rest of the evening just relaxing, talking, and reflecting upon our experience. We ate some fruit salad, and I had an incredible night’s sleep filled with beautiful dreams.

What I Took Away From It

To say that San Pedro changed my life for the better would be an understatement. I am most certainly more conscious of what I need to be working on within myself. I am trying to listen more. I am trying to remember to just breathe for a few seconds before getting upset. When someone is mean to me, I try to treat them with kindness. I try to remember to smile at as many people as possible. I find that even in the face of someone having a bad day, they will eventually fall victim to my good mood. ;) I openly admit that many of these things are new to me, and I don’t always succeed. In fact, I unreservedly admit that I fail more than I succeed. However, every day I remind myself at least once to stop and think about what I am doing. I think about the role that I play in conflict instead of pushing all of the blame onto someone else. In any given interaction, I think about how my attitude is affecting the situation or the attitude of the other person/persons involved. I think about how much time I am spending online. I try to remind myself daily to unplug from everything and just sit, or read a book, or walk outside and sit on a bench in the plaza, or do some yoga. I think about what I am eating. I think about all of the sunshine and time that goes into an apple before I take a bite. I eat a lot less meat, but when I do, I stop for a moment to give thanks.

I still have what I have grown to call “San Pedro dreams”. These are beautiful dreams that are often thematic, typically pertaining to nature or the general beauty of the world. They provide me with a renewed sense of hope and keep me grounded. I always wake up feeling refreshed and grateful.

 

We went back one more time before leaving Cajamarca. From the very top of the park, this is the view for the city as the sun was setting.

We went back one more time before leaving Cajamarca. From the very top of the park, this is the view for the city as the sun was setting.

Finally, and this is perhaps the most important result, I am brought to tears multiple times a week by the re-realization of all of the beauty in the world. Being an activist and having PTSD it can be hard to hold on to the good. Over the last couple of years, I have found myself seeing more evil in the world than good. I keep up on politics, women’s issues, and environmental news. That can get you down. I still keep up on all of the things that are important to me. However, I am somehow reminded of the hope and incredible joy that still remains in the world on a daily basis. It has made me a significantly happier and more relaxed person.

I would never push San Pedro on anyone. I can only tell you what it has done for me. Besides, should you find yourself in South America, it will find you if you are meant to do it.

Exciting World Travels

Cyclocross on Oct 6 2013 -Thunder Bay Cycling

 

1384085_10151633308451993_329575307_n 1381165_10151633304256993_790292874_n 1392056_10151633298071993_230865545_n

Exciting World Travels

Start of the Cyclocross Season

Thunder Bay Cycling – September 29 2013

1269414_10202047284045949_104505478_o

Exciting World Travels

Category Overall Placing Distance (Km) Best Time Best Combined Time Average Speed

10 0:19:07

20 0:40:12

32 1:05:41

10 0:16:06

20 0:32:27

32 0:52:24

10 0:17:08

20 0:34:51

32 0:54:10

10 0:17:56

20 0:39:04

32 1:02:37

10 0:20:12

20 0:46:24

32 1:03:23

10 0:16:20

20 0:32:54

32 0:51:25

10 0:18:21

20 0:36:12

32 0:58:10

10 0:18:00

20 0:37:02

32 1:02:24

10 0:14:38

20 0:28:47

32 0:51:15

10 0:18:18

20 0:37:41

32 1:06:57

10 0:20:25

20 1:06:48

32 1:14:05

10 0:15:03

20 0:30:25

32 0:48:55

10 0:13:58

20 0:29:03

32 0:46:11

10 0:14:25

20 0:29:16

32 0:46:48

10 0:15:52

20 0:31:42

32 0:49:48

10 0:15:18

20 0:31:02

32 0:52:51

10 0:16:10

20 0:36:36

32 0:53:08

10 0:15:52

20 0:31:09

32 0:48:43

10 0:15:46

20 0:31:22

32 0:50:07

10 0:16:26

20 0:32:15

32 0:50:45

10 0:18:20

20 0:37:04

32 0:55:49

10 0:19:23

20 0:39:10

32 1:01:45

10 0:17:54

20 0:36:46

32 0:57:54

10 0:19:06

20 0:36:45

32 1:00:36

TBCC 2013 Time Trial Overall Results.

Rider Name

Woman Junior 1 Sarah Hay 2:05:00 29.76

Woman Masters

1 Janet Siilman 1:40:39

35.04

3 Keli Cristofaro 1:59:37 31.10

Woman Veteran

1 Lori Knott 1:40:57 36.85

2 Marianne Stewart 1:46:09

36.96

2 Lis Salmon 1:52:43 33.00

4 Pam Saranpaa 2:09:59 28.62

39.30

2 Nathan Hay 2:02:56 30.26

3 Sue Hay 1:57:26 31.68

1 Darcy Cornish 1:34:40

3 Ate Saranpaa 2:41:18 23.06

Men Senior 1 Jyles LeBoeuf 1:34:23

Men Junior

1:30:29 41.11

3 John Rescigno 1:37:22 38.21

39.41

Men Veteran

1 Keith Ailey 1:29:12 41.70

2 Dave Pinner

4 Darryl Hay 1:39:11 37.51

5 Martin Saranpaa 1:45:54 35.13

38.25

Men Masters 3 Dave Krasnichuk 1:39:26 37.41

1 John Esposti 1:35:44 38.86

2 Lorne Morrow 1:37:15

4 Chris Mitchell 1:51:13 33.45

5 Ranjit Baboolal 2:00:18 30.92

31.95

Results are based on 10 Km TTs held on on Apr 25 / Jun 6 / Jul 18 / Sept 5, 20 Km TTs on May 9 / Jun 20 / Aug 1 / Sept 12 and 20 MI (32 Km) TTs on May 23 /

Exciting World Travels

Exciting World Travels

September 15 2013

Blacksheep Mountain Bike – FINAL RACE – Centenntial Park
15076_231314640352495_224286941_n 575263_231314367019189_250306044_n 602911_231315843685708_693701219_n 733845_231320013685291_618279868_n 995165_231319197018706_1122040018_n 996614_231314070352552_449074129_n 1209297_231314153685877_1844142361_n 1231493_231315897019036_151435035_n 1234224_231314030352556_280775104_n 1294122_13532272992841
Exciting World Travels

Bolivian Border Crossing: For Americans

The Bolivian Border Crossing: For Americans

I booked a bus for the wee hours on Sunday morning. It was set to leave at 3 a.m. When I got to Bolivia, I found out that this was a clerical error on the part of the woman at the ticket counter. The bus didn’t come until nearly 6 a.m., so I spent all night playing a little game that I like to call “Tina, Don’t Fall Asleep and Get Your Shit Stolen”. The ride was arduous. The bus kept overheating, so we had to stop multiple times on the side of the road in the desert and wait for the bus to cool down. This amounted to at least a couple of hours in the desert heat sans AC or windows that open. The bathroom was disgusting and there was no food provided on what amounted to a seventeen-hour journey.

As much as I hate the total failure of a system that is South American buses, I hate bordering crossings even more. And a border crossing on a bus? It is my personal version of hell.

IMG_3562

I have heard, time and time again, that the Bolivian border crossing is a nightmare for Americans. I say specifically Americans, because Europeans (or Kiwis or Canadians) never seem understand what Americans are bitching about with regards to the utter hell that is the Bolivian border crossing. It is important to understand that because of American-Bolivian relations it is a different experience for us. Our governments don’t play well together, and we pay the price for this tempestuous political relationship.

Note: The Bolivian border crossing discussed in this article is not the Copacabana border crossing, but the Bolivian border crossing on Lake Titicaca. It is is much smaller and much faster than the one at Copacabana.

Before heading off on this journey, a Peruvian man said to me, “Don’t trustanyone at the border.” He had good cause. It was some of the best advice that I have heard thus far in my travels of South America, and I’m glad that I took it to heart…

There is a bridge that you cross on foot leaving from Peru. The bus will stop, let everyone off, and then you go through Peruvian immigration before crossing into Bolivia. Peruvian immigration took all of 3 minutes. However, I was immediately stopped before the bridge and asked to enter an office with three police officers. I have to say, I am still utterly shocked by this experience. In the last year of living in Peru, my experience with Peruvian law enforcement has been quite positive. Needless to say, what happened next was quite jarring. I was interrogated (yes, interrogated is the appropriate word) about whether I had drugs in my bag. He went through an extensive list of substances. I answered no over and over again. I told him that he was welcome to search my things. Then he pulled everything in my bag out, including my money. He counted my money in front of me and asked me if it was all that I had with me. I lied. I was wearing a money belt. (I was recently reading another travel blog by a girl who “braves” the developed world. She made cracks about money belts. Girl, you had better stay in your cushy countries, because what you called foolish kept me from getting robbed.) I knew that if he knew how much money I was carrying on me he would say that I would have to pay a tax for crossing the border. He knew I was lying, but I smiled and said that he could continue searching my things. (Besides, a tax for the amount of money that I had one me would also have been a lie.)

He asked me what I do for a living. When I said writer, he asked me if I had a receipt for my computer. I said no. He said that he was going to have to fine me. You are allowed one computer without questions. I know this. It is stated very clearly on immigration information at the airport. I said directly, “Sir, I am not paying you anything.” He was surprised and got upset with me. I told him, “Sir, look at my passport. I have legally entered and left Peru two times in the last year. I know that I am permitted one computer without questions.” Another cop gave him some weird signal, he shoved my things back in my bag with complete disregard for their fragility, and let me go.

I lost 15 minutes in that office with these men trying to make me sweat.

Once across the bridge, you will have to pay for a visa and fill out additional paperwork. Peruvians and Europeans walk right through sans issues. They tell you that you can pay in bolivianos, soles, or dollars, but there is a catch: They have no change in soles or bolivianos. They try to “keep” the change. In fact, they don’t even do math. If you don’t know exactly how much the exchange rate is they will just act like a nice even number is peachy. I took the calculator from behind the desk and punched in the exchange rate in front of him and asked him, “My change?” He said, “Oh, I don’t have change.” I told him that I wasn’t giving him free money, so I had to walk back over to Peru, and change MORE money so that I could pay for my visa. Then I had to fill out additional paperwork.

The salt in the wound is that you have to go get copies of your passport and visa. This relationship is obviously corrupt. There is only one place that makes photocopies and they charge you FIFTY BOLIVIANOS (roughly seven dollars) for three pieces of freakin’ paper which you need in order to get the stupid green sheet that goes with your visa and permits entry and exit from Bolivia.

So basically, you get fucked over and taken advantage of as many times as they can. The police are as corrupt as they say, and it is a total shit show.

Here is what I recommend in order to prepare to cross the Bolivian border as an American:

Bring exact change in soles or dollars, or change money before crossing the border into Bolivia. The dollars and soles have to be in excellent condition. No pen marks, not too worn, and fairly new. And, perhaps most importantly, know what the exact rate would be in all three currencies.

Know your rights. Someone will very likely try to charge you some bullshit fine for something that they have no right nor justification to charge you. That may be for bringing a camera or a computer into the country. I’ve even heard of people being asked to pay the police because, “You have to pay us a service tax for searching your things.”

If you get pulled aside, don’t panic. Smile and let them search your things, but be firm. If they ask you to pay a fine, tell them that you read the entry and exit requirements and import and export regulations on the embassy’s page for theircountry. Tell them that you know that you don’t have to pay insert-whatever-the-hell-they-are-talking-about-here.

Smile. Smile. Smile. After getting through the nightmare of paperwork and a million different people making my already long day a nightmare, another cop came onto the bus and looked at everyone’s passport. When he got to me, he spent ten minutes looking at it and asking me, “Where are you from?” and looking at some ambiguous piece of paper in his hand that looked like chicken scratch. His cop-friend didn’t believe that I was from America. (This actually happened at Peruvian immigration as well. Yes, I took this terrible picture of myself when I was 17 and recently had this fake document made since being a traveling America is so easy.) He thought that I was South American. Jokingly I said, “And I would want to fake being an American so that I would have to pay 5? I don’t see the benefit, sir.” One of them laughed, handed me back my passport, and moved on. A sense of humor can go a long way in these situations.

Oh, and if you don’t speak Spanish? I don’t know, man. Pray and smile? Act really stupid? At the very least, know the damn exchange rates.

Exciting World Travels

September 15 2013
Blacksheep Mountain Bike – FINAL RACE
Place Bib Name Group Time ±
1. 22 Jonathan Kettle Male Advanced 16-20 01:01:21.4 00:00:00.0
2. 8 Emile Hamm Male Advanced 0-15 01:03:05.9 00:01:44.5
3. 5 Jacob Lacosse Male Advanced 21-35 01:03:30.8 00:02:09.4
4. 18 Mark Maranzan Male Advanced 21-35 01:06:28.6 00:05:07.2
5. 9 Graham Robertshaw Male Advanced 16-20 01:06:57.0 00:05:35.6
6. 23 Kevin Marier Male Advanced 16-20 01:07:35.4 00:06:14.0
7. 15 Damon Quinn Male Advanced 16-20 01:07:36.8 00:06:15.4
8. 12 Ryan Pendziwol Male Advanced 16-20 01:07:56.2 00:06:34.8
9. 13 John Rescigno Male Advanced 36+ 01:08:14.9 00:06:53.5
10. 21 Steven Uchtenhagen Male Advanced 21-35 01:09:46.2 00:08:24.8
11. 11 Kailey Trodd Female Advanced 16-20 01:11:57.4 00:10:36.0
12. 17 Cory Schick Male Advanced 21-35 01:12:00.4 00:10:39.0
13. 25 Randy Berg Male Advanced 36+ 01:13:18.1 00:11:56.7
14. 19 Martin Saranpaa Male Advanced 36+ 01:15:53.5 00:14:32.1
15. 20 Callum Johnson Male Advanced 16-20 01:15:54.6 00:14:33.2
16. 4 Garth Tremblay Male Advanced 36+ 01:18:48.6 00:17:27.2
17. 3 Deanne Lee Female Advanced 36+ 01:19:00.1 00:17:38.7
18. 14 Blaine Hill Male Advanced 36+ 01:20:33.2 00:19:11.8
T19. 16 Christian Kachkowski Male Advanced 16-20 01:21:39.0 00:20:17.6
T19. 27 Kyle Wright Male Advanced 16-20 01:21:39.0 00:20:17.6
21. 1 Keri Brown Female Advanced 36+ 01:22:17.0 00:20:55.6
22. 26 Ann Danard Female Advanced 16-20 01:22:36.5 00:21:15.1
23. 7 Laura Inkila Female Advanced 16-20 01:25:22.6 00:24:01.2
24. 24 Seija Grant Female Advanced 21-35 01:26:58.3 00:25:36.9
DNS 2 Kevin Schlyter Male Advanced 36+
Exciting World Travels

10 DAYS ULTIMATE NORTHERN TANZANIA ULTIMATE TRIP 1st APRIL/31st

MAY 2014 TO SERENGETI N.P/ NGORONGORO CRATER/ LAKE MANYARAN.P & TARANGIRE NATIONAL PARK.

The Serengeti is Africa’s most famous park. Renowned for the two million strong wildebeest ‘Great Migration’ and incredible concentrations of predators, the Serengeti is a park that guarantees an exceptional safari. The vast endless grass plains (Serengeti in Maasai) are the richest grazing grounds on the continent; home to the largest herds on the planet, and the highest concentrations of predators in Africa. The itinerary will allow you Visit Tanzania largest and most famous national park with the wildebeest migration expected in December and May, Tree climbing lions and birdlife in Lake Manyara and a tour to the worlds most visited destination (Ngorongoro) famous for high wildlife concentration and breath taking sceneries.3520186276_31706d5a96

 

DAY 1: ARRIVAL ARUSHA

Arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport. You’ll be met by one of our team and taken to your lodge in Arusha (about 45 minutes away), where you can enjoy a nice meal and get a good night’s sleep. Overnight in Arusha. Overnight stay at Outpost Lodge Arusha. (Bed and breakfast)

DAY 2: ARUSHA – OLDUVAI GORGE – SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK (CENTRAL)

After breakfast drive to Serengeti national park central part of the park via Olduvai Gorge archaeological site. At Olduvai palaeo-anthropological diggings and discoveries have taken place over many years, by, among others, the famous husband-and-wife team of Louis and Mary Leakey. Dinner and overnight stay at Serengeti Sopa Lodge.

 

DAY 3: SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK (CENTRAL)

A full day with morning and afternoon game drives to explore the plains, Dinner and overnight at Serengeti Seronera campsite Serengeti is easily Tanzania’s most famous national park, and it’s also the largest, at 14,763 square kilometres of protected area that borders Kenya’s Maasai Mara Game Park It is the Migration for which Serengeti is perhaps most famous. Over a million wildebeest and about 200,000 zebras flow south from the northern hills to the southern plains for the short rains every October and November, and then swirl west and north after the long rains in April, May and June. So strong is the ancient instinct to move that no drought, gorge or crocodile infested river can hold them back. The Wildebeest travel through a variety of parks, reserves and protected areas and through a variety of habitat. Join us to explore the different forms of vegetation and landscapes of the Serengeti ecosystem and meet some of their most fascinating inhabitants. Meals and overnight stay at Serengeti Sopa Lodge.

 

DAY 4: SERENGETI NDUTU PLAINS (SOUTHERN)

After breakfast with picnic lunch drive from central to the southern direction of the Serengeti where the wildebeest migration tend to be on that part of the national park. Enjoy the endless plains of Serengeti with game viewing, a magnificent experience awaits as you travel to the oldest and most famous wildlife park in Africa. Here you might have the chance to see the migration, where thousands of zebra and wildebeest make trip from the Maasai Mara every year. Packed lunch is served and proceed for an afternoon game drive. The green season is a wonderful time to be on safari in the southern Serengeti and the northern Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Rain means game in the Serengeti and wildlife should be prolific on the Southern Serengeti Plains. The southern plains encompass a massive area so it’s best to locate yourself in more then one area if time allows. The wildebeest migration will most likely be spread across the now green plains of the northern NCA and the southern Serengeti. There should be thousands of young wildebeest calves on the green plains ranging from 3 – 4 months old. Along with the migration, predators should be abundant. There should be good cheetah sightings though not to the extent seen on the Eastern Plains. Lions should be easily visible, both resident prides and the nomads which have followed the migration from the woodlands. Elephants can also be found in the Southern Serengeti in the patches of woodland that dot the plains including the woodlands around Lake Ndutu and Kusini. Dinner and overnight stay Savannah Ndutu Camp.

 

DAY 5: SERENGETI NDUTU PLAINS (SOUTHERN)

The southern Serengeti steals the show in the wet season including May. The life giving rains that generally begin in mid-November and last through early May trigger the great wildebeest migration into the plains of the South Serengeti and the northern Ngorongoro Conservation Area. As the rain subsides in May and the grasses have been reduced to stubbles, the great herds slowly begin to form and start their long march northward towards their dry season ranges. When the great movement begins is heavily dependent on rainfall patterns. The most likely scenario is that in the beginning of May the main herds will be located in and around the southern Serengeti. By late May they will have begun moving north-west towards the western corridor with a smaller group moving directly north. The massive wildebeest herds are usually located just south of the Serengeti border in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. There will undoubtedly be smaller herds actually within the Serengeti proper but the main herds should be located in the extreme south.  Meals and overnight stay at Savannah Ndutu Camp.

 

DAY 6: SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK – NGORONGORO C.A

Morning game viewing drives then return to the lodge for breakfast, proceed further game drives as you exit the park and drive to Ngorongoro conservation area.

The Ngorongoro Crater is often called ‘Africa’s Eden’ and the ‘8th Natural Wonder of the World,’ a visit to the crater is a main draw card for tourists coming to Tanzania and a definite world-class attraction. The Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) is home of Ngorongoro Crater. It was formed some 2.5 million years ago from a volcanic mountain sinking due to inactivity, and was initially thought to be higher than Tanzania’s famous Kilimanjaro. The crater has evolved into a unique and integral part of Tanzania’s eco-system. The crater is actually a caldera, measures 22.5 km’s across and the rim walls stand 600m high. Views from within and from the rim are breathtaking (as can be seen from the picture). The crater houses 30,000 animals and a large variety of birds, which rarely move from the area due to the availability of water through wet and dry seasons. Dinner and overnight stay Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge.

 

DAY 7: NGORONGORO CRATER – LAKE MANYARA 

Today will be a very early start so we can head into the Crater right as the gates are opening. We’ll spend the morning in the Crater and will head out around lunchtime towards Lake Manyara. We’ll overnight at one of the lodges located on the edge of the Great Rift Valley. The following morning you enjoy the delicious breakfasts and tranquillity. Meals and overnight stay at Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge.

DAY 8: LAKE MANYARA – TARANGIRE NATIONAL PARK

After breakfast (early or late – up to you!) we’ll head to Lake Manyara National Park. Manyara has a large, diverse bird population and also has many large animals. Some animals we will see include: buffalo, elephants and giraffes. If we’re lucky, we might even spot the elusive tree-climbing lion. After lunch we’ll head to Tarangire National Park, where we can do some night drives. Overnight in Tarangire. Meals and overnight stay at Maramboi Tented Camp.

DAY 9: TARANGIRE NATIONAL PARK

Tarangire National Park, one of the hidden jewels of Tanzania. This park measures 2,600 sq km’s and boasts a concentration of wildlife second only to Ngorongoro Crater. It features an impressive amount and array of bird life and plant life. Situated only 160km’s from Arusha, the park is nestled to the south of the large open grass plains of southern Maasai land. It is named after the Tarangire River, which runs directly through the center of the park and is the only permanent water source for the animals. Along the banks of this river you will find herds of wildebeest (or gnu) and zebra, followed by Grant’s gazelle, Thomson’s gazelle and many others. Lurking in the background lion and leopard keep a watchful eye on a possible meal. The park offers views of grass and floodplains with impressive baobab and flat topped acacia trees scattered throughout. During the dry season the park may look quite ordinary, but activities continue even more earnestly due to the now increased competition. Meals and overnight stay at Maramboi Tented Camp.

DAY 10: TARANGIRE – ARUSHA – FLIGHT BACK HOME

We’ll do an early morning game drive before heading out towards Arusha, where you’ll catch your flight back home at JRO. Bon voyage!!!

Price per person sharing Lodge 

                                          Camping 

Max number of pax 10-12

 

Tour price includes:

-Guarantee price/guarantee safari on confirmation

-Ground transport whilst on safari in a comfortable 4×4 safari Land cruiser/Rover

-Full board accommodation whilst on safari

-Accommodation in double/twin/triple room.

-All park entrance fees to include government taxes

-Service of an English speaking professional driver/guide

-All game drives as detailed in the itinerary

-Ngorongoro Crater tour

-Complementary 1 litre bottled drinking water while on safari

-Complimentary bottle of champagne for sunset watch 1 per vehicle

NB: Start and end in Arusha Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO)

 

 

 

Tour Cost excludes:

-Tips

-Laundry

-Beverages/Drinks

-International flights

-Visas

-Items of personal nature

-Any other extras not detailed in the above itinerary

 

Exciting World Travels

8 DAYS ULTIMATE NORTHERN TANZANIA ULTIMATE TRIP 1st APRIL/31st

MAY 2014 TO SERENGETI N.P/ NGORONGORO CRATER & TARANGIRE NATIONAL PARK.

The Serengeti is Africa’s most famous park. Renowned for the two million strong wildebeest ‘Great Migration’ and incredible concentrations of predators, the Serengeti is a park that guarantees an exceptional safari. The vast endless grass plains (Serengeti in Maasai) are the richest grazing grounds on the continent; home to the largest herds on the planet, and the highest concentrations of predators in Africa. The itinerary will allow you Visit Tanzania largest and most famous national park with the wildebeest migration expected in December and May, Tree climbing lions and birdlife in Lake Manyara and a tour to the worlds most visited destination (Ngorongoro) famous for high wildlife concentration and breath taking sceneries.Unknown

DAY 1: ARRIVAL ARUSHA

Arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport. You’ll be met by one of our team and taken to your lodge in Arusha (about 45 minutes away), where you can enjoy a nice meal and get a good night’s sleep. Overnight in Arusha. Overnight stay at Outpost Lodge Arusha. (Bed and breakfast)

 

 

DAY 2: ARUSHA – OLDUVAI GORGE – SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK (CENTRAL)

After breakfast drive to Serengeti national park central part of the park via Olduvai Gorge archaeological site. At Olduvai palaeo-anthropological diggings and discoveries have taken place over many years, by, among others, the famous husband-and-wife team of Louis and Mary Leakey. Dinner and overnight stay at Serengeti Sopa Lodge.

 

DAY 3: SERENGETI NDUTU PLAINS (SOUTHERN)

After breakfast with picnic lunch drive from central to the southern direction of the Serengeti where the wildebeest migration tend to be on that part of the national park. Enjoy the endless plains of Serengeti with game viewing, a magnificent experience awaits as you travel to the oldest and most famous wildlife park in Africa. Here you might have the chance to see the migration, where thousands of zebra and wildebeest make trip from the Maasai Mara every year. Packed lunch is served and proceed for an afternoon game drive. The green season is a wonderful time to be on safari in the southern Serengeti and the northern Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Rain means game in the Serengeti and wildlife should be prolific on the Southern Serengeti Plains. The southern plains encompass a massive area so it’s best to locate yourself in more then one area if time allows. The wildebeest migration will most likely be spread across the now green plains of the northern NCA and the southern Serengeti. There should be thousands of young wildebeest calves on the green plains ranging from 3 – 4 months old. Along with the migration, predators should be abundant. There should be good cheetah sightings though not to the extent seen on the Eastern Plains. Lions should be easily visible, both resident prides and the nomads which have followed the migration from the woodlands. Elephants can also be found in the Southern Serengeti in the patches of woodland that dot the plains including the woodlands around Lake Ndutu and Kusini. Dinner and overnight stay Savannah Ndutu Camp.

DAY 4: SERENGETI NDUTU PLAINS (SOUTHERN)

The southern Serengeti steals the show in the wet season including May. The life giving rains that generally begin in mid-November and last through early May trigger the great wildebeest migration into the plains of the South Serengeti and the northern Ngorongoro Conservation Area. As the rain subsides in May and the grasses have been reduced to stubbles, the great herds slowly begin to form and start their long march northward towards their dry season ranges. When the great movement begins is heavily dependent on rainfall patterns. The most likely scenario is that in the beginning of May the main herds will be located in and around the southern Serengeti. By late May they will have begun moving north-west towards the western corridor with a smaller group moving directly north. The massive wildebeest herds are usually located just south of the Serengeti border in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. There will undoubtedly be smaller herds actually within the Serengeti proper but the main herds should be located in the extreme south.  Meals and overnight stay at Savannah Ndutu Camp.

 

DAY 5: SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK – NGORONGORO C.A

Morning game viewing drives then return to the lodge for breakfast, proceed further game drives as you exit the park and drive to Ngorongoro conservation area.

The Ngorongoro Crater is often called ‘Africa’s Eden’ and the ‘8th Natural Wonder of the World,’ a visit to the crater is a main draw card for tourists coming to Tanzania and a definite world-class attraction. The Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) is home of Ngorongoro Crater. It was formed some 2.5 million years ago from a volcanic mountain sinking due to inactivity, and was initially thought to be higher than Tanzania’s famous Kilimanjaro. The crater has evolved into a unique and integral part of Tanzania’s eco-system. The crater is actually a caldera, measures 22.5 km’s across and the rim walls stand 600m high. Views from within and from the rim are breathtaking (as can be seen from the picture). The crater houses 30,000 animals and a large variety of birds, which rarely move from the area due to the availability of water through wet and dry seasons. Dinner and overnight stay Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge.

 

DAY 6: NGORONGORO CRATER – LAKE MANYARA SERENA SAFARI LODGE

Today will be a very early start so we can head into the Crater right as the gates are opening. We’ll spend the morning in the Crater and will head out around lunchtime towards Lake Manyara. We’ll overnight at one of the lodges located on the edge of the Great Rift Valley. The following morning you enjoy the delicious breakfasts and tranquillity. Meals and overnight stay at Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge.

 

DAY 7: TARANGIRE NATIONAL PARK

After break will depart to Tarangire National Park, one of the hidden jewels of Tanzania. This park measures 2,600 sq km’s and boasts a concentration of wildlife second only to Ngorongoro Crater. It features an impressive amount and array of bird life and plant life. Situated only 160km’s from Arusha, the park is nestled to the south of the large open grass plains of southern Maasai land. It is named after the Tarangire River, which runs directly through the centre of the park and is the only permanent water source for the animals. Along the banks of this river you will find herds of wildebeest (or gnu) and zebra, followed by Grant’s gazelle, Thomson’s gazelle and many others. Lurking in the background lion and leopard keep a watchful eye on a possible meal. The park offers views of grass and floodplains with impressive baobab and flat topped acacia trees scattered throughout. During the dry season the park may look quite ordinary, but activities continue even more earnestly due to the now increased competition. Meals and overnight stay at Maramboi Tented Camp.

 

DAY 8: TARANGIRE – ARUSHA – FLIGHT BACK HOME

We’ll do an early morning game drive before heading out towards Arusha, where you’ll catch your flight back home at JRO. Bon voyage!!!

 

 

Price per person sharing Lodge 

                                          Camping 

Max number of pax 10-12

 

Tour price includes:

-Guarantee price/guarantee safari on confirmation

-Ground transport whilst on safari in a comfortable 4×4 safari Land cruiser/Rover

-Full board accommodation whilst on safari

-Accommodation in double/twin/triple room.

-All park entrance fees to include government taxes

-Service of an English speaking professional driver/guide

-All game drives as detailed in the itinerary

-Ngorongoro Crater tour

-Complementary 1 litre bottled drinking water while on safari

-Complimentary bottle of champagne for sunset watch 1 per vehicle

NB: Start and end in Arusha Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO)

 

 

 

Tour Cost excludes:

-Tips

-Laundry

-Beverages/Drinks

-International flights

-Visas

-Items of personal nature

-Any other extras not detailed in the above itinerary

 

Exciting World Travels

September 12th Highway 130 20 km +14 Coolish
Category Name Time Avg Speed
Female Veteran Keli Cristofaro 0:39:04 30.7

Female Masters Janet Siilman 0:34:26 34.8
Sherry Lynn Hill 0:36:14 33.1
Lis Salmon 0:37:58 31.6

Male Junior Darcy Cornish 0:29:55 40.1
Jon Kettle 0:35:00 34.2

Male Senior Brendan Randall 0:32:09 37.3
Andrew Leach 0:35:20 33.9

Male Veteran Keith Ailey 0:29:03 41.3
Dave Pinner 0:30:36 39.2
John Rescigno 0:31:42 37.8
Thomas Quinn 0:35:11 34.1

Male Masters Lorne Morrow 0:32:31 36.9
Len Tuhkanen 0:33:08 36.2

Male Super Masters Iain Mettam 0:37:42 31.8

Exciting World Travels

time Trial photos September 12 2013 – Thunder Bay Cycling Club – Hwy 130 – 20km

1235275_10151850624231140_740938331_n

998650_10151850624106140_346081162_n

598507_10151850624021140_474100101_n

1230065_10151850623931140_93124307_n

541809_10151850623851140_1923650601_n

1233547_10151850623591140_1082627466_n

560528_10151850623551140_1149568240_n

1239637_10151850623496140_8615903_n

1236016_10151850623426140_254512530_n

1174808_10151850624611140_1690667629_n

66966_10151850624536140_178130001_n

1236238_10151850624476140_386812123_n

1185147_10151850624381140_1210536459_n

Exciting World Travels

http://www.trainingpeaks.com/av/46VYB3ZYBTLCZOKWN4LEU65NYI

Exciting World Travels

2013 Time Trial Results

September 5, 2013 10 km River Rd. +20C sunny
Category Name Time Avg Speed
Female Veteran Marianne Stewart 0:17:18 34.6
Pam Saranpaa 0:20:12 29.7

Female Masters Janet Siilman 0:16:20 36.7
Sue Hay 0:18:00 33.3
Lis Salmon 0:18:21 32.7
Linda Browning Morrow 0:20:02 29.9
Barbara Smith 0:20:30 29.2

Male Junior Darcy Cornish 0:14:43 40.7
Ate Saranpaa 0:21:03 28.5

Male Senior Brendan Randall 0:15:57 37.8

Male Veteran Keith Ailey 0:14:16 42
Dave Pinner 0:14:25 41.6
Dave MacIsaac 0:15:15 39.3
Darryl Hay 0:15:27 38.8
John Rescigno 0:15:52 37.8
Marty Saranpaa 0:16:10 37.1
Thomas Quinn 0:17:06 35

Male Masters John Esposti 0:15:52 37.8
Lorne Morrow 0:16:02 37.4
Len Tuhkanen 0:16:10 37.1

Exciting World Travels

Considering doing a road trip in USA for Oct 2013. This is the plan so far.
With maybe a cruise as well out of Florida
Oct 20. Canada to Minneapolis
Oct 21 to Omaha, Nebraska
Oct 22 – Omaha and Lincoln , Nebraska
Oct 23 to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Oct 24 Oklahoma City
Oct 25 to St. Louis (nhl game?)
Oct 26 – st louis
Oct 27 to Memphis
Oct 28 Memphis
Oct 29 – to Nashville- (drive part through mississipi)
Oct 30 Nashville
Oct 31 – Nashville
Nov 1 Montgomery – (stop in Birmingham)
Nov 2 – to Panama City – Florida ( Or cruise?
Nov 3 – To St Augustine, Florida
Nov 4 – St Augustine, Florida
Nov 5. St Augustine, Florida Then maybe Cruise
Nov .6 to Savannah then to Raleigh
Nov. 7 to Raleigh, NC ( NHL game)
Nov. 8. Raleigh, NC
Nov. 9 Cincinnati , Ohio
Nov 10, Cincinnati ( drive into Kentucky)
Nov. 11. Grand Rapids, Michigan Stop over Indianapolis J

Have extra space in the car for one or 2 more people. Anyone want a ride around in USA. Or even part of the way is welcome. Perhaps all you need is put in for gas about.

Also open to any other suggestions of destinations within these regions.
Could be fun,
write back with inquires or suggestions.
Or at least get to know this TB before anything else even

Exciting World Travels

Exciting World Travels

Meals on a Mission

 

“Meals on a Mission” is a non-profit, voluntary and charitable organization. Its slogan is- “Fund raiser changing the world, one bite at a time” .Beverly Gonzalez is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of “Meals on a Mission”. It is involved in the activities of fund raising and growing a community of supporters in collaboration with non-profit organizations, social entrepreneurs and change-makers with a view to implementing its some specific missions. Meeting up burial and funeral expenses as well of the children of financially incapable parents is the first and the foremost mission of them. The others are also humanitarian activities related to vulnerable children’s welfare in various manners. The founder, Beverly Gonzalez, had some bitter experiences about abuse of children in various ways such as sexual exploitation, physical and mental torture or disability, hard working and loss of beloved relatives and the like. These influenced her mind to do something beneficial for the vulnerable children and ultimately it led her to open an organization and formulate her aims. “Meals on a Mission” aims at bringing profit-making organizations, businesses, individuals and web businesses together to help the needy children in the society. The Profit-making organizations accomplish this feat by contributing funds to the fundraiser, which they benefit from in terms of donations, prizes and a set contribution from the fundraiser.“Meals on a Mission” needs the funds for producing its products, operating a full version of its website, and covering the salaries of the members of the team that will work in the organization.  And the organization intends to start itself in a full swing in January, 2014 if it is able to cover its minimum expenses. “Meals on a Mission” works for the development of the orphaned, abused, distressed, trafficked, physically and mentally disabled or tortured and all kinds of vulnerable children. It wants to introduce the way of fundraising to address the following prominent problems:

a. Major hindrances of fundraising itself – the systematic way of delivery and its products.

b. The growing concern for the health problems in the USA.

c. The invisible problems that affect many families of financial incapability to provide for the burial expenses of their children.

d. Non-recognition of hard working.

Through an intensive communication, if “Meals on a Mission” becomes able to climb to a new height and come up with a solution for the above mentioned four problems, its website will run on an interactive sensible platform that combines social networking, game playing , prize giving, and mission outreaches – lifting up fundraising to a whole new stage.

The founder, Beverly Gonzalez, had some bitter experiences about abuse of children in various ways such as sexual exploitation, physical and mental torture, hard working and loss of beloved relatives and the like. These influenced her mind to do something beneficial for the vulnerable children and ultimately it led her to open an organization and formulate her aims. In order to implement the missions, the organization needs to raise funds in some extra-ordinary creative ways to cover its required expenditures. These are 1. “Prizes For Causes”, 2.Food Games For Fund$ (FGFF)”, 3. “Mission Outreach” and 4.“In Remembrance of Me,” The execution of these programs signify it its meaningful and purposive values.

 

1.Prizes For Causes: “Meals on a Mission” arranges for an interesting prize program that is suitable to all ages. In this program they reward individuals for their performances by giving them prizes from fundraising activities with sold products.

2.Food Games For Fund$ (FGFF): “Meals on a Mission” has a program named “Food Games For Fund$ (FGFF)” that rewards all organizations for their hard work rendered. This program can include all organizations to participate in games with the Chef Pepe Roni and each organization is allowed to meet the qualifying chances to get in the FGFF. All the participating organizations can post their ads on the Ad platform, which raises more funds. The more successful their fundraiser, the more their chances to attain in donated funds by playing game. Beverly Gonzalez reinvented a revenue structure that can formulate an ongoing steady flow of cash to all relevant organizations. The organizations receive a 50 % contribution while 70% goes to the cost of funerals. These contributions come from the product sales.

3.Mission Outreach: “Mission Outreach” program supports children those have difficulties at their childhood. In this program, the organization will grow local community gardens using the latest cultivating technologies. And the program will use gardens in teaching the youth community on how to cook. These youth communities will participate in the bi-annual festivals as hosts and serve meals to other children invitees. All of the invitees are abused, orphaned, physically and mentally tortured or disabled, and trafficked, etc. Such efforts will be able to grow a modest awareness among the communities that will develop a new generation of persons who are skilled in home cooking. And ultimately, it will be passed onto future generations as a tradition.

4. In Remembrance Of Me: “Meals on a Mission” has also introduced a system to collect money to cover burial as well as funeral expenses for children under the age of 18 of the incapable parents. This program will reduce the financial burden on the parents, and thus give them sufficient time to grief. It will be performed by donating 70% of product sales and also a chance of qualifying for the FGFF with a view to earning more than 60% of donated Web-AD revenue in order to pay the cost of the funeral activities.

“Meals on a Mission” has taken the above initiatives to impel everyone to put contribution in the change of the world one bite at a time.

 

 

 

Exciting World Travels

Meals on a Mission

 

Meals on a Mission” is a non-profit, voluntary and charitable organization. It possesses some specific missions. To meet up burial as well as funeral expenses of the children of financially incapable parents is the first and the foremost mission of them. The others are also humanitarian activities related to vulnerable children’s welfare in various manners. The founder, Beverly Gonzalez, had some bitter experiences about abuse of children in various ways such as sexual exploitation, physical and mental torture, hard working and loss of beloved relatives and the like. These influenced her mind to do something beneficial for the vulnerable children and ultimately it led her to open an organization and formulate her aims. In order to implement the missions, the organization needs to raise funds in some extra-ordinary creative ways to cover its required expenditures. These are 1. “Prizes For Causes”, 2.Food Games For Fund$ (FGFF)”, 3. “Mission Outreach” and 4.“In Remembrance of Me,”

1.Prizes For Causes: “Meals on a Mission” arranges for an interesting prize program that is suitable to all ages. In this program they reward individuals for their performances by giving them prizes from fundraising activities with sold products.

2.Food Games For Fund$ (FGFF): “Meals on a Mission” has a program named “Food Games For Fund$ (FGFF)” that rewards all organizations for their hard work rendered. This program can include all organizations to participate in games with the Chef Pepe Roni and each organization is allowed to meet the qualifying chances to get in the FGFF.The more successful their fundraiser, the more their chances to attain in donated funds by playing game. Beverly Gonzalez reinvented a revenue structure that can formulate an ongoing steady flow of cash to all relevant organizations.

3.Mission Outreach: “Mission Outreach” program supports children those have difficulties at their childhood. In this program, the organization will grow local community gardens using the latest cultivating technologies. And the program will use gardens in teaching the youth community on how to cook. These youth communities will participate in the bi-annual festivals as hosts and serve meals to other children invitees. All of the invitees are abused, orphaned, physically and mentally tortured or disabled, and trafficked, etc. Such efforts will be able to grow   a modest awareness among the communities that will develop a new generation of persons who are skilled in home cooking. And ultimately it will be passed onto future generations as a tradition.

4. In Remembrance Of Me: “Meals on a Mission” has also introduced a system to collect money to cover burial as well as funeral expenses for children under the age of 18 of the incapable parents. It will be performed by donating 70% of product sales and also a chance of qualifying for the FGFF with a view to earning more than 60% of donated Web-AD revenue in order to pay the cost of the funeral activities.

“Meals on a Mission” has taken the above initiatives to impel everyone to put contribution in the change of the world one bite at a time.

 

 

Exciting World Travels

Huanchaco, Peru: Dining, Lodging, Nightlife, and Activities

Ojala que salga el sol para ti en tu propio viaje.

Ojala que salga el sol para ti en tu propio viaje.

A little over a month ago, I went to Huanchaco, Peru. I had planned to pass Peru’s Independence Day there (August 28th) and then head into the mountains. After three days, I had changed my plans to stay for a week. After a week, I found myself signing up for volunteer work in a hostel for two additional weeks. After two weeks, I found myself looking for a room to rent for another ten days…

When I first got to Huanchaco, I thought that the people who had encouraged me to stop here were insane. The beach is dirty, the water is disgusting, it’s cloudy, and it’s cold.

Then one night I went out and I got sick… I ate some street meat and urgently got the urge to spill my guts on the street. I realized I had wandered too far from my hostel without a back up plan. Someone I had just met that evening helped me home. As we were walking back, I saw a few men in large coats riding around on undersized bicycles and the occasional hooded figure sitting on the steps of buildings. At first, I felt uncomfortable, but then my companion greeted them by name and identified them as the beach’s “security”. I was suddenly hit with the realization that I was in the safest town that I have been in in years. And yes, that’s including the states.

The next month was spent chilling out, eating rich food, and bonding with artisans, gypsies, and fellow travelers. I even learned about busking and took a couple of surf lessons. I lived with Argentines and played jungle music with the locals. I learned to juggle (very badly). I danced like a fiend and spent hours on the beach hooping.

They say that Huanchaco is a place of healing. They say that it is magical. I would have to say that I agree. If I wasn’t running out of time on my visa, I would have happily stayed indefinitely. Apparently that is how Huanchaco works: Its magical magnetic energy sucks people in.

Lodging

If you are going, here is what I recommend. If you are looking for a chill nice place to stay, McCallum’s is a good place. If you are looking for more of a party feel, Sudamerica is located on the malecon (main drag along the water) in front of the pier. They do communal dinners together and they offer an economical breakfast and have decent wifi. I volunteered here for two weeks. It was an interesting, educational experience. If you are looking for an off the grid experience, with a more tranquil environment, check out La Gringa located at the far end of the malecon. As La Gringa herself will tell you, queda una cuandra antes del fin del mundo (it’s located one block before the end of the world). It’s farther from the dicotecas, but it’s a laidback environment with a family feel, economical rooms, and an even more economical camping set up in the back.

Rooms in Huanchaco are hard to reserve online, so it is best to just show up. Getting a room during off season (wintertime) isn’t a problem and dorm rooms are as low as 10 soles a night. During the in season, starting around late September, prices start to rise. By Christmas time, a basic dorm can go for as much as 20 soles. You can reserve with McCallum’s online. It may be wise to reserve with them for a couple of nights and then look for something that is more your scene once you get there.

Dining

There are various touristy restaurants all along the malecon, but I recommend avoiding them. They are a great way to get food poisoning. The hostel, My Friend, offers dorm rooms for 10 soles. I stayed here for one night and found their rooms mediocre. However, their restaurant has some of the best food that I found. The hostel is where gringos sleep, the restaurant is where the locals eat. Menus, a special that features a soup and a main course, start at 10 soles and feature daily specials. Their cebiche is 15 soles and out of this world.

There is a super small, super local restaurant called Manos Nortenas on a side street about three blocks from the malecon. They serve up menus for 6 soles. Ask for the escabeche de pescado. It’s amazing. This is, like I said, very local, so I wouldn’t recommend eating here unless your stomach is accustomed to Peru.

If you are looking for cheap eats, head down to the far end of the malecon like you are

Woman at the open pavilion on the way out of Huanchaco make papa rellena, empanadas, chachangas (fried flat bread), and picarrones. This photo was taken early in the day when they were making everything fresh.

Woman at the open pavilion on the way out of Huanchaco make papa rellena, empanadas, chachangas (fried flat bread), and picarrones. This photo was taken early in the day when they were making everything fresh.

leaving Huanchaco. There is a pavilion there that serves up papa rellena, stuffed mashed potato, and picarrones, doughnut like sweets served with a tasty fig syrup. They also serve chica morada, which is a sweet corn beverage made with fruit. Chica morada is well boiled, so you know it’s safe. This was my favorite place to go when I wanted to get away from all tourists and traces of western influences.

Across the street from Mamacha and La Botica (please see below) on the malecon, and just a few block from the pier heading out of Huanchaco, is the burger hut. It is located on the side of the beach and it is freakin’ awesome. This is the place to go for late night eats. Ran by a friendly local couple, they make the best (and only) veggie burger that I have had in Peru. Their menu ranges from S./3 to S./8. Meat lovers should try the Huancana, a meat patty with egg, cheese, and diced chorizo.

Nightlife

There are a number of clubs. My Friend Hostel has a drink special on Thursday nights where they offer specials like maracuya sours for only 3 soles. A local reggae band plays and they are quite good.

For a more local scene, check out Mamacha. It’s located on the malecon adjacent to the botica (pharmacy) and across the street from the burger hut. There is no sign, but you will notice the people. Here there is a two for 10 happy hour and often times live music. It’s small, crowded, and definitely my favorite place.

Billy’s The Jungle is located one block down from Sudamerica hostel. You’ll be able to

Picarrones are kind of like a doughnut mated with a funnel cake and had a glorious love child. They are made with sweet potato and pumpkin and then served with a fig syrup. They are roughly 70 cents to a dollar for a plate like you see below. They are typical regional treat in the northern coastal region of Peru. In southern areas, they serve a similar dish but sans the pumpkin and sweet potato and just add plain honey. Wayyy better in the north! Come rico!

Picarrones are kind of like a doughnut mated with a funnel cake and had a glorious love child. They are made with sweet potato and pumpkin and then served with a fig syrup. They are roughly 70 cents to a dollar for a plate like you see below. They are typical regional treat in the northern coastal region of Peru. In southern areas, they serve a similar dish but sans the pumpkin and sweet potato and just add plain honey. Wayyy better in the north! Come rico!

identify it by the green lights and the live music that often lures in passersby. They have two for one drink specials all night every night on many drinks. You can tell which ones on the menu because they are marked with the image of a parrot.

If you want more of a clubbing environment, Cartagena is further down the malecon from The Jungle. It’s loud, and crazy. During the day, they serve up tasty cebiche. Cartagena is a little too intense for me. The bass is literally so loud that I find it disorienting. Forget having a conversation in this place.

Transportation

I got pretty much everywhere within Huanchaco on foot. Sudamerica has communal bicycles and I often borrowed one from friends even after I left. With that being said, when I couldn’t get a bike, walking anywhere won’t take you more than 20 minutes. There is a local market about five blocks from Sudamerica, but it’s best to ask for directions. Here you can buy cheap fruit, veggies, and eggs. I don’t recommend getting your bread here. Instead head to one of the local panderias.

What to Do

Trujillo is a short ride away from Huanchaco. You can take any of the giant yellow and red buses for un sol cinquenta (S./1.50) or approximately 50 cents. If may come to pass that you have to go to Trujillo for something. The ATMs in Huanchaco are crap. They often don’t work in the afternoons, because they either run out of money or the international connections go down. Scotia Bank doesn’t charge, you can get out as much as S./700, and there are number of them in Trujillo.

You can also take the bus directly to the ruins of Chan Chan or Huaca de La Luna. Huaca de la Luna is about an hour and a half away and you will have to change buses. With that being said, it’s well worth it and definitely the better of the two, even if it is less known.

Taken at Huaca de La Luna, the paint here is original. The face that you see was depicted the same at each temple. The eyes are said to be reminiscent of an owl, an animal of obvious significance to the Moche people.

Taken at Huaca de La Luna, the paint here is original. The face that you see was depicted the same at each temple. The eyes are said to be reminiscent of an owl, an animal of obvious significance to the Moche people.

The center of Trujillo is pretty during the day and definitely worth exploring. However, Trujillo is very dangerous at night and taxis are very expensive (often as high as 20 soles). If you do feel the need to go out in Trujillo at night you should definitely go with a group, preferably of well-informed Peruvians. This is both for security reasons and for financial reasons. (It definitely helps to split that late night cab fare!) There are some incredible salsa clubs.

There are tons of surfing schools lining the malecon. Lessons are anywhere from

S./30-S./50. Despite the dirty waters, I strongly recommend giving it a shot. The waves are often perfect for learning and this was possibly my favorite thing that I did while I was here.

Chicama is a famous surf site and about an hour and half away. Experienced surfers can arrange a surf trip, or take a local bus. I didn’t get to make it there, but it’s beautiful.

Travel safe and have a blast!

There is a chance that you are going to come to Peru and Huanchaco isn’t even going to come up on your radar. I hope that you don’t miss the opportunity to get to know the town and its people. It’s truly been a life changing experience-for the better!

Exciting World Travels

“Meals on a Mission.” The company intends to start in January 2014, and it aims at collecting funds that cover the minimum expenses in the organization. These expenses are incurred in product production, creation of the website, and in covering the employees’ salaries. The organization’s slogan is- “Fund raiser changing the world, one bite at a time.”

This slogan asserts that Meals on a Mission is an organization that helps families in case children die, and to meet the needs of destitute children in the society. In addition, Meals on a Mission aims at helping the disadvantaged children in the society in building a long-term home cooking skills that will be passed down to the future generations. The organization collaborates with non-profit organizations, businesses, individuals and web businesses to help the needy people in the society.

Meals on a mission caters for the development of the orphaned, abused, and distressed, trafficked, and tortured, physically and mentally disabled and children. Meals on a Mission raise funds through Beverly, which is a form of crowd funding. In addition, the well-wishers raise funds for the organization.

Meals on a mission use three main programs to facilitate its mission. These programs are “In Remembrance of Me,” “Mission Outreach,” and “Food Games For Funds (F GFF)”. “In Remembrance of Me” program focuses on collecting funds to cover children funeral expenses. This program is essential as it helps in the reduction of parent’s financial burden, and it gives the parent sufficient time to grief. This program aims at donating 70% of product sales, and it provides a chance to qualify for the Food Games For Fund$ (FGFF) that earns more than 60% of the donated Web-AD revenue.

“Mission Outreach” program helps children with difficulties at childhood. The aim is to create local community gardens using the latest technology to support the activities such as cooking. This program is essential as it passes down the home cooking skills to future generation of the destitute children in the society. “Food Games For Funds (F GFF)” program enables organizations to participate in games with the Chef Pepe Roni and each organization has to meet the qualifying chances to enter the FGFF.

Successful organizations generate 60% unlimited funds. In addition, organizations can post ads on the Ad platform in order to raise more funds. Meals on a mission use a positive cash flow structure, which formulates an ongoing cash flow to all the participating organizations. Whereas contributions come from the product sales, organizations receive a 50 % contribution, and 70% goes to the cost of funerals. “Meals on a Mission” urges everyone to Contribute to change the world one bite at a time.

 

Exciting World Travels

 

MEALS ON A MISSION

Founded by Beverly Gonzalez, Meals on a mission is a non-profit organization that raises funds to help the needy people in the society. Beverly Gonzalez is the Chief Executive Officer of “Meals on a Mission.” The company intends to start in January 2014, and it aims at collecting funds that cover the minimum expenses in the organization. These expenses are incurred in product production, creation of the website, and in covering the employees’ salaries. The organization’s slogan is- “Fund raiser changing the world, one bite at a time.”

This slogan asserts that Meals on a Mission is an organization that produces a meal, which is sold to raise income and help families in case children die, and to meet the needs of destitute children in the society. In addition, Meals on a Mission aims at helping the disadvantaged children in the society in building a long-term home cooking skills that will be passed down to the future generations. The organization collaborates with non-profit organizations, businesses, individuals and web businesses to help the needy people in the society.

Meals on a mission caters for the development of the orphaned, abused, and distressed, trafficked, and tortured, physically and mentally disabled and children. Meals on a Mission raise funds through Beverly, which is a form of crowd funding. In addition, the well-wishers raise funds for the organization.

Meals on a mission use three main programs to facilitate its mission. These programs are “In Remembrance of Me,” “Mission Outreach,” and “Food Games For Funds (F GFF)”. “In Remembrance of Me” program focuses on collecting funds to cover children funeral expenses. This program is essential as it helps in the reduction of parent’s financial burden, and it gives the parent sufficient time to grief. This program aims at donating 70% of product sales, and it provides a chance to qualify for the Food Games For Fund$ (FGFF) that earns more than 60% of the donated Web-AD revenue.

“Mission Outreach” program helps children with difficulties at childhood. The aim is to create local community gardens using the latest technology to support the activities such as cooking. This program is essential as it passes down the home cooking skills to future generation of the destitute children in the society. “Food Games For Funds (F GFF)” program enables organizations to participate in games with the Chef Pepe Roni and each organization has to meet the qualifying chances to enter the FGFF.

Successful organizations generate 60% unlimited funds. In addition, organizations can post ads on the Ad platform in order to raise more funds. Meals on a mission use a positive cash flow structure, which formulates an ongoing cash flow to all the participating organizations. Whereas contributions come from the product sales, organizations receive a 50 % contribution, and 70% goes to the cost of funerals. “Meals on a Mission” urges everyone to Contribute to change the world one bite at a time.

 

 

Exciting World Travels

Meals on a Mission
IMG951167
‘Meals on a Mission’ is a conscious for-profit organization with a specific mission. The founder, Beverly Gonzalez, had her own experiences with childhood abuse, the loss of beloved relative and healing patients better with proper diets. These lessons led her to create her own company and formulate her special aims. ‘Meals on a Mission’ provides its services for organizations and funeral businesses. They charge no fee, moreover, also give back 50% to organizations and 70% to funeral businesses from the sales of their products.

‘Meals on a Mission’ operate a website, Food Games For Fund$, where visitors can play interactive games and while they are playing, they also earn organizations funds.
‘Meals on a Mission’ is a charitable company, which requires the active involvement of individuals in the form of donations. However, they are not just the usual donation-collecting businesses. ‘Meals on a Mission’ has values and purposes, which promote the greater good of individuals as well as communities. Fundraising at ‘Meals on a Mission’ has four core principles. First, the delivery method and the product itself intend to avoid the obstacles of fundraising. Second, the concerns of general health level in the US justify the cause.
Third, the invisible costs associated with the burial of a child are a personal experience of the founder, but many families could face such problems. Finally, the recognition of hard work is important.
The product of ‘Meals on a Mission’ does not require delivery as it is instantly available. It has no expiry date. The product appeals to everyone’s taste. The company has some revolutionary ideas. They have a prize program, which is suitable for all ages. The previously mentioned Food Games For Fund$ initiative allows a structure to donate up to 60% to organizations. The Mission Outreach of the program is about the creation of community gardens. These gardens are great ways to teach youngsters of the community how to cook. Apart from passing the knowledge of cooking on to next generations, the communities host bi-annual galas for abused, orphaned and trafficked children.

Another initiative, In Remembrance Of Me, raises money to cover the expenses of funerals for children under the age of 18.
The company has a website, which offers opportunities for fun, with their mascot, Chef Pepe Roni. He helps to spread the word of the importance to eat home with your family. ‘Meals on a Mission’ intends to reach masses of people and help anyone they could from churches to schools and non-profit organizations. You might be consider to be involved with such noble causes and donate some money to help ‘Meals on a Mission’ to achieve their ambitions.

Exciting World Travels

Aug 29 2-up 20 miler Lakeshore Dr. 2013

Teams Aaron Arndt Sarah Baum 0:48:38 38.7
Lorne Morrow Len Tuhkanen 0:50:13 37.4
Josh Gillingham Kailey Todd 0:50:35 37.2

Singles Darcy Cornish 0:45:54 41
Keith Ailey 0:48:28 38.8
John Rescigno 0:48:27 38.8
John Esposti 0:48:53 38.5
Iain Mettam 0:58:27 32.2
Michelle Verdenik 1:12:32 25.9

Exciting World Travels

From Blacksheep August 27 XC

1170735_619137998107996_1821139400_n

1173745_619137718108024_1584933897_n

Exciting World Travels

 

Filter: 4 Groups    XC 7 Shuniah Mines August 28 2013

 

Place Bib Name Group Time ±
1. 19 Emile Hamm Male Advanced 0-15 00:40:10.7 00:00:00.0
2. 23 Chris Mitchell Male Advanced 21-35 00:42:04.3 00:01:53.6
3. 14 Jacob Lacosse Male Advanced 21-35 00:44:27.9 00:04:17.2
4. 7 Damon Quinn Male Advanced 16-20 00:45:24.2 00:05:13.5
5. 12 Kevin Marier Male Advanced 16-20 00:45:34.7 00:05:24.0
6. 2 Jonathan Kettle Male Advanced 16-20 00:45:36.4 00:05:25.7
7. 3 Garin Schoonhoven Male Advanced 21-35 00:45:50.9 00:05:40.2
8. 5 Kevin Throop Male Advanced 21-35 00:45:57.0 00:05:46.3
9. 11 Mark Maranzan Male Advanced 21-35 00:46:40.4 00:06:29.7
10. 15 Graham Robertshaw Male Advanced 16-20 00:47:27.4 00:07:16.7
11. 16 Ryan Pendziwol Male Advanced 16-20 00:50:05.5 00:09:54.8
12. 4 Cory Schick Male Advanced 21-35 00:50:13.2 00:10:02.5
13. 21 Steven Uchtenhagen Male Advanced 21-35 00:51:24.1 00:11:13.4
14. 1 Kyle Wright Male Advanced 16-20 00:54:01.8 00:13:51.1
15. 22 Randy Berg Male Advanced 36+ 00:54:21.5 00:14:10.8
16. 17 Callum Johnson Male Advanced 16-20 00:55:30.2 00:15:19.5
17. 24 John Rescigno Male Advanced 36+ 00:56:15.3 00:16:04.6
18. 8 Thomas Quinn Male Advanced 36+ 01:03:05.6 00:22:54.9
19. 26 Rob Moore Male Advanced 36+ 01:03:34.7 00:23:24.0
DNS 18 Keegan Tremblay Male Adva

 

Exciting World Travels

Thunder Bay Cycling Road Race August 24 2013

 2013 Road Race Results
August 24th
Barrie Loops Pursuit
Category Name Place Points
Category 1 4 laps Josh Gillingham 1 25
Dave MacIsaac 2 20
Bernie Lacourcier 3 16
Keith Ailey 4 13
Aaron Arndt 5 11
Darcy Cornish Flat
Category 2 4 laps Chris Mitchell 1 25
John Rescigno 2 20
Dave Krasnichuk 3 16
Lorne Morrow 4 13
Len Tuhkanen 5 11
Gerald Hamm 6 10
Bill Ulakovic 7 9
Nathan Petrie 8 8
Emille Hamm Flat
Pete Tofinetti Flat
Category 3 3 laps- Andrew Leach 1 25
Tim Knutson 2 20
Thomas Quinn 3 16
Iain Mettam 4 13
Ate Saranpaa DNF
Womens Only 3 laps Sarah Baum 1 25
Marianne Stewart 2 20
Lis Salmon 3 16
Exciting World Travels

Aug 22/13 Gov’t Road 10 km +25C
Category Name Time Avg Speed
Women Senior Aili Saranpaa 0:24:34 24.4

Women Veteran Marilyn Ailey 0:16:50 35.6
Nicki Wilberforce 0:17:42 33.8
Pam Saranpaa 0:19:35 30.6

Women Masters Janet Siilman 0:15:50 37.8
Lis Salmon 0:17:16 34.7
Sherry Lynn Hill 0:17:29 34.3
Linda Browning Morrow 0:19:34 30.6
Barbara Smith 0:19:48 30.3

Male Junior Darcy Cornish 0:13:55 43.1
Jon Kettle 0:16:43 35.8
Ate Saranpaa 0:20:26 29.3

Male Senior Sam Niemi 0:15:46 38

Male Veteran Kieth Ailey 0:14:05 42.6
Dave MacIsaac 0:15:01 39.9
John Rescigno 0:15:09 39.6

Male Masters Lorne Morrow 0:15:14 39.3
Bob Shine 0:15:26 38.8
Dave Krasnichuk 0:15:43 38.1
Len Tuhkanen 0:15:46 38

Male Super Masters Iain Mettam 0:17:17 34.7
Frank Wilson 0:18:28 32.4

Exciting World Travels

More Photos of Rusty Ride 2013

 

Exciting World Travels

Rusty Ride 2013

_MG_6013_300_cw255_ch255_thumb _MG_6026_300_cw255_ch255_thumb _MG_6027_300_cw255_ch255_thumb _MG_6118_300_cw255_ch255_thumb _MG_6123_300_cw255_ch255_thumb _MG_6294_900_copyright ME - rusty rusty3 rusty5 rusty6 Rustyme1 rustyme2

 

Exciting World Travels

Exciting World Travels

I met Percy outside of one of my favorite bars in Huanchaco. He was juggling with light up balls for a Canadian couple. The entire time that I watched him, I couldn’t stop smiling. He’s very charismatic and absolutely hysterical. Some performers making you feel uncomfortable, and maybe even use guilt as a way of getting you to fork out some money. Not Percy. I got the immediate feeling that he just took pleasure from making people smile.

Cabrito is a regional favorite. For me, it was a little too chewy, too spicy, and too gamey. But I'm glad I tried it!

Cabrito is a regional favorite. For me, it was a little too chewy, too spicy, and too gamey. But I’m glad I tried it!

The second time that I met Percy was after running into a friend on the road. She was on her way out for lunch and so was I, so we partnered up. Percy rolled up on his bicycle and we made space for him. He ate most of my “it’s like a sheep” meat. (It’s call Cabrito, and I’m not a huge fan. Check out the image.)

After lunch I hopped on his handle bars with my hula hoop and bags of produce, and we very precariously made our way down to the shore. We had to keep stopping, because I couldn’t stop laughing and my ass kept going numb. We spent the rest of the day on the beach. We drank a couple of beers, he taught me how to juggle (poorly), we did some acrobatics (also poorly), and I taught him how to hula hoop (I’ll say equally as poorly).

After our Italian friend, Daniella, put the sun to sleep with her guitar, we went to Trujillo (about 15 minutes away on bus). I’d always said that I would never hoop for

Daniella and Percy playing the blues. That little space in the middle? That's where I go. They gave me a little shaker to play along.

Daniella and Percy playing the blues. That little space in the middle? That’s where I go. They gave me a little shaker to play along.

money. In truth, this is for a couple of reasons. I’m not comfortable with the crazy tricks (as you can probably tell by my terribly self-conscious video). Additionally, in the case of cars, I’m worried I would lose it to a windshield. But to be honest, the main reason is that I don’t desperately need the money. For me, it’s just a fun experience. He makes more money when I am there apparently, so I just took enough of the earnings to buy some coffee, water, and bread for us after we were done performing.

Percy finds stoplights once a day and goes out and makes his money. He sets a limit and keeps going until he makes that limit. Honestly, I was so exhausted by the time that we got to thirty soles that I ran out of traffic shouting, “Me regalaron un sol! Me regalaron un sol!”

For Percy, jugando malavares* is how he makes a living. As I said, this isn’t easy work. The

Acrobatic training...The pictures of the actual attempts are far too embarrassing to even dare posting them-mostly me falling clumsily in a cheetah miniskirt and him catching me gracefully. Way to go, you freakin' clod of a gringa.

Acrobatic training…The pictures of the actual attempts are far too embarrassing to even dare posting them-mostly me falling clumsily in a cheetah miniskirt and him catching me gracefully. Way to go, you freakin’ clod of a gringa.

stoplight is only red for 50 seconds. This means you need to come up with a routine that adheres to that time schedule and give yourself enough time to collect the money. We both found that it was much easier and we made more money when there were two of us. I would stop about 5 seconds early, take a bow, and then run from car to car collecting change. When the light turns green, you have to frantically rush to get out of the way of the moving cars. Then wait about a minute and do it again. Percy also tries to stop the traffic before the white line by “shouting at them gently”. This is so that we have enough space to perform.

I would not recommend that women do this alone. There was another couple adjacent to us at the intersection. The woman was dancing with flags, and even with all of the traffic I could hear that she was subject to the same catcalling that I was. Unfortunately, many men are dogs and sometimes roughly throw change or shout obscenities. Additionally, Trujillo specifically isn’t the safest city. Percy emphasized that we have to be as alert as possible. For example, there was this creepy guy walking super close to our belongings and crossing the street multiple times unnecessarily. When something like this would happen, either one of us would stop performing and walk over to our things, or we would just take a break and wait for the next light.

Busking is actually how most of the people that I am currently living with make their living. One girl juggles fire and spends her afternoons making little wallets out of scrap pieces of fabric to sell on the street. Pretty much everyone juggles. Everyone is constantly making bracelets to sell. Nearly everyone plays an instrument or sings. This is often done near the pier for additional money. Giggling, the owner of the hostel told me that she is frequently paid with large quantities of change. People sleep everywhere. They sleep on the hammock outside. They lay out mattresses in the kitchen, and set up tents in the back.

This is the part of this article where I make a confession. I never in my life have given money to los malavares*. Why? Because my attitude has always been, “You are young and healthy, you can work. Why should I give you money when there are other people who need it more?”

Well, I kind of feel like an asshole now. I see things in a different light. Most of the people that I live with /have/ to travel like this. One of the girls recently fell through a roof (don’t ask for the details on this). She has no money to go to the doctor and spends her days making purses to sell on the street so that she has enough money for potatoes, bananas, and water. This morning, as two of the guys were going out to work in Trujillo juggling at a stoplight and another was weaving anklets to sell on the street corner, they were having a discussion about getting water. To buy a large bottle, you have to make a deposit of 10 soles (a little less than four dollars) for the bottle. It was a challenge to pull together the 10 soles-one that I don’t think was accomplished in the end.

(For the record, water should theoretically be safe to drink once it is boiled. Unfortunately, there are a lot of harmful metals in the water that don’t just go away when you boil it. That’s not even mentioning the fact that it completely tastes like ass.)

I do understand that there are a lot of people who do this kind of work just to buy their next 8 ball, but that isn’t the case with many of these people. Most of these people spend their days lounging around the hostel, eating cheap produce from the market, practicing, and creating for the next street feat.

I hope that everyone isn’t as quick to judge as I was. Just a little bit of change can go a long way for someone. I guess in the end I realized that what I do wasn’t really all that different in the beginning. I used to teach private classes in the evenings, write stupid articles about anything that would pay a few bucks, and then do those awful modeling jobs on the weekends. It really was whatever I had to do to make some cash. It’s a lifestyle that I think more and more people are finding themselves living, and it’s pretty freaking easy to make it happen in Peru. It’s not uncommon to meet someone who gives surfing lessons in the morning, bartends at night, and sells ice cream on the beach in the afternoons.

Tonight we are choreographing a routine and then tomorrow going to town to perform. I’ll get some pictures at the very least.

Guys, if you haven’t yet, please give the blog a like on Facebook. Every single like, click, follow, whatever helps to fund my travels. The advertisements on the page are how I make my money, so if you see anything that you are in the market for, please consider going through my site! Thanks in advance for your support!

*Los malavares is refers to street performers, though that is a feeble translation since it literally translates to marvels and the connotations of “street performer” in western culture are very different to those of “malavares” here. It’s a general term used for anyone who does something interesting to perform and make money. Examples of this include dancing with flags, juggling (fire, machetes, bowling pins, etc.), hula hooping, acrobatics, etc. They use it as a verb to say “jugando malavares” which literally translates to “playing marvels”.

**To avoid speculation from my very large and impressive fan base, a kiss on the cheek is customary and that is all that you are hearing at the end of that video. ;)

 

Exciting World Travels

Exciting World Travels

Exciting World Travels

MEALS ON A MISSION I took some time off from nursing to work on my passion: to develop a company called “Meals On A Mission”  The fundraiser changing the world, one bite at a time!

See, what I did was reinvent the way fundraising is done by solving 4 very prominent problems:

 

  1. Serious obstacles of fundraising itself – the method of delivery and the product.
  2. The growing concern for the health problems plaguing the US.
  3. The invisible problem that faces many families of financial incapacity to provide for the burial expenses of their child.
  4. Non-recognition of hard work rendered.

 

WERE HEALTH CONCIOUS:  We have a wholesome product that doesn’t have to be shipped, boxed or delivered and it is available immediately. It doesn’t expire and it appeases to everyone’s taste. We donate 50% of fundraised product sales to all organizations.

 

WERE REVOLUTIONARY:

Prizes For Causes: We prepared an amazing prize program suitable to all ages. This is where we reward individuals for their hard work by giving them attainable and relevant prizes to participants from Fundraising events with sold product.

Food Games For Fund$ (FGFF): We also have a program that rewards hard work rendered for all organizations. The more successful your fundraiser, the better your chances of attaining donated funds through game playing. I reinvented a positive revenue structure that formulates an ongoing cash flow out to all organizations. This rewards them with various methods and levels to reach the organizations fundraising goals by donating 60% of WebAD revenue.
WE PAY IT FORWARD: With our two programs

Mission Outreach: Our mission is to embark on a life-changing journey where Meals on a Mission’s Outreach will create local community gardens using the latest in Green Technology. These gardens will be used to support programs that will teach our community youth on how to cook. These communities are going to host bi-annual tasting galas in which students will be participating and serving the meals to other children invitees – all of whom comes from abused, orphaned, or trafficked homes. This endeavor will raise a humbling awareness and develop a new generation of individuals who possesses the skills of home cooking which will be passed onto future generations.

In Remembrance Of Me: We also developed a way to raise money for funeral expenses for children under the age of 18 by donating 70% of product sales as well as a chance to qualify for the FGFF to earn more than 60% of donated WebAD revenue to pay for the cost of the funeral helping the family bury their lost young child with grace and ease.

 

AND FINALLY…WERE FUN!: By utilizing the best of the best in communication, we were able to climb to new heights and come up with a solution for these 4 prevalent problems. Our website will run on an interactive ‘sensory’ platform that combines social networking, game playing , prize giving, and mission outreaches – elevating fundraising to a whole new level. We also have a great Chef Mascot: Chef Pepe Roni (he is a hat) who will be leading the company in this adventure by cooking side by side with the youth and spreading the word about the importance of eating at home with your family.
Our vision is to reach the masses, helping everyone from schools to churches, from non-profits to organizations, from community projects and now to families that have lost young loved ones. There is no cost to you and even provide all the promotional materials at no cost as well!

 

Our company is a socially conscious for-profit company. Meals On A Mission is  where fundraising meets meal planning with a side of prizes, a side of cooking games and a tall glass of projects all serving the world… ONE BITE AT A TIME!

 

Exciting World Travels

Repercussion of Staff Inexperience and Poor Documentation
John Delson Molina, BSN, RN

            The health care delivery system urgently needs a strong nursing leadership to enable it to meet the various challenges it faces today and in the future. GLOBALLY THERE IS SEVERE NURSING SHORTAGE THAT PUTS THE PROFESSION IN CRISIS. Locally the profession produces thousands of nurses yearly. But many of these nurses intend to work outside the country to seek better opportunities. After gaining the mandatory experiences, many seek work outside the country which leaves the Philippines with untrained and unskilled nurses who can be a risk factor to the health care profession. Hence, both locally and globally, a leadership gap exist.

            The gap exist between the growing demand of a rising population for delivery of quality and cost-effective patient outcome in health care and lack of a strong experience and accompanied by poor documentation. What is a new nurse to do when faced with a similar situation? Even an experienced nurse recognizes that leadership and management skills are required in any work situation to get things get done right the first time it is needed. Nurses also realize that they must step up to become leader when the situation calls for it. According to Bernardo, skilled and trained nurses are a requisite of proper health care. I believe that staff inexperience and poor documentation has a great impact in the provision of a holistic, quality a effective health care. It is a big hindrance in giving effective nursing management. In my clinical experiences even when I am still a student, I encountered several problems attached to staff inexperience and poor documentation. Like for example I encountered an OB nurse who stayed in the OB ward for years but he was scheduled to be rotated in the Operating Room. As we get along to our talk, I have found out that within his five years of service it was his first time to be assigned in the OR area. But unfortunately the hospital never let him to have his orientation and seminars before having duty to the said area. And as he gets along to his work in the said area he did a lot of errors especially in interventions and managements. In that situation it pictures the nurse who is hardly and distressed to his part to work in the place which he is not in used and it is typically results to a great possibility of taking the patient at risk all the time. Another example also reflecting a nurse who did inaccurate and improper documentation in the nurse’s note, the things he did to the patient. Since Nurses note and Doctors order is the tool of communication among health providers but if in the fact that it is not properly done then what will be the outcome? Doubtfulness, wrongful carried out orders will be done and it is highly dangerous and very risky in the part of the patient. .

            The system failure has a great contribution to the sentinel event of the article because when nurses or any of the health providers put their action below their knowledge and not practicing properly and thorough documentation then it has a great chance of taking the patient at risk . Best example cited from the article Lesson from Colorado: Beyond Blaming individual by Judy Smetzerand. The story tells how the health provides did improperly and mistakenly in terms of documentation and other did not do any documentation at all. Like what the neonatologist did that he wasn’t able to document the recommended medication of the consultant this is giving a single dose of Penicillin G Benzathine, IM at a dose of 50,000 units/kgs. Until of this called Epidemiologist by the Department staff who made the same orders but unfortunately did a wrong documentation with wrong medication supposedly  Penicillin G Benzathine but he only wrote Penicillin G, with no route at all and until it was carried out but then it paved the patient to death. That is the scenario of such event which health providers tend to do such inaccuracy in documentation that fact that they know the outcome of these actions.

            In my point of view precautions is necessary and all the health providers should take action for this. This system failure is being emerge to Nursing because, Nurses are the one responsible in carrying out the doctor’s orders, that if she/he is in doubt on it then it is not too much to ask and verify to the one who did the orders thru phone calls or personal claim. It is also emerge to medicine because doctors should also have a great influence sometimes to such sentinel event due to inaccurate orders but then if they are doing their job with the mind over their heart and also the passion to work then less mistakes and failures will be arise. Nursing administration is also emerging in this system failure because it is their accountability to supervise their nursing personnel especially to those novice nurses who has just newly hired. The system failure is also emerged to hospital administration because it is their responsibility to absorb this health care professionals and it is their duty to provide standards to hire only those who deserves and with the passion to provide quality and humane service.

According to the book of Judy Smeltzer et. Al. In the 1980’s hospitals and other health care agencies implemented ongoing quality assurance programs. These programs were required for reimbursement for service and for accreditation by the Joint Commission (Previously known as the Joint Commission for Accreditation of Healthcare) These QA programs sought to establish accountability to society on the part of the health professions for quality, appropriateness and cost of health service provided…

In this issue I believe that a certain precautions are necessary to address the system failure. One of which is continuing education, health providers especially nurses should required undergoing schooling in the graduate school to take their master studies in their respective field. Through this way, they will be updated to several trends information’s arising nowadays. In-service-training like seminars is also beneficial to improve knowledge and skills. Second precaution is the health providers should always condition their physical, emotional, psychological status prior to any management concerning patients, thru this way; they will be refraining from making mistakes and failures. Third is supervision among seniors must observed especially to those beginners to lessen such instances. And lastly which I think the best solution to avoid the repetition of this particular system is the in hand of the Hospital administration. They should provide certain screenings, trainings, seminars among their staffs about proper documentations. They should also impose punishment to their health providers who made such failure and take appropriate action if any circumstances arise due to these practices.

According to the report of Dr. David Phillips and Gwendolyn Barker of University of California, San Diego in the United States, this is system failure validated by this evidenced based work that the relationship between inexperience and medical error by focusing on changes in the number of medication mistakes in July. Then they found out that about the 244,388 US death certificate focusing on fatal medication errors from 1979 to 2006. The authors also found out that inside the medical institutions, fatal medication errors spiked in the same month. And they also recommended things to do to address this system failure like 1) re-evaluating responsibilities assigned to new residents; 2) increasing supervision of new residents; 3) increasing education concerned with medication safety. Incorporating these changes might reduce both fatal and non-fatal medication errors and thereby reduce the substantial costs associated with these errors.”

 

 

I believe that meeting the effective and quality care is depending on the proper experiences and practicing proper documentation among health providers. The team should have the quality sound mind and sound body to perform their intervention or management to lessen such occurrence of such system failure like this to meet the patient’s satisfaction and well being.

Summary of the Article of the study:

New Medics in Death Spike? Study Suggests Inexperienced Medical Staff Make Fatal Medication Errors

 

June 2, 2010 — Are new medical residents a threat to patients? According to Dr. David Phillips and Gwendolyn Barker from the University of California, San Diego in the US, fatal medication errors peak in July in teaching hospitals in particular, which coincides with the yearly influx of new medical residents who are given increased responsibility for patient care.

 

Their findings are published in theJournal of General Internal Medicine, published by Springer.

Phillips and Barker looked at the relationship between inexperience and medical error by focusing on changes in the number of medication mistakes (involving accidental overdose of a drug, wrong drug given or taken in error, drug taken inadvertently, and accidents in the use of drugs in medical and surgical procedures) in July, when thousands begin medical residencies. They tested the hypothesis that the arrival of new medical residents in July is associated with increased fatal medication errors.

They examined 244,388 US death certificates focusing on fatal medication errors as the recorded primary cause of death, issued between 1979 and 2006. They compared the observed number of deaths in July with the number of expected events in a given month for a given year. They also looked at whether there were any differences between deaths in and out of hospital in July as well as between counties with and without teaching hospitals.

The authors found that inside medical institutions, fatal medication errors spiked in July and in no other month. This July peak was visible only in counties with teaching hospitals. In these counties, the number of July deaths from medication errors was 10 percent above the expected level. No similar link was observed for other causes of death or for deaths outside hospitals.

The authors highlight several implications for medical policy. “Our findings provide fresh evidence for 1) re-evaluating responsibilities assigned to new residents; 2) increasing supervision of new residents; 3) increasing education concerned with medication safety. Incorporating these changes might reduce both fatal and non-fatal medication errors and thereby reduce the substantial costs associated with these errors.”

 

<http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100602091319.htm>

 

 

Pervasive Impact of Language Barrier

John Delson Molina, BSN, RN

            In the field of health services, good communication has a great role in maintaining a good relationship and it has a great vitality in the provision of quality care. Communication ensures common understanding via various routes. It is a procedure by which a message is sent, received and apprehended as anticipated. The goal of proper communication is to narrow the gap between the intended and received message. As managers, nurses and health providers have to frequently communicate guidelines and these guidelines have to be reasonable and understandable so subordinates and the patients himself are likely to comply. Thus, Communications are more than trying to make people understand; they aim at changing people’s behavior. According to one Anonymous stated that “the aim of communication is to have people stop something they are now doing, do something they are now doing or chance the way they are now doing something”.

            Language barrier really has a great implication to the deliverance of effective quality care. Great example when ones patient is not able to understand instructions due to his dialect or language he is using or if he is a mute and deaf, incoherent or paralyzed, this is a great challenge among nurses and doctors to communicate and to understand patients claim.

            To achieve good communication, a nurse, doctors and all the health providers must aware that communication is not only confined to verbal communication. There are also non- verbal cues which form part of non-verbal communication as opposed to verbal communication which solely involves talking.

                        The system failure has a great attributed to the occurrence of sentinel event in the article Lesson from Colorado: Beyond blaming individuals by Judy Smetzerand. This instance failure result to misconceptions, misinterpretation and further result to a poor and inappropriate medical and nursing management that put the patient at risk and incompliance in the part of the patient as well. Like what the Neonatologist did that he wasn’t able to convinced the parent to follow routine checkups and treatment and he did not do anything to address the problem.

To address this system failure, precautions are very important. Health providers should take a proper action on such matter. And I believe that one of which is involving significant others in every care to render. They are the one who fluent enough in communicating to their patient. They are serving as the tunnel of communication to give way apprehension from health providers to patient and vice versa to put into action the patients needs, claim and forethoughts. Another thing is health providers should also good enough in non-verbal communication for them to get in touch to the patient. And if possible to the institution to hire a translator for those who don’t able to speak and understand English for just the sake of communicating with the patient.

            This system failure is being emerged to Nursing because nurses are the one who taking care off to the interventions and managements and they are use to communicate to the patient all the time, like explaining medical regimen, assessment and teaching as well. So it is very important for the nurse to be a good listener, messenger and adaptor as well. And this system failure is also emerge to Hospital administration because they are the one who will provide the appropriate action to promote good and proper communication among the members of the team toward the patient’s care by holding seminars, trainings and short courses to uplift better patient and health providers’ interaction and language barrier is not anymore a problem.

            Evidenced based supporting the impact of Language barrier in the health care services is being done by Lauren Houle of University of Rhode Island “Language barriers in health care are a growing concern for patients and health care providers. According to the 2000 U. S. Census, there are an increasing number of people who spoke a language other than English at home. This number increased from 14 percent (31.8 million) in 1990 to 18 percent (47 million) in 2000 (Shin & Bruno, 2003). Studies have shown that patients with limited English proficiency have less access to care, poorer adherence to treatment regimens and consequently contribute to increased health disparities. This issue is of particular importance for nurses due to the intimate contact and need for frequent and lengthy patient interactions. A majority of nurses reported that language barriers are a significant impediment to quality care and a source of stress in the workplace. Incomplete nursing assessments, misunderstood medical information, and the lack of therapeutic relationships between providers and patients are problems encountered when patients have limited English proficiency…”

                        And it has been concluded that patients were concerned about the language barrier during nursing care delivery. It may lead to miscommunication and compromise the patient-nurse relationship.

I believe that the art of conversation is not only the ability to say the right thing at the right place and time but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the most tempting moments. And maintaining good communication will pave the way to good interaction towards patient’s care.

 

 

 

Copy of the study from http://digitalcommons.uri.edu/srhonorsprog/175/

Language Barriers in Health Care

Advisor

Curtin, Alicia [faculty advisor, College of Nursing]

Date

5-2010

Keywords

Language barriers, health care, Spanish, nursing assessments, medical information, therapeutic relationships, English proficiency

Abstract

Language barriers in health care are a growing concern for patients and health care providers. According to the 2000 U. S. Census, there is an increasing number of people who spoke a language other than English at home. This number increased from 14 percent (31.8 million) in 1990 to 18 percent (47 million) in 2000 (Shin & Bruno, 2003). Studies have shown that patients with limited English proficiency have less access to care, poorer adherence to treatment regimens and consequently contribute to increased health disparities. This issue is of particular importance for nurses due to the intimate contact and need for frequent and lengthy patient interactions. A majority of nurses reported that language barriers are a significant impediment to quality care and a source of stress in the workplace. Incomplete nursing assessments, misunderstood medical information, and the lack of therapeutic relationships between providers and patients are problems encountered when patients have limited English proficiency. Undergraduate nursing students are the future of the nursing profession, therefore it is important to address the impact of language barriers on health care disparities in the undergraduate nursing curriculum. The first goal of this project was to explore the experiences and attitudes of nursing students before and after a two-week intercultural service learning experience in the rural areas of the Dominican Republic. Students with no Spanish language skills were compared with students proficient in Spanish regarding their experience and attitudes towards working with Spanish speaking patients. Results from the pre- and post-trip survey revealed that students with less Spanish competency reported more feelings of being overwhelmed and frustrated with the language barrier and more time spent with each patient because of the difficulty in communicating. Students reported that many times there was no interpreter available and it was nearly impossible to conduct an interview. Students with proficiency in Spanish reported greater satisfaction in being able to focus on their assessment skills rather than trying to communicate. The second goal of the project was to develop a presentation on the impact of language barriers in health care and opportunities available to study language and pursue intercultural nursing experiences for freshman nursing students. A thirty minute presentation was presented to nursing students in four sections of NUR 103: Professional Practice in Health and Illness during the Spring 2010 semester. Freshman students provided positive feedback regarding the presentation. A cornerstone of the nursing profession is therapeutic relationships with patients through effective communication. This involves active listening skills, developing empathetic relationships and building trust. Without the presence of accurate verbal interaction, therapeutic communication is difficult to achieve. Raising awareness among nursing students early in their professional career about language barriers may lead them to seek opportunities to learn a language or explore opportunities of intercultural exchange. Project: Language Barriers Healthcare

 

 

Exciting World Travels

August 15th -Lakeshore Drive 20 miler Sunny +25 C
Category Name Time Avg Speed
Female Veteran Nicki Wilberforce 0:56:09 34.3
Keli Cristofaro 1:03:18 30.5
Pam Saranpaa 1:03:23 30.4
Female Masters Janet Siilman 0:51:25 37.5
Male Junior Jon Kettle 0:54:13 35.6
Ate Saranpaa 1:14:05 26
Male Senior Chris Mitchell 0:55:49 34.6
Male Veteran Keith Ailey 0:46:44 41.3
Roberto Bucci 0:48:44 39.6
John Rescigno 0:49:48 38.7
Jason Dewar 0:51:20 37.6
Marty Saranpaa 0:53:08 36.3
Male Masters John Esposti 0:48:43 39.6
Bob Shine 0:48:46 38.8
Berto Pasciullo 0:50:18 38.3
Dave Krasnichuk 0:50:45 38
Gord Ryan 0:53:06 36.3
Ranjit Baboolal 1:01:45 31.2
Male Super Masters Iain Mettam 0:57:54 33.3
Exciting World Travels

Blacksheep Resultes August 14 2013 – XC at Centennial
Place Bib Name Group Time ±
1. 63 Michael Thomas Male Sport 36+ 00:21:30.4 00:00:00.0
2. 51 Keegan Tremblay Male Sport 0-15 00:21:37.2 00:00:06.8
3. 55 Christopher Tenhunen Male Sport 16-20 00:23:17.2 00:01:46.8
4. 69 Kai Meekis Male Sport 0-15 00:23:22.5 00:01:52.1
5. 56 Alex Pietila Male Sport 21-35 00:23:33.3 00:02:02.9
6. 52 Steven Anderson Male Sport 16-20 00:24:18.5 00:02:48.1
7. 74 Nicholas Randall Male Sport 0-15 00:25:32.2 00:04:01.8
8. 64 Frederick Serratore Male Sport 0-15 00:26:05.7 00:04:35.3
9. 58 Tom Colquhoun Male Sport 0-15 00:26:51.9 00:05:21.5
10. 68 Kael Steele Male Sport 0-15 00:27:25.1 00:05:54.7
11. 70 Dean Thatcher Male Sport 21-35 00:28:17.1 00:06:46.7
12. 72 Alex Brazeau Female Sport 21-35 00:28:40.9 00:07:10.5
13. 53 Kieran Tervo Male Sport 0-15 00:30:17.6 00:08:47.2
14. 73 Landon Newman Male Sport 0-15 00:30:57.3 00:09:26.9
15. 54 Paula Tremblay Female Sport 36+ 00:30:58.9 00:09:28.5
16. 59 Annie Lacourciere Female Sport 0-15 00:31:19.4 00:09:49.0
17. 57 Niklas Harkonen Male Sport 0-15 00:31:20.7 00:09:50.3
18. 75 Alexander Randall Male Sport 0-15 00:32:12.0 00:10:41.6
19. 61 Ethan Ramirez Male Sport 0-15 00:32:14.6 00:10:44.2
20. 71 Ate Saranpaa Male Sport 16-20 00:32:55.9 00:11:25.5
21. 65 Aidan Johnson Male Sport 0-15 00:33:30.7 00:12:00.3
22. 60 Serena Radley-Hansen Female Sport 0-15 00:34:08.1 00:12:37.7
23. 77 Ben Bohemier Male Sport 0-15 00:35:43.3 00:14:12.9
24. 31 Emile Hamm Male Advanced 0-15 00:35:45.7 00:14:15.3
25. 1 Chris Mitchell Male Advanced 21-35 00:37:02.4 00:15:32.0
26. 17 Jonathan Kettle Male Advanced 16-20 00:37:04.9 00:15:34.5
27. 23 Pete Tofinetti Male Advanced 36+ 00:38:16.3 00:16:45.9
28. 5 Jacob Lacosse Male Advanced 21-35 00:39:08.3 00:17:37.9
29. 22 Allison Sauder Female Advanced 16-20 00:39:29.8 00:17:59.4
30. 16 Graham Robertshaw Male Advanced 16-20 00:40:11.5 00:18:41.1
31. 12 Garin Schoonhoven Male Advanced 21-35 00:40:34.0 00:19:03.6
32. 29 Kevin Marier Male Advanced 16-20 00:41:00.4 00:19:30.0
33. 15 Mark Maranzan Male Advanced 21-35 00:42:08.4 00:20:38.0
34. 24 Ryan Pendziwol Male Advanced 16-20 00:42:34.7 00:21:04.3
35. 14 Callum Johnson Male Advanced 16-20 00:43:30.7 00:22:00.3
36. 67 Madeline Douglas Female Sport 0-15 00:43:43.0 00:22:12.6
37. 76 Matthew Randall Male Sport 0-15 00:43:48.5 00:22:18.1
38. 8 Kailey Trodd Female Advanced 16-20 00:44:12.2 00:22:41.8
39. 19 John Rescigno Male Advanced 36+ 00:44:39.6 00:23:09.2
40. 20 Kyle Wright Male Advanced 16-20 00:44:41.1 00:23:10.7
41. 122 Josh Gillingham Male Elite 21-35 00:46:37.8 00:25:07.4
42. 30 Randy Berg Male Advanced 36+ 00:47:02.5 00:25:32.1
43. 13 Deanne Lee Female Advanced 36+ 00:47:07.6 00:25:37.2
44. 28 Cory Schick Male Advanced 21-35 00:47:34.6 00:26:04.2
45. 21 Christian Kachkowski Male Advanced 16-20 00:47:54.0 00:26:23.6
46. 3 Jarek Tremblay Male Advanced 16-20 00:47:55.1 00:26:24.7
47. 9 Katie Spittlehouse Female Advanced 21-35 00:48:03.6 00:26:33.2
48. 123 Colin Pendziwol Male Elite 0-20 00:48:39.0 00:27:08.6
49. 2 Laura Inkila Female Advanced 16-20 00:48:49.0 00:27:18.6
50. 4 Garth Tremblay Male Advanced 36+ 00:48:50.3 00:27:19.9
51. 26 Martin Saranpaa Male Advanced 36+ 00:49:01.3 00:27:30.9
52. 111 Darcy Cornish Male Elite 0-20 00:50:03.2 00:28:32.8
53. 101 Keith Ailey Male Elite 36+ 00:50:44.5 00:29:14.1
54. 11 Kevin Schlyter Male Advanced 36+ 00:52:39.7 00:31:09.3
55. 127 Dylan Bailey Male Elite 21-35 00:52:41.9 00:31:11.5
56. 25 Ann Danard Female Advanced 16-20 00:55:50.2 00:34:19.8
57. 66 Haley Koopman Female Lambateur 00:56:36.6 00:35:06.2
58. 121 Gerald Hamm Male Elite 36+ 00:57:57.1 00:36:26.7
59. 128 Greg Kilroy Male Elite 21-35 01:00:17.3 00:38:46.9
60. 109 Paul Inkila Male Elite 36+ 01:01:21.3 00:39:50.9
61. 62 Erik Schlyter Male Sport 0-15 01:16:00.0 00:54:29.6
62. 124 Matt Lapointe Male Elite 21-35 01:23:00.0 01:01:29.6
DNS 7 Brady Harkonen Male Advanced 16-20
DNS 18 Seija Grant Female Advanced 21-35
DNS 112 Adam Kates Male Elite 21-35
DNS 125 Dave Sokolowski Male Elite 21-35
DNS 126 Rodney Puumala Male Elite 36+
Exciting World Travels

Results from Rusty Ride 100 miler

 

Age Group Race Report as of 8/10/2013 6:42:26 PM for Male 18 – 38 in division 100 Mile
Place Bib # Name Time MPH Lap 1 Lap 2 Lap 3 Lap 4 Age Division Gender
1 213 Adam Curtis 7:05:13.42 14.11 1:42:14.61 1:45:37.35 1:50:09.06 1:47:12.38 38 100 Mile M
2 43 Charly Tri 7:10:17.30 13.94 1:38:04.86 1:44:45.47 1:52:37.23 1:54:49.73 35 100 Mile M
3 4 Jeff Bushendorf 7:24:16.02 13.51 1:44:10.64 1:45:41.35 1:57:57.18 1:56:26.84 31 100 Mile M
4 28 Christian Schmidt 7:36:12.95 13.15 1:52:34.83 2:00:13.43 1:53:19.16 1:50:05.52 31 100 Mile M
5 3 Joel Benton 8:38:35.99 11.57 1:51:15.28 2:12:22.85 2:15:33.30 2:19:24.54 38 100 Mile M
6 25 John Rescigno 8:39:26.04 11.55 1:52:34.94 2:12:02.50 2:19:46.52 2:15:02.07 35 100 Mile M
7 20 Laurent Willemot 8:48:24.54 11.36 1:52:32.34 2:05:05.49 2:18:20.52 2:32:26.18 27 100 Mile M
8 2 Jason Anderson 9:08:49.39 10.93 2:08:26.29 2:07:18.71 2:39:23.63 2:13:40.75 35 100 Mile M
Age Group Race Report as of 8/10/2013 6:42:26 PM for Male 39 – 58 in division 100 Mile
Place Bib # Name Time MPH Lap 1 Lap 2 Lap 3 Lap 4 Age Division Gender
1 27 Larry Sauber 6:38:22.74 15.06 1:36:16.07 1:36:50.84 1:41:06.87 1:44:08.94 44 100 Mile M
2 19 Mat Moore 6:55:56.58 14.43 1:35:46.61 1:37:21.58 1:48:00.70 1:54:47.68 40 100 Mile M
3 26 Bart Rodberg 6:57:19.92 14.38 1:38:15.30 1:40:07.44 1:45:27.10 1:53:30.06 42 100 Mile M
4 16 Joe Kjeer 6:58:35.28 14.33 1:35:43.82 1:43:12.08 1:49:06.11 1:50:33.25 51 100 Mile M
5 44 Sheldon Morgan 7:05:16.14 14.11 1:38:46.68 1:44:19.31 1:50:37.11 1:51:33.03 49 100 Mile M
6 9 Tim Ek 7:11:23.61 13.91 1:37:52.70 1:45:27.61 1:53:40.76 1:54:22.53 45 100 Mile M
7 15 James Kauth 7:20:40.75 13.62 1:43:55.48 1:49:42.29 1:53:14.87 1:53:48.09 43 100 Mile M
8 17 Robert Kohl 7:27:17.76 13.41 1:44:00.35 1:49:40.01 1:57:06.21 1:56:31.18 41 100 Mile M
9 12 Eric Guse 7:32:08.66 13.27 1:37:47.90 1:59:53.45 1:56:47.01 1:57:40.29 42 100 Mile M
10 6 Mick Carlson 7:39:05.94 13.07 1:48:00.28 2:01:07.57 1:54:18.05 1:55:40.03 43 100 Mile M
11 22 Rocky O’Neill 8:15:53.13 12.1 1:53:12.24 2:00:07.15 2:07:57.72 2:14:36.01 56 100 Mile M
12 11 Nicholas Guettler 8:16:15.04 12.09 1:54:43.38 2:04:57.67 2:05:35.43 2:10:58.55 53 100 Mile M
13 7 Paul Carroll 8:22:25.45 11.94 1:54:29.14 1:54:34.89 2:22:58.10 2:10:23.30 43 100 Mile M
14 30 Michael Soderburg 8:22:59.14 11.93 1:51:56.32 1:59:43.41 2:12:54.41 2:18:24.99 39 100 Mile M
15 42 Charles Allgood 8:53:37.17 11.24 1:57:39.87 2:08:35.34 2:18:41.58 2:28:40.36 49 100 Mile M
16 5 Casey Byron 29:58.8 9.52 1:51:53.97 4:05:21.75 2:09:40.55 2:23:02.56 39 100 Mile M
Age Group Race Report as of 8/10/2013 6:42:26 PM for Female 18 – 38 in division 100 Mile
Place Bib # Name Time MPH Lap 1 Lap 2 Lap 3 Lap 4 Age Division Gender
1 8 Sarah Eby 8:39:41.84 11.55 1:51:21.61 2:06:16.21 2:22:46.98 2:19:17.03 28 100 Mile F
2 18 Sveta Kovalchuk 8:51:12.76 11.3 1:51:56.80 2:12:36.72 2:19:45.53 2:26:53.70 30 100 Mile F
Age Group Race Report as of 8/10/2013 6:42:27 PM for Female 39 – 58 in division 100 Mile
Place Bib # Name Time MPH Lap 1 Lap 2 Lap 3 Lap 4 Age Division Gender
1 10 Martha Flynn-Kauth 8:19:09.93 12.02 1:55:58.85 2:01:14.94 2:07:58.78 2:13:57.35 48 100 Mile F
Age Group Race Report as of 8/10/2013 6:16:29 PM for SS 18 – 38 in division 100 Mile
Place Bib # Name Time MPH Lap 1 Lap 2 Lap 3 Lap 4 Age Division Gender
1 36 Ben Doom 6:52:48.41 14.53 1:36:43.08 1:41:01.57 1:45:51.20 1:49:12.54 37 100 Mile SS M
2 45 Garrick Holey 7:11:23.62 13.91 1:41:37.44 1:47:53.57 1:48:31.26 1:53:21.34 32 100 Mile SS M
3 38 Joshua Kruck 7:46:24.44 12.86 1:45:35.31 1:54:47.21 2:04:02.72 2:01:59.19 33 100 Mile SS M
4 35 Barry Buhr 8:02:21.42 12.44 1:54:15.81 1:59:37.70 2:09:14.38 1:59:13.52 35 100 Mile SS M
5 39 Jake Lehn 11:03:34 9.04 2:02:21.61 2:59:20.01 2:43:01.18 3:18:51.03 28 100 Mile SS M
Age Group Race Report as of 8/10/2013 6:16:29 PM for SS 39 – 58 in division 100 Mile
Place Bib # Name Time MPH Lap 1 Lap 2 Lap 3 Lap 4 Age Division Gender
1 37 Charlie Farrow 7:52:42.75 12.69 1:47:14.37 1:59:42.07 2:05:33.24 2:00:13.06 53 100 Mile SS M
2 34 Jerry Bilek 9:14:55.38 10.81 2:02:59.86 2:12:17.57 2:23:57.42 2:35:40.51 46 100 Mile SS M
Exciting World Travels

Exciting World Travels

My name is John Delson. I am 21 years old and for the past 6 months I have been working as Community Health Nurse in Narvacan, Ilocos Sur, Philippines.

Its the only field that I’ve really been experienced a lot of paper works.

Since Writing are something that interest me and I’ve been working with it since I was ten years old and I consider myself to be fairly proficient and knowledgeable about writing I eagerly wanted to apply in odesk.

I attended writing contest and fortunately I won almost the contest I ever had, I’m also a Staff in our respective school paper as English Editor.

I have knowledge in Microsoft office, excel, PowerPoint and film making too. For now I currently taking my Master of art in Nursing and I can relay my learning to my future job here at Odesk.

 This is start of my blog.

 

images

Exciting World Travels

Spend 00 and save on a package for 4 nights on Expedia! Use code EXP100. – Expires 8/31/13.

Find your jackpot! Winning hotel and package offers at casino hot spots! Save up to 40% at Expedia! – Expires 9/9/13.

Exciting World Travels

2013 Rusty Ride – From Garmin Connect

 

 

Exciting World Travels

A Fresh Perspective on Social Responsibility [INFOGRAPHIC]


By vijay on Aug 07, 2013 06:34 am

Making money and doing good… Oil and water? We don’t think so. Since Day 1, we have always believed that making money and doing good mix quite well.

Over the years businesses tend to use a very prescriptive formula for social responsibility, but there’s opportunity for greater partnerships. The infographic below takes a look at the new fundraising era of companies giving customers and employees the flexibility to make a difference in their communities while engaging with their businesses. Here are some of the highlights:

 

  • 30% of consumers plan to spend more on socially responsible companies next year
  • Online social giving has increased 10.7% from 2011 to 2012
  • Companies are moving toward for what works: crowdsourcing and social integration, cause-marketing with a strategic approach and skill-based volunteering
  • ,000 was raised using Clarity for 65 different charities by offering advice to entrepreneurs and donating their proceeds (which translates to over 2000 calls)

Clarity CSR

Starting today charities can register and be listed on Clarity for experts to select as their charitable cause if they please.

For more details email Vijay (vijay@clarity.fm) with your Charity name and contact information to get started!

 

Exciting World Travels

Traveling Cheap and Taking Your Time

 

“Viajar nunca es un cuestion de dinero, sino de coraje.”
“To travel is never a question of money, but one of courage.”

-Aleph, Paulo Coehlo

It is a common misconception that there are only a handful of ways to see the world. In truth, the ways of traveling are so diverse that I couldn’t possibly hope to cover all of them in one post/article/advice column/whatever. You can sleep in your car for a month and bask your way across the states. You can spend an entire summer wandering around South America and camping on beaches. The important thing to realize is that not all of them cost a fortune.

Adjusting your Frame of Mind

Before we delve into how to travel cheap and take your time, I would like to give you one piece of advice on how to approach alternate forms of traveling: Don’t box yourself in.

In order to do any of the following you have to let yourself be open to itinerary changes and other ways of doing things. Don’t be afraid to get hung up in one place for a while. A friend recently told me a quote, “The true traveler never rushes to get to the next destination.” You learn so much more when you aren’t bulldozing through cities, countries, and cultures. While I appreciate the usual rushed backpacker, and even admire them for their endurance, I don’t feel that they learn very much in their 6 months of 2 day stop overs. Sorry guys, but it’s true…

I was sitting with a group of backpackers a couple of nights ago and they were counting countries and asking each other things like, “Man, how long have you been traveling?” and “How many countries did to manage to do in that amount of time?”

I’ve met people who have been backpacking around South America for the last year. Many of them speak no Spanish. They couldn’t order the most basic of dishes, because they simply don’t know what anything is. They don’t even know the law of the land as it pertains to safety issues. While I’m sure there is value to their experiences, this is not experiencing another culture. This is not living overseas. This is seeing what you have come to see.

The alternate ways of traveling discussed in this article are ways of living and experiencing, at least short term,  life overseas. They can also be used as a gateway for a more permanent residence and local job opportunities.

Alternate ways of traveling are great options for recent graduates, penny pinchers, and those who just need to get away but don’t have sufficient money for a two year backpacking escapade. When you bring up international travel, many people shudder. I hear so many of the same excuses day in and day out. The biggest one, of course, being money. Everyone is so convinced that traveling is such an enormous expense that there is no way in hell that they can work even a short trip into their budget.

Many people who come to South America come for volunteer opportunities where they have to pay an extravagant amount of money to live and work with an organization. They later realize that it would have been just as easy to find something that practically paid them, or at the very least didn’t cost them a small fortune.

Let me break this down for you:

 

Woman at the open pavilion on the way out of Huanchaco make papa rellena, empanadas, chachangas (fried flat bread), and picarrones. This photo was taken early in the day when they were making everything fresh.

Woman at the open pavilion on the way out of Huanchaco make papa rellena, empanadas, chachangas (fried flat bread), and picarrones. This photo was taken early in the day when they were making everything fresh.

I have officially been on the road for almost four weeks. This month, sans hospital bills and my new MP3 player, I have spent a whopping 0. That is including room, board, food, and transportation. That is including my plane ticket from AQP to the north. I save money by eating basic things fresh in the market, such as local empanadas and papa rellena, stuffed mashed potato. I also save money because I get discounts in exchange for writing reviews. I still take safe cabs and bus companies. I don’t eat in super dodgy places. I still go out dancing and have a few drinks. (Though I will say that I probably spend a lot less on booze than many of the people that I meet on the road.) I still see all of the sites. I still eat out.

While I understand that this is in part because of how I travel, and in part because of where I live, there are ways of going just about anywhere while pinching pennies.

I. Working in Hostels

Working, or “volunteering”, in hostels in South America is a perfectly lucrative way to see the continent, make a life for yourself on the road, and save some serious money. While I understand that it may vary from place to place, here is how it goes in Peru, (and pretty much every other Latin American country that I have heard of outside of Uruguay and Brazil). And remember, just because I am talking specifically about Latin America doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t look into this opportunity in other areas of the world.

In Peru, and most other Central and Southern American countries (particularly in the north), it is super easy to find work in a hostel. I will say that it is significantly easier in foreign ran establishments that cater to backpackers. For example, inLoki Hostels and in Wild Rover, they hire gringos to work in their bars and at the front desk. If you feel like you have found an environment where you are comfortable hanging your hat for a couple of weeks, ask if there is an opening. If they feel you are a good fit, you are welcome to stay. Work in hostels is in exchange for room and oftentimes one meal and a drink. However, in my current case, that includes dinner, breakfast, and my room. With that being said, there are no staff at my hostel. This means that it is just me, the owner, and one other volunteer (there are sometimes as many as three volunteers at a time). I alternate with the other volunteer so that there is always one of us present at the hostel. I chill in the front, sweep up, clean bathrooms, change sheets, bartend, and take out the trash. Which isn’t as bad as it sounds since it is off season and we have yet to be fully booked since my arrival.

In my first three days of being here I spent roughly . That was on cigarettes, a cocktail, water, a newspaper, some picarrones (see image) and a

Picarrones are kind of like a doughnut mated with a funnel cake and had a glorious love child. They are made with sweet potato and pumpkin and then served with a fig syrup. They are roughly 70 cents to a dollar for a plate like you see below. They are typical regional treat in the northern coastal region of Peru. In southern areas, they serve a similar dish but sans the pumpkin and sweet potato and just add plain honey. Wayyy better in the north! Come rico!

Picarrones are kind of like a doughnut mated with a funnel cake and had a glorious love child. They are made with sweet potato and pumpkin and then served with a fig syrup. They are roughly 70 cents to a dollar for a plate like you see below. They are typical regional treat in the northern coastal region of Peru. In southern areas, they serve a similar dish but sans the pumpkin and sweet potato and just add plain honey. Wayyy better in the north! Come rico!

of empanadas.

Some hostels may request an interview with you. Some may be willing communicate with you via email and hire you in advance, though it is typically best to just make these decisions as you go. (Expectations can be set very high based on what people say in an email.) Most will require a minimum stay. The standard amount of time required is two weeks, thought I have heard of some places requiring as long as three and accepting as little as one. Rooms are typically dorm rooms which you will share with guests or other volunteers. This means a shared bathroom. If you have spent any significant amount of time in hostels, then you know that this isn’t as bad as it sounds. You can truly get used to anything.

I’ve slept through drunk people clambering in at midnight. I’ve slept through roosters and dog fights and blaring salsa music. And for those who are thinking, “Oh, I could never…” Trust me when I say that you can. In college, if my neighbor was playing music, there wasn’t an ice cube’s chance in hell that I was going to doze off. Now? I can sleep through mining strikes and heavy traffic with my windows open.

The interesting thing about this kind of work is the flexibility of character that it requires. I will admit that this probably has a great deal to do with where I am working. The hostel is basically a home environment. Everyone is welcome to come be part of the family, just so long as they aren’t an asshole. The owner is pretty clear about that. The home is to be kept happy. Dinner is cooked and eaten together nearly every night. The music only stops for sleep and everyone is more than happy to hang out and drink into the evening. Everyone is welcome to DJ. Everyone is welcome to chill on the couches in the communal area. Guests from other hostels are sometimes drawn in by the music. I spend most of my “work day” answering questions from random people who wander in off the street. (Over half of these are men who ask stupid questions to which we both know they know the answer. They spend the next 30 minutes rambling about their travels and telling me their life story. And no. I don’t care.)

The communal area in the hostel where I work is often strewn with recharging backpackers.

The communal area in the hostel where I work is often strewn with recharging backpackers.

The rest of my day is spent doing basic household chores and working on my computer in the downstairs communal area. Sometimes I go to the beach. Sometimes I go for a walk.  Sometimes I take the communal bike down the main drag or go pick up a few things at the market.

I will also say that hostels are not going to help you learn the local language. If you speak English and want to learn Spanish, you will find it very challenging because of the utter lack of immersion that these environments offer you.

II. Farming

I also recently met a guy from Seattle. He’s been working his way down The Americas over the last year. He’s broke as sin so he stops regularly to work on farms or in ports. he spends most evenings camping. I wish that I could give you more information on his story, but he was actually super hostile about answer questions… (I think he’s on the run. No joke.) The point is it’s a lifestyle.

Here is what I have learned about farming in Latin America and traveling.

WWOOF is an incredible resource for those who are interested in learning about organic farming. Options include everything from livestock to produce. Work is done daily in exchange for room and board. This is a great opportunity for those who wish to go to those more expensive countries on a budget. For example, I knew a girl who would go to France in the summers and WWOOF for a couple of months around the countryside. She was a college student, so she had no money. However, she only needed to save enough money for her ticket, some food, and some transportation. Her room and board were always provided.

Additionally, one of my good friends actually WWOOFed in The Sacred Valley of Peru for a few weeks after she ran out of money. She was able to extend her trip once her cash ran out and experience a completely different culture to that of where she had been living and teaching.

It’s a great learning opportunity and it’s easy to arrange.

Outside of WWOOFing, farming is possible through private farms. This can mean showing up to a certain area during, say, apple season, and talking to locals about getting in touch with local farmers. Sometimes you will receive a small wage, sometimes you will simply get room and board. This is popular in the northern areas of California, though I hear that it is becoming increasingly difficult to find work.

III. Spiritual Opportunities

One of the guys that I currently volunteer with volunteered at a spiritual center outside of Lima before coming up this way. He would do anything from mosaics to cooking to teaching yoga. He also participated in Ayahuasca ceremonies. I met another girl who was on her way to Iquitos in the jungle. She was going to volunteer under the supervision of a shaman. She had to pay for this opportunity, but after two months she would be considered part of the spiritual community and would be permitted to live there for free.

Take what you have learned and go forth into the world!

Working and/or volunteering overseas is a great way to get your bearings. Traveling by yourself can sometimes be overwhelming and yes, the bills can pile up. If you are taking off on your first adventure, don’t be afraid to take advantage of opportunities to stop and catch your breath. You will learn more when you stop and observe what is around you than when you maul through city after city. I promise.

I wrote a separate article on teaching English overseas. You can read more about how to do that here.

If you haven’t yet, please give us a like on Facebook.

Ojala que salga el sol para ti en tu propio viaje.

Ojala que salga el sol para ti en tu propio viaje.

Exciting World Travels

Teaching Overseas

I recently wrote an article on traveling cheap and working/volunteering overseas. I thought of including information on teaching English in that article, but decided against it. Teaching English overseas is an animal all its own. The rules change dramatically from country to country and I couldn’t possibly cover all of the necessary information in a measly 1000 words. Additionally, unlike the other options that I discuss in the other article, teaching opportunities require a longer commitment and actually pay you a living wage. This often times a barely livable wage, but a living wage nonetheless.

The objectives of this article are to give you a down-low on how to get your foot in the door, help you avoid some basic scams, and provide you with some tips for picking the right school for you. I have taught in the states, Africa, and Peru. I have been accepted to schools and TEFL programs in nearly a dozen countries. I have spent hours and hours in front of the computer communicating with people, doing research, and applying for jobs. I have taught private classes and group classes. I have done this for an unpaid internship, and shortly thereafter I made a career of it.

So what is the most valuable lesson that I have learned?

Most people and programs are full of crap. Completely full of crap.

For starters, I took my TEFL course in Arequipa through the school that later hired me, Extreme. I signed up for the course through the International TEFL Academy online. They seemed credible and friendly enough, but the second that my payment went through they claimed to have no responsibility for the school that I was going to be attending nor for my experience. I don’t recommend going through one of these organizations ever. Instead, try to communicate with schools directly. It gives you a much more authentic feel for their level of professionalism and what the experience is going to be like. This can help you avoid cases like what happened to me.

Basically, I showed up in this completely unprofessional, horrendously ran school in Arequipa where one of the people teaching me half of the course was actually less qualified and knowledgeable than myself. (I remember the first day, the first thing that she wrote on the board blatantly wrong. Things didn’t go uphill from there.) I paid well over 00 to teach myself and other students half of the material. (I will say that the pedagogy teacher was fabulous. My friend, if you are reading this, you always were my favorite.) Additionally, the rent was over double what I was told at the time of my registration. I spent my evenings going over the information and teaching it to my roommate who was also taking the course. The number of hours required for a standard international TEFL certification is 120. They struggled to hold true to this number and didn’t really care if they fell short. I stayed around to teach for a few months afterwards just to get my foot in the door. Later I was actually rejected from another language school because of Extreme’s horrendous reputation.

So anyways, how do you find these jobs and not get completely screwed over?

Well, the easiest way is to get that TEFL certification. This can be done online in the comfort of your home, or you can pick a location overseas and then look for work from there. Most places, even in underdeveloped countries, require some kind of certification. If you are a college student, many universities now offer the opportunity to get certified. Just remember to try your best to communicate directly with the location where you will be taking your course. Don’t be afraid to explore your options. I was literally accepted to programs on five continents. I picked the best option for my budget. While I am glad I made it to AQP and it all worked out in the end, I do feel that my course was a rip off and I wish I had done more communicating with the school directly before committing.

Dave’s Café is an excellent resource for finding English teaching jobs overseas. I have several friends who have found their jobs via Dave’s. I was actually hired to teach at a school in Ecuador before deciding to teach in the states first. While jobs online are plentiful, there are a lot of scams. It is important to remain skeptical. I know it’s super easy to get excited when someone says that they want you, but you should stop and take a deep breath before getting your hopes up. I have most certainly been invited to more scams than real jobs. Red flags include asking for money, asking for your credit card information, or asking for copies of your passport prior to an interview. If someone asks for money to purchase a plane ticket for you, this is a major red flag. If someone says that they need a down payment for your room and board, this is a major red flag. If someone does speak with you, says they are from England, and then refuse to turn on the Skype camera and they have a drawling Nigerian accent, THIS IS A SCAM. I know that all of this probably sounds painfully obvious to you, but you’d be surprised what people will fall for just because they are so excited to be wanted.

Once you have begun the interview process, don’t be afraid to ask questions. I remember that I was so excited that I didn’t ask anything until the last minute and went on the information that was provided to me up front. This was a mistake. I should have asked to confirm housing with the school. I should have asked to speak with the director personally. I should have asked for more information about what the course entailed and the qualifications of the teachers. Ask as many questions as you need to feel like you have all of the information. If they are hesitant to help you with things like booking your flight, arranging housing, or providing general information about the area-seriously consider exploring other options.

If you have never taught before, remember that it is a learning process. Don’t assume that you know anything just because English is your mother tongue. The more open that you are to learning and growing as an educator, the more effective you will be!

Exciting World Travels

5 best places for weekend vacations to hang out with your friends

Busy and fast life is the keyword of the lives of the inhabitants of the present world. In search of the betterment of the lives people are losing the main essence and values of life. For materialistic pleasure they are depriving themselves along with their families from the pleasure of life in the busy schedules. Therefore for the recreation people sometimes go for vacations. Vacations bring some fresh air in the monotonous lives. In this context here are some reference of places where one can make the trip for refreshing weekend.world-map

Charleston, SC 
According to most renowned magazine this is the most friendly, cozy but affordable place of US. The streets of the city are very much friendly for the pedestrians and it can be explored by horse carriages. Like the other comforts of the cities it also has fine restaurants and shopping centers. Except this, there are also some places around the city which are well known visiting places such as, the Isle of Palms, Kiawah, Ft. Sumter, Folly’s, the Patriots Naval and Maritime Museum.

New Orleans, LA 
This place attracts the mass for High Octane French Quarter, Low Octane Garden district, Myriad Museum and galleries. This is one of the top most cities famous for vacation weekend. Besides the restaurants and foods live jazz is the most crucial attraction of the place.

San Diego, CA  If someone asks about the best place for complete relaxation then this would be the answer. San Diego is the place to enjoy and relax on the beach, among the waves, through the explore of the shore. Else it has p

laces to visit also like Legoland, Sea World theme park, the zoo and the safari park, the harbor cruise. Nature is itself so much beautiful here that the scenic beauty and pleasant weather will enchant the mood of the travelers.

Boston, MA 
The city Boston is famous for the historical background it has. The city had witnessed many past events so it still bears the essence of history in spite of being a well-developed city. The traditional place hunters can take a visit to Boston. It has the oldest restaurant and bars which invites the people to the city with a bit different appeal.
Denver, CO
IMG_1102
This is another place which is developing itself as a top ranked visiting place. It has been growing with all the facilities a travel spot should have to grab the attention of the people. The most important places it has which are worth visiting are: pedestrian mall, the Riverfront Park, the public library, the art museum, the union station. The Broncos game is another attraction of the place.

These are the places which come in the first ranking place as the best visiting places. From ukba phone number one can get the details of the places. Therefore one should visit the places to experience the best in them by not wasting the leisure time in the weekend as the places seem not to be disappointing for a small trip.

Exciting World Travels

Results of time trial August 1 2013. On HWY 130 – 20km

 

August 1 2013 Highway 130 20km
Category Name Time Avg Speed
Female Junior Sarah Hay 0:40:12 29.80
Female Veteran Lori Knott 0:32:27 36.90
Lis Salmon 0:36:12 33.10
Nicki Wilberforce 0:36:13 33.10
Female Masters Janet Siilman 0:32:54 36.40
Sue Hay 0:37:02 32.40
Male Junior Nathan Hay 0:37:41 31.80
Male Senior Jean Louis Charette 0:34:07 35.10
Andrew Leach 0:36:58 35.00
Male Veteran Dave Pinner 0:29:16 40.00
Darryl Hay 0:31:02 38.60
John Rescigno 0:31:51 37.50
Kurt Breitspeicher 0:33:53 35.40
Thomas Quinn 0:34:14 35.00
Male Masters John Esposti 0:31:09 38.50
Male Super Masters Iain Mettam 0:36:46 32.60
Frank Wilson 0:37:28 32.00
Exciting World Travels

Loki Hostel: Mancora, Peru

Loki, or Loco Loki as I and so many others grow to affectionately refer to it, isthe party hostel in Mancora. It doesn’t take long to figure out that this is the place to be if you want to party all day late into the night. Their emphasis is fun, fun, fun!

Every day is different. Loki Olympics, masquerades, jungle parties, multi-course dinners featuring different international cuisine for just 20 soles, tasty fusion lunch specials, and the list just goes on and on. It is a bustling social environment, and everything from the people to the architecture gives it a communal feel. Basic amenities include hot water, internet, individual lockers, a massive swimming pool, shaded hammocks, and a free breakfast.

 

Una chica just chillin' by the pool, listening to some jams.

Una chica just chillin’ by the pool, listening to some jams.

However, if you want a room in Loki, it does require some advance planning. I met several people who came with the anticipation of getting a room, only to realize that they had a list of people waiting to find out if they were able to get accommodations. It is very common for people to pass the first couple of nights at Koko and then head over to Loki.

However, even if you aren’t bunking on the premises, you are welcome to join the fun. Just head to the front desk and ask for a visitor’s wristband. If you are planning on coming in for the night party, be sure to get your band before 4:30 pm and be in before 10:30 pm. It may sound strict, but it was a security measure that I appreciated as it prevents random people from wandering into the hostel.

The ambiance is very different from other hostels in town, so it is really all about what you want. Loki is not the place to go to relax. It is somewhere to go if you are looking to just kick all of your stress and kick it for days. The bar closes at 1 am, at which point most people choose to head to the beach where the party continues hasta sale el sol!

It was the little things here that I appreciated. The happy hour was the best I saw. There is a board downstairs where guests can network. (For example, I saw requests from other backpackers for people on the same path to Piura, or looking to head to certain festivals in other cities, or cross the Ecuadorian boarder. It’s also a place to put notes for lost belongings.) It was things like the sign in the bathroom that if you should find your bathroom is not adequately clean, you need only notify the front desk. Notes reminding guests that we are in a dessert, so let’s all work together to save water and turn it off when brushing our teeth. It’s the 12:30 pm check out and the breakfast served until 1 pm out of consideration for their guests’ inevitable hangovers.

The only criticism for Loki that I heard was their internet. Most people can’t seem to access internet in the rooms (though I was able to). However, the size of the hostel almost makes it understandable. They have multiple routers and connections, but the complex is massive, so internet typically has to be accessed in the common area.

This Post can Be Seen at Loki Hostel – Full of Wanderlust

I would recommend this hostel to any backpackers in their late teens to mid-20s looking to have a good time.

For information on their rooms, hostels in other locations throughout South America and booking, click here.

Exciting World Travels

Exciting World Travels

well this picture took for people died after 1 day with unexceptional way just take the safe picture and didn’t make any further picture

cause the bad way it effect each viewer this happen in Khan Al Assal near Aleppo in 3KM.

 

Exciting World Travels - Syria

44700_592696214115089_1820792730_n
Exciting World Travels

Exciting World Travels

Huaca de La Luna Y Chan Chan


On my journey south, I’ve met a lot of people heading north. While it is sad that I have had to say goodbye to so many incredible people, it’s also been a really awesome experience to be able to get the down-low on what there is to do as I work my way down the coast. Huaca de la Luna was one of those sites. I had never heard of it before. I had never heard of the Moche people. And, in all honestly, the site hadn’t even made it onto my radar, so when it was suggested to me, I actually considered just skipping it. I have to say, I am really glad that I didn’t.

Huaca de La Luna made it onto my top three Peruvian experiences, along with Ollantaytambo and swimming with the sea turtles in Nuro outside of Mancora.

What’s more, is it was cheap! Incan ruins in the Andes can cost you a pretty penny and

Excavations are still taking place at Huaca de La Luna.

Excavations are still taking place at Huaca de La Luna.

admission, when paid individually, is easily over a hundred soles per site. OUCH! Huaca de la Luna was actually a measly 10 soles. This is probably due to the fact that it remains relatively unheard of since the site wasn’t discovered and excavations didn’t begin until 1998. Furthermore, most people flock to Peru for the Incan ruins that are sprinkled throughout the eastern areas of the country. With that being said, while I appreciate Incan culture, it does kind of get to a point where your wallet groans and you start to see them for what they are: a giant pile of rocks. An admirable and respectable pile of rocks, but a pile of rocks nonetheless.

The Moche people were a pre-Incan culture. They made their structures out of mud bricks,

These bricks were taken from part of the original structure. They were marked by their contributors. Not all bricks were marked, making these special. I particularly like the smiley face and the small people :)

These bricks were taken from part of the original structure. They were marked by their contributors. Not all bricks were marked, making these special. I particularly like the smiley face and the small people :)

so, naturally, there are very few of their original structures around today. Huaca de La Luna is perhaps the best exception. All of the structure (including the paint!) is original. Why, you ask? Well, Huaca de la Luna, Huaca meaning temple, is actually fivetemples. What the Moche did was build one temple right on top of the other. The exact reason for this is unknown since all of the temples appear to be the same architecturally, just slightly bigger. However, when they covered the previous temple in mud bricks, they managed to preserve it-though it is unlikely that that was their intention. The highlight of this trip was walking through the ruins and seeing all of the different layers of ruins.

Hairless Peruvian Dogs were selectively bred by the Incas. They have a super high body temperature (40 degrees Celsius/104 degrees Fahrenheit!) They are believed by some to have curative abilities. Consequently, they remind me of the dogs from Resident Evil and they are ugly as sin...

Hairless Peruvian Dogs were selectively bred by the Incas. They have a super high body temperature (40 degrees Celsius/104 degrees Fahrenheit!) They are believed by some to have curative abilities. Consequently, they remind me of the dogs from Resident Evil and they are ugly as sin…

The catch-22 of the ruins is that we will never be able to see one complete temple because in order to see the lower layers, the upper layers would have to be destroyed. Entrance is 10 soles and a free guide is required. Though I did tip Itala five soles because she was awesome. It is an additional few soles to enter the museum. It houses various artifacts discovered in tombs at the time of excavation. Most of the graves in the upper layers were robbed and there was nothing left.

Chan Chan was a temple and a major site of significance for the Chimu, or Chimor, people.

This is a picture from the main ruins at Chan Chan. The crosshatched design that you see fulfilled two purposes. One, it allowed for natural lighting during the day. Two, it enabled ventilation.

This is a picture from the main ruins at Chan Chan. The crosshatched design that you see fulfilled two purposes. One, it allowed for natural lighting during the day. Two, it enabled ventilation.

They were actually decedents of the Moche. As far as the actual site goes, I have to confess that I learned relatively little. (I refer you here for additional information.) Guides at Chan Chan sites are not included. It is 10 soles to see the ruins, and that fee includes entrance to two temples in addition to the labyrinth that is the main site. Guides are an additional 30 soles, and it was out of both my and my travel buddy’s budget. The architecture is very different from Huaca de La Luna and the sites are extremely spread out. Which brings us to how to do this.

In the bus station in Mancora I met a guy from England. After our grueling 10 hour bus ride, I had no where to go until the afternoon when my friend in Trujillo got done with work and he had no where to go until his night bus to Huarez. So very spontaneously we got a taxi to check out bus tickets to Huarez, and then, even more spontaneously, we decided to hire our cab driver for a day. He took us to Huaca de La Luna and the Chan Chan sites for 80 soles, or 40 soles each. It was well worth the money. You can also go through just about any company that offers the tour. However, I prefer hiring private drivers for a little extra money (about 10 soles more per person with two people) because it allows you more time to explore. I will say that you have to be very careful about selecting a cab to do this. I put a lot of stock in my instincts. Richard, our driver, gave me a good vibe and I have used him and only him since getting to this area. With that being said, I still didn’t leave any valuables in the cab with him. I kept my passport, money, camera, etc. with me at all times and only left my clothes and bath products in the taxi with him.

If you are passing by Trujillo, at the very least find a way to make your way over to Huaca de La Luna-it is well worth it!

Exciting World Travels

Casablanca, Hostel: Mancora, Peru

 

Casablanca is located in between Kokopelli and a tasty restaurant, Kiba.

 

The mural on the garage door. Visible from the street, setting it apart from it's surroundings.

The mural on the garage door. Visible from the street, setting it apart from its surroundings.

They aren’t so much a hostel as they are a hospedaje. They offer mostly private rooms. From what I saw, their clientele is comprised mostly of couples and families. Rooms come equipped with decent wifi, television, and hot water. The environment is laidback for those who are looking to avoid the pulsing ambiance of the surrounding party hostels. I would recommend this hostel to couples on a weekend retreat, or families on a budget.

The rooms are reasonably priced and they may be willing to work with you if you are staying for more than one night. Manuel, the owner from what I can gather, is super friendly. In fact, all of the staff that I met were super friendly. Anything that I needed, they were more than happy to assist. A travel agency? No problem. Somewhere to get my clothes washed? Sure thing. A couple hours later check-out time? You are most welcome, just so long as there are no reservations.

IMG_3212

The upstairs patio is massive, has internet access, and overlooks the main drag.

I only had one little criticism. The bathroom could have used a good cleaning. It wasn’t filthy by any means, but it did appear that the toilet could use a good scrubbing and the shower’s drain was very slow as it appeared backed up by sand. However, I am confident that, had I bothered to complain, they would have been more than happy to take care of this issue.

This Blog Can Be Seen at Tina’s – Full of Wanderlust site.

 

 

Exciting World Travels

Living Conditions in Syria During Crisis

59887_489100531174351_1882791905_n

994872_489064217844649_1161596035_n995758_489151951169209_630470306_n

Exciting World Travels

Food In Syria During the Crisis

here we suffer everyday and go throw this tunnel to get some food for our families and for us, each day we run and go out really quick to keep safe from guns shuts or snipers around,

and if we didn’t keep not eat at all by the way this isn’t for free if you don’t pay you’ll not eat and also prices are very expensive even for anyone prices around the world.

while we still stick in this and can’t do anything except buy those food stuff to be alive,

still no one told this for the world at all just keep discussion about policies and stupid war while people of innocents keep suffering for little piece of food.

998221_489049354512802_817108594_n 1014053_489150711169333_1885123128_n 1014168_489150957835975_1457193734_n

Exciting World Travels

Destroyed Places

 

969997_489059337845137_2093722962_n 1001021_489061684511569_462836042_n 1011414_489048831179521_748230345_n 1016985_489154747835596_973124985_n

969997_489059337845137_2093722962_n
Exciting World Travels

Assad government

Main articles: Modern history of Syria and Al-Assad family

The Ba’ath Party government came to power in 1964 after a successful coup d’état. In 1966, another coup overthrew the traditional leaders of the party, Michel Aflaq and Salah al-Din al-Bitar.[70] General Hafez al-Assad, the Minister of Defense, seized power in a “corrective revolution” in November 1970, becoming prime minister. In March 1971, Assad declared himself President, a position he would hold until his death in 2000. Since then, the secular Ba’ath Party has remained the dominant political authority in a virtual single-party state in Syria, and Syrian citizens may only approve the President by referendum and – until the government-controlled multi-party 2012 parliamentary election – could not vote in multi-party elections for the legislature.[71]

Bashar al-Assad, the President of Syria and Asma al-Assad, his wife – who is a British-born and British-educated Sunni Muslim,[72] initially inspired hopes for democratic and state reforms; a “Damascus Spring” of intense social and political debate took place from July 2000 to August 2001.[73] The period was characterized by the emergence of numerous political forums or salons, where groups of like-minded people met in private houses to debate political and social issues. Political activists such as Riad Seif, Haitham al-Maleh, Kamal al-Labwani, Riyad al-Turk and Aref Dalila were important in mobilizing the movement.[74] The most famous of the forums were the Riad Seif Forum and the Jamal al-Atassi Forum. The Damascus Spring ended in August 2001 with the arrest and imprisonment of ten leading activists who had called for democratic elections and for a campaign of civil disobedience.[75]

Demographics

Main article: Demographics of Syria

 

Circle frame.svg

Ethno-religious composition of Syria[76]

  Arab-Sunni (60%)
  Arab-Alawite (12%)
  Kurd-Sunni (9%)
  Greek Orthodox Christian (9%)
  Armenian-Christian (4%)
  Arab-Druze (3%)
  Arab-Ismaeli (2%)
  Turkmen-Sunni, Circassian-Sunni,Assyrian-Christian and others (1%)

The Assad family comes from the minority Alawite religious group, an offshoot of Shi’ite Islam that comprises an estimated 12 percent of the total Syrian population.[77] It has maintained tight control on Syria’s security services, generating resentment among some Sunni Muslims,[78] a sect that makes up about three-quarters of Syria’s population. Ethnic minority Syrian Kurds have also protested and complained over ethnic discrimination and denial of their cultural and language rights.[79][80] The Syrian government allegedly has relied mostly on Alawite-dominated units of the security services to fight the uprising. Assad’s younger brother Maher al-Assad commands the army’s elite Fourth Armored Division, and his brother-in-law, Assef Shawkat, was the deputy minister of defense until the latter’s assassination in the 18 July 2012 Damascus bombing.

Socioeconomics

Discontent against the government was strongest in Syria’s poorer areas, predominantly among conservative Sunnis.[81] These included cities with high poverty rates, such as Daraa an