Thursday, August 30, 2012

Lifeproof iPhone Case

Time to replace the Biologic iPhone case that I've been using on my trike with a Lifeproof case and mount. The Biologic case is designed to be used on a bicycle (or trike) and not as a basic iPhone case that be carried around. When going for a ride, which is about three times a week, I had to take the cover off my phone so it would fit in the Biologic case. Sometimes I just left the cover off after riding which may have contributed to me breaking my iPhone two times. The last time the ole iPhone was beyond repair (even though I tried). In addition the bike mount on the Biologic is poor to say the least.

Enter the Lifeproof case, it stays on the phone and the bike mount is solid. The phone simply snaps into the mount and then locks in place. It's a solid case as well and water proof. It even comes with a water tight headphone adapter. 

I tried it out today on an early morning ride (hot again so I hit the road at 7am). The mount and the phone were totally secure. Initial impression is that the Lifeproof case is a good  investment. I depend on my iPhone for GPS, staying in touch and of course I have to ride with a few tunes. 

iPhone mounted and ready.

Mount minus the phone.

The phone with the detachable headphone adapter.

Close view of the headphone adapter. The cylinder on the top of the line holds the small plug that is used to seal the phone when the headphone adapter is not being used. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Weak Road Design by Weak Minds

These are pictures of a new access road to the new local elementary school. This road is jammed with cars in the morning and afternoon on school days. It's only a few years old and the feeble minds that designed the road didn't allow for cycling to school. There is no safe  room for a bicycle on the road during school hours. The new sidewalk is narrow with enough room for two kids to walk side by side and only inches away from on coming cars on this curving road. Cycling on the sidewalk is a poor option.

It gets worse...the road crosses a new bridge with sidewalks that have even less room to walk on. Once across the bridge kids have to negotiate crossing the street at a blind corner to get to school. Recently the school has been adding rails at the blind corner so kids don't get splattered by cars making a tight turn.

This is a new school with a new road. It's dangerous enough to walk the last quarter of a mile to school, safely riding a bicycle is out of the question. As you can see from the pictures there is plenty of room for a safe multiple use path separated from the street. 

The design of this new school was an opportunity to get kids back on their bicycles. Instead the road is jammed with cars because no parent in there right mind would let a kid cycle to school. This is a real "design fail" and illustrates how little attention is actually given to alternative modes of transportation and to our kids health. Safe routes to school is common sense...sorely lacking in most of our City's. It's all about the car.

I took this picture last week before school started.

Zero room for a kid to ride a bicycle on the right side of the street. The left side offers room on the street for a bicycle...when cars aren't parked which is never during school days.!

Blind corner after the bridge.
Old four lane road with bicycle lanes comes to an end and the new narrow road to school begins.

Friday, August 24, 2012


Some pics from today's ride. The marine layer from the ocean has cooled things off nicely.

Ducks ahead

Turn tail and run for your lives, crazy triker and his pooch a coming

Headed for the tunnel

"the tunnel"

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

In the Construction Zone

This pic is from last Sunday. It's 7:00AM and I'm riding the new pavement on Agoura Road. No construction today so I ride right down the middle of the closed off area away from any cars that may be out this early on a Sunday. The roads in Agoura Hills have been getting a lot of attention lately with new pavement overlays. It makes for an especially sweet ride when the road grade is on a decline and gravity is your friend. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

No Drugs Please

My joints have been repaired more times then I care to count but I thought I was doing fine and then my heart attack on Christmas day of last year while cycling just pissed me off. Having a heart attack is an opportunity for the drug companies to tell you that your screwed and that you will die unless you take their drugs. 

I remember when I was a young healthy stud and sitting at lunch with my old man and his friend. The friend was telling my dad how good his proctologist is and proceeded to give details. I'm sitting there listening and thinking "man, do I have to listen to this? It's more then I want to know. It seems that all old people talk about is their ailments. I ain't ever going to spend my time talking medical stuff". WRONG! As we get older there are health issues that I feel are worth sharing. The internet"s" is a great for information gathering and I'm going to share my information and thoughts. I'm an "old people" now and being such I've earned the right to rant about health, in particular my health.

When I was lying in the hospital I took whatever drugs were in the little white cup and I did not complain. I had a heart attack and I felt that I was screwed so drug me up and save my life...please. I recovered and I've educated myself on the matter of heart disease and I now know that I'm not screwed. In fact I'm  better now then I was before the heart attack. I had one unstable buildup of plague in my LAD artery just waiting to go off like a time bomb. It did just that, it broke off while cycling hard and plugged up my artery. It has since been stabilized with a couple of stents. The cardiologist who did the surgery said the rest of my heart and other arteries are clear and healthy. He went on to say that it may have been the shape of my LAD that caused the plague to build up over many years in only one location and nowhere else. However the drug and medical community want me to think I'm still screwed and that my only salvation comes in pill like form. 

Heart disease is a frightening term and it is my opinion that many cardiologists use the term in a dire context in order to convince you that you will die without drugs..."and by the way here's a sample from the drug rep that just took me out to lunch". To understand heart disease is to understand that the term encompasses a wide range of heart conditions from minor to the serious. A drug that may be called for in one individual may be unnecessary in another. It seems that once you have a heart attack you are now a profit center of big pharma who will then do everything in there power to keep you on beta blocker (blood pressure) and statin (cholesterol) meds until the day you die. 

When I left the hospital I was downing blood thinners, beta blockers and statins. The statins for cholesterol were the first to go. The side effects were unacceptable to me. With a little help from my GP doctor I'm using good nutrition to keep my cholesterol at healthy levels. It's hard to find a cardiologist who has a good understanding of nutrition and knows how to weight the benefits of diet versus minimizing the taking of drugs...I'm still looking.  

Again with the okay from my GP the next to go were the beta blockers for blood pressure. The side effects were nasty on this stuff. I understand having to take them during the recovery phase. While in the hospital my blood pressure kept setting off the alarm on the  monitor because it kept going to low. My average at home blood pressure is 123/ 74. I monitor it at home because when taken at a doctors office it  can rocket up to 190/90, known as white coat hypertension or syndrome. That tells you how much I love going to a doctors office. Don't ever let a doctor put you on blood pressure meds based on blood pressure readings at the doctors office. Monitor yourself at home. The bottom line here is when I'm in my cardiologist's office I have to listen to the "I want you on drugs speech". No wonder my blood pressure shoots up when I'm in his office.

As for the blood thinner (Effient) I should be off it by the end of the year and then go on aspirin once a day. I'm currently gathering information on foods that act as natural mild blood thinners.

I understand that many people are willing to take whatever drugs their doctors prescribe because it's easier to take drugs then to change your lifestyle. One study said that 63% of statin users surveyed take the drug so they can continue their normal eating habits. I AM NOT ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE. I started changing my eating habits and lifestyle three years ago after back surgery to loose weight. I also started riding laid back to make my body strong. After my heart attack I've examined my diet even closer and have made some changes. 

The lack of knowledge regarding health issues fosters fear and thereby a willingness to accept prescription drugs without question. Knowledge and the desire to act upon that knowledge is a powerful tool that we can use to protect our health and happiness. It's your life...own it.


Mayo Clinic Cholesterol Chart

My total cholesterol is under 200, LDL (bad clolesterol) hovers around 100. HDL (good cholesterol) is over 60. Triglycerides are a little over 100. My all important HDL to Total Cholesterol ratio is 3.2, ideal is considered anything less then 3.5. Because of the nature of my heart attack I consider myself at "high risk" of heart disease, not "very high", and therefore I am confident that my cholesterol levels and ratio is good for me and I will not take statins. 

Total cholesterol
U.S. and some other countriesCanada and most of Europe
Below 200 mg/dLBelow 5.2 mmol/LDesirable
200-239 mg/dL5.2-6.2 mmol/LBorderline high
240 mg/dL and aboveAbove 6.2 mmol/LHigh

LDL cholesterol
U.S. and some other countriesCanada and most of Europe
Below 70 mg/dLBelow 1.8 mmol/LIdeal for people at very high risk of heart disease
Below 100 mg/dLBelow 2.6 mmol/LIdeal for people at risk of heart disease
100-129 mg/dL2.6-3.3 mmol/LNear ideal
130-159 mg/dL3.4-4.1 mmol/LBorderline high
160-189 mg/dL4.1-4.9 mmol/LHigh
190 mg/dL and aboveAbove 4.9 mmol/LVery high

HDL cholesterol
U.S. and some other countriesCanada and most of Europe
Below 40 mg/dL (men)
Below 50 mg/dL (women)
Below 1 mmol/L (men)
Below 1.3 mmol/L (women)
50-59 mg/dL1.3-1.5 mmol/LBetter
60 mg/dL and aboveAbove 1.5 mmol/LBest

U.S. and some other countriesCanada and most of Europe
Below 150 mg/dLBelow 1.7 mmol/LDesirable
150-199 mg/dL1.7-2.2 mmol/LBorderline high
200-499 mg/dL2.3-5.6 mmol/LHigh
500 mg/dL and aboveAbove 5.6 mmol/LVery high

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Another Early Start

The heat is still on!
I'm out of here, I hit the road ,without Betzi in tow, before 6:30am.

Early morning sun on the hill tops.

6:30am on a Sunday morning and I'm alone...sweet!

I ended back at home after a nice 16 mile (1,475 ft gain) ride. As soon as I opened up the garage there's Betzi all excited and ready to take a ride. I'm a sucker for ma doggie so I hitch up her trailer and head back down the hill and take her to the local school for a run. That added another 2 miles (210 ft gain) to my day of riding. I was cozy back at home before the heat of the day started to kick in.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Screw the Heat Gotta Ride

I rolled out of the garage at 7:00am and spent the next two and half hours riding with the heat of the day trying to catch up to me...I won. Betzi and I were back in the garage by 9:30am and the temperature was still comfortable at 83 degrees.  

The last time I cruised the streets on my trusty Catrike was last Friday. I've been waiting out the oppressive heat since I returned from a short family vacation on Tuesday. A week is long enough to go without riding, I start getting in a bad mood. Cycling on three wheels is what keeps me alive both figuratively and literally speaking. Positive thinking, a beautiful wife and kids, good diet and cycling is what stands between me and the drugs that the doctors try to throw at me since my heart attack last year.

Temperature at 2pm today

The heat was showing no signs of easing up so last night I checked the tires on my ride, hitched up Betzi's trailer and got everything ready for an early start this morning. I got out early and beat the heat, I feel human again. I'm looking forward to going out tonight for a cold local brew.


The happy triker's early morning shadow

Ma happy doggie

A stop at the park so Betzi can sniff out the calling card of other K9's

Friday, August 3, 2012

Spot Tracker

My beautiful wife Carrie worries about me when I don't return on time. For those who know me know I've given her reason to worry. So I started using my Spot satellite tracker for every ride I take on the Expedition. She can track me on my Spot shared page. I start a new track each time I ride the Expedition. The line between automatic check points is straight and it doesn't show my exact route. At least it shows I'm moving and that's all Carrie wants to know. It gives me peace of mind as well, I don't have to worry about her worrying about me.

Link to my Spot Shared Page
Catrike Expedition rides only
Picture from my ride today. This short MUP is a nice break from the street traffic.
UPDATE March 2013
I upgraded to the next generation SPOT. It's a smaller unit with additional message modes. I like the protective covers over the SOS and Help buttons. After using it for awhile I can definitely say that tracking is more reliable.