New York has everything, right? That’s pretty much true, including progressive thinkers who want to see a healthier population and a cleaner planet. One of the many ways New Yorkers are trying to accomplish these goals is through bike sharing, specifically through a company called Citi Bikes. The business is simple and really a no-brainer in a busy city that requires commuting. A new report suggests that conservatives are making it really tough to do the healthy thing in NYC, though.
Citi Bikes is super simple, with a minimal three step process:
1. Unlock a bike from any station by paying for the rental.
2. Ride the bike wherever you want.
3. Return the bike to any station when you’re done.
Riders don’t have to invest in a bike, they don’t have to search for a place to lock up a bike, and they don’t have to store a bike in a notoriously small New York apartment. They also get exercise and do not leave a carbon footprint behind. When I see these units set up in other cities, my first response is, “wish we had these.”
While this simple plan could literally reverse so many of our country’s health problems, some groups have found a way to deter such a great program. Mayor Bloomberg has already caught flak for trying to reduce soda sizes in his city, and apparently the complaints don’t stop when Americans feel they might be pressured into riding a bike instead of sitting in an expensive, fume-emitting cab.
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Last year I participated in the Saratoga Springs Tour de Cure, an annual bike ride that is held nationwide to raise money for the American Diabetes Association. One of the most inspiring things about the Tour are the Red Riders, individuals who live and ride with diabetes. To better explain what the Red Rider program is and about her own aspirations, I had the pleasure of interviewing the founder of the Red Rider program, Mari Ruddy!
She runs the daily business and management of TeamWILD, a program that teaches adults how to live with diabetes through exercise. She also coaches and speaks at ADA Tour de Cure rides. Mari’s working on a book that will no doubt highlight the success of the Red Riders, the health battles she’s personally fought and won, and offer guidance and insight for diabetics to truly live.
Tell me about the Red Rider program.
I’m the founder of the Red Riders, who are cyclists with diabetes. I also started the first Team Red. Now all 90 Tour de Cure rides have Red Riders and a Team Red. The first year there were 111 Red Riders. This summer, 2013, there will be [more than] 7,000 Red Riders in the US. In 2012, all the Red Riders together raised $3.9 million. The goal in 2013 is [for] the Red Riders [to] collectively raise $4.5 million. The Tour itself raised more than $26 million in 2012. These numbers are very exciting.
How much money does “your” Tour raise?
My “home” Tour for the past seven years was the one in Colorado. Now that I’ve moved back to my home state, I consider the Tour de Cure Twin Cities in Minnesota my home ride! We intend to raise $1 million this year at the Minnesota Tour.
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In one month I am leaving on a cross-country journey from Seattle to Miami – via bicycle – with my husband and my two dogs, Oliver and Samantha. I am 40-years old and a recent empty nester. My name is Lynn Roden. This is my story.
Ten years ago I was a successful web designer/graphic artist and although I loved my job, I woke up one day to discover I was not the size I remembered. How come my size 6 pants were now starting to feel tight? Some may say “Only a size 6!” but you have to take into consideration that I was thin my whole life leaning between a size 0 and a size 2 – going up to a size 8 would have been the equivalent of going from a size 6 to a size 14 to me, a big difference.
I started with a personal trainer at Olympia Gym in Aventura, FL. working out two times a week. I started watching my nutrition and added cardio into my workout routine. Two days a week gradually became three. I loved this new more confident, stronger me and decided to become a personal trainer myself.
At the gym there was a front desk manager who took his job very seriously. It seemed that every time I came in this man would come out of nowhere to make sure I had signed in. It became a game and I would start coming in just to buy a bottle of water at the juice bar just to defy the need for me to sign in upon entering Olympia. He had a Harley Davidson motorcycle and I had been wanting to ride. One day my trainer hooked us up, we went to lunch, and were married six months later.
On our first year anniversary my husband, Roy, was diagnosed with YOPD – Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease. I entered my first triathlon. Somehow becoming stronger physically was akin to being strong emotionally. In addition, my two teenage daughters were grown and independent enough to want to leave home. I found myself 40, an empty-nester, and with a new husband with a degenerative neurological disease.
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“Lance Armstrong is banned from cycling for life. If you see him on a bike, please knock him off and then shout, ‘NO!’ right in his face.”
This is just one sentiment shared by Twitter user @johnmoe and sure to be echoed by many, in response to the news that Lance Armstrong has surrendered his seven Tour de France titles by opting not to fight allegations that he used performance-enhancing drugs during his decorated cycling career.
U.S. Anti-Doping Agency Chief Executive Travis Tygart announced Thursday that he was still waiting to hear Armstrong’s formal response to the charges, but that his decision not to proceed would leave Armstrong to face a lifetime competition ban and be stripped of all seven of his Tour de France titles won between 1999 and 2005, as well as his 2000 Olympic bronze medal.
Armstrong, 40, announced that he was giving up his years-long fight against the USADA in an official statement emailed to various news sources, though he never tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs during his career.
“Over the past three years, I have been subjected to a two-year federal criminal investigation followed by Travis Tygart’s unconstitutional witch hunt,” he said. “…If I thought for one moment that by participating in USADA’s process, I could confront these allegations in a fair setting…I would jump at the chance. But I refuse to participate in a process that is so one-sided and unfair.”
Armstrong continued, arguing the charges were backed by “zero physical evidence” and were completely “outlandish and heinous” in nature. But despite his will to continue fighting the USADA, he’s finally given up.
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We’re now well into the Olympic Games and the excitement has officially set in. Watching American athletes compete so passionately inspires us to want to get out there and hit the pavement, dunk the ball, and stick that landing, too. And today? We want to get down and dirty on the road, cycling style.
To really channel our inner cyclists, we’ve summoned the help of the American Council on Exercise (ACE) for a seriously intense interval workout that you can do at home on a stationary bike, or on the road with a road or mountain bike.
Developed by ACE’s director of professional education, Anthony Wall, this roughly 1-hour workout is sure to blast calories and get your heart rate up quick with a series of challenging intervals.
One hour of cycling can burn between 400-700 calories. But if you don’t have a full hour to devote, simply scale back and shorten your interval times or the length of your warm-up and cool-down.
To measure your level of exertion during the workout, determine your rate of perceived effort of RPE before starting by using a simple 1-5 scale – one being easy and five being difficult. Once you have that scale in mind, it’s time to get started.
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