Motorcycle Battery Trickle Charger

Motorcycle Battery Trickle Charger

A motorcycle battery trickle charger is an important accessory for any motorcyclist.

Car battery chargers are commonly owned items by people who own cars – they’re portable, inexpensive, and simple to use. But for people who ride motorcycles, this equipment is often overlooked, though it certainly shouldn’t be.

There are listed here several good reasons why it’s important for any biker to own a trickle charger and why it should be on your shopping list.

Motorcycle batteries lose their charge relatively quickly being much smaller than car batteries. With the common wet cell battery it is necessary to top them off with distilled water more often. Quite often motorcycle batteries may require a booster charge to bring them up to the correct voltage when doing regular maintenance. A trickle charger can keep the motorcycle battery continually at the optimal charge, and rather than having to wait overnight for the battery to charge you can quickly be on the road.

Motorcycle batteries are more susceptible to losing their charge due to cold weather due to being exposed to the elements much more than car batteries. Motorcycle battery trickle chargers are designed to restore and maintain an optimal charge to a battery that has been in cold conditions, enabling it to be started quickly.

The battery trickle charger for a bike is compact, taking up very little room wherever you store your bike. In the course of servicing the bike for the next ride, detaching the battery and doing a full check your battery is ready for action. A fully charged battery means that you can get out and enjoy a good ride without having the frustration of a bike that won’t start because the battery is dead.

Not only can a charger help keep your bike ready for when you want to ride but a battery run flat repeatedly can actually damage the internal plates that are vital to the battery’s structure. Motorcycle batteries are costly and this can be very expensive. This is preventative maintenance that will quickly pay for itself. By keeping your battery properly maintained it will be much, much longer before it has to be disposed of which is good for the environment.

Batteries on bikes get put through a considerable amount of abuse, weak charging systems, heat, vibration, power-draining accessories. A charger will increase the lifespan of the battery by keeping it well charged and in a better state. For the all-weather rider, accessories such as fog lights, heated grips and stereo systems can quickly drain the small motorcycle battery. Attaching a trickle charger when the bike has been parked will keep the battery level correct, so the bike is ready to go when you next start it up.

Whether you’re serious about motorcycle riding or just a fair weather warrior who only takes out the bike nice days, the motorcycle battery trickle charger really is a necessity. Just like oil, fuel, and tires, the battery is a vital part of your bikes operation.

3 Ways To Customize Your Motorcycle

3 Ways To Customize Your Motorcycle

There are a number of great accessories you can use to make your motorcycle distinctive. Sites such as the Motorcycle Superstore and BikeBandit.com offer a wide range of products that make customization easy. Once you’ve customized your bike, you’ll have an even more enjoyable riding experience. Below, you’ll find a list of ways in which you can customize your bike.

1. Customized Paint Jobs

Many motorcycle owners want to add their own artistic touch to their bike. You can have your bike painted in a custom color combination, or add special effects like glitter. Special designs, such as flames, are popular. There are also custom decals you can buy to “wrap” your bike.

2. New Handlebars

You can easily replace your bike’s original handlebars yourself. Custom handlebars are available in a variety of shapes, depending on what sort of style you want. Ape handlebars are some of the most popular. However, drag handlebars can provide a more streamlined look. Handlebar risers can be purchased in a variety of finishes.

3. Custom Mirrors

Many riders like to add custom mirrors. These can come in a variety of styles, from vintage to new and edgy. Stealth mirrors are increasing in popularity, and you can easily find micro-sized mirrors. Designs featuring flames or bones are also popular. You can also buy a variety of mirror covers to add some extra style.

Battery Trickle Chargers – When To Use A Motorcycle Battery Charger

Battery Trickle Chargers – When To Use A Motorcycle Battery Charger

Owners of motorcycle or ATV always complain about their batteries. If you don’t have a motorcycle battery charger or a battery trickle charger, you will definitely have problems. A battery will self-discharge at the rate of 5% per month just sitting around. It would seem logical to assume that a low battery can be charged simply by riding your bike or atv. A low battery cannot be fully charged by riding the bike, no matter how far you go.

Let’s start with the battery. If the bike is not in use for 30 days, the battery should be placed on charge with a 2 amp or smaller battery trickle charger for 24-48 hours every 30 days with no usage. This would be a very good idea on bikes that are ridden only once or twice a month as well. Most automotive battery chargers charge at 6, 10, or greater amperage. Using a motorcycle battery charger like that will overheat the battery, warping the plates inside until they ground out against each other, shortening battery life. A battery should never be charged at more than 10% of its rated capacity. The largest battery in our industry is 20 amps, so 2 amps is the maximum charge rate for that battery. Anything more will damage it.

Besides damaging the battery when charging at excessive amperage, the battery remains low on charge after the “quick charge“, and the same damage will occur, even if you are successful in getting the bike to start. Then the charging system will be strained running the bike with the low battery, possibly causing damage to the alternator components.

When a battery is in a low state of charge (for a period of time), the acid in it separates (as mentioned in last paragraph). This causes a condition known as “sulfation”. Sulfation causes deterioration of the lead plates inside the battery, leading to an early failure. The lower that the batteries state of charge becomes, the faster sulfation’s effects take over, weakening the battery quicker.

Once a battery has been left completely dead, they will almost always not come back from that totally dead condition. The handful that will, are almost never very reliable or very strong again.

The bottom line to this battery deal is to work to never let the battery go dead or stored in a low state of charge.

It is best to think of motorcycle battery chargers or battery trickle chargers as a maintenance system. A motorcycle battery chargers or battery trickle chargers are basically designed to replace the energy required to start the motorcycle. In effect, a battery that started the bike at 80% charge, will likely only get to 80-85% after running. Not only will riding the bike with a low battery not fully charge the battery, this causes the battery charger to charge as hard as it can while trying to charge the low battery. A motorcycle battery charger or battery trickle charger are not designed to stay at full charge level for extended periods. When required to do so, this over heats rectifiers, stator windings, and regulator components causing them to fail. This only adds to the cost of replacing the battery that was failing anyway.

A motorcycle battery charger or battery trickle charger can be purchased for below $40. If you prefer not to have to remember to plug/unplug the charger during storage, a battery trickle charger is a great solution as they can be left plugged in.

Bicycle Drivetrain Guide

Bicycle Drivetrain Guide

Your bicycle’s drivetrain is comprised of all of the parts that power the bicycle and make it go. Bike pedals move the cranks, which turn the bottom bracket and the chainrings, which drive the chain that spins the rear sprockets, turning the rear hub, which moves the wheel and propels the bicycle forward. The crisp movement of these parts and the ability to minimize effort while maximizing speed is the heart of cycling. It is essential that drivetrain be clean, true and well-maintained in order to more fully enjoy riding your bike. When one of these parts gets out of whack, the rest soon follow.

It is also important to get individual components that are compatible within the system (e.g. typically Campagnolo and Shimano parts are not inter-compatible). Many times the difference between 9- and 10-speed parts is enough to make them incompatible as well. The collective term for a complete bike drivetrain kit is “group” or “gruppo.” Multi-speed drivetrains are classified by the number of cogs in the rear cassette. A modern day 10-speed bicycle can have as many as 30 “possible gears,” with 10 in the rear and three in the front, but still have a 10-speed drivetrain.

Pedals
Your bike pedals are your power connection to your bicycle. As you pump your legs and turn your feet, you cause the cranks to turn. Proper pedal choice is important for comfort, control and safety on the bike. Many recreational and enthusiast cyclists prefer the adaptability that platform pedals offer. They allow you to ride in any type of shoe and give a sense of security to a novice rider who is cautious of locking the feet into clipless pedals. Many platform pedals can be adapted with a toe cage to give more control and power while retaining the sense of security associated with platforms.

Racers and more advanced riders often prefer “clipless” pedals. These pedals are used in conjunction with matching cleats that are attached to special shoes. The cleats lock into place in the pedal, offering a secure attachment of rider to bicycle. Most cleats easily release the shoe by a simple twist of the ankle, and they are quite easy to use with some initial practice.

Cranks
The cranks connect the pedals to the bottom bracket and hold the front chainrings. They connect to the axis around which your feet spin and transmit your power to the bike. Cranksets come in many different lengths based upon bicycle frame size and the rider’s leg length. They are generally made out of aluminum, but some low-end cranks are made of steel, and some high-end cranks are made of carbon fiber. These cranksets are marketed to top-level racers and generally carry the appropriate price tag. Cranks attach to the bicycle at the bottom bracket. There are several types of cranks/bottom bracket interfaces, and it is important to know their differences.

Chainrings
Chainrings are the forward chain interface with the bicycle. They contain teeth that hold the chain and drive it forward. Chainrings come in a wide range of sizes, identified by the number of teeth and application. Typical mountain bikes use three chainrings; road bikes generally have two to three. Single-speed and fixed-gear bicycles use only one chainring. Chainrings are typically made of aluminum, with some being made of steel and a handful of boutique brands making them out of carbon fiber.

What makes a proper chainring is dependent upon many factors: number of teeth, single/double/triple configuration, 8/9/10/11 speed use and bolt circle diameter. Once all of those factors have been determined, you can choose the group level or brand that best suits your needs.

Bottom bracket
The bottom bracket is the cranks’ interface with the bike. It contains bearings around which an axle rotates; this axle is connected to the cranks. Current bottom brackets come in varying interface types. Traditional bottom brackets have loose ball bearings with their accompanying cups and cones and an axle locked in place with locknuts, typically on the left side of the BB shell. More recent cartridge bottom brackets are built as one piece with cartridge bearings press-fit onto the axle and fit into the frame with “cups” that thread into opposite sides of the shell.

Many bike parts companies have most recently been developing bottom brackets without an axle. The axle is built into the cranks and runs through bearings that are press-fit into cups that thread into the bottom bracket shell. The other end of the axle then attaches to the opposite crankarm. Different brands have different bearing sizes and only work with their respective cranks.

Bottom brackets come in many different interfaces developed by the different component manufacturers. Cup and cone BBs are generally “square taper.” Cartridge bottom brackets are one of two versions of square taper (International Standard or Japanese Standard) or one of the many versions of splined BB developed by the several companies.

Another important aspect of bottom bracket compatibility is whether your bicycle has an Italian or English threaded bottom bracket. The shell diameter of an Italian bottom bracket is larger, threaded 36 mm x 24 tpi, and its threads are both normal (or right-handed). English bottom brackets are threaded 1.370-inch x 24tpi, with the right cup having a reverse thread and the left cup having a regular thread.

Chain
The chain connects the chainring to the rear sprocket, transmitting power from the rider to the rear wheel. Current bicycles use roller chains (with few exceptions) that are categorized by pitch and width. The chain’s pitch is the distance from roller to roller and is typically 1/2 inch on modern bicycles. The width is measured between chain plates and is either 1/8 inch for derailleur-less bikes and 3/32 inch for multi-speed, derailed bikes.

Another specification of a bicycle chain is based on outer width: the outside distance between chain-link plates. There are two main standards: Campagnolo and Shimano. Shimano uses the same width chain for all drive trains with eight or fewer gears in the rear cassette or freewheel and a different width each for its 9- and 10-speed groups. Campagnolo uses three widths presently: 9, 10 and 11. As the number of sprockets in the rear increase, the width of the chain must decrease, providing enough clearance for the extra gears. Other companies manufacture chains that are designed to work with the Campy and Shimano systems.

Derailleurs
On multi-speed bicycles, the derailleur moves the chain from one sprocket to another. They are actuated by a cable pulled from the shifters, typically mounted onto the handlebars (and sometimes down tubes) of the bicycle.

Front derailleur
The front derailleur moves the chain from chainring to chainring and acts as a chain guide, keeping the chain aligned. There are several chainring characteristics to consider when shopping for a front derailleur. The most important is double or triple (whether there are two or three chainrings attached to the crank). A triple front derailleur is designed with a deeper inner cage than a double derailleur to be able to push the chain up from the small ring.

Another key characteristic is chainring size. Certain derailleurs’ cage diameters limit the maximum number of teeth possible on the large ring. The final characteristic is 8/9/10-speed compatibility. The width between the inner and outer cage varies between designs and may not work well when used with the wrong gearing.

Rear derailleur The rear derailleur acts as a chain guide and chain tensioner. As the chain moves from a large sprocket to a smaller one, it needs less chain to cover the circumference. The rear derailleur has a spring mechanism that pulls in that extra length of chain, known as “chain wrap.” The rear derailleur also moves the chain from cog to cog and is one of the more active components of the bicycle. As you pedal and drive the chain around the chainrings and rear sprockets, the chain continuously runs through the rear derailleur.

Rear derailleurs are classified in the same manner as front derailleurs–first by speed: 8/9/10, then by double or triple (it is actually the difference between the largest and smallest chainring added to the difference between your largest and smallest cog). Typically, with a double chainring you can use a short cage and with a triple you would need a long cage. The longer cage helps take up the extra slack that appears when in the small ring.

Rear sprocket
The rear sprocket is the chain’s rear interface with the bicycle. On a single speed (fixed gear included) you only use one rear sprocket, or cog. Multi-speed bikes have a cluster of cogs called “cassettes” or “freewheels.”

A freewheel is a group of cogs fixed to a “freewheel” mechanism that allows you to coast; there is a ratcheting mechanism that allows the rear hub to spin as you coast, or ride without pedaling. A bike cassette is designed to be used with a rear hub equipped with a freewheel mechanism to which you attach the cogs.

Typical freewheels come in 5- to 7-speed versions, and cassettes are 8/9/10/11-speed, with few exceptions. Cassette cogs are designed to be set up in a particular orientation to aid in shifting; any variation of this orientation can cause serious shifting and safety issues. Cassettes are designed to be used with the appropriate chain, and the wrong chain won’t ride on the teeth properly, resulting in a very poor and annoying ride.

Rear hub
The rear sprocket is attached to the hub directly (in the case of a fixed gear), or via a freewheel mechanism. The power from the front chainring is transmitted via the chain to the rear sprocket and into the rear hub, the central point of the rear wheel. The two main characteristics of a rear hub are hub type (cassette, freewheel or fixed) and hub spacing (the width from axle end to axle end). Modern road bikes are spaced to 130mm, mountain bikes to 135mm and track bikes to 120mm. Older bicycles were spaced to 126mm. They were typically designed for use with freewheel-type rear hubs that carried fewer gears.

With the advent of the freewheel hub and more gears, the rear dropout spacing was increased to accommodate. Another thing to consider when choosing a hub (if it is already built as part of a wheel) is the wheel diameter. The rim must be the appropriate size to fit into the frame and line up with the brake pads.

Build A Bicycle Shed Quickly And Easily

Build A Bicycle Shed Quickly And Easily

So how do I learn how to build a bicycle shed when I have no experience with woodworking and the last thing I built was a reputation for my lack of woodworking skills?

Learning how to build a bicycle shed is not as difficult as it may seem. There are some very good easy to follow shed building plans and guides that you can download from the internet and in many cases, use them for free! That’s right. The key ingredient lies in obtaining step by step instructions and easy to follow plans, which like most everything else, can be obtained from the internet. Some of the best plans will not only show you how to build an outdoor shed but will provide some basic designs and instructions for free.

Using blueprints and plans for building a wood shed will allow the backyard woodworker or novice builder an opportunity to build a wood shed or other garden structure that is as simple or as detailed as you want. From a basic storage shed to a large barn sized structure, you can build a shed to fit almost any need. Simple can mean basically four walls, a roof, and a dirt floor. Adding a wooden floor, windows and doors is the next step and is not that complicated provided you are using the right set of step by step instructions.

An outdoor wood shed is easily adapted for just about any purpose. They can be simple lean-to shelters, garden sheds for storing lawnmowers, garden tools and ladders; and for the more detailed and complex, they can even serve as a primitive guest house in the right situations. With the right instructions, once you have learned the basics of how to build an outdoor shed, you can easily move on to more complex and detailed projects.

The Benefits Of Bicycle Trailers For Children And Parents

The Benefits Of Bicycle Trailers For Children And Parents

Getting yourself a bicycle trailer is a great idea if you have a baby because a bicycle trailer can serve many functions.
If you’re a parent, you should seriously consider getting bike trailers to make your life much easier. A bike trailer not only helps you to travel around the town with your baby but there are many other advantages that make it an essential buy for parents.
If you are looking forward to spend more time with your baby, there are not many things like a bicycle trailer that can help you with this. It doesn’t matter whether you’re going on a picnic or shopping around, you can effortlessly take your baby alone with you. This is a great flexibility and in the past, such innovative ideas were rare. Since a bicycle trailer is attached to your bike, you don’t have to take the pain of carrying your baby.
Now you can reach places easier than ever, thanks to the increased speed of your bike. Once the bike trailer is attached with your bicycle, there is nothing much for you to worry about. However, it’s important to buy your bicycle trailer from a highly regarded manufacturer as the quality of your trailer is significantly important. If you’re not using a very good trailer for your traveling purposes, there are many issues that you may encounter.
The best strollers have an adequate seating position for your baby, preferably a laid back posture so that your baby won’t put too much strain on his/her spinal cord. The bicycle trailer should have locks to keep your baby secured tightly but comfortably to the seat. If you ever have to brake quickly, nothing should happen to your toddler. Moreover, the comfort offered by different bike strollers varies.
There are some manufacturers whose products can’t be used when your baby is growing up, believe me, babies grow up really fast. An ideal bicycle trailer must be capable of accommodating your baby for a long time, despite his/her increased size. It’s also important to keep in mind that your baby should get maximum comfort in the trailer.
If you buy your bicycle trailer from a reputable manufacturer, you can expect it to have the best in class wheels. These wheels offer great impact protection and much better traction on the road, it is essential for the safety of your baby. The seating position is another important factor and the best posture can be found on products coming from good manufacturers.
You can use bicycle strollers for occasional grocery shopping and other functionalities. There are some baby strollers that come with a dual seating setup. This is a great idea for those who want some extra space to carry their stuff while traveling with their baby. These are just a few benefits of owning a bicycle trailer but you can find many more advantages for them. A bicycle trailer is the essential accessory that can dramatically change your parenting lifestyle and bring joy and happiness to your life!

Life is like a 21 speed bicycle-gears we never use

Life is like a 21 speed bicycle-gears we never use

‘Life/Business is like a 21 speed bicycle-most of us have gears we never use’
Having just watched the Tour de France in Paris, I was reminded of the time I cycled over the Andes a few years ago….and an article I wrote then which is just as relevant today.
In preparation for on an unsupported cycle adventure over the Andes, I needed a better bike if I was to have any chance at all of completing the trip. After all, it had been a number of years since I’d cycled and the three gears on my old bike were unlikely to give me the technological advantage I’d need. And, I knew, that on the other side of forty, I’d need all the help I could get!
Walking into a local cycle shop, a young salesman asked if he could help.
“What would you recommend for a middle aged woman wanting to cycle over the Andes?” I asked.
“Well, why don’t you bring her in and we can see what we can do”, he replied with a wry smile.
This guy was either very good at customer service or a con man. I discovered it was the former as he patiently explained the various product options and I eventually decided on a custom made, hot pink, twenty one speed model.
With the best technology available, we now needed to start the logistical preparation for a trip which was definitely outside my normal comfort zone. As plans slowly fell into place with my six fellow travelers, it became evident that there were many similarities with the business challenges some of us were facing at the time.
First, we had set ourselves a goal, which at times seemed to be a rather unattainable one of ascending over 17,000 feet from Argentina to the border of Chile and then heading downhill from the summit to the Pacific Ocean, over 800 kilometers away.
A quick look at the map provided a preliminary plan; one which admittedly seemed somewhat daunting until the overall project was broken down into manageable chunks; estimating how much ground could reasonably be covered each day, planning evening stops and making allowances for inclines and questionable road conditions. A buffer of a few days was allowed for contingencies such as poor weather or breakdowns.
After obtaining visas and security clearances, it was now time for the physical preparation. In fact, in some ways, we’d inadvertently started those preparations when we first learned to ride a bike, all those years ago. And, although most of us hadn’t cycled a great deal since, the basic skills, like many we humans possess, lay dormant and it was no longer necessary to get out the training wheels. We just had to get out of our comfort zone.
Still, we knew that our aging muscles would have to be eased into a training regime rather gently so started with easy rides on a cycle path, without the hazard of cars. Over a period of months, we had set a schedule of increasingly long and more difficult rides, progressing to hills and out on the road in preparation for riding in Buenos Aires traffic (although nothing could have adequately prepared us for that!) With only a few weeks to go, we had added to the load by putting telephone books in our saddle bags to condition ourselves to the extra weight. Just like a business plan, we needed to walk before we could run.
Occasionally, in bad weather, we’d get on stationary bikes at the gym but that seemed less motivating as we were busy pedaling and going nowhere and it was harder to keep motivated without actually feeling you were making some progress. Sometimes it seemed that way as well in my newly formed business! And, I occasionally wondered if I should maybe have a partner, like a partner on a tandem bike but decided I didn’t want to risk the equivalent of doing all the pedaling at the front, while someone coasted pleasantly behind.
As the weeks and months rolled on, I pleasantly surprised myself with increased fitness levels and the enjoyment from cycling with a couple of friends; the best part being a stop at the end for cappuccinos and some tasty treat. Likewise, on a business journey, it’s also important to set little rewards for oneself along the way. This is especially true when you feel you’re constantly pedaling uphill or into a headwind.
Like most people starting a new business, we’d had a few disagreements leading up to our departure but these were now behind us as we set off to the airport full of unbridled enthusiasm.
Confidence waned when our bikes arrived damaged and our leader left his passport and rear saddle bags behind on the very first day. Our tires and spirits were both flat but we hadn’t come this far to give in easily. He seemed unworried and cheerfully said that there was no use worrying about something he couldn’t do anything about so he’d make the most of what he did have. Another good lesson.
After nine hours of an uphill battle against gale force winds, we wondered if we’d made a serious mistake but as we hadn’t seen a single vehicle in that entire time, there was no choice but continue to our evening’s destination. If we stopped pedaling, we’d fall over. Arriving sore and dirty, we wondered if we should have trained more rigorously in the first place; and don’t we often wonder that about many everyday projects as well. It was also one of those moments when you wished you were at home in your own comfortable everyday environment, but yet knew, when you were there, you’d have been wishing you were off on an exciting adventure! I consoled myself that I was glad I was healthy enough to be able to experience this much temporary pain, through choice!
The next day or two seemed easier and as we worked more as a team, gaining some relief from the winds, by riding close together in other’s slipstream, with the front rider providing some protection from the fierce environmental conditions, over which we had no control. So too, in the economic environments we often find ourselves in but solid partnerships can there, too, provide some buffer during particularly bleak times. When we encountered 80 mile per hour head winds and snow, our goal seemed impossible. But, through persistence, we found ourselves, a few days later, at the border of Argentina and Chile at the top of the summit pass.
“Why would anyone in their right mind want to cycle over the Andes anyway?”, you might ask.
Customs officials must have thought the same thing and body searched us for drugs, as they were convinced we ‘loco gringos” (crazy foreigners) had to be on them! But the rush we felt as we started heading downhill was a natural high, as we easily covered twice the daily distances than on the ascent, now taking time to stop and enjoy the magnificent scenery.
So too, many people think others with innovative ideas are crazy-until the ideas work! We’d done it. We’d stepped outside our comfort zones and tested our own limits. As we philosophized, while dwarfed by magnificent mountains, we couldn’t help but be reminded that we were all only part of a much bigger picture and often lost perspective about minor roadblocks in our way. One of my friends, who was having hassles within the large organization where she worked, commented:
“Well, I got my rear into gear and if I can endure the discomfort of a sore backside while cycling over the Andes, I can easily cope with the people at work who are a pain in the _____.!”
There would be no more back pedaling for her and the brakes were well and truly off as she returned to embark on a new mid life career with renewed vigor.
So, how do ordinary, middle aged people cycle over the Andes? Exactly, the same way we should all approach challenges in our everyday life-one pedal at a time; one step at a time; one distance at a time as we set higher challenges for ourselves than anyone else would. And, always remember that:
“Life is like a 21 speed bicycle-most of us have gears we never use”

Bird Tracker on Bicycle: Dorian Anderson

Bird Tracker on Bicycle: Dorian Anderson

By Frosty Wooldridge
“Have you ever observed a humming-bird moving about in an aerial dance among the flowers – a living prismatic gem…. it is a creature of such fairy-like loveliness as to mock all description.” ~W.H. Hudson, Green Mansions
Individual passions glide on America’s highways in different forms. Some folks pursue their quests of visiting all National Parks within a summer. Others carry kayaks to challenge rivers from Maine to Oregon. Still others climb mountains in pursuit of their Holy Grail. Fly-fishermen-women pursue that speckled trout in high mountain streams. Somewhere out there on the roads that crisscross the planet, an adventure-seeker pursues his or her individual dream with an exceptional sense of determination.
When you meet them, they look normal, they seem normal and they may act normal. That’s where normal ends! Those “outliers” carry a nonstandard, burning passion within them that surpasses normal imagination.
Last week, one such individual graced our door in Golden, Colorado. Talk about high energy! New York City could harness his high-voltage life to their power grid to run it for a full year.
Dorian Anderson, lean, black-haired, brilliant smile and replete with a vigorous personality, set out on January 1, 2014 on a cold snowy day in Boston, Massachusetts to bicycle 15,000 miles around America in search of every bird species in the lower 48 states. He called his quest “The Big Year” which allows him to seek out and photograph as many of the more than 700 species of birds thriving in America.
After Stanford, he attended New York University where he completed a Ph.D. in Developmental Genetics. He studied how cells in the early embryo polarize and how this polarization event functions to control subsequent morphogenetic movements during gastrulation. Ironically, it was in the most urban of environments that his birding interest became obsessive.
After NYU, he accepted a post-doctoral position at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston to investigate the molecular mechanisms that control neural plasticity.
Visit his website: bikingforbirds.blogspot.com
Email:
He offers brilliant bird photographs from his bicycle pursuit of our fine-feathered friends. His daily updates relive his adventures in bird-watching.
Since we are members of www.warmshowers.org, Dorian picked us out as hosts after he climbed Guanella Pass and summited 14,100 foot Mt. Bierstadt on the Continental Divide. At that altitude, he captured a ptarmigan at 13,500 feet. At 8,000 miles into the journey, he registered that bird as number 488 on his list.
He rolled into our house in the evening for a hot shower, conversation and bed.
Next morning, we bicycled up to the top of Bergan Park, near my house, to seek out a specific dead tree that housed a family of Williamson Sapsuckers. We heard the hungry brood calling out to their parents for more food. Within minutes, a beautiful male appeared carrying grubs in his beak. He sported black back feathers, yellow/white underbelly and red tuft on his neck. His leg feathers looked like an Indy 500 finishing flag.
Anderson pulled out his 200 mm camera lens for the perfect shot. Later, the mother sapsucker appeared with another beak-full of grubs. Andersons registered a Williamson’s Sapsucker at number 489.
As I sat there with this bird-watching enthusiast, I felt his reverence for the natural world. He spoke about preserving birds, butterflies and all living creatures.
Anderson said, “I read about folks who spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to fly to places where a particular bird has been spotted. One fellow flew 200,000 miles during his “Big Year” to gather as many sightings as possible. I would like to see bird-watchers and all Americans avoid expelling so much carbon exhaust into the biosphere. That’s why I came up with the idea of bicycling around America to find all these bird species and not pollute the planet.”
Why take such an enormous trip?
“During a “Big Year”, a birdwatcher attempts to see or hear as many bird species as (s)he can in North America in one calendar year,” said Anderson. “This endeavor begins on January 1st and, depending on the level of commitment, can require the birder to visit all corners of the continent during the subsequent 364 days. The most ambitious Big Years typically record between 700 and 745 species of birds while logging well in excess of 100,000 miles of plane, car, and boat travel.
“Biking for Birds is my completely crazy and hopefully fantastic twist on the traditional North American Big Year. During 2014, I will travel only by bike, foot, and kayak as I move about the continent in search of birds. My movements will be unaided by petroleum, natural gas and electricity. I will not have a support vehicle; everything I need will be carried on my person and my bicycle. This Big Year permutation will certainly add an unprecedented level of adventure to the endeavor, and it should set a new standard for environmentally sustainable travel.
“The immediate goals of this endeavor are three-fold. First, I want to find as many bird species as possible. If I can complete the proposed route, I should find between 550 and 600 species. I hope my efforts to achieve this goal will promote heightened interest in birds, bird watching, and bird conservation. Second, I hope “Biking For Birds” will showcase the bicycle as a healthy and environmentally sustainable form of transportation. Third, I have partnered with both The Conservation Fund and the American Birding Association. and I hope to raise $100,000 (or more!) on behalf of these organizations that focus on land conservation and promotion of bird-watching.”
After spotting and photographing the sapsucker, I felt an enormous sense of adventure with Dorian Anderson. He elevated my appreciation for our fine-feathered co-travelers on planet Earth.
When you visit his site, you may enjoy lively adventure chatter, brilliant bird photography and a place to send your donations to The Conservation Fund and American Birding Association.
Later in the day, we visited Buffalo Bill’s Grave. Soon after, we traveled on our loaded touring bikes down the fabled “Lariat Loop” on Lookout Mountain into Golden, Colorado. After lunch at a sandwich shop, Dorian headed north on Route 93 toward Boulder.
He waved, “Live well my friend.”
“May the birds be with you,” I said. “Thanks for the memories.”
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Sex – Learning to Ride a Bicycle

Sex – Learning to Ride a Bicycle

Why is sex like learning to ride a bicycle? Well, do you know how to ride a bicycle? Not the four-wheeled type. The two-wheel ones (one front, one back) upon which the rider needs to be balanced.
If yes, how long did it take you to learn to ride one? While you were learning how to ride the bicycle, did you fall? Did you feel like giving up? Was there anybody who helped, supported or encouraged you?
My younger sister and I were given a two-wheeled bicycle when we were in primary school. Our parents were both working and did not usually have much time for us. Between the two of us, we decided to support each other and learn to ride it ourselves. Every Saturday afternoon, after returning home from our extra-curricular activities (then known as ECA), we would bring the bicycle downstairs in the lift. One of us would mount the bike and attempt to keep our balance before tentatively pushing off on the pedal, whilst the other tried desperately to support. We would take turns at it until one of us gave up for the day.
It was scary, to say the least, because I knew if I fell, I could be held responsible for damaging the bicycle and/or hurting my sister. We had no clue if we were ‘learning’ correctly. Yet we would struggle week after week.
The holidays arrived. Even though we were frustrated with the lack of progress as we entered our third month of trying to learn, I asked my sister if we should try to practice more often that week. She agreed. Something amazing happened that day. At the end of the practice, we both admitted that we seemed to be balancing ‘a bit’ better. Encouraged, we decided to try again a few days later.
That fateful day, my sister was the one who got the hang of it first. She gave me the tip: “Step hard (on the pedal) and then move the handle (handlebars) to balance.” Jealous of her success, I gave it my best effort, completely forgetting my fear of falling. And that was the day we both learnt to cycle.
What changed that week? And what does this little personal story have to do with sex?
When we practiced only once a week, between each session our bodies were in fact ‘forgetting’ the motor skills of balancing required to ride the bicycle, and we were only relearning what we had learned the week before. The week we practiced twice was the same week we reported the most progress.
I use this personal story often. I encourage my clients to do their home assignments often – certain exercises on a daily basis – because that is the fastest and most effective way their bodies will learn and help them to overcome their sexual inhibition.
Even if they were caught up with life and work and failed to do the exercises everyday as instructed, hopefully, they would have done it often enough for progress. The ones who listened and followed instructions diligently reported the greatest progress.
Indeed, once you know how to ride a bicycle, you will never forget.

How Long Do Motorcycle Helmets Last And How To Maximize Your Motorcycle Helmet Safety

How Long Do Motorcycle Helmets Last And How To Maximize Your Motorcycle Helmet Safety

According to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation and the Snell Memorial Foundation, motorcycle helmets should be replaced every five years. Motorcycle Helmets generally have four elements: a hard outer shell, an impact-absorbing liner, retaining system and comfort padding. The outer shell and liner operate by spreading the energy of an impact to reduce the amount of energy transmitted to the wearer’s brain.

The length of time that a helmet is viable was determined by a consensus between the DOT Helmet manufacturers and the Snell Foundation. Hair oils, body fluids, environmental situations and normal wear and tear may cause a deterioration in performance. The Snell Foundation also advises that protective advances in the helmet technology also changes within five-year periods. Any DOT helmet that was involved in an accident should be replaced immediately, as some or all of its shock absorption qualities may have been used. Older DOT helmets, though they may appear to be in good shape, may have worn or frayed chin straps or hidden cracks.

If your motorcycle helmet is dropped, in most cases, your helmet is still good. Most manufacturers offer an inspection service and may, at their discretion, repair the helmet. The Snell Foundation recommends that if you suspect your DOT helmet is compromised, then replace it. If the helmet has been involved in an impact while in use, replace it.

Don’t buy a used motorcycle helmet it can compromise motorcycle helmet safety in a number of ways. First, you won’t know whether it’s been in a prior accident. If it has, chances are that the cushiony polystyrene layer inside that is designed to absorb the shock of an impact has already been compressed. This will make it worthless in protecting you in an accident. Also, age and exposure to certain elements can make the polystyrene lose its elasticity and become brittle, reducing the amount of protection it provides. Avoid excessive exposure to the sun. If you ride a motorcycle, chances are pretty high that your DOT helmet will be exposed to sunlight. But, you can extend the life of your helmet and maximize motorcycle helmet safety by parking in the shade and storing the helmet out of the sun when not in use. Sunlight damages polystyrene, causing it to wear and become brittle over time.

Avoid excessive exposure to gas fumes and other chemicals. Gas vapours are particularly harmful to polystyrene. Avoid hanging your DOT helmet near the gas tank. To maximize motorcycle helmet safety, also avoid storing it in a garage or other area where it will regularly be exposed to concentrated gas fumes and emissions. Avoid pointed or sharp objects. This seems obvious, but make sure you don’t hang your helmet on pointed hooks or antennae that could pierce the inner polystyrene layer.

Perhaps the most important motorcycle helmet safety step is to replace your DOT helmet at least every 5 years. Even if you take every possible step to extend the life of the helmet, the inner polystyrene layer will brittle with age, providing you with less protection the older it gets.