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Dr. Miczak's X-Training BLOG
Thursday, 1 November 2007
Cycle Touring in Cooler Temperatures
Now Playing: All You Need to Extend Your Riding Time!

Cycle Touring in Cooler Temperatures


The cooler weather of fall into early winter prove to be both bane and blessing. The cooler, crisp air allows you to go much further on your bicycle with less chance of heat prostration more common in the summer months. On the other hand, you will need to make sure you are warm but not overheated. This is a tough transitioning period weather-wise but with some proper planning and the right gear, you’ll get much more out of your touring cycling season than you ever thought possible.


Road Rules

The fall is the time when depending on your area of the country, you may get a lot of rain or have to ride in gusty winds.  I use a Kestrel Weather Meter which gives me altimeter readings which predict oncoming storms as well as wind speed readings. It can clock the wind speed in miles per hour which can save a lot of effort and energy on the road. Likewise it has an onboard thermometer which adds in the wind chill factor and can help avoid overexposure of the extremities. Certain pieces of clothing are good down to a specific temperature. Knowing this in advance can save a lot of discomfort! As a general rule, full fingered gloves are best when the temperature drops below 50 degrees. While touring, you have to add in the wind chill factor to your actual air temperature. If you’re breezing along at a good clip, expect that your hands, which are just along for the ride, are going to get pretty cold without proper protection.  Another piece of technology I wouldn't be without is a digital compass.  Most newer cars are being equipped with GPS systems.  You should at least have a good compass.  The AltiTech digital compass shown here gives you exact cardinal directions in a hurry.  More than that, it has an altimeter and shows upcoming weather conditions via cool graphics such as a sun, rain cloud, etc.  Both the AltiTech and Kestrel come equipped with a backlight for night vision.


So what do I need?

You may need to switch tires on your touring bicycle if you expect to encounter a lot of fallen leaves or even a wet road surface. A touring bicycle is generally more stable than a high performance road bicycle but you will still  have to judge what sort of changes in road conditions you will be facing as a result of the fall to early winter season. Now I’m not saying get out the snow chains but you might consider the sort of tires found on many mountain bikes. There is a reason they have that sort of tread and width. I have competed in and won the advanced section of the Woods Hollow Classic Mountain Bike Race and can tell you those tires may not be incredibly fast but they are rock - solid stable!

If you don’t have a touring bicycle and want the best designed bicycle for a woman, please do yourself a favor and visit Terry Precision Cycling. These people are amazing and totally in love with the sport. They also know what works and what doesn’t.  They are legendary for their women specific and fitted bicycles.  I have their Symmetry and it is the best precision road bike I have ever ridden.  Every detail from the smaller gear levers to the overall balance of the bicycle is made with a woman's anatomy in mind.  Pictured here is Madeline, Terry's woman-specific road bicycle with relaxed geometry and a slightly longer wheelbase for added stability. 

It is rack ready and we recommend Angle-Tech's TechWind aerodynamic panniers shown here and mounted on our black Nishiki Touring Bicycle.  These panniers do a great job of breaking up drag by at least 7% and come with separate insert bags.  Notice both the panniers and the Trek touring trunk have refective tape for maximum visibility.   Trek's trunk has divided compartments and can ccomodate their attachable LED safety back light.



Madeline-Terry’s Flagship Touring Bicycle designed specifically for women




Baby its Cold Outside!  Cycling Clothing Essentials...

You'll want to be sure that you are dressed right for the temperature and the tour.  The first outfit is by Georgena Terry and can be comfortably worn in temperatures as low as 45 degrees with the knickers and even lower with Terry's ColdWeather Tight. Full fingered gloves are also a necessity and Terry's Light T Gloves are perfect for this transitional period.


Terry's Aqua / Cream GT Jersey

and Bella Knicker

with  Full Finger Light T-Gloves

Cycle Shoes by Sidi

Helmet and Glasses by Rudi Project

Aerodynamic TechWind Panniers by Angle Tech


Georgena Terry's new GT Jersey really has all the bases covered.  Super soft fleece lining with great looks for the road.  This is the jersey you'll wear the most because of how it looks and feels against your skin.  360 degree reflectivity which is great for when the sun sets at about 4 pm and you're still out there pedaling.  Three open rear pockets make it a true cycling jersey but with none of the bulk. 

Terry's new Bella Knicker is the perfect 3 season cycling pant.  The chamois, is very flexible but effective and the six panel flat seam construction assures a super comfortable fit.  With the added reflective bands at the calf, these knickers offer the most riding versatility for the money.  The fit is fantastic and they will definitely be the cycling pants you'll wear most!


Stop Freezing to the Road!

When the temperatures dip even further, let's say below 40 degrees, you'll need a bit more coverage while not restricting your movement or putting on bulky layers.  What is great about these Terry pieces is that they can be worn for other cross training purposes, such as snowshoeing, cross country skiing, sledding or snowboarding.  This way you get triple duty out of the same outfits!  Terry's new Cashmina Jersey is luxury and function combined.  A perfect example of a jersey that can go from the pavement to the ski slopes, seemlessly. 

Terry's Cashmina Jersey in Snow Leopard 

Terry's CoolWeather Tight with Padded Seat

Terry Light T Gloves (full finger)

Cycle Shoes by Specialized

Aaron Helmet by Rudi Project

Terry's Cashmina Jersey, shown here in Snow Leopard has a stand up collar for extra warmth, princess seaming and a 12 inch front zipper.  Three open rear pockets make it as road worthy as it is beautiful.  Better yet, the Polartec fleece doesn't add bulk while keeping you comfortably warm.  Made in the good old US of A!

Terry's ColdWeather Tight with Chamois rises equally to the challenge when the thermometer dips below 40 degrees.  These tights are super comfortable and really knock the chill off your cold weather ride.  They hug like a glove with an eight panel fit that has plenty of length.  Made of Polartec Windpro Hardface.  This is another cross training essential that with or without padding can do extra duty on the ski slopes.


What about proper nutrition and immune system support?

These are real needs as the added stress of cool weather cycling can put serious demands on your body.  More than that, your immure system is under greater attack in the cooler weather due to closed windows and the lack of fresh, circulated air.  Not to worry, there is a lot you can do to prepare for the coming cold season while extending your cycling time. 

Vitamin Routine: Rainbow Light Women’s Nutritional System, Protein Energizer and Immuno-Build...Health Essentials for Active Women

Rainbow Light's food based, woman geared nutrients are just what the nutritionist ordered!  All of Rainbow Light's products are gentle on the digestive tract but even better, they deliver the multi-food and herb based nutrients women especially need.  Their Women's Nutritional System, for example packs a full 1,000 mgs of bone building calcium.  This is so important for healthy bones and averting those awful late night leg cramps after a long ride.  A woman can get the daily recommended amount of calcium, that is between 1,000 and 1,200 mgs easily with Rainbow Light Women's Nutritional System.

Likewise Women's Answer is HRT and birth control compatible while providing patented antioxidant protection.  The more you exercise, the more oxygen you take in.  Therefore exercise, although healthy for you, increases the need for antioxidants.  Rainbow Light's Immuno-Build with Reishi-Shitake mushroom complex gives you that extra edge of protection.  I have taken just one when I felt symptoms of a cold coming on.  It seemed to stop the virus dead in its tracks as I have not come down with a cold since using it.

During cross training, we like to start each day with a fruit smoothie featuring strawberries, blueberries and blackberries.  After making our favorite juice blend, we add a scoop of Rainbow Light's Protein Energizer.  Loaded with 15 grams of rice protein, 6 grams of fiber and 500 mgs of Spirulina, it is the perfect morning drink before and after a brisk ride.  Available in Vanilla and Chocolate with no added sugar, it is a low carb alternative to many other protein powders. This product performs as hard as we do and you will feel the difference in your ride and road endurance.


Extra Juice!  Adam's 100% Mangosteen Nectar 

Everybody is talking about Mangosteen these days.  It is an exotic Asian fruit and we recommend those bottled in the USA by Adam's of California.  Mangosteen fruit is amazingly rich in antioxidants but also has immuno boosting and antiinflammatory qualities.  You'll really appreciate that if you frequently suffer from soreness or stiffness after cycling.  Another bonus is that it is shown to have anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.  What more could you ask?

Adam's 100% Mangosteen Juice is really delicious and can be served straight over ice or added to chilled green tea. It is the only Mangosteen drink on the market with extra Xanthothones and 10 lbs of Mangosteen fruit in every bottle.  Adam's 100% Mangosteen Nectar is perfect to take along on the tour for extra energy and protection out on the road.

So you needn't put your touring bicycle away just yet.  The leaves are turning and it is a great time to get out  and see it all.  Touring by bicycle has become increasingly popular because you are able to take food, extra clothing and equipment along via panniers and rack trunks.  A day out on the road can seem like a mini-vacation so why not treat yourself?  Get out there and enjoy the seasons in style!  It's God's gift so celebrate His creation.  With the proper gear, cycling clothing and nutrition, you can extend your riding season well into the first snow.  Then you can get out the tire chains!

For more information on the recommended gear and products featured in this article, please visit the following company websites listed below:

Terry Precision Cycling

Rainbow Light Nutritional Products

Adam's 100% Mangosteen Juice

Kestrel Weather Meters

AngleTech TechWind Panniers


A rejoicing heart doth good to
the body.... Proverbs 17:22


Posted by Author at 11:37 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 4 November 2007 7:05 PM EDT
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Wednesday, 22 August 2007
Cross Training Special
Mood:  chillin'
Now Playing: Canoeing the Outback


This issue, we are going to introduce you to the pleasures of boating, fishing, hiking and camping.  All four can be had via the outdoor sport of canoeing.  In fact, the average canoe can haul enough gear and supplies to last two people two weeks out in the wilderness.  Here below is the Trangia camp stove with pots and a frying pan which folds neatly into a compact 7 inch diameter stack.  An outfitter like Moosineer has these items and everything you would need for such an expedition.  Canoeing is a fantastic way to navigate areas that would be impossible to explore on foot.  With the cooler fall weather coming, this is the perfect time to plan your outback getaway.

To begin, as with any cross training experience, you'll need to take some lessons.  Check your local park system or even a outfitter who rents canoes.  They can give you the basics on how to get the canoe into the water, board it and steer.  A seasoned conoe instructor can advise about what class of waterways you would be suited four.  Category I is best for beginners as they have no rapids or swift currents. They will also make sure that your gear, such as the paddles are the right length for your height.  One way of measurement is to place the paddle on your toes.  If the handle comes to your chin level, it is the right length for you.  We set out  with our HighGear AltiTech 2 digital compass and altimeter.  This kept us on course while allowing us to check the changing temperature and weather conditions.  Always pack a radio communication device and wear a secure flotation vest, (life jacket).

Nutrition is also very important.  You'll need to plan a more intense vitamin protocol at least two weeks before your outing.  I personally like Rainbow Light's Women's One Multivitamin for everyday nutrition.  It is a wonderful whole food balance of nutrients but for more intense exercise, I use their Advanced Nutritional System multivitamin.  Simply more of what you need to help you go the extra mile. 

Your day out on the water should start with a high protein shake to quickly deliver necessary nutrients and energy.  Rainbow Light's Protein Energizer contains NO soy, (you can read why in my book, The New Woman's Herbal & Nutritional Guide, by Lotus Press), or sugar and blends easily into a fruit or vegetable smoothie.  What's great about this product is that if you are buying blue green algae powders, you can save money because it has 500mgs of spirulina included with spinach, kale and dandelion greens.  Other essentials for the day's energy supply include their Ultra Energy Plus which contains bee pollen and octacosanol.  Bring along plenty of water to stay hydrated and sunblock as the water intensifies the sun's rays by way of reflection.   Due to our planning ahead and by God's grace, we had energy to spare from carrying our 100 lb canoe to the water to navigating several miles that day.  The photo below was taken after a full day out in above 98 degree weather.  Proof positive that proper nutrition works!

Last of all, recovery is very important.  That soreness you feel after using muscles unconditioned for that sort of work is due to lactic acid buildup.  This is the "Charlie Horse" or cramping one gets in the middle of the night after such a work out.  To prevent this and for overall bone and muscle health, one should take a balanced, absorbable form of calcium.  After our time on the water we took Rainbow Light's Calcium + which contains 500 mgs of calcium and 1,000 mgs of magnesium.  Both work synergistically to remove excess lactic acid.  500 mgs is the most calcium your body can absorb at one time but this type is an absorbable amino acid chelate.  Bound to a protein molecule, it is readily absorbed, not just stored in your soft tissue.  The magnesium is likewise excellent for calming the nerves and aiding in a good night's sleep, something we all can use!

When chosing any nutritional supplement, you must consider absorption.  We are not what we eat as much as what we absorb. The entire Rainbow Light line offers a digestive support complex which helps the vitamins and your food break down properly.  I took their prenatal vitamins through two pregnancies and never suffered nausea or an upset stomach.  Therefore, they can be taken with or between meals.  Now that's convenient!  This is perhaps the best whole food based product available today.  I enjoy having energy to spare to take on new challenges like canoeing.  If you take care of yourself, you will find that you have both the energy AND the interest to try new activities.  That's what keeps life interesting, isn't it?  To find out more about Rainbow Light's nutritional supplements for active women, and the other gear mentioned in this article, visit:














"He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul..."  Psalm 23

Posted by Author at 1:13 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 2 October 2007 4:37 PM EDT
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Friday, 15 June 2007
Summer X-Training Tips
Now Playing: Protect Yourself from Skin Cancer

Protect Yourself from Skin Cancer

Now that we have broken back into our outdoor training schedules, you’ll note that you are being exposed to more and more sunlight as the days grow longer. The rays are strongest between 10 am and 4 pm, however, since sun exposure is cumulative, you may need to restrict your overall daily exposure. Fitness Magazine's research has shown that athletes don't put on sunblock most commonly because they forget, according to Philip Cohen, M.D. who is an assistant team physician from my alma mater, Rutgers University. Karen Burke, M.D., Ph.D. of Mount Sinai Medical Center in NYC specifically cites high risk individuals as those who train or play in the sun. Activities such as boating, swimming, hiking and mountain climbing expose one to even more harmful rays because the sun is reflected and intensified by water. While rock and mountain climbing, the sun is even stronger hence more deadly at higher elevations.

Boating and marine sports increase your risk for sun damage due to the intensified rays reflecting off the water

Coming out from winter hibernation you may be like me and notice a “fish belly” white pallor to your skin. Unless you’ve recently vacationed in a tropical area, this is the bane of many a athlete as a natural result of wintering over indoors. Now you may, for vanity’s sake want to run to your local tanning salon just to start yourself off with a “bit of color”. Please consider this: Although the tanning salon industry has lobbied for years contending that their lights do not cause skin cancer, it has been conclusively found that they inflict just as much damage, if not more, than natural sunlight.

For years they touted themselves as the safe alternative to laying out in the sun. Well, there appears to be no real difference between the UV lights used in the tanning beds and the effects of sun tanning outdoors. As early as 1994, a Swedish study showed women 18-30 years old who visited tanning parlors 10 times or more a year had seven times greater incidence of melanoma than women who did not use tanning beds. In another study, people exposed to 10 full-body tanning salon sessions had a significant increase in skin repair proteins typically associated with sun damage, indicating that ultraviolet (UV) radiation from indoor tanning is as dangerous as UV from the sun. In 2002, a study from Dartmouth Medical School found that tanning device users had 2.5 times the risk of squamous cell carcinoma and 1.5 times the risk of basal cell carcinoma .

UV-A and UV-B, What’s the Difference?Actually tanning salons may be even more dangerous than normal sun exposure. Natural sunlight contains a mixture of both short-wave UV-B and the longer wave UV-A rays. Both UV-A and UV-B exposures can lead to premature ageing of the skin, and both increase a person’s risk of developing skin cancer, including malignant melanoma. The difference is that UV-B rays cause more rapid tanning and burning while UV-A rays do not cause burning until exposure levels are very high.

Indoor tanning booths and beds most commonly use ultraviolet bulbs that emit predominantly UV-A rays. This puts one at greater risk because, UV-A rays penetrate more deeply into the skin and can even inhibit the effectiveness of cells supporting the body’s immune system in addition to raising the individual’s risk of developing malignant melanoma and other skin cancers.

Solutions…If you wish to have a natural looking tan without the risk of damage to your skin, I can suggest the Badger Totally Tan Waterbased Airbrush Tanning System. Models, competitive body builders and dancers have used airbrushing for application of theatrical make up for both the face and body. It is a natural, flawless application that stands out as being nearly undetectable.
Badger’s Totally Tan is a waterbased solution applied with their patented airbrush to give beautiful, even coverage with a very natural development of color within a few hours. This is NOT one of those other sunless tanners that turn your skin an unnatural orange or stain your palms. Spray can tanners likewise are costly and do not give the same fine, natural coverage as an airbrush. A Totally Tan airbrushed tan will last 7-10 days and can be refreshed in between times with their Tan Refresh and Extend lotion. This lotion renews your tan while softening your skin with aloe vera, vitamins, botanicals and grapeseed extract which is a powerful antioxidant. In fact, grapeseed extract when applied to the skin, has actually been seen to reduce sun damage. The Totally Tan system includes the Thayer and Chandler Air Star V compressor with air filter and regulator, automatic shutoff, on-off switch, and built-in airbrush holder. The Totally Tan airbrush gun sprays a controlled, fine mist for complete whole body coverage. It can be adjusted down to do your face and even apply liquid airbrush makeup. It even comes with an instructional video. You'll learn all the nuances of airbrushing so that you can do others if you wish. Have a sunless tanning party! I have had this equipment for at least 3 years and it performs like a workhorse. Don’t be fooled. This is professional quality equipment and will pay for itself in savings from what you would pay visiting tanning salons. More than that, it is a savings from surgeries to remove skin cancer lesions as a result of overexposure to UV light. Don’t damage your skin for vanity’s sake! Get a lovely, natural looking illusion of a deep tan with the Totally Tan Airbrush Tanning System and apply sunblock when you are out training. You’ll have the best of both worlds!

Visit Badger Airbrush Company's Website below:
Totally Tan Airbrush Tanning System by Badger

Posted by Author at 10:56 AM EDT
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Friday, 11 May 2007
Now Playing: The Outdoor Bible Hits the Road...
Spring is BACK and summer is close on her heels!

Now is the time to get those inline skates out of the bag and check them out. After brushing off the cobwebs, you'll want to give them a good tune-up and check over before going out for the first time this season. Here's a checklist of what I did to get mine road-ready:

1.) Remove and rotate wheels, (simply flip them from the previous position).

2.) Dust the wheel hubs and frame once the wheels are off.

3.) Remove the bearing shield and use a little BSB "dry" lubricant on the ball bearings.

Check for any chips in your wheels or other problems that could cause a hazard out on the road. Remember too to take along extra water for your first day out. You may be a little out of condition, (o.k. maybe a LOT), so be mindful not to push yourself too hard at first. If you've put on a few pounds over the winter and or lost a little muscle tone, give yourself a break! Rome wasn't rebuilt in a day and you are less likely to incur injury if you ease rather than blast your way back into your skating routine.

I cross train by bicycling but after being grounded for the winter, it takes some time to get into that "zone" I am used to functioning at. However once you get over that first day's shock, the rest is easy from there. Taking along an energy bar is always a good idea too but loss of water is the greatest factor in causing falls and accidents. Most of all, just have fun! Take along your iPod to help you relax and get into the flow.

If you are doing trails or going to be out for most of the day, you might want to take along the Outdoor Bible which is a map-like, tear & waterproof folding text. copyright mm 2007 all rights reserved As you can see here in the photo, we tested it when we were out snowshoeing this past March and held up beautifully. The pages just don't get soaked or rip! Mud, snow, grass and dirt just rinse right off. Perfect for putting into your backpack for the woods when you take a pit stop and want to be totally recharged. This is the perfect Bible to take kayaking, snowshoeing, mountain biking, hiking, camping and everything else you could think of enjoying outdoors. Published by Bardin&Marsee it gives you the complete New Testament to go. The one we tested is the New American Standard Version with the words of Jesus in red. Print is quite small but considering the lightweight and compact size, its an acceptable trade off. Comes in a camoflage duffle bag so you don't scare the animals away. For more information on how to get the Outdoor Bible visit: The Outdoor Bible Website

See you out there!

Posted by Author at 3:21 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 16 June 2007 11:59 AM EDT
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Friday, 29 October 2004
Suite 101's Figure Skating Guide - Pedaling into Fall Part 2
Mood:  caffeinated
Now Playing: Advanced Cycling & Cross Training Equipment

Here it is! Part 2 of Off Ice Cross Training : Pedaling into Fall at the Figure Skating Guide is giving you some serious information on advanced cycling for cross training for the ice. Improved cardiovascular and leg muscle strength are only two perks you'll get. Great edge control and balance are often obtained by x-training with cycling. Read the complete reviews at,Off Ice X-Training : Pedaling Into Fall Part I & II by clicking right here: or click on the Suite 101's Figure Skating Guide link to your right.

This is a photo gallery of the BEST equipment and accessories to make your time on the road safe, successful and super!

Many thanks once again to this issue's participating companies including:
Terry Precision Cycling, also representing Giro & Craft, Veltec Group for Look, Sidi, CicloSport, Enervit and Easton, Pearl Izumi, Shebeest, Athleta, Rudy Project, Rollerblade, Lazer, Park Tool USA, Cateye, Sigma Sport, Jerry Boy-PB n' Go, Sinclair Imports for Elite's Ozone Warming Oil and Atsko, makers of Sportwash and SnoSeal.

Each of these companies contributed their time, products and expertise to help me cross over from ice skater to road cyclist. I've made so much progress that I plan to enter the MS Tour next summer. PLUS...I am in More Magazine's January 2005 issue ice skating and discussing my x-training program. I'm also appearing on the CBS Early Show with co-anchor Rene Syler! Our next X-Training Photo Gallery will be a Winter Sports Special with Snowboarding, Sledding, Snowshoeing, Skiing and a lot more.
Thank you all for your continued support!

So I am pleased to launch our NEW online X-Training Photo Gallery format which allows you to click on the thumbnail photos below to read my reviews and comments on each item. All of the products discussed in Part I and Part II of this article series are here PLUS some items for cooler weather cycling and spring touring. Start clicking!:

Posted by Author at 11:32 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, 13 December 2004 11:35 AM EST
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