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Five Things Friday – Bikes, Food, Reading, Fashion and Life in General

February 14, 2014

Five Things Friday – Bikes, Food, Reading, Fashion and Life in General

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Tea Tree Oil

I’m working on my new project, Saddle, Sore, and in doing so, I realized that I was finding answers to a lot of my own questions in the process! This week my new find has been tea tree oil. In California, it’s been pretty warm, I’ve been riding a ton, and as a result, I was definitely starting to have some, shall we say, “saddle issues.” I don’t mind using medications or anything, but if there’s a natural solution versus a highly chemical one, I’m psyched. So I decided to give tea tree oil a shot, and I was totally shocked by how well it worked. Just a couple of drops applied a couple times a day, and suddenly, all of my problems cleared up!

If you’re having saddle issues, I now have a couple suggestions. First, try tea tree oil to heal anything that’s pre-existing (since it has antibacterial properties). Second, consider using a chamois cream that actually has tea tree oil in it (Chamois Butt’r’s line of women-specific chamois cream is fantastic!). Third, and back to the all-natural thing, try using aloe vera gel to sooth the area post-ride. Cool baths are also awesome, I’ve recently learned. Crisis = averted.

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Standing on the Bike

Also as part of the Saddle, Sore project, I’ve been lucky enough to get some excellent riding tips from coach Peter Glassford. The main one that I’ve taken to heart? Standing on the bike while riding. A lot of women wrote in and told me that the main issue they were having was what I’ll refer to as “nether region numb-ness,” and a great way to keep blood flow to your lady parts is by occasionally standing up, while continuing to pedal. Peter has more on the concept here, but here’s is the basic idea:

Do This—keep the bike moving side to side for balance (“The bike is not on a trainer, it is not limited to one plane of movement. Start moving that bike around.”)

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Not This—It’s not spin class, you’re outside. And getting used to movement of the bike will help in the long run. Promise.

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3Kale Smoothies and Chips

Yeah, I’m a little late to the game. Superfood and all that. And I’ve been cooking with kale for ages, I promise. But in the past couple of weeks, I’ve fallen in love with smoothies with kale in them, and even deeper in love with kale chips.

Kale chips are wicked easy too—they sound like they would suck but try it. I promise it’ll be worth it. Put pieces of kale on a baking sheet, drizzle olive oil on and toss them around so they’re all coated a bit. Don’t use much olive oil or they won’t crisp. Just a little will do. Then, add salt, pepper, cayenne, whatever spice you think will be awesome, and toss in the over at 350 for about ten minutes (or until the ones on the edges start to get black around the edges). Best. Thing. Ever. I promise.

4Navy Blue (Anything)

image_1I went on a teensy shopping spree (the Canadians and I hit the outlet stores. They got matching kitten sweatshirts—really.) last week and when I got home and surveyed the purchases, something stood out.

I never buy navy blue—I’m a strictly black and gray kind of person—but I had not only gotten a navy blue casual sundress (right), I had also picked up a navy blue bralette. I hadn’t thought about it at the time, but I’m kind of digging it as a neutral-but-not change from my norm. Plus, now apparently it’s OK to mix navy with brown or black, so thankfully I can still wear my normal stuff with it!

5This Interview with Taylor Phinney

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Taylor Phinney as The Tastemaker. Photos: Brad Kaminski, BrakeThrough Media, from Velo magazine February 2014

If you haven’t already read VeloNew’s interview with Taylor Phinney, do it now. Right now. Because in addition to Phinney being pretty rad, teh interview itself is wonderfully written. Case in point:

Asked about his tips for the winter season, he was elegantly loquacious. Heavy knitwear — he’s a real sucker for chunky sweaters with “cool Nordic print” — and mountaineering boots with red laces. He’s currently on the search for a long, Swedish military coat, the one worn by the villain Bane in the recent Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises.

There’s a feeling that all this, though, is in good fun, too. And though he is genuine, he doesn’t come off as serious about any of it. “Some people may be worried about not being able to pull that off,” he said of a certain clothing item. “But I must say, you’re only able to pull off what you think you can pull off. So just do it.”

As far as Phinney’s fashion don’ts? Do not look like a bag person. Show a little respect for yourself.

See you guys next week, and happy Valentine’s Day!


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  1. […] that out when we were talking about fore and aft at first, I totally understood the side tilt thanks to all of my practice on the road bike with standing. So I was pretty psyched when I was able to actually rip around turns on a gravel descent. […]

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