Posts Tagged ‘beach cruiser’

bilbl_superOn Sunday, June 14th my sister, 3 friends, and I got up super early and drove up to San Francisco’s Presidio area to participate in the inaugural Mermaid Series Tour de San Francisco bike ride.  I was so excited to take part in this ride because I’ve participated in Mermaid Series events a few times in the past, and appreciated how organized and fun they are. Plus, I love riding my bike, and who better to do it with than my sister and my 3 BFFs?  Not to mention, I’ve never ridden my bike across the Golden Gate Bridge, so that would be exciting, too.

We’d signed up for the 7-mile ride, choosing the more conservative mileage since this was our first attempt.  I kept thinking we should’ve signed up for the 13-miler, but once I saw the hills involved in that leg of the ride, I’m so glad we stuck with the shorter distance.

Since it was 6:30am when we left my house, the ride up to the City was smooth and easy.  Hardly any other crazies on the road at that time of the morning on a Sunday.  We even found a primo parking area, which made the start of the race really nice.

Of course we had to stop and take some pre-race photos to capture the moment.

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Geared up and ready to ride!

Geared up and ready to ride!

It was a foggy morning, which is usual at Crissy Field in the morning, but it was the perfect temperature for the bike ride.  As we made our approach to the Golden Gate Bridge, we all took photos to capture the beauty all around us.


As we turned that corner, we realized what they meant by a “medium-sized hill.”  I guess the Mermaid Series is all about the art of understatement, because the hill was quite steep.  I rode it almost all the way to the top, but eventually had to get off my bike and walk.  One of my goals for next year’s ride (because my friends and I all plan on doing this ride again next year) is to make it up the hill all the way without getting off to walk.

Once we hit a really scenic area right before we’d get on the Bridge, we all stopped to take photos again.


I love this pic of my sister and me and our

I love this pic of my sister and me and our “dueling” bikes.

Now it was time to get on the Bridge and ride. The wind was blowing, the fog was rolling, the cars were speeding by, and other bikers kept saying, “on your left,” but despite these obstacles, I was truly awed at the fact that I was riding my bike on this magnificent bridge.  There really is nothing else like it anywhere.


The journey toward Sausalito was tough – my legs were pumping and we were fighting the elements, including that brutal wind, which offered a ton of resistance.  There was also a very steady incline the entire time.  All of this didn’t phase me, though, because if I have one thing going for me with these big thighs it’s that they’re strong and powerful.

We made it to the Sausalito side and found another opportunity to take a water break and snap a few more photos.

My sis and I, happy that we made it across.

My sis and I

When one of your friends is 6 feet tall and you're only 5'3

When one of your friends is 6 feet tall and you’re only 5’3″, taking a selfie is tough business.


Luckily, we found two nice sisters who were willing to take a proper group photo for us. I love this photo so much, and have made it my cover photo on FB.

Inspired that we’d made it halfway across the Bridge, we knew heading back to the end would be much easier. Not only was the wind on our side this way, but we also had a steady decline on the way back, too.  I had my bike on the highest gear and my had on the break almost the entire way back.  The only harrowing part was the cross traffic of bikers, and the “expert” riders who were also trying to pass in a very narrow space.  Since this wasn’t a race, but just a ride, I’m not sure what the need was to pass with so little room.  Not to mention that most of these people weren’t even taking part in the ride.  I guess people like speed.  I’m not one to talk – I’m highly competitive and prefer going as fast as possible, most of the time.

I got away from most of the “traffic” so that I could take a few more action shots and a quick video.

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The entire time I was riding to the finish line, I just kept thinking about how happy I was to share this experience with these awesome ladies.  And about how far I’d come – at my heaviest weight I might have been able to make the 7-miles, but I know I would’ve been so much slower and very sore for days afterward.  And I would have been ultra concerned with how my big butt looked on that cruiser.  I can honestly say this thought didn’t even cross my mind once during the ride.  I know I still have a big booty, but I’m proud of it, and all of my curves.  Doing these kinds of events always solidifies for me how much I’ve accomplished in my weight loss and fitness goals.

Once we hit the finish line, which we crossed as a 5-pack, we triumphed over our achievement.  You can’t miss those huge smiles on our faces at a job well done.

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I cannot say enough about what a great time we had on this ride.  It was scenic, challenging, and so much fun.  If you have the chance to do a Mermaid Series race, ride, or swim, I highly recommend it.  My sister, friends, and I all said we’re looking forward to making this an annual adventure. Can’t wait!


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I wanted to do something with my friends to mark the fact that I’ve lost 100 pounds.  My friends have been there for me through thick (literally!) and thin (soon we’ll be there!), and I wanted to celebrate with them too.  A few weeks ago a couple of my girlfriends and I headed to one of my favorite wineries for to imbibe, but I also wanted to do something fitness-related, because one of the best things about losing all this weight is the fact that I can be so much more active.

Since I love riding my bike, it seemed like a natural fit.  I chose this past Saturday, November 16th for our jaunt, and crossed my fingers that the weather would hold up, which it did.  It’s so difficult to get everyone together, especially on a Saturday afternoon, so I was really happy that my sister and Tinkerbell were able to come on the ride with me.

2013-11-16 13.50.37 I wanted to get a quick selfie to capture my happiness.  It was a gorgeous, clear, sunny day, I was going bike riding at LG Creek Trail, and I was going to get to spend some time with two of my favorite people in the world.  Of course I have a huge smile on my face!

il_570xN.499253980_sarr Before we ever left for the bike ride, my sister gave me this adorable bicycle basket tote bag.  She’d bought a different pattern for herself months ago from Gypsea Blue Bags on Etsy, and I loved it so much that she decided to buy one for me in honor of my 100-pound loss.  How special of her!  She bought the perfect colors, knowing that I want to buy myself a red beach cruiser for my 100-pound reward.

For those of you wondering why I want to buy another beach cruiser when I already have one, the reasons are simple:

  1. I love the ease of beach cruisers.
  2. I love that beach cruisers allow me to sit up straight – no slouching = great posture.
  3. They’re just fun!!
  4. I wanted a red one when I originally bought mine, but it was going to be a special order, and because I wanted it THEN, I went with the peach one I have.  But for the past 5 years I’ve regretted not getting the red one, so now it’s time.

So, I’ll be buying this cruiser for myself very soon:

chubbyscruiserBut back to our fun day riding bikes…

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The first amazing thing was fitting our bikes on the back of my sister’s little Vibe.  Her bike is no problem, but my bike is a whopper.  It’s long, heavy, and very awkward to transport.  But together, LC and I were able to get it on the bike rack without too much effort.  I’m glad to know that we can fit it on there, because it means we can go on lots of bike rides to fun places that are a bit farther out of the way.

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As much as I love that we are all in this group selfie, I hate that I was scrunching down so that it looks like I have a huge double chin. I know that sounds vain of me, but considering this is all about losing 100 pounds, I want the photos to reflect that. I guess I’m even more glad now that I took that selfie, above. Still, I do love that all three of us are in this photo – love these girls!

The LG Creek Trail is absolutely beautiful, peaceful, and serene, although these photos don’t do it justice. But believe me, each of us commented at different parts along our ride about how pretty the surroundings were.

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We rode the trail until we were at the edge of Vasona Park and decided it was time to stop for a quick water break.  Look at this view!  It was even more vivid in person.  At this point, we decided to turn around, because the entrance to Vasona from this side is very narrow, with lots of uphills, and we weren’t all sure we were up for it.

2013-11-16 14.30.00All told, we rode for an hour and had the best time.  We chatted, laughed, and just felt so alive there on the trail.  I even had a chance to take this pic, which I adore.  Pretty good camera work, if I do say so myself, considering I was pedaling as I took it.


I can’t think of a better way to celebrate this milestone weight loss than riding my bike on a beautiful November Saturday afternoon with my girlies.


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I had the most amazing day in recent memory today! I spent the day riding my bike in Half Moon Bay with my friend Ani.  The forecast was crisp (54 degrees), but sunny, so I knew it would be a perfect day at the beach.  It was such a simple yet delightful day, and I wanted to make sure to document it and share some beautiful photos I snapped.

(I know my iPhone camera is no DSLR, but I am pretty impressed with how well these shots turned out).

As we were riding our bikes down to the bike path by the beach, we passed the strangest sight…


This furry fellow was just hanging out, eating the grass behind an old fence in the middle of a neighborhood.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen an alpaca in person, but he seemed to enjoy hamming it up for the camera.

There were lots of other beautiful images that I captured, all before I ever reached the beach.

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Before we road along the beach, Ani and I decided to stop and have our lunches.  To make sure I stayed on track, I packed myself a little picnic to enjoy on one of the benches that overlook the ocean.

aniAni’s been getting into taking film photography, and she spent the afternoon taking many of the same photos that I did, only on black and white film, paying attention to the proper F/stops.  I can’t wait to see how her shots turn out, since she’s going to experiment with a new way to develop them, using tea instead of chemicals.  And yes, she did read about it on Pinterest.

I like to think I have a fairly good eye, and learning how to take better pictures would be something I’m very interested in, although I see myself as someone who would invest in a decent DSLR camera rather than film.  Digital is more forgiving.  Imagine what kinds of pictures I could get with a nice camera…

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meonlola Although I’m sure I’ll look at this shot later as one of many “before” photos, I love it because it captures how much fun I was having riding my bike in the sun, the beach to my right, wind whipping all around me.  The wind was super strong!!  The only thing that kept me going as I was pushing myself against the brutal wind was the thought of the great resistance workout it was providing.  Riding my beach cruiser at the beach has to be one of the most simple pleasures I can think of.  Not only does it allow me to exercise – we biked for an hour and 20 minutes and I burned 1065 calories – but it makes me feel free.

Now for my favorite beach shot of the day.  And yes, it’s now my FB cover photo:



Since we were only about 20 minutes away from the nearest David’s Tea, and since Ani is now even more obsessed with their loose leaf tea as I am (coffee will always be my #1), we decided to make a pitstop.


I was struck by how immaculate the store was, and now knowledgeable and friendly the staff was.  I’ll definitely be back to their retail stores, especially now that I know they’re opening up a third San Francisco location.


In case you were wondering, I got a fresh-brewed cup of pumpkin chai – yum!

All in all, yesterday was one of those picture-perfect days that come along every so often.  It’s definitely one that I hope becomes the norm during my summer vacation.

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A few weeks ago I wrote that I was going to take the beach cruiser out for a few bike rides, and that didn’t happen. Sure, I was doing other activities, like Bikram yoga, swimming and Zumba, but that’s not the reason I didn’t go for a bike ride. Here’s where I can get a bit honest – I’ve been avoiding taking the beach cruiser out because it’s gotten increasingly difficult for me to get on and off the bike because of my weight.

Since it’s been some time since my last bike ride (I seriously can’t remember when I last rode it, maybe 4 months?  Maybe 6?), my tires need to get inflated quite a bit.  I haven’t wanted to ride it the half mile to the gas station to fill the tires with air because I’m really afraid of falling off the bike as I’m trying to get off of it, and I just don’t want to look stupid in such a public place. To be clear, I’m not worried at all about hurting myself, because I know I could take that part, but the bruise to my ego/self-esteem is probably too much. Ridiculous, I know. But it’s true.

So I asked my parents to get me an electric air pump for my birthday so that I could just pump the tires up at home. That way I can pump up the tires whenever and then head in any direction I want, not always stopping at the gas station first. I know that if I can easily keep the tires filled with air, I’ll go on bike rides much more often.When I filled the tires with air today, they were down to 20psi, instead of the 45-65psi they should be.  It was really easy to use and took less than 10 minutes.  Easy!

As for the main problem – getting on and off the bike, I know that as I lose weight it will become easier for me to position my leg through the space in the front of the bike. I usually try to lift my leg up and through the space between the seat and the handlebars of the bike in front, no easy task for someone with short, fat legs that aren’t easily maneuverable. And because of that, I’ve been avoiding riding my bike, even when my sister asks me to go on one with her, and it kills me because I love to ride bikes around our neighborhood together.


Then my sister suggested that instead of putting my legs through the space in the front, I should swing my leg over the back of the bike.  I’d never thought of it before!  I’ve always gotten on the bike going through the space in the front, and I guess old habits die hard.  I tried it, and it was SO much easier for me!!  Not only is it a smoother position, but I can also use the handlebars for support.  I am thrilled that getting on and off the bike is so much easier and more stable for me now.  It goes to show that sometimes you just need to look at a situation from a  completely different perspective in order to solve the problem.  It also helps that I’m completely comfortable with my sister, so explaining an embarrassing situation isn’t a big deal.  If I wouldn’t have shared this with her, I’d never have fixed the problem, and would have missed out on a lot more bike rides.




Sitting on Lola, my beach cruiser, ready to ride! Today was the perfect day for a jaunt around the neighborhood!

It’s a warm day, and nothing feels better than going out on the bike with the sun shining and the wind giving a nice breeze to keep you cool.  We went out for an hour and had the BEST time; burning 823 calories wasn’t bad, either.  Now that I’m much more mobile, I plan on taking the bike out for rides all the time. Besides my neighborhood, which has wide streets filled with great houses and beautiful landscaping, there are a couple of walk/run/bike paths nearby that are great for longer rides.  But a new goal before the end of the summer is to go to Half Moon Bay with my sister and ride bikes again near the beach.

I’ve also decided that once I reach 100 lbs lost, I’m going to buy myself the red beach cruiser that I’ve always wanted.  The Nirve peach-colored bike I have is fine, but I’ve always regretted not getting the red bike.  I feel like my clothes and style go so much better with red than with a pastel bike.  I’m more of a classic, primary color girl anyway.  I like cleaner, simplistic, more retro looking lines in everything, including my bikes.  And I can’t think of a better reward for losing 100 lbs.


Now if you’re dying to know how the bike got named Lola, you can read this post.

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It’s summertime! Which means that life is a lot easier – my schedule is free, healthy fruits and veggies are plentiful, and I have nothing but time to work on this goal. Success is practically guaranteed – all I need to do is follow through with my actions. My re-assessment meeting with my surgeon was on Friday, June 8th, which just so happened to also be my last day of school before summer vacation, making Fridays the perfect day to weigh-in. So throughout the summer, I’ll be giving Friday progress updates called Successful Summer Weigh-Ins.

This week I wanted to try to see what happened if I cut back a bit on my grains at dinner a few of the nights. So Monday-Wednesday I didn’t have any sort of grain and you know what? I didn’t miss it….much. I think I started out on Monday missing the idea of having a grain at dinner more than I actually missed the grain. Because I planned meals that were filling enough, the grain wasn’t a factor in my feeling of satiety. For example, Wednesday night I had TJ’s ginger marinated cod with a side of sauteed zucchini and summer squash, and I was really satisfied. In fact, I felt full enough that I didn’t even think of the “missing” grain at all. I did end up having some quinoa last night because I had it left over from Sunday and I didn’t want it to go bad before I ate it. The scale didn’t move from yesterday to today, though, which tells me it is probably better to skip grains at dinner, unless I’ve done a fairly major workout that day. Which is just fine, since I wanted to keep my plan balanced and in moderation.

{Okay, Bella, that’s all good and well, but what we really want to know is how you did on the scale}. Right?!

Today I weighed in at 302.4, which means I lost 3.8 pounds this week, so I have 21.4 lbs to go to reach my pre-surgery goal. I’m thrilled with this steady weight loss, and I think the combination of eating well, cutting back on evening grains, and working out helped. The total for three weeks is 12.6 lbs lost, which is excellent. I’m really proud of what I’ve done so far this summer.

My first weight loss reward is scheduled for 15 lbs (5%), and I’ve decided to get a shellac manicure. Now that I’m taking Biotin every day, my nails are growing and getting stronger. Since normal manicures don’t last for me (I chip the polish within a day), I know that the shellac is the way to go. Yesterday when I got my hair done I made an appointment to get the shellac mani on July 12, which gives me more than enough time to lose the 15 lbs. In fact, I’m sure I’ll be closer to 20 lbs off by then. That’s so cool to think about!!

The week ahead could be a challenging one with my birthday and the 4th of July, but I’ve decided that this year, nothing is more important to me than losing this weight, so I’m making that the priority. I’m following it with my actions and choices. More on that in Monday’s birthday post.

Until next week, my friends. I hope the scale treats you well, and that you have a wonderful weekend!

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Goal Style. Each week I use Polyvore to put together looks that I hope to wear when I get to goal. They serve as inspiration and motivation, and they help me develop my own sense of style along the way. I enjoying working with thematic groupings, so if you have ideas of style themes for future fashion posts, please put them in the comments.

I haven’t done a Goal Style post in weeks, so I thought it was high time I did one.  Since I’m reporting my weigh-in progress on Fridays, I’m moving these fashion posts to any other day of the week, because fashion happens everyday, right?

This week’s Goal Style was inspired by a pin I found on Pinterest of a beautiful sunset on the beach, with a beach cruiser parked near at a dock. The nice thing about this pin is that it’s easy enough for me to re-create it, since I have beaches just 45 minutes away in either direction.  I love riding my beach cruiser, and this picture helps remind me of the laid back feeling I get when I’m on it.  It’s a great reminder that  I need to hop on the bike a bit more often.

The clothes themselves are easy, breezy.  I was just telling my sister yesterday that I wanted to get a straw hat to have when my summer curls aren’t at their best. In fact, I just bought a hat straw hat online this morning.  Mine is a little less floppy (more wearable everyday) than this one is, but I do like the way the whole out fit came together.  It’s definitely something I could see myself wearing.  In fact, I own those Reef flip flops and LOVE them – very supportive and comfy, even when walking all around.  The shorts are Not Your Daughter’s Jeans, a brand I’ve put on a previous Goal Style because I hear they’re made for curvy women.  The Tory Burch top is a fantasy, but it definitely looks nice with the outfit, right?  And while I don’t any bracelets like those, I would love some.  I really like the trend of stacking lots of bracelets because it reminds me of Madonna in the 80s. Maybe I’ll get some for myself for my birthday.

Where’s the last place you’ve taken a bike ride?

Summer Sunset Beach Bike Ride

Tory Burch scoop neck top
£81 – farfetch.com

NYDJ shorts
$55 – zappos.com

Reef shoes
$28 – endless.com

Chan Luu wrap bracelet
$190 – endless.com

Floppy straw hat
£20 – houseoffraser.co.uk

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Yesterday we finally got a break from the 90+ degree weather, and since it was so nice outside, I decided to take Lola, the beach cruiser, out for a spin.  I also needed to get a few local errands done, so I decided to kill two birds with one stone (awful phrase, isn’t it?).

First I headed to the credit union to deposit a rather large chunk into my savings account.  I opened an account there because I’m buying a new car in August and credit unions usually have the best rates on auto loans.  Plus, I figured it would be a good bargaining tool if I went to a car dealer and said, “the credit union gave me this much at this rate, what can you give me?”  The credit union is only .8 miles from my house (one way), so I figured it would be an easy ride.

After the credit union, I headed to the library to pick up a book that was waiting for me and to return one I had finished.  (I’ve been really slacking on my reading this summer, for some reason.  I think I’ve been watching too much t.v./Netflix.  In the coming weeks I really want to get back to some reading).  The library is 1.3 miles from my house, which again, is really close.  The ride to the library is a nice one, although there is one intersection that is always a bit harrowing – my adrenaline is always pumping a bit more when I get close to it because I’m ultra-aware of any possible hazards.

All told, I went 4.2 miles on the bike yesterday, earned 4 APs, and got a couple of errands done.  Afterward I was tired & hot, but I felt great.  I’ve decided that whenever I have to go to these two places, I’m going to ride Lola, because it just makes sense.


I’ve had Lola a year now, and we’ve been on some really fun adventures together.  One of my goals for the summer is to get to Half Moon Bay again, because that was a really fun ride.  I also want to find a few new paved trails to go on.  One of my former co-workers sent me this link, which lists all of the local “bikeways.”  I can’t wait to use it to find some new routes.

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