• Bob Cowles
    Groundhog Weekend: It’s Here!
    By Bob Cowles, January 31, 2015

    Since I crossed the finish line for the Grand Rapids Marathon last year, all training has been directed toward the Groundhog Marathon Whole Hog, taking place this weekend.

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    Kim Thomas
    Winter Biking – How to Stay Warm
    By Kim Thomas, January 30, 2015

    With so many people getting fat tire bikes and more and more people living downtown and commuting by bike all winter, I have had many people ask me about how to keep warm, comfortable and happy on winter bike rides.  So I thought I would put together a blog of some of my best advice.

    Here are my thoughts on options from top to bottom:

    Options for keeping your head warm:

    • Hip winter riding helmets (yep, I said hip.) Here is a photo of my favorites (Kali):

    zzphoto (59)

    Use your regular helmet with a snow cap. I do this, but I do get a lot of comments!    zzzzphotoe yeah

    • Wear your ski helmet when it is really cold.
    • When its very cold use goggles, either ski goggles of goggles made specifically for biking.
    • Unless you wear a ski helmet, you need a hat under the helmet but the hat needs to be pretty thin. Here is a cool warm one from 45 North (hats that cover ears are the best).

    zzzphoto (58)

    Options for keeping your hands warm:

    • #1 choice – Bar Mitts. Bar mitts allow you to wear less bulky gloves so that you can get things from your pockets, etc.

    zzzzzzzzzphoto (64)

    Did I mention how much I love these Bar Mitts!

    • 45 North has a new line of winter biking gloves.  Here are the details (link site) and what they look like:

    zzzphoto (57)

    • Claw/crab/lobster type gloves are also the old standby.
    • If you have grip shift, you can use gloves with hand warmer grabbers in them. Use Grabbers brand – it is a local brand.

    Options for Jackets:

    • The good news is you can probably use what you have. A windbreaker with a fleece underneath.  I recently started wearing an old Gore jacket that I bought for an Alaska fly fishing trip 10 years ago and had not worn since.  How heavy of a jacket depends on temperature, where you ride (open road is colder), and how hard you ride.

    Options for Boots:

    • 45 NorthWulvhammers.  This is what I have:

    zzzphoto (63)

    • Regular boots and flat pedals
    • Put Grabbers toe warmers in your bike shoes, or hand warmers between your bike shoes and the shoe cover. (Although if you ride a lot, it is more environmentally friendly and economical to spring for the warmer shoes.)

    And AS ALWAYS – Buy from your local bike shops. #supportlocaltrades

    Shelley Irwin
    What’s Your Reason?
    By Shelley Irwin, January 30, 2015

    “Everyone has a reason to live a healthier, longer life. What’s Yours?” Read more

    Nathan Fujioka
    Busy gym
    By Nathan Fujioka, January 29, 2015

    The month of January is always a busier month at the gym I attend and I often find myself waiting to use a machine, and this year has been no exception. While I’m standing there waiting and getting jostled by the many bodies moving around, I see how it’s easy to fall into the trap of becoming impatient with all the New Year Resolution exercisers. However, I have to remember that getting impatient with these people would be counterproductive to the healthy community that I wish to see. Read more

    Jeffrey Fujioka
    Getting ready to race
    By Jeffrey Fujioka, January 29, 2015

    When everything is covered in snow and ice, spring/summer road races can seem far away. I haven’t run a race since October, so my legs are getting pretty anxious. But, having just recently signed up for the Gazelle Sports Triple Crown, road race season seems like it’s almost here!

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    Rod Zamarron
    Life is cross-training!
    By Rod Zamarron, January 29, 2015

    I was surprised that it’s been over a month and a half since I’ve posted here! I’ve been focusing a lot on strength training, as well as spending time on my bike trainer in the basement (usually binge-watching “Sons of Anarchy). I won’t start run training for the Fifth Third River Bank Run 10K until mid-February. I’m excited for the longer daylight hours that are already creeping up on us. This weekend, I’ll be volunteering and cheering on my friend Jenn at the GroundHog Day Marathon in GR. Jenn is an absolute nut…she never does anything halfway. I’ll tell you more about her some other time.

    I’m pleased with how I’m feeling physically…my weight is down and I can feel the difference strength training is making. I’m also keeping busy and adding things to my plate…working full-time, training for races (ending the season in October at Ironman Louisville), going to school and, now, taking my act to the stage…literally! A friend of mine, a long-time actress, director and stand-up comedian in the area, was looking for a “football player-type” for a small role in a play she’s directing, so I volunteered. I was probably the worst junior varsity football player in the history of my old high school, but I’m a big guy so I guess I can pull off looking the part!

    This all makes me think about how we hear about the importance of cross-training, but that’s true for life as well. For most of us, we shouldn’t focus exclusively on one thing…we don’t want to spread ourselves too thin, either. But think about it…when you have a few irons in the fire, a few different things holding your interest, isn’t that when you’re at your happiest? It keeps you mentally and physically fresh.

    I hope to see you out and around this weekend at the GroundHog Day Marathon. Enjoy!

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