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    Hey! I'm Beth - a 27 year old foodie living and working in the Washington, DC area who has lost almost 90 pounds through Weight Watchers. I love good food, wine and getting creative in the kitchen, and then balancing that out with running, The Shred, and yoga. Please feel free to browse around and hopefully you'll find some ideas, recipes and motivation!

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Biking for Beginners

A few people have been asking me about the bike I bought, how much it was, what I had to buy to go with it, whether I like it, etc etc. so I figured I’d take this opportunity to tell you a bit about my bike!

I need to take some more pictures, which I will post soon, but I bought a Diamondback hybrid. A hybrid is a cross between a mountain and a road bike, and in my opinion is the best of both worlds (unless you want to race – then you should get a road bike!) The tires themselves are much thicker than road tires, but they are still pretty narrow so I can go relatively fast in it. Because I ride on trails that are not just pavement but have dirt, bridges, roots, etc, the tires are sturdy enough to go on all sorts of terrains, but isnt as slow as a mountain bike.

My bike was used and cost $200 – it had new tires, new handlebars, and was fully tuned and ready to ride. If you’re in the DC area, I highly recommend going to the market where I bought mine (Craig’s List ad here) because they have about 40-50 bikes at any time and the guys are very knowledgeable and helpful. They let you ride the bike around and test out different bikes so you can get a feel for what you like best, and they guarantee the bike for 90 days. If anything happens to it, you have any questions, it just doesn’t feel right (or anything other scenario you can dream up!) you can bring it back to them and they will fix it, tune it, or let you pick a new bike.

Here’s a breakdown of some bike equipment you need/might want when you purchase a bike:

  1. Helmet – This goes without saying! You must, must, must MUST wear a helmet! It’s so dangerous and honestly not worth it not to!  One thing I recently learned is that helmets are only good for one hard fall – so if you have a tumble on your bike (which you inevitably will) replace your helmet. Even if it stays intact and looks OK from the outside, they are only designed for impact once, and much better to be safe than sorry!
  2. Padded Bike Shorts – A must in my opinion! I got mine off Amazon.com and they were under $30 and make a world of difference when riding.
  3. A comfy seat – If your bike doesn’t come with a comfortable seat, I highly recommend checking out amazon.com, a bike shop, or Target (where I bought mine for $20!) to get a new one. It makes a world of a difference.
  4. Air pump – This is a must that you have to buy along with your bike or very soon after. You’ll need to put air into your tires after every ride or two, so you need an air pump!
  5. Bike Lock – This is essential if you plan to leave your bike unattended at any time – – to go to the bathroom or into a store if you bike somewhere, if you want to switch from biking to running, to store your bike on the street or on a bike rack. You want to get a U-lock if you can, not a cable lock because those can be easily cut if someone is trying to steal your bike.
  6. Sunglasses or sports glasses – another essential which I didn’t realize until several rides in. There’s a lot of stuff and bugs flying around in the air, and since you’re going so much faster than running, it hits your face/eyes with much more speed! What a huge difference wearing sunglasses makes with keeping your eyes clear of gnats and other nasty things along the way! 🙂
  7. Bicycle gloves – These are optional, but next on my list to buy (don’t have them yet). Especially if you go on long rides, they help with your grip on the handles, they protect your hands/skin from the rub of the handlebars, and they absorb some of the shock when you hit bumps along the road.

I think that’s it! I am SO glad I bought my bike – definitely one of the best decisions I’ve made. It’s such a nice break from running, and its non impact. Also, sometimes when I speed by runners, I am sooooo happy to be on a bike going so much faster than I can run! I’ll always love running, but it’s definitely a nice supplement to it. Any other tips for beginners about biking? Especially from more experienced people because I’m such a novice! Or additional questions for people thinking about getting into it?

Now, onto my eats for the day! My afternoon snack was a T&C Sandwich with grapes.

T&C = Tempeh and Crofters Asia. I had 1/4 of a block (1/2 a serving) of raw tempeh sliced on the sandwich and put THE LAST ( 😦 )of my Crofter’s Asia on both sides of the bread.

It was SO good! It doesn’t taste like much, just adds a nice texture to the sandwich, and definitely adds a LOT of staying power. 1/2 a serving has 11 grams of protein!! And grapes will always have a place close to my heart… love them!

After work I went out for a few drinks because my friend Jess finished LAW SCHOOL TODAY!!!!! Congrats Jess!! I am so happy for her, but it’s definitely making me think twice about what I’m doing/start thinking about “the next step”.. I can’t BELIEVE my friends are already graduating from law/grad school.. my how time flies! I had 3 vodka sodas and then called it quits. I was glad I had that substantial sandwich before going because I didn’t get too tispy and was able to stop after the 3 easily. After I left the bar, I was super hungry, so I decided to (against my own rules) stop at Chipotle for some dinner before heading home. I hadn’t been to Chipotle in AGES and when I walked by, it was calling my name, so I went with it.

I ordered the vegetarian burrito bowl:

I asked them to put lettuce at the bottom of the bowl, and then had them pile on:

  • black beans
  • fajita veggies
  • cilantro rice
  • pico de gallo
  • corn salsa
  • guacamole

It was soooooo good. Their corn salsa tastes SO good and everything felt so fresh even though it was from a chain… I know I said I wouldn’t eat out BUT I only spent $7 and I didn’t leave the bar until 8:30 and needed to eat before it got too late! But I admit I broke my own rule… and I’m not thrilled about it. No more eating out this week at all… hold me to it!!

Nurse Jackie is coming on soon! I’m gonna curl up on the coach and watch some TV. Have a good night!!

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6 Responses

  1. I highly suggest bike gloves. I get blistersif I don’t wear my gloves. And get ones with gel padding!

  2. i dont even need to tell u how great of a steal that bike was…wow! i got my bike through a contest which is awesome but i am all for used bikes.
    mmmm black grapes! sweet and crunchy, perfect with that sandwich! ❤

  3. Thanks so much for the reminder about helmets! It always drives me nuts whenever people just don’t wear helmets – why why why?? So dangerous! I’m glad you like your bike, though. It seems like a really nice one!

    That veggie burrito bowl is making me drool at 6 am lol 🙂

  4. Everytime I read about your biking adventure it makes me want to buy a bike more and more!

    I am going to chipotle today and I can’t wait, their spicy honey vinegarette is amazing!

  5. OMG guac at Chipotle is seriously the best! Now I hate my own lunch for today lol

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