Delaware and Lehigh Valley Trail

Delaware and Lehigh Valley Trail

Greatest Hubby Ever and I bike the Delaware and Lehigh Valley Trail

The Delaware and Lehigh Valley Trail rides very differently than most Rails to Trails. Maybe because it’s really a canal trail and not a railroad bed. Here’s all the info. you need to plan your trip to Easton PA to enjoy the trail!

Delaware and Lehigh Valley Trail prep work.

GHE (Greatest Hubby Ever) researched the trail and decided we should start our ride in Easton, PA. We made reservations at the Lafeyette Bed and Breakfast. We planned to arrive on Thursday night, ride on Friday and head to the Musikfest in Bethlehem, PA before we headed home on Saturday.

Delaware and Lehigh Valley Trail
The entrance and our room at the Lafeyette Inn

We arrived in Easton, PA about 7 p.m. Our BnB was a charming manor decorated in Victorian style. We had a spacious room and bath. The breakfast area was in a charming little sunroom. We headed to a local watering hole for dinner called the College Hill Tavern. We walked there right from our BnB and we chose to sit outside because it was such a nice evening. The food was traditional bar fare, but it was tasty. We also watched a pre-season football game on a rather unique “outdoor” TV! After dinner, we decided to walk around town for a bit and ended up on the campus of Lafeyette College.  What a quaint campus it was.

Delaware and Lehigh Valley Trail Day 1

We awoke in the morning with a goal to be on the trail by 9 a.m so we headed downstairs for breakfast. It already smelled great before we got down the stairs. The owner, Laura, and some helpers greeted us with fresh fruit and homemade bread and muffins. We each had the choice of an omelette or steel cut oatmeal.  I had the oatmeal and GHE had the omelette.  They were both REALLY good.

Delaware and Lehigh Valley trail
Our breakfast on day 1. Yum!

After breakfast, we headed for the trail. We only had to drive a few miles into town and parked in the park/trail access. This was no ordinary Rails to Trails because it’s not a railroad bed, but a canal trail that runs alongside the Delaware river. It was used in the mid 1800’s to the early 1900’s to transport coal throughout the state.  Mules hauled barges up and down the canals to deliver the coal where it needed to go. The bike trail is where the mules once traveled along the canal banks.

The trail is a bit narrower in some places than we are used to and the rain had been heavy the week before. There were a few places where we actually had to bike through running water to get where we were going. Thankfully, it wasn’t deep or our ride would have ended before it got started. We did have some wet sneakers to deal with! There was also one place where we had to carry our bikes up a set of steps and back down, but our bikes are light so it wasn’t a problem.

Delaware and Lehigh Valley trail
Riding through water flowing from the canal to the Delaware river

The view of the Delaware river was spectacular and I liked reading the history of the canals posted along the trail.  GHE and I did our usual, riding 15 miles out and 15 miles back which totaled up to a  30 mile ride for the day. Unlike our last ride on the Great Allegheny Passage, this was a totally flat trail out and back (canal, remember?).

Evening fun

We only had a snack on the trail so by the time we finished riding, got back to our room, showered and rested a bit, we were very hungry. We checked out the listing of places to eat in downtown Easton and picked Stoke for our late lunch. Stoke specialized in coal fired pizza so that’s what we had. When you order, you get your own personal size pizza.  We each ordered a house salad. I had a Margarita pizza while GHE ordered the meat lover’s pie. We also enjoyed some craft beer and a signature cocktail called Sunrise over Chianti. Sangiovese and Tequila; Who knew those could taste great together?

Delaware and Lehigh Valley trail
Great late lunch at Stoke

Downtown Easton is laid out like almost every small town in PA. A square that’s really a traffic circle with a cute little park in the center and streets with shops and restaurants branching out to the North, South, East and West. We browsed around for a bit and then headed to the park for some people watching. There were many families in town who had come to visit The Crayola Experience. This is a museum/activity center for kids centering around Crayola crayons. We had some fun taking pictures outside the creatively painted exterior of the building.

Delaware and Lehigh Valley trail
Having fun outside The Crayola Experience

It was almost dark when we decided to stop at Bank Street Creamery for some ice cream. This was a cute little place tucked away in an alley.  It looked like no one had any trouble finding it though! I had homemade peach ice cream in a sugar cone. We ate it outside on the sidewalk at colorfully painted iron tables while little twinkly lights shone above us.  A great way to end our day.

Delaware and Lehigh Valley trail
A little sweet treat at Bank Street Creamery

Delaware and Lehigh Valley Trail Day 2

The plan was to ride to a trailhead near Bethlehem and the Musikfest, then ride our bikes the short distance to avoid traffic and parking.  Unfortunately, PA rainy summer 2018 got in the way.  We woke up to thunderstorms and driving rain, so those plans had to be scrapped. Instead, we slept in a little later, then enjoyed the best Belgian waffles I ever had (honestly). Since the weather was not on our side, we loaded our bikes onto the car and headed home early, but the weekend was still a total success!

Total Miles: 30 (15 out and back)

Essential Gear: Saris Bones 2 bike rack This bike rack allowed us to take GHE’s car and get lots better gas mileage on our trip to Easton

Wildlife Seen: Squirells and rabbits and a beautiful Great Blue Heron on the Delaware river!

Have questions about planning a trip to this trail? Comment below!

 

 

 

Two Day Bike Trip on the Great Allegheny Passage

In Late July, Greatest Hubby Ever and I took our first overnight bike trip. We decided to do a two day bike trip on the Great Allegheny Passage. It was a fun first experience with overnight biking.

two day bike trip on the great allegheny passage
Just some of the sights on the Great Allegheny Passage from Adelaide to Myersdalse

Two Day Bike Trip on the Great Allegheny Passage-Prep

The first thing we did was decide where we wanted to have as our starting base. We chose Myersdale, PA. This was a part of the trail we had not ridden before and we also knew this town catered to trail riders with a shuttle service. This way, we could  be shuttled to where we wanted to start riding. We knew we wanted to ride a maximum of 30 miles per day. We planned a starting point 60 miles West of Myersdale and then chose our overnight location of Confluence, PA. This is also a small town that has bed and breakfasts and restaurants that are trail rider friendly.

GHE (greatest hubby ever) then consulted with the shuttle owners to get recommendations for the best B and B’s for reservations in each town. After we made reservations were made and packed our gear, we were ready to go!

Two Day Bike Trip on the Allegheny Passage-Day 1

GHE left a little early from work and we drove the two  hours to Myersdale where we stayed at Yoder’s Guest House. It’s a very quaint Bed and Breakfast right on the town square. This B and B was $110.00 per night We had a bedroom, bathroom combo suite with a private entrance. The owner was waiting to greet us when we got there and he was very friendly. He gave us two or three dinner recommendations while he helped us get settled in.  They had a garage where you could store your bike, although GHE and I decided to leave ours attached to the car and back into our parking space.

two day bike trip on the Great Allegheny passage
Yoders was right on the town square in Myersdale.

We decided to walk a few small town blocks to Morguen Toole Company. This bar/restaurant was a former woodworking shop and mortuary. But don’t be spooked! The food was good and the atmosphere was pretty cool. The bar had tractor seat bar stools and the table seating was booths, tables and church pews! It was Mexican night, so I had a chicken quesadilla.  It was good. We walked back to our guest house and enjoyed the sweet front porch and a little bit of people watching.  GHE stopped on the way back for an ice cream cone at Donge’s. They were technically closed, but were happy to scoop a cone for him for $1.85!

Two day bike trip on the great allegheny passage
This place used to be a morgue and a toole and dye hence the name!

Time to Ride!

The next morning, we were up by 7 a.m and ready to dive into our continental breakfast before Rock City Shuttles picked us up at the Myersdale Trailhead. The trailhead was about 2 minutes away from where we were staying, which was convenient. Kerry Kobus picked us up. She was very friendly and we shared trail riding stories during our drive to the Adelaide Trialhead,  about an hour away. She and her husband specialize in shuttling smaller groups like us to the places the want to ride. Our shuttle trip cost $45.00 per person.

The trailhead we chose to start did not have a parking lot like most, so this wouldn’t be a good place to start if you were driving to the trailhead, but it worked out fine for us. It started to rain, just as we were starting.  I was glad we had our waterproof saddlebags for our luggage and our raincoats! We got started and it wasn’t long until the rain stopped. It stayed cloudy but didn’t rain for the rest of the ride.

The Great Allegheny Passage is a mostly wooded trail which is lovely in the Summer. The direction we were heading was a slow  uphill grade for most of the trip but don’t let that stop you from riding it. It is very do-able! I just think it’s only fair to make you aware of that fact. We did pass through two small towns. The best thing about biking Rails to Trails is the fact that you get to see parts of the country that you would otherwise miss  blowing by them on the highway. It’s very cool that the trails have boosted the economies of these small towns. Each of them had bike shops and sweet little cafes and restaurants for a rider to stop and get whatever he or she needed.

Lunch By the Water

At the 20 mile mark, we stopped for lunch in on of these towns called Ohio-Pyle. This town had a breathtaking state park with a beautiful waterfall. People who were biking, river rafting and camping were everywhere. We ate at Falls Market General Store. We were so hungry and the sandwiches and soup we had there tasted great. After that break, we were ready for the 10 mile last leg of the trip to Confluence.

two day bike trip on the great allegheny passage
This was a restaurant, general store and ice cream parlor combined.

Those last 10 miles flew as we came to the Confluence trail head.  The high school kids at the information shed greeted us, asked what state we were from, gave us a little map of the town and directions to our B and B. We rode on the street to get there but small town roads aren’t usually crowded so no worries.

Stopping for the Night

The  Confluence Bed and Breakfast was a beautiful Victorian style house that, as fate would have it, we had all to ourselves. Not bad for $110.00!  The other party that was to be staying there cancelled at the last minute.  Our room and bath was so quaint. We were ready for a shower and a nap before dinner.

two day bike trip on the great allegheny passage
A nice room, a cute porch and a delicious breakfast in the morning.

After our rest, we consulted our map and chose the River’s Edge Cafe for dinner. (All these places were within walking distance of our B and B). This restaurant was upscale casual dining with outdoor and indoor seating that had nice views of the river. They also had B and B rooms for rent. I had Salmon salad with champagne vinaigrette dressing. Delicious! We strolled outside after dinner and sat down to watch the river go by.

two day bike trip on the great allegheny passage
Outdoor seating at the Rivers Edge Cafe

After dinner we headed to the Lucky Dog Cafe for a drink. This was more casual dining and drinks. Most of the seating was outdoor, which was fine, until it started to rain.  We had to hang out here a little longer than planned until the rain slowed down. When we got back to the Confluence house, we sat on the screened in porch and watched the moon come up over the trees. Small town living at it’s finest.

Two Day Bike Trip on the Allegheny Passage-Day 2

We requested breakfast for 8 a.m. and when we awoke, we could smell something delicious cooking.  The owners, Fred and Sandy, were downstairs and preparing omelettes, hashbrowns and muffins for us. While Sandy cooked and made us a boxed lunch for the trail, Fred told us stories of Confluence.  He was quite the character!

Today’s ride would be 30 miles back to Myersdale. We thanked our hosts, retrieved our bikes from the garage and loaded our gear. A short ride through town put us back on the trail. Highlights during our second day’s ride were a lunch on the trail of turkey wraps, trail mix, apples and home baked cookies, riding through the Pinkerton Tunnel and the viaduct right before returning to Myersdale. This ride was also a slow uphill grade for most of the way, but just as do-able as the day before. The weather was a perfect for biking sunny and low 70s!

Two day bike trip on the great Allegheny Passage
Greatest Hubby Ever takes a break on the trail to eat a boxed lunch.

We stayed the night again at Yoder’s and ventured to The White House for dinner.  This place came highly recommended by several Myersdale natives. It was what I would call family style upscale dining. This place had some pretty good shrimp scampi. GHE had prime rib and topped it off with chocolate cake.  We headed back to Morguen Toole Company for a drink and a listen to a local “Southern Rock” band. This was a great trip and I would recommend it for anyone who would like to do an overnight bike trip that’s not overly ambitious. If you like to ride and spend time exploring the towns you stay in, this is the perfect kind of trip.

Total miles: 60 (30 each day)

Essential Gear

Roswheel Bicycle frame pannier and Front Tube Cell Phone Bag– I could still keep track of my miles for Charity Miles and on my Fitbit even though it was raining.

Ibera bike waterproof pannier bag– Even though it only rained for a short time, all our clothes for the evening and the next day would have gotten all wet if we wouldn’t have spent the extra $ and got waterproof panniers.

Two day bike trip on the great allegheny passage
Getting ready to enter the Pinkerton Tunnel.

Want to read about one of our other rides on the GAP trail?

Did you ride this trail? Did you ride another trail we might like? Post your comment below!

Lower Trail in Huntingdon, PA

When I want to ride on a local trail, my first pick is always the Lower Trail in Huntingdon, PA. This is a 17 mile long trail that starts in Alexandria, PA and ends in Williamsburg, PA at the Flowing Springs Trailhead.

Lower Trail in Huntingdon, PA

Why I like the Lower Trail in Huntingdon, PA

It’s Convenient

The Lower Trail in Huntingdon, PA is less than an hour from my  home so I can hop in the car in the morning and be at the Alexandria Trail Head while it’s still cool. I can ride the entire trail and back and be done a little after lunch. There are four trailheads to choose from so you can plan your hike or ride depending upon the amount of time you have and your proximity to each one. Alexandria is closest to me, followed by the Mt. Etna, Williamsburg, and Flowing Spring at the opposite end of the trail. Flowing Spring is also a launch area for kayaking down the Juniata River, so you have the options of biking, walking, kayaking and horseback riding.

Lower Trail Huntingdon, PA
Took a pic of each trailhead address except Alexandria. It’s Route 4015 Alexandria. Now go to town on your GPS!

It’s Shaded

A vast majority of this trail is in the shade. Since I do most of my biking in the summer, it makes this trail very appealing.  On most of the trail, you feel like you are in the woods. The most shady area is from Mount Etna to Williamsburg trailhead.  Most stretches are very quiet, even when it’s a busy day on the trail. On the most recent day I rode, it was very  comfortable riding into the early afternoon. Plus you don’t have to worry about sun burn!

Lower Trail Huntingdon, PA
Shaded, flat paved area of the Lower Trail in Huntingdon, PA

It’s Relatively Flat

I know, I know, Rails to Trails are always relatively flat because they are built on old railroad beds, but I have ridden on some that have that “less than 3% grade” for a loooong distance. Fun on the way down, not so much so on the way up, although it’s not a steep hill like you have to ride on PA roads.  I like to ride a trail where you can get a good peddling rhythm down and stay in that groove.

There Are Nice Places to Stop Along the Trail

There are picnic pavilions at each trail head, along with bathrooms or porto-potties. In between the trailheads, the Boy Scouts (now BSA) have put in smaller picnic pavilions where a group could stop for drinks and snacks or a rest in the shade. In the town of Williamsburg  there is a coffee shop and and ice cream parlor that advertise right along the trail.  I’ve never been to either, but someday I plan to stop and see if they are nice.

Lower Trail in Huntingdon, PA
Shaded pavilions at the Mount Etna Trailhead

Portions of the Trail are Paved

The Lower Trail in Huntingdon, PA  is paved from mile marker 8 to just above the Williamsburg Trailhead. It’s nice to be able to sail along at a faster clip on this portion. There are some tree roots causing bumps here and there, but they are marked with orange paint. You may want to stick to the middle of the trail whenever possible.

Lower Trail in Huntingdon, PA
Stay away from these tree root bumps!

You May Spot some Wildlife

On my most recent ride I observed a doe and her two fawns, a hawk, goldfinch and a cardinal, squirrels and rabbits.  Oh and I also saw a flock of chickens owned by a farmer near the trail. They had total control of a bench I wanted to rest on, so I kept going. No need to get into a chicken fight with a rooster!

Lower Trail in Huntingdon, PA
These chickens think they own the trail!

Trail Length: 17 miles (I rode out and back for 34 miles)

Essential Gear for this trip: Ibera Bike Trunk Bag and Ibera Bike Rack

Taking a solo bike trip means you need to carry things with you in case of an unforseen event (like a flat tire). These Ibera products make it easy to carry!

Looking for a shorter ride? Check out our ride at Poe Paddy State Park

If you have a Lower Trail question or story you would like to share, post it below!

 

 

A More Comfortable Bicycle Seat

Recently a friend of mine got in touch with me and said she and her husband had started biking. They were loving it except for their sore behinds! They wanted to know what I did to get used to the racing seat. I told them I simply found a more comfortable bicycle seat.

The Original Purchase

When Greatest Hubby Ever and I began trail biking on Rails to Trails we purchased hybrid bikes. We wanted bikes that could be ridden easily on either trails or roads because we wanted the flexibility to ride on both. They resemble racing bikes in that they have the curled handlebars and the racing seats. The seat is made the way it is for weight reduction and aerodynamics, however we don’t need either since we are not riding for speed. After riding the bikes with the original seats, we both decided they were too hard on our hind quarters!

A More Comfortable Bicycle Seat

A more comfortable bicycle seat

Our search for a more comfortable bicycle seat started at our local bike shop since that’s where we got the bikes. To be honest, the folks there didn’t seem all that interested in our business.  They cater more to serious road bikers and racers (the people those uncomfortable seats are made for). Next, we went to the internet (where else).  We found the seats we currently have through Amazon from a company called Daway. Our seats are an older model, but the current model looks just as comfy and has a few more bells and whistles.

This seat has a nice cushy, wide seat that won’t get in the way of your peddling power as well as memory foam to keep your backside happy. It will fit any standard seatpost that doesn’t have a clamp on top so we had no problem mounting our new seats to our bikes. A cool feature on the newer model is a tail light powered by an LED battery (included). This is a good safety addition. This seat also comes with a 1 year warranty.

When we trail ride we usually ride for about 30 miles and we are pretty comfy the whole time. Of course, we also wear our padded bicycle pants and the combination is very comfy!

My friend got back to me recently and said she purchased her new seat and was really liking it. I’m glad I was able to give her a good recommendation.  If you purchase a Daway bike seat, let me know how you like it.

 

 

Where Does Coffee Fit Into A Healthy Lifestyle

Where does coffee fit into a healthy lifestyleMany of my cycling and fitness friends will ask me, “where does coffee fit into a healthy lifestyle?”. I’m not a coffee drinker, but it is a relevant question for many Americans who love their coffee. Along with a healthy diet, what are acceptable healthy beverages? Read this guest post (her second on my blog) by Caroline to get some answers to your burning coffee and health questions. 

Where does coffee fit into a healthy lifestyle?

A lot of people assume that a daily dose of coffee isn’t the best way to live a healthy lifestyle. After all, this pitch-black liquid doesn’t look like the answer to all kinds of health problems at first glance. However, scientific study is beginning to prove that your daily brew could be more powerful than you ever imagined. In fact, it helps with everything from indigestion, to insomnia, and even blood pressure!

Whether you’re worried about type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s, or you simply want to boost endurance during your workouts; coffee could be the answer to what ails you. If you’re a coffee lover and you’re looking for an excuse to spend more time enjoying your favorite drink, then you’ve come to the right place. Here, we’re going to look at how coffee can fit perfectly into a healthy lifestyle.

The Benefits of Drinking Coffee

In the past, the high caffeine content of coffee, combined with the fact that many people drink it packed full of sugars and syrups gave the beverage something of a bad reputation. However, studies from various communities have begun to disprove the negative claims about coffee beans, demonstrating that they can help with a range of common problems. For instance:

Coffee makes you smarter

Most people already know that coffee can give them more energy and endurance. However, what they don’t know is that the caffeine in coffee can block a neurotransmitter in the brain called “Adenosine.” This means that other transmitters in your brain like dopamine and norepinephrine can work better, leading to enhanced thought processes and faster-thinking patterns.

Coffee burns fat

Another thing that caffeine is great for? Helping you to get rid of excess fat. In fact, you can find caffeine in almost every commercial fat-burning and exercise supplement on the market today. Studies show that caffeine boosts your metabolic rate by as much as 11%, so you can achieve your weight-loss goals faster.

Coffee Contains Essential Nutrients

Coffee is packed full of essential nutrients like Riboflavin, Vitamin B5, and Magnesium (provided that you get the right beans). These added extras might not seem like much of a big deal at first, but they can add up to better protection against a range of diseases and ailments, including heart disease, dementia, and even Alzheimer’s disease.

How to Make Coffee Part of your Healthy Lifestyle

While coffee can be a great addition to your healthy lifestyle, it’s important to make sure that you’re getting the most out of this delicious beverage. Packing it full of sugar and other additives can eliminate all the advantages that natural coffee beans have to offer, so before you start brewing your next batch, keep the following tips in mind.

1.   Don’t Let a Coffee Habit Mask Other Bad Habits

While there’s nothing wrong with drinking plenty of coffee if you love the flavor and the benefits it brings, it’s important to make sure that you aren’t using the substance as a crutch. If you’re working eighty hours a week and you’re struggling to get to sleep at night, then you shouldn’t be using coffee as a way to get by.

In these circumstances, it’s not necessarily the coffee that’s a problem, but it’s important to recognize that a delicious drink isn’t the answer to all your problems. Maybe sure that you’re drinking it for the right reasons, and don’t go over the top. Research indicates that about four eight-ounce cups a day is fine.

2.   Make Sure You’re Drinking the Right Kind of Coffee

The ground coffee you see in jars at supermarkets isn’t the kind you want if you’re looking for health benefits. Ground coffee is one of the most chemically-treated substances in the world, and coffee beans, like anything else, begin to break down once their inner contents are exposed to oxygen.

Pre-ground beans are the enemies of the valuable nutrients and antioxidants that make coffee such a great addition to your healthy living habits. With that in mind, it’s important to make sure you always have a fresh supply of whole-bean coffee ready to grind at home. Whole, organic beans maintain their exceptional flavor and high quality, so you don’t miss out on any of the benefits that coffee can bring.

3.   Think About What You Put in It

Those pure, delicious ground coffee beans that you mix with water are primed to give you a healthy dose of nutrients and antioxidants. However, when you start adding extra things to the mix, that’s where problems can arise. A lot of people struggle to get the most out of their daily cup of Java because they add artificial creamers, syrups, and sugars in that detract from the things that good coffee can do.

The good news is that freshly-ground and organic coffee has enough natural flavor that you shouldn’t need to add anything extra to the drink. However, if you do feel like you need something a little sweeter, you can always try a touch of organic honey or some cinnamon instead!

4.   Drink it at the Right Time!

You don’t have to be a health expert to know that drinking a cup of coffee just before you go to bed might not be the best thing for your health. Coffee is a stimulant, so you should avoid drinking it when you want to get plenty of restful sleep. However, some studies suggest that it’s helpful to drink your java after a meal.

For instance, when you first get up in the morning, make sure that you have your breakfast before you pour yourself a brew. In the bloodstream, caffeine can cause your body to release excess sugar, which causes the pancreas to release insulin. When you haven’t eaten any food, this can cause a sharp drop in blood sugar, which pushes you to eat more food and fast.

5.   Take the Time to Enjoy it

Finally, if you really want to make the most out of every cup of coffee, then make sure that you don’t rush your way through the drink every morning, or afternoon at work. We’re living in a world where we’re constantly running from one task to the next, but your cup of coffee should be an excuse to slow down for a moment and really enjoy the flavors and experiences that come with freshly ground beans. The next time you brew a cup of coffee, make sure that you take at least five minutes out to relax, appreciate the taste, and lose yourself in the moment. Not only will you give yourself more time to soak up the benefits of coffee, but you’ll give your body a much-needed break too.

 

Bio: Caroline is a health writer and a coffee enthusiast. When she’s not writing about the latest wellness and fitness strategies, she can usually be found with a cup of coffee in one hand and a good book in the other. Over the years, she’s built her expertise writing for numerous brands across the globe and specializes in mental and emotional wellbeing.

 

Rehoboth Beach Trail

 

Rehoboth beach trail
View from Gordon’s Pond Trail

We found a Rehoboth Beach trail for hiking and biking. If you are going to the Rehoboth Beach, South Bethany or Bethany Beach, Fenwick Island or the Lewes, Delaware area and you enjoy hiking and biking, read on, save this post and take  notes!

Rehoboth Beach Trail step 1

Park near the Junction and Breakwater Trail head. We asked for permission to park in the parking lot of Revelation Brewery on Central Street in Rehoboth Beach. From their parking lot, it was only about 500 yards to the trail head. This trail starts out in a residential area and soon you are surrounded by forest. From there, you ride through the bay where beautiful grasses and marshes line the trail.  We saw a few egrets from afar here.

Next you travel through a relatively new residential area.  The homes are large and  construction is ongoing. You can see how the trail is incorporated into the neighborhood.  Having such a nice trail wind through your neighborhood would be part of what would attract residents to move there. The trail is well marked, so you will not get lost.  There are also several other trails that you could explore that are attached to Junction/Breakwater.

Rehoboth beach trail
Greatest Hubby Ever on the Junction and Breatkwater trail.

Rehoboth Beach Trail step 2

Once the Junction/Breakwater Trail ends, you will turn left toward the town of Lewes. There is another trail that runs through the back end of town that you can explore by taking a second left. It ends just outside of town, so you will need to turn around and come back, OR you can continue straight into the downtown of Lewes. (Better yet, do both.) Go straight through the traffic light and head to old downtown.

Lewes (pronounced loo-is) has a colorful history as the oldest town in Delaware. Go to A Brief History of Lewes if you would like to read up on it. Greatest Hubby Ever and I took a slow ride up and down the streets so we could look at all the colonial houses that have been well preserved.  Some of them still had cedar shingles.  There was also a quaint town square and a beautiful harbor. There were many cute little shops and some restaurants.  We didn’t stop the day we were there, but it could be a fun rest stop!

Rehoboth beach trail
You can see some of the cedar shingled roofs in the background.

Rehoboth Beach Trail step 3

Once you have explored downtown, go back to the traffic light and take a left over the bridge. You are now entering the beach area of town. Continue riding and stop to take a look at the beach.  You can see the Cape May Ferry running back and forth. The beach is wide and flat.  I think I would like to take a day at this beach if I return to the area. Continue riding toward the Cape May Ferry entrance.  You are now riding on the road (there’s a nice wide bike lane). Follow the signs to Cape Henlopen State Park.

Rehoboth Beach Trail step 4

It’s very important when you enter Cape Henlopen State Park to bear right, like the cars have to do, or you may get all turned around like we did. We stumbled onto one of the WW2 watch towers that you could actually climb.  That was pretty cool. It took us some time to find our way back to where we needed to be though.

Once you see the Ranger station, get on the bike trail that runs alongside it. This will be marked to take you to the Gordon’s Pond Trail. This trail will take you back to Rehoboth Beach. Gordon’s Pond Trail is absolutely gorgeous. It takes you through a great salt marsh via bridges and gravel trails. We saw plenty of wildlife, including egrets, seagulls and a black snake side-winding its way across the trail.

Rehoboth beach trail
This is the WW2 tower we were able to climb.

Rehoboth Beach Trail step 5

The trail will end in a parking lot in the park.  Keep riding and you will find yourself at the opposite end of Rehoboth Beach.  You will need to ride through the town of Rehoboth Beach. The traffic gets a bit busy, but there is a bike lane the whole way through. Make sure you use the second exit to the right from the round-a-bout. I used Waze to navigate back to Central Street.

Trail length: 20 miles for both trails

Essential gear for this trip: TaoTronics bike phone mount

Suggested eat/drink stops: Big Oyster Brewery  We had to get in the car and drive back to the Lewes area to eat lunch at this place, but it was worth it.  I had the Big Oyster Hammerhead tomato basil soup.  Greatest Hubby Ever had the drunken chicken sandwich. Both were delicious.  Can’t recommend a beer.  Not a beer drinker!

Interesting bike shop Seagreen Bicycle  This bike shop is right along the trail.  We literally biked into the parking lot. Greatest Hubby Ever bought a a pair of bike shorts because he forgot one pair at home.

If you ride this trail, post below and let me know how things went!

Check out our ride in Wellsboro, PA

 

New Resource for Rails To Trails Lovers

This site will now be a new resource for Rails to Trails lovers! I’ve become a Rails to trails bicycling enthusiast over the last 18 months and I want to share the knowledge I have gained to help you find great cycling trips to take, great products to use and great places to visit on your cycling adventures. Here’s what I’m planning:

New Resource for Rails To Trails Lovers

New resource for Rails to Trails Lovers

I have taken a number of Rails to Trails cycling trips now and I will share all my discoveries with you. I will outline each trip so it will be easier for you to plan a similar one. You can do a virtual “ride along” through photos and descriptions. I’ll blog my way through the cycling trips my hubby and I take (or have already taken). We’ve done many trips in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware. We have new trips planned for Summer and Fall 2018. I’ll give you the lowdown on what worked and what didn’t for every trip we take.

Fitness and nutrition resources

My site has always been about fitness and nutrition and that won’t stop!  You  have to be in pretty good shape to take longer Rails to Trails trips.  I’ll give you workout and eating tips to get you trail ready. Look for off-season work-out tips. I’ll make suggestions on what to eat on the trail and  what to eat to stay healthy and happy throughout the year.  We’ll include safety tips for your rides. Of course I’ll also include recipes for lots of healthy food to keep you peddling.

Product resources

We have been at this for an extended period and we have collected some gear we really like. From bikes to bags to riding wear and more. We will let you know where the best buys are and give you an honest review of the products we use when we are on the trail.  There are definitely some products out there that make your life a whole lot easier! As far as where to shop, I’m an Amazon lover simply for the prices and the ease of finding what you want when you want it.

How to maintain your bike and your gear

You want your bike and your gear in tip top condition when you go out on the trail. We will give you the step by step on how to do your routine maintenance before you leave. We’ll also let you know what troubleshooting you might need to do while you are out on the trail.

Restaurant, lodging and tour recommendations

A new resource for rails to trails lovers to have that’s important is where to stay, where to eat and what to do along the trail. We will give you information on all this for each town we visit.  There is also so much local history you can soak up in each place you visit that you would surely miss on any other type of trip.  I would love to share what we know with you!

Resources for Rails to Trails activists

Since we have been riding, we have come to realize what a plus it is for communities to have access to Rails to Trails. It brings revenue into small town economies. It adds a clean and healthy transportation alternative to the neighborhoods that are connected to each trail. It’s a way to preserve the unique history of the railroads across the United States It brings down our level of pollution that contributes to climate change. I’ll share ways to help increase the number of Rails to Trails in your local area and in other beautiful spots all over the country.

I’m very excited to get started posting some of the trips we have taken in the past year and a half. If you have been thinking  about getting involved in Rails to Trails cycling, check back to this site often.  I’ll be looking forward to hearing about your trips and recommendations too!

Office Fitness Challenge; Move 3 for Every 30 Minutes

Want to help your employees or office mates combat the health risks of office fitness challengebeing sedentary? Here’s an office fitness challenge that can get everyone up and moving throughout the day. It’s called the Move 3 for Every 30.

This is a challenge I came up with from an article in my Fitness Journal Magazine. The premise is simple. Everyone in the office gets up from his or her work space and moves for 3 minutes every half hour. This in an outline of how to get it up and running, make teams, get organized, keep each other accountable and celebrate your successes!

Have sign ups and create buzz about the office fitness challenge

Send out an e-mail describing the challenge and how long it will last. 21 days helps people create a new healthy habit, so make it at least that long.  Start at the beginning of a month or on a special day on your work calendar. You can use a google form for sign-up to make it easy to do right from each worker’s computer. Make sure you make a deadline for sign-ups and send a few reminder e-mails. Include a link to your google form with each one.

Create teams

From your sign-up list, create teams; no less than six, no more than ten.  Teams should be even or as even as you can make them. You want teams to be small enough to create a collaborative atmosphere. Make sure employees work in close enough proximity to each other to be able to support each other during the challenge. Combining people in the same department is a good way to go about it. Have each team give themselves a name. You can use e-mail to communicate back and forth on teams and names.

Provide resources for the office fitness challenge

For people to be successful, you’ll need to direct them to some resources. Each team member’s goal is to get up and move three minutes for every half hour they work. Provide or direct them to audio or visual reminders to move. Workers can set alarms, use the Remind app on a smart phone or get  reminders on the computer.

Provide some ideas on how to move in an office environment where space is limited. A suggestion for cardio exercise is a 3 minute “hallway interval”. Do 30 seconds of brisk walking, followed by 30 seconds of slower walking. Repeat 3 times. A suggestion for strength exercises is a “cubicle circuit” of 5 different exercises. Suggestions are squats, alternate knee raises, wall/incline or floor push-ups, standing lunges, or step lunges and calf raises. Do 10 reps of each exercise. They will need timers, such as the bit timer app to keep track of exercise.

Create accountability

Each person on each team should also get a “movement buddy”. These two people keep each other accountable.  Buddies check in to make sure movement breaks are being taken every half hour. They can break together and work out together.  If that is not always possible, they check in to make sure partners got it done solo!

Provide motivation

Decide if you want this to be more of a mastery challenge or a competitive challenge. If you have more of a competitive crowd, teams could keep track of the percentage of team members that meet the 3 for 30 goal for the entire day of work each day.  Highest average percentage at the end of each day gets a small prize (could be just a shout out in an e-mail). At the end of the challenge, highest percentage gets a bigger prize.

A less competitive crowd could create and inter-office web page or a private Facebook page where teams can post accomplishments, encouragement, shout outs to team members or other teams for a job well done and pictures.

Other fitness challenges for you to check out:

Have you done some awesome office fitness challenges where you work? Please share them in the comments below!

 

Home Chef: 5 Ways it Can Help You Lose Weight

 

Note: These free tips are great and may be all you need. If you think you might like some more individualized help to live the healthy lifestyle, fill out this form and I will be in touch to help you get started!

home chef salmonI’m not a big product endorser, but I’ll make and exception for Home Chef. Hubby and I started getting Home Chef about a year ago.  We really love it for lots of reasons.  Here’s five reasons why we love it for weight loss/weight maintenance:

home chef gnocci

 

Portion Control

Every Home Chef meal comes perfectly portioned for one person.  You get exactly the amount of food you should eat in one sitting. No waste. No leftovers. Controlled portions mean controlled calories and that will help you lose weight.  There is no guess work and no underestimating how much you ate.  Each meal comes with calorie and nutrient totals. Home Chef meals are already included in the Lose It app. That makes it super easy if you’re counting calories.

home chef tostada

Home Chef is 100% Clean Eating

When our Home Chef box comes on Tuesday (you can pick what day of the week you want yours delivered) all the main ingredients (meats, vegetables and grains) are fresh.  The meats are way better quality than I can get at my local grocery. Ingredients free from additives, preservatives, sugar and salt  are better for you and lower in calories.

Low Calorie and Vegetarian Options

The types of meals that get delivered to you is up to you. We picked the Low Calorie option.  Every meal that is sent to us comes from Home Chef’s low calorie recipes. These meals stay between 400 and 700 total calories. They are restaurant quality and are not boring or bland at all.  You have the choice of all vegetarian if you want. Also set your deliveries up to avoid any food allergies you may have. Don’t like what Home Chef is planning on sending? Get online and change individual meals.  It’s simple!

Get as Many Meals per Week as You Want

You can get as many, or as few meals per week as you like. You get free shipping if you keep it at 3 or more per week. The more low cal meals per week you get, the easier it will be to lose or maintain your weight.

Learn How to Cook the Healthy Way

I’ve become a better and healthier cook through Home Chef. I’ve learned how to sear and bake meats over frying.  Olive oil and a variety of spices add flavor (but not calories) to meals. Each meal comes with a sturdy, colorful recipe card that goes easily into a spiral notebook. You can reuse them with your own ingredients.

A few things to keep in mind

You order Home Chef with your credit card.  It’s a subscription, so it keeps coming every week, unless you tell them to discontinue.

You can skip delivery ANY week.  If you go out of town or have guests in, just get on the website by the Friday before your delivery date and select “skip” for the week(s) you don’t want meals.

This is a great service for couples or singles. Not so much for larger families on a budget, or with finicky kid eaters! Meals are $9.99 each and are restaurant quality.

I’m not getting any commission for recommending this product. I just really really like it.

 

10 Exercise Myths That Have to Go

Note: These free tips are great and may be all you need. If you think you might like some more individualized help to live the healthy lifestyle, fill out this form and I will be in touch to help you get started!

A ton of exercise myths surround fitness. Some have always been of mythic proportions and some used to be the going “science” and now the theory has been disproved. Here’s 10 to throw out a window near you!

exercise myths

Exercise myth 1: Lifting weights will make you bulky

Attention females! You don’t have enough testosterone in your body to bulk up like a young Arnold Schwarzenegger. Instead strength training will increase lean muscle mass, decrease body fat and help you burn calories more efficiently.

Exercise myth 2: Exercise will help you lose weight quickly

You’ve probably heard, “you can’t exercise away a bad diet”.  That’s the truth! Don’t be fooled by thinking a few weeks on the treadmill can cancel out a high sugar, high processed food diet.  Exercise alone will give you many benefits, but weight loss won’t be one of them unless you combine it  with clean eating.

Exercise myth 3: Ab workouts will get rid of belly fat

Ab workouts will give you a nice looking six pack, or “lady abs” as I like to call them if you’re a female. The problem is no one will ever see them if your diet doesn’t cut out the sugar and processed food that cover those abs with a layer of fat. Are you sensing a theme here??

Exercise myth 4: Strength training = weight lifting

Definitely not true! You can strength train using your own body weight, fitness bands, hand weights, kettle bells, medicine balls and even water.  Anything that provides resistance to your muscles=strength training.

Exercise myth 5: Low intensity exercise burns more fat

Here’s the real facts. Low intensity exercise burns a higher ratio of fat calories to carb calories. High intensity exercise will burn more total fat and carb calories in the same amount of time. Plus your post exercise metabolic rate will stay higher.  That means you will continue to burn more calories after you finish a high intensity workout.  Burning more calories when I’m not working out..that’s for me!

Exercise myth 6:  You can spot reduce

There are fat cells throughout your body, so stored fat is distributed equally to those fat cells. Losing weight will lower the amount of fat in those cells equally throughout your body.  The best way to reduce the inches around your middle or around your hips is to take part in exercise that burns a lot of calories.  Some examples are HIIT (high intensity interval training) and aerobic exercise.  Also, see myths 2 and 3!

Exercise myth 7: Stretching before exercise will help prevent injury

This is one that has been disproven with ongoing research. Static stretching before exercise used to be the recommendation. Research has shown that what you need pre-exercise is a warm-up that gets your heart rate up, sending blood to the muscles you will use in your workout. A dynamic warm-up is the recommendation now.  This is a warm-up where you move through  exercises to increase blood flow to the muscles you will be using and increase your range of motion before you start. An example would be walking briskly and doing walking lunges before a run.

Exercise myth 8: If you don’t exercise when you are young, you shouldn’t start when you are older

Fake news! It is NEVER too late to start exercising, even if you have been sedentary all your life. Exercise has been proven to improve your quality of life no matter how old you are. If you have been sedentary for an extended period of time, you should always check with your doc before starting an exercise program. Find what is right for you and start slowly. Build your intensity as you go. If you are unsure about how to start, a personal trainer can give you some guidance.

Exercise myth 9: You should work out every day

You can work  out every day, but you don’t have to.  The surgeon general recommends 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week or 75 minutes of intense exercise each week.  You can do cardio exercise every day. Strength training should be every other days to let the muscles recover. That’s what helps you  increase your lean muscle mass. If you do work out every day and notice that you are overly fatigued, sore, or seem to be suffering frequent injuries, you could be overtraining and need a rest.

Exercise myth 10: You need to be in a class or at the gym to get a good workout

Not so, exercise myth buster. There is a growing trend in the exercise industry for small group fitness, home gyms, one-on-one instruction and fitness live-streaming services so you can get fit from the comfort of your own home. What will be the best for you is what motivates you the most. That might be a traditional fitness class or it might be something completely different.