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  • Reply to: Road-Skates from the 19th Century   2 years 49 weeks ago

    Spotted in the right-hand column:


    Chasing Ice: The Fen Skating Story was produced with assistance from the Ouse Washes Landscape Partnership (OWLP), the Fen Skating Association and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

    Barrie White, editor at Cambridge Filmworks, said: "It was a pleasure to put this film together, going through interviews and old archive, piecing together this uniquely Fenland story.

    "Told through the testimony of actual participants, these engaging storytellers communicate the addictive nature of their somewhat random sport.

    "Though they may skate on frozen Fenland only once every few years, the twinkle in their eyes as they talk of fresh ice is intriguing and charming."

    Coincidence, I'm guessing...

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  • Reply to: Exercise! Sedentary Lifestyle More to Blame for Decline With Age Than Aging   2 years 49 weeks ago

    I'm going to assume that you remember my suggestion for what to do if you aren't skating. I won't repeat it but it hasn't changed!

    And as for the mainstream recommendation, I guess they can set the goalposts wherever they want. I'm sure there's always some metric they could pick that would show benefit from even the most minimal activity. But people will typically fall short no matter how little is recommended, because "I walked a lot in the grocery store, and I go to the mailbox and back every day, so if you count that..." Might as well aim high...

    But if you feel moved to blog about any of those things you mention, please do. I'd enjoy reading that.

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  • Reply to: Road-Skates from the 19th Century   2 years 49 weeks ago

    Agree that there's a surprising amount about them online, especially given that I hadn't run across any of it before.

    Curious that the review I linked to by George A. Best from The Strand says they weigh "from six to eight pounds per pair." I'm not sure I totally believe either him or the source quoted in that eBay listing (remarkably well documented as it is.) To my eye, that's too much metal for four pounds each but not enough for forty. Bicycles lost weight quite quickly when they got popular and by the late 1890s. I believe forty pounds would have been heavy for a full-size bike by then, let along a miniature one for your foot.

    Still I really do admire the spunk of someone who would barely learn to use them before deciding to skate 35 miles across the countryside. Folks were made of sterner stuff in those days, I guess.

    I'm guessing they used the word road liberally back then.

    Well that's a bit of a peeve of mine, with regard to bicycles and unicycles really.  We really don't need to buy some specialty model just for smooth graded dirt or gravel. Riding on an unpaved road isn't off-road riding. Normal roads were often like that when bikes first became popular. (This year's Paris-Nice race even includes some dirt roads, just for kicks.)

    It might make for tricky skating though unless it's very smooth.

    As for Jeff Wayne's concept album, all I really know of it is Justin Hayward singing, "My life will be forever autumn 'cause you're not he-ee-ee-ee-ee-re." Which as it turns out thanks to WIkipedia was originally written as a jingle for Legos!

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  • Reply to: Exercise! Sedentary Lifestyle More to Blame for Decline With Age Than Aging   2 years 49 weeks ago

    The Atlantic's article suggests a minimum of 150 mins of moderate intensity, or 75 mins of vigorous activity per week, plus 2 muscle-focused exercise stints. So the mainstream recommendation of a 30 minute walk, 3-4 times a week just isn't going to do the job. 

    I had been wondering just how I'm going to get myself to work out if I don't skate. I do notice a decent muscle and brain chemistry boost from doing a set of weights and dryland exercises at home. This benefit lasts me a good 24 hours afterwards, and is instant and powerful enough to make me want to do it again the next chance I get. 

    I've been considering blogging here about my music lessons, sight-reading progress, memory, and struggles therewith. Exercise has been crucial to optimising those endeavours. 

    I feel a little more encouraged now, after reading The Atlantic's 'go for it' attitude in that article.

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  • Reply to: Epidemic of Overtraining Strikes Epidemic of Ultramarathons   2 years 50 weeks ago

    Those symptoms also sound like something I've read about called adrenal fatigue, which came up while searching for self-diagnoses. The 'inability to get out of bed' bit in the above excerpt got my attention. Adrenal Fatigue seems not to be a recognized condition yet by the mainstream medical community. So if the sports docs want to call it OTS and treat it accordingly, then that's some progress.

    I remember first hearing the term overtraining in my early days of skating with the Atlanta crowd. When I heard the definition, I think I said "Oh, so you mean previous lack of training, then?"

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  • Reply to: Road-Skates from the 19th Century   2 years 50 weeks ago

    The War of the Worlds. Brings back memories of losing Monopoly on a Winter's afternoon while listening to the Jeff Wayne version circa 1979. 

    Incredible catch on the road-skates! I'm guessing they used the word road liberally back then. 

    I noticed this couple does appear to be riding their outside edges beautifully, and circling the recovery leg around. With weight back on their heel wheels the one might not accidentally smash the other's face into the ground.



    The BBC article mentions an 1880s skater who lived near the Fens in Eastern England (Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire, Huntingdonshire), part of which was recently featured on Best-Actress-nom'd movie w̶h̶i̶c̶h̶ ̶l̶a̶s̶t̶s̶ 45 Years. The skater in the article wore his Ritter set up for dryland training when there was no ice. I understand these days there isn't much ice in the Fens any more, whereas before they used to hold speed skating competitions, much like those in the Netherlands.


    Did you see that sold Ebay listing where a pair went for three thousand quid? 


    At 40 lb each skate, that's quite a workout.  


    There's a surprising amount of fun info & photos online about these. Glad you posted about them. 






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  • Reply to: local skating groups, when and where???   3 years 47 weeks ago

    Thanks for the reply and information about roadskater.net   I do understand there are a lot of members from other area locations and not only from this area. This makes it hard to break down local skating, bike rides, etc. for each area. You do have a really busy website and I don't see how you keep up with it all. I will keep cumming back until i figure it out. I guess what I meant to say in my last post was that, I like to know what's going on in my local area first and everything outside that area is a bonus. Local could be defined as city, county,  state, or even region.


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  • Reply to: 30-Day Challenge: Asthma, Allergies and Kick-Starting Fitness 2013   5 years 42 weeks ago

    I failed. 

    It's ok. I will try it again at a later date. But I did find some chocolate that was soy- and dairy-free (that's quite a challenge. 



    Oh and check out these wrappers on this brand:



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  • Reply to: 30-Day Challenge: Asthma, Allergies and Kick-Starting Fitness 2013   5 years 49 weeks ago

    Well I have to say going without wheat for a year as you have done is amazing. I don't recall but maybe one time you ate any wheat (?). And I mean any ingredients related to wheat. It is interesting to see where you've eliminated food groups and to see why (or at least I think I get why: rice: allergy; soy: thyroid control; others: not sure, ha). 

    Some things I've noticed along the way because of this is just how much "hidden" wheat, corn (high fructose corn syrup) and soy (espcially soy lecithin) there is around. The chocolate bar quest is close to impossible (but not) if you avoid soy, and I can't imagine it without dairy. It'd be cool to have a list of the "hidden" names they use for wheat, soy, corn, rice and such. 

    Over the last year I'd say I've cut down on these things (mainly wheat, soy, rice, chocolate) but definitely have not eliminated them. Just hearing your reasoning and seeing your effort has influenced my choices. But the biggest rule of all is that it has to stay out of my house or I will eventually track it down and eat it.

    Such is the case with a food I managed to live without just fine for long months, and probably obtained a year ago before it was off your ok list: namely, peanut (legume, bean) butter. This week I bought some small gala apples. Then I happened to "bump into" my plastic peanut butter jar (the jar is plastic). I never eat that stuff. But at the last Carolina Century I had a PB&J sandwich that was incredible. OK I had 2 at different rest stops late in the day. Anyway, until that jar of peanut butter and the jar of natural pb are gone, I'm likely to participate. I think I do OK with the PB in moderate quantities. 

    So, congrats on your quest and good luck. Keep us posted!

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  • Reply to: International Skating Union (ISU) Long Track and Short Track Speed Skating Live on the Web   6 years 3 weeks ago

    The same link for the main video page works to be able to see the replays of Calgary's speed skating. Go to this address: 


    Next, look at "Playlists" and click on "2012/2013 World Cup Speed Skating 6 - Calgary," then click the event you want to see in the "Playlist Videos." 

    I recommend watching in chronological order, which is to say, starting at the end of the playlist videos and working your way leftward. At very least it's a bit less "spoiled" if you watch race (1) in a given distance before watching race (2), because the start order in (2) just might be determined by finish placements in race (1). Either way, it's speed skating on the long track with no ice derby allowed and I do prefer that (though short track is fine, but in the trend of taking non-contact, speed, human or gravity powered sports and making them crowded for crashes). Where's the track and field 100 meter zig zag hill and water sprintcross? Someday. Ick.

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