THE PICKLE – T-SHIRTS!

As Wayne and I pursue a healthier lifestyle and a slimmer waist line, we can not forget our goal in April: to complete the MS-150 Houston to Austin . In addition to bettering our own lives, we are peddling for much needed MS research, which is our most important goal. As part of our fund raising efforts, Sun and Ski Sports has graciously offered to sell T-Shirts, with proceeds donated to our pledge amounts. ALL profits go the MS foundation!

If you would like to contribute to the MS Foundation, and to support Wayne & mine’s Cycling Slim Down, the T-shirt are only $20. Get your shirt today!

Thank you so much!

Anna & Wayne

Selecting the Right Winter-Weather Accessories

Often times when you hear the word “accessory,” it’s meant as an afterthought. But winter-weather accessories are not optional. In fact, accessories are critical gear that make you look and feel good.

Still, shopping for winter clothing and accessories can seem a bit overwhelming. New fabrics and insulations are constantly changing, and the latest lingo (you’ll learn what a neck gaiter is below) can be intimidating. But there’s no need to worry. Our winter-weather accessories guide makes shopping for versatile winter apparel easy and easy-to-understand.

Accessorize

Headwear: Up to 60 percent of your body’s heat can escape from an uncovered head, so wearing a hat, headband or helmet is essential when it’s cold. (Tip: If you wear a hat, you may be able to wear one less layer on your body.) There are thousands of styles of hats and headbands, usually made from fleece or wool. Many have non-itch liners. In a continuing trend, several manufacturers also feature organic cotton, hemp and natural dyes in their headwear lines. Helmets are becoming very popular, too. Not only do they protect your head from bumps, but they also keep your head warm. A fleece neck gaiter (like a collar) or facemask is a must-have on cold winter days.

Sunglasses and goggles: Sunglasses do much more than make you look cool. They also protect your eyes from damaging solar radiation. Snow, or any other reflective surface, makes ultraviolet (UV) rays stronger, while increased altitude also magnifies the danger. Several manufacturers have developed products for women featuring retro styling with high-tech materials to properly fit a women’s face without sliding. Likewise, many companies have women’s products with a portion of the proceeds benefiting non-profit organizations such as Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Boarding for Breast Cancer. For men, look for large-framed, fashion forward sunglasses in new color hues offering the maximum in eye protection. Finally, on flat-light days or when it’s snowing, goggles are vital. They protect your eyes and special lens colors increase the contrast so you can properly discern terrain features.

Gloves and mittens: Look for gloves and mittens that use waterproof, breathable fabrics. Those with Gore-Tex and leather, featured throughout this year’s collections are particularly good at keeping hands warm and dry. Mittens, in general, are warmer than gloves, but offer less dexterity. Also, consider the type of activity you’ll be doing. Snowboarding gloves and mittens often have a reinforced palm because of extra wear from adjusting bindings and balancing on the snow. Some snowboarding gloves and mittens also have built-in wrist guards that are excellent for novice snowboarders. Cross-country skiing gloves tend to be lighter-weight for extra movement and better absorption.

Socks: One pair of lightweight or medium-weight socks works best for skiing, snowboarding or snowshoeing. Socks are made from a variety of materials, including polyester, silk, wool and nylon. Some socks have wicking properties similar to long underwear, meaning your feet will stay dry and comfortable.

An easy solution to selecting the right winter-weather accessories, visit your local specialty retailer and talk with the experts.

Content courtesy of SnowSports Industries America | SIA and snowlink.com.

Shaun White Wins Second Consecutive Superpipe Gold

davelehl.com

Shaun White sneaks past Kevin Pearce by 1 point to claim gold and become the first ever rider to win consecutively in Superpipe. Shaun is not as dominate as he once was, and it’s not because he’s fading. The talent of fellow riders like Kevin Pearce are putting the pressure on as the sport continues to grow in popularity.

The event was nothing short of dramatic with controversy as ESPN announcer Richards said on live TV that Shaun didn’t deserve to win. Shaun of course took the comments in stride… “I don’t know. I mean, it’s competition, it’s judging. Kevin rode amazing tonight, and I felt like I rode really well, and we kind of leave it up to those guys [judges] to know what they’re doing.”

Based solely on technical merit White was the winner, it’s the style points that make the judging more difficult. Either way, it was quite a performance by both riders and an exciting evening.

The final superpipe breakdown
1. Shaun White
2. Kevin Pearce
3. Antti Autti
4. Elijah Teter
5. Mason Aguirre
6. Steve Fisher
7. Andy Finch
8. Louie Vito

THE PICKLE – Pictures from 1/17/09 Ride

Hello all,

I just wanted to post some pictures from our ride on Saturday. I hope you enjoy them and I look forward to any comments or questions.

Also, please don’t forget about Bike University at the 6100 Westheimer. Friday Jan. 23rd from 5-10pm and Sat Jan. 24th from 12-6pm There will be representatives from over 40 cycling manufactures.  Come on by and say Hi to Wayne and I.

Anna

First Time Buying Winter Apparel

Before You Buy:
Questions beginning skiers and boarders should ask before buying

So, you’ve decided to hit the slopes for the first time, but you don’t have any real idea what you need? Don’t despair. Today’s dizzying array of ski and snowboarding options even can confound the pros. The trick is to keep it simple by focusing on the core elements you’ll need mountainside, no matter what your level of skill or experience level.

Things to think about: warmth, weather and wear & tear

Warmth: Although it may seem obvious, one important question to ask a salesperson about apparel is whether it’s warm? Moreover, is it wind and waterproof? This is especially important for first-timer skiers who will undoubtedly spend a lot of time falling down in the snow. This goes double for beginning snowboarders, who don’t have the luxury of poles to help mitigate spills on hands, feet and all-fours.

Wind & Water: Speaking of hands and feet, don’t forget the importance of keeping your extremities warm. When you’re browsing through the retail aisles, be sure to ask about a garment’s waterproof & wicking ability (the action of drawing moisture away from your body, which is critical in cold weather). For instance, socks made out of cotton, which absorbs moisture, are a great choice for the gym, but horrible for the slopes. However, garments that feature Gore-Tex are always a good option. Again, tell your salesperson where you’re going and what you’ll be doing, so together you can select the right pieces for your trip.

All Types of Terrain: Ask yourself, how does the terrain at my destination impact my experience and buying options? For instance, if you’re planning to ski in the eastern United States, a salesperson should direct you to apparel that has significant waterproofing capabilities, as conditions are often wetter in the East than the powder-predominant Western slopes.

All Day Insulation: If you haven’t considered it, ask yourself how you can ensure all-day insulation? (Layering is the answer you’re looking for.) A good salesperson will help you evaluate layering options, from fiber choice to fabric weight grade, so that your final purchases will be well suited for your particular activity and locale.

Renting vs. Buying: Should I buy or rent my gear? For beginners, the answer to that question is usually, rent gear. Buying skis, boots and poles is generally not a good idea for first-timers. The better bet is to rent: either from a local retailer (if they offer the service) or through the resort where you’ll be staying. Renting allows you to check out different products without committing to any one brand. If you’re determined to buy, boots are your most important purchase; buying a properly fitted pair of boots is key to a pleasant experience on the snow.

Finally, a note about fashion. If snow apparel has one fashion rule, it’s that there are no rules, which can be a bit confounding for newbies looking to fit in. Once a garment meets your specific requirements for usage (are you skiing or snowboarding?) and terrain (powder vs. ice), it’s up to you to select a style that suits your personality. In the past decade, fashion has truly found a place on the slopes with everything from urban-inspired silhouettes to feminine tailoring and luxury details. One fashion edict that doesn’t translate from the catwalks to the lifts is the notion that you must suffer for your style. On the mountain, function reigns supreme. If a jacket or pair of pants looks good, but is too loose or tight fitting, ditch it and opt for apparel with better maneuverability. That way, when you’re feeling good, you’ll always be looking good.

Another simple way to get your questions answered is to visit your local Sun & Ski Sports or call us at our online store to get expert advice and guidance.

Content courtesy of SnowSports Industries America | SIA and snowlink.com.

Bicycling Essentials #2 — Bicycle Trainer Stand

On my last blog, I jokingly compared going to a Spin Class to church. It’s funny, because it actually turned out to be true. Throughout the hour and a half of constant pedaling, I definitely found religion. It was tough for both Anna and I, but we are looking forward to continuing our spin classes weekly. Our thanks go to Richard, our instructor, who made us laugh just enough not to hurt.

Spin classes are offered at a variety of gyms around town, usually on a stationary bike. This makes sense, as the user is able to effectively adjust levels and resistance. But I wondered how could we possibly do such a hardcore workout utilizing our own bikes? After all, a comfortable bicycle becomes nothing more than an extension of oneself. Remember when you drove the first car you fell in love with? You could drive all crazy, but you trusted the brakes, and knew how to parallel park without so much as grazing any other vehicles. That is exactly how Anna and I feel about our bikes. Having said that, I can’t tell you how refreshing it was to actually perform those complex cardio exercises on my own bike.

How did we do it? A Bicycle Trainer, of course! It’s a very simple solution whereby you attach the back wheel of your bicycle to a tripod-like contraption. And Voila! A stationary bike is created! And the best part is that you are already familiar with your gears and saddle. It is great for days like today, where you don’t even want to go outside in the cold, not to mention having a freezer blowing at 20 mph in your face!

Our particular model of trainer, Blackburn Trak Stand Mag Trainer ($159.99), allows us the ability to choose from 3 different levels of resistance. It was great, because I could focus on my gear shifting skills without worrying about the “passing on your left!” scurry and hubbub at Memorial Park. Having the ability to adjust resistance, in my opinion, is as beneficial as riding on the open road. Actually it is more beneficial, because it allows the user to simulate wind or uphill obstacles, thereby providing a comprehensive cardio and strength workout.

Trainers will range from $100-$300, with the main price point being resistance levels or noise reduction. The model we ride on, though not top-‘o-the line, works fine. There is a small amount of noise, but nothing greater than any normal stationary bike contraption around.

I would definitely recommend this product to any “advanced novice” rider who plans on cycling at least twice a week. This contraption will come in handy throughout this winter, and in the spring when rainy days will come. Oh, I am so excited to ride in the comforts of my 72 degree living room when it’s 95 degrees outside!

THE PICKLE – Chicken Strips

I’ve been wanting chicken strips for a few days now, but the problem with that is that they are all fried. Being that I’m trying to eat healthier, fried foods would not be a good thing. Well I was surfing the internet and came across a recipe for chicken strips, but these are baked chicken strips. I was a little worried about how they would taste or if they would get crunchy? Well let me tell you, they were so good! I think I had a pretty good meal, with 3 chicken strips, whole wheat pasta (less than a cup) in some marinara sauce and a green salad. It was a very filling meal and I got my chicken strip fix. I’ll list the recipe for you and a couple of changes I made to it. I got this from the Betty Crocker website.

http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/recipe.aspx?recipeID=36496&Source=SearchResultPage&terms=chicken

2/3

cup Bisquick Heart Smart® mix

1/2

cup grated reduced-fat Parmesan cheese (I didn’t use the Cheese)

1/2

teaspoon salt or garlic salt

1/2

teaspoon paprika ( I used Cayenne Pepper cause I wanted some heat)

3

boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips

1/4

cup fat-free egg product (I got egg white in the carton)

3

tablespoons 40% vegetable oil spread, melted (I used the spray on the bottom on the cookie sheet and that’s it.)

Total Time: 1 hour 55 min (It only took me like 30 minutes, 45 at the most)

1.

Heat oven to 450°F. Line cookie sheet with foil; spray with cooking spray.

2.

In 1-gallon resealable food-storage plastic bag, stir together Bisquick® mix, cheese, salt and paprika.

Dip half the chicken strips into egg product; place in bag of Bisquick mixture. Seal bag; shake to coat. Place chicken on cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining chicken. Drizzle vegetable oil spread over chicken. (I didn’t put Vegetable oil over then)

3.

Bake 12 to 14 minutes, turning after 6 minutes with pancake turner, until no longer pink in center. (I baked them for 20 minutes, cooking chicken freaks me out)

Sun & Ski Sports Cycling Slim Down with Wayne & Anna

What: Two Houstonians joining Team Sun & Ski for the MS 150’s 25th anniversary who are workout partners starting training this week as a weight loss challenge and to raise awareness and funds for multiple sclerosis.

Who: Wayne Dolezal and Anna Rocha, who each weighed in Tuesday, Jan. 6 at 270 pounds, will train for and cycle in the MS150 as a way to both support MS and to start the New Year with healthy, physically fit lifestyles.

When: They were custom fitted for their Marin bikes Tuesday, Jan. 6) at 4:30 p.m. at Sun & Ski Sports, 6100 Westheimer. Wayne and Anna will also be at Sun & Ski Sports Bike U Jan. 23-24 to attend the free cycling education seminars and to give status updates on how their training is going. Their MS 150 cycling coach will be Steve Moskowitz, Conoco Phillips MS 150 Team Captain. Their fitness coach is Mark Leblanc, president of the WELLFIT Group.

Why: Wayne will be riding the MS 150 in honor of a friend’s daughter, Steph, who has MS. Wayne explained, “I became aware of the disease from a friend’s daughter, who was diagnosed with MS four years ago at the age of 19. Steph lives a healthy lifestyle, is a good person, and still she has the random disease of MS. She began riding in the MS 150 3 years ago, and is a true champion for the cause. Steph does everything she can with medication, exercise, and diet to fight the effects on a daily basis. Her resilience is, and will always be, an inspiration to me. I hope that, with the help of Sun and Ski, I can both lose weight as well as raise money for a great organization to help the tens of thousands of Americans living with MS.”
# # #
Wayne and Anna
I met Anna 6 years ago through a mutual friend. We became close about 2 years ago, when she said we needed to be more active. I purchased a Haro bike from Sun and Ski Sports and began riding immediately. My first time out at Memorial Park, we rode 10 miles. And I felt that 10 miles in my groin for the next week. I always thought the bikers wore bike shorts because it made them look cool, not because they were padded. Boy was I wrong! I went back to Sun and Ski, purchased bike shorts and a Camel Pack, and I was good to go. Anna and I rode in about 5 bicycle rallies that spring, and continued to do so the year after. Unfortunately, we never exercised outside of the Saturdays for those rallies, and never rode in enough rallies to lose a significant amount of weight.

This year, when I turned 30, I took stock of my life, decided it was good, and wanted to continue living life. I don’t want potential health ailments relating to obesity to take my life away from me. With Anna as my work out partner, I look forward to conquering my weight demons and living a healthy, active lifestyle. We have decided that we will do whatever it takes to ride in the MS 150. It’s a remarkable cause for charity. Every mile pedaled equals not only a healthier heartbeat, but valuable dollars to research the cure for Multiple Sclerosis.

I became aware of the disease from a friend’s daughter, who was diagnosed with MS 4 years ago at the age of 19. Steph lives a healthy lifestyle, is a good person, and still she has the random disease of MS. She began riding in the MS 150 3 years ago, and is a true champion for the cause. Steph does everything she can with medication, exercise, and diet to fight the effects on a daily basis. Her resilience is, and will always be, an inspiration to me. I hope that, with the help of Sun and Ski, I can both lose weight as well as raise money for a great organization to help the tens of thousands of Americans living with MS.

As you can tell from my biography, I have always wanted big things in life, just not a big waist. I didn’t get that million dollars, nor do “hot chicks” follow me around, but I would not change a minute of my life. I am, after all, funny and fat. But I really want to be fit!

Sun & Ski Sports
Sun & Ski Sports specializes in making customers’ outdoor adventure sports dreams come true by outfitting them with quality merchandise, exceptional service and outstanding values in five select sports categories — ski (snow and water), bicycling, skating, running and camping. This highly focused concept allows Sun & Ski to offer a small store feel, yet with big store competitive pricing – the best of both worlds.

Philosophy: “Do a few things, but do them better than anybody else.”

History: Founded in Houston in 1980 by Barry Goldware, president/CEO

Five stores in Houston area; three in Dallas area; and one each in Austin, San Antonio, Miami, Atlanta, Charlotte, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Cincinnati and Nashville. The company owns three Ski Chalet stores in Arlington, VA, Chantilly, VA and Gaithersburg, MD, and a Ski Stop store in Plainview, NY.

Channel 39 Interview of Wayne & Anna (MS150)


The MS-150 is fast approaching and that means that about 12,000 riders including 39’s own Mia Gradney and Jorge Vargas will be on an annual ride to Austin. The ride raises money to help find a cure for Multiple Sclerosis.