Safety Reminder!

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Afternoon, friends!  I was a good little workerbee all morning (as was the Husband, he is pulling together finances + a marketing plan for his new business).  But we decided to take a break to go on a lovely bike ride.


My OLD route (in Orlando):


My NEW route:


Can I say that I actually very much prefer my old route?  It was a straight shot, minimal cars, no hills.  Really great for going fast (or trying to).  My neighborhood in Charlotte is pretty, but it’s not very conducive to biking, although I see a lot of cyclists out.


Still fun, regardless!  We did 7.0 miles in 55 minutes – why did it take so long?  I blew a tire a mile from home and didn’t have a repair kit, so we had to walk a mile back to the house.  Boo.


Came home and made lunch!


Sourdough bread with Earth Balance:


Spinach and arugula salad with mashed sweet potato, black beans, and cucumbers, drizzling with Sweet Poppyseed dressing!



Safety Check!


pic taken by mom tonight-after cleaning up...chin stitches I assume from kissing the pavement :-)A while back I read that fellow blogger/cyclist John didn’t regularly wear his helmet, and I gave him a little lecture on bike safety.  :)  I guess I convinced him because he bought a helmet and began to wear it religiously.  Good thing, too, because he wiped out the other day and ended up needing stitches.  He also smacked his head but was fine because of the helmet. Ouch!  John wanted me to remind everyone to WEAR YOUR HELMET, even for short, local, or slow rides.  And I was happy to oblige!


More biking safety/gear posts for your enjoyment:



Happy (and safe) riding!



  • Freya @ Brit Chick Runs July 8, 2010, 1:56 pm

    Ooh poor John!! I think everyone should wear a helmet personally – there’s the same debate in the horse riding world :s
    Your neighbourhood is pretty 🙂

  • Julz July 8, 2010, 1:57 pm

    I agree with the importance of wearing a helmet! Although I’ve never had an accident (knock on wood), I still always wear my helmet 🙂

  • Kaz July 8, 2010, 1:58 pm

    I’m so glad you wore your helmet, John, and that you’re safe! Yikes, that’s scary.

    I’m looking at buying my first bike soon (wahoo!), and I definitely plan to wear my helmet every time I ride. (By the way, before I read your blog, I had no idea you were supposed to replace it after a crash. That’s so important to know! Thank you!)

  • Gracie (complicated day) July 8, 2010, 2:00 pm

    My husband bikes to work and never wore a helmet. His reasoning was that it’s less than a mile and all slow back roads. Ha! That argument didn’t work for me – I made him buy one and wear it every day. You never know if someone will be driving recklessly.

  • sweetersalt July 8, 2010, 2:00 pm

    Very good point about the helmet! I never used to wear mine. The argument was that I have bangs (I know…). I still contend that a helmet that doesn’t smoosh the heck out of bangs still needs to be invented. Anywho, I wear one now because smooshed bangs are less catastrophic than brain damage.

  • Jessica @ How Sweet July 8, 2010, 2:01 pm

    I can see where you would like the old route better, but the new one is gorgeous!

  • Laura@FindingAHealthyBalance....after a 100+ Pound weight loss!!! July 8, 2010, 2:02 pm

    Love the bread! Looks so good! Your new route looks so pretty! =)

  • Marilou @ Mostly Healthy July 8, 2010, 2:04 pm

    A friend of mine had a bike recently and did not wear her helmet. Luckily, she was ok, but scared the hell out of her.

    Helmet should be obligatory!

  • Bethany @ More Fruit Please July 8, 2010, 2:06 pm

    Thanks for the safety reminder!! I understand why you miss your old route. Sometimes its more about the ease of cycling rather than the scenery.

  • Katherine July 8, 2010, 2:08 pm

    You are so right about wearing a helmet. In the early 80’s my Grandma wiped out on her bike and broke her clavical, several ribs, her arm and cracked her cranium. She still had back issues for an accident that took place nearly 30 years ago. Helmets look a bit goofy but I’ll take looking goofy over a cracked cranium anyday!

  • Heather July 8, 2010, 2:09 pm

    Exactly reminder. Maybe I should show my boyfriend this. We recently purchased bikes and he doesn’t want to wear a helmet. I have been trying to convince him but he won’t listen. To make matters worse, he thinks he is going to mountain bike without a helmet. Any advice on getting him to wear one?

    • Caitlin July 8, 2010, 2:23 pm

      What’s his reasoning? He’ll look stupid?

      • Heather July 8, 2010, 3:03 pm

        That and he doesn’t think that anything is gonna happen. He is very stubborn and I don’t know how to convey to him that I don’t think I could handle it if something happened to him. You just never know what could happen.

        • Caitlin July 8, 2010, 4:23 pm

          I’m going to ask my Dad to respond… He’s a better person to give advice.

    • HTP Dad July 8, 2010, 4:31 pm

      Hi Heather,

      I am a very skilled cyclist, acknowledged by my peers as being an excellent bicycle handler. I’ve had two serious accidents – one due to equipment failure, and one a**hole that drove into me at an intersection. In neither case did my skill have anything to do with it. There is no doubt that either accident could have/should have killed me. After one accident I was talking to a cop several months later who (not knowing who I was) told me about a horrific crash when a front wheel collapsed – ” that was meeeee!”.
      Accidents happen – and if he can’t be persuaded to take care of his own health, what kind of candidate for responsible parenting is he?

      • Heather July 8, 2010, 8:57 pm

        You make an excellent point. The thing that really gets to me is that he is one of the smartest people I know but he is so stupid about some things. I am going to have a serious talk with him because this is something that really bothers me and is not ok with me.

        Thank you both so much for the help. Caitlin, your blog is by far my favorite. You are so down to earth and sweet. Definitely the kind of person I would want to be friends with if I didn’t live all the way in Michigan. Please keep it up and I will keep reading.

        • caitlin July 8, 2010, 9:00 pm

          Thanks sweetie!! I wish we could meet.

          I’m sure your BF just hasn’t thought about it. I think the thing that always “gets across” the helmet thing is that YOU might be careful, but other people aren’t. Also, if you read these comments, a lot of people flipped their bikes by just riding over something small. It happens (dude, I’ve wiped out so many times).

        • Heather July 11, 2010, 8:52 pm

          Well I am happy to report that we went on Saturday and bought him a helmet. I think he finally got my point and realized how important it is to me that he be safe when we are out riding together.

          I had hoped to make it to the Healthy Living Summit this year because Chicago is only about 5 hours from where I am but the tickets went to quickly I didn’t stand a chance. Hopefully next year.

          Thanks again to you and your dad for the help.

        • caitlin July 11, 2010, 9:54 pm

          YAY glad he got a helmet 🙂

          we’re giving a ticket away on the healthy living summit website!

  • Wendy July 8, 2010, 2:09 pm

    I’d love to take you biking with me! I live out in the country and we have miles upon miles of paved county roads that have very little traffic. And lots of hills! I ride with a 50-something experienced cyclist who knows all the backroads, and he likes to tells us “this road is 4 miles with 7 hills”. I don’t mind them, though, b/c you get to FLY down the other side!

    Oh, and I wear a helmet. ALWAYS.

  • Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday July 8, 2010, 2:22 pm

    Hope you’re recovering ok, John

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) July 8, 2010, 2:24 pm

    Safety while working out is seriously important. I am definitely hard core into the helmets. My boys know they are not allowed on a bike or skateboard without one! Good information!

  • Lisa July 8, 2010, 2:25 pm

    Good tip!! Portland is a huge cycling city and I see sooo many people without helmets. It’s baffling to me.

  • Rachel July 8, 2010, 2:28 pm

    Okay, I don’t know what the deal is but it takes me a really long time to bike anywhere. I have a mountain bike that I got as a gift off of Craigs List. I think my boyfriend paid 25 dollars for it.

    It is in okay shape (I think the girl really underpriced it), but the gears are a little out of wack. Anyway, it takes a lot of effort for me to go not much faster than I run.

    Any advice? I guess obviously I got what I paid for, but I don’t really understand how the gears work and all of that. I seem to be struggling to do like 4 miles…and it takes me almost an hour! That is on a concrete bike trail. Do I need a street bike instead of a mountain bike?

    P.S. I ALWAYS wear my helmet!

    • HTP Dad July 8, 2010, 4:39 pm

      if you’re in shape, somethings wrong with the bike. Get it checked out and make sure there’s air in the tires – you shouldn’t be able to compress the tire very much.
      Gears – put the front so it’s on the middle size ring (or the smaller if you have 2) and shift in the back – smaller gear = more effort, higgher speed, bigger gear = easier to pedal and slower. You want to pedal fairly quickly – watch other cyclists and you’ll get an idea. It’s more efficient to pedal around 85 rpm.

      good luck!

      • Rachel July 8, 2010, 4:44 pm

        Thanks HTP Dad!

  • Katie @ Healthy Heddleston July 8, 2010, 2:32 pm

    Great advice on the biking safety and great links! I think your new bike route looks super pretty by the way… and it looks like it would provide a lot more shade!

  • Megan @ The Daily Sweat July 8, 2010, 2:32 pm

    I love that poppyseed dressing from TJs!

    Speaking of safety – I got a flat on Monday and I was 6 miles from home. I had a tube and tire levers, but my CO2 was empty. Major Fail! I didn’t have a cell phone or money to try and take the bus home. A little scary. Luckily, 2 random bikers rode by and let me use their CO2. I will now carry my cell phone with me, just in case. And I ALWAYS wear my helmet! : )

  • Heather (Heather's Dish) July 8, 2010, 2:34 pm

    so glad he got a helmet…i have to remind my hubby to wear his every time! your new route looks beautiful!

  • Laura July 8, 2010, 2:35 pm

    Unrelated to cycling, but I thought you might enjoy this website: There is a neat calculator on the homepage where you can find out how many servings of fruits and veggies you need based on your age, sex, and activity level! Pretty cool.

  • Teacherwoman July 8, 2010, 2:38 pm

    Helmet’s are so important! You’re neighborhood route looks similar to mine. It’s hard to gain any speed without having to worry about other traffic and such. That’s why I like riding with the group from the LBS and we get out on the county roads.

  • Samantha @ Health, Happiness & Skinny Jeans July 8, 2010, 2:39 pm

    Too bad that you blew a tire but kudos for encouraging a fellow biker to wear a helmet and keep safe!!

  • Cait July 8, 2010, 2:52 pm

    Thanks so much for the helmet shout-out. The thing that most drives me nuts is when I see a family biking together and the kids are wearing helmets but the parents are not. Why do adults seem to think they’re invincible while they take measures to protect their children???

  • Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter July 8, 2010, 3:07 pm

    Ouch! Gosh, I hope John gets better.

    My fifth grade teacher was riding his bike with his daughter in the basket. They wiped out and thankfully his daughter was wearing her helmet! It cracked into 3 pieces, but she was fine. My teacher, on the other hand, sprained his shoulder.

  • Julie @ Pickley Pear July 8, 2010, 3:13 pm

    Wow – John is alive, thanks to you! I love TJ’s dressings – a little goes a long way!

  • Stacey @ Tipping the (Kitchen!) Scales July 8, 2010, 3:14 pm

    Wow, you’re new neighbourhood looks like it’s straight out of the set of a film, gorgeous!! And I agree that satefy should always come first.

  • Nicole, RD July 8, 2010, 3:34 pm

    I just saw John’s pictures before stopping by HTP and aww! Yes, biking safety!

  • Jenny July 8, 2010, 3:36 pm

    I love your neighborhood! So pretty with all the shade:)

  • Vicky July 8, 2010, 3:51 pm

    Your new route looks so pretty though! But maybe I’m partial because I love Charlotte!!

  • Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman July 8, 2010, 4:00 pm

    It may not be ideal for biking, but I love your new street. It’s so pretty!

  • Rebecca July 8, 2010, 4:00 pm

    I always wear a helmet when I ride my bike, even if it’s just up the road. You never know what could happen! Your new route is pretty but I can understand why you like your old route better. I hate having to worry about cars and other road blocks when I’m biking.

  • Mini's Work July 8, 2010, 4:27 pm

    Great reminder to wear helmets! Charlotte looks beautiful too!

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin July 8, 2010, 4:55 pm

    Your new route looks so pretty. And I bet the shade is nice!

    Thanks for the helmet reminder. I’ve heard so many sad stories that were the result of not wearing a helmet. 🙁

  • Anya @ Fitness & Sunshine July 8, 2010, 4:57 pm

    Great safety reminder! I see a lot of people without one and I think they should be more considerate.

  • Bronwyn July 8, 2010, 5:01 pm

    Wearing a helmet when cycling is really important – my husband had an accident on a bike when he was 11 years old, and the only thing that prevented him from being brain damaged was a helmet – so I am a big advocate!

    Also, in New Zealand its actually illegal NOT to wear a helmet when cycling. The Police will stop cyclists without a helmet on and issue them a $150 fine – that’s one way to get the point across! 🙂

    • caitlin July 8, 2010, 5:08 pm

      We need that in America! Seriously.

  • Alina July 8, 2010, 5:10 pm

    So true! I always wear my helmet, and so does the rest of my family, but a lot of family friends don’t. We usually go on pretty intense, long-ish rides, but on a slow ride through our neighbourhood, my dad looked back to check on my sister, rode his bike over a piece of board sticking out onto the road, and flipped headfirst over the handlebars. He bruised/ broke a couple of ribs and fingers and got pretty smashed up, but even though he bumped his head pretty hard, his head was fine, but the helmet was shattered. Now I’m RELEGIOUS about other people wearing helmets when they cycle with me 🙂

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) July 8, 2010, 5:14 pm

    Argh it is allegedly illegal in Australia too to not wear a helmet – but it doesnt seem to be enforced that much. I, however, have no qualms in asking people who are riding without a helment why they are doing it. My Dad had a bad bike accident a few years ago and had he not been wearing one he would have certainly suffered traumatic head injuries!

  • Heather July 8, 2010, 5:20 pm

    what a beautiful street in charlotte! I love all the trees

  • AngelaOSG July 8, 2010, 5:25 pm

    Wow you may have saved his life!!!

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) July 8, 2010, 5:51 pm

    So glad John is okay. Thanks for the reminder.

    Your street looks beautiful. You’ll get used to the difference and then it will be great.

  • Morgan @ Life After Bagels July 8, 2010, 5:56 pm

    Last night one of my friends said that helmuts are for losers. I replied that danger is for losers!

  • Alyssa @ Bride To Be Fit July 8, 2010, 6:09 pm

    I am very tempted to stop and yell at bikers who aren’t wearing helmuts. I feel like they are just asking to get hurt! Although I remember thinking it was the end of the world when I was little and my mom made me wear a bright purple helmut. You live and learn, though!

  • Ellen@FIrednFabulous July 8, 2010, 6:30 pm

    OuuuuCH! Poor John! At least you encouraged him to wear his helmet 🙂 That has to make you feel good that people listen to you! And your new ‘hood is so pretty. Are there any better routes nearby??

  • Robyn July 8, 2010, 6:53 pm

    Your new route looks so PRETTY! Hope you grow to love it even more than your old one. 🙂

  • Franziska ( July 8, 2010, 6:54 pm

    Thank you for talking about the importance of wearing helmets. I just saw kids last night in my neighborhood ages 3-7 riding around without helmets – it makes me crazy! Then over the 4th of July weekend I saw more parents and their kids on ATVs without helmets! I am also a big proponent of helmets when skiing or snowboarding – lets protect our noggin people!

  • Stacey July 8, 2010, 6:55 pm

    I was always very jealous of your old route! I have lots of hills and busy roads around my area, unless I start before 7am on a weekend. So glad John was wearing his helmet!

  • Kristina July 8, 2010, 6:56 pm

    first, I LOVE that HTP Dad is giving AWESOME advice. Seriously, so great. 🙂

    I always wear a helmet… I had an accident recently where I flipped completely over my handlebars and landed on the side of my face… would have been MUCH WORSE if I’d not had my helmet on.

  • Sarah July 8, 2010, 8:17 pm

    I bike a mile to work and one day I was in a hurry and forgot to put on my helmet…I panicked when I arrived at work and reached to take the helmet off and it wasn’t there! It was like one of the dreams where you show up at work without pants, etc! I haven’t forgotten the helmet since then!

  • maria @ Chasing the Now July 8, 2010, 8:51 pm

    I bike everyday to work and without a helmet. I need to pick one up, I guess. Thanks for the reminder.

  • John July 8, 2010, 10:27 pm

    Hi Caitlin and fellow HTP readers!

    Again as I said in my e-mail to Caitlin “thanks for convincing me to wear a helmet! Even after I started wearing it I must admit I never really thought it was going to be neccessary but I was wrong!
    It wasn’t even another person that caused the accident that made me glad I was wearing the helmet! I was the cause of the accident!

    Needless to say I will continue to wear one and am happy to be a face that may help convince even a couple of others to wear one!

    Where I live(Ontario,Canada) it’s mandatory for anyone under 18 to wear a helmet(not sure on fine $). If you’re 18 or older it’s your decision.

  • Skyler Meine July 8, 2010, 10:56 pm

    There is no question you need to wear a helmet when you are riding the consequences aren’t worth the risk. You can go down at any moment.

  • Amber K @ sparkpeople July 8, 2010, 11:58 pm

    Great reminder! I actually feel very odd without a helmet or seat belt if it’s a car.

  • Katie July 9, 2010, 2:28 am

    you should bike down queens road after it intersects with selwyn and before it intersects with east blvd. It is GORGEOUS!

  • Jolene ( July 9, 2010, 2:29 am

    Helmets are so important!! Thanks for the reminder!

  • Kelly July 9, 2010, 7:07 am

    I’ve heard from several bikers in Charlotte that it isn’t the most bike-friendly town. There’s a very popular bike loop that you should try. It’s short but safe. It’s also a good running route. I’ll try to remember to tell you about it the next time I see you.

  • Wei-Wei July 9, 2010, 8:07 am

    Ouuuuuch poor John! When I go biking for leisure I don’t wear a helmet… I go quite slowly, and I don’t even own one! I haven’t biked for quite a while but if I have the notion to start I guess I’d have to buy one 🙂


  • Joanne July 9, 2010, 8:40 am

    You and your bike tips are so valuable. Maybe that should be your next (third?) book.
    I bought a road bike at your recommendation over a hybrid and convinced the hubby to go with the rb as well (repeating all your wisdom). He was a bit skeptical due to the lack of cushion on the seat (to say the least).

    The end result: My husband is on that thing every day now doing 15 – 20 miles each morning. I’m a 2 day a week rider averaging 20 to 30 miles per ride – we go with the local bike group (a bunch of maniacs – they ride so fast!).

    Thanks so much Caitlin!

  • Marissa July 9, 2010, 9:45 am

    Your neighborhood is so gorgeous! I love crepe myrtles. My aunt calls them “crap myrtles” though, because she has like a half dozen in her yard she keeps trying to chop down, but they always grow back. Heheheh. And I’m bad about wearing my helmet riding my bike… I hardly ever do! Even though I’ve wiped out bad a couple times. But I always wear mine when I’m riding horses… almost all the time, at least. ;]

  • Meagan July 9, 2010, 3:25 pm

    I must say your previous posts about helmet safety got me wearing my helmet! While I know that I should have always wore it for safety reason seeing the video of your wipe out and hearing your thoughts actually made me start wearing my helmet. Now I feel a lot safer when I’m cycling!

  • Shannon July 9, 2010, 5:08 pm

    Thanks so much for the tips! These come at a perfect time, because I just signed up for my first bike race! (A 17-mile twilight ride in August.) Thanks for the inspiration, as always! I love seeing TJ’s items in your food now! I live across the street from one and am in looove.

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