How we Liv…

For the longest time, we had our bike gear and favorite components which carried us through several CCGs and other Bike MS events. It was a little over a year ago when we met half way at Jon Steppic’s Southbridge Bicycle shop to hang out and Rachael talk about bikes, that we left with LIV on the brain.

Truth.

This picture is early spring at a Southbridge ride with our new LIV bikes (we are ready to roll out across 50 states!)

Rachael was looking to create a custom ride and I was itching for the next thing; it was time. Rachael left the store leaning toward the LIV Envie and I straight up left the shop with the Avail Pro receipt (hellooooo disc brakes! 😜) that would be ready to pick up in another week or so. Rachael ultimately went with the Envie, and electronic shifting a few weeks later. New gear sounds great and all but here was where LIV was different and what made us instantly both fall in love with our new rides.

LIV (the women’s specific brand created by Giant) is one of the only (besides Terry – but still designed by men) company that uses women-only data for measurements for sizing. There was only minor tweaking for fitting versus our other bikes. It’s not just road or race bikes- there is something for all ages, disciplines, and experience. We even had the opportunity to dip our toes in the magical world of MTB, thanks to Giant/LIV rep Chris Baer. Scary at first but so much fun! Stay tuned for our upcoming Bike MS adventure in Vermont (hint, hint).

We want all the MTBs!

Since we’ve switched over to LIV, we’ve had fewer mechanicals, felt better on long rides, and in general have improved our bike handling. We say it a million times and we’ll say it again…we’ve been so lucky to make it through 11 states unscathed and finish with big smiles. LIV definitely helped make that possible. Putting in the miles on long rides is more enjoyable and comfortable. Overall just a really great fit. If you or someone you know is looking for a new ride, definitely check LIV out at http://www.liv-cycling.com for options and retailers near you.

🧡🧡🚴🏻‍♀️🚴🏻‍♀️

#howweliv #livbeyond

check out Southbridge Bicycles new shop at 930 Main Street, Southbridge MA – the new Giant / LIV shop!

How to stay hydrated on the bike in extreme heat.

Skratch. That’s how.

We’ve mentioned Texas before but what’s one more time? Back in April, we tackled State 1, Texas, a 2 day ride from Houston to Austin. When we flew out of Boston, it was snowing. So as you can imagine, the number of outdoor training were few. Maybe a few miles outside if any at all. Ok so we get everything off the plane and bike gear is ok in the end (separate story). We pretty much immediately started hydrating with Skratch because it was in the 80s when we landed in Houston. We started with the anytime hydration on the plane which sucks the water out of you anyway.

You can’t really see it but there were definitely flakes in the sky. 😁

Our Skratch stash 👍

We were careful with the stops for hydration and Skratch energy chews. In fact, so much so that sunscreen was an afterthought 😮😬 The sport and super helped tremendously. We had two bottles with us on our bikes- never let them get empty. One for water and one for Skratch. Once the heat kicked in, they both were Skratch. The last 15 miles were brutal- mainly because we hadn’t been on our bikes for that long this early in the season and we weren’t used to the heat but we’re convinced that it wouldn’t have turned out that way without the Skratch. It ultimately came down to being really careful to replace what we were losing.

Can’t have smiles after that heat without proper nutrition!

Fast forward a few days when we were back home and we both caught the flu on the plane. It was awful. Just awful. Desperate to keep something down, we both gave the Skratch anytime hydration a try. It helped from keeping nothing down to keeping bananas and crackers down. That’s a win.

Urgent care selfie while Dayle waited for test results. Not good.

So how does it work? Ok we are not doctors but what we know from the Skratch crew is that It’s specially formulated to replace human sweat. There are formulations for hydration and hydration and fuel. So you’re literally replacing what you lose (wasn’t lying earlier).

Aside from hydration, Skratch has also lent a hand with recovery too. When it was starting to get cold up here in early October, outdoor rides were becoming far and few again. When we hit Florida, although pan flat, hydration was good but we needed quick recovery to make it a second day in the same heat. That was Skratch Recovery Drink Mix in Chocolate for us. The blend of protein and carbohydrates was perfect to hold us over until we got real food in our stomachs at the Team village. Check out those smiles- brought to you by Skratch 👍

Definitely check out the website skratchlabs.com and give it a try. Our favorite flavors are Lemon-Lime (Rachael) and Passion Fruit (Dayle).

Stay hydrated! 🧡🧡🚴🏻‍♀️🚴🏻‍♀️

Happy Trails…🚴🏻‍♀️🚴🏻‍♀️

We have been on a sponsor kick lately now that outdoor riding has calmed down…ok is basically over 🤷🏻‍♀️😢 There have been a lot of questions about what we eat, how we prepare, how we recover (more on those later). We get A LOT of questions and compliments about what we wear. Well…Primal Wear, folks!

While Rachael was at National Leadership Conference in Colorado, November 2017, she had the opportunity to check out the Primal line and chat it up with the custom team (Primal is the National Sponsor for the National MS Society). From there Rachael made an instant relationship with Stephen Blackband. He and Carolyn helped us design our Team Velox Rota kits for this year’s cycling season and we couldn’t have been any happier with not only the design but working with them. Primal wear has by far the best quality kits in the game- we’ve tried and tested, even the cold gear!

Dayle was against bibs for the longest time- hadn’t tried any that fit and finally was converted to bibs once she tried Primal. No turning back!

Not only are the quality and comfort of Primal’s kits and clothing far superior, the other part we love about Primal is their commitment to helping end MS. As mentioned, they are the National Sponsor for MS – all official Bike MS rides, Passport and I Ride With MS jerseys are all Primal. If teams (like ours) order custom kits, a portion of the sale goes back to you team fundraising. Everyone wins.

Whether your a cyclist, fitness enthusiast, or looking for a gift for someone who is, check them out at

Most of all…Happy Trails! 🧡🧡🚴🏻‍♀️🚴🏻‍♀️

team Velox Rota winter jacket custom ride Marshal jersey

PR for MS!

PR as in Amp Human Performance Personal Recovery Lotion with sodium bicarbonate, that is.

Our secret weapon on and off the bike.

We’ve been using this since the beginning (formerly known as Topical Edge) and we are so excited that our secret weapon has a new name, Amp Human Performance! Before and after every ride, we can be found slathering this on our legs. It helps reduce soreness and fatigue by neutralizing acid that builds up in muscles. Even after intense training sessions at the gym, it’s been a life saver. The best is foam rolling and stretching after an application before bed or even mixed in with a post-ride massage.

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If you haven’t checked them out, watch the video below and visit AmpHuman.com today and use CODE TE2AMP for 20% off!

PR Lotion fights fatigue and soreness, do more of what you love and feel great doing it!

How else would we have such big smiles on our faces after pushing 160 miles in 2 days of sweltering 90 degree heat?

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Mmm…honey

We are a little over a fifth of the way into our journey. One question people constantly ask has to do with what we eat when we ride.

There are a few things we do for nutrition but the key for us as been Honey Stinger Waffles. Even on training rides indoors, these are hands down the best. These were a mainstay for every ride and we’ve never bonked, so that’s something.

These soft little waffles, serve up tasty energy (160 calories each) that’s easy on the stomach for endurance events, and other active outdoor snackers. We were really lucky to have Honey Stinger sponsor us as Elite Athletes for our first year of our 5 year journey.  Since we had been consuming the yummy GF waffles for the last few years, it was a no brainer to partner with them!

What is it?

Honey Stinger’s Organic Waffles are two thin waffle wafers with honey sandwiched in between. Honey Stinger says the stroop waffles favored by cyclists in Europe inspire them. These versions are certified organic, come in single-serving wrappers of 160 calories each, and are available in several flavors.

Taste & Flavors

Honey: This is the basis of all the Honey Stinger waffles, with no other flavors added. Salted caramel, plain honey, vanilla, and cinnamon.

Also, it’s important to note (and may make few squeamish) but when they’re in your bike jersey pocket, and you’ve been sweating/riding for a while, the honey sort of melts and they resemble freshly baked cookies 😁

Energy

These have been a godsend on the bike. No crashing and we find that one lasts a while. I take these in bites so one can last me over an hour if necessary. They’re also easy on the stomach and don’t give that feeling of wanting to immediate brush your teeth like others out there.

Ingredients
See for yourself!

Give them a shot on your next long walk, hike, bike ride, run, or swim! Sting or bee stung!

🧡🧡🚴🏻‍♀️🚴🏻‍♀️😘

#honeystinger #stingorbeestung #stingerwaffles #honey #endurancenutrition

Frankie says Relaxxx…and breathe.

Ok, ok, I added the last part. 🤷🏻‍♀️

Too often we find ourselves under some sort of stress. Work, school, holidays, family, health, even exercise is a state of stress you put your body in. One thing we can do to get through it is take a breath to allow ourselves to reset. I found this gem recently and thought it was worth a share.

Give it a shot. Did it work for you?

You can check out Rachel Brathen on her blog yogagirl.com or podcast Conversations with Yoga Girl.

🚴🏻‍♀️🚴🏻‍♀️🧡🧡

Stressed? You Always Have the Perfect Remedy With You – Your Breath

Whenever you find yourself in tense or stressful situations, your breath probably becomes short and restricted. Maybe you hold it altogether!

This tightened breath creates tension in the body, and that, in turn, increases the stress you are experiencing.

Directing your awareness back to the breath and learning how to slow it down in the anxious moments is the most valuable thing.

Take a moment right now to notice how you’re breathing. Maybe you’re barely breathing and you didn’t even realize it! How does your body feel? If your breath is tight, your body probably feels the same way. They work interdependently.

No matter how you’re feeling right now, a deep round of breath always feels damn good. Do it now: deep breath in through your nose, complete breath out through your mouth. Make some noise on that exhale if you need to!

The next time you’re in a stressful situation, take a moment to bring your awareness away from your thoughts and back to the breath.

Back to the breath,

Back to the breath,

Back to the breath.

  1. Breathe in and out of your nose. 
  2. Relax your tongue and soften your jaw.
  3. Draw your breath down toward the bottom of your lungs, feeling them expand. 
  4. Exhale slowly, mindfully emptying the lungs.
  5. Continue this slow, mindful breathing until you feel your mind steadying and your body beginning to relax.
  6. For extra anxious situations, try adding a mindful pause between the inhales and the exhales. Notice the simple peace that rests in between the doing.

Every time you inhale, you have the opportunity to invite in more of what you need. And every time you exhale, you have the choice to send out more of the love our world needs.

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Breathing is a divine miracle and a responsibility.

That mantra, “inhale the good shit, exhale the bullshit” doesn’t make any sense to me. Where are you exhaling that bullshit to? Who’s going to absorb it? Energy cannot be created or destroyed, but it can be altered. Don’t leave your shit for someone else to fix. Or think of it this way: don’t put even more bullshit out into the world.

Be the magical alchemist that you are and change that bullshit into something useful and healing – for yourself and all beings. When that’s extra tough and you need help, ask the earth. 

She knows how to transform mud into a lotus and she’ll show you how.

How did you feel before this mindful breathing exercise? How do you feel now? Let me know in the comments!

X, 

Rachel