‎12 Trail Posts‎


Testing my limits with the elusive triad…

‎♦ Sport
‎♦ Nutrition
‎♦ Health

12 Trail Posts Not To Be Missed!

Other than some obvious ground rules like the importance of ‎hydration, not overeating before activity and perhaps wearing a hat in ‎the sun, we blindly grope our way. Though not an athlete per se, I ‎have learned much from my growing pains and would love to share ‎some invaluable knowledge I have gained on the trails.‎

This is part two to last week's post "Groping In The Dark"….

a rock

 1 Be Prepared

Make sure you have an adequate supply of water and ‎snacks. ‎No need to brave the elements. When the heat is brutal and our muscles are complaining, we become ever so vulnerable. In addition, by bringing foodstuffs that are healthy, nourishing and sport's compatible,  we need not be tempted…

Homemade treats for the ride

 2 Dress The Part

?Do you get it

If you are going be outside under direct sun, make sure ‎your head is protected. Ears can be very sensitive to the cold. Make ‎sure to bring protection from the cold. Once I forgot and was forced to ‎improvise! ‎

If you are going on a bike, don’t leave without a helmet, gloves and ‎glasses. The one time that I forgot to wear gloves I fell off my bike, ‎braking my fall downhill on gravel like rocky terrain with my bare ‎hands. Ouch! I had a rather large gash on the palm of my hand. While ‎the average thickness of the human skin is 2-3 mm, the thickness of ‎the palm of your hand, much like the soles of your feet, is 4 mm. That ‎injury took ages and ages to heal. Please don’t follow in my path!‎

 3 Dress Up


A little extra helps. High tech wicked clothing is not to be ‎spurned. Hubby merely needs to think about riding his bike and he has ‎already worked up a sweat. I find it hard to believe how much his high ‎tech duds effectively rake up his excessive perspiration. Personally, I ‎do not sweat much but absolutely love the high tech merino woolen ‎gear. I stick by it, winter and summer alike. Heck, even hubby’s fallen for the ‎stuff! As a matter of fact, both of us now sport a heavily biased woolen ‎underwear and sock collection (and we live in Israel!). For work and for play, we stick by it ‎but never to it!‎

My first mountain bike
new bike
Number three

 4 It’s Not Frivolous!

There are sports which are more expensive than ‎others, but there is always significant variance between the frugal and ‎the extravagant spender. There is a certain degree of investment ‎which is prudent and can be judged to be advantageous to your ‎well being. Today it is all about bikes, so I will use the language of the land.‎

Number two

A mountain bike could run you anywhere from $500-10,000 and ‎beyond. Here are but a few of the many add-ons which I feel ‎contribute greatly not only to my performance but to my sense of ‎security:‎


Brakes – An investment in better brakes is warranted as you ‎become more adventurous on your bike, riding down steep ‎hills on rigorous and often wet terrain.‎

Dropper Seatpost – One of the first things one learns when riding ‎a mountain bike is to stop and lower one’s seatpost before going ‎down a steep descent. Today there are “dropper seatposts” ‎which allow you with a flick of your finger to adjust your ‎seatpost’s height. Safety first, I no longer think of this as a ‎frivolous investment!‎

Suspension – Much like a car, a mountain bike can be equipped ‎with either front or full (front and back) suspension. In my ‎humble and wise (heck, I've got the grey hair!) opinion, this is a necessity for any "wonder woman" with ‎a used womb in "mint condition". I would also venture to include anyone approaching his ‎fortieth decade as a perfect candidate for a suspension bike. A good suspension ‎system will hold our spines with grace and gift us with a more enjoyable ride.‎

Get a Grip. – An investment in good wheels and tires will ‎improve your grip and ultimately keep you on your bike more. ‎Remind me to tell you about the time I fell head over my handle ‎bars into a hand stand position.…‎

 5 Burn Baby Burn


As I began to go on longer and more strenuous ‎rides, I began to suffer from muscle burn. I felt this in various parts of ‎my body although mostly from the waist down to my toes. ‎Often it was both my toes and fingers. Because I had never experienced ‎any pain like this, I was alarmed and immediately began to investigate ‎what was wrong with me. Actually this is a very well-known ‎phenomenon. High intensity workouts cannot be fueled by the normal ‎aerobic (with oxygen) mechanism and the fuel source is replaced by ‎anaerobic (without oxygen) glycolysis or burning stored glucose in the ‎muscles and liver by converting it into glycogen. Some of the ‎byproducts of this process are lactate (erroneously called lactic acid, it ‎contains one less hydrogen ion) and extra hydrogen ions. It is these ‎free ions and not the lactate which cause the burn. The pain caused by ‎this process can be excruciating. I have found several ways to delay its ‎onset and decrease its intensity:‎


Hydration – Hydration is of key importance: aim to drink prior to ‎activity and at regular intervals throughout your workout. For ‎intense workouts hydration should be with water and electrolyte ‎rich beverages (these can be prepared simply at home by adding sea salt, lemon juice, dates and chiato to water  – see link for ‎my favorite recipe).  ‎

Pre Workout – Any food eaten prior to workout should be ‎chosen on the basis of its ease of digestibility. Energy directed to ‎digestion translates into less energy for your muscles. Avoid eating ‎heavy meals. A heavy meal will cause the body to direct blood ‎flow to the digestive process. It will be difficult to direct blood ‎and oxygen elsewhere. Avoid eating protein of any kind, even plant based protein. Digestion of protein ‎requires more fluids than carbohydrates and fat and will likely ‎lead to muscle cramping. If you reward your body regularly with ‎an alkalized diet full of healthy nutrients, your body’s need for ‎an immediate pre energy source will dissipate. ‎

Workout – The body’s preferred choice of energy during intense ‎workouts is simple carbohydrates such as dates, bananas or any ‎fruit. Simple carbohydrates are burned quickly and must ‎be replenished every 20-30 minutes after the first hour of ‎activity. Coconut oil is also a good source of energy as it has ‎MCT’s or medium chain triglycerides which are easily broken ‎down and absorbed by the body. The coconut oil is directed ‎straight to the liver as immediate fuel. ‎

For workouts longer than one hour it is important to add an ‎alkaline protein and some fatty acids. Examples of good proteins ‎are hemp, ground flax seed and spirulina. Of late I have taken to ‎packing a frozen shot of spirulina to be consumed halfway into my ‎ride. Excellent fatty acid sources examples can be found in ‎soaked almonds, ground flax seed, coconut and avocado. ‎


Coffee – While I am not a coffee drinker and generally do not ‎recommend this stimulating habit, when given the opportunity, I ‎will drink a shot of espresso before I go biking. I feel that it ‎gives me a great boost. As coffee is a diuretic, however, I make an ‎effort to double my efforts to drink water directly before or after the shot.‎

Packaged Energy – Commercial gels, powders and electrolyte drinks should be ‎used sparingly. Beware as they often contain diuretic ingredients ‎such as caffeine. I learned the hard way to intensify hydration ‎efforts while using these. Beware of side pain in the kidney area:‎ your body is signaling to you that you are not drinking enough.

Post Workout, First Hour – As per pre workout, your best ‎immediate nutritional source will be simple carbohydrates. The ‎preferred nutrition for the first hour is simple carbohydrates void ‎of fiber, little fat and up two 20% protein. The protein will speed ‎up the glycogen synthesis. Liquid or near liquid (such as gels and ‎puddings) are best.‎

Post Workout, Second Hour – It is time for a complete nutrient ‎rich meal including an excellent quality and easily digested ‎protein such as hemp, flax seed or spirulina. A good ‎alternative would be a whole food plant based smoothie which will ease the ‎digestive process and allow your body to recuperate. ‎


The timing of your food and beverage intake is critical to your comfort and recovery!

 6 Speed Can Be Your Ally


As counter intuitive as it sounds, speed can ‎be your ally when used in certain situations. Speeding going into a ‎turn will give you more power and stability. Stability means fewer ‎wipeouts. That being said, when using speed to get up a ramp, make ‎sure that you are using enough speed, else you’ll start rolling back, ‎back, back. Once while unsuccessfully making it up to the top of a ramp, I managed to land on my "Pilates legs" and walk my uprighted bike backwards front wheel up in the air between my legs until ‎we, my bike and I, were able to come to a full stop.‎

 7 Balance

…My daughter, the yoga teacher

It is good to balance your favorite sport of choice with other ‎sports. Pilates is a great activity to balance with mountain biking (see ‎above). I can’t begin to tell you how my excellent balance, core ‎strength and dance skills have saved me from many a disastrous fall.

Best to dance your way out of those perilous positions -‎
rather than fall flat on your face!‎

8 Questionable Obstacles

When in doubt, opt out!


Better you part with ‎your pride rather than pay with your person. I once tried riding over a ‎small log and landed in a precarious hand stand (balance, balance, ‎balance!). While I am uncertain if that was the catalyst for my cervical ‎fusion six months later (another story for another blog), my conclusion ‎is that:

I’d rather be a wimp! ‎


9 Be a Lefty

There are two brakes: while we primarily rely on our ‎back brake (usually the right lever), always use both brakes. If you feel your back tire skidding ‎that is a sure sign that you need to add more pressure on your front (left) ‎brake. One topple over your front wheel will suffice to teach you this ‎important lesson!‎

10 Play Dirty

Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone. ‎
Hook yourself up to the next level of expertise. ‎


cleatsCleats? Be prepared to fall and ‘if you’re like most (like me), fall and fall again! ‎Hopefully only your pride will get scratched up. Most new skills take ‎practice to perfect. There will be a learning curve and many cool shots ‎to load up to your social media.

Bottom line, when was the last time ‎you played in the dirt? Mucking around is not just child’s play. I invite ‎you to take the plunge!‎

11 The Enigma In You


I believe that we all have idiosyncrasies within ‎our bodies. This may be due to genetics, mechanics, injury, allergies, ‎sensitivities, asymmetries, thought patters or other. Often, despite their best efforts, ‎even the most accomplished doctors are unable to solve the ‎quandary.‎ Clearly this brings you distress. Take care in knowing, however, that ‎you yourself are probably best equipped to put the puzzle together.‎

It is so easy for me to relate to you as I have been in this situation time ‎and time again.‎…

One particular problem perturbed me for years until HBNE (Sherlock) ‎Holmes found the answer. Many a time while exercising, I would suffer ‎from an uncomfortable itching, especially concentrated around my ‎exposed extremities. Strange, huh? As I child and on into my adulthood I ‎suffered from many allergies and sensitivities, some of them ‎downright bizarre. In this instance, I discovered that I was allergic to ‎exercise! No, I am not pulling your leg! In the professional jargon it is ‎termed: Exercise-Induced Anaphylaxis and Urticaria. For me the ‎solution was to wear wool socks and full length gloves while biking and avoid gluten. ‎

12 On The Seventh Day


On the seventh day she rested and so should you. Allow your body ‎regular intervals of rest and avoid working out day after day after day after day. ‎There was a time when I was biking nonstop. My body and me we suffered. ‎

So what did my hard core biking buddies have to say today?

The ‎question was: what would your best advice be to someone who just ‎began mountain biking? Let it rip:‎

• Say goodbye to the blues.‎
• Magical places lie hidden awaiting to be discovered.‎
• Do not despair: a goofy grin of delight will shine at trail’s end.‎
• Start slow, even if you are in shape.‎
• Be cautious, but don’t be afraid.‎
• Pace yourself. There is no need to be the leader of the pack!‎
• Be patient. Change reveals itself in you from the inside out.


Tune in regularly to check out how you are feeling. ‎
It’s ok and even healthy to do less. ‎
Do less to be more!

I would like to thank you for your patience in reading this post to its end.‎

If you liked what you read and you are not on my mailing list, you can sign up ‎here.‎

Finally I would like to request that you please share my post which precedes the ‎release of my animated clip (soon, I promise). I am so excited! Please share this ‎post…

Thank you and have a great week!‎


You tell your future! The power is ours!

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8 years ago

Good personal advice,great review of Biology 12 and great inspiration. I am always intrigued that you have so many rides void of traffic. Looks like a beautiful place to ride.

Hila Gozani
Hila Gozani
8 years ago
Reply to  Lorraine


Mountain biking in Israel is freedom. Freedom because there is hardly any private property and we can bike freely in any direction. There are also many government parks with developed bike trails. It seems that we are making great efforts to , attract good eco-tourism. I would love to take you biking with me someday soon. You name the time and we will show you and Dan the real lay of the land….
Thanks so much for your kind words

8 years ago

Excellent points?
Excellent read?

Hila Gozani
Hila Gozani
8 years ago
Reply to  Ruthie

Thank you so much ♥
Looking forward to meeting up with you on the trails!