Chapstick Chickey

Let’s get this started.

I was asked to write a blog about lip balm products. In this mini- blog I’ll try to comment on as many lip balm products (or other products) as possible. Here is a little history on lip balm citing that even ear wax was once used for lip balm…ummm gross. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lip_balm .

It’s an urban legend to say that lip balm is addictive-none of the ingredients are addictive and they won’t cause cancer*, but I’d say that if you have an oral fixation of any kind, then likely you’re addicted to the hand to mouth or “anything” to mouth routine/habit therein. You may have a psychological addiction to it if you find yourself obsessing, not concentrating at work or play, i.e. riding your bike because you have to stop and get your lip salve/balm. What makes a lip balm addictive is the constant licking of your lips. Some companies add a sweetener in their balm to enhance the “flavor” such as with vanilla, mint,
bubble gum, cherry, etc. The sweetener tricks our mind into thinking that we are eating something. So you apply the lip balm, lick the yummy flavor of bubble gum for about 20 minutes, then your lips are dry again and feel funky, so then you reapply again only to continue the chapped lip saga.

Common ingredients in lip balms are petrolatum, vitamin E (aka alpha-tocopherol), natural essential oils, butters, bees wax, safflower oil, olive oil, and fatty acids. Then you get into those big chemical names such as hydroxyethylcellulose, Myristic acid (named after the nutmeg Myristica Frangrans) butylene glycol (a small organic alcohol), or hexylene glycol. Some of these ingredients are used in products which are sold in higher end medi spas. But, it sure is nice to read a label, be able pronounce the ingredient, and know what the heck it is!

Now for sunscreens. Oxybenzone is an organic product used in sunscreens “It is concluded that the human viable epidermal levels of sunscreens are too low to cause any significant toxicity to the underlying human keratin.” (wikipedia.org) . Also to try to avoid: Menthol, camphor, and phenol, fragrances, silicone oil, and Salicylic acid. These ingredients can burn, peel, irritate lips especially if they’re already cracked or irritated

One could get severely obsessed with looking up each and every item listed in a lip balm like C.O Bigelow’s brand for instance so here is a website you can use to research chemicals (both natural and man made) on your own http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ .

Chapstick Chickey

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*though a balm doesn’t cause cancer, a shiny “gloss” product will attract the sun’s harmful rays. So if you’re using a shiny gloss find one that has SPF in it or use an SPF on your lips prior to application of the gloss.

Other resources: beauty.about.com/cs/facialskin/a/lip_care.htm; http://global.burtsbees.com/c/shop/
ingredient-glossary.html

**Disclaimer Chapstick Chickey is not the end all, be all, know it all on lip balm ingredients. If you would like to know more, or if you’d like for me to research a product, or have questions, please let me know.

Next article is on Fat Tire SPF 15 Orange Peel Lip Balm.

Mountain Biking, What???

Hello again, it is me Cat 4 Christine. This is my story on how I got into Mountain Biking.

Over the summer I was gifted a Mountain Bike. A neighbor of mine, who had seen me riding around in my spandex, told me he was getting rid of some old bikes he had just laying around and asked if I would like t take a look. With that kind of question you never really know what you are going to get.

I got lucky.

Lying down, under a bright blue trap, there it was, the bike that was to become the newest bike in my collection, a Cannondale Delta 700, circa 2004. Did I know anything about this bike? Nope, nothing at all, but it looked to be in okay condition and what do I have to lose? It was FREE, right? I took the bike to Clarksville Schwinn to have Sean (an awesome bike mechanic) look it over and let me know how much it would be to fix it up. I told him what I would be willing to spend and he made it happen. Overall the bike was in good shape and I would be able to get it on the trails.

I was not really sure how I would feel about mountain biking.

I love road riding. I love the feeling of the pavement under my wheels, going fast on the decent, and seeing speed that I had only seen while driving a car.

I love racing cyclocross. It makes you think and plan. You ride on grass, mud, gravel, pavement, and whatever else some cruel course designer thinks to add. You have to have skill to get on and off your bike without breaking stride, to be able to get over a barrier without falling flat on your face.

But mountain biking, what was I going to love about it and did I have room in my life for another bike passion?

The maiden voyage on my bike was not an ideal first-time ride. I brought it along to help with course set-up for a MTB race and because we had to keep stopping to mark the course I did not get a good feel for the bike. After that day I did know that I wanted to ride it again.

Not really to my surprise, when I finally got the bike on the trails I fell in love with it. A few weeks later a friend of mine asked me to join her on the trails in the Cherokee Park. I jumped at this chance. We packed the bikes up on a hot summer day and I fell even more in love. We did about 6 miles and while not all of them felt great, and not all of them were rideable by me, I loved every minute of it. A few weeks after that I got to go again. This time it was 100+ degrees outside but I was ready to ride no matter what. We added some new trails in, a few more climbs, and I road some of the stuff I did not the first time. This is what is keeping me going. If I can do one more thing on a ride that I did not on the one before then it is well worth it.

Over the last few months I have been out a handful of times but nothing like the last few weeks. Cross season ended for me back in November and I took a few weeks off from the bike but was getting antsy.  Me getting antsy is not a good thing. It means people talk me into doing things I would not normally do. Like say riding in my first MTB race in the CAT 1-2’s. Now I am not nearly as scared of the idea of racing as I was 6 months ago but still, I had only been on this bike like 5 times. WTH was I thinking? Um let’s remember I am a CAT 4, a CAT 4 that has never done a MTB race. See what being antsy does to me? I am proud to report I did that race, I road my bike for 40+ minutes in the LaGrange Urban Short Track Race on December 17 and came in third place (we will just leave out the part where there was only 3 ladies in the race). It was HARD but FUN and I might just have to do it again.

Here is what I love about the cycling community. All the people that were at the race that day have seen me race, or ride. When I showed up to the race that day I was still on the fence about doing it. They all encouraged me and told me I could. It is hard to ignore people that know your skill level and tell you they think you can do it. Some of these people were in the race with me, and as they passed me they would yell encouragement. Some of them were on the sidelines doing the same. All in all, I am not sure I would have started or finished the race had they not told me I could. So a big thanks goes to Whitney, Debbie, Jennifer, Cathy, Rusty, Sean, Nick, and anyone else that told me I could do it.

More Mountain Biking adventures to come.

Cat 4 Christine

Yep that is me, Cat 4 Christine. Hello and nice to meet you all.

This is my first year bike racing, or really any kind of biking at all, as an adult. I always loved my bicycle when I was a kid, it was what was taken away from me when I misbehaved as a child and I wish I would have stayed with it. But now I am back on it at 31. On February 13 2011, I got my beautiful new-to-me bike and was in love from day one.

Now when I do something I tend to jump in with both feet and for me, this was no different.

The day I got the bike I opted to learn how to use the “clipless” pedals. Let’s just say it was a learning experience that you can read more about here. I then found out from a friend about a cycling team that had just started up a few months earlier, that was an all women team. I quickly found an email address for the founders and asked if they would consider me for the team. Me, a girl who just got a cyclocross bike, just learned to ride clipless pedals, and had not done more than a 10 mile loop in the park. Well, to my surprise, and delight, they took me in and I became a proud member of Team Fleur de Lis Louisville Womens Cycling.

That was 9 months ago and many, many, many miles ago. I now own 2 bikes, two sets of tires, and will hopefully have a new road bike after the first of the year. I have done 7 races and plan on competing in many more. I have clocked over 600 miles, crashed more then a few times, and had a blast most of the time.

I love learning about my bike, racing, the women on my team, and little things that help me to be better, not just on the bike but in life as well. I hope to be sharing some of the lessons that I am learning here in this blog.

I also write another blog that is about all the adventures in my life called A Daisy on my Toe. In this one I will be focusing more on my journey as a Cat 4 racer. I hope you enjoy reading about my journey just about as much as I enjoy living them.

Christine

One of Our Own – Making a Stand Against Breast Cancer & Inspiring Others Along the Way!

Team Fleur de Lis Louisville Womens Cycling Teammate Misty KepanoWe have been posting this link everywhere because we are SO PROUD of our teammate Misty Kepano and so honored to have her in our lives and on the team!


She knows no fear and is always pushing forward to be faster, better, stronger, greater .. both on the bike and in her life. What an inspiring friend, mother, teammate, instructor, and just all around person!


Because this month is all about raising breast cancer Team Fleur de Lis Louisville Womens Cycling Teammate Misty Kepanoawareness The Voice Tribune wrote an article that she was featured in. It gave her an opportunity to tell her story and hopefully give others the hope and courage they need in their own lives. We hope you’ll take the time to read this and become inspired as well!!


Here is the link to the article on the Voice Tribune’s website!