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If you've got a pickup truck or an SUV, you may think that you don't need to make an investment in a bike rack of any kind, because there's plenty of room in the back of the truck or your sports utility vehicle for a bike or two. Right?However, after you've driven around with your bike rattling around in the back of your SUV or truck, you may change your mind.It's not only the noise that may get on your nerves. Grease and dirt can quite easily transfer from your bike ...

Receiver Bike Racks - The Bike Rack For Your SUV

Receiver Bike Racks - The Bike Rack For Your SUVIf you've got a pickup truck or an SUV, you may think that you don't need to make an investment in a bike rack of any kind, because there's plenty of room in the back of the truck or your sports utility vehicle for a bike or two. Right?However, after you've driven around with your bike rattling around in the back of your SUV or truck, you may change your mind.It's not only the noise that may get on your nerves. Grease and dirt can quite easily transfer from your bike to the upholstery of the SUV, and of course you'll have to flip those seats up and down to ensure you have enough room.Even if you don't care about the state of your truck bed, it's easy to scratch your bike as well and you don't want that. Scratches turn into rust. And if you're carrying more than one bike, the chances of scratches or staining is multiplied.What can you do about it? You can't get a roof rack for your truck, obviously, and the roof of your SUV will be too high to comfortably lift a bike up to the roof.No problem - if you've got a trailer hitch on the back of your truck or SUV, then all you need to do is get a receiver bike rack, more commonly known as a hitch bike rack. (The receiver is the name of the ball on which a trailer hitch is placed.)Everybody Wins with a Receiver Hitch Bike RackLots of companies offer hitch racks, from Advantage to Saris to Yakima.There's a couple of things you need to bear in mind when buying a hitch or receiver rack - what's the diameter of the ball on which the hitch has to fit? Once you know that dimension, you also have to decide how many bikes you're going to carry. You can buy a hitch rack that will carry up to five bikes at a time.If you're nervous about having your bicycles secured on the back of you vehicle, you can also explore the option of a bed mount.This is a device that runs horizontally from one side of your truck bed to the other. You then put your bikes onto this rack and secure them down so that they stand up securely and don't rattle around. You can also buy a similar device for your SUV, although you still have the hassle of moving around the seats - depending on the size of your vehicle.If you've got a pickup or an SUV, then you've invested a lot in your vehicle. You've probably also invested a lot in your bike as well. So why not invest a little bit more in a receiver bike rack to keep everything safe, clean, and neat.

Be Blister-free On Your Outdoor Vacation

Be Blister-free On Your Outdoor Vacation

Rather than lengthy travel overseas or costly vacation rentals along a popular beach, you have decided to try an outdoor vacation. From the many choices of "outdoor vacation" s available, from kayaking to authentic dude ranches, you have opted for a simple hike through a beautiful forest or wilderness. Depending on the location, you may simple get in the car and drive to a nearby state park or forest after which you will find yourself amidst beautiful scenery away from the nearby urban environment. So, after a few hours you have been on the trail and decide to make your way back. You have several miles to go, but realize you have blisters. This can turn an enjoyable hike into misery. Blisters result from the friction between your sock and skin and, therefore, the inside wall of your boot. The best hiking boots and socks can even allow for slippage of the foot inside the boot, that which can lead to potential for blisters caused by the painful friction. A good pair of socks can help minimize this problem. Though cotton, silk and wool are some of the more common materials, hikers today have a variety of choices. When combined with traditional materials, Lycra and some polyester materials can do a good job as well. Other features of socks are important to help reduce this slippage and friction also, and the new construction methods in socks are contribution much. For instance, thicker sections and a lack of ridges can help socks reduce the friction. Their thermal properties and moisture-wicking capabilities also help improve the general environment around the foot inside the boot. Your selection of a proper, quality hiking boot can also contribute to minimizing the possibility of friction and, ultimately, blisters. Yes, many stiff hiking boots will loosen somewhat as you wear them, but it really is important to find a boot that fits right and is comfortable right away. If you decide to remove your boots during the hike and slip them into a cold creek, be sure to dry your feet off completely before re-booting. Also, make sure there are no ridges on your sock and gravel inside the boot. However, if you still feel a blister forming, remove your boot and use some water to rinse off the area. Disinfect the area with anti-bacterial cream or alcohol if you have it. Then, puncture it horizontally by using a clean, disinfected needle and squeeze out the fluid inside. Do not tear off or remove the skin, but rather place a bandage over the area to serve as an artificial skin until it heals. Once at home, treat the area better with Benzoin or another anti-bacterial cream. Though not in ever case, you may need to cut away the flap of skin but only if a good portion of the skin has become loose. Otherwise, it will fall off or decay on its own. As you see, selection of you hiking gear is important. Be prepared so you can enjoy the entire hike from beginning to end!

Hello From New York City - Part 2 - Exploring Mid-Town Manhattan

Hello From New York City - Part 2 - Exploring Mid-Town Manhattan

Since our plane landed nice and early we had virtually a whole day left to explore yesterday. The weather was pretty nice, quite sunny when we started, although it clouded over a little and was a little on the cool side, it never got much above 15 degrees Celsius.Around noon time we hopped on the Q subway line, which is literally 5 minutes from our bed and breakfast, and we made our way into Manhattan. The subway actually emerges at the Manhattan Bridge and we got a good look at the Brooklyn Bridge and the south-eastern tip of Manhattan.We decided to get off on Times Square, figuring that this would be pretty good place to start exploring NYC. "Times Square" , with all its neon advertising signs, and promotional displays is something else. The sidewalks were totally full of people strolling and tons of promoters were handing out flyers for broadway shows, comedy shows and other entertainment events. There is so much advertising in the Times Square area with lights and displays blinking everywhere, that the individual advertisements actually started to run into one another in my mind, probably not the effect the advertisers tried to achieve. Indeed, the hustle and bustle in this area is huge and can get a little overwhelming.We strolled around that area for a while, and walked by Rockefeller Center, although we did not get to explore the whole complex. Then we tracked down Grand Central Terminal and walked through this grandiose historic train station which opened in 1913. There are over 100 commuter train platforms at Grand central and they all run off a glorious central concourse.The east side of Grand Central opens out almost straight onto the Chrysler Building, and considering that I am a huge fan of Art Deco skyscrapers, I had to go inside this 1929 masterpiece. As a tourist you can only access the lobby, but the central area with its ceiling mural and the authentic Art Deco elevators (and their doors covered in wood marquetry) are definitely worth a little detour.Then we snaked our way up towards Central Park, mostly on Lexington and Fifth Avenues. We walked by the (apparently just closed) famous Plaza Hotel and into the south end of Central Park, a masterpiece of landscape design and 850 acres of much-needed recreational space by the famous landscape designer Frederick Law Olmstead. We only explored the south end, including the Dairy and Sheep Meadow and headed out onto Central Park West with all its stately apartment buildings, including the Dakota Building, in front of which John Lennon was shot in 1980. The Strawberry Fields hillside garden was dedicated to his memory.Everything is blooming here right now, and New York City is definitely a few weeks ahead of Toronto in terms of the horticultural cycle. Something was in the air, and I had to sneeze about a hundred times, and by the end of the day we both had to pick up some allergy medication since we were both battling major hayfever symptoms.Then a brief hop on the subway later, we popped up again in Greenwich Village, a beautiful neighbourhood of brownstone townhouses and took in the ambience. We ended up at a nice little restaurant on 7th Avenue, called "Pennyfeathers" where we had a beautiful dinner in an enclosed porch so we could take in the street life.A couple of subway rides later we came back to our temporary home in Brooklyn where we dropped into bed exhausted from all the walking, trying to catch up on a bit of rest for the next day.

Mexico As A Concept And Not A Reality Part 4

Mexico As A Concept And Not A Reality Part 4

Americans are told through slick and appealing magazine ads and maybe a seminar or two that they can move to Mexico and miss nothingall the comforts of home right here in Mexico. They can have everything in that nasty old Third-World country that they had in America. You don't have to miss your favorite TV shows because you can install satellite TV and have Desperate Housewives beamed into your Mexican living room. (Who wouldn't come running?) You learn that you can have absolutely everything you had in the States right here in Mexico at your disposal. You can transport all that you were in America to Mexico. It's like moving to another state in America where everything will be cheaper and the locals will just adore you and will be so thankful you came into their lives, "We are at your service, All Mighty American Expat. ("We are Americans, hear us roar!")Who would not be attracted to that as the Concept of Mexico?In other words, Americans think that because they have a familiarity with American-Hispanic culture in cities like Houston, Brownsville, Laredo, McAllen, Dallas, San Antonio, San Diego, Los Angeles, El Paso, that they have mastered Mexican culture and have a high degree of Mexican cultural fluency. They are, Americans would reason, the same people. They equate American-Hispanic culture and Mexico's culture as one in the same as so they reason they will have no problem adjusting to any of the Prime Living Locations where hundreds of American expats have carved out something from the unique local cultures of ancient Mexican cities and call it Expatriation. What is equally appealing and probably settles it in the minds of nearly 100% of Americans who move to these Prime Living Locations is that they could spend the rest of their days there and never have to utter one word of Spanish. And, that is true.The Prime Living Locations in Mexico have within their Mexican cities Mexico as a Concept existing as a separate dimension. The American Gringos have created this alternate dimension within each Prime Living Location city into which the gringo wannebee enters and essentially lives their lives surround by other gringos that occupy this dimension. They eat and breathe a little America within this dimension that the Mexican calls Gringo Landia. The Gringolandians can look out and into Real Mexico. An American woman recently got a glimpse of the dual-dimensional cultural bubbles in San Miguel de Allende.In an article in the L.A. Times, a lady visiting San Miguel de Allende made this comment about the Sunday House and Garden tour she took:It was at this point that I realized that if I really wanted a taste of Mexico, I might as well go home to Echo Park. The tour wasn't so much a backstage pass to aspirational cultural immersion as it was an English-only how-to guide for getting away from it all without giving anything up. Each dwelling was mostly notable for just how thoroughly the householders had managed to bring the comforts of the north into the wilds of the south. The Gringo Landia dimension has all the gringos could ever want right down to a country-club, Disneyland-like lifestyle. The Mexican, who lives in Mexico as a Reality works side-by-side for the Gringos but have been driven away from where the Gringolandians reside because they cannot afford to live where they did formerly before the Gringos invaded. The occupants of Real Mexico, the locals, existing side-by-side with Gringo Landia's residents crossing each other's paths only when absolutely necessary.The occasions during which a rift in the walls of these dimensional existences grow weak and must cross, leak, if you will, is when a Mexican has to serve a Gringolandian as a maid, gardener, a repairman, a roof contractor and his work team, or a public event. This is somewhat akin to when matter and antimatter mix. The resulting explosion can be catastrophic. And, there is a reason why the mixing of the two dimensions results in catastrophe.For the American to think that because they may have a passing acquaintance with an American-Hispanic culture that this means they have mastered the Mexican culture is a grave error. This belief affects American-Mexican relationships from the Fortune 500 and 100 company's CEO's, who want to begin a business venture in Mexico, to the common ordinary American retiree who wants to retire in Mexico. They hold the gravely false belief that because they are acquainted with Jorge Garcia Mendoza Carrillo, a third-generation American of Mexican ancestry, they are experts in Mexican culture. They could not be more wrong.A thoroughly Americanized person with Mexican roots, even though maintaining Spanish fluency, is no more biculturally capable of dealing with Mexican culture than is your Spanish-fluent Irish American. The linguistic ability is the key to the door of cultural mastery, but they may very well be as culturally inept as any other Spanish-speaking American coming into Mexico. What happens is a CEO of a company that has a branch in Mexico will send in a second-generation American-Mexican who has maintained his or her linguistic roots but not cultural roots fully expecting they will have no problem straightening out a problem that has arisen between the plant's American management and Mexican workers. They end up having to hire bicultural analysts (consultants) who have to come in to clean up the mess made by monocultural personnel. If that happens (and it does all too frequently) within the confines of American companies trying to deal with Mexicans in a business setting, imagine what the gringo whose cultural mantra and proof of their cultural mastery is "Yo quiero Taco Bell" is going to encounter when moving to a Mexican city? Is it any wonder why the crossing of the dimensional rifts in an expat setting occurs in such an explosive concussion? I tell you that if when peace does reign in an expat setting in the Prime Living Locations in Mexico, it is because of the almost saintly obsession of the Mexican detesting conflict and becoming accommodating to avoid the explosion. It can't be the Americans because the American way is something like, "If my Ugly American Syndrome doesn't get me what I want, I will just give them more Ugly American Syndrome."NEXT: Mexico As a Concept and Not As a Reality part 5

Vacation Home For Fun

Do you think that you will be planning a vacation to the beach soon, because you may want to think about investing in a beach rental. You will also want to make sure that you allow yourself plenty of time to rent a beach home as well. You will wan to make sure that you have things at the rental home so that you can easily commutate to others, and also be able to tie up some loose ends at the office early in the vacation week. You will want to makes sure that you think about doing a proper research report on some of the local houses that you can rent on the beach. You will want to make sure that you give yourself time to set up the arrangements because this is not something that you will be able to do over night. For those who are familiar with the search engines, you will want to take some time and find a beach rental online. You will want to try to get one immediately because beach homes do go fast, especially a rental. You will want to take in consideration that there is a lot of excitement that you will be able to have at the beach house because there is more than just water activities for you to do. When you are looking for a beach rental you will want to think about the type of rental that you are looking for. You will find that there are going to be villas and resorts available, but also apartments and condos. You will want to make sure that it matches your personal tastes. You will find that it all depends on a few things rather you get what you want or settle for something different. You will find that you will be looking for a vacation home that you can afford location, and how many people are coming with you. If this is the first time that you are looking to rent, you may need to go through a specific company that handles the rentals because you will be able to reserve the beach house every year at the same time, as long as you book it at the end of your trip. You will find that there are a lot of travel agencies that could be local to you that deal with rentals and other states. You will need to do your research.

An African Lion Safari Is A Once In A Lifetime Adventure

You may be quite appalled to know that the African lion is heading towards extinction. This king of the jungle and a symbol of strength are on the endangered list and a reason for this bad news is that many African nations are in a hurry to implement new technologies which is whittling away the habitat of the African lion which has brought both man and beast into conflict with one another.Seeing The Mighty Beast In Action Will Be AwesomeStill, the African lion safari is something that attracts great number of tourists to Africa and so you may be interested in knowing the best destinations for your African lion safari. Seeing this mighty beast in flesh is certainly exciting, but viewing it in action is also worth your while. Being an animal given to snoozing all day this may cause you some amount of concern when you go on an African lion safari and there is no sign of the beast for a whole day.The two topmost African lion safari destinations are no doubt the Serengeti in Tanzania and the Masai Mara in Kenya. You can also find great viewing in South Africas Kruger National Park, Botswanas many lion draws including Moremi Game Reserve that has great wildlife as well as spectacular landscape. Wherever you go, the African lion safari is sure to be a once in a lifetime experience.When you do embark on an African lion safari make sure that you engage the services of a professional guide who will ensure that you are safe during your trip. The lion is certainly a most deadly as well as revered creature and is cunning and ferocious that stands at the top of the food chain. You would be well advised to visit Botswana or Okavango Delta for your African lion safari where there are sure to be wild lions about.Since the African lion safari has its associated dangers (in spite of the guide) you would be well advised to follow instructions to the T, and dont be one of those who insist on taking photographs when it is unsafe to do so. The guide is well acquainted with the habits of these beasts and you must wait for the green signal before proceeding any further.The lion no doubt rules the roost wherever it may be and they will let you know of that immediately. It is thus in your best interests to take a guided African lion safari which will not only ensure your safety, but will also give you the most exciting adventure of your life.

Summary

If you've got a pickup truck or an SUV, you may think that you don't need to make an investment in a bike rack of any kind, because there's plenty of room in the back of the truck or your sports utility vehicle for a bike or two. Right?However, after you've driven around with your bike rattling around in the back of your SUV or truck, you may change your mind.It's not only the noise that may get on your nerves. Grease and dirt can quite easily transfer from your bike ...