News & Events
HOUSTON—Just minutes from the Katy Freeway, Terry Hershey Park seems a world away.
“It’s kind of an oasis in what I call the concrete jungle,” said Bill Rustam. “There’s an opportunity to get away from the noise of traffic and just kind of enjoy the trees, the animals and the flora and fauna.”
An avid cyclist, Bill Rustam lives nearby. He’s also part of a grassroots effort called Save the Forest, which opposes a plan by the Flood Control District to excavate an area along Buffalo Bayou between Eldrige Parkway and Wilcrest Drive to reduce flooding.
“The plan, as I understand it, is to build detention basins along the south side of the bayou, which would involve essentially taking out the trees and leveling them, and creating basins where water could be detained,” said Rustam.
The county commission has approved a $250,000 study to better understand what’s here and how it could be affected, but members of Save the Forest say unless the plan is stopped, much of what makes this place so special could be lost.
Some trees would come down, absolutely, but then we’d put more in,” said Precinct 3 Commissioner Steve Radack.
He pointed to the opposite side of the bayou, where he says a similar effort has decreased flooding in the area while increasing property value.
“The fact is, it’s owned by Harris County Flood Control District. It has an intended purpose and that is to help with drainage and help prevent flooding,” said Radack.
“There’s a real issue with flooding, and it needs to be addressed,” said Rustam, “But we do think there should be a balance, and the community input on this is very important.
Many new mountain bike riders aren’t aware that riding in wet, muddy conditions can cause significant damage to a mountain biking trail. On the other hand, there are plenty of seasoned mountain bike riders who argue that rain and mud don’t automatically make for a closed trail. In general, the rule for riding a muddy trail is simple: don’t do it. Natural erosion combined with scores of bike tires tearing up loose singletrack can make for major headaches not only for trail maintenance crews but also for fellow riders clambering over newly dry ruts and exposed roots.
However, general rules are just that: general. There are a number of factors to take into account when deciding when and whether or not your selected mountain biking trail is ready to ride in rainy conditions.
Natural trail terrain
There are mountain biking trails all over the country, and in places like the Pacific Northwest, damp, soggy, and muddy trails are inevitable. There’s no sense in waiting for things to get dusty because for five or six days out of the week, the trail will be wet. This doesn’t mean riding is a rare activity. It just means that sandy, loamy trails ought to be avoided, and naturally hilly, rocky trails with cohesive soils are a better choice. Flat or low-lying trails can suffer from the worst wear and tear, particularly if they’ve been compacted by man or machine.
Soil type is a major factor to consider before riding in the rain, and although some people leave as much as 24 hours per every inch of rain before riding, the fact is that various soils dry out quicker than others, and the 24-hour/inch rule need not always apply. It is true, however, that a drier trail is less susceptible to damage than a wet one.
As much as you want to head out for a ride and soak up the sunshine, you are going to have to show a little restraint.
The trails are the most vulnerable to damage when they are wet and muddy. For that reason, the International Mountain Bike Association has put out a set of guidelines to help preserve our trails. Here is a listing as outlined by IMBA.
- Ride on open trails only – respect trail closures including seasonal or short-term closures.
- Never ride in designated Wilderness areas, which are closed to bikes.
- Don’t skid.
- Don’t ride muddy trails.
- Don’t ride around water bars – erosion is a trail’s worst enemy.
- Stay on existing trails.
- Don’t shortcut switchbacks.
- “Leave No Trace” (energy bar wrappers, punctured tubes, etc.).
Terry Hershey Park (The Anthills) mountain bike trails are built by local volunteers with the help of Greater Houston Off-Road Biking Association. It takes tons of work in order to provide us, the riders, with great trails. To ride during wet or muddy seasons can seriously damage them for the future by causing erosion.
I hope that your next ride is dry and amazing. Be sure to follow these guidelines and ride safe.
"He who has health has hope, and he who has hope has everything." -Arabian Proverb
1. Move More
Make it a daily challenge to find ways to move your body. Climb stairs if given a choice between that and escalators or elevators. Walk your dog; chase your kids; toss balls with friends, mow the lawn. Anything that moves your limbs is not only a fitness tool, it's a stress buster. Think 'move' in small increments of time. It doesn't have to be an hour in the gym or a 45-minute aerobic dance class or tai chi or kickboxing. But that's great when you're up to it. Meanwhile, move more. Thought for the day: Cha, Cha, Cha…. Then do it!
2. Cut Fat
Avoid the obvious such as fried foods, burgers and other fatty meats (i.e. pork, bacon, ham, salami, ribs and sausage). Dairy products such as cheese, cottage cheese, milk and cream should be eaten in low fat versions. Nuts and sandwich meats, mayonnaise, margarine, butter and sauces should be eaten in limited amounts. Most are available in lower fat versions such as substitute butter, fat free cheeses and mayonnaise. Thought for the day: Lean, mean, fat-burning machine…. Then be one!
3. Quit Smoking
The jury is definitely in on this verdict. Ever since 1960 when the Surgeon General announced that smoking was harmful to your health, Americans have been reducing their use of tobacco products that kill. Just recently, we've seen a surge in smoking in adolescents and teens. Could it be the Hollywood influence? It seems the stars in every movie of late smoke cigarettes. Beware. Warn your children of the false romance or 'tough guy' stance of Hollywood smokers. Thought for the day: Give up just one cigarette…. the next one.
4. Reduce Stress
Easier said than done, stress busters come in many forms. Some techniques recommended by experts are to think positive thoughts. Spend 30 minutes a day doing something you like. (i.e.,Soak in a hot tub; walk on the beach or in a park; read a good book; visit a friend; play with your dog; listen to soothing music; watch a funny movie. Get a massage, a facial or a haircut. Meditate. Count to ten before losing your temper or getting aggravated. Avoid difficult people when possible. Thought for the day: When seeing red, think pink clouds….then float on them.
5. Protect Yourself from Pollution
If you can't live in a smog-free environment, at least avoid smoke-filled rooms, high traffic areas, breathing in highway fumes and exercising near busy thoroughfares. Exercise outside when the smog rating is low. Exercise indoors in air conditioning when air quality is good. Plant lots of shrubbery in your yard. It's a good pollution and dirt from the street deterrent. Thought for the day: 'Smoke gets in your eyes'…and your mouth, and your nose and your lungs as do pollutants….hum the tune daily.
6. Wear Your Seat Belt
Statistics show that seat belts add to longevity and help alleviate potential injuries in car crashes. Thought for the day: Buckle down and buckle up.
7. Floss Your Teeth
Recent studies make a direct connection between longevity and teeth flossing. Nobody knows exactly why. Perhaps it's because people who floss tend to be more health conscious than people who don't? Thought for the day: Floss and be your body's boss.
8. Avoid Excessive Drinking
While recent studies show a glass of wine or one drink a day (two for men) can help protect against heart disease, more than that can cause other health problems such as liver and kidney disease and cancer. Thought for the day: A jug of wine should last a long time.
9. Keep a Positive Mental Outlook
There's a definitive connection between living well and healthfully and having a cheerful outlook on life. Thought for the day: You can't be unhappy when you're smiling or singing.
10. Choose Your Parents Well
The link between genetics and health is a powerful one. But just because one or both of your parents died young in ill health doesn't mean you cannot counteract the genetic pool handed you. Thought for the day: Follow these basic tips for healthy living and you can better control your own destiny.
For all of the gadgets that we have that are geared towards helping people lose weight, good old-fashioned walking is still one of the best ways to drop extra pounds.
If you are trying to lose weight through walking, one of the best things that you can do to boost the chances of success for your efforts is to go out and buy a pedometer. Pedometers are extremely cheap and can go a long ways in helping you gauge how many miles you walk in a day, and how many more you might need to walk in order to lose weight.
In order to find out how many miles you need to cover to drop extra pounds, you need to find out how many you are currently covering. This way, you will know by how much you need to increase your steps, or distance each day in order to be able to see a difference in the number on the scale.
For example; if you currently take 8,000 steps with your existing routine and daily habits and are maintaining weight, the number of steps that you need to increase your daily distance to lose weight is simply a matter of mathematics; increasing your mileage according to the number of calories you want to burn.
How many steps do I need to take to lose weight?
The average person has a stride that is 2.5 feet long. Using this stride length, there are roughly 1,500 steps in the average person’s mile.
Each mile that a person walks burns roughly 100 calories. If a person was to commit to walking 4,500 extra steps per day, or roughly 3 extra miles, they would be burning an extra 300 calories a day (at least). Burning 300 calories each day leads to a weekly deficit of 2100 calories. After a month, that’s roughly 9000 cal burned, which equates to approximately 2.6 pounds lost. Keep it up for a year and you’re looking at over 31 pounds lost!
Accumulating those three extra miles a day could be as simple as making small changes such as parking further from the store that you’re visiting, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or pacing while you're talking on the phone. Even if you were to do the 3 miles in one fell swoop, it would only take an extra 45 minutes out of your day.
How many miles a day do YOU need to walk to lose weight?
The number of miles per day that you need to walk to lose weight really depends on your starting point. As mentioned above, it’s important to find out what your starting point is in terms of your activity level, the number of calories you’re currently burning in the day, and the distance that you are covering on average. Once you have an idea of what these figures are for your personal habits and activities, you’ll get a good idea of how many additional steps you need to take each day to see results.
Remember, it’s all a simple math equation.
Here are the basic numbers;
1 Mile = 1500 steps
1 Mile walked = 100 calories burned
1 Pound = 3500 calories
2 Pound weight loss per week = 7000 cal, or a 500 cal deficit per day
1 Pound weight loss per week just by walking = 5 extra miles walked per day - or 7,500 extra steps (in addition to the distance that you are currently covering while maintaining weight)
1 Pound weight loss per week with diet changes and walking combined = 2.5 extra miles walked per day (3750 extra steps), and 250 calories less consumed per day, for a total daily caloric deficit of 500 calories.
Walking is an excellent and healthy way to get fit and/or lose weight. Combine your walking habit with strength training workouts and you will be able to build muscle content, which burns calories at a higher rate than fat, even while you’re resting.