Sports & Health

The Wheel Deal

Hudson Valley Magazine • September, 2006

Whether you're a pedaling pro or a novice, here's the lowdown on the best bike shops in the Valley. Plus, four trails you won't want to miss once you're all geared up.

"The Hudson Valley is one of the best places in the world to ride," says Lucy Anich, president of the Mid-Hudson Bicycle Club, now celebrating its 40th year. "Each place has something special." The club hosts group rides almost daily for beginners through experienced riders and has members aged from five to 75 years old. It's not only about riding; many groups also hold picnics, or end a ride with a stop at a local pub or coffee shop.

"It's a great way to spend time with the family," says George Zubalsky, owner of Dark Horse Cycles in Montgomery. "With the high price of gas, people are staying closer to home. And within a 10-mile radius, there are so many free places to ride." If thoughts of biking conjure up images of bruise-covered, muscle-bound mountain bikers or whip-thin, spandex-clad road riders, think again. Zubalsky explains that many people believe they have to ride over rocks and through mud, but there are actually miles of local groomed trails, many of which are flat and well-marked.

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The Wheel Deal

Keeping Up

Muscle+Fitness Hers (PDF, 235 KB) • January/February 2006

Even if your guy's favorite sport of channel surfing isn't in line with your own fitness goals, there's still hope for the relationship. All you have to do is follow these tips for maintaining a relationship and your rock-hard abs in the process.

Show him what you're made of. "Very early in the relationship, you have to make your partner aware that your fitness habits are not a temporary phase you're going through, but a lifestyle," explains Lori Incledon, C.S.C.S., a personal trainer in Chandler, Ariz. Let him know it's something that's not going to change, so there are no potential misunderstandings later on. "You have to find someone who can deal with a strong woman," says Incledon. If a guy is insecure about the amount of time you spend working out, chances are he'll have other insecurities as well, so it's best to find out about them right when you start dating.

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Keeping Up

Best of Both Worlds

What's Happening at Vassar, Vol. 24, #3 • Spring, 2008

In baseball and in politics, Tyler Bellstrom '09 has never been a fan of sitting on the bench. A political science major, Bellstrom has spent the year immersed in the political primaries and upcoming presidential election. Over the winter break, he headed to New Hampshire to spend a week campaigning for Barack Obama. "We campaigned for six days and probably got about four or five hours of sleep," he says. "It was physically grinding, but a lot of fun. We'd knock on people's doors, and they'd either tell us to go away or have a dog that ran at us. It was nice when someone actually wanted to talk," he says with a laugh.

In the spring, Bellstom will also be one of the first to play baseball on Vassar's brand new field. "I'm so lucky to be a part of this," he says. "It looks amazing and the best in the conference, with dugouts too." He also hopes the new location will attract a larger crowd. "It's right next to the Town Houses, so conceivably you could have students barbequing on their lawn and watching a baseball game." New additions to the Prentiss Field complex also include an eight-lane track and turf field with lights, as well as press boxes, and new fields for field hockey, soccer, and lacrosse. In addition to the new baseball diamond, Prentiss will also have a baseball practice field and a sports pavilion with locker rooms and training rooms.

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Best of Both Worlds

Catch Me If You Can

What's Happening at Vassar, Vol. 24, #2 • Winter, 2008

For cross country runner Colin Sanders '08, 2006 felt like a dream. He had only been running since the end of his sophomore year in high school and decided late in his senior year to continue cross country in college. Cast in the shadows of some of Vassar's strongest runners, Sanders didn't stand out his first two seasons, but he stuck with it. Then, in the beginning of his junior year, things began to change. Much to everyone's surprise — especially Sanders' — the scale tipped, kicking off an explosive, record-breaking season that took Sanders all the way to the nationals as an All-American.

"It definitely came out of nowhere, and I had no idea of my limits or what I was capable of," says Sanders, who steadily improved his previous season's times by a wide margin. "I just kept telling myself that I deserved it, but there were always the pre-race jitters of thinking, 'It's all just a fluke and won't happen again.' I had to realize that it wasn't a mistake." But, for the team's co-captain from Gaylord, Michigan, it was real. He had found his zone, and up against the toughest teams in the conference, he often placed in the top five.

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Catch Me If You Can

Tricks and Trails

What's Happening at Vassar, Vol. 23, #2 • Spring, 2007

"Together with some North Shore style stunts, big drops, plenty of dirt jumps and enough log crossings to make a bash guard a worthwhile investment, this place will leave you begging for more," boasts Mountain Bike Review. No, this isn't referring to the newest destination in Colorado or Vermont, but rather to Vassar Farm. With 500 acres of fields and woodland adjacent to campus, the farm contains nearly 10 miles of winding, fast singletrack and is a hotspot among students and locals for running, hiking, and mountain biking.

"It's pretty unique to have such great singletrack in a place where you'd never expect it," says Christian Rose '07, a member of the cycling team, who's been pedaling at the farm since his first year at Vassar. "The area is great for riding, and there's such an interest in cycling here." This is apparent by the bike racks in front of nearly every building and the number of students locking up their bikes before class.

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Tricks and Trails

Men's Volleyball Turns it Around

What's Happening at Vassar, Vol. 25, #1 • Fall, 2008

Two years ago, the Vassar men's volleyball team struggled through their season with a win-loss record of 2-17. This year, the Brewers finished 26-7, won their conference championship, and beat volleyball powerhouse UC-Santa Cruz to take second place at the Molten Four, the national volleyball championship. "Somehow we knew this season would be different," says John Kessenich '09. "We could tell that everyone was really into it. We were ready. It was a different feeling in practice than we'd ever had before."

That "different feeling" translated into toughness on the court as they started taking games off of highly ranked teams. Before long, the Brewers were ranked in the top 15, and their momentum continued to build. Mid-season, they defeated Stevens Institute of Technology, a team ranked fifth, that had previously enjoyed a 56-game conference winning streak. Every week, Vassar was either gaining in the ranks or maintaining the school's current position. They also achieved the streak of 20 consecutive wins, a first in the program's history. In a game where a good hitting percentage is 250 to 300, the Brewers finished some matches hitting over 400, something almost unheard of.

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Men's Volleyball Turns it Around

Sore No More

Muscle+Fitness Hers (PDF, 1.05 MB) • March/April, 2006

If "no pain, no gain" describes your workout, there's still hope for easing your aches. Whether you pulled a muscle or just worked out too hard, here's how to recover fast:

Move around: Don't just sit there because it hurts to walk. As long as nothing's broken, you need to move. Every day you remain motionless lengthens your recovery, says Penney Cowan, director of the American Chronic Pain Association.

Heat things up: We all know that sore muscles need heat — and the longer you apply it, the better it may be for you. Your body heals when your muscle tissue is at a warmer temperature, explains Bill McCarberg, M.D., founder of Kaiser Permanente's Chronic Pain Management program.

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Sore No More

Pedaling Nationally

What's Happening at Vassar, Vol. 25, #2 • Winter, 2008

To some, a 3,800 mile cross-country trek by bike sounds excruciating. But for two Vassar students, the trip was not only a personal challenge, but also a chance to help others along the way. As part of Bike and Build, a national nonprofit organization, Lindsay Magida '10 and Willa Conway '10 spent last summer pedaling 40-100 miles a day, then traded bikes for hammers, stopping once a week to assist in a Habitat for Humanity build.

"I wanted to do something for the community this summer, but I also wanted to be outside," says Conway. "This was perfect." Instead of returning to her home in New Mexico, Conway joined a group of 30 riders in Providence, Rhode Island, where they dipped their rear tires in the Atlantic Ocean and began their 60-day journey to Seattle. With seven routes to choose from, Magida rode from Boston to Santa Barbara.

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Pedaling Nationally