Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Teach Kids How to Ride A Bicycle

Riding a bike is the most awesome thing for a kid. It is the closest one would ever get to flying. You're a few inches off the ground, moving 7-10 miles per hour, the wind blowing in your hair.
Thus, riding a bike is a must for a kid to check of their summer activities.
How then would you teach a child to ride a bike?
Here are some guidelines to help you:

  • Lose the training wheels. - training wheels do not teach kids how to balance properly. It will only delay learning how to balance as the video above "Teach Your Kid How To Ride A Bike" points out.
  • Guide your kid by holding them by their armpits. This will make them learn balancing by themselves,
  • Choose wide open spaces, free of traffic for your bike lesson. A park is best for this case.
  • Let them ride on paved surfaces. This will make them build up speed and momentum.
  • Shoes, long pants, long sleeved shirts are mandatory to protect your kid from scratches should they fall. Gloves are optional to protect their hands from chaffing.
  • Helmets are mandatory for safety.
  • Teach them to push and balance first. Pedaling will come in later.
Let your kid enjoy the experience. 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

First Time: Road Cycling!

I have to admit that I have an aversion to road bikes. I don't see myself donning Lycra shorts and fitting jerseys. However, when somebody offered me the chance to ride his road bike, I immediately said yes to the opportunity.

First time to try clip-less pedals!

The first time riding a bike with clip-less pedals feels unusual. You hear horror stories of riders falling sideways because of improper dismounting. To allay fears, here are some tips given by a seasoned road bike rider (Robert):

  • Mounting: straddle your bike. Using your strong dominant leg, move the crank to the 2 o'clock position. Lock your dominant leg to the pedal. Pedal your bike and lock the other leg into position.
  • Anticipate the road ahead. Look out for obstacles and situations where you have to slow down.
  • When your speed goes below 3kph, unlock your dominant foot from the pedal and be ready to plant your foot to the ground as you come to a complete stop.
  • Remember, the clip-less shoes have limited grip on ground. Be careful where you step.
  • Practice a few hundred meters dismounting and mounting your bike.

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Riding a road bike is fun and exhilarating, just practice situational awareness and enjoy the ride!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Exploring New Orleans: Trying out NOLA's Comfort Food

When you visit a place you must try the local cuisine to experience the culture and what defines the people.

New Orleans is the largest city in Louisina State and is known or Cajun/Creole cuisine. Heavily influenced by French cuisine with Spanish, African and Indian influences, the food here can be described as spicy for my taste. The Creole and Cajun Food used spices like Cayenne pepper, bay leaf, and black pepper. Vegetables like Bell Pepper, Okra, Parsley also dominate their cooking,

This mid November 2016, I have sampled some of the city's famous comfort food and here it goes:

Willie Mae's Fried Chicken
Located at the Treme neighborhood area in New Orleans, Willie Mae's is best known for its fried chicken. People flock to this restaurant in St. Ann street right across the Phillis Wheatley community school. I have tried their chicken. As with any comfort food, there are critics and defenders alike. Personally, I find the chicken a little to salty for my taste, I have a high salt tolerance but this chicken is on the high side of my salt scale.

Jaeger's Seafood

The first thing we did upon arriving in New Orleans is to get to try its seafood offering. We were told by the hotel staff to head out and try the seafood at Jaeger's.  We tried their fried catfish, stuffed crab, Maine lobster, fried shrimp, Cajun fries. The servings are good for two people. My personal pick: Fried catfish and stuffed crab served with Cajun fries, jambalaya rice and salad with your choice of dressing. At $18.95 it was great value for your money. 

French Market Experience

A few blocks away from famous Bourbon Street and Jackson Square lies the French Market. Here you can find local food that defines New Orleans. Head on over there an sample what it offers, 

Johnny's Po-boy sandwich

Some famous cultures have their own sandwich version, the Italians have Pani ca Meusa, We tagalogs have Pandesal con giniling. New Orleans have the Poboy. Johnny's is one of New Orleans' top five Poboy shop.
The Poboy has its origins way back in the Great Depression when sandwiches were given away for free to striking railroad workers. Check out the rich history of the poboy here.

So there you are, my own little food trip adventure in the Big Easy!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Exploring Georgia: Marietta and Atlanta Georgia

Stepping out of the Hartsfield-Jackson International you could see a wide freeway. This is highway I-75 North going to Chattanooga.

A photo posted by Gerald V (@chroniclesofthevoyager) on

Getting in and out of Atlanta is a breeze if you use the right app. If you are not on a data plan, you can try downloading the OSMAND App.

Marietta Georgia

This city is located around 20 miles northeast of Atlanta. Marietta is in Cobb County and is part of the Atlanta Metropolitan Area.
A photo posted by Gerald V (@chroniclesofthevoyager) on

A photo posted by Gerald V (@chroniclesofthevoyager) on

Downtown Atlanta

Grady Stadium
A photo posted by Gerald V (@chroniclesofthevoyager) on

A photo posted by Gerald V (@chroniclesofthevoyager) on

Richard's Variety Store

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Dutch Bank ING is Replacing 5800 Human Workers with Robots at a Cost of US$2 Billion

Alan Turing's dream has finally come true. In 1950 he published an article in the journal Mind, entitled "Computing Machinery And Intelligence" Turing wrote: "I believe that in about 50 years time, it will be possible to programme computers to make them play an imitation game so well that an average interrogator will not have more than 70% chance of making the right identification after 5 minutes of questioning... Nevertheless I believe that at the end of the century the use of words and general thinking will have altered so much that one will be able to speak of machines thinking without expecting to be contradicted" The mundane tasks of filling out forms and filing information is now relegated to computers. It is not a question of "if there is a chance that an android could replace a human being in the workplace" but of "when". The time is near.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Exploring Southern California: Mount Palomar Observatory

May 2016

Southern California is full of interesting places. SoCal's climate, culture and lifestyle is so diverse, almost every visitor can find his or her place of sojourn, If you like urban lifestyle, Los Angeles is the place to be. Like riding ATVs in the desert? Riverside county may be your liking. But if you like visiting mountains, San Diego is the place to be.

I got to visit the famous Hale reflecting telescope (the largest of its time when it was built in 1948, until the Russian BTA-6 was built in 1976)

Getting there
Mount Palomar Observatory is located inside the Cleveland National Forest. You can reach Mount Palomar Observatory by State Highway 76 and head eastbound. Follow the signs to Palomar Mountain. Twenty five miles (40 km) from the interchange, County Road S6 (also known as South Grade Road) exits (5 miles/8 km past Valley Center Road) in a "Y" to the left and climbs to the
Palomar summit. S6 ends at the Observatory gates. For driving directions, get it here.

What to Expect
Mount Palomar in itself a good place to visit, the great view of San Diego County along County Route S6 is amazing.

Clouds obscure what could have been San Diego County

The Observatory
Gates open at 9am and closes at 4pm
This dome houses the Hale 200 inch Reflecting Telescope

The Dome!

Scale model of the 200 inch telescope
The size of the reflecting telescope is immense!

If you are a fan of astronomy, this should be included in your itinerary. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Exploring Texas: Bexar County - Medina County

Texas, August 7, 2016

It is a clear late afternoon Sunday. The temperature that time was a warm 98 degrees Fahrenheit. My brother in law said we will do a 30 plus mile ride. I do not know where w are headed so I just turned on my GPS app.
We headed towards Alamo Parkway southward. Upon reaching Wiseman Blvd, we headed left. We took Talley Road south and Potranco West. Potranco Road is a gradual climb, be careful of low blood sugar. Upon reaching the end of Potranco, w headed right towards Rio Medina, taking FM471. I saw lot of farmland, amazed on seeing miles upon miles of corn and alfalfa crops.
If you get to ride on Texas - Bexar County, you'll find that riding a road bike is a better alternative than a mountain bike.

Medina County - Farm to Market Road 471

Medina County - Farm to Market Road 471

FM471 - Cornfields

FM 471- Medina County