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Category: Sports & Outdoors (page 1 of 3)

Custom Pocket Bikes

Custom Pocket Bikes

So you buy your first pocket bike, or maybe you buy your first major upgrade.  It’s a great looking bike, you go to show it off and realize there are two other people who have the exact same bike.  That takes the wind out of the sails a bit, but the good news is that it does not have to stay that way.  One of the nice things about pocket bikes is that you don’t have to buy a customized bike to have one!  You can change your pocket bike’s appearance, upgrade its performance, and transform your machine into a custom pocket rocket you can be proud of.  You’ll find all the tools, parts, and accessories you’ll need at pocket bike chop shops.

Turn your normal stock pocket bike into your personal custom pocket rocket!  If you’re not sure where to find the parts you need, a good place to start is at one of the numerous mini bike forums or that have recently rolled into action on the Internet.  There you’ll find an enthusiasts’ community with unsolicited testimonials (because have you ever seen a company’s website with a bad testimonial?) from members’ other bikers, who’ll tell you where they’re found the best deals, and even more importantly, they’ll tell you where and what to avoid at all costs!

You may also want to check with your mini-bike dealer.  Because of the mushrooming popularity of minimoto and custom pocket bikes, many dealers who originally didn’t sell spare pocket bike parts have recently added both parts and accessories to their inventories to meet an increased interest and demand in both.  Along with individual parts, you’ll see that many chop shop owners and pocket bike dealers also sell performance-enhancing kits that are even complete with instructions that will tell you how to touch up everything.  These are very helpful if you’re new to the mechanics of custom pocket bikes.

You don’t have to look the same as everyone else.  Make your custom pocket bike look as good as it rides.  Between the Internet and chop shops you will have a wide choice of accessories to make you custom bike stand out from the rest of the group with accessory designs, saddles and saddlebags, trunks, tanks and tank pouches, headlights, horns, chromed wheels, decal kits, etc.  If you’ve seen something done to a pocket bike, you can probably either get it or do it to your own!

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Gaining an idea of the major basketball positions

Gaining an idea of the major basketball positions

Before you start playing basketball in earnest, you must know about the main basketball positions. There are no hard and fast positions laid down in the game of basketball which will have to be maintained. So, in informal games, the basketball positions are often dropped or one player can play in many positions. However, according to the strategy of the game, there are five main basketball positions. These can be grouped into two: the offensive positions and the defensive positions.

Various basketball positions

The different basketball positions are as follows:

– Point guard is the team leader. Typically, he has the best skills to handle and pass the ball. He calls the plays and often directs the other players. Because agility was a key factor, point guards were often small, fast players. This changed after the advent of Magic Johnson on the scene of basketball that used his great height to advantage. Today, instead of height, leadership qualities and talent for running and passing are considered while selecting the point guard.

– The next basketball position is the shooting guard. He is also called two and is typically the best shooter of the team. They create their own shot from dribbles. Long outside shots and three point shots are their forte. The position of shooting guard is generally the top scorer in the team. One of the best known and most versatile shooting guards was Michael Jordan.

– The next basketball position is small forwards, also known as three. They are typically shorter and fast runner, handling defense well. It is the most versatile of all basketball positions. The position of the shooting guard and small forward is often interchanged.

– The number four on basket ball positions is held by the power forward. The main job of the power forward is to score on rebounds and clear some area under the basket. They also block shots.

– The final basketball position is the center. He is typically the largest member of the team and has to combine a number of skills. He is a good shooter, a shot blocker as well as a strong rebounder. In is common knowledge that a strong center is the key basketball position in order to secure a win. This basketball position is also called five or pivot.
Apart from these five principle basketball positions, the bench can definitely be included in the list of important basketball positions. Basketball is typically played by five players. However, it is a very fast paced game and often tiring even for professional athletes. So, it is vital to have a good bench to support the team. Typically, at least three bench players can end up playing for considerable time.

Learn basketball positions to understand the game

You should be well conversant with these different basketball positions in order to understand and enjoy the game. However, in a play, one player can end up playing multiple roles because basketball positions are not fixed by the rule of the game.

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Customizing Your Bicycle Rims

Customizing Your Bicycle Rims

Barring a serious crash or the most frequent bike accident of all, entering the garage with a bicycle on your car roof rack with our bicycle rims will probably last as long as you can stand riding the same old bike. Usually made of aluminum, rims are lightweight and strong and are hardly ever the source of trouble on a bicycle, even in the most arduous riding conditions.

In fact, most bicycle riders probably never give a single thought to their bicycle rims. The circular band of metal that holds in the bike tire and connects it to the wheel hub via spokes is easily overlooked. Unlike spokes, a bicycle rim hardly ever breaks. Unlike the hub, it hardly ever causes problems. Unlike tires, it never goes flat or explodes. Serious bicycle racers have some pretty fancy rims, full of the same outrageously colorful advertising that covers their clothing usually, but most riders really don’t need these. Even the fanciest rims, the flattened out, wide, presumably aerodynamic rims you’ll see on the wheels of the pros, are not certainly all that much better. They are, however, flashier, and in the world of bicycling, this apparently does count for something, maybe for intimidation.

Do you need to know anything special about your bicycle rims? Not really. Most bicycles come with rims appropriate to their overall quality. You can spend as much money as you want on a rim like everything else associated with the sport of bicycling out what comes standard on a bike is probably sufficient. Customizing your rims will bring you fancier rims, maybe lighter rims, probably stronger rims, but the research on what constitutes the best rim weight, strength and shape is still largely inconclusive, and since this feature causes so few problems to the recreational rider, you can leave this issue to the professional mechanic who services the bicycles of world class racers. When they’ve resolved the issue, you will know about it!

Meanwhile, if your bicycle rims are aluminum, as most are today (steel rims being heavy, carbon rims being expensive), there is very little you need to do for them. As with all parts of your bicycle, rims should be kept clean of dirt and corrosive oils, wiped after long dusty rides and examined after any crash. Otherwise, do what most riders have always done: forget about your bicycle rims. You may not be able to ride a bike without them, but you really cannot ride a bike better for thinking about this vital but happily innocuous part.

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Hiking Safety: Things to Remember

Hiking Safety: Things to Remember

Hiking is indeed, an exciting outdoor activity; but a one wrong step will get you into instant trouble. So before you get too excited, here are some safety tips you should remember on your hiking trip:

Never hike alone – If you don’t swim in the open ocean alone, you also do not hike in the woods alone. Both are dangerous especially if you are just beginning to develop the interest. Always tag a buddy, preferably, the one with hiking experience.

Be prepared at all times – Because you will never know when you will hit the next dead end, you should always prepare for the worst. Be prepared for weather changes. Bring appropriate clothing for every type of climate possible. Expect to encounter major bumps along the way. Take at least the basic survival course so that you will know what to do when problem arises out in the woods.

Bring plenty of drinking water – Although you can live for days without drinking water, it is not worth the risk. Water may be heavy item to carry but it will keep you hydrated and on your toes the whole hiking trip. River, stream or lake may look fresh and clean but these bodies of water can make you ill. Do not drink from them.

Bring navigational devices – It is easy to get lost in the woods so better have a handy GPS with you. Do not rely on GPS, though. A map and a compass will save you if GPS fails. Learn to use them too.

Do not walk off-trail – Walking off-trail increases your chance of getting lost and getting injured. It also destroys the trail.

Tell someone where you are – Let other people know about your hiking plan, both where you are going and when you are planning to come back. This way, they will know where to find you in case you have not returned at the time they expect. Always bring a mobile phone so that in case of emergency, you can contact immediately people who can help you.

Keep your distance from wild life – Outdoor hiking is not a trip to the zoo. So whenever you encounter wild animals on the trail, back away slowly, keep your distance, and avoid running.

Beware of poison ivy – There are lots of it in the wild. Do research on poisonous plants and bushes you can encounter on a hiking trip. Familiarize pictures of poisonous plants so that you can avoid them when you see them.

Be extra careful when wet – Woods can be very slippery when wet. Also, muddy steep ascends can knock you off balance. Be very careful trekking when the trail is wet. Use hiking stick to improve your balance and assist you in walking.

Know your skills – Level your hiking skill to the right hiking trail. If you are just a novice hiker, try not to attempt difficult trails. It will not only increase your chance of getting injured, it will also make the hiking trip stressful than enjoyable.

And finally, plan carefully – Safety begins in planning. Get a topographic map of the hiking trail you are planning to take. Gauge the level of difficulty of the hiking trail in relation to the length and the elevation of the trail. Plan your stops and rests. Pack light, pack right, and pack wise.

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A Backpack With Wheels?

A Backpack With Wheels?

I wouldn’t have thought a backpack with wheels would actually work for backpacking, but when I saw the web site for the “Wheelpacker”(TM), I was impressed. You wear a frame that attaches you to a wheeled pack. It can even go over logs and rocks. It started me thinking about what other backpacking innovations are just waiting to be marketed. Here are a few of the things I came up with. Steal these ideas, please.

Inflatable Frame Backpack

With frame-less backpacks we often put folded sleeping pads in the pack for cushioning against our backs and some support for the load. Why not just have the part of the pack that rests against the user’s back inflate. With the same technology used for lightweight self-inflating sleeping bag pads, it would only add about six ounces. The backpack could then double as a foot-bag/pad for sleeping.

Taking this idea further, I imagine a self-inflating backpack that folds out into a sleeping pad. The backpack “frame” would be the pad, in a “U” shape for some rigidity in the pack. Self-inflating sleeping bag pads are as light as 14 ounces now, and frame less packs 12 ounces, so the combination could probably be made to weigh just 20 ounces.

Wax Paper Food Bags

Put backpacking food in wax-paper packaging instead of plastic. The packages then double as emergency fire-starters, since wax paper will usually burn even when wet.

Pillow/Waterbag

When I need to carry more water I use the plastic bladders from boxed wine. They are light, strong, and I inflate the bag with air to use as a pillow too. To market a dual-purpose water container/pillow, it just needs a soft removable covering of some sort.

Jacket Backpack

Why not a frame-less backpack with a jacket that is a part of the pack? It can be folded out of the way, and the pack would have normal shoulder straps. When wearing the jacket, though, it would stabilize the pack, keep you warmer, and make it easy to push through heavy brush, because it wouldn’t catch on things as easily. It is something like wearing a large jacket over a backpack, but with the weight-savings and stability that come from combining them. It could be called a “Jacket Pack-it.”

Backpacking Game

Print a chess/checkers board on a jacket or backpack, and you have a carry-along game that weighs nothing extra. Great for spending hours in the tent waiting out the rain. If you don’t carry the pieces, stones or pine cones could work as checkers.

Backpacking gear ideas and innovations keep popping into my head as I write this. Most are based on the idea of “dual purpose” items. They may work, some may not, but it is an entertaining dose of inspiration from a backpack with wheels.

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Getting Started in BMX Racing

Getting Started in BMX Racing

BMX racing is a fun sport for young people. For kids, the basic bike should have 20-inch wheels. Riders under age six can use whatever type of bike they have, even if it’s not a true BMX freestyle bike. These little folks might still be riding bikes with wheels as small as 12-inches. Some tracks even have races for Big Wheel bikes.

A cruiser or mountain bike with 24-inch or 26-inch wheels might be okay, too, but check ahead of time with your local track for advice. Many tracks will let you race a mountain bike in the “Cruiser” class.

Whatever bike you use should be equipped this way. Remove all reflectors. Take off the kickstand and chainguard to prevent injury in a wreck.

The bike should have pads on the top tube, stem and crossbar. Most BMX freestyle bikes already have these pads. If your bike doesn’t have them, adding this safety feature will cost about $5.

The bike should have at least one working brake. A coaster brake is fine if that’s all the bike has. The bike should be in safe working order.

Finally, tie a paper plate to the handlebars. This will be your number plate. When you get to the track, they’ll give you a number to put on it. That number will identify you to the judges and fans as you are racing.

Safety is important

For head protection, a helmet is essential. Depending on the track rules, this may need to be a full-face helmet or a helmet with a separate mouthguard. Other tracks will accept any type of inexpensive motocross-style helmet.

Wear protective clothing. Regular long pants or jeans will protect the rider’s legs. For arm protection, wear a long-sleeved shirt. Since riders will use their feet, they should wear good sturdy shoes they are comfortable riding in.

Although you can race without gloves, wearing them is a good idea. Be sure they fit well and don’t interfere with moving your hands. Finally, bring bike tools and an air pump in case repairs are needed.

Ready to race

To race, a potential rider needs to find a track. Local bike shops may have information on where the nearest track is. Otherwise visit the National Bicycle League (NBL) or American Bicycle Association (ABA) websites. These are the sanctioning bodies of BMX racing. They provide advice and insurance to local tracks. As an NBL or ABA member, you will have some medical insurance if you get hurt on the track during a race and do not have other insurance.

A parent or guardian must accompany the rider to give permission for the child to race. A birth certificate must be shown as proof of age. Most tracks charge between $15 and $35 for a racing license that is licenses good for a year. There is also an entry fee for each race, which is usually between $6 and $10.

For your first visit to a particular track, get there about two hours before the first race starts. Find the registration tent or trailer and sign up.

Then take a walk around the track. Try to remember where the jumps are. Next it’s time to practice. Put your helmet and other gear on and follow the others to the starting gate. Watch what everyone else does and where they go. A beginner should put his front wheel against the starting gate, keeping one foot on a pedal and the other one on the ground. Start pedaling when the gate drops. Go slow the first few times until you feel comfortable.

After practice, the races will be posted. The people at the registration tent can tell you where your particular race will be posted and how the race actually works. You will be in a group or “moto” with other riders about your age. Line up with them in the staging area. When your group is called, go up and race! This will probably happen three or four times, depending on the system the track uses, and then it will be over. If you win, you might get a trophy. Even if you don’t, you’ll have fun.

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5 Reasons Why You Should Install a Pool Alarm

5 Reasons Why You Should Install a Pool Alarm

Are you looking to have a swimming pool installed in your backyard?  Whether you do your shopping locally or online, you will find a number of swimming pool accessories available for sale.  One of those accessories is a pool alarm.  If you are like many other new pool owners, you may be curious whether or not this is an item that you need.  Please continue reading on for five reasons why a pool alarm is considered a must have.

1) It May Be Required By Law

Did you know that many state and local governments have strict laws concerning swimming pools?  Many home and pool owners are actually surprised to hear this.  Typically, you will find requirements for pool fences, but many states are now starting to mandate swimming pool alarms as well.  For example, all pools installed or constructed after December 14, 2006 in New York must come equipped with a pool alarm.

Does your state have this similar requirement?  You should know before you buy your next swimming pool or at least before it is up and running.

2) It Is a Pool Safety Tool

As for why some states are starting to require the installation and use of pool alarms, it is because they are a great pool safety tool to utilize.  When properly used, pool alarms can help to reduce fatalities associated with drowning.  This is because these alarms are designed to sound when there is a disturbance in the water.  This includes a child or even an adult falling into the pool.  While you will find some variations, most alarms are designed to sound within twenty seconds of that disturbance.  SonarGuard can and will sound instantly.

If you are a parent, a pool safety alarm can give you great comfort and peace of mind.  Of course, it shouldn’t replace constant supervision and a watchful eye.

3) It Can Reduce Liability

One of the biggest complaints made by some pool owners is that they don’t have a child, so why do they need to have a pool alarm?  It is important to remember that just because you don’t have a child in your home, it doesn’t mean that one can’t make their way into your pool.  Do you have young children who visit your home?  Do you have small children in the neighborhood?  If so, a pool alarm is needed.

In terms of liability, it is hard to state whether or not you will be held liable for an accident in your pool.  It depends on a number of factors, including precautions taken, the outcome of the accident, the victim’s family, and your local and state laws.  Don’t let it get the point where you are concerned about liability though.  Protect your swimming pool with an alarm.

4) They Are Easy to Install

Another pool safety tool that is recommend is that of a fence.  Although fences are recommended and even occasionally required by law, they can be hard to install.  In fact, professional installation is often used.  That isn’t the case with pool alarms.  They are easy to install.  In fact, with detailed directions provided by the manufacturer, it could take you five minutes or less to do so!

5) Your Buying Options

Pool safety alarms are sold by a number of retailers, both on and offline.  Just because you buy your pool from one retailer, it doesn’t mean that you also have to buy your pool alarm from there.  You can price compare.  Just make sure that you have an alarm and that it is installed as soon as your pool is filled with water.

As an important reminder, equipping your pool with a pool alarm is recommend, but it isn’t always enough.  Be sure to check the alarm for yourself.  Set it so that your pool is protected and jump in.  Does the alarm sound as required?  If you have children in your home or even in your neighborhood, remember that a watchful eye is the best way to implement pool safety this summer.

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3 Bowling Techniques to Make a Strike or Spare

3 Bowling Techniques to Make a Strike or Spare

It is a strike, when all of the pins are knocked down “on the first ball of a frame.”

Every bowler would like to hit a strike and score big to win with this action, but it is not merely a stroke of luck. Bowlers who want to make it big by hitting strikes more often than not have to work at it.

Like in any sport, great action comes in small packages, where the attention is focused on the techniques learned and used by that player. It is important for every player to know how to hone his or her skills to win the game.

So for those who wish to make a strike or a spare in order to win a match, here are three bowling techniques that they can use:

1. Spinner

This technique refers to the way of delivering a shot with the intention that no more than a minor part of the ball touches contacts the lane. This technique promotes less friction between the ball and the lane, not considering the “oiling pattern” of that lane. As a result the ball glides practically in a straight line down the lane.

Experts contend, however, that this kind of shot is not very successful in that it does not attempt to take full advantage of the dragging the power of the bowler.

2. Stroker

With this kind of technique, the bowler relies more on precision than strength. This technique is characterized by employing the “by the book” style of playing that entails the proper execution of even movements, keeping square shoulders to the target all the way through the release of the ball, and maintaining an on-time move at the “foul line.”

This is the “classic” technique of most bowlers because it employs smooth and controlled movements and lessens the possibility of injuries.

3. Cranker

This is the kind of technique that is being employed by a bowler who relies more on his strength to deliver a good shot rather than accuracy. It is like ‘hitting hard’ when a bowler uses this technique.

The skill involves more adrenaline that constitutes the bowler’s drive to win.

Usually, crankers use “late timing”, they do not slide, attempt to get to the “foul line” earlier than the ball, and they bend their elbows to keep their hands at the back and beneath the ball.

There are no perfect techniques, but there is a particular technique for every player. The important thing is to create a strike or even a spare.

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Are You Losing Fish Because Your Hook Isn’t Sharp?

Are You Losing Fish Because Your Hook Isn't Sharp?

One of the things many fishermen neglect is hook care. Have you ever lost a big fish that was on and wondered why? Maybe, your hook wasn’t sharp.

If you fish brushpiles, gravel beds, rockpiles, log jams, bridge pilings, timber and boat docks you need to check your hooks for sharpness. A sharpening tool should be a regular part of your tackle box. If you’re on your way to fish and don’t have a sharpener go to a drug store and get a diamond-dust nail file at a drug store. It’s important to check your hooks sharpness every time you get snagged.

Here is the way I test my hooks for sharpness:
Grab the shank of the hook in one hand and gently put the point on your thumbnail, don’t apply any force or pressure whatsoever. Now, try and move the hook across your thumbnail, if the point digs in then the hook is sharp.

I also use this method for my pocket knife to test it’s sharpness.

Sharp hooks can make your fishing trip a success or failure.  The big one doesn’t have to get away when you have a sharp hook.

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Exercise Bikes And Working Out

Exercise Bikes And Working Out

The exercise bikes are an excellent way of working out. They are high impact cardio vascular workout machines. They help in losing weight by shedding the calories and also help in toning up the muscles of the lower body especially the lower limb and the calf muscles. It’s very convenient for people to listen to music or read a book while they are on the exercise bikes. Its convenient as exercise bikes can be installed at home. Unlike treadmills and fitness rowers, which take a huge amount of pace. Therefore even in a small area, you can have a great workout. The popularity of the exercise bikes is second to that of treadmills.

The exercise bikes are available for as little as $200 for the stationary exercise bikes and go up to $3000 for an exercise bike with all the frills added. Exercise bikes work on the principle of resistance to magnetic, air or a flywheel. All have their own advantages, therefore before you make purchases, read the these reviews of exercise bikes available on the Internet as well as in many magazines. Almost all exercise bikes will also have some sort of a control panel. This control panel gives the display of the heart rate, the calories burnt, the distance covered etc.

Before you buy a exercise bike, look for the reviews in various magazines as well as websites. See whether you require a simple exercise bike or a more advanced exercise bike. You can also opt for an used exercise bike. You can also ask your personal trainer for giving you the reviews of the exercise bike will be beneficial as they will give you an impartial advice, versus the salespeople of the exercise bike company. Also ask the advice of those who have already used or are currently using an exercise bike.

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