Saturday, March 28, 2009

Get Creative.

I haven't even graduated yet, I haven't had the opportunity to feel the full weight of the economic crisis as a completely independent adult, and I am already scrounging for money. Fundraising has proved more difficult than I thought. Last week I spent spring break handing out pamphlets trying to convince people that they were the next person to cure cancer if they gave me a few dollars. Instead, every bike shop and their mother is barely making it with the economic downturn.
I have had some very generous donors...actually, all of my donors are generous considering the circumstances! However, it's time to turn up the heat. I've never been one to be comfortable asking for money. When I was in grade school, I was always the kid who would have her entire family listed next to several different kinds of wrapping paper for the school fundraiser. This time it's different, of course. I'm not trying to raise $50 in order to be eligible for a glow in the dark slinky. I'm raising this money for a cause much greater than myself. Hence, I'm going to put aside my reservations and power forward.
Some people have had some great ideas, too! One person suggested providing return envelopes with letters for people to submit their donation. Another one, which is a bit more extravagant, is to email someone famous with the same nationality as you. You know, tap into that whole, "support the (enter your nationality) community!" mentality.
One girl emailed Ellen Degeneres. I'm rooting for her to get a call back in a few days.

"Hey Oprah! It's Jacqueline Sofia. Great- So that was $50,000 you said?"

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Violet Macarons!

YUM! So delicious looking...and quite beautiful, don't you think?

Friday, March 20, 2009


On wednesday I managed to pedal to my little heart's content all the way from Doylestown, PA to Frenchtown, NJ. The ride turned out to be about 35 miles. Okay, it was 34.8 miles (damn you bicycle odometers and your exactness). Nonetheless, it was a gorgeous day with no reason to complain. On the sunday before, my dad brought me on a shorter ride through the backgrounds around our town. However, along River Road, we hit a detour due to some unknown circumstances down the road. Without knowing what my dad was getting me into, I followed him bindly up the detour route. I don't remember the name road. I do remember, however, the hill that legitimately kicked my amateur cycling butt. Fortunately, my dad gave me some good advice in order to power up those nasty hills; he told me to grasp the bars directly in front of me in order to open up my chest and allow for more oxygen as I got in a rhythm going up. Believe it or not, it worked.

I'm slowly learning the technique that's involved. Strength is definitely an important aspect of this sport, but technique and experience is just as crucial. For instance, riding a bike doesn't afford you the time to prepare for anything like running does. When you're running (at least when I'm running) you're going at a slow enough pace to see well ahead of you when the car is pulling out of the driveway. As I found out on wednesday, this is not so while you're whizzing along on two wheels. Luckily, my dad was in front of me and his rapid swirve caught my eye to be alert.

I'll have to make another trip up to Frenchtown and take some pictures before I leave to go back to Baltimore. There are some of the most scenic views along River Road as you ride next to the Delaware Raritan Canal. There's even a covered bridge that is one of only a few left in the entire state! The town itself is very historic looking, with old clapboard row houses that are now inhabited by little boutiques and coffee shops (one of which we popped into and had a pretty good cup of coffee). While we were stopped, we ran into a petite woman in the coffee shop who was also mid-ride. She looked pretty legit in her cycling gear, and I figured she herself was an avid cyclist. After she left, we stayed around and sipped our coffee for another 10 or 15 minutes. When I came out of the shop, this other guy with his bike was talking with my dad. My dad seemed slightly uncomfortable with the scenario, so I wanted to figure out what they were talking about. Apparently, the gentlemen (couldn't have been over 30 or 35 years old) was having issues with his seat. Yes, the seat was giving him problems and not boding well for his...well...yeah. I could tell my dad didn't know quite what to say to the man. He was trying to be very professional about it, but in the end enough awkward silences led us to finally get back on our bikes and head home.

As we rode up a long stretch of road, I noticed another cyclist in the was the woman from the coffee shop. We were gaining on her. It felt kind of good. I'm not a very competitive person, but when we passed her, I felt a little jolt in my cadence.

Now that I've completed my first outdoor 35 mile ride (rounding up is allowed in this case) I'm feeling a confidence boost. To top it off, I got an email from one of my high school classmates the other day. After sending out mass emails to my high school class, friends, family, etc. (apologies for spamming) about the 4K, she emailed me to let me know that her sister had taken a cycling trip from San Francisco to Philly a couple years back! She has her own web should definitely check it out. It's slightly addicting. There are some pretty wild pictures and people that she documents, as well.

cycle friendly

Believe it or not, there are cycle-friendly clothes out there. Yes, the blog "London Cycle Chic" makes regular postings to refer their readers to clothing that will will not cinch as you cycle. Of course, this is for more recreational travel via bicycle.

First Day.

Today is the first day of spring! rebirth. renewal. This is another beginning- for this blog and for me. Welcome to the little revelations that I find in images and literature every day. enjoy.

(flower of the week:

Friday, March 13, 2009

Even I Can Do this Math.

My dear friend, Shar, told me about this organization after I mentioned 88Bikes to her. The best part is that they have these nifty little diagrams that show you just how efficient and generally fabulous bicycles really are! The organization is World Bicycle Relief and they empower individuals all over the world to meet their everyday needs by supplying them with bicycles.

You can find more information at:

coffee break...the poor man's fuel

I tracked down this sleek coffeemaker via multiple internet pathways that I can't quite recall...apparently it has earned itself a place in museums. Yes, it's that good. Now how would some anonymous coffee addict get their hands on such a device? hmm.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Athlete's Palate...cupcake love.

I can't help myself. These cupcakes were little iced pillows of deliciousness. My friend, Juhee, is a baking genius (whether or not she's willing to admit it)...and it is the little things that amaze me. For instance, these cupcakes have no oil in them! Just replace the oil in your recipe with applesauce and your fingers don't get greasy while biting into your non-guilty tiny piece of heaven.

Another yummy tip: mix together dark brown sugar and some crushed nuts and sugar and use it as an icing substitute by sprinkling a generous layer on top of your cupcakes before they bake...voila! A nice little crunchie added to your cake :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Ain't She a Beaut?

Well, here she is- my future baby, in the flesh, so to speak. On May 31st, there will be 29 of these bad boys lined up at the Baltimore Inner Harbor in preparation to make our 4,000 mile trek to San Francisco, CA. Don't you feel fast just looking at it? If you even feel so inclined, go ahead and make a donation to the 4K for Cancer under my name at our website! (I would've superimposed my picture on the bike to add the extra allure, but I'm at the library shamelessly procrastinating before an exam and have no access to an "action shot" of myself.)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Coffee Break?

I stumbled upon this the other day on one of my new favorite sites:
They're a blend of traveling addict, international human rights advocate and apparently, coffee snob- what's not to love?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

international Women's day

TODAY is International Women's Day. ( Make sure you tell any women in your life how beautiful they are today.

We must also remember that there are women throughout the world who may not have the opportunity to hear this- more specifically, those women who have yet to experience freedom and equality. In places like the Democratic Republic of Congo, women are raped and tortured due to ravaging warfare. This is a day to remember your mothers, sisters and girlfriends, but also to remember the women who have yet to know the equality and emancipation they deserve.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Universal Joy Principle

When I was in NY City a few weeks back, a friend of a friend (Thanks, Andrew!) mentioned this charity organization that stemmed from a few guys who had biked across the country. After three weeks of trying to remember what the number was, I finally found the magic digits via an extensive google search and a little inspiration from the beautiful warm weather today...

The broad effect of such a simple act is noteworthy. Give $88 and you are giving a bike. The uniqueness of 88Bikes is not just the direct action and product of a bike that you see from donations, but also the continuous investment in someone else's future that is sustained through that single donation. Think about it: If you provide a teenager with one bike ($88), that is going to provide them with daily transportation to and from work or school. Rather than having to walk miles, kids can make the long trek with greater ease. The bikes provide an quicker means of transporting goods between villages, which can increase trade and aid in local development. Goods transported could include vaccinations and medical supplies, which are a lot of the time difficult to quickly transport by foot from a central location (i.e. the city) to a far away rural village. (both photos courtesy of

Dan Austin, the "team leader" of 88bikes, is also a filmmaker in Brooklyn, NY and has published two books since his journey across the US. I came along this excerpt from his most recently published book:
(taken from an excerpt of Dan Austin's book, The Road Trip Pilgrim's Guide, p 53) The Universal Joy Principle "states that it is wise to make decisions that pump the most amount of joy back into the universe. The Universal Joy Principle comes in very useful on a pilgrimage; when you find yourself faced with a choice, simply apply the principle by asking what decision will bring about the most amount of overall joy. The answer (and your actions) will then naturally lead to happiness and fulfillment."

...What can I say? I'm hooked.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Friday Morning Freebie

If you haven't already experienced a NY Times slide show, you're missing out on a rare glimpse of the human spirit...okay, it's not that rare considering they post them online for free. However, they're well worth the couple clicks in the morning before you head off to classes or work. Besides my cup of coffee, these babies are one of the few things that give me a guaranteed smile on my face in the morning.

"1 in 8 million"
(Two of my favorites are The Bridge Bicyclist and The Subway Busker)