Personal Healthy Living Plan

Bullying has been a nationwide issue for as long as we can remember, and recently people have been making an attempt to stop it. Bullying has caused many people to lose any trace of their social life, and sometimes even their lives. However, it is not as simple as some may think it to be. Bullying can be caused by certain things such a jealousy, or maybe someone is holding a grudge. No matter the cause, bullying can take many forms, including verbal bullying, physical bullying, and cyber bullying. These different forms can be either short term or long term. Verbal bullying is when someone insults another person, or insult things that person likes or holds close to themselves. Physical bullying is the physical harassment, of another individual, it can cause severe injuries and is generally one of the worst forms of bullying. Cyber bullying is when someone harasses another individual over the internet, using comments and pictures to make them feel bad about themselves. It is an extremely dangerous form of bullying, because the bully can hide behind an anonymous mask. Cyber-bullies can take photos of someone, and post them without their permission, which under certain circumstances is an extreme form of bullying. Although these forms of bullying can be harmful, there are many foundation that have been created to prevent it, such as pink shirt day and the E.R.A.S.E. foundation, which can be used to prevent bullying.

Due to an increase in obesity, a healthy lifestyle is more important than ever before. Leading a healthy lifestyle can be viewed in two main subjects: eating healthy and exercise. Eating healthy is very simple, but can also be very difficult. Some of the easiest ways to eat healthy are to follow the Canada Food Guide, and to create a meal plan for yourself. Following both these steps can ensure that you get proper nutrition in your system. Eating healthy is important to everyone, as it ensures that they live a healthy and happy life with a fit body. Eating healthy and participating in physical activity is shown to reduce stress, and increase happiness. Personally, healthy eating is very important to me to ensure that my body is always in its best condition, so that I may excel in any area that I choose.

Many people are extremely focused on things like money and appearance to maintain a happy life, one of the key elements to living a healthy and happy lifestyle is to maintain stable relationships. The use of communication can be one of the best ways to maintain a healthy relationship. A healthy relationship can range from family members to friends, and it is essential to maintain relationships with these people. If you communicate properly with them, a healthy relationship can be easy to maintain. However, when used in the wrong way, communication can lead to unhealthy relationships. An unhealthy relationship can be harmful and dangerous, so you must be able to see the warning signs of an unhealthy relationship. Unhealthy relationships can be seen by mean, abusive and controlling behaviour. If any of these signs, or similar signs, are seen in a person you are having a relationship with, the best thing you can do is try and get out. Communication is essential to maintaining a healthy relationship, but only if it is used properly.

In today’s high schools, drugs and alcohol have become more of a cool thing to do, rather than a health risk. Two of the most prominent health risks in a teen’s life today are binge drinking, and gateway drugs. Binge drinking is when someone consumes large amounts of alcohol over a very short period of time. Binge drinking is classified by the U.S. as a male consuming five or more beers within a short period of time.  The health risks are tremendous, ranging from a lack of concentration to alcohol poisoning. A study showed that a fifteen year old drinker had substantially less brain activity than a fifteen year old that did not drink. Yet, many teens still participate in this dangerous activity. Gateway drugs, such as marijuana, are drugs that introduce people to even more potent street drugs. Many teens today smoke marijuana, commonly known as weed or pot, which can quickly lead them into more addictive street drugs, such as heroin and ecstasy.

It seems that as the years go by, the young society becomes more and more desensitized to the need to preform safe sex. Although most people would say “I use a condom, so it’s safe,” what they don’t realize is that using a condom does not mean that you have guaranteed protection. Condoms are extremely thin, and can actually be broken quite easily. Even the tiniest tear that is barely visible to the human eye can lead to pregnancy, or an STI. Teens and adults alike need to learn how to properly open and apply a condom, to ensure that there are no breaks. Should the person be careless, and the condom breaks, you may as well not be wearing any protection at all. Although condoms are advertised as the solution to safe sex, people need to realize at a young age that sex is still a large risk, even when you put a condom on.

Teens and general youth today face countless issues. Bullying, healthy living, relationships, drugs and alcohol and STIs are only some of the barricades that nearly all youth will have to face at some point. Many of these issues can be extremely dangerous, however with proper education and precautions, we can make the youth of today much more knowledgeable, and therefore making the world a safer place for them. Although the world may be dangerous, if we just take the proper precautions, everything can be made a whole lot safer.


Web 2.0 goals:


Square One: Buying a Frame in my Pajamas

The first step to building a bike is ALWAYS the same thing. Buy your frame. The frame is by far the most important component to any bike, it dictates every other part of your bike as well as the size and feel. If you buy a frame that doesn’t fit you properly, the bike will never feel right, so you basically just blew the majority of your budget on a part that you won’t like. So seriously, pay attention when you’re buying it.

When I started looking at my frame, I began browsing near the end of summer. This is generally the best time of year to start looking since everyone is selling their used bikes. Because there’s so many putting up offers, everything ends up being much cheaper than any other time of the year. Because of this, I had a mad rush of trying to get the right frame before anybody else could snag my favourite.

When comparing different frames, I already knew that I needed a size M, so that part wasn’t hard. The difficult part is finding a frame that you like the look of, and that you like mechanically. By mechanically I mean whether or not you like things like the length of the top tube, size of the head tube, and the angle of the frame. This is all a bit confusing to new bikers, so I’ll give you a breakdown.

The top tube length is the length of, well, the top tube (kind of a no-brainer what that is). This is an important piece to consider, since it dictates how stretched out your body will be. The top tube length is generally how long the bike will be from the seat to the handlebars, essentially meaning your butt to your hands. If the top tube is too long, you’ll feel like the Spanish Inquisition came and put you on a stretching rack. If it’s too short, it will feel like getting stuck in a trash compactor.

The next most important measurement on a downhill bike is the head angle. This is the angle, measured from the head tube at the front of the bike, of how far downwards the top tube is tilted. Generally speaking, the flatter angle is, the easier the bike will be for pedaling. However, for downhill riding, a lower angle is generally better. Somewhere from 64-68 degrees is a relatively standard angle for a downhill bike.

The other important measurements on a downhill frame include the length of the chain stay, which is the length of the back of the bike, and the size of the head tube and bottom bracket, which dictate how stiff the bike is side to side and up and down.

When I was looking at different frames, I started and ended off on a website called Pinkbike, which is where nearly everyone sells their bike parts. I was originally looking at a wide variety of frames, and decided that I was ok with the Specialized SX Trail. I liked the looks of it, and it’s one of the more popular downhill bikes. However, I wasn’t fully pleased with it. The last bike I had, which lasted for four years, was a Santa Cruz Bullit, and I came to fall in love with the Santa Cruz brand. The frame was reliable, and took a massive beating without complaining at all. This lead me to find the Santa Cruz Driver 8, an outdated frame that they stopped making in 2011, replacing it with the new V10. Although outdated, it had everything that I wanted. The sizing and measurements were perfect, it was aesthetically pleasing and unique, and the suspension system was a big step up from the Bullit.

One of the issues I had on the Bullit frame was the the rear suspension only had one pivot point. This made it insanely reliable, and allowed it to take more of a beating, however it had some disadvantages. The single pivot suspension makes the bike essentially fold in half when it compresses, meaning the bike can’t be preloaded (compressed so that the spring gives you extra pop when doing a jump) when setting up for jumps, and whenever I pulled the brakes, physics took control and made the suspension not work to it’s fullest extent. The Driver 8 on the other hand, has a four pivot system that solves those issues, making it an ideal frame. Another cool feature is the offset bushings, which allows me to change the frames angle by moving the rear shock.

Sadly, the only Driver 8 that I was able to find on Pinkbike was a 2011 model being sold by someone that lived in Oregon. Well that just sucks now doesn’t it? Nope! After contacting the person just in case, it turns out he was coming up that weekend for a trip to Whistler, meaning I could meet him half way and buy the frame anyway. This was even more lucky than it sounds, since the guy I bought it from had built the frame to be insanely good quality, so he left on a couple of the parts. This included a Chris King headset, which is quite literally THE top of the line headset for downhill bikes. It also came with a RockShox rear shock, which is better than anything I would have bought. The best part? The entire thing only cost one thousand dollars. If I bought that all new, it would have costed two thousand dollars or more.

Some challenges I’ve faced so far include trying to find the right color scheme for the bike, and just trying to find a frame I like. The transaction happened so fast that it was relatively easy, however if I had settled my mind on a different frame I would have had to spend much longer looking for a good price on one that I liked. I am also finding it challenging to find a mentor who is nearby. I am currently going to have one of my dad’s friends who works in Maple Ridge at Maple Ridge Cycles, however it is 45 minutes away from my house. Although he is far away, I will try to find ways to incorporate a trip to his shop when I go out for BMX racing.

Mostly what I’ve learned so far is how difficult is is to find the right pieces, and how it is even more difficult to find the right prices on those parts. I am on a relatively tight budget, since I don’t really want fourteen years worth of savings to go into one project. I do care about making the bike good, but I would still like to have something other than a few crumbs left in my wallet. I’ve learned strategies to conserve my money, and how to make what I have go a much longer ways. This can mean searching for the right prices, making sure the person I buy it from doesn’t rip me off, paying attention to sales, and how much I can barter with most people before they blow me off. I’ve also learned a lot more about how the rear suspension works, and how the pivots can affect so many different parts on the bike. For example, a single pivot will be directly affected by braking, whereas a three or four pivot system will not. I have also learned how to properly negotiate with someone over the internet. Bartering with a street vendor in Mexico is easy, since you know that they’re expecting it and you can watch their reaction. However, over the internet you must be much more careful, and offering a lowered price can often lose you the deal. I’ve learned that it’s extremely important to make yourself sound like an actual person, using proper grammar and what not, rather than a pickle who learned how to make emoticons. This can help me become a better builder as well as mentor for others, since general knowledge like this can go a long ways in the big world of online shopping. More mechanical knowledge is equally as important, since it doesn’t matter how good you are at buying parts if you’re still trying to put the round hole in the square peg (yes, intentional).

My mentor, Troy, originally started bike building and repairs as a hobby, before working at Norco for a few years. He then left Norco to open up his own bike shop, Maple Ridge Cycle. Since then, he’s been teaching himself his techniques through repairing different types of bikes and general mechanics, including all types of bikes, exercise bikes, and once even a golf cart. So far, he’s taught me how the suspension pivot system works, how the angles on a frame relate to each other, and how to properly size a frame. He also helped me pick out the right style and size of frame, as well as getting the right price on it.


measurements:                 small                         medium                       large

Headtube Angle: 65.5 ° 66.5 ° 66.5 °
Seattube Angle: 68.5 ° 68.5 ° 68.5 °
Headtube Length: 109.22 mm 119.38 mm 129.54 mm
Chainstay Length: 441.96 mm 441.96 mm 441.96 mm
BB Height: 370.84 mm 370.84 mm 370.84 mm

Link to bike picutres:

Building A Bike In My Pajamas

You may be asking yourself right now, “Why would I ever want to build a bike in my pajamas? Pajamas are for sleeping in, not building bikes.”  My reasoning behind this deranged idea is that building a bike is often viewed as a complicated, expensive, and overly time consuming project. Essentially, it would be easier to just spend that money on a 50” plasma instead, so you can sit back and watch videos of people riding bikes instead. However, I plan on making this concept as simple as possible, so that I can build a bike so easily that I wouldn’t even have to get out of my pajamas. I am dead serious when I say that I will quite literally be building the entire bike in the same two pairs of trusty PJ’s.

As you have probably figured out right now, my (Aidan) in depth project will be to build a complete bike, using my own funds and my own hands. When I say this, I don’t mean going to Walmart, buying a bike for $250 and then replacing one part to make it ‘Mine’. I will be building this bike from the ground up, starting with nothing but a frame, and then adding every little piece bit by bit as I aquire funds and more parts. I am going to estimate that this will cost anywhere from $2000-$3000 to build the entire bike, which may come as a surprise to some. Believe me though, that’s a low price for the quality of bike that I’m building. I’ll just clarify one thing right now, that three-hundred dollar Walmart special that parents buy for their 5th grader is NOT a good quality bike. A good quality is always going to cost you thousands, and because of this, Walmart bikes are the business end of a lot of jokes when you’re up on the mountain.

This project will be taking place over the course of the year, completely ending somewhere around June, but the bike will be rideable mid-February most likely. I say rideable, because that means I have enough parts to complete it, and I’ve put them together. However, I’m still going to be upgrading it until sometime around the beginning of summer.  To complete the bike, I’ll mainly be working on it at home and at a bike shop called Maple Ridge Cycle, where my dad is good friends with the owner. The owner of MRC will also be mentoring me throughout the project. As for how I’m going to build my bike, I will consult with my mentor on what the right parts to buy are, then I’ll search around for where I can get the best deal on them. If I’m buying expensive parts, I’ll look for used versions, and watch the prices so that I know when a good deal comes up. If you’re wondering why I’m building this bike, it’s simply because I outgrew my last one, and it seemed like a good idea to teach myself how to build my own for my next one. My obstacles and challenges are rather minimal, but they pose quite a large threat. The only obstacles and challenges I can think of are getting to my mentor’s shop since he’s far away, making sure I get good deals on all my parts, making sure my parts fit together, and the biggest of all, money. If I run out of money, I am quite frankly screwed. You can’t build a bike without money to buy the parts. Even though I have some challenges, I’m still looking forward to this project, as it gives me a chance to see all the inner workings of my own bikes, and mainly I’ll have a new bike at the end of it that I’ll be able to ride for quite some time.