Protecting yourself in the sky

It?s not just catching a cold that travelers worry about when they leave home. As this past Friday?s Weekend Journal reports ("Defending Your Airspace"), frequent fliers also fret over foot fungus, flu viruses and other nasty germs.

The bottom line? Don?t go barefoot through security, wash your hands often, don?t lick the blankets and pillows, and if the guy/gal next to you is a sickly mess, you?re hosed?unless you?re bold enough to sport a surgical mask and/or are flying SWA and can discreetly switch seats.

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Cyclist vs. Biker

Don't call me a biker. I am a cyclist. Here are some helpful hints to distinguish the two on the road:

Cyclists wear spandex, nylon and polyester  -- Bikers ride in denim and leather

Cyclists prefer a quiet ride -- Bikers love to hear the Hog set off car alarms

Most cyclists wear helmets during a ride --  Most bikers believe hard hats are for pansies

Cyclists ride from coffee shop to coffee shop -- Bikers ride from tavern to tavern

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On the Christmas list

Why is it that so many hotel fitness rooms do not have pedal straps for their bikes? It's not so bad with a recumbent, but for an upright it makes the workout pretty annoying.

Maybe all those missing pedal straps are having a party somewhere...Even at the big health clubs, members often must request straps from the front desk. So along with the gym shoes, personal pedal straps are becoming a travel necessity.

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Bye Bye Smokers

Ok, so my title may be somewhat harsh, but I must admit, whenever I learn of a city banning smoking in restaurants, at beaches, and in the bars, it puts a smile on my face. Chicago is currently in a power struggle over pursed lip puffing. New York City made the headlines last year after enacting a ban. And, the entire state of California has been discouraging public display of the habit for several years now.

Since municipal bans make me grin, you bet Westin?s decision this week to make all of its U.S., Canadian, and Carribean hotels smoke-free had me jumping for joy.

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