Archive for November, 2010|Monthly archive page

Bikes Direct Looks Forward to National Bike Month in May 2011

In Automotive on November 27, 2010 at 10:11 am

Every May, according to Bikes Direct staff, cyclists across the country celebrate National Bike Month, an event that culminates with a Friday Bike-to-Work day, and Bikes Direct is proud to support those who commute by bike. Each year, the Bikes Direct professionals look forward to the event. Even though many Bikes Direct employees frequently ride their bikes to work, it is always exciting for them to see other people actually enjoying their ride to work as much as they do. Bikes Direct knows that the easiest way to transition from car to bike is with the support of countless others making that same transition, and Bike-to-Work day makes that very dream a reality. Bikes Direct believes that bikes are not simply for recreation, but also provide a low-cost way to get to work, run errands and become better acquainted with your city.

With fluctuating gas prices and frustrating traffic jams, bike commuting is on the rise in major metropolitan areas, and Bikes Direct is excited to offer many options for those looking to get out of their car and onto a bike. From comfortable hybrids to more aggressive road bikes, Bikes Direct has a model for every level of ability, every style of riding, and perhaps most importantly, every budget. In fact, Bikes Direct is excited to debut the new Windsor city bikes this spring. Perfect for the daily commuter, the Windsor bikes will have an optional rear rack, great styling, and a low price point.

Although the thought of traversing heavily trafficked, seemingly bike-unfriendly areas can be daunting enough to prevent many from considering a commute by bike, Bikes Direct believes that a thoughtful, aware and responsive cyclist can successfully transition from car to bike and enjoy the process. Bikes Direct urges cyclists to acquaint themselves with local cycling laws and ride according to those laws. It is the hope of Bikes Direct employees that the popularity of Bike-to-Work day will carry over onto other days, and that the special occasion becomes a way of life.

Bikes Direct firmly believes that commuting by bike can be a transformative experience. Commuting by bike provides a relaxing way to jump-start what may otherwise be a stressful day and it’s also an opportunity to release that stress on the commute home. The cost savings alone is reason enough to consider commuting by bike, and the Bikes Direct staff is convinced that once you try it, you will be hooked. Those Bikes Direct staffers who routinely commute by bike to work report an improved mood, increased energy and extra money that they can spend on activities they enjoy rather than on gas.

In order for commuting by bicycle to become more mainstream, Bikes Direct recognizes that employers must provide facilities that make commuting by bike a feasible option. With the benefits of commuting by bike so obvious, Bikes Direct hopes that more employers will embrace the movement and see a happier, more productive workforce as a result. Bikes Direct, for example, encourages its employees to ride their bikes to work and offers facilities that make the process easier, such as an on-site shower, bike storage, and tools to make any bike adjustments that might be needed. Bikes Direct encourages other companies to support bike commuting in a similar fashion.

Bikes Direct management believes that cycling can change lives and that even the most mundane of tasks can be made enjoyable when completed by bike. Bikes Direct staffers ride bikes not because they have some incentive to do so, but because they genuinely enjoy riding. Bikes Direct would love to hear suggestions from cyclists about additional things that Bikes Direct could do to encourage bikes as transportation.

About Bikes Direct

Bikes Direct continues to provide the same excellent cycling experience that riders around the world have come to expect from Motobecane. As a beginning, Bikes Direct can offer this brief history; Motobecane has been making bikes since 1923 and was named after the French word Moto for motorcycle and Becane for bike. Things went well for the company until 1981 when they were bankrupt and bought by Yamaha and became MBK. Now Motobecane USA is not related to the French company as they import bikes from Taiwan and China, these are the bikes you are interested in. Bikes Direct offers these Bikes Direct to the public at competitive price points and excellent quality.

According to Bikes Direct, Motobécane was a major manufacturer in the French bicycle industry. The frames on Motobécane’s mid-to-upper bikes were typically double-butted lugged steel made from Vitus or Reynolds 531 molybdenum/manganese steel tubing with Nervex lugs. Motobécane finished their frames in beautiful and high-quality paint, a practice not often followed in the French industry. Considered the second most prestigious French bicycle (after Peugeot, whose more durable design they emulated, but ahead of Gitane), Bikes Direct remembers Motobécane’s mid-range bikes as a good value; the company kept prices reasonable by matching high-quality frames with lower-priced, but higher-quality components from Japan, at a time when competitors were putting higher-priced, lower quality French components on mid-range bikes. Bikes Direct says that Motobécane bicycles included the Nomade, Mirage, Super Mirage, Super Touring, Grand Touring, Sprint, Jubilee, Grand Record, Le Champion, and Team Champion.

Bikes Direct now offers Motobecane models that use carbon on two of their ranges of bikes, the Race Carbon/AL and the Full Carbon ranges. From the Race Carbon they produce the Century Comp, Elite, Pro and Team and from the Full Carbon they have the Immortal Pro, Force and Spirit.

Race Carbon/AL from Bikes Direct

Bikes Direct says the Race Carbon /AL frames are a mixture of Alloy main frame tubes and carbon rear seat stays. The frames use different Alloy for the tubes on each of the frames and different equipment to assemble the bikes.
The Century Comp has Columbus Airplane tubes and Shimano 105 Triple group set.

The Century Elite has Shimano Ultegra Triple kit and the frame is made from 7005 double butted and carbon stays. Shimano Ultegra 30 speed and Kinesium SL and Carbon are used for the Century Pro.

Bikes Direct offers the top class Shimano Dura-Ace, and carbon FSA Cranks are used for the Century Team with Kineses 7005 AL main tubes and carbon stays. All have carbon forks.

The Full Carbon

Shimano Utegra mixed with 105 and FSA is fitted to the Immortal Pro high modulus carbon fiber monocoque frameset along with carbon forks American Classic wheels.

Bikes Direct knows the Immortal Force is very similar to the Pro except it is all Shimano Ultegra; all the other equipment and the frame is the same.

The Immortal Spirit Dura-Ace, FSA, American Classic wheels and Ritchey are all fitted to a monocoque carbon frame keeping the weight down to 16 pounds.

Bikes Direct makes sure that all the equipment is top class and you can’t fault any choice there. Looking at the Geometries of the frames there is beauty and they handle well.

In addition to the standard diamond frame bicycles, Motobécane produced mixte frame versions; the mixte frame Grand Touring had twin lateral stays in place of a top tube, extending from the head tube to the seat tube, while the Super Touring and Grand Jubilé had a single top tube sloping down towards the seat tube, but diverging into twin lateral stays just before the seat tube. Later mixte Grand Touring models also used this design. Motobécane also produced a tandem bicycle.

Bikes Direct says vintage French bicycles, including Motobécane, are often sought today for their value as a fixed gear conversion.

For more information about Motobecane contact Bikes Direct at

Cedar Rapids Podiatrist Dr. William Knudson | Advice About Corns and Calluses

In Health and Beauty on November 17, 2010 at 11:43 am

Dr. William Knudson, formerly of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, has been practicing podiatry since 1996. Dr. William Knudson served at three highly regarded practices in and around Cedar Rapids, Iowa before relocating his private clinic to the East Coast. For the benefit of health conscious readers and patients, Dr. William Knudson of describes some common foot conditions that led his Cedar Rapids patients to visit his podiatry practice.

Dr. William Knudson says that many of his Cedar Rapids patients reported issues with corns and calluses. Dr. William Knudson explained to his Cedar Rapids patients that corns and calluses form on bony or protruding parts of the feet, which tend to rub against the inside of shoes all day. In explaining the difference between the two to these Cedar Rapids patients, Dr. William Knudson noted that corns form on the sides or tops of toes, while calluses appear on the soles of feet.

Walking on an untreated callus, according to Dr. William Knudson of Cedar Rapids, can aggravate the callus, making it painful and sometimes messy. A smart way to deal with corns and calluses, says Dr. William Knudson, is to wear well-fitting shoes. Dr. William Knudson noted that Cedar Rapids drug stores sell non-medicated pads, and that these provide a cushion around the affected area while wearing shoes.

Dr. William Knudson also told Cedar Rapids patients to rub corns and calluses with a washcloth or pumice stone during baths or showers. This reduces the size of the ailment without doing any damage, he added. Dr. William Knudson instructed his Cedar Rapids patients to avoid shaving off a corn or callus. Dr. William Knudson further explained to his Cedar Rapids patients that shaving off the ailment can cause infection and a lot of pain.

If an individual suffers from a corn or callus coupled with diabetes or any other circulation problems, Dr. William Knudson, formerly of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, always urges consultation with a doctor to explore the best treatment options.

About William Knudson Cedar Rapids

Cedar Rapids podiatrist William Knudson grew up near Des Moines, Iowa. Before moving to Cedar Rapids, William Knudson spent his boyhood enjoying the pastimes of small town mid-America, and when it was time to pursue a vocation, Dr. William Knudson of Cedar Rapids chose Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa.

On his way to settling down in Cedar Rapids, Dr. William Knudson pursued medical studies and later graduated from the Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine in Chicago, Illinois. While pursuing a degree there, Dr. William Knudson of Cedar Rapids was awarded the Durlacher Honor Society scholarship, given in recognition of his scholarship and perceived potential for the advancement of podiatric medicine. Cedar Rapids’ Dr. William Knudson also received the Philip Brachman Honor Scholarship (1994-1995) and Knudson graduated Cum Laude with both a Bachelor of Science and a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine on May 12, 1995.

Before the move to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Dr. William Knudson was offered a position at Hillcrest Health Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Then in 1996, Cedar Rapids’ Dr. William Knudson was appointed Chief Resident, and he was part of a 24-month program in podiatric medicine and surgery. This opportunity offered Dr. William Knudson extensive training in forefoot, rear foot, ankle, and lower leg reconstruction. Cedar Rapids’ Dr. William Knudson achieved certification in foot and ankle arthroscopy, advanced wound care of the lower extremity and Internal fixation in foot and ankle surgery.

Over the next thirteen years Dr. William Knudson provided care in three well respected practices in the Cedar Rapids, Iowa area. In 1997 and 1998, Dr. William practiced at the Northwest Foot and Ankle Associates near Cedar Rapids in Sioux City, Iowa. Dr. William Knudson’s next stop relocated him closer to Cedar Rapids in Waterloo, Iowa where he built a practice at Cedar Valley Podiatry from 1998 through 2006. In 2006, Dr. William Knudson moved to a practice in Cedar Rapids at Iowa Foot and Ankle Clinic.

While practicing at Cedar Rapids’ Iowa Foot and Ankle Clinic, Dr. William Knudson was appointed as Department Chair, Podiatry, at the Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Dr. William Knudson also served on the Faculty of the Cedar Rapids Medical Education Foundation. Dr. William Knudson also served as a Panel physician at the Cedar Rapids, Iowa Wound Healing Center located at Mercy Medical Center.

Dr. William Knudson’s professional accreditations include certification as a Diplomat of the American Board of Podiatric Surgery. Cedar Rapids’ Dr. William Knudson is also appointed as a Fellow of the American Collage of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.

Dr. Knudson currently practices at Podiatric Care of Northern Virginia in Leesburg.  He remains committed to serving his patients by providing the greatest care available for all of their podiatric needs. With expanded office hours, Dr. Knudson and his dedicated staff are available to cater to even the busiest schedule.

For more information about Dr. William Knudson, please visit the Podiatric Care of Northern Virginia website at

John Michael Hughes Comments on the Wisdom of Gold as an Investment

In Professionals on November 2, 2010 at 1:26 pm

Throughout history, reports John Michael Hughes, most civilizations have used gold as a standard for currency and exchange. The implementation of a gold standard, notes John Michael Hughes, has been a major factor in establishing international trade. Our current civilization, says John Michael Hughes, also adopted a widespread gold standard.

The gradual global adoption of a gold standard for currency, notes John Michael Hughes, has since been undone in the 21st century. According to John Michael Hughes, as of the year 2000 no currency printed by any nation is directly convertible to gold. As a result, notes John Michael Hughes, many people who are wary of falling currency values are purchasing gold to secure their assets.

People who buy gold, says John Michael Hughes, want protection against the risk of declines in currency value. Another reason investors are buying gold, adds John Michael Hughes, is to hedge against inflation. John Michael Hughes explains that the changing times have made gold a less secure hedge investment. Because the gold standard has been unilaterally dissolved, says John Michael Hughes, purchasing gold does not protect against fluctuations in the value of currency. John Michael Hughes says that this move has merely made gold another trade-able commodity with no fixed value. Like everything else, says John Michael Hughes, gold is now susceptible to the laws of supply and demand.

John Michael Hughes gives a simple example of gold investment failing to hedge against a drop in the value of the US dollar. John Michael Hughes points out that in 1980, one dollar was worth 200 yen. The price of gold in the same year, says John Michael Hughes, was $400. In 2005, continues John Michael Hughes, the dollar had fallen in strength and was trading for 110 yen. John Michael Hughes points out that gold still cost $400 per ounce in 2005 although both the dollar and the gold lost value to the yen over those years.

About John Michael Hughes

Dedicating a professional career to a single purpose is recognized as admirable in today’s economic environment. For John Michael Hughes it was a focus and interest that began as he exited college. Graduating from the University of South Alabama with a Bachelor of Science degree, John Michael Hughes set his vocational target on the insurance industry early on.

From 1992 until 1995, John Michael Hughes served as an Insurance Adjuster for Pilot Catastrophe Services, Inc. In this position he handled commercial and residential property insurance claims for wind, flood, ice, and earthquake losses. As an early training ground his responsibilities and claim ranges allowed him to develop a strategic understanding of the complexities of insurance claims.

Leveraging this experience in claims, John Michael Hughes has invested the last fourteen years of his professional life in executive management with an all lines public insurance adjusting firm. From 1996 until 2000 John Michael Hughes served as the owner and Chief Executive Officer of JMH and Associates. John Michael Hughes gained further Acts Of God claims experience as well as first hand exposure to the complexities of business ownership. The years of experience tied to natural disasters allowed John Michael Hughes to quantify and qualify claims filed quickly. This skill set was sought after and led to yet another opportunity for John Michael Hughes.

Since 2007, John Michael Hughes has devoted his time and energy to Leeco Consulting Company, LLC, again acting as Chief Executive Officer for the company. With claims services focused mainly in Florida, John Michael Hughes has continued to handle both commercial and residential property claims. His services have also been utilized throughout the Caribbean for both wind and flood losses. John Michael Hughes has further refined his focus and now has a concentration in hurricane claims. With this expansion and professional focus has come larger cases and expanded claims responsibilities. John Michael Hughes currently provides claims settlements that exceed five million dollars.

A natural byproduct of extensive claims settlement work also created opportunities within the area of historical property restoration. With activities generally focused in Alabama, John Michael Hughes acted as a Director for AD, LLC from 1998-2009. John Michael Hughes provided property management and development for this firm. Additionally, from 1996 until 2005 John Michael Hughes managed and consulted on a 26-acre island land development in Florida through Perdido Gardens, LLC. As a partner, John Michael Hughes benefited when the partnership was sold to a public NYSE property development company.


John Michael Hughes continues to blend his knowledge of claims settlements management and restoration complexities in a deep, diversified professional direction that allows him to step outside of most traditional professional vocational paths. It has also allowed him the opportunity to pursue other passions.

John Michael Hughes is currently working toward a Masters in Theology and aspires to complete this training in the fall 2012. John Michael Hughes has reached a point in his life where he will be able to apply decades of experience to a profession and blend this time commitment with a deeper calling that speaks to a different opportunity for his future.

John Michael Hughes has several professional affiliations, including the Florida Association of Public Insurance Adjusters. He continues to participate in industry functions throughout the southeastern United States and is a highly respected veteran within his profession. John Michael Hughes has committed the last eighteen years pursuing a career that combines business, management and involving himself in the lives of people during their most critical times of need.

The need for seasoned claims adjusters has never been greater. The combination of record flooding in areas that traditionally have seen major damage and the increasing seismic activity throughout North America now requires that John Michael Hughes be more mobile. Natural disasters never isolate their occurrences and the demand for claims evaluations can pull many resources together within a very short period of time.

John Michael Hughes also continues his passion for the oceans.  From 1989 until 1992 John Michael Hughes was a PADI open water SCUBA instructor. At that time, he organized, taught and led groups on diving excursions and vacations. He continues to have a passion for scuba diving as well as enjoying golf, fishing, kayaking, water-skiing, snow skiing, racquetball, photography, reading and hanging out with his son.

John Michael Hughes currently resides in Florida and can be reached at