1. Not a doctor, but I am in the same boat as you, so know that you are not alone! I’ve had chronic leukopenia for the past 5 years now with bouts of urticaria but am otherwise healthy (and rarely do I ever get sick.) None of my doctors have a clue what might be going on, and they have ruled out so many possible chronic infections, autoimmune markers, and cancers through countless lab testing so it may just be that we were built this way?

  2. I second Candyland and matching games like Guess Who. A fun one that my boyfriend's 3 year old sister really loves is called Soggy Doggy. The game play is very simple and uses color-based dice to advance; fair warning, the dog toy in the bathtub will shake off some water, so I recommend playing over a towel or on tile flooring. Also, when I was younger, I remember Chutes & Ladders being one of my favorite board games.

  3. I graduated last year with a B.S. in Neuroscience and went straight into a biotechnology company as a Research Associate (Genetic Engineering). I had no desire to pursue a PhD in the field, although I had applied and was accepted to a number of master's programs in bioengineering.

  4. I just got my Canyon Spectral WMN AL 6.0 last week. After placing the order online, the crew will call you to confirm your order before dispatching it (at least in the U.S.) I received the bike in the mail 3 business days after ordering. Like a few people had mentioned, the build quality is really good. Many of the components matched that of my boyfriend's Santa Cruz Bronson, and for a significantly cheaper price. All of the components were in pristine condition when I unboxed the Spectral, and it was rather simple getting it all set up.

  5. My partner started on a Liv Tempt

  6. I second the Liv Tempt. I got started on one and also ended up getting a new full suspension within a year because my experiences with the Tempt were all positive.

  7. Edit: Figured I would participate and answer my own questions!

  8. As someone on the shorter end of the height spectrum, the greatest benefit I've seen with women's specific bikes is that there is an XS frame available (some brands now offer XS unisex frames for particular models, but can sometimes be difficult to find.) Depending on the manufacturer, a women's specific S may be their equivalent of a unisex XS. A small unisex frame had always felt too big for me both in terms of reach and stand-over height, but YMMV. The handlebars are typically shorter in length as well for a WSD bike. Most of the differences come down to personal preference but I will say that a women's specific saddle is definitely nice to have.

  9. Great topic! I've been mtbing for nearly 2 years. Rode single track for the first time with my colleague and his wife. She led the way and I did my best to follow her lines. She was a great teacher. It was so fun, challenging and adrenaline pumping!

  10. A friend of mine is actually thinking of selling her Trek Remedy! Seems like a solid choice, although I'm gonna have to consider certain aspects of buying a used bike (especially since she's an avid enduro racer).

  11. My dudette, I'm also 5'3 and own the Commencal Meta. I will have to admit that the Small size fits a tad too big for me. I don't know your inseam measurements but I barely have enough stand over height...I sometimes also wish the reach was a bit shorter and you'll definitely have to cut your seat post if you wanna enjoy the downhills. I'm not telling you not to get it, but just a few things to keep in mind. Canyon just released a women's specific sizing (XS and S) and I'm aiming to get a bike from them next year that fits better (for my liking). Good luck!

  12. Thanks for sharing your personal experience with the Commencal Meta! I was also looking at the women's specific Canyon bikes, and their Spectral series looks really promising.

  13. My wife just bought a DeVinci Marshall 27.5+ as her first full suspension. She’s coming from a rigid Specialized Fatboy fatbike.

  14. I'll have to check those two bikes out, thank you for the suggestion! Had your wife demoed a Specialized Rhyme 6Fattie as well?

  15. I have no recommendation but you will have a blast going from hard tail to full suspension.

  16. I've already tried out a few full suspension bikes during a couple demo days, and I don't want to turn back! Hence why I am looking into buying a full suspension haha.

  17. Trek Dirt Series just opened up for registration, and they have several clinics in Whistler, Edmonton, and Calgary. You can choose either a women's specific or co-ed course. The total price is $395, but I do have a 10% discount code if you are interested in pursuing this program!

  18. Dude an e bike is perfect for you, glad to see people in here are being generally supportive of that too. Take what you read about them online with a grain of salt. Hating on e bikes on the internet is the new cool thing to do lol, just people being elitist. Sounds pretty much perfect for your application. Good luck!

  19. Haha thank you for the vote of confidence. I feel like I'd have to wear a jersey or something that says "Dude I have a condition, leave me alone" if ever I bring an e-bike out, but so far everyone I've met and spoken with on the trails have been really friendly and understanding

  20. Okay you've gotten lots of smartass replies. An ebike would be perfect for you, but if downhill trails are accessible, you could spend much less money on your bike. You could get a downhill bike ex. Santa Cruz V10, or you could get something that you could use on normal trails and downhill ex Santa Cruz Nomad.

  21. Thank you for the recommendations! I'll have to see if any of the LBS do demos with those specific models and gauge my preference for more downhill-oriented riding.

  22. I would mountain bike into my second trimester of pregnancy (as long as you don't fall, it's perfectly healthy...)

  23. Hi, I've taken a few dirt series camps and now volunteer/sweep/assistant coach at them (Calgary/Whistler). The camps are a great way to get an introductory few lessons with IMBA coaches and you get informal tips from other riders too. The first day of camp you get split into similar skill groups and practice anything from braking, high speed cornering, or even drops, depending on your group's skill level. In the afternoon you go on a trail ride with your group and try out your new skills. The next day is basically the same with some new stuff added in. You can switch groups at any time (not afternoon because you're scattered in The trails) if you're feeling too good or not good enough for your current group. I'd definately suggest it.

  24. Thanks for the insight! How do you like volunteering for the Dirt Series? What kind of things do you do specifically for the program?

  25. Took part in a clinic given by the mountain biking group of my region. I'm a member of that group.

  26. Thank you for your input! How long (per technique) were you able to devote individual time to practice? What was the skill range of the participants that attended your clinic?

  27. Papillon! Super smart, can be active and also cuddly. Easy to train.

  28. Of course! They are another one of my favorite breeds. My boyfriend’s family actually had a papillon growing up, so I’ll have to ask him if he’s interested in raising another one. Thanks for the input!

  29. A miniature Poodle sounds about ideal for you. Intelligent, biddable, and affectionate. Poodles have good recall instincts though reliable recall still takes training. Poodles will alert bark and be reserved with strangers. Once introduced, Poodles are very friendly. Poodles get along well with other dogs and children. My family has had Poodles all my life, and never had an issue with separation anxiety. And of course Poodles are the top choice for low shed.

  30. Thank you for your input! Neither of our families or close friends have ever owned a poodle before, so it’s great to hear the perspective from someone who has had several. I’ll definitely look more into them as well.

  31. Probably a tie between "If I were a taxidermist, would you let me stuff that ass?" and "If all the chairs in the world disappeared, you could still sit on my face."

  32. My SO is into what are typically considered extreme sports (snowboarding, mountain biking, motocross, surfing). He also greatly values his life with me and his career as an engineer, so he knows the consequences of doing anything "too risky." Although there will always be a considerable risk doing any of those sports, he does his best to prepare for the worst case scenario in regards to what to bring with him in case of an emergency, and he'll typically go with at least one other person. I trust him to use his sound judgment.

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