Posts Tagged ‘biking’

  • Riding, drinking, and cooking

    Date: 2010.08.08 | Category: Uncategorized | Response: View Comments

    Yesterday morning was unusually cool at 75 degrees so I had to take advantage of it.  Mark and I went for a bike ride on Grant’s Trail.  It was a little bit crowded since everyone had the same idea we did.  The trail runs right next to Grant’s Farm, which is the historical home of Ulysses S. Grant, and has stables for Anheuser-Busch Clydesdales.


    The trail is where I usually go for my long runs, and almost all of my bike rides so far.


    The Clydesdales are right next to the trail and pretty desensitized to people.IMG_2197 IMG_2198  IMG_2200 IMG_2201  

    Me and all my gear.


    Mark being patient.

    Soon after we finished – I did about 11 miles – we had to go home, shower, and get ready to go to lunch with a friend from out of town.

    We went downtown to Square One Brewery in Lafayette Square.  I had 1/2 a chicken salad sandwich and a Agave Wheat beer which was pretty good.


    Amy & me.  The group of us:


    Afternoon beer makes me really tired.  I got home and rested for a while and decided to make those salt and vinegar chips.  It was the first time I have used my mandoline slicer, I am embarrassed to say.



    Barefoot in the kitchen.  The recipe said to slice the potatoes in 1/4 inch slices but as I got used to the mandoline, I kept going thinner – hoping for a crispier result.


    You can use as many potatoes as you want.  I think I used 8 or so?  Just drop them in a pot and cover with vinegar.


    Bring to a boil and then let it cook on medium for 5 minutes.  Turn off the heat and let sit for 30 minutes.  Transfer to a baking pan coated with oil and sprinkle with salt.  Bake for 30 minutes at 350 F.  Then flip them and cook for 15 more minutes and sprinkle with more salt.  Here is the finished result:


     IMG_2224 IMG_2228

    The vinegar was definitely in there!  To be honest, I was a little afraid the vinegar would not be strong enough, so I reserved it in the pot until I tasted them.  It was not necessary at all – there was plenty of vinegar in these chips.  They were really good.  The only drawback was how long this took. 

    Soon after this, we went to the drive-in in Belleville.  It was ok, but I got really tired and fell asleep!  We ended up getting home late, and I slept in, which is why I still haven’t done my long run… Just one more cup of tea…

  • Two kinds of rookie marks

    Date: 2010.06.20 | Category: fitness | Response: View Comments


    [I don’t have a reason for putting this up there other than I love this lolcat.]

    Today was my first long ride with my road shoes and clipless pedals.  I went about 16 miles and my pace was just over 14 mph.  I thought I had practiced clipping out of my pedals pretty well, but about halfway through my ride, I had stopped, was already clipped out of my left pedal and was leaning to clip out of my right pedal for some reason … and SPLAT.

    Unfortunately Grant’s trail was pretty crowded today so it did not go unnoticed.  Some guy asked if I was ok and chuckled a little.  I would have, too, since I fell when I was standing still.  Oh, the perils of standing.

    After I started to ride again, I noticed I had the telltale rookie marks:


    I’m pretty sure I got them when my bike fell on me.  And while only one person saw me fall, lots of people were aware that I fell, which is the crappy part about rookie marks.

    The other side of my leg got the road rash treatment:


    Road rash is the new rookie mark.

    Other than that humbling experience, it was a good ride and my longest one so far.  I’m not quite sure where else to ride in St. Louis – since I did the entire trail  (out and back) today and I am going to need somewhere new and longer to go eventually.

  • These shoes were made for bikin’

    Date: 2010.06.17 | Category: fitness | Response: View Comments

    And that’s just what they’ll do. 

    One of these days these shoes are gonna bike all over you.


    You’re looking at my Shimano WR40 SPD-SL and SPD compatible bike shoes.  Shoes seem like a slightly unnecessary accessory for biking, considering there were times when I biked barefoot when I was younger.  It is slightly unnecessary, but if there is anything I’m learning about biking, it’s that the sport shames you into buying more slightly unnecessary equipment so that you don’t feel so inadequate once you have all the new and fancy and expensive (read: lightest) gear.

    The reason why shoes might be slightly necessary is that they clip into the pedals.  Without being clipped into your pedal, your propulsion comes from the downstroke of your leg and foot.  While clipped into the pedal, you take advantage of that attachment and you propel the bike in your upstroke (while your foot comes up from the ground as you pedal) as well as your downstroke.  This means more speed, easier.

    This is what the cleat (the part that hooks into the pedal) looks like:


    It looks like that robot from Short Circuit looking at you.  See those holes in the triangle position surrounding the cleat?  Normally those holes are for your typical road bike cleat.  The pedal I have is the Shimano SPD type, which is normally for mountain bikes:


    But the difference between a mountain bike pedal and cleat system and a road bike system are going to be negligible for me at this point other than an extra $100 or so that I don’t have right now :)  But seriously, a road bike system is supposed to be lighter and the cleat is much larger which supposedly makes your weight/power distribution better and more efficient.  I don’t make these things up, I just repeat them.

    I had my local bike shop install the pedals this weekend because it was pretty tough getting them off (or so my husband says…).  While there, I had them tune the bike up and I got a little emergency tire repair kit and some biking gloves with the fingers cut off because when you bike, you don’t care what you look like as long as you look like the other (road) bikers.

    And while I’m at it, I wanted to show you my girl:


    It’s a Specialized Dolce from a few years ago.  Right now she’s hanging in the garage in the usual spot but I think she may come down for a weekend ride. 

  • Do cyclists really have more fun?

    Date: 2010.05.06 | Category: fitness, running | Response: View Comments

    Just a quick post to talk about where I’m at right now.

    I’ve been on kind of a running hiatus.  I think I have ran two times since the marathon.  I’ve been going to the gym and doing the elliptical, but lately I think about going to the gym and seeing how I can avoid the elliptical.  It’s so boring!  I also think the movement itself is kind of awkward.

    I did go for a bike ride this weekend.  I went out on Grant’s trail which is a paved, relatively flat trail.  It was fantastic – on some of my runs toward the end of my marathon training, I found myself jealous of bikers.  It looked like they were having more fun.  Well, they might have been.  It was a lot of fun.  I was out there for 45 minutes – just took it easy since I hadn’t been on the bike in forever.  I figured out how to use my bike’s gears as well.  I never really understood the idea of changing them and why that would help you until this last weekend. 

    I’m leaving town to visit my brother in Nebraska and I think I will get a few runs in.  I imagine it’s going to be hard to get back in the swing of things.

    I have my mind on a couple of races this fall/winter – the Oct 3 half marathon (Lewis & Clark) and maybe a full marathon on December 3.  The thing that is stopping me is that I would like to lose some weight before I start racing again.  It’s really hard to lose weight when training for distance events.  So I am taking a break from training until I lose the weight.  I am very tempted to sign up for the races, but I don’t want to lose focus.  I’ve been doing the South Beach diet – which has 3 phases. 

    The first phase eliminates sugar, all bread, starches (like potatoes), and yes, even fruit.  The point is not to give up all carbs.  In fact, South Beach embraces carbs at all phases (vegetables, milk, cheese all contain carbs and the low fat versions of dairy are encouraged).   The point of the first phase is to jump start you on the diet (you lose water weight) and kill your cravings for sugar, and it is only supposed to last for two weeks.  Then in the second phase, you gradually add in fruits and whole grain carbs.  The third phase is maintenance.

    So, in the next few months, I will probably be discussing weight and nutrition more than I ever have before on this blog and talking less about running.  Perhaps I will also be writing more about biking as well :)

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