Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sunday in the Park

I ran a couple of errands this afternoon and headed out on the Bianchi M.U.S.S. for some snow trail riding at the park.  The snow was melting and there had been a lot of foot traffic but it did not matter because it was a beautiful day to play on the bike.  I cannot wait for the Mukluk and more snow but the M.U.S.S. is a much harder workout I am sure!

The sun was shining bright but it was pretty cool with the wind chill.  It didn't matter though because I was living the "High Life" and just riding for fun.  I had almost 500 miles on the bike this November so that tells you we had some pretty good weather.

I cannot wait for the temps to be about 5-10 degrees and the sun shining this brightly because it just puts you in such a great spot.

This cemetery is on my regular route but today I stopped and took a couple of photos.  I got passed by another cyclist at this spot today - something I was not expecting to see for sure.  Most people in this neck of the woods have put their steeds away for the winter and don't know what they are missing!  I am glad because I love the solitude!

Well this is the trail home when the snow allows it to be.  I just took the picture for a comparison to happen in 2-3 months!

Happy Trails and Have a great Holiday Season that started with Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 26, 2010

My First Snow Ride of the Year

We finally got some snow and I took the Single Speed MUSS out for a spin.  I am still waiting on the Mukluk to come in so I had no other choice but to ride 2.35" tires - it was all good - not a lot of snow yet.

Then my wife was on Facebook and showed me this picture.  My daughter used my son's camera to take a picture and I just happened to be finishing the ride up and she caught me in action!

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!  Eat up, Ride up, and Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Awesome Food Recipe

I don't usually double post but I have to pass this recipe along to everyone.  Especially the week of Thanksgiving I am thankful that I found this recipe - Amazing is the best way to describe it!

I found it on Tamia Nelson's Outside website.  Very interesting stuff abounds on this site and I highly recommend bicyclists or paddlers alike peruse the articles that can be found!

The recipe was under the eating to bike, biking to eat section and it is the 2nd recipe I used so far.  Very tasty!!!


Cyclists dread the bonk, which saps all of your energy and turns your muscles into jelly. The only way to avoid the total run-down of your reserves is to keep the tank topped up all the time, and that means taking in calories while working hard. This is especially important on long or arduous rides. Most cyclists can manage to ride for an hour or so without trouble, but trouble is what you’ll have if you don’t eat and drink regularly. What to eat? That depends on the cyclist. Some prefer to add calories in the form of gels and liquids. Others nibble high-energy solid foods. Most use a mix. And one of the best sources of energy I’ve found is homemade oatmeal bars. I call ‘em Hundred Mile Bars, because Farwell energized himself on a century a couple years back with nothing more than water and these chewy goodies. They pack a lot of umph into a compact package, are easy to eat on the bike, are a cinch to make, and hold up well to being crammed into a jersey pocket or snack pack. Better still, they can be made in advance, frozen, and pulled out of the freezer just before your ride. They’ll thaw in a hurry, and you can pinch off pieces to snack on as you ride. Tempted? Here’s the recipe:

Hundred Mile Oatmeal Bars
(makes approximately 24 bars)

•1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, room temperature
•1 cup firmly packed brown sugar (either light or dark brown)
•1/2 cup granulated sugar - I USED TURBINADO SUGAR
•2 eggs
•1 teaspoon vanilla extract
•1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour - I USED WHOLE WHEAT
•1 teaspoon baking soda (NOT baking powder)
•1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
•1/2 teaspoon salt
•3 cups uncooked old-fashioned OR quick-cooking oatmeal (NOT instant oatmeal)
•1 cup chopped mixed dried fruits (see Note below) - I DID NOT USE THIS TIME
•1/2 cup chopped walnut meats
- Sprinkling of Chocolate Chip Morsels to your liking - I DEFINITELY USED THIS

NB You’ll also need two large mixing bowls and a 9″ x 13″ baking pan that’s at least 2″ deep. Alternatively, use two 8″- or 9″-square baking pans.

An hour or more before you plan to start baking, place the butter or margarine in a large bowl and leave it on the kitchen counter to come to room temperature. While you’re waiting, assemble the other ingredients.
When all is in readiness, move one rack to the center of your oven, and pre-heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. As the oven warms, use a big wooden spoon to combine (“beat”) the softened margarine, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in one of the two bowls. After this mixture has been beaten to the consistency of a sandy paste, beat in the eggs and vanilla extract and blend thoroughly. Then set the first bowl aside.
Now place the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in the second bowl, and stir with a clean fork. Once the contents are well mixed, pour them into the first bowl, and beat thoroughly. Next, stir in the oatmeal, dried fruit, and walnut pieces. Again, beat well. Soon you’ll have a very thick batter. Spoon this out into your baking pan—there’s no need to grease the pan—and spread it as evenly as you can, being sure that there are no gaps between the batter and the walls of the pan. Use the back of a wetted soup spoon to shove the batter around.
Finally, place the pan(s) in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Check after 15 minutes. If the batter’s not browning evenly, rotate the pan(s) 180 degrees. Then check again at 30 minutes, and every five minutes thereafter. As soon as the top is a uniform golden brown, you’re done. Turn off the oven and remove the pan, setting it on top of the stove to cool.
After the pan has cooled for a few minutes, cut your dessert into bars with a sharp knife. Run the blade of the knife around the perimeter, too. Now let your newly-baked oatmeal bars cool completely.
Once the bars have cooled down to room temperature, remove them from the pan with a spatula, and stack them on a cookie rack (if you have one) or on paper-towel-covered plates. Separate the individual bars and allow them to cool some more. If you pack oatmeal bars when they’re even a little bit warm, they’ll soon become soggy. When you’re certain that they’re as cool as they’re going to get, store the bars in sturdy plastic bags, being sure to expel all the air before closing up. The bars freeze well if stored in a freezer bag. Just remove the number of bars you want from the freezer, put them in a plastic bag or jersey pocket, and they’ll thaw before you’re ready to eat.


ENJOY and Happy Thanksgiving

New Bike Tour Pictures - Our Homecoming

Our #1 Fan - Todd's Mother
 Well I finally scored some photos from our reunion at the church when we finished our bike tour.  I just had to share them.  The above picture was after I got scolded from Todd's mother (playing around) and her sister's were loving it :)

I could not believe how tan we were and I also could not believe how cool it was.  I was talking to my wife Jane last night and she said it wasn't cold, it was July.  I reminded her that I had been riding in 100 degree weather for almost 1 month and 60+ degrees was quite cold.  The light weight Twin 6 jacket that I had was perfect for the weather!  Thanks Twin 6 for making awesome stuff!!!

Todd and his son Levi (daughter Jaimee is off to the side as well)
The ride to Buffalo from Erie was the easiest 100+ mile ride I will ever do in my life.  Talking about endorphins rushing around.  I truly enjoyed the tour but it was nice to be home with the family as well.  It took a couple of weeks (maybe months) to get re-acclimated to real life, but things are at an awesome point with God, family, and friends!

The final time we have ridden together since that day (at least as well as I can remember and I am pretty sure I am right).  It was an awesome time and one that will never be forgotten.  I am trying to pay homage to it in word format right now but that will be a long slow process which could take months or even years!


I have a secret mission next week that I will try and post some photos of and see if you can tell where I am!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Bike Tour Memories

Marina - Grand Rivers, KY
 I just found out about a photo contest on Adventure Cycling website.  That is the "touring" guru website in American Touring and where Todd bought the maps for our ride on the Underground Railroad.  So I decided I could submit a couple of photos just because.  I don't think I have a shot at winning - there are some amazing photos already submitted that make me wish I was there right now - but hey it isn't about winning it is about remembering!

The photo above was taking riding into Grand Rivers, KY after riding through the Land Between Lakes in Tennessee.  The only place where you can ride on land in between 2 lakes and not see either of them until you get to the end of the day.  But is was a beautiful day on the bike, after we dodged the huge rainstorm (Thanks Pastor Ray again) and before I found out my bar end shifters were going out on me.

Photo says it all :)
Seems we have a general picture theme today - Rain.  The guys at Century Cycles, Peninsula, OH took this picture and we headed off to the restaurant across the parking lot on a recommendation.  I cannot remember the name but I remember the burger.  Out of this world.  Of course as we are finishing up lunch a huge storm rolled through so we stayed a while longer.  We then headed out and pushed hard to our hotel (uphill about 5-6 miles away) and proceeded to get drenched before we got there.  Good times!!!

Lake Erie - Almost home
And the final photo of the day - Lake Erie on our final day riding home.

It was a great time on the bike.  I wish everyone could experience that type of an adventure at some point in their life.  I know we had some down times - but I don't remember any of them and can only remember the awesome blessing of God and His companionship.

Have a great weekend and get out there and ride your bikes, or walk in the park, or run in the woods, or just play with your kids!

It is almost Thanksgiving - let's show our thankfulness to the One who Created it all!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A New Storm Is A Brewing

Back in May 2008, 2 of my friends (and my Senior and Associate Pastor at church) and I completed the Nissan Buffalo Marathon.  Since that time I have run but never more than 5 or so miles.  Running is a quicker workout than biking so I get by pushing out 3 quick miles when I don't have time to ride the bike for 20 or 30 (or more).  At the end of the day I love biking and enjoy running but my mind is contemplating something involving running right now.

It is early in the planning stages and would not start until 2012.  I need to give myself a whole year of dedicated running in 2011 to see if it is at all even possible.  I will know more by mid-year on how my body is reacting to the training and how I am doing mentally preparing for this endeavour.

I know this thought - that if God is in agreement with me then 2012 and 2013 should be quite interesting years to say the least!

The weather has turned on me around here so not much biking.  I have some awesome photos from my ride last Friday but keep forgetting to post them.  We don't have abundant snow in the forecast but I will leave you with this picture from Sequoia National Park last year around this time!

Have a great week and get outside and enjoy natural Vitamin D :)  It is the greatest vitamin you can receive!

Friday, November 12, 2010

My Commute Home From Work

The sun was out in full force yesterday on my ride home.  I cannot believe the great weather we are having for November in Buffalo, NY.  I am excited about the snow, but this is just spectacular!!!!

The first photo is where the OLD Memorial Auditorium used to stand.  Who knows what will replace it but it is nice to see the city being proactive for once and getting rid of a building that wasn't going to be used ever again.  In real cities the building would have been down as soon as possible to make parking for the new arenas going up right next door (which is where the HSBC Center is as well)  Oh well I don't dwell on Politics in here so time to look at some more photos.

This is Ralph Wilson Stadium - Home to the Buffalo Bills and yesterday the local High School Football Playoffs.  That has to be pretty cool to get to play in an NFL stadium in high school and it is awesome the team allows the opportunity.

The sun getting ready to drop behind Murphy Farm (established sometime in the early 1900's I believe).  As you can see from the grade of the meadow that this is where my uphill journey begins.

The sun is almost gone and I am almost home.  At this point I had reached the altitude that my house sits at and I had a roller 2 mile ride home to wrap it up.  I was so glad to catch the sun at some many different points yesterday!

I had some pink sky photos but they were not good so hopefully this afternoon I can sneak out and try for that color again.  The sky was amazing last night and I hope you have as much fun looking as I did snapping!

Have a great weekend - I am riding some dirt later on today.  It has been a while and I need to get dirty before a cross race tomorrow :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Sun

This is a fun time of the year for me because the sun starts to rise when I am on my way into work and if I time it right I get some pretty cool Sun shots.  Today's was taken from the 9th floor of the Liberty  Building in Downtown Buffalo and shooting North.  The Sun was blasting its way up and I just thought this lighting was pretty cool.

I would have done some different shots but the window would not stay up on its own so I had to hold it with one hand and shoot with the other hand.  Not real conducive to good photography.

The weather has been awesome this week.  I am on my 3rd day of commuting this week and am planning on sneaking a 4th one in tomorrow and possibly a cross race on Saturday.  My legs are not real happy with me - I think they went into winter mode where I might ride as many days but just not as far.  But I am making them come back to life!

Hopefully the Sun and The Son is shining in your life right now.  Soak it all in!!!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Go Find Your Snow Canopy

Kissing Bridge Last Winter
 Well I definitely have winter on the brain right now.

Snow Canopy at Sprague Brook
 The Snow Canopy picture is one of my all time favorites.  It was taken just after a nice 8-10" snowfall and I was the first one in the park that morning.  I got to make all fresh tracks all over the park.

Don't you find it funny that you can remember all the finite details about a day like that, but I cannot remember where I put my keys or wallet or cell phone.  I have an idea as to why that is - mundane exercises in life are done on auto pilot because we truly don't want to do them (I left my cell phone off this morning until around 9:00am because I just forgot about it) and it takes just a second for us to realize that there is something so much more waiting for us out there (Like a Snow Canopy waiting to be explored by ski or foot or maybe even bike!).

Last week, in one of my wake up times that I have been having lately, I was talking with God about His creation and all the cool stuff around it.  I was honest and said you know God "IF" I was going to question you at any point it would be the point of how in the world did You do all this awesome work?  I was very clear and said "IF" and let it go at that I was in shock of His Awesome Splendor.  Sunday's message at church started off about God's Creation as we start to learn about His Covenants with the Israelites and now us through His Son Jesus Christ.  I just chuckled to myself and just said quietly - I was only saying "IF" I doubted You - because I don't :)

Go out and find your Snow Canopy today.  Mundane exercises in life will do nothing but make you tired and bored with life.  There is so much more - and most likely you can find it on a bike :)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Photo A Day Keeps the Blahs Away!

This was taken in Cave-In-Rock State Park, Indiana in the middle part of our bike tour.  There was a storm we beat out to our hotel after meeting Mike and Kit and having a fabulous conversation with them.  This photo was taken back to the west away from the mighty Ohio River which we were staying on at the State Park lodging.

I remember a lot about this time of the tour because God was putting servants in our path to care for us and help us out.  And He was providing wonderful fellowship.  The food at the state park was outstanding and the lodging was very comfortable as well.

Have a great day.

Where I came from

Here is the link to my old blog if you want to get some history on me!

Welcome to my new blog

I decided to create a new blog - the old title did not sit well with me anymore because I don't really "train" I just ride my bike and many other things because it is so much fun!!!

Hopefully this blog is as exciting as the old one - so come on in!