Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Fall Colds

What a crappy week this has been.  I had a cold going into last weeks race and the day after the race the cold turned into a full blown sinus infection.  I haven't felt so horrible in a very long time, in fact I felt so bad I almost went to the Dr's which is something I never do.  I don't see the Dr unless I've broken something or I think I'm dying!

Needless to say I haven't felt like riding at all since the race, which works out okay because Adam has totally cleaned my borrowed single speed and I am forbidden to get it dirty again.  My 14" Kona Lisa 120 is all cleaned up too and listed for sale if any one's interested in a full squish bike.  

The chilly wet weather has turned me into a baker again.  

Banana Berry Bombs

Mix together dry ingredients.

1 cup oats
1 ¼ cups flour
½ cups sugar
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt

In a separate bowl mix together.

1 ½ cups mashed ripe banana
1 egg
½ cup butter

Mix the dry and wet ingredients together then add in blueberries.

½ -1 cup blueberries

For muffins bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  These ones I cooked on my flat cast iron pan like muffin tops at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

Rich Sweet Rolls or Bread

4 cups flour
2 ¼ tsp yeast
3 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
3 Tbsp butter
1 egg
½ cup warm water
½ cup milk

Knead all ingredients together adding a bit extra water and milk if necessary until a stretchy soft ball forms, about 5 minutes.  Let rise, covered with a tea towel, in an oiled bowl for 1 hour or until doubled in size.  Punch down.  Divide dough in half.  Shape one half into a loaf shape and place in a buttered loaf pan.  Divide the other half into ¼ cup balls and place in a shallow buttered pan.  Cover both with a tea towel and let rise 1 hour or until doubled in size.  Bake at 400 degrees.  Buns for 15-20 minutes, bread for 20-25 minutes until they are golden brown.

These buns I made in my small cast iron muffin pans.

Whole Wheat Bagels

6 cups flour
2 ½ tsp. yeast
3 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. salt
1 ½ + cups warm water

Add all the flour into the bowl of a mixer with a kneading attachment.  Mix in yeast, sugar and salt.  Add water slowly with mixer on until a soft ball forms.  The ball should be wet but not stick to your finger when touched.  Add extra water if needed or a bit of extra flour if the dough is too wet.  Knead for 5 minutes.

Let rise 1 hour or until the dough in doubled in size then cut into 16 equal sized pieces.  Roll each piece into a rope and join the ends to form a circle squeezing well.  Boil lightly salted water in a pot and drop the dough circles into the boiling water for 30 seconds each side.  Then bake in an oven at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

For whole wheat just substitute whole wheat flour for some or all of the flour.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Hardwood SingleTrack Challenge - October 16th 2011

Adam and I headed up north just past Barrie yesterday to participate in the Hardwood Singletarck Challenge.  50km Solo, 24km Solo or 50km Tag Team were the options for this event and we decided to go with the 50km Tag Team because we were going to do the race on True North Cycles single speeds.  I had popped out to True North on Friday to pick up a single speed bike for Adam to race on.

We arrived at Hardwood at 7:45am after a 2 hour drive and we were just hoping the weather would hold for the race, it had been raining for a few days before the race and it was supposed to rain later in the day as well.  We had the pop up shelter just in case and not knowing what weather to expect I had brought a vast selection of clothing to choose from.

Nutrition for race was somewhat lacking.  We had ordered pizza the night before so we would have leftovers to eat between laps and I had made some coconut, chocolate chip cookies to snack on.  We had had eggs and toast for breakfast before we left in the morning and I had 2 slices of pizza at 9am so I would have energy  for my first lap.  After that between laps all I felt like eating was cookies.

It was very important for us to pay attention at the pre race meeting as we hadn't done this race before here's how this race works.

* There are 5 different loops through the forest for a total of 50km.
* Solo 50km riders ride all 5 loops in a certain order.
* Tag Team riders ride all 5 loops (in a different order than the solo riders) with one rider riding laps 1,3 and 5 for a total of 24km and the second rider riding laps 2 and 4 for a total of 26km.
* Solo 24km riders ride loops 1, 3 and 5 in yet another different order.
* Riders have to keep their heads up and follow the signs for whatever loops they are on.  Easy enough to do at Hardwood because the trails are well marked.

I was doing loops 1, 3 and 5 so I got to start with Fun 6 kms,  a sprint really.  I was getting passed right off the start until we hit the first hill.  With a single speed you have to climb up hills fast, there is just no other option so I pulled ahead of a quite a few people on that first hill.  Fun was an easy trail with nothing technical there.  I could be located in the forest by the sound of my barking cough.  I have had a cold for 2 weeks now and I have an awful cough that will not go away.  I finished up in just under 18 minutes and it was Adams turn to ride the Gnarly 12km, he was liking the single speed. He had fun passing a few people on the uphill sections.  The trail was twisty with a few boardwalks and mud free.  It took him 51 minutes. Then my turn for Serious 11kms, this trail had me thinking thoughts like...  This trail is seriously twisty and seriously awesome!  A great ride with 2 steep climbs I had to sprint up finishing up the lap in 38 1/2 minutes.  It was Adams turn for Radical 15km by the early beginning of this lap he wished he had stuck with the original plan of him being Rider A.  The trail was tough it had tons of roots and it felt all uphill, the downhills didn't provide enough momentum to make it up the uphill sections.  He finished his lap in just under 66 minutes.  My turn for Crank'd 8kms,  my best lap of the day.  I felt really good on this lap it had a lot of quick up and so much downhill I really got to let it rip.  Crank'd was also the muddiest trail of the day.

At the finish line Adam was cheering me on and Maroon 5 was singing Moves like Jagger on the sound system.  I couldn't have asked for a better finish.  We had no idea we were in contention for a top three finish. With this race there were riders everywhere and it was very difficult to tell who you were competing against.  We were ecstatic to find out we'd taken 3rd place!

The first place finishers in our 50km Tag Team 60+ category Brad Hunter and Rachel Mirvish had their pop up right beside us.  They brought their dog to the race and I just couldn't resist petting her a few times.  Boy did she look like my Zoe girl.

Podium pictures.  What a great feeling.  Only 5 seconds from making 2nd place. It was that close.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Turkey Day Ride at the Hydro Cut

Adam and I went to the Hydro Cut today with our buddy Geoff and boy was it packed there.  A lot of riders enjoying the beautiful weather.  The bubble gum pink, fully rigid, single speed 29er was super fast on the trails today.  The bike was rocking on downhill sections that had me reaching for the brakes.  I was worried about using a single speed on the hills but after I'd completed Adam's Run passing a few riders along the way I knew it would be fine.  I am not used to standing so much on  climbs and I was sweating from the exersion and heat, it was 26C today!  I'm going to call Hugh Black tomorrow and see if he will let me try out the True North frame at the Hardwood Singletrack Challenge on Sunday.

I'm still thinking I'd like front suspension and 9 gears for my new racing bike.  I'm not sold on the single speed yet.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Long Weekend Rides

We just got back from the cottage.  I spent the weekend trying out a fully rigid, single speed, 29er bike that Hugh Black over at True North Cycles lent me.  It was such a different ride from my full suspension Kona Lisa,  I loved the big wheels.  I could ride over pretty much everything that the Bruce Peninsula MTB Adventure Park threw at me which was rocks, rocks and more rocks.  No flat trails at all.  I really enjoyed trail The Rocky Flats.  It had the best flow of the day.  The MTB Adventure Park was definitely an interesting choice for riding a fully rigid bike.  I spent a lot of time out of the saddle which is a totally new way to ride for me, usually I sit back and enjoy the benefits of full suspension.  Lately though I have been thinking that full squish just isn't worth the weight.

I talked hubby into trying out the Sawmill Ski Trails in Hepworth this morning before we left the cottage because I wanted to see how the bike would handle on a hillier but less technical terrain. So after a liberal dose of Chamois Butter ( I took a lot of hits at the MTB Adventure Park!),  we hit the trails.  The new bike rode awesome even though I had to really crank it up the hills and force my mind to get over the fact that when I wanted to switch into a lower gear I couldn't because I only had one gear, usually I have a slow and steady kind of ride mentality especially where hills are concerned.  I do wish the trails had been marked, we were pretty lost in there even though we had a map.  Really what good is having a trail map with named trails if when you get out into the forest there are no signs to tell you where you're going or where you've been?

I have to admit that I am somewhat addicted to the new bike.  I have suggested a ride at the Hydro Cut tomorrow so I'll let you know how that goes.