Monday, August 24, 2015


Amber and I rode our 50 mile night ride from Anaheim to Seal Beach and back last night. It seems this is all we can do lately what with her schedule and the heat. We ate a Beachwood BBQ again and I had the grilled Mac'n'Cheese which was awesome.

As I loaded my bike up for the ride I noticed I had a flat tire. That's the first I've had in a couple of years. I was worried that my amazing Gatorskin tires had lost their perfect record but I was relieved to discover the tube had failed at the base of the stem. Gatorskin tires still have a perfect record on my bike. I wonder why tubes often fail at that point even after months of flawlessly holding air in.

When we were four miles towards the beach Amber's bike suddenly started making a chirping noise and the pedals wouldn't turn. I span the back wheel and confirmed the freewheel and brakes weren't causing the problem. Then I removed the wheel and verified the jockey wheels were moving freely and the bottom bracket wasn't seizing. As soon as I put the wheel back in the problem returned.

When I looked very closely I saw a nub of metal sticking out from the rear dropout that was very close to the cassette. I couldn't slide a business card between the nub and the cassette so I pulled the wheel out again for a closer look. One of the bolts holding the rear dropouts together had worked its way loose so all I had to do is tighten it up and away we go. Always something new!

Friday, August 21, 2015


I climbed Keller Peak a couple of days ago - 11 miles round trip - one hour up and ten minutes down. At the top I snacked on a frittata and an individual bread pudding I baked from my new favorite recipe book. Such a treat.

It seems like I know half the population of France right now. PBP has just finished and I tracked many of my friends as they labored 1200km from Paris to Brest and back. I see Pete abandoned after 800km which is a personal best for him. I don't think he realized how well he was doing because his average speed to that point was pretty good. Others such as Iria Pico and Doug Church don't seem to have completed the ride even though I was sure they would. Russ Cammell and the Klines both had impressive rides.

They all make my 11 mile ride see pretty pathetic. They've got me all jealous so I'm looking at a 1200k up in BC I'd like to try in 2018. That's a pretty long term goal.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Found Treasures

My friend Iria showed me a cook book she recommended called the Feed Zone. When I looked for it on Amazon I found the same authors had written a book called Feed Zone Portables, which I bought. The focus of the book is creating portable, delicious, and nutritious food to carry on endurance rides. I get so sick of fast food and gas station cuisine and several of my riding family make the bulk of their own fuel, I decided this was something I wanted to explore.

The first thing I did was to buy a rice cooker. Amazon had a simple one from Panasonic at a great price and it makes much better rice than a saucepan can.

The book starts with a very detailed and well considered discussion on exercise nutrition. I had always known that drinking soda and Gatorade on a long ride would upset my stomach but I didn't know why. Apparently high concentrations of sugar in the gut cause water to move from my bloodstream into my gut which causes bloating. I don't agree with his stance on electrolytes (he stresses sodium over potassium), but overall I enjoyed this part.

The first recipe I tried was a savory rice bar but it had no flavor so I moved on to a blueberry and chocolate rice bar. It's really simple...

Cook three cups of sticky rice (I use Calrose brand). Add 3/4 cup coconut milk and 1/4 cup raw sugar to taste. Spread half in the bottom of a 8" x 13" pyrex dish. Add a layer of 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips and a cup of blue berries (any berries work). Spread the rest of the rice. Press down hard. Chill, cut into squares and wrap individually in foil. Refrigerate. Absolutely delicious.

You get about 30 two-bite bars from this recipe with about 60 calories each. The nutritional profile is ideal for endurance events. The cost is 15 cents per bar. So for 30 cents you get the same calories as a $1.50 energy bar but it's delicious and only has natural ingredients. The only downside is that these bars don't have a shelf life of years. Don't worry - they taste so good they won't last to the end of the week.

Next week I'm going to try some polenta bars and then some two-bite pies.

On Saturday I went for a hike on a new trail called 1W10 that starts in Rim Nordic just off highway 18 between Running Springs and Big Bear. I was surprised to see so many fire roads and trails in this area. I had no idea. We started with a strenuous climb up to a mountain meadow. There was 700' of climbing in 1.1 miles!

We ate some of my rice and fruit bars part way through the hike and that really helped. By the time we ate about an hour later we weren't really that hungry.

On Sunday Amber and I rode from Anaheim to Irvine and back for a fun fifty mile night ride. Path of the Peters Canyon bike path has closure signs on it which we ignored. There is absolutely no reason for the signs - their only purpose is to inconvenience and endanger cyclists. They say the path will be closed until August of 2016 which impacts my 300k brevet. We shall see.