Sunday, February 19, 2012

Fresh Rubber

I ordered some new tires from my local bicycle shop Flythe Cyclery this past week.  Mounted them up yesterday and it rained today.  It is looking like the maiden voyage on the fresh rubber will not be until this upcoming weekend during the Curse at the Crab 6 hr race.  Six hours of racing will be a great place to put these to the test.  The tires I ordered are both from Maxxis Tires.  I will be running the Ardent 29 x 2.4 on the front to help with the rigid fork I run.  It is roughly a 800 gram tire, so it is solid.  In the rear will be the Ikon 29 x 2.2.  This is a true racing tire coming in around 500 grams.  On my way home from the bicycle shop, everytime I  would stop at the stoplights I kept picking them up one at a time and that 300 grams is a huge difference.  After mounting them on the bike it gave the bike a feeling of it being evenly balanced from the front to the rear.  It is going to be interesting to see how low I can run the Ardent since it is a high volume tire.  The Ikon seems to feel like the Continental Race King I had on there.  I took some logs I have stacked up beside the shed and put them in the yard to simulate roots and  see how they felt with the air pressure I picked to try.  Ardent was at 18 psi and the Ikon was at 21 psi.  These are the same tire pressures I ran with the tires I just took off the bike.  I will see how they do and add to the review as time goes, but 6 hours will be a good test to start with.

Feed Zone Cookbook Empanadas Review

Here is another review from my favorite new cookbook.  I made the two empanada recipes for the Buffalo Curry Empanadas and Jalapeno and Potato Empanadas.  I also used the crust recipe from the cookbook also.  I made the crust earlier in the day and put it in the fridge until I needed it.  The recipes state that these are labor-intensive foods and combined time from crust to finished products was roughly one and half hours.  That includes  chopping, cooking the ingredients and cool time before stuffing the empanada crusts.  In my arsenal of cooking utensils to make it easier is an empanada press.  You can get these online for no more ten dollars.  Lets move on to the empanadas.

First up was the Buffalo Curry Empanada recipe with of course a change in some of the ingredients.  I have stomach issues with beef, so I changed it up to turkey burger.  My ingredients were taco seasoning, minced garlic, minced onion, and minced jalapeno.  These turned out great with excellent flavor that no one ingredient really over powered any of the others.  I need to make a larger batch next time and have them ready to warm-up for later.  Next was the Jalapeno and Potato Empanada recipe.  I didn't change anything up with this one and it came out great.  I used a bag of shredded mexican blend cheese and some russet potatoes.  Either one of the recipes would be great for breakfast also with an over easy egg.

The next time I make these I am thinking of combining them together into one.  We like to go camping and these would be perfect for making the day before leaving.  Wrap them in aluminum foil, store in a cooler and set them over the fire for lunch or dinner to warm them back up. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Bushwhack Mountain Bike Challenge

photo by
This was the inaugural Bushwhack Mountain Bike Challenge and it was limited to 100 riders, and I was one of the lucky ones that got a spot.  It wasn't that hard to get one as long as you signed up early and didn't wait until the last minute and then hope someone would back out so you could have their spot. This crazy cold front that came through had the temperature at 28F and a wind chill of 20F at the start which is not normal for Raleigh, NC. This race was every man or woman for themselves, no categories, just straight up racing.  They had us start with 1 mile on the road before hitting the singletrack to get us spread out sort of. It was great accept for everyone with gears went flying down the road which made it harder on the single speed to get a good spot going into woods. I spent the next 7 miles slowly moving around people before we hit the fireroads for the next 19 miles. It was fairly flat for the next 2.5 or so miles which made it easy for some the geared guys to come back by until we hit the uphill sections and I would make up time on some. Spinning out going downhill didn’t help when I would be within quarter mile or so of some others and they would just pull away. I think I only ended up passing 3 or 4 on the fireroads. Finally I hit the singletrack again and that is where I made up some spots passing 7 guys. I ended up covering the 35 miles in 2:37:49 and finishing 33rd out of 90 riders. The race didn’t go as well as I had hoped, but better than not showing up and not finishing.

Photo by Reward
Yes, I ran the rooty climb.  People were stopped at the top.

Lesson learned - Even though it is cold as hell outside you don't have to put on every cycling related piece of gear you own.  Well, the one extra piece was not actual cycling gear, but none other than running tights.  Huge mistake, not because they were running tights, but because when you slide your leg warmers over top of the tights the leg warmers like to slowly work themselves down over the miles.  This didn't happen with both legs at the same time, they somehow took turns sliding down.  At least 3 times in Umstead I slowed down to a crawl to pull them back up.  Only happened once in Crabtree, but it was flopping around by knee, so I had to come to a complete stop for this, it sucked.  So, next time I will have to not be a big wuss and HTFU and go with just the leg warmers or just hope it is warmer.

This race will be on my list every year they run it.  It makes you hurt in a good way.