Coffeeneuring 2014

With all the traveling that I’ve had to do in the last couple months, I was pleased to be able to complete the 2014 Coffeeneuring Challenge.  Now, Mary’s rules require that each coffeeneur ride be

You have to go to different locales, although you may ride to multiple locations of a chain, if necessary.

For an extra challenge, and forcing me to learn new places of caffeine purveyance, I added my own addendum to this rule:

You have to go to 7 different locales That you have never coffeeneured to before, although you may ride to multiple locations of a chain, that chain must not be traded on a stock market.

As much as I visit Starbucks (i.e. Best Buns in Shirlington, or inside the Target in Merrifield), I was forcing myself to make it a bigger challenge.

Read more »

Categories: Biking, Coffeeneuring | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Skyline Double – Northbound – Part 2

_DSC731850 miles to go.  Now, I have ridden down to Mount Vernon and back in 3 hours, but that was fairly un-hilly and un-trafficked.   Sunset was around 6:30, so I would really have to rush to get to Front Royal and Spelunkers before Sunset.  I knew that I was near the top of Skyline Drive, and that the majority of the route was downhill from here, but as I looked up from Spitler Knoll Overlook, it was uphill.

Read more »

Categories: Biking | 1 Comment

Skyline Double – Northbound – Part 1

I’d love to start this off with “And after a good night’s sleep, getting back on the bike was easy,” but that wouldn’t be true to what happened.

_DSC7233

So I settled off to bed around 10ish…

.. And then the curse of being The Most Hydrated Man in America hit.

Read more »

Categories: Biking | Leave a comment

Skyline Double – Southbound – Part 3

20141016_132101Once I left out of Big Meadows, there’s a really nice long gradual downhill, with some really nice straight pieces of highway.  I remember thinking, “If someone wanted to pass me, this would be the best place for them to do so.”  Heck, there were even some dashed road lines.

But once I got further down towards mile marker 61, the sky started to open up.  On the uphill, the drops hit harder, but since I was climbing, it was manageable.  But once I started the descent down towards Rt. 33, the rain became needles as I increased speed.  You could tell it had been raining for a while prior to arriving there since the entire width of the road was wet.

Because of the wind and my ability to slow down by just sitting up, I didn’t have to brake very much on the curvy downhill.  Of course, once I hit Rt 33 at the bottom of the hill, the rain subsided.

Because of the long downhill, this was the longest bit between stops.  The climb out of the gap wasn’t too steep or long, just a bit tiring, as now I was getting past mile 70.  At the Loft Mountain Overlook, I finally caught up with my wife again.  I took a little more time here, as my daughter was done, and I still had 30 more miles to go.

_DSC7193

Read more »

Categories: Biking | Tags: | Comments Off

Skyline Double – Southbound – Part 2

_DSC7187

 

Getting out of Rt 211 was the second roughest stretch of road of the day.  Basically 4 miles at 6%, with peaks at around 9%.  Not all that hard when you think about it, but after going out a little harder than I normally do on a century, this climb hit me a little harder than I was expecting.

20141016_105236 20141016_105607

 

But one of the coolest parts of the climb is the Mary’s Rock Tunnel.  Even with a headlight, and three blinkies, it was still pitch black around me.  Because of this all I could see was the light at the end of the tunnel, and it felt very disorienting, but exhilarating.   There were quite a few tourists parked after the tunnel taking pictures of cars (and me) coming out of the tunnel.

Read more »

Categories: Biking | Comments Off

Skyline Double – Southbound – Part 1

I was not expecting things to go smoothly, so at least I set my expectations high.

I did however, expect to complete both legs of the trip, so I had that going for me.

Watching the Weather was forefront on my mind during the week before.  I had three tabs open in my browser; Front Royal, Waynesboro, and Home.  I kept fretting as it was showing a 35% chance of rain at 8am for  Front Royal, with a 50% chance in Waynesboro.  Plus the temperature forecast had dropped 10 degrees.

My normal method of pre-big-ride schedule is to spend the night before obsessing over what to wear; which kit I should wear (I brought 6 jerseys… oh boy), what I need to bring nutrition wise, should I bring a bag to store things if it gets too hot or cold, basically all the things you need if you don’t have panniers.  But tonight I had two differences: My wife and daughter in the sag wagon (good), but my daughter needed to get to sleep early, so I didn’t get enough time in my mind to obsess over what to do/wear/bring.

After my daughter dropped into unconsciousness, I spend 2 hours prepping.  Filling my water bottles, getting Skratch mixed in, setting out my clothing, food, nutrition, etc.

I had two kit bags, so I sorted one as bike parts / gels, the other with clothing.  I put my helmet, shoes, bike pump in the first bag, arm warmers, leg warmers, socks, etc, in the second.  This way it would be quicker to get kitted out at L’Dees before the ride.

Finally I was able to relax my mind and go to sleep. …And the alarm went off at 5:30am.

Read more »

Categories: Biking | Comments Off

Mountain Anticipation

In getting ready, I had that huge list, but there were still things we needed to do.

First was printing out the Cue sheets.  With much research I put together two separete tracks, downloaded the TCX files Igenerated from RideWithGPS, and made some hand-created cue sheets in Excel.

20141014_144636

Next we had to make the tasty treats out of the Feed Zone Portables book.

Read more »

Categories: Biking | Comments Off

Prep Work for My Skyline Drive Double

Throughout this year’s ups and downs, I’ve realized that I need a lofty goal to aspire to if I’m going to stick to a strict training schedule. It’s that little extra bit that gets me up at sunrise for sprints or some zone 4 work, rather than rolling back over and missing my opportunity to ride.

Last year’s big goal was, well, 100 pounds.  And along the way I had to keep upping the mark to ensure I stuck with it.  So this year I set 3 goals:  Ride 12 centuries in the year, get to 4 watts per kg, and The Skyline Drive Double.

So far I’ve ridden 6 centuries, with the probability of getting to 10 by the end of the year.  I got up to 3.87 w/kg, which is more of a function of weight loss instead of power increase.  I got as low as 178.2 lbs (81kg).  I’d probably need to be 171.6 lbs to hit 4w/kg.

But oddly, the easiest goal for the year is the Skyline Drive Double.  It’s just a full lap of Skyline Drive, one of the most scenic rides in Virginia.  Skyline Drive is 105 miles from end-to-end, and is the start of the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Starting from Front Royal, VA, Skyline Drive finishes where it intersects with Interstate 64, becoming the Blue Ridge Parkway which winds south through Virginia and North Carolina, finishing just north of Cherokee, NC.

The Double consists however of riding from Front Royal to Waynesboro on Day 1, and then the next day ride from Waynesboro to Front Royal.  I understand that there are redondonnerus who would scoff at a mere 368km in two rides, but the added complexity to the ride is that over those 225+ miles, there’s over 22,000 feet of climbing.  If I’m ever going to do the Haute Route, I need to determine if I can even handle two back-to-back long days of climbing.

So Day 1:

And Day 2:

The normal issue with this type of trip is logistics; where to get water, where to get food, how much stuff to carry, but in this I’m lucky; my awesome wife is going to be my sag wagon.  So instead of panicking because I’m out out water and it’s 15 miles to the Byrd Visitors Center, it’s a simple call on the phone to fill up at the next lookout.

Now it becomes a logistics question: What do stock the Sag Wagon with?

So far I’ve come up with:

  •  Floor Standing Bike Pump
  • 4 Spare Tubes
  • 1 Spare Tire
  • Hex Wrenches
  • Pedal Wrench
  • Brake Cable
  • Derailleur Cable
  • Brake Pads
  • Crimpers
  • Crimp Ends
  • Chain Tool
  • Chain Links
  • Spare Spokes
  • AAA Batteries
  • Chain Lube
  • Rags
  • Super Glue
  • Spare Cleats
  • Zip Ties
  • 2 Spare Kits
  • Cold Weather Gear
  • Inclement Weather Gear
  • 5 Gallons of Water
  • Snacks
  • Lunch

If you’ve seen the past 4 posts, you’ll see some of the road food I’m considering — Sweet Cream Grits, Chocolate & Sea Salt Sticky Bits, and Honey and Fig Rice Cakes.  I’m not sure which of these I’ll end up making, as it’s just as easy to go buy some packages of Fig Newtons.  I’ve also made some Gorp, using Peanuts, Pistachios, Pumpkin Seeds, Raisins, M&Ms, Almonds and Coconut Flakes.

For Lunch, I’m thinking either Peanut Butter and Honey Sandwiches, or  Beef & Sweet Potato Pies.  Protein, Fiber and Carbs.

Any suggestions will be gladly appreciated.

–Pete

Categories: Biking | Comments Off

Beef & Sweet Potato Pockets

Beef & Sweet Potato Pockets
Author: 
Recipe type: Pie
Cuisine: Cycling
 
Tasty Beef Pockets for Quick Mid Ride Snacks
Ingredients
  • Pie Crust:
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ⅔ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • ½ cup cold water
  • Filling:
  • 8 oz grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed (~1 cup)
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups organic brown rice, cooked
  • ~3 cups organic chicken stock (for cooking rice, instead of using water)
Instructions
  1. To make the pie crust: Pulse together flour, salt and cinnamon in a food processor. Add butter and blend until butter pieces are no longer visible. Transfer mixture to large bowl and add cold water gradually, using hands or spatula to turn the dough and mix. Add more water or flour, as necessary, until dough takes shape. Divide dough into 12 portions, forming into balls. Wrap dough and chill (30 minutes in the freezer, or at least one hour in the refrigerator.
  2. To make filling: Cook ground beef over medium-high heat until browned. Drain excess fat. Cooked cubed sweet potato in microwave until tender, about 3-5 minutes. Combine beef and sweet potatoes in a bowl and add soy sauce, brown sugar, red wine vinegar, kosher salt, and cinnamon. Mix until evenly combined and then fold in rice.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat muffin tin with canola oil.
  4. Remove dough from refrigerator and roll out each ball of dough, on a lightly floured surface, until it is big enough to fit in the form and fold back over the filling. Transfer dough to muffin forms, gently pressing into place and letting excess dough hang over edges. Place enough of the filling mixture into the dough pocket to be level with the top of the muffin tin. Fold excess dough over filling and gently press together to form a seal.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes, or until crust turns golden

 

Categories: Recipies | Comments Off

Chocolate and Sea Salt Sticky Bits

Bitter Chocolate and Sea Salt Sticky Bits
Author: 
Recipe type: Rice Balls
Cuisine: Cycling
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15
 
Small Rice Ball Bites
Ingredients
  • 1 cup uncooked sticky rice
  • ½ cup uncooked rolled oats
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons bittersweet chocolate (chips or shaved)
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • dash of sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons shaved bittersweet chocolate
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
Instructions
  1. Combine oats, rice, and water with a dash of salt in a rice cooker and cook.
  2. Let cool to the touch.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the cooked rice and oats with the remaining ingredients.
  4. Stir to incorporate the flavor throughout the sticky mixture.
  5. Press into an airtight storage container or shape as individual bites.
  6. Sprinkle with chocolate and salt.
Notes
From Feed Zone Portables Cook Book P.223
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Bite Calories: 101 Fat: 1g Carbohydrates: 20g Sodium: 197mg Fiber: 1g Protein: 2g

 

Categories: Recipies | Comments Off