Bikes N Brews

Yesterday, was a messed up day that was originally planned out to be an awesome day. Nothing went as planned, yet, it was still an awesome day. I wanted to enjoy this (probably) last extremely fair weathered Illinois day outside by going for a longer bike ride while still taking care of business. A simple (Vegan) breakfast was consumed. Wearing appropriate clothing is usually (at least for me) challenging in cooler climates, especially in Illinois’ decently vast range of temperatures. First, I planned to under-dress. I changed my mind and decided to play it safe and dress a bit warmer. 10:00am was going to be the departure time (40ish degrees F w/ a high of 58 F) and I was ahead of the game, like usual.

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“If you’re not early, you’re late.”

-VeggHead BeerCyclist

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My damn right Bontrager cycling shoe tightening tab broke. That was not the first Bontrager cycling shoe issue, but not a big deal. A pit-stop at my parents house was needed. I was finally off on my way when I took a left turn and the momentum gravity took my right foot completely off of my drivetrain with the outside part of my Crank Bros. Eggbeater still clipped in with the spindle just hanging out on my crank arm. Instinctively, I immediately tried assembling my pedal by hand. Questioning my thought process and noticing the looseness, I said a few R-rated words and walked the bike back to my parents house.

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Additional tools other than the tools on me were needed. Basically, just a socket wrench and flathead screwdriver were used to try to reassemble this pedal. Twenty minutes later, I took that same left corner. And the same thing happened. The feeling and acknowledgement of giving up isn’t the best feeling, but is sometimes necessary to regroup and to be smart about the situation. I could have went home and switched out my pedals to continue my ride. In the back of my mind, were thoughts of what the third thing to go wrong could be. I didn’t want to chance getting hit by a car or anything of that nature. I continued my business to be done without my bike, while letting Crank Bros know about my issue. Those pedals have been through hell and I love the brand, but really? Their team responded quickly and I will always be a loyal Crank Bros fan.

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I went to get my FatBike, Arrogant Bastard (and drop off my Trek Darth Vader) to enjoy the day. My last FatBike ride wasn’t the greatest. I biffed it and until yesterday did not notice that my derailuer hangar was bent. I manually bent it back and gave it a shot. Riding the Towpath, the sky became cloudy and the air a little cooler. Luckily, I was prepared.

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My favorite tavern was my destination. Having a beverage or two, I (in spandex athletic gear) bullshitted with a biker couple (in their leather exhaust smelling gear) traveling to enjoy the last nice day as was I. We agreed to ride safe because vehicles do not respect two-wheelers and how we are at the risk of others’ concentration with our fate when on the road. That tavern is truly a Biker bar. Continuation of my day brought me back to my town and had my cycling jersey pockets stuffed with bombers of beer! Before going home, I stopped at a park to enjoy a Saison outside, when realization of how discombobulated my day has been as I did not have a bottle opener. I opened the bottle with force and broke the glass in the process. I walked home to save the Beer and to end my day.

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Stress kills. There is a solution to everything. Sometimes, it isn’t easy to find. Not everyday will be perfect. Optimism helps everything. Ride a Bike. Drink a Beer.

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Happy Wednesday!

Chipotle Chocolate Lentili

I bought a pack of Hell’s Kitchen (five) hot sauces the Day After Thanksgiving. I did shop for the first time ever on “black Friday”. I was at work and I believe that I made my purchase around 1:00pm. It was not anything extreme and I did not push anyone out of my way. The Chocolate Chipotle Hot Sauce is the only one that I’ve tried thus far and it is AMAZING. Daydreaming occasionally combines with reality and here I am with another Food idea that is DELICIOUS. Trial and Error, or how about just Trial. Take a chance. Have faith. Have confidence. Know your ingredients.

Baking is not me. Baking is alien. I have partaken. I can do it, but we do not get along. This concept was fun, exciting and educational. The only things different, were the ingredients. MY “Chili” concept will not change.

Seasonings, bad. Vegetables, good.

Cocoa Powder, Semi-sweet Chocolate, Veggie Broth, Peppers, Chipotle in Adobo, Daiya, Lentils, Onion, Tomatoes and crushed Tomatoes (canned), Cilantro, Sugar, SeaSalt/Pepper, Garlic, Sweet Potatoes were combined and simmered all damn day, literally. The batch produced is hefty.

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SoloCUBSParade

Ⓥestern Skillet

I made a badass Ⓥegan western-style skillet last night. This concoction was served in a sorry-tin container that made it even more Westernish. I’ve seen my fair share of Western flicks and how they consume their beans next to the fire before shut-eye, y’all. I went for one of the best rides that I’ve ever ridden today, November 17, 2016, at 60-73℉ in the state of Illinois. The sun was shining and also, the wind was blowing.

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I have to try to explain my ride today. Venturing on new roads in this unforgettable mixed surface cycling Gran Fondo, was the goal. I wanted to cross a river that I’ve never crossed before outside of the I&M Canal. That river is the Fox River which starts in Wisconsin and drains into the Illinois River. From the git-go, some drivers were not paying as much attention to the road and me as well as they should. Steering clear of busy roads was another goal. A watery detour was taken to help that goal.

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Never will I ever plan my entire ride. There is no fun in that and something always comes up to influence a right instead of a left turn. Choosing to ride into the wind a couple of times instead of taking the easy way out and turning with the wind was extremely beneficial. The results were as if the planets aligned and all luck was on my (drivetrain) side. Being in a new area, yeah-everything was new, but the significance of the new sights were ungodly. I took a few pictures and ultimately am motivated about the next year trek, my #SoloCUBSParade. It is not always about how fast you go, it is about the experience and the journey of doing something great.

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#SoloCUBSParade

Go Fund Me

My Ride

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Ⓥestern Skillet included boiled and drained Pinto & Northern (Western) Beans, Sweet & Russet Potatoes and Onion. I used Vegetable Oil and sautéed the ingredients in a cast iron skillet. Carrot shreds, Green Peppers, Mushroom, Garlic and PBR were sautéed together first. PBR (Beer) was added with an assortment of seasonings.

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The seasonings were SeaSalt/Pepper/ Turmeric/Paprika/ChipotleP/Cayenne/Sugar. Grape Tomatoes, freshly chopped DILL WEED, SmartDog slices, LiquidSmoke & Mustard BBQ sauce were added before baking/broiling a little bit. It pairs well with a cowboy hat and a fire.

I passed a Silica blasting site and took this picture:

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To get into a better spot, I jumped over a two-foot fabric fence. While I was standing there, a siren came from a few workers working behind this drop-off. Perhaps, they saw me or they were just jacking around like sometimes we do at my real job. I stepped back and had a snack and then just gave it another look before continuing on my ride when, BOOOOOOOM. A huge explosion erupted and threw dirt/sand/silica high into the air. My heart jumped with a horrifying sense of fright and oddly an engaging adrenaline rush as if I were about to enter battle as the earth rumbled through my feet and through constricting arteries. Basically, I’d feel this same exact way if I were three houses away from an F5 tornado and how I’d feel if I were a deer in the headlights of a 70 mph semi-truck about to be taken off of this Earth. My bicycle helmet would disintegrate.

Have fun, responsibly.

Solo #Cubs Parade

Hey, Hey! Holy Cow! Let’s Go!

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The Chicago CUBS did it in my lifetime. They have won it all and beat everyone else. There are many of people I am saddened by that could not witness this championship. I need to do one up on just celebrating. This team/club, the Chicago Cubs, have inspired myself to finally do something I’ve always wanted to do…Upgrade my adventurism.

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My Solo Cubs Parade is survival. It is athleticism. It is thinking ahead of the traffic. It is a celebration.

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Lack of vacation days and common sense took my original idea and threw it out the window. Starting at home instead of the Wisconsin/Illinois border riding through the Illinois/Kentucky border will not work for me. I have to be smart about planning and also realistic. I guess originally planned, it would be around 1,000 km which would decipher into around 625 miles. That would consist of consecutive century (100+ miles) rides. I can ride a century, but not too sure five in a row is even possible for me.

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I currently have roughly 750 km (470ish miles) to go in five days with  a six-hour train ride. Also, a safety plan incase I get into a bind. I plan on staying in hotels and experiencing three breweries. I plan on experiencing the land of Illinois and towing the pride of the Chicago Cubs VICTORY with me. I want to push my limits and do something cool. I truly want to celebrate in a unique way that I can forever cherish.

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Hopefully this will be happening in April. It depends on when vacation is blacked out with my real job. I have time to think and perfect. I have time to try to save money. I need extra motivation and possibly some funds. Eating Vegan along the way will not be cheap. Gear is gonna have to be purchased, as well.

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I’m excited and will blog my way through it with glorious pictures and improper english. If you like my concept, please help my cause and support me with a dollar or two. It would mean a lot!

GoFundMe

Daiya Rice LiFlower

Jasmine Rice was cooked in Veggie Broth & Water. Tempeh was grilled  & chopped. (I used frozen) Cauliflower, Onion, Grape Tomatoes, SeaSalt/Pepper/Sugar/Garlic&OnionP & BayLeaf (removed) were tossed into the Rice along with extra firmly crumbled Tofu, Tempeh, Liquid Smoke, Rice Wine & Balsamic Vinegar.

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Sliced Spinach was the garnish.

A burrito was developed and then evolved into a sandwich.

It was also included in another sandwich, this time as more of a condiment.

Do whatever makes ya happy and feels right:)

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Dill ‘Em All

An idea or concept, for me, usually means multiple attempts at trying something and with food, hopefully the attempts are edible. Which they were in this case. The key ingredients that I was toying with were Potatoes, Pineapple Juice and different types of BBQ sauces. Dill Weed is an amazing herb. Freshly chopped Dill Weed is the greatest thing ever. It basically defies physics and was probably responsible for the construction of the egyptian pyramids.

Sweet Baby Ray’s has a mustard BBQ sauce. The concept of flavors without even tasting has me excited, however, my taste buds are a bit disappointed. What can you do…Make your own.

In our vastly available variety of Craft Beer these days, I’ve been growing bored and almost impatient. It’s been a progressive trend for many months now. I could make my own….:)

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I put a few ingredients together and decided to turn them into a salad. And later on, a burrito.

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Dill ‘Em All : Potatoes, Carrot, Pineapple, Shallot, Tomato, Tofu, roasted Garlic, Liquid Smoke, Mustard BBQ, DILL WEED, Pineapple Juice, Pepper, SeaSalt, OnionP, ChipotleLime, PoppySeed, Turmeric were infused on a stove top via pan-fry while they were later met with much cooooler Iceburg Lettuce and Daiya. And that is how the Salad was one. I mean…..And that is how the salad was won.

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Garden Ⓥizza

Suffering from a pizza addiction might sound harmless and fun to most. I will forever fight to maintain my pizza relapsing to a minimum. Pizza very much still exists in a Vegan aspect. Animals not being murdered or abused in the process of this pizza addiction help another relapse to be cerebral intensified calming. Eat yo (Vegan) Pizza (responsibly).

I tried Vegan dough in a can. Fresh dough is out of my patience/lifestyle these days. It was good and easy. Combination of a Veggie Pizza with a Margherita-style pizza was my concept of this deliciously edible pie.

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The “sauce” was a small mixture of OliveOil/BalsamicVinegarette/ Sriracha/Oregano/RoastedGarlic.

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Conspiracies of Capers, Spinach, TOFU, Shallot and thinly sliced Tomatoes were made aware with truths of Daiya and Basil.

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