ⓋYRO w/ ⓋZAⓋZIKI Sauce

Not a single animal was harmed.

Veggie Broth was simmered with Liquid Smoke, (dry) minced Onion, Crushed Red Pepper flakes, Rice Wine & Balsamic Vinegar before adding Ⓥ: Pulled Peirk, Seitan, Cheican and sliced Onions. (Morning Star meat substitutes.)

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Wheat Pitas were purchased already made because I am a lazy A*#hole. They were topped with the plant-based meat substitutes, Dressing infused Lettuce, Cucumber, Tomato and ⓋzaⓋziki sauce.

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My dressing is Vegenaise, Lemon Juice, Sriracha, Balsamic Vinegar and CILANTRO.

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My ⓋzaⓋziki sauce is Ⓥegenaise, Garlic, Dill, Cucumber, Lemon Juice, Mustard, Sea Salt,  Pepper and Cayenne.

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Plants were severely harmed.

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RADIUM CITY BREWING

The Illinois Valley is actually quite historic. This area is often escaped upon and taken for granted from from diversely working class immigrant heritage wishing to live the “American Dream”. We have Germans, Polish, Irish, African American, Mexican, Italian and many in-between and more mixed heritage.

I leave town for a few days and of course Radium City is going to release a new brew. Calling around to a couple of liquor stores, one of which, Rudy’s Liquor, where my buddy purchased a Baptism By Vampire (the new brew) at. They claimed that they were out. BUMMER. Getting off of work, I call it a day in preporation for the following morning shift. Work is always fun for me. If you don’t like your job, it is your fault and you’re a fool being stuck somewhere that you do not wish to be.

Escaping from your job, love or hate, is essential. Ideally, freedom is our way of life and must be utilized. Nothing sets me free more than riding my bicycle wherever I want to have fun and Live. I stop at Rudy’s Liquor after work to become absolutely surprised by their Baptism By Vampire bombers in the cooler and on the shelf. These bottle tops were dipped in a sexy  red wax. I bought two:) Jumping onto the I&M Canal on my bicycle, I rode excited and thirsty until Split Rock where I took a little hydration break.

And stopping at the next town, Utica, IL – home of the Starved Rock State Park, I was ecstatically surprised to find BAPTISM BY VAMPIRE on draft at Duffy’s Tavern. A hard days work, a fun bike ride and a beautiful day was enhanced by Good Beer, Food and company courtesy of the Illinois Valley. Local greatness is local pride. If you can’t find it, get the f*ck out.

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Taco Basket

A sloppy Taco with vast flavor and texture. Still to be eaten with your fingers, but also, with a forking fork.

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My dressing is Vegenaise, Lemon Juice, Sriracha, Balsamic Vinegar and CILANTRO. I forced this plant-based greatness into a convenient squeeze bottle.

A Lettuce mixture was mixed with a small amount of my dressing.

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A Tortilla was baked into an edible basket and filled with the Lettuce mixture and topped with Carrot, Avocado, Tomato, Scallions, Pistachios and my dressing. I also stabbed this salad with Tortilla Chips.

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🙂

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Grilled Ⓥegg Ⓥholl

A Vegan version of a Vietnamese Pho idea was prepared a few days prior to the Grilled Ⓥegg Ⓥholl abstraction. In a previous blogging, my Ⓥho version was posted in basically laziness in just pictures. Today, I will reiterate with a few words and ingredients.

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ⓋHO

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Veggie Broth, Merlot, Balsamic & Rice Wine Vinegar, Sriracha, Roasted Garlic, Sugar,  (freshly ground) Coriander & Fennel, Ginger, Dill, Sesame Seed Oil, Sea Salt & Pepper and Thyme was brought to a boil in a pot. Seitan, Cheican, crumbled Tofu, diced Onion, Carrot, Cauliflower, Sweet Potato, Celery, Russet Potato and whole/halved Cashews were added, covered and simmered for a while. After a while, quartered Mushrooms, Wild Rice, Bean Sprouts and Scallions were added to simmer until Wild Rice became tender where Rice Noodles were added and covered while taken off of the simmering heat.

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BOOM. DELICIOUSNESS.

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In the past, I’ve made some foods with wonton wraps which contain a tiny amount of eggs. Steering away from wontons, a 100% Ⓥegan Ⓥegg Ⓥholl was brainstormed. Let’s stuff Tortillas with my Ⓥho and let’s grill it a bit. This idea would be great with a Chili Sauce, but without dipping. Apologies to any and all dipsticks, but I’m too lazy for any of that noise.

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In a sauce pot, Water was simmered with Ginger, Garlic, Crushed Red Pepper, Rice Wine & Balsamic Vinegar, Sugar, Sriracha, Sesame Seed Oil, Sea Salt & Pepper and Dill. I mechanically tried chopping some ingredients first. Corn Starch was added to thicken.

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Ⓥho was stuffed into a warmed Tortilla and wrapped burrito-style to be slightly grilled. The Chili Sauce was panfried with the Grilled Ⓥegg Ⓥholl and sliced in half to be served with more Ⓥho.

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Enjoy your week!

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soloCUBSparade III

Unfortunately, my rear wheel broke at some point yesterday. The hollowing wind may have silenced the noise of a usual broken spoke for a good while. Not too far from civilization, I brainstormed a way to somewhat secure it so it wasn’t just flopping around. A pre-glued patch mended the floating broken spoke to another. I rode to the nearest town and rode in around 6:30pm. This is where things sprinted downhill. The closest bike shop was 10 miles without any posted hours online nor reviews. My reserved hotel room was 40+ miles south with horrendous headwind remaining.

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There were hotel options 5-10 miles from where I was, but do I trust riding on a broken bike? Do I trust riding a broken bike at night? If I stay in a hotel, will this bike shop be open on Easter? Are they able to repair a broken spoke?

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I weighed my options and decided to not risk incident nor further damage to the bike and stranding myself further away from civilization in the dark. The decision to cancel the remaining hike of my soloCUBSparade and arrange teleportation home was made. My hotel reservations were non-refundable. My Amtrak ticket was refundable after a fee.

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To recap, I went pretty far in a few days as quickly as the elements allowed. I may not have completed, but wow, did I overcome difficult obstacles. I’ve gained knowledge, as well, to better prepare my next bike hike:

  • Do not make hotel reservations. Make sleeping arrangements on the road.
  • Bring battery backup.
  • Carry backup water, always.
  • Do not get caught up in tinkering every single road while losing sight on the bigger map.
  • Always bring rear lighting.

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soloCubsparade I

Check out “soloCUBSparade I” on Relive!

Relive I

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soloCUBSparade II

Check out “soloCUBSparade II ” on Relive!

Relive II

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My Garmin died 37.4 km prior to my arrival. I used Strava to map it out exactly. Ride II totaled 192 km (roughly 120 miles), 796 m (2,612 ft.) elevation gain and I’m going to guess around 12 hours of ride time – 14 ish hours of elapsed time.

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soloCUBSparade III

Check out “Morning Ride” on Relive!

Relive III

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Take the harder road. Strengthen your mind and body by avoiding pampering. Be optimistic and have fun. Life is what you make of it.

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Happy Easter!

RIP, Mike Hall

You truly are an inspiration.

soloCUBSparade II

Originally today was going to be my 100+ mile day to honor Mike Hall. This has changed due to the chaos from yesterday. My garmin died, so it’s just my word to prove it. My garmin died around 155 km and the sun died shortly after. It’s easy to quit. It’s easy to think negative. It is difficult to overcome obstacles. Yesterday’s obstacles were sunlight, rain, headwind, traffic, dogs, battery life, mud, wet and loose gravel, boulder loose gravel, Apple maps, and thirst. Mike would be proud.


Apple maps saved my ass taking me away from heavy traffic in heavy rain to take a mud/grass road to safety. Apple maps also helped me get lost and waste time. Apple maps did tell me how to get to my destination. 


Not a lot of hope remains after your garmin bike computer dying and a sunset almost simultaneous. There is not a lot of hope of being 20ish miles still from your destination. 

Something happened that I have never experienced before. I’m not sure if it was survival mode or if I’m finally on a new level. I overcame complete exhaustion and marched on. My saddle sores stopped hurting and I felt absolutely comfortable on my bicycle, in the dark with my light dim to conserve battery life battling vehicle traffic.


Garmin shows 155 km. I rode roughly 185 km in 14 hours. I had many stops and I did walk a few spots to ensure my wellbeing. 


My ride could’ve been better, but the challenges overcome like a surviving soldier sprinting into battle, was damn victorious. 


I slept in this morning until 8:09 am. I will ride out around 11am. I need battery life for my phone, garmin and light. My goal for today is to find sunscreen!


Happy Saturday!