2016 Ride II

Just to let the imaginary people whom I pretend read my (plant-based) chicken scratch (blogs), I do not plan on publishing per ride. I just had quite an interesting ride yesterday. And it was only my second ride this year.

Bluntly, winter cycling is a bitch. Especially, in Illinois along with many other cold and windy areas. I’ve ordered Bontrager OMW (Old Man Winter) shoes that are insulated and waterproof in December. And after my order, my bike doc called me and let me know that they are sold out until February. Since making the switch to clipless, I’ve been just dealing with the cold.

I met a (hired and well compensated) friend to ride fat bikes in hope it was going to snow like hell. I utilize the I&M Canal in the winter almost every ride. It has been flooded the past month at Lock 14, the LaSalle entrance. Long story short, I noticed it was not under water and took the driving entrance where I encountered a thin, super wet layer of ice where I biffed it HARD. I hit my head. I was wearing a helmet, luckily. I got up and continued. It was raining and I got soaked before I called it quits and retired for the day-ignoring the eventual snow.

I changed and left my socks on a good five minutes longer before changing them where I then experienced one of the worst and uncomfortable sensations ever. It was as if microscopic flesh eaters were eating my feet. They were bright red and itchy. I tried washing my feet. I tried lotion and I HATE lotion. I even jumped into the bathtub to wash my feet. It lasted a good half hour and then went away. I tried digging up an explanation. I found this..

Cold Rash

I group texted my cycling buddies and asked for their input. And they mentioned that it sounded like a beginning stage of frostbite which I believe is frost nip, technically. I never want to experience that sensation ever again. And I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. Always wear a helmet and dress accordingly!

Happy Sunday!

Recipes coming soon.

I & M Canal’s Issue

The Illinos & Michigan Canal united the East Coast to the Gulf of Mexico with easier access as of 1848. According to Wikipedia, since 1964 eight engineered canal locks were designated a National Historic Landmark.

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I’ve been getting to know this historic path extremely well since 2012. I documented a ride in September, 2012 that did not show any signs of a washout. I only documented aftermath of a fire that burned a field. And I have experienced and taken at least one decent bicycle ride via I&M Towpath that was washout-free. I remember this individual ride because of pictures and it was my contemplation process of ending a relationship. Without any detours or hazards, it was a free-thinking and relaxing ride.

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In September the following (2013) year, was my next documentation of the I&M Canal. The towpath and I became close from then on. Ever since 2013 the same washout has been between Utica, IL and Ottawa, IL like one side is Mexico and the other the U.S with neither claiming the territory resulting in ultimate neglect..

Starved Rock State Park

There has been washouts along the Illinois & Michigan Canal, but have been fixed. There has been a near washout along the Hennepin Canal and even that has been fixed.

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And then.

Hennepin Canal

The most West part of the I&M Canal does contain a rich Irish and Polish heritage equalling a poor catholic culture with a life involved around hefty drinking and vices.

Illinois Valley History

Furthermore, The I&M Canal provides immense opportunities for various activities from walking, running, adventurism and cycling. To pass the washout in and concludes risking injury, breaking the law, taking a high traffic road, and/or traveling extremely out of the way defeating the purpose of a worry free environment in which to roam.

I have heard IDNR has projected the project at a cost around $300,000.

Local businesses have offered to fund and construct permanent results only to be turned down. I’ve had about enough of this hazard/annoyance/apathy/lack-of-government-help

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There has even been rumors of the BEAUTIFUL Starved Rock park to be promoted to a National Park. How is this neglect possible just outside of this unique beauty?

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Just hoping for a miracle. Please share.

Happy Monday!

Ⓥeganism Science

  
Earlier this year, I turned 30. Earlier this morning (9.19.15), I threw out my back from standing up from a sitting position. My back pain is horrific. I can still ride a bicycle. So, all is (mostly) well.

   
 Yesterday, I tried another from scratch Vegan Burger sandwich. It was not perfect. It has been quite a few days since this blog draft started. And when you smell it… Today is Monday Monday Monday, Monday (as in Monday September 21, 2015.) I freaking love Mondays. As far as my knowledge goes, it’s not a holiday. I usually am off of work on Mondays and that has been my go-to day for 5-10 years. Even back in the day working for the Sicilians, we were closed on Mondays! Every holiday on a Monday puts more assholes in the streets, in my yard, and I’m usually wishing assholes weren’t such assholes, but once an asshole-always an asshole. And it usually sucks to have to share the roads with them.

  
My back still kills. I’m trying to spin it off. Today was mostly hard gravel and overall super strenuous. I feel I need a good baseball bat to the back. And I mean a real baseball bat, wooden not aluminum. I rode on gravel because it is awesome, because it’s usually low traffic roads and three because I roll well somehow some way. I am guilty of riding road tires on the heaviest, densest and brutal gravel. (Now yesterday) It was busy with dogs, tractors and vehicles. It (I am the king of Procrastinate Island) reminded me of a summer Monday holiday with people just wanting to drive all dangerously and fast. I found a Gravel Matrices in the middle of corn (GMO) country where there aren’t stop signs not even yield signs at the Gravel Matrix intersections.

  
I am in no way scared of dogs, but on a bicycle around free dogs (which is great) has me severely stressed and anxious of being bit, getting hit by a car and/or falling. And swimming through gravel on my 32 road tires at 30-34 km/h (20+ mph) trying to go faster than the dog while the dog constantly switches sides like he’s hunting dinner and myself constantly looking back while passing through a gravel intersection was just about the worst combination of events I can think of. Gratefully, no one was injured.

   
   
And then the same thing happened just three minutes later with a giant John Deere tractor. This dude seemingly was gonna run me over until I (I often ride with music in my ears) finally noticed this bone crushing machine directly behind me and I immediately pulled over and stopped. I gave him a good stare, but felt he did nothing wrong really, hence no middle finger. And there were cars driving on all of this gravel like it was a party. One was a mailman, but I’ve never seen so much gravel traffic.

  

Bean Concoction ingredients:

  • Garlic, diced
  • Ginger, diced
  • Lentil/Split Pea, cooked
  • Red and Pinto Beans, cooked
  • Noodles
  • SeaSalt/Pepper/Sugar
  • Soy Sauce
  • Celery, sliced
  • Carrots, whole baby carrots
  • Onion, diced
  • Spinach, baby
  • Hot Pepper, diced
  • Corn
  • Salsa
  • Grilled Eggplant, diced
  • Oil

To-Do List:

  • Heat Oil and sauté Garlic and Ginger before adding Onion, Celery & Carrots.
  • I cooked everything else together and Beans were not pre cooked.

  
I enjoyed a plate and then the next day decided to try Vegan Burgers from scratch. I named them Herbivores Outsmart Carnivore. Other than the consistency, they were amazing.

  

Herbivores Outsmarts Carnivore ingredients:

  • Bean Concoction, NutriNinja pureed
  • Tofu, soft
  • Nutritional Yeast & Chipotle Powder
  • BalsamicVinegar/Sriracha
  • Mashed Potatoes, instant (experimental)
  • Buns, gourmet & grilled
  • Eggplant, grilled and sliced
  • Tomato, garden fresh (if possible) and grilled
  • Portabello Mushroom Cap, sliced & grilled
  • Daiya, mmmmmm
  • Potato/Radish/Carrot, grilled for the side (if applicable)
  • Spinach, leafy and baby

   

   
Spin Class:

  • Pureed the Bean Concoction and combined Tofu, Nutritional Yeast, Chipotle Powder, BalsamicVinegar/Sriracha and Instant Mashed Potatoes in hoping to solidify the mixture.
  • I grilled the Bun, Eggplant, Portabello and Tomato before hand on a cast iron skillet.
  • Then I grilled the Potato, Radish and Carrot on the cast iron skillet.
  • I formed patties out of the mixture and put them on a pan lined with parchment paper and baked.
  • Instead of flipping, I broiled the top. The patties were’t as solid as I would’ve liked. I broiled Daiya on inside of Buns on top of Spinach and on top of patties with Mushroom and Eggplant on top.
  • I made this a Dubbel sandwich combining two patties and enjoyed with a Saison Dolores from Almanac out of San Fran.
  • It was very good and the consistency of the patty could be stronger, but very edible!

  
And this is where my insanity comes out to play.

  
I am absolutely addicted to potatoes and Colcannon. I had left over Herbivore Outsmarts Carnivore which on its own is basically superfood and added to it to basically make spontaneous Ⓥ Superfood.

  

Ⓥ Superfood ingredients:

  • Herbivore Outsmarts Carnivore mixture
  • Roasted potatoes, mashed
  • Salsa
  • SeaSalt/BrownSugar
  • Instant Mashed Potatoes, still experimenting as a thickening agent

This is pretty self explanatory as I don’t attend to teach anyone how to cook, just sharing my ideas and trying to take away your sanity 🙂 It was very good and very powerful!

  

Ⓥ Superfood Upgraded ingredients:

  • Ⓥ Superfood, powerfully
  • Water, mmmmm
  • Rice, brown and white (real Rice)
  • Radish, sliced
  • Garlic/Ginger/Onion, minced
  • Oil
  • Spinach, leafy and babyish
  • Daiya

Superman approved processes:

  • I’m guilty of insanity and having too much fun sometimes. This was very enjoyable.
  • I brought water to a small boil and simmered the rice for quite sometime infusing that rice with flavor and SUPERNESS!
  • I sautéed Garlic/Ginger/Onion in Oil obtaining color before adding Radishes and Spinach.
  • I plated the Superfood Rice and put sautéed gravy sauce (?) over top and broiled with some Daiya.

  
I’m truly not sure if I can ever surpass this entire process, but it kept me not hungry and entertained for a few days. And parents tell their children not to play with their food. I say PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD & HAVE FUN WITH IT! Recipes are guidelines. Do not follow them to a T. Take some pics, have a beer and ride your bicycle. Be safe, be healthy and blog off:)


(Apologies, I’m not ordering you to do anything, just recommending.)

Damnit, I almost forgot to share this Dubbel Boca idea…

  

Tom Relly ingredients:

  • Tomato, garden & deseeded and diced (save the guts!)
  • Garlic/Ginger/Onion/Oregano, minced & lightly toasted
  • Oil/Sriracha/BalsamicVinegar
  • Celery Seed
  • Eggplant, grilled & diced
  • Bun or Bread, grilled heavily and super diced

Mix

  

Dubbel Boca ingredients:

  • Boca, vegan & baked or pan-fried
  • Bun, gourmet and grilled on inside
  • Tom Relly, mmmmm
  • Mustard
  • Chipotle Powder
  • Daiya, mmmmmm

  

Brain Surgery:

  • Have your Tom Relly, ready. If everything else is grilled and ready before hand, life is easier to construct your edibles to be destroyed by you plant eating herbivorous monsters! I created a massive thunderstorm above theⓋ Boca patties. There was heavy winds, loud thunder and not a drop of rain until right before the climax of the evil storm squirted out flavorful Organic Mustard followed by the precise light mist of smoky Chipotle Powders and then vanishing into muggy humid Illinois air (sound effect (of your choice)), these ridiculous sentences are gone.
  • I grilled another Potato for the side. I constructed the Dubbel Boca onto the bottom (already grilled (on the inside)) Bun creating a tight seal of Chipotle Mustardation between the Boca’s. I then piled Tom Relly (it’s short for Tomato Relish, ok…)
  • I put as much Daiya possible on top of this erected edible Ⓥ tower of power and BROILED
  • Serve as hot as your (my) evil soul for inflicting cruel evil torturing pain on this plant based food before I devour it like I hate plants.

  
Happy Tuesday, y’all.

Must Watch on Netflix 

Cowspiracy
There are many reasons why I’ve been Vegaetarian for three years and now Vegan for three months. Yes, some are to greedily better myself, however, I feel my lifestyle is truly something I can do to help better our world. And to me, that makes it much more worth it. 

Let’s make a real difference. 

Boycotting UPS

Today at around 11:15 central time, I was riding down a street at around 40 km/h which is close to 25 mph and I was passed by a UPS driver being almost clipped on the lane transfer and then he stopped suddenly while putting hazards on at the last minute. I was forced to go around this giant shitstain truck that was still very much in the road when I noticed on coming traffic coming my way. I was not harmed, but the UPS dude gave me a thumbs up while I was giving him a different finger, while almost causing three separate accidents in his chaotic driving. Happy Thursday! 

Also, wordpress is not uploading photos right now like UPS drives….

Tofurrito 

  
This tofurrito that I created and dominated last night was so amazing that I had to share this morning. Also, I came across this this morning:

  
Garmin Varia Radar
It’s 199 U.S. dollars for just the radar. I feel I need it for country rides, but not for in-town commutes or joyrides as traffic is a constant anyways. It is only compatible with select Garmin devices. Including my Garmin Edge 1000 that I spent $700 on. I also tried a few new brews last night. All were very drinkable at the least. 

  
Tofurrito ingredients:

-Tofurky, oven roasted 

-Guacamole, non gmo project verified

-Hummus, original or HOMEMADE 🙂

-Organic Mustard

-Iceburg Lettuce, shredded smally 

-Sunflower Seeds, shelled

-Fiesta Fresh Salsa (Garlic)

-Extra Large Tortilla 
Tofurrito Steping Stones:

-Combine Lettuce, seeds and Fiesta greatness together and toss. Meanwhile, collide hummus, guacamole and mustard neatly, but impactful. Take the big ass tortilla and smear that chickpea-avocado mess onto the tortilla. Does anyone else consider small tortilla shells useless? Cover with Tofurky.

   
    
 -Smother all of that with the lettuce mixture and literally roll up and cut in half. 

  
-Consume 

Ride a bike, enjoy a GOOD beer and be happy.

Bill Nye The Bike Guy
Bicycle Commuting

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Daily Ride:  Yes
I have not posted in ten days, I think. I’m sure it doesn’t bother anyone. I had a slaughterhouse thumb injury making vegan gyros over confidently chopping romain lettuce. And due to my somewhat recent MacBook Pro unable to charge, I’ve been relying on my iPhone 6, its Notes and the wonderful Copy/Paste tool. And without, for me, a fully functional left thumb, texting/iPhone blogging isn’t very easy. I guess I could of voice-texted, but I’m a geek not a nerd and I’m crazy, but not that crazy.
  
While I’m talking about my MacBook Pro misfortunes, I’d like to mention one of the greatest things ever in iTunes Match. Also, I love the autocorrecting texting my phone does when texting apple products. 
  
iTunes Match is an iCloud based music storage that holds like 25G and improves any low quality music with iTunes quality music. It bends you over for only $25.00 a YEAR. And since my MacBook hasn’t turned on, I’d have little access to my music. But, because my music in iCloud I have access to it in numerous ways! It rocks. 
I updated my Strava app this morning. I turned off my auto update setting on my phone. And now Strava allows you to upload photos directly through Strava instead of Instagram. That is exciting and I’ve been waiting for that since creating an Instagram account just for Strava  purposes. 
  
I haven’t been cooking as much lately as Spring is upon us here in Northern Illinois. EXCEPT for yesterday. It snowed a bike helmets worth. I’ve been spending more time outside riding and hiking. 
   

 

All the way from Georgia was this lovely waxed topped beer, Happy Ending Imperial Stout, that I enjoyed yesterday. It escaped the zombie apocalypse and it better call Saul. It was very enjoyable and should go to trial and will probably be guilty of deliciousness. I hope to catch up on my AMC shows today after work. 
  
I had a dream the other day/morning/night. I do not remember the exact rotational position earth was to the star, our sun. It was a nightmare really of myself eating BAY LEAVES…. 
  
Hopefully tomorrow I’ll go over a few Vegan dishes I’ve made. Gotta get ready for work soon.