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Sunday, August 23, 2015

Biking Extravaganza!

Such a wonderful day today, wasn't it? I got to take my parents convertible out for a spin and I must say... it was very nice. But the day is winding down and I have to get ready for my action packed week ahead.

As the title of this entry states, I have planned a biking extravaganza for my vacation. This isn't one long trip, but a series of small rides in Northern New Jersey, the Hudson Valley, and the Capital Region.  By getting all these miles in, I should hopefully be prepared for the Berkshires to Boston tour that's coming up in a few weeks. 

Tomorrow I will be going on my first bike overnight. I don't remember if I had written about this before, but bike overnights (also known as S24Os - sub 24 hour overnight) are when you bike for a day, stay somewhere overnight, and then bike back. It's baby steps into bicycle touring, something that I would like to do more of. So tomorrow I have a ride planned not too far from here. Almost all on a car-free path, and I'll be staying at a hotel for the night.

Because this is just an overnight, I don't have to worry too much about packing gear. Just a toothbrush and a change of clothes. And lots of snacks. And water. I'm using my two rear panniers to get used to riding with the additional weight. 

I'm sure there will be a lot of pictures on Instagram throughout the day. And the obilitory phone calls/text messages to let people know I'm doing alright.

Think I'll finish up this Lifetime movie on Full House and get some sleep. Have a long day ahead of me.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Bacchus (Troy,NY)

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I am pretty sure this was the first time I’ve been to Bacchus. Yes, it’s one of those Troy places you have to go to, but eh… I have love/hate feelings for downtown Troy. May have to do with being priced out of the area. Or not feeling like driving. Or not liking the people down there. Or it could just be my very frequent anti-social tendencies. Yeah... it must be that.

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Well, we had just left the beer fest at the Joe, and needed to eat. I didn't want to be too far from home, but I also didn't want to go to the same places we always do. And it was getting late, so the choices whittled down even more. Definitely wanted pizza, so Bacchus it was. I didn't really take a look at their beer selection, but I'm sure it's decent. Had a salad to tide my hunger over while we waited for our pizza.
 
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Ordered a classic Margherita pizza - tomato, mozzarella, basil. Simple... and if you botch that, well, I don't want to know you. We sat by the wood fired pizza oven, but I didn't really get a good look at it. Ginormous face on the outside of it. The pizza looked exactly how you would expect cooked in a wood fire should look like. Lovely charred bits. Love it. While the thin crust really isn't my thing, it was pretty darn good. And I hear they do a pizza lunch buffet during the week.

I may have to call in sick one of these days. 


Sunday, August 02, 2015

Color Vibe

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Forgive me, but I’m finally getting around to recapping what I did last month.

One of M’s old co-workers invited us to run in the Color Vibe. I’ve heard of Color Me Rad and the Color Run, but it was the first time I had heard of the Color Vibe. Any excuse to get pelted with colored corn starch. Color Vibe was held at the Altamont Fairground. The skies looked ominous, but the rains stayed away.

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Packet pick up was on a Friday. And it just so happened to be at Sports Authority. One of the things about the CV I didn’t like was that you had to pay if you wanted to wait until race day to get your bib. The pick up location was a bit out of the way, but at least I got some shopping in while I was there. I also stocked up on things I would need for after the race – wet wipes, drinks, and garbage bags.

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Along with our bibs (this wasn’t a timed race, the numbers didn’t mean a thing), we each got a couple bags of the colored corn starch. It wasn’t long before people started breaking them out.

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There was DJ and lots of music. There was a warm up Zumba session and a crew from Good Morning America was there to film a segment. Lots of packing people in by the stage. Lots of selfie sticks and GoPros. Lots of powder throwing.

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Lots.

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To ease up on congestion, they had staggered starts. M and I ended up in the last group, but that was probably for the best. It wasn’t timed, so I didn’t really feel the need to go all out for it. Just a nice manageable run, with very few walking stretches.

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I have to say I did decently with consistent running. Only time I stopped was when I hit a large group and I couldn’t get around them. But to make up for it I did speed walk those sections. I paced with some guy that was running with his dog. Pretty cute. And I passed up the GMA crew a few times… I wonder if I ever made it on the air. There were color stations along the way, and as you can see I didn’t get away from it. Sunglasses were a good idea, kept from things getting in my eyes. Other runners had something to cover their face, which I should have thought of.

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After the run there was an after party, but we didn’t stay long. Just long enough to use up what color packets were left, and to toss the beach balls around. Went back to the car, cleaned off as best I could and drove back home (on my protected car seats). I suppose the upside to all that cornstarch is that it helps absorb excess oil in your hair or on your skin. Not sad to see it go though.

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Color Me Rad will be in Saratoga this October. I may go.

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Biking Vicariously

So the Berkshires to Boston tour is rapidly approaching and I have to confess - I haven't been biking.

I blame the weather for my inaction. It's been either too hot or rainy. But I did make it out this morning. Uncle Sam bike path, a little over six miles in 35-ish minutes. It was raining lightly at the start of the ride, but that didn't last long. The skies stayed overcast, which made for comfortable biking.


Took it easy and biked a steady 9-10 mph. The trip back is always easier... probably because it's the sign that I'm almost done. I should start going for longer rides, riding days on the tour will be at least 50 miles!


While I haven't spent enough quality time with my bike, I have been reading/listening to people who are. Kind of motivates me to get going. Kind of.


Listen: Pedal Shift podcasts. If you're curious about bike touring, definitely check this out. Tim Mooney (man behind the podcasts) recently finished up a bike tour of the Erie Canal, which I followed daily. I even offered up some helpful tips about the parts I know on that trail. His next adventure is traveling from Boston to DC with a bike and regional transit. If you're wondering, he's going to use a folding bicycle.


An aside, but Amtrak needs to get with the times and start allowing bicycles onto more of their service routes. I was planning on a bike adventure using the train to get to my start location, but the route from Rensselaer does not allow bikes or check in baggage.


Read: Adventure Cycling Association. Covers cycling (duh) and good resource if you want to go on a bike tour. When I have the time I would love to do the TransAmerica tour. But that takes a couple of months!


Read: Bike Overnights. If you're not too sure if touring is for you, a one or two night trip might be a good way to start. They show you what you need, how you should pack, and riders post information about the trails so you'll be prepared. I've marked off rail trails that are on the bike list.


Read: Fat Guy Across America. Okay, there not really much reading, but something I'm following. Eric Hites is as the title says, biking across America. He's doing this to help shed the excess weight and win his wife back. He started off in Massachusetts and I think he's made it to New Hampshire. The last few weeks his story has really taken off - you may have seen it floating around on Facebook. People along the way are helping him out; someone have him a GoPro to record his trip, and a bike shop built him a new bike that would support his weight when his bike gave out. Feel good story... I hope he completes his trip.


Watch: Any and all videos about bike touring. It's all I look at on YouTube lately.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Crock Pot Kalua Pork

You've probably seen this recipe all over the internet. Where I saw this recipe I can't remember but they all seem to be the same three ingredients - Hawaiian sea salt, liquid smoke, and pork shoulder. If you want this to be true paleo, you use bacon to get the smoky flavor. And because it's cooked in the crock pot, very summer cooking friendly. I'm melting as I write this up.

I remember having Kalua pork when I was in Hawaii. At the luau, of course. So good. Can't say this is the same, but whatever. It's tasty.

Crock Pot Kalua Pork

7lbs pork shoulder/picnic cut/pork pork pork
1 tablespoon liquid smoke (I used hickory)
2.5 tablespoons Hawaiian sea salt

Place pork in crock pot dish, Add smoke and salt, mix to combine. Set on low and let it cook overnight. Pull apart with fork. Eat to your heart's content.