Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Gravel time

Ragnarok, the 105 mile, early spring, gravel race in Red Wing is coming up very quickly, so we've took to the backroads.  This was Sunday's crew during and after a gravel and hill tour along the St. Croix valley. 

Just what we like to see 

  Neil on the mandatory dismount climb in Stillwater

The group stops for some fantastic pastries at The Bikery du Nord in Marine on St. Croix

Jen seems way too energetic for mile 58

Enjoying our reward at Washington Square in White Bear Lake

Monday, March 19, 2012

A July weekend in March

Alfresco dining every night this past weekend.  Friday night, a fish fry on the deck of Beartown Lounge with my parents; St. Pats on the patio of Pinstripes in Edina and Sunday night was enjoyed on our own deck with great dinner made by my awesome wife that was accompanied by some great wine.  Hard to believe it's only mid-March.  

Also got a couple of great rides in this weekend.  Hit the Gateway with the family for 19 miles.  Heckuva performance by my dad for his first time out since a mountain bike outing in Phoenix in January.  Also got out for and early ride on Sunday to get in some larger mileage with some of my fellow gravel racing buddies.  

Weather is looking a little rainy over the few days.  Might have to pull these bad boys back out.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Wrenching and riding

Brother in law, Scott, got a nifty "new" bike from DeathRider.  Of course you have to add a few of your own bits to any new bike. A little ebaying and a little closeout shopping and Scott has got himself one sweet ride for his first Almanzo.  I'm a bit jealous.  :-)

This year is a new record for the earliest Ride and Glide Road bike outing.  Tuesday night the group headed out on a 28 mile route then I tacked on a few extra miles with the headlight.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Mmmm. . . Gumbo

I usually make a big batch of gumbo right around Mardi Gras.  This year I'm a little late but still managed to put the time in and throw a batch together.  I love this stuff, it has such a unique flavor that it's really a treat to have once in a while.  Unfortunately the time it takes to make it well, prohibits it from being a weekly or monthly staple.  

 Most of the ingredients.  The sausage is fresh Andouille that spent about 3 hrs in the smoker.  The green onions, parsley and chicken stock didn't make it into the shot.  

 Cooking the roux and creating a stock with the raw shrimp shells.  Note the initial color of the roux (1cup oil, 1 cup flour).

 About 25 minutes of nearly constant stirring and you wind up with the key starting component of your gumbo, the ultra dark roux.  

 Veggies, in you go.

Add the stocks, simmer for an hour, finish with parsley and scallions, serve over rice and enjoy!

 Friday night, I joined some Old Married Guys for a ride and we saw this.

Sunday we hit Pine Point Park for a walk.  It was low sixties outside but we managed to find plenty of snow.

Finished up the weekend with a great ride.  Twas a bit windy so planned accordingly, headed SE and took the wind, head on, to start with.  Thankfully it didn't switch on me, and I had a rather pleasant push, most of the way home.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Sap Season

Missed out on the "Man Trip" this year due to some severe tendonitis in my wrist that was brought from playing goalie in broomball this year.  Guess I'll need to strengthen that up before next season.  This was the first time I've missed out on the annual winter camping and adventure weekend in quite a while.  I know the guys were having a great time up there and I'll be looking forward to next year.

I made the best of the weekend at home and was able to help out Mom and Dad get the Maple Syrup cooker ready for the season.  After years of use it needed a little TLC and restructuring.  The end result was merely a band-aid of sorts but we should be good to go for another couple of seasons or until we get something else figured out.

I was also able to get some much needed work time in on some basement projects that have been long overdue.