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pedal plenty

notes on a north american cycle trip in 2008

Archive for January, 2008


After vigorous cycling, finely honed athletes need to refuel with appropriate nutrition. Here is an example of what I mean by appropriate.

  • Red tomatoes. It’s well known that red is good for you
  • Buffalo mozarella. Those cute fluffly cows.
  • Garlic. Keeps vampires away and I have heard there are vampires in Kentucky.
  • Sourdough bread. Lots of carbs for the spent muscles
  • Ginger beer. Stops heart attacks on steep hills.
  • And of course we need some complex carbohydrates which is why the little fairy cake is there. It is a complex fairy cake because it has lavender, lemon, purple sugary bits in and on it.

Appropriate nutrition

Posted by me on January 30th, 2008

Blowing a hoolie …

… but that does not deter the intrepid cyclists in training.

Today, Mr Sweaty Onion and I went training outwith (what a fine Scottish word) Edinburgh in a gale. It is not normal to cycle in a gale. When a gale occurs, cyclists put on their slippers, get a mug of tea and scatter the floor with maps. Occasionally they might look out the window, shake their heads and say “I’m glad I’m not out in that“.

My instructions to Mr Onion on meeting up with him were We must not cycle West. West was the direction of maximum hoolie-ganism. However, we planned to go to Pathhead, which is fortunately in the East but then … you have to turn around to come home.

We zoomed and zoomed and broke the speed limit a couple of times and got to Pathhead tout d’suite. Then in preparation for turning West we ate the marvelous Stoat’s Porridge Oats Bars and Lemon Curd sandwiches (traditional Scottish Cyclists Fayre). And then we turned.

We cycled forward and got blown back. And forward and back. We shouted Zephuros be gone! But he wouldn’t. Evntually we stuggled up the last steep hill and were done.

A mighty 47 miles, despite the gale. Hurrah for our thighs and persistence! Those stay at home, tea-supping cyclists are getting fat while we are like svelte gazelles! Very sleepy svelte gazelles.

Lemon curdLovely Lemon Curd made by Melanie

Posted by me on January 27th, 2008

Loadsamunnaay …

… for pies.

Due to unusual dedication to the preparation of my lunch, the pie fund is now so gorged with cash that I have opened a bank account for security. And as of today I have £45.16 in the account.

Much cash

I’m not sure where the extra 8 pence came from. Maybe Redd Onion has given up his pocket money again or one of my two dedicated readers, Gussie and the SpamBot, has made a donation. Thank you to whoever it was. Gussie ?

Pie count is at £45.16 or 15 full slices & a slightly bigger than teeny wee sliver or one fixed pie making machine and homemade pies.

Posted by me on January 25th, 2008

There is grave concern ….

…. as news reaches me from the West that Sharon’s pie making kitchen appliance is on the blink. A veritable disaster.

Never fear Sharon, the pie fund is so overflowing with funds (due to Scottish thriftiness and atypical lunch-making organisation) that me and my ladybird shaped piggy bank are more than willing to sub you for the repair.

Posted by me on January 23rd, 2008

Pink toes ….

….  and 38 miles was the result of the training Mrs Sweaty Onion and I conducted yesterday.  We went to East Lothian to visit wind turbines.  But we couldn’t find them because the hill they live on was covered in cloud.  Instead we visited some reservoirs, saw fetching spotty brown sheep and cycled up and down Roslin Glen (yes that Roslin i.e.  Da Vinci Code Roslin).  

38 miles means I can eat 4000 calories today.  Hurrah!  And here comes Le Chef with my tea*, four thousand and one, four thousand and two, four thousand and three …..

* Cultural note to my American friends.  When a Scottish person says tea it can mean an infusion of the crushed leaves of the tea plant or an evening meal.  Sometimes tea is followed by tea and vice versa.  There is also tea time which can refer to time to have tea  (infusion type) or time to have tea (meal) or both.   There are tea breaks where an infusion and snack may be consumed.  It is allowable to have coffee during tea breaks but never beer or whisky that would be referred to as a bevvy or swally.   It’s a bit confusing I know but not as confusing as the concept of a Philly Cheese Steak to a Scot.   Later I may confuse you with supper which is not the same as the United States or Saff Engerland supper.   NB This note is not intended for Canadians as they already know all of this coz all Canadians are descended from Scots which of course explains their cleverness. :-p

Google mappish of the training trip.   Hurrah for Google Maps.

Oh … you were wondering about the pink toes … it was a bit cold.  Our toes, noses, finger tips and chins went pink with the cold.   View Larger Map   

Posted by me on January 21st, 2008

In the words of Kylie …

…. “I’m spinning around, move out of my way!

Well, actually, you don’t need to move out of my way coz I am stationary, on my stationary spinning bicycle at the gym. Tis my new thang. Frauleine Direktor makes me go. I am wheezing, sweating and going lobster red in some vain hope that I will be fit-ish by the time there is enough daylight to do more cycling before and after work.

There are other vigorous highly technical workouts included in this new training regime:

  • Sofa Sycling watching men doing silly things on their bikes
  • Bed Biking reading The Death of Marco Pantani while recline on my futon
  • Kitchen Kadence leaning against my neglected and rusting mountain bike in the kitchen while awaiting Le Chef to serve up my tea

Yewl be glad to hear that my cycling shorts are of a decent length (unlike Ms Minogue’s) and not gold (it’s a bit sad that their not gold actually).

Posted by me on January 20th, 2008

The great pie collection update ….

… progress is good.

Discipline improving.

Nirvana next.

Unfortunately no buggers made donations this week.

Oh, there goes nirvana.

Pie count is at £30.08 or 10 full slices and a teeny wee sliver.

Posted by me on January 18th, 2008

Outstanding …

… was what the lady said at The United States Embassy in Lundun today.

I raised an eyebrow. She clearly was not referring to my financial affairs.

But I passed my interview! And I was so very, very good that they gave me a 10 year business and leisure visa. Shame the passport expires in 18 months though. Was the word exemplary perhaps used at the interview? I think it was.

I exited the Embassy in the usual manner, by helicopter via the roof.

I am currently celebrating on the train, tucking into an over indulgent, outrageously sized Lola’s lemon cupcake with lots of butter icing and sparkly sprinkly bits procured from The Great Galleria, Selfridges (my shopping in Selfridges should help you understand why there’s a crisis in my bank account).

Lola’<p>s cupcakes

Posted by me on January 16th, 2008

People keep saying …

Dog tazer…. that America is dangerous and I’ll get shot. Nonsense!

However I have read many tails (arf arf) of folks who are TransAm-ing being chased by vicious, heal biting hounds. These dogs seem prevalent in Kansas and Kentucky two states that I, perhaps wisely, have chosen to avoid this time around.

But like the Good Girl Guide I was in my yoof, I know to always be prepared (actually I wasn’t that Good a Girl Guide - I got thrown out for being very naughty at camp when I … but that’s a whole other story that you can ask me about another time).

Perhaps a wild Kansas-ian pooch will come over the Nebraska border and nip my finely honed calf muscles (they better be finely honed by the time I hit the plains!) . But in my preparedness I will taze it with my stylish MP3 playing tazer while singing along with Comfortably Numb by Scissor Sisters (yes I do know The Floyd did it first but their version is so … eh .. pedantic).

Wonders …… to taze, is that a new verb I have invented ?

  • I taze
  • You taze
  • He She It tazes
  • We taze
  • You taze
  • They pull out their Uzis and spray us all with bullets

Posted by me on January 16th, 2008

I went to see “The Man” …

The Man at the Bike Shop.  The Man at the Bike Shop is worthy of workship as he knows all there is to about bits for bikes.

I said I have lots of questions, see my tourer, blah, blah, mix MTB crank with road levers, blah bottom brackest, blah derailleurs, V brakes or cantilever, adjustable STI levers, blah Shimano Deore XT versus Campagnolo, blah, woman talking nonsense about stuff she knows nothing about, blah, blah

The Man at the Bike Shop said, Yes

I said How much ?

He said £350

I said I’ll bring my bike in on Tuesday then

Bicycle works, Edinburgh

Posted by me on January 12th, 2008