Saturday, October 31, 2009

Banana baked goods

So far I have baked 2 dozen large muffins, a banana slice with sticky lime glaze, two banana cakes and best of all, my own invention - banana cycling bars. I am now in the habit of eating about a half dozen bananas a day. Now don't panic, they are the small, dense ladyfinger variety, so that is like 3 normal bananas. I use 6 to 8 per recipe, and as time goes on I have pushed the boundaries of just how much banana you can jam in a cake of muffin. All results so far are excellent!

For posterity I am posting the bar recipe, because I made it up as I went and it is really good, I'll be baking another batch or two tomorrow. It looks a bit freeform because the correct size pan is still at a friends house (where it was delivered full of the slice, still warm). I am not actually big on sweets, so I like the bars because they are way less sweet than commercial muesli bars, and zero fat too!

banana cycling bars

1 cup quick rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup whole meal flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup chopped dates

1 1/2 cups or so mashed bananas
2 beaten eggs
1 tsp vanilla

Mix the dry stuff, dump in the wet stuff, beat with a spoon til all blended. Bake about 25 minutes in a 9x12 inch pan lined with baking paper. Turn out onto a cooling tray.

Cool, cut into nice big bars, bung them into little zip lock bags and freeze. It takes me about a half hour to get to the dam, by which time a bar will have thawed and be ready for breakfast. I am a true miser and greenie, so the little zip lock bag will come home, get washed, hung on the handle of a knife in the knife block, and neatly put away to do service about another 100 times.

Tomorrow I have one more hand of 16 bananas to get through. That should do pancakes, a batch of bars (with sunflower seeds and pepitas this time) and yet another cake. And then the freezer is full and I am done.

Friday, October 30, 2009

having discipline

There was a time when having discipline, for me, meant digging deep and finding the heart to get on my bike. The last couple of weeks I have had a nagging lurgy of nausea and a cough which gets more 'productive' (meaning phlegmy) day by day. But I kept cycling, kept trying to get the miles, kept trying to keep the speed up. So I just haven't gotten better. My doctor (I had a basic maintenance appointment on Tuesday) backed this up, he reminded me that I had promised I wouldn't ride sick, yet here I was, kitted up in his office between rides.

Still in denial I left the surgery and went to the V8 track to train. Then reality bit hard. I couldn't hit 40km/hr, my breathing was ragged and I felt sick. After half a dozen turns I was in an unhealthy sweat so I went home and I have taken it easy ever since. No more than 30 kms a day commuting, and today I only did 15 (if you take the shortest way in you can do it in 12).

I am pining for a long ride, desperate for a hard effort, but willing to give my body a chance to get well. I take heart from Groovers excellent recovery from glandular fever. Why compared to that I am not even sick! Coffee run tomorrow: 5:30 am, I would have to be dead to miss that!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

going bananas

We have too many bananas! There is another stalk ready to cut any day now. And at the end of the street I could fill that bucket with mangoes in minutes. Spring is harvest time in the tropics.
I am going to drop the Tropical Vegan (a link from Groovers blog) a line and offer them some bananas. They are JCU students, so we are sort of related.

Smoothy anyone?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

a run of disasters

Bugger! Another bike disaster as Bluenoser collects a trophy on his shoulder hot on the heels of an evil week in Brisbane and a cyclist down and badly injured in Cairns (link unavailable). Alberto so wisely tells us it is not if, but when - we spend so many hours on the roads, but can't we wish it wasn't so? Don't tell Boab, but I was nearly T-boned by a woman who slowed, looked right at me, and then took off across my path just this morning. I have placed a hex on her, so watch the Townsville obituaries.
Bluenoser, get a really big pumpkin and do your worst. Bwahh ha ha ha !

Monday, October 19, 2009

a strange lurgy

We awoke to wind this morning, a real lashing presence. But we got up and rolled out at 5 am for a bit of a run. As we pedaled along the strand BoaB hollered over the wind - "do you want to run to Pallarenda?" and I said sure, just let me blow my nose, have a drink and compose myself. So off we took and scalded out to the point with a tailwind giving us a great deal of assistance. Then of course we had to turn and face bitter reality, and I was pleased that I did quite well into the wind for the journey home. I felt great, and really strong.

I stopped at the house and grabbed a quick bowl of oatmeal for the sufferfest that would be the dam ride while Scott went to work, I packed my bags and sat down for a quick check of the news online, and I hit the wall. I fell asleep in my chair, so I went to lie down for 'just a minute' and woke up an hour later drenched in sweat and cold.

I rugged up in a fleecy robe, took a Panadol and made a coffee, then a tea, then I went back to bed and slept. I woke up at noon feeling fairly OK, and grieving for my anticipated big start to the week. Good citizen that I am I even called and cancelled a doctor's appointment for the end of the day. I just hate having routine maintenance with a waiting room full of sick people!

I made a big pot of chicken/vegetable soup. I better be OK tomorrow because I really want to ride. I enjoy a bit of quality down time, but one day is enough!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

life rushes on

It seems I have become a one a week blogger. I compose the best blogs when I am on a long ride, but then I go to work and time flies cause I am busy and I cycle home tired and cook and eat and have a glass of wine and go to bed. Repeat.

But that is not to say that nothing is going on. I rode with the group on Saturday morning, lead out at a nice, steady 30 kms/hr for a long turn, had 2 cups of coffee, vacuumed, washed the floor, helped my son clean up after the dust storms at his place (nobody cleans like a middle aged woman), had dinner with friends, gardened, had coffee with friends, gardened, attended a fund raising high tea, gardened, blogged.

Cycling is such a big part of my life. It deserves a sonnet, a skillful haiku, a ballad. When I get the chance...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

gutted - sorry Groover

I was so sad to read Groover's last Blog. At least I think it was a blog, because it showed up this afternoon in my Google Reader, but it isn't on her blog site, so I don't know.

The basic story is that the mean streets of Brisbane have caused her some heartache, and I feel so sorry. I am not sure who has been here longer, Sandra or me, but I feel a terrible cringe over the events that have transpired, and I want to apologise on behalf of all the Queenslanders who are worth sharing the road with.

Maybe it is because I am so obviously a small, ageing female, I don't cop that much abuse. Indeed, I have had many positive encounters with drivers. Maybe it is hotter up here, and there are more open windows. I have had conversations at red lights, encouragement from rev heads (I think "Go! Tour de France!) is encouragement, and several people have given way to me in round a bouts, which is several more than I expected.

I am astounded that a young male could come up behind Groover on her bike and not pause to appreciate her finer qualities, even if it was a bit dark! What a looser.

Anyway, I just wanted you to know that you should remain positive. Be of good cheer. Choose your roads carefully. Feel hope for us as a society.

You have to believe, but sometimes it is hard.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

hoonin' around

It was hot today. Really hot. After leaving Adelaide in the pre-dawn at 7 degrees C it was a shocker to land in Townsville at noon yesterday to hit 34. I was wearing wool, and compression tights (flying really knocks my leg muscles around) and jeans! I got home and put on a cotton dress and did 'light duties', my ambition to ride completely gone.
So this morning we rolled out at a "slept in" hour (around 7am) and went to the coffee shop for a fix, then doodled home. I had a BUG related meeting about a stalled bike way at 9, chores to do, and my first road race as a criterion around a section of the V8 track starting at 4pm.

As the day wore on it got hot, then hotter, up to 36 at one point. I went to change into my kit and I was covered in a rash. Should I race? I felt fine, yes I should at least ride to the track and then see.
The ride was into a full headwind, but a bit cooler as it was onshore, had turned from the baking westerlies. So we stumped up my Novicover fees and a good bunch (including an attentive BoaB) rolled out in a combined novice/D grade roll. It was more of a training run than a race. Lots of conversation and advice, practice laying into the turns, I got so confident I pedaled too soon through a corner and scraped my pedal - eeek!

It wasn't a real race but I went hard and I don't think I got lapped, so I am happy.

During the A-grade race Josh flatted and I gave him my rear wheel, and it was a thrill to see it wound up to speeds it hasn't experienced ever! I think he just pipped first, but I won't know for sure til the results are posted. I must have been pretty worked up myself because I checked the trippy and my top speed was 42! Not bad for an old gal!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

A pox on Magda and Jenny Craig

image from the soapbox

While I was away and only had time to watch the real news on TV, you know, floods, a wee tsunami and an earthquake, death and suffering, I was surprised to come home to the blogosphere and to the outrage over Magda and a bad joke. It is all about us, isn't it?

So I have had a good read of what was said and how people felt, and offer this useful compendium of responses:

I would like to thank Groover for the most thoughtful and probably (sadly) true response.

The best practical suggestion comes from Commie Canuck as a comment to the Bike Snob. I shall have to cut and paste here because you can only hyperlink to the full thread:
"You know what pisses me off? Fat BBWs on TV with fake accents staring at my lycra ass. We should all surround her house at 4am and do this." Count me in.

The mysterious bikesgonewild lashes out with what we all really feel, but are too polite to cut and paste onto our blogs. You'll just have to scroll down the comments on the Bike Snob link above. On ya bikes.

Finally, thanks to Ant for a cycling joke that really is funny, just to put things into perspective.

I hope Magda does get a new bike, and starts riding a lot, and gets really thin, and lives in fear of getting doored, just like the rest of us.