Monday, May 13, 2019

Momentum Is Everything

It's important to keep moving on a bicycle. Momentum is everything. Life is like that. (Read that again with a Forrest Gump accent now. Sounds better, doesn't it?)

If we don't keep moving forward, life has a way of sneaking up on us and running us over. Momentum is everything.

Personal challenges are hills. There are small ones, and large ones, and just about every size in between. It's important to keep them in the proper perspective, adjust your gearing when necessary, and learn to breathe. Oh, and enjoy those times when you get to coast down hills. Momentum is everything.

You can keep the mental momentum going even when you're parked by the curb. You may need to make changes to your route, plan in a few enjoyable detours, avoid some sections of road that have become too rough or that don't help you keep pace with the responsibilities in your life. Momentum is everything.

I hope, today, that you're moving forward. Remember, it is a race we're in, but it's an endurance race not a sprint. Momentum is everything. Just focus on that, and remember to breathe.

Monday, May 6, 2019

What's For Supper?

Italian green beans with sliced potatoes and pulled chicken. Smell that?

When left to my own devices, I am capable of rummaging through the kitchen cabinets and throwing together a thing or two for supper. For this recipe you'll need the following:

2 cans HyVee cut green beans, drained
2 cans HyVee sliced white potatoes, drained (or whole small fresh ones)
1 to 1 1/2 cups Tyson pulled chicken (precooked Tyson frozen or Tyson Premium White Chicken in a pouch both work well) *The pouch chicken is at Walmart. All other at Hy-Vee.
Gustare Vita Olive Oil
McCormick Garlic Powder (or fresh minced garlic)
McCormick Onion Powder (or fresh diced onion)
Tone's Italian Seasoning Blend

That's it. Salt and pepper to taste. I put a bit of olive oil in the Lodge iron skill (my favorite), dump in the drained green beans and the drained potatoes, sprinkle on liberal amounts of seasoning, add the chicken and a bit more olive oil, then turn on medium and cook. You could prepare it in the Crockpot, too, but cook it on low and stir often. It doesn't take long. It's pretty easy. This makes several servings. It is easily enough for 4-6 people. Serve it with hot rolls and some real butter and your family or friends, or both, will love you forever.

Note: I am not an affiliate of the mentioned or linked manufacturers, nor am I am affiliate of the retailers linked. I just wanted to share the recipe, at least virtually. You'll have to make your own, because I'm keeping this batch all to myself . . . at least for as long as it lasts.

Alternate Agenda

With some stormy weather moving through the area this week, and temperatures hovering in the 40s and 50s, I've had to adjust my agenda just a bit. My primary plan was to get the road bike out and do some distance cycling to see just how far I could make it without calling for SAG, or in my case MOM support. (I don't call her SAG. That could lead to trouble.) She's more than willing to come and rescue me in the event that my ambition overextends my actual ability . . . and sometimes common sense. Some other things have cropped up in my schedule, too, that make a long journey a bit of an inconvenience at the moment. Therefore, an alternate agenda has been implemented.

The bike trailer modifications may get done this week. My young nephew, with glee, stripped the old canvas and nylon from the trailer frame a week or so ago, enabling me to start adding additional supports and to build the platform that will rest on the lower frame. I decided to keep the side rails intact to act as support for the cargo area. Why not? They're already there and they fit perfectly. I will be increasing the length of the trailer, somehow, and I may exchange the 20" tires for 24" or 26" tires, which will allow the trailer to pull more smoothly. The added height will improve visibility and safety. I may even buy a new flag for it to help drivers see it better. Or, I may design one of my own.

I considered building a trailer from scratch, and I have a few designs drawn up, but those will have to wait for another day. They're fairly simple and make use of things already in existence, so I won't have to actually create new stuff, just modify what is already around. Weight, as with humans, is always an issue for these little trailers. The one pictured to the left can carry up to 100 pounds. That's not a lot when you consider what you might need for a longer bike tour. The new one, with some assistance, will be able to haul around three hundred. The real question is, will I be able to peddle that much? There are bicycle cargo trailers out there designed to hold much more, but it has been written, and I heartily agree, that 300 pounds is the maximum weight a cyclist should consider pulling, for safety reasons if not because hills seem to grow higher the more weight you're towing, and the trailer really weighs in on those downhill grades. Would you want 600 pounds pushing you down a hill? I don't think so.

I'll be adding trailer brakes, just as soon as I figure out how. That should help on those declines somewhat. As I mentioned in another blog post, I had to abandon the first bike tour plan as a majority of the route is underwater, and may be for some time to come. Thankfully, there are additional points on the compass to aspire toward.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Have You Been Purged?

Voted printed papers on white surfaceVoting is an important expression of American citizenship. Are you registered? More importantly, have you been purged from the rolls?

As of 2018, in different parts of the country, millions were purged from voter rolls. Whether you voted in the last election or not, it might be a good idea to check to be sure you're still registered to vote, because the purges continue. You can do that at your local clerk's office, and register if you find you're not. If you're a Missouri resident, you can check online here. 

Voting is one of many rights that Americans don't want to lose, but it is, for many, a right at risk. And for those who travel frequently for work or pleasure, if you happen to be away from your 'domicile' you will want to explore the rules for filing an absentee ballot. It's a fairly simple process, in most areas.

Please, take time to check your voter registration status so that your vote can be counted in the next election.

More on this topic as of 2018.  Don't let yourself be counted among the purged.