Archive for the ‘American River Trail’ Category

Happy Fourth of July!

Sunday, July 5th, 2015

Celebrate your independence and give thanks to all of those who have made today possible.

I celebrated today by taking a nice long ride with a friend. We met at Discovery Park and rode the American River Trail all the way to Beal’s Point in Folsom. My final distance was just over 80 miles and according to my Garmin, I burned 3,500 calories.

I do not think I took a single picture on today’s ride!

I am glad that we started fairly early and we were able to get out of Discovery Park before things got too … festive? … There were lots of inattentive pedestrians meandering along the bike trail … some of them taking up the whole width of the trail. There were lots of folks barbequing, partying, and gearing up for tonight’s fireworks. I hope you get to see them – Sacramento does a great show.

Here’s wishing you all a happy and safe Independence Day!

 

Not to Brag or Anything, But …

Saturday, May 9th, 2015

Guess who I got to ride alongside of today on the American River Trail?

Oh, just about all of the teams for the 2015 Amgen Tour of California. They’re out spinning their legs today, gearing up for Stage 1 of the men’s race, which is tomorrow in Sacramento.

Yep. I got to ride with each team for about 2-3 seconds as they zipped past me. Some of the teams were very polite and called out, “On your left.” I really appreciated that.

Like I said, not to brag, or anything, but now  I can say that I’ve ridden with most of the 2015 Amgen guys. Although, I am sad that I didn’t get to ride with Team Sky. They were already headed back the other way, so we passed right pretty close to Discovery Park.

Happy cycling! Here’s wishing all the guys on all the teams an exciting and safe Tour of California!

Last Training Ride Before the Tour!

Friday, May 1st, 2015

The 2015 Napa Valley Tour de Cure is just TWO days away! I am now just $181 shy of Champion status! Please help  me to reach this goal by making a donation to support my ride. Simply click here to go to my personal Tour de Cure page.

I was fortunate enough to be able to take today off work and get a good training ride in. According to my brand new Garmin Edge 510, my maximum speed was 124.8 mph, but it also says that my average mph is lower than I think it should be (12.4 mph!). I’m not convinced that these numbers are entirely accurate. I rode about 70 miles on the American River Trail, from Sacramento to Folsom and back. According to my Garmin, I also burned 3,000+ calories.

All that excitement plus the sun and heat left me very hungry, thirsty, and in the mood for a cool, refreshing smoothie.

Cherry Berry Protein Blast

Cherry Berry Protein Blast

1/2 cup non-fat vanilla Kefir
(or Greek yogurt)

1/2 cup cool water
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup frozen cherries
1/2 cup frozen pineapple chunks
1 small fresh nectarine
1 scoop whey protein
1 cup crushed ice

Place all ingredients in a large blender, such as a Vitamix. Blend until smooth.

Enjoy!

This makes about 2 pints.

OK, not lots and lots to do to get ready for the weekend! I’ll be in Napa all day tomorrow volunteering for early registration check-in, and then volunteering for the Champions Dinner check-in. I’m really hoping to make Champion status again this year, so … you can help, if you want.

Click here to go to my personal Tour de Cure page.

 

Spicy Roasted Shrimp Cocktail

Sunday, April 26th, 2015

Years ago I discovered this method of cooking shrimp and I have never boiled it since. Ina Garten, on an episode of Barefoot Contessa, made her Roasted Shrimp Cocktail. To make is spicy, just add some red chili flakes before roasting.

Spicy Roasted Shrimp with Homemade Cocktail & Tartar Sauces

The sauces shown are very simple, rustic versions of tartar and cocktail sauces.

For the tartar sauce, simply combine to taste mayonnaise, sweet pickle relish, lime (or lemon) juice, and a dash of Worcerstershire sauce and blend well.

For the cocktail sauce, simply combine to taste some ketchup, horseradish (I like lots), lime (or lemon) juice, and a bit of chili garlic paste.

One week from today, right at this very moment, I will be riding in my 7th Napa Valley Tour de Cure! If you would like to help me reach Champion status, please click here to make a donation. You’ll be supporting the American Diabetes Association and helping meet their mission: To prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.

I’ll be headed out shortly for a training ride on the American River Trail. It’s a beautiful morning for a ride! Hope you get one in, too.

Busy Day on the ART!

Saturday, April 18th, 2015

I just got back a bit ago from a ride on the American River Trail. LOTS of other people had the same idea this morning – it’s a beautiful day to be out there! I am quite surprised with myself that I did not take a single picture.

Riding was steady, with a few bursts of brilliance and speed. Just what I needed.

There were a few other Tour de Cure jerseys out there, gearing up for the upcoming big day! There are two rides in this area: Napa Valley and Roseville (Gold Country). My Tour de Cure is always the Napa Valley Tour de Cure.

Find your local Tour de Cure here!

Finally … A Chance to Ride!

Monday, April 13th, 2015

Today was my first opportunity to ride in a while. Too long. I got just over 50 miles in and it felt great! It was a beautiful day … not too hot … not too cold … a bit breezy, but not too much.

Quick water stop at William Pond Park, off the American River Trail in Sacramento.

I rode on the American River Trail from Old Town Sacramento towards Fulton, about 20 miles on the path, before turning around to head home. I was hoping that the wind I rode into would help me on the way back home, but …not so much.

Although, I suppose it’s a matter of framing. If I look at it from the perspective that I really need to train for my upcoming 2015 Napa Valley Tour de Cure Ride, then yes, it was indeed helpful because it made me work harder.

It was an interesting ride out there today. I encountered a snake crossing the path (shudder!) … wild turkeys … geese … squirrels … lots of wild life on the Trail today!

I was pretty hungry when I got home, but it was mid-afternoon so I didn’t want a very big meal. On the ride, I got to thinking about smoothies, and I haven’t had one in a while. This was a very light smoothie, very refreshing, and not super sweet.

Perfect Post-Ride Snack - Blueberry Cherry Protein Smoothie

Blueberry Cherry Protein Smoothie

1 cup filtered water, chilled
1 cup crushed ice
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup frozen cherries
1 scoop whey protein powder

Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Enjoy!

Makes just over a pint of smoothie.

Whey protein is a great recovery food, so it’s often recommended after a ride or workout. This smoothie held me over a while, so I could get some chores and stuff done.

For dinner, I had some Rock Fish (a type of cod), shrimp, and tomatoes that I wanted to use.  I chopped and then sauteed the tomatoes in a little olive oil, added a bit of slightly crushed fennel seeds, herbs de Provence, and a little crushed red pepper flakes for a bit of heat. I simmered the tomatoes with the fennel and herbs until the tomatoes began to break apart a bit. I cooked these on low for about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. In another skillet, I briefly sauteed the shrimp (just until they turned pink) and added them to the tomatoes. Then I sauteed the fish in a bit of olive oil. Then, I poured the tomato and shrimp mixture over the fish, gave it a gentle stir, and turned the heat down to low, simmering until the fish was fully cooked, tender and flaky.

To serve, I had some leftover homemade croutons, so I placed a few in the bottom of a bowl. I ladled some of the fish-shrimp-tomato mixture on top, being sure to include plenty of the juices, then topped with a bit of Feta cheese.

Rock Fish, Shrimp, Tomatoes, Fennel, Feta

This came out even better than I expected! The picture does not even begin to do this dish justice.

I hope you had an awesome day and got to get some great cycling and amazing food in.

I had a very short weekend after a very long week, and may I just say that I am looking forward to Saturday already?

Gearing Up

Sunday, March 22nd, 2015

The Napa Valley Tour de Cure is just 6 weeks from tomorrow.

Six weeks?!

Please help me to reach my goal of being a Champion! To make a donation, please click here.

I got a little 65-mile training ride in today on the American River Trail. I took a wrong turn past Nimbus Fish Hatchery and ended up on this side of the path, near the Aquatic Center.

American River Trail, near the Aquatic Center

The water is so low right now. We really need rain, but I was thankful for some nice cycling weather today.

American River Trail, near the Aquatic Center

I haven’t been on this side of Hazel Road very often the past few years, but I used to live and ride over this way almost daily.

American River Trail, headed back towards Nimbus Fish Hatchery

I’ve got to make the most of this weekend and this beautiful weather because the next few weeks are going to be crazy hectic busy with too many other things. Thank goodness for the trainer set up in the living room which makes grabbing a quick workout in the morning possible!

I broke out my special ride treats for today …

I pretty much love Honey Stinger anything on a ride or hike.

I am excited to have some work done on my Colnago this week – new gears, chain, tires, and all that stuff.  The guys at Mike’s Velo City in Winters will get her in perfect shape for the big day!

Challenge: Day 12 Dinner

Monday, February 16th, 2015

As promised, here is the recipe from last night’s dinner.

Spicy Teriyaki Chicken with Vegetables

2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
1 tablespoon (or more) garlic chile paste
1 cup fresh pineapple, diced
4 cups mixed fresh vegetables

Rinse and pat dry the chicken breasts. Slice each breast in half, so that you have 4 thin pieces. In a glass dish large enough to hold the chicken, combine the teriyaki sauce and garlic chile paste. Add the chicken and toss to evenly coat. Cover and marinate at least a few hours, but overnight is better.

To cook the chicken, you could cook it in the oven, grill it, or simply cook it in a skillet. I used a non-stick skillet.

On medium-high heat, sear the chicken on both sides. Reduce heat to medium and cook for about 10 minutes, turning the chicken if necessary. Reduce heat to low, pour the marinade over the chicken, then add the diced pineapple. Stir gently to combine. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook about 15-20 minutes, until the chicken is thoroughly cooked (internal temperature 165-degrees Fahrenheit).

While the chicken is cooking, prepare your vegetables. I used asparagus, broccolette, carrots, crimini mushrooms, and green beans. Clean, trim, and cut into bite-sized pieces. Drain well, but make sure they’re a little moist still. Heat a large non-stick wok. Add your vegetables one at a time, starting with whichever vegetable will take the longest to cook (I started with the carrots).

To “stir-steam” you can use just a tiny bit of oil if needed, but don’t use much more than a quick spritz of a cooking spray, otherwise you’re stir-frying.

"Stir-Steamed" Asparagus, Broccolette, Carrots, Crimini Mushrooms, and Green Beans

Stir or “toss” the vegetables frequently to avoid burning them, then cover for a few minutes to allow to steam. I like my vegetables very crisp, with just a hint of tender, so I covered very briefly.

While the vegetables are steaming, remove the chicken from the heat and set aside, covered to keep warm. Increase the heat on the remaining pineapple and sauce; allow it to reduce to thicken.

Chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Portion your vegetables into a serving bowl, top with your portion of chicken, spoon about 1/4 cup of pineapple over top. Serve piping hot! This would be great with a garnish of cashews, but I had already eaten my nut allotment for the day.

Dinner is served!

This made enough for 1 big dinner (1 cup chicken, 2 cups veggies) and 2 smaller lunches (1 cup chicken, 1 cup veggies).

Yesterday on my challenge, I figured that my dinner could be as much as 1 cup protein, 3 cups vegetables, 2 cups fruit. I could still eat more cheese or healthy fats, if I wanted. I did have a little extra carbs (about 2 cups total), but I did ride about 56 miles, so that made sense.

Totals for the day:

* 2 cups vegetables
* 1/2 cup fruit
* 3 cups protein
* 2 cups carbs
* 2 T healthy cheese (“light”)
* 2 T dressing
* 3 tablespoons nuts

So, I’m still not getting the portions quite right, and I just realized the nuts should be teaspoons, not tablespoons, but … oh, well. There are also things that I have no idea how to categorize, such as the cup of miso broth I had after my ride yesterday. I just have to remind myself … this is my version and I’m just doing this for fun and to get back on track because I feel like I’ve gotten a bit off track food-wise in the past few months.

That said, I’ve got a busy day ahead of me and it’s time to get out on a ride because it is just too gorgeous outside to not ride!

Challenge: Day 12

Monday, February 16th, 2015

It’s another perfect cycling day here in Sacramento. This morning I did almost the same ride on the American River Trail, but only about 56 miles.

My ride was powered by a bowl of steel cut oats (1/2 cup pre-cooked volume), with a few pecans, and drizzle of pure maple syrup. I’m sure a latte helped, too! During the ride, I had one packet of blueberry fig bars (220 calories), 1 gel, and loads of water. By the time I got home I was super hungry, but wanted to still eat on the lighter side because it’s so close to dinner. I’ve had some Greek yogurt, nuts, miso broth, and a Baby Bel light cheese.

Last night I started marinating some chicken for tonight – in teriyaki with some garlic chile paste. I’ve got a fresh pineapple that I think will be a nice addition, but I haven’t decided if I want to have it cooked in with the chicken or on the side. I’ll post that later.

Now, I’m just procrastinating on doing some chores, so off I go …

Challenge: Day 11

Sunday, February 15th, 2015

Happy Valentine’s Day! We have the perfect weather for cycling here today, and the air is pretty clean, too! So, I celebrated Valentine’s Day by treating myself to a long bike ride along the American River Trail.

At the turn around point. I love this bike!

Quick stop on the way home - William B. Pond Park along the American River Trail.

I rode about 65 miles, so I think I earned a few extra carbs today. I fueled my ride with a nice, heart-healthy bowl of steel-cut oats, with a couple of walnuts, a drizzle of pure maple syrup, and about 1 tablespoon of dried blueberries.  During the ride, I had 2 small whole grain fig bars and a Cliff gel.

I was way overdressed for how warm it got, so by the time I got home I was in need of some cool refreshment.

Fresh, cool watermelon is a perfect way to rehydrate after a ride.

And hungry, too!

Whole Grain Rice Medley with Smoked Chicken Apple Sausage and Green Beans.

This is about 1 cup of carbs, 1/2 cup protein, and 1/2 cup veggies, so it’s easily within my Challenge!

I have got to start getting some longer rides in so I can get ready for my 2015 Napa Valley Tour de Cure!!! Please consider donating to my ride – it’s a great cause!