Monday, August 4, 2014

Training and lots of other fun stuff

Most weeks I am not SUPER excited to write blog posts mostly because writing is not my favorite thing to do but this week I lots of blog worthy material so hopefully you enjoy reading it!!

Note: The weeks events are not blogged about in the order in which they actually happened.

I started out the week with a new pair or wheels on my roller skis, this was a big deal because it was my first pair of new wheels on these roller skis. The new wheels made my skis sit about one half inch taller because the rubber has yet to be worn down like it had on my old wheels, because of this they were a little more tippy but very smooth and nice to ski on. Unfortunately skiing on the new wheels did not last long... the shaft of one of the skis began to delaminate and became unusable. This was the third time this exact thing has happened in only one year. Luckily Marwe has a one year warranty and I was able to send the shafts back for replacements. While I am waiting for the new shafts I have another pair of skis to use, the only difference is that they have slower wheels which will probably make me stronger so breaking the shaft is maybe not such a bad thing after all. 

My new wheels 

The cracked rollerski shaft 

After lots of time rollerskiing along the side of the road contemplating many aspects of life I finally figured out a way to make money while rollerskiing. In Maine most bottles and cans are redeemable for cash and there are lots along the side of road so Maddie and I started picking them up. We collected cans on two skis and in total we made $5.85 plus we found a $5 bill that we probably would not have seen if we weren't scanning the sides of the road for cans. The first day we collected we were not that prepared and picked up as many as we could carry the second day we brought a trash bag which made carrying the cans much easier. I don't think we are going to get rich at this rate but at least it paid for the gas to get where we started skiing. Maddie and I learned that people in northern maine exclusively drink budwiser beer, that was by far the number one can we found followed by twisted tea, water bottles, pop, redbull, and one hard alcohol bottle that was worth 3 cans. We also learned that if the grass along the side of the road is mowed down then people will not litter but wait until there is tall grass or bushes to toss out their trash. 

The first day of collecting cans

The second day with the trash bag attached to a backpack making it much easier to ski
On Sunday I finished out my training week with a 7 hour 110 mile bike ride. I had only intended on going for about 4 hours but it was such a nice day out and I was having so much fun I couldn't help but going longer so decided to try to complete a loop that starts in Fort Kent crosses into Canada then goes to the very northwest corner of Maine where there is another border crossing at the Canadian town of Pohenegamook here I would reenter the US and bike 30 miles on dirt roads through the Alagash wilderness to the town of Alagash, Maine where the pavement starts again. Just before arriving at the border in Pohenegamook I stopped at a small store to refuel, the first thing I saw when I walked in was a 6-pack of 20oz coke bottles for only $2.99 I knew thats exactly what I needed to make it the 60 miles back through uninhabited territory to Fort Kent. After making my purchase I promptly drank one coke along with a snickers bar, I then put one bottle in each of the two pockets of my bike jersey and shoved two more down the back of my bike shorts. I had no room for the 6th so I gave it to a lady sitting in a car in the parking lot. She spoke no English so I just pointed to the bottles in my shorts and then to my bike, I think she got the idea that I had no more room for anything. Fueled and ready for adventure I arrived at the border only to find out that this remote crossing is only open Monday-Friday, it was Sunday. I proceded to drink some more coke and then ride the 50 miles back for Fort Kent. 

Even though I did not complete the loop I wanted to I got to ride across the new bridge in Fort Kent that connects to Clair, New Brunswick. The bridge has been under construction for over a year so its opening was big news!

Snickers and Coke in Pohenegamook
The closed border crossing 

Riding across the new bridge, on the left side you can see the green trestles of the old bridge 

Moving onto non biathlon training subjects, my plants that I planted when I first arrived in Maine have had a 50% success rate. The basil is growing great. The spinach germinated but only grew to be a few inches tall before going to seed. I do not know why this happened, maybe I will have to do some research.

The sickly looking spinach 

 Since the spinach was not growing I pulled it up and transplanted one of my basil plants to the spinach pot giving it more room to grow.

Not sure this can even be called spinach

The newly transplanted basil

The skiing news website had a contest for the best post workout meal so I submitted my typical post workout meal which usually doubles as lunch. The ingredients are onion, garlic, potatoes, beef, peas, bean sprouts, egg, and cheese. The top three meals will be awarded prizes, I am keeping my fingers crossed.  

One night I made a dinner that I thought looked surprisingly professional and tasty so I had to take a picture. Potatoes topped with steak, fresh basil, garlic, and melted cheese.

For several weeks now I have been making granola trying to find a good recipe but nothing has been very successful. It has all been very crumbly and not crunchy. I decided to start experimenting rather then following recipes and this is when discovered the secret. The new granola I crafted is crunchy, flavorful, and does not fall apart into a million pieces. Notice in the picture of the pan on the left side the granola is very loose and not clumped together compared to the right side there are big chunks of it. In the second picture you can notice that even when picking up a sizable chunk it remains intact and does not crumble. The third picture shows the texture of the granola. I think I may have finally found my get rich quick business!!!! 

Good granola on the right compared to crumbly chewy granola on the left

A large piece not falling apart demonstrating rigidity which is equivalent to crunchiness. Notice that the piece is not huge meaning that it is not to crunchy. You don't want to break your teeth. 

Ultimate texture

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