My next feat

After I finished the 10K in Boulder I had to switch modes to cycling because I’m doing my very first day of Ragbrai! And it’s gonna be a long one – 76 miles. Because, yes, I am just a little bit crazy.

For those of you who don’t know, Ragbrai is a bike ride across the state of Iowa that takes place every summer in the blazing July heat. It’s also been referred to as “spring break for adults”, a “party on wheels,” and many other similar terms. How people can drink all night and then get up the next day to ride 50+ miles in the scorching heat is beyond me, but I guess I’ll find out.

Mike and I have been hopping on the trail that starts near our house and riding together on weekends. Basically every time I ride it’s the longest bike ride I’ve ever been on! A couple days ago I tried out the High Trestle trail in Ankeny, which turned out to be about the smoothest, well-kept trail I’ve ever been on.

Word of warning, though. If you get into cycling, be prepared to cough up a chunk of change for all the equipment. You discover you need this and that and this and that. And above all a whole new bike! P.S. If you’ve got a ladies road bike for a short-legged person you want to get rid of, let me know…

I’m on a budget, so I got some nice new skinny tires for my Trek hybrid.

Due to lack of space for water bottles I ended up with this Camelbak, which also stores cell phone, money, snacks, etc. So far it has not proven hot or uncomfortable at all.

Even the Yaris has been outfitted with a bike rack. We’re ready to hit the road!

Where do you like to bike? Have you ever done Ragbrai?

My own Juice cover

On my last day at work my co-workers gifted me some lovely things including a Michael’s gift card and a L’Occitane set of yummy bath and body products (they do know me well), but probably the best gift was my own framed Juice cover.

Mike even got a spot on it!

And it was important to include my dogs, and my love of A Dong, among other things.

It’s definitely going on my office wall.

Sweet potato fries

I can’t believe I’ve never posted this recipe because I make it all the time. I never ate sweet potatoes as a child, but as an adult I can’t get enough of them. I think I have a thing for orange vegetables. Love carrots, too.

So if you need a side dish for just about anything, these roasted fries have lots of vitamins and just a drizzle of olive oil.

Sweet potato fries

1 extra large or two medium sweet potatoes
2 T. olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Peel your sweet potatoes, then slice them in half lengthwise. My potato was so large I cut the half in half to get 3- to 4-inch long fries.

Make sure your knife is very sharp and you’re very careful when cutting. Though they don’t take any longer to cook, sweet potatoes are hard as a rock when raw.

Also, try to get organic sweet potatoes if you can. I didn’t this time and I can tell a huge difference in the brightness of the color.

Next, slice the potato halves into pieces a little less than a half-inch wide. The end pieces will probably be a little wider and triangular.

For some of the slices you’ll probably have to turn them on their sides and slice them again. Or, just go with thick-cut fries, whatever you like.

Spread them out on a nonstick cookie sheet, drizzle them with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss them a little to coat.

Bake for 15 minutes, flip them over, and bake for 15 more minutes.

And speaking of potatoes, look at my Taterpot!

It was a going-away gift, and I think it’s so cute. Soon my little tater guy should be sprouting fresh mint.

Today’s breakfast bowl

1 container of Cultural Revolution yogurt, 1 white peach, a sprinkle of Grape Nuts (thanks Julie for the idea), and a drizzle of agave nectar.

Love the extra crunch from the Grape Nuts.

If you like the mix ‘n match yogurt concept, check out Curly Top’s edible math.