Monday, December 20, 2004


For as rainy a reputation as Oregon has, we've been having a great winter. Though the skiers would probably disagree - here it is less than a week before Xmas and Mt Hood only has 30+ inches of snow, Bachelor weighs in at a whopping 48. Not good. In fact, pretty piss-poor. I'm glad I've not been so keen on skiing lately b/c I'd be crushed.

Anyway, the weekend was beautiful. I took my new singlespeed into the hills on Saturday. I have a newfound respect for those blokes who ride singlespeed the entire time. I did a loop in McDonald forest I've done dozens of time, and I couldn't make it up that little section of switchbacks. Usually, when riding uphill, I can stand on the pedal and my weight will be more than enough to push the pedal down - making me go forward. No longer, with the 2:1 ratio, I had to muscle the pedals around on the hill, and my legs weren't up to the task on the steeper section. Usually, the only place I walk my bike is in Moab, on 30 degree slopes.

Needless to say, I'm gonna have to get out more often on that bike. I don't think I want to do any races with it, but I do want to be able to actually ride with my wife. At this point she'd just pedal past me - probably gloating. I know she'd pass me b/c she's ridden up that stuff before.

But, needless to say, it was a great ride. It began in the fog, and as I gained elevation in the forest the sun started to shine through the trees and the fog - making cool shadows. Soon enough I was above all the fog and in the sun. I wished I'd had a camera, but that would have meant more weight - and I was barely making it up most of the incline anyway. The ride down really showcased the difference between the plush full-suspension ride offered by my Epic, versus the old, bottom-of-the-line-when-it-was-new, front shock and hard tail Raleigh M-600. The latter feels more like riding a jack-hammer when coming down gravel roads.

That evening I made egg nog - from scratch. I love egg nog, but I've never actually made it before. I took a recipe out of the Joy Of Cooking and modified that. It was the standard recipe that had you beat the egg whites until stiff, and fold them into the rest of the ingredients. I used half-and-half instead of cream, and of course, only the freshest of organic eggs. The result was a very light nog, a little too light - the liquid would usually drain out of the egg white foam while I drunk it, leaving behind a tasty, but frustratingly difficult to drink, foam. I think the next time I make egg nog I'll only beat the whites (yeah, beat whitey - so many ways to take that) until they have a good body - but not to the point of even soft peaks forming. I think that would result in an easier to drink, and richer, egg nog. By Sunday, the foam had dissipated, and I was left drinking "flat" egg nog. It was still very tasty, but not as thick as the store bought egg nog.

On Sunday, Mary and I again celebrated the beautiful weather and hiked in the forest for a couple of hours before the sun went down.

What a wonderful winter...

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