Maple Pecan Bars

I prefer real food while on the bike. Gels and prepackaged bars will work in a pinch. But I get a bit confused when I look at the ingredient list. I don’t know what half the stuff is sometimes. This recipe has only five ingredients. These bars are simple to make and a yummy treat when I pull them out of my back pocket. Maybe to good, because I rarely share them. And using maple syrup instead of honey makes these vegan friendly.

Maple Pecan Bars
Maple Pecan Bars Cut and Wrapped

1 pkg (340g) medjool dates, pitted
¼ cup maple syrup
1½ cup toasted pecans*, coarsely chopped
1½ cup toasted rolled oats*
Pinch of salt

Process dates in a food processor until small bits remain (about a minute). It
should form a ball and look like dough.

Set aside oats, 1 cup pecans, and dates in a large mixing bowl.

Process ½ cup of pecans until fine. Warm maple syrup and fine ground pecans in
a small saucepan over low heat. Stir and pour over oat mixture and mix,
breaking up the dates to mix throughout.

Press firmly into 8×8 inch backing dish lined with parchment paper. Continue to
press until uniformly flattened. Cover with more parchment or plastic wrap.
Place in freezer 20 minutes or overnight to firm. Remove bars from pan and cut
into 10 even bars. Store in an airtight container for up to a few days. Or keep
in freezer for longer storage.

*Toast oats and pecans in 350° oven for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown

Enjoy

`86 Peugeot Galibier

`86 Peugeot GalibierI started a new position at work.  And I have been finding myself walking everywhere; 2-3 miles a day.  While that’s great for my health, it’s wasting time.  So I went into the local bike shop and asked if he had any beater bikes.  The owner takes me down to the basement to look through his stash of used trade-ins.  He showed me a few that were my size and I settled on this one.

Saddle

My initial inspection had the bike looking pretty good.  The saddle was spun and I had to manage the quill post.  It’s not the easy to adjust like modern ones.  The wheels were fairly true and the brakes didn’t rub.  But the shifting was real bad.

Shifters

I replaced the rubber and adjusted the deraileurs.  And it was rideable.  It had old thin bar tape.  The hoods were dry-rotted.  I peeled all that off and installed new.  If you going that far you might as well change out the cables also, why not.

Bar

Crank and Pedals

The original pedals she came with were needing toe clips and straps.  I returned to the bike shop and he had these modern cheapos.  In the future, I’d love to get some metal toe clips with leather straps that match the hoods. The ones from Velo Orange would be fantastic.  I’d even consider the leathers. But I have to remember that this bike will spend lots of time outdoors.  Fortunately my employer has bike parking very close to my office.  So it could be outside for weeks at a time.

This bike was in such great shape when I got it.  Even the pie plate was still intact.  All I did was add some grease in the right splots, cleaned it up, and added a few new bits to spruce it up.  It rides like a dream.  Who knows, maybe I’ll take it for a longer spin one weekend.  Or maybe even a charity ride or two.

Rear

I couldn’t be happier with this bike.  For buzzing around at work to save the boss some time, it’s perfect.

Right Hook

Here’s what not to do.

The traffic light turns green.  Initially it looks like all the drivers are either going straight or left.  We filter up on the right.  At the same time, a driver signals right and begins the turn.  The rider behind me calls out the right turn and grabs all the brakes.  And I yell, hoping this will get her attention to stop.  It is hard to tell from the video or our memories, but it doesn’t look like the car stopped.

I have been through this intersection many many times.  I have commuting over ten years.  And if everyone is signaling straight I filter up and continue on.  But not any more.  We have decided to take the lane and get in line.  This might slow traffic a minor bit.  But no more chances for right hooks.

Enid’s New Trails Page

By way of the Route 60 Sentinel I found a link the the new City of Enid Master Trails Project.  Here you can find pictures and updates.

Lowering the new BridgePaved Trail - Parkway to Cheyenne

The City states the purpose of the trail system is for

recreation, transportation, and economic pursuits.

And it should

improve access to recreation resources and improve transportation efficiency.

The part I like is the focus on transportation. The ability to quickly get around town without the dangers of traffic is a huge relief.  I have been commuting to work and running errands by bike for years.  I have become comfortable on the city streets.  And even though these trails are not officially opened, I have noticed the pleasure of a car free environment while using them.

What can we expect next?  Once they complete the Railroad Pass Trail (Wheatridge to Parkway), they will start on the Channel Freeway Trail (Cheastnut to Meadowlake Park).  And step three will be the Quail’s Quad Trail.

Quail’s Quad Trail is a proposed trail in west Enid that begins at Chestnut Ave. and moves north along the drainage channel to Bunker Hill St. then east to Oakwood Road. Two additional segments branch off the trail connecting additional housing additions. Destinations served include numerous neighborhoods such as, Quail’s Creek Subdivision, Oakcrest addition, and Oakwood Estates as well as Glenwood Elementary School.

I hope you are enjoying the new trail system as much as we are.

Enid Trail System Installs New Bridge

The Trail System is slowly coming along.  Not fast enough for my liking but the building crew has been working on it steadily.  Still under current construction is the continuation of the existing Railroad Pass Trail.

The old city trail was well used but the surface has not aged well. Grass has grown over the edges of the asphalt and significantly narrowed it.  When first constructed, it could handle a bicycle going each way.  Now the area is barely a lane and a half wide.  This old portion spans about a mile from Parkway east to South Washington.

The new construction is very nice.  The paving is concrete; ten feet wide and smooth.  As I type, there is a continous stretch from Oakwood to Cleveland.  This includes a railroad crossing.  Also from Parkway to Cleveland, the trail is spotty and still in need of completion.  In the past I have ridden this section when it was dirt and it was fun.  But now, it’s even better; fast, smooth, and car-free.  You feel like you can travel without any effort and speed.  While it was a great workout previously, it now is a serious way to get to where you need to go.

Image

But the best treatment so far is the new bridge near Hayes School.  It spans the troublesome drainage channel.  There is a pedestrian only bridge just south that was used by people going to Hayes.  And I hope it remains.  But this new one may replace it.

Image

All and all, the Trail System will be a welcome addition to Enid.  My hope is they will quickly turn to a North/South route next.  It is greatly needed.  As I said before, North Cleveland is a dangerous road.  And South Cleveland is safest route to Vance Air Force Base.  Connecting the base with the north will be huge.

A Ride Northwest of Town

I think you might be interested in this Google Map of one of my favorite bike rides. When I rode this route the winds was about 15 knots out of the East South East. The road condition was good, not great. The best part of the the trip was the 5 mile streach on State Highway 45. Very smooth and very little traffic, but there was a good tailwind. Tailwinds are always good.

Active Commuting Good for You

We are all aware that walking and cycling to work are a good alternatives to a gym membership. Why waste that time each day sitting in traffic, literally sitting. Getting your heart rate up while transporting yourself is like a second cherry.

While poking around the blogoshere this morning, I may have found evidence of what we all know is true. The folks at ecovelo.org and dc.streetsblog.org have articles discussing the findings that were published in the American Journal of Public Health from researchers at Rutgers, Virginia Tech, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that show a clear link between high levels of walking and bicycling to work and positive health outcomes.

Active commuting alone will not be that magic pill we all seek. But along with eating right, active lifestyle and other factors, walking and cycling can contribute to lower rates of obesity and diabetes.

Does your city or town promote walking or cycling to work? If it did, would you walk or bike more?