DDOORN   223,676
SparkPoints
100,000 or more SparkPoints
 
 
DDOORN's Recent Blog Entries

Hummus My Way

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Another member was curious about my home-made hummus which I posted about yesterday in my status.

Well, I got sorta yacky in my response and figured why not share with others? :-)

I found this recipe in SparkRecipes:

recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.asp?recipe=103857


I liked the simplicity of it and the fact that it was a recipe that didn't require tahini as many of them do. Tahini can be hard to find and pricey. AND since it is really a nut butter made from sesame seeds it can add a significant caloric punch, albeit of a healthful variety most likely.

Following recipes has never been my forte, however...I take many liberties as I have with this one...but I DO appreciate it as a base plan for my own hummus.

Here are some of the things I do:

Forget about canned chickpeas...who knows what additives there are, salt, BHA or whatever that stuff is. I buy the dried chickpeas, soak them overnight and boil them up. The whole bag...forget, 12 or 16 oz? Something like that. Plus the OTHER fun thing I do is vary the bean of choice. As I figure a chickpea is just another bean why not substitute black beans? Pinto? Northern? Even the variety pack of dried beans which they use for soups? Done 'em all, love 'em all.

Variations to boiling: I ALWAYS add fresh onion and garlic...sometimes I overdo it and we all wilt each other with our breath afterward...lol! I have tried variations of adding these as well. Sometimes I add them fresh after I'm done boiling the chickpea (or whatever bean I choose). I've found that you need to tone it WAY down on the quantity of onion and garlic if you do it this way as they are in their MOST potent form. Sometimes I will sautee the garlic and onions in olive oil before adding them. And then the OTHER variation is to boil the garlic and onions with the bean of choice. I pour the water off into whatever homemade soup I've got going...most recently leftover turkey / barley / carrots/ celery / spinach...yum! Anyhow ALL variations work.

Next: what to do with all these ingredients? The recipe calls for "smashing" it. And certainly you can do that and keep it simple. However I love a yummy smooth texture so I use my food processor to pull all the ingredients together. I imagine a blender could do a respectable job as well.

Note on the sour cream: I substitute non-fat yogurt. I suppose one could use non-fat sour cream or Greek yogurt as well.

Note on spices: I don't bother with salt but love to go crazy jazzing it up with crushed red pepper, black pepper, sometimes use lemon pepper, even chili powder! And of course lots of cumin which gives it the distinctive hummus-flavor we all know & love.

Note on onion & garlic: nope the original recipe doesn't call for onion. Oh well. IMHO, one can't have garlic without onion! :-) I take great liberties with the quantities of these ingredients as well...as in LOTS!

Other variations: As a mentioned in my status yesterday I varied this recipe by tossing in a handful of cranberries and an apple which contrasts nicely with the lemon juice to give it an added touch of sweet tangy-ness. I've added tomatoes sometimes for another variation. Yams for another. Probably berries would be cool. Have fun and play with it...see what you come up with!

It's sorta funny how the original recipe was titled Hummus My Way, cuz that's what I sure DID with it! :-)

Don

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ASHERAH38 12/25/2013 10:01AM

    Just had some great chickpea & kidney bean w/ sesame seeds hummus yesterday for a co-worker's going away (breaking free!) party. I loved it! Interesting variations on yours. I like to soak and boil all type of beans--I do even for making soups or bean stews. Today, I planned to make a black-eye peas stew but I forgot to soak overnight. May have to opt for a quick soak during the day and then make towards the evening.



Report Inappropriate Comment
VALERIEMAHA 12/24/2013 7:18PM

    I also always use dried beans. Like various beans, but tend to return to chick peas for this spread. I go with or without tahini, but I definitely concur that it provides added nutritional density.

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?
tname=foodspice&dbid=84

Report Inappropriate Comment
ZELLAZM 12/24/2013 3:22AM

    Great tips! I'm a hummus fan, all the way. Have to make my own in Germany so I'll be using some of your ideas.



Report Inappropriate Comment
2WHEELER 12/15/2013 8:30PM

    Love your inventiveness. I make hummus, too, from dried chickpeas. It's so easy. I love it really garlicky! A friend makes it with edadame beans--it's very good.

I imagine you're not getting much cycling in unless you've added studs or chains. I have to get the trainer set up--too much ice and gravel right now to ride outside.

Report Inappropriate Comment
WATERMELLEN 12/15/2013 11:32AM

    Wow!! The Hummus Meister for sure!! Hummus is definitely a staple in our household, and I really like these ideas, especially eliminating the expensive and calorific tahini. (We've bought a President's Choice wasabi ginger variant recently which was very popular . . . )

Report Inappropriate Comment
KANOE10 12/12/2013 8:43AM

    Thanks for sharing great ideas on making hummus. I love that food. I also add tahini to mine.

I like your idea of not using the canned beans.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ROMANTILLY 12/12/2013 3:01AM

    Thanks for sharing.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SAM60SUMTHINK 12/11/2013 11:16PM

    Great timing and wonderful blog, Don!
Worthy of the SP blog pages!!
The linked recipe is one I've read and re-read. Not sure why I haven't made it yet!! You inspired me! (wonder whether plain Greek yogurt would be good substitution for the sour cream; should be... and would up the protein count!) Also, I totally agree about using the dried beans. I use assorted beans and whole grains (quinoa, bulghar, etc) a lot amid my piles of veggies. Found that once I started using the dried beans the preparation became a breeze, though for years I'd thought "it's a lot of trouble...". Duh. Y'know? Stay warm!

Report Inappropriate Comment
STRIVERONE 12/11/2013 5:51PM

    Hummus was probably the farthest thing from my mind a few minutes ago. Now I'm just wondering how soon I can get some dried chick peas.


Report Inappropriate Comment
MOTHEPRO 12/11/2013 2:05PM

    emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
JOYCRN 12/11/2013 1:26PM

    Thanks for sharing! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
_LINDA 12/11/2013 12:36PM

    Very interesting! In my humble opinion I have always felt North Americans have too bland a diet and never spice up their food nearly enough! I had store bought hummus that said extra spicy and left me wondering where it was ;-P Seems like you got to make your own and your ideas sound wonderful! Not liking the suggestion a blender won't work though :(
emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
L*I*T*A* 12/11/2013 11:36AM

    love love hummus many ways too......
great creative ideas....
thanks for sharing.........

Report Inappropriate Comment
CHANGE4FIT 12/11/2013 10:40AM

    Great ideas here-love some kitchen creativity. How about roasted red peppers?

Report Inappropriate Comment
HIPPICHICK1 12/11/2013 10:29AM

    A blender is a bad idea for hummus. It just doesn't work. The shape of the carafe is to blame. A food processor is much better. I knew someone who used to mash chickpeas by hand!
And you've gotta have garlic!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
RAINBOWFALLS 12/11/2013 9:11AM

    I also usually take many liberties with my recipes. It is all a matter of what a person likes. This all sounds so good that now I'm hungry.

Report Inappropriate Comment
_VALEO_ 12/11/2013 8:57AM

    Like you, each of my hummus is a new experiment and creation!

Report Inappropriate Comment
BAZOOKABOBCAT 12/11/2013 8:46AM

    This is super creative! Love it.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SLIMMERJESSE 12/11/2013 8:39AM

    Love hummus.

Report Inappropriate Comment


Contra Dance: Time for Some REAL Swinging!

Friday, November 15, 2013

I keep waiting for a pocket of time to do this blog justice, however things are hopping such that I KNOW if I don't share it now my weekend is gonna just run away with itself and who knows WHEN I'll catch up with all of you! :-)

First of all a follow up to my "workout weirdness": turns out my son has noticed the same thing happens to him when allergies kick up working out quiets them down. He said that pumping up our bodies during a workout just over-rides the allergies while our heart and blood is revved up.

In the meantime the allergies sorta come and sorta go...at least I finally remembered my old buddy the neti pot. It really helps to quiet the symptoms.

Now onto the FUN STUFF! I can't thank 4-A-HEALTHY-BMI enough for her friendly "nudges" to join in the fun of contra dance! PLUS although another local member of SparkPeople (ANNIEMAC_98) and I have caught up with each other via the website, this was the first time we had a chance to "make it real" and meet each other at contra dance since I posted to our local group to encourage others to join in the fun.

Check out 4-A-HEALTHY-BMI's blog with all the pics and links to "fill in the blanks":
www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5540848


I was so glad to have pushed through my reservations and apprehensions over trying contra dance! Not that I wasn't daunted by the challenges! Unlike swing dance in which once you a a few basic steps and variations you're good for a night of dancing, with contra dance there are MANY different moves to learn. And because the moves are called out by the "caller," it required one to a) listen carefully, b) know the taxonomy of the various moves (do-si-do, allemande, etc.) and / or c) follow the crowd and do what THEY do!

My hearing isn't what it should be (especially with live music, conversation and many audio distractions) so I pretty much opted for c) throughout my time dancing. Tricky though as while one is constantly moving you can't always keep your eye on what others are doing. Sometimes there was guesswork, which wasn't as reliable as I would've hoped!

But there was lots of repitition, so eventually I would get it down and get through the steps without too many mishaps. And the people were OH-so-friendly and helpful...often pointing me in the right direction when I looked lost or headed the wrong way.

Some of the dances requires one to swing your partner and the swinging in contra dance is WAY more cool than the swinging in swing dance! After having danced with a few different gals, 4-A-HEALTHY-BMI asked for a dance which I gladly obliged! I was about to find out what REAL swinging was like! It had been pretty tame with the others but with 4-A-HEALTHY-BMI (always a full-throttle sort of person, which is one of many great qualities she has!) it almost felt like *I* was being swung...lol! So I quickly learned to reciprocate in kind and soon we were whirling away just *this close* to being disorientingly dizzy...but not quite! What a blast!

It was a blast in another way too: we all heated up that gym in a hurry! I was sopping with sweat by the time I wrapped up!

The live music was extra special also, playing folk from uptempo to elegant waltzes. Excellent musicians!

I found out that there is a group that gets together for contra dance in the Binghamton area on a regular basis and hope to continue to push through my reticence and join in again soon.

Pushing the envelope and being "alive in the world!" That's what it's all about! :-)

Don

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 11/26/2013 6:49PM

    Love this blog . . . just sounds like a whole lotta fun!

Report Inappropriate Comment
ZELLAZM 11/26/2013 3:07PM

    How did I miss this blog! I love how you continue to try new things and enjoy your healthy lifestyle, Don! WTG!

Report Inappropriate Comment
CHANGE4FIT 11/20/2013 12:55PM

    Glad you took another opportuntiy to "be alive in the world"! Things we never regret!

Report Inappropriate Comment
HIPPICHICK1 11/19/2013 6:05PM

    Wow!! Sounds like sooooo much fun!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
_VALEO_ 11/17/2013 12:39PM

    That's awesome that you went back to the dancefloor and tried Contra dance.
Having fun while going out of your comfort zone is great.

Report Inappropriate Comment
4A-HEALTHY-BMI 11/15/2013 10:57PM

    It was great seeing you guys last weekend! Hope to meet up with you again on the dance floor. I emoticon a good swing. LOL

emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
GHK1962 11/15/2013 4:54PM

    Well good to know about the allergy / exercise thing. No wonder when I am feeling sniffly and I go out biking I feel better.

As for the Contra dancing ... HIGH-5!

I have never been ... but wifey and I used to do Irish Ceili dancing. And while the steps are different, the pace and style sound the same. A caller, partners, and a ripping great time.

Report Inappropriate Comment
RACEWELLWON 11/15/2013 10:24AM

    Wow sounds like a ton of fun - I just might have to give a Swing!!! What a fantastic way to meet an enjoy life emoticon . I love the neti - glad to hear your found comfort - Keep swinging !! Karen

Report Inappropriate Comment
OUTDOORGIRL69 11/15/2013 9:28AM

    Sounds like a lot of fun & you had a lot of fun. It also burns calories. Do it works both ways. Fun & exercise to burn calories.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SLIMMERJESSE 11/15/2013 8:54AM

    What fun!

Report Inappropriate Comment
L*I*T*A* 11/15/2013 8:50AM

    sounds like you had a great time................ emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
KANOE10 11/15/2013 8:03AM

    How fun to discover another activity in your life. That sounds like a great night with friendly people,,plus you got some exercise in!

emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
FERRETLOVER1 11/15/2013 7:40AM

    Sounds like fun and lots of great exercise at the same time - totally a win-win!

emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SLAYINGDRAGONS 11/15/2013 7:17AM

    Wow what energy! So fun to read about your exciting and weird exercising!!!
emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
PATRICIAAK 11/15/2013 5:18AM

    sounds like fun

Report Inappropriate Comment


Workout Weirdness

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Lately I've been plagued by a lengthy bout of nasty allergies which have my eyes and nose running with periodic sneezing fits. I've been knocking off box after box of tissues...ugh!

Yesterday was particularly nasty. But I remembered something from times past when this has occurred: becoming physically active seems to quiet down the symptoms. So I tested this theory by heading out for our power walk together with a co-worker yesterday.

Sure enough, nary a sneeze or drip!

Get back to the office? The sneezy waterworks kick in.

I wondered about my plan to lift weights and do Spinning later in the evening. Sure can't Spin & sneeze at the same time!

But again, as soon as I started in with the strength training, which I do before Spinning (who wants to lift weights AFTER when you're a soaking mess?!) all the symptoms quieted down right on through my hour-long Spinning, with only a teensy runny nose nagging at me.

Finish up, head to the car to go home: BAM! The symptoms kick in again!

This has me wondering if I'm just weird or whether there is a medical explanation for this pattern.

Note to self: check in with Physician Assistant son...he gets all my medical questions! :-)

Don

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ERLYWA 11/28/2013 12:27PM

    Wow...I have struggled with allergies all of my life and am so glad that I just happened across this blog today. When my nose/eyes get going the last thing I feel up to doing is exercising, but to read that it actually seems to shut down the allergic response for you really makes me want to fight through it next time and seeing if it works for me, too. Thanks for sharing this experience!

I have added you as a sparkfriend after seeing some of your encouraging messages to others in the new sparkteam I just joined this morning :)

Report Inappropriate Comment
SASSYCHRIS1952 11/14/2013 4:36PM

    I hope you get to the bottom of the allergies emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
WMUGRAD 11/13/2013 11:49PM

    Wow! I would have never thought of that! emoticon feel better

Report Inappropriate Comment
_VALEO_ 11/12/2013 4:16AM

    What has you GP said about it? Seems like an allergy to something (work? lol). I hope you to find out what triggers this and get a treatment for.

Good luck!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GHK1962 11/11/2013 2:46PM

    Hehe ... the part where you said, "This has me wondering if I'm just weird or whether there is a medical explanation for this pattern." ... if I had asked that of my wife she would have said BOTH! heh

Nevertheless, what did you find out?

Report Inappropriate Comment
CHANGE4FIT 11/9/2013 10:04PM

    Sorry to hear about your dilemma, but I like Bill60's suggestion!
Hope the allergies dissipate soon!
PJ

Report Inappropriate Comment
ONEKIDSMOM 11/8/2013 8:00PM

    I'll be interested in what your son has to say, too. I have had the tendency to start sneezing after autumn races. Hadn't noticed it other times of year... but today... sneezed all the way home from work. Swam just fine last night... sneezies TODAY. Hmmmm!

Report Inappropriate Comment
WATERMELLEN 11/8/2013 7:50PM

    I get sneezy and drippy as soon as the heat comes on inside house/office/car/gym: outside is better! Maybe a dust allergy from blowing hot air, I'm not sure (my house has steam radiators and it's not so bad at home).

Report Inappropriate Comment
RACEWELLWON 11/8/2013 9:58AM

    It sees to me that allergies have been abundant this year. Sorry you suffer - keep us posted - would like to know the response from the PA. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
KANOE10 11/8/2013 8:03AM

    Hope you figure that out. It could have something to do with the heating/air system. I am glad exercise helps!

Report Inappropriate Comment
HIPPICHICK1 11/6/2013 10:12AM

    Sounds like you have some indoor environmental allergies. It's not uncommon esp in bldgs that are old or when one is in an AC environment. I hope the issues get resolved quickly!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MOTHEPRO 11/6/2013 6:30AM

    Interesting, at least you figured out how to avoid it.

Report Inappropriate Comment
_LINDA 11/5/2013 11:43AM

    For me, I can't take air conditioning, gets the dribbles going right away. The air quality in most buildings that don't have open windows (or you have to close them because winter has arrived) is poor. The venting systems are usually clogged with dirt and mold and it is not cleaned nearly enough if at all. That was why the sick building issue made the news for a while.
But most normal gyms would have A/C too (mine doesn't so I am okay with them)
Will be most interested in finding out what the son has to say.

Report Inappropriate Comment
L*I*T*A* 11/5/2013 11:28AM

    i would be interested in what your son has to say???!!!
sounds bit environmental to me ????
closed in spaces such as offices and car etc????
take care.........

Report Inappropriate Comment
BKWERM 11/5/2013 11:00AM

    Obviously, you're allergic to work! emoticon

Hope you figure it out.

Report Inappropriate Comment
DONNELDA22 11/5/2013 10:58AM

    Hope you find an answer to your sneezing fits. Let us know if you find some answers. Hope you are feel better soon. On things for sure, until you get an answer you're going to be getting a lot of exercise. emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SLIMMERJESSE 11/5/2013 10:23AM

    Keep us posted as to what his response is to your dilemma.

Report Inappropriate Comment
OUTDOORGIRL69 11/5/2013 10:14AM

    Don at least you know you get your exercising in for the day. If it stops it you at least get relief for a short time. Hope you get better Prayers are there for you.

Try to have a good day.

Report Inappropriate Comment
BILL60 11/5/2013 9:51AM

    That's a great way to a super healthy lifestyle.....exercise all the time to avoid the "Drips".

Report Inappropriate Comment
MYUTMOST4HIM 11/5/2013 9:32AM

    emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment


Fading Tiger Paws

Monday, November 04, 2013

This summer cycling season, after being cut loose by my cardiologist in June and taken off of Coumadin, was capped by two of the most special cycling accomplishments: 1) Cycling 'round the 1,000 Islands area of New York and Ontario with 15 of my bike club members and 2) Cycling 'round Cape Cod on my week-long self-supported tour with several other very special cyclists.

One of the things I do when I ride is, whenever possible, I wear my Keen Sandals:

www.keenfootwear.com/us/en/product/s
hoes/men/waterfront/kanyon/raven!burnt
%20henna


Nope, no cycling shoes for me. No clip-ins, etc. Just don't want to "go there" and take my lumps learning to clip, falling at stop lights, etc. Besides I'm a keep-it-simple kinda guy: one pair of sandals and I'm good to go wherever I want to, cycling, walking, hiking...do it all with no need for changing over. It was a nice "downsize" to my self-supported load...no extra pair of shoes!

And as odd as it may seem, I really liked the "stripes" I earned from spending time in my Keens as the sun would tan the open parts of the sandals leaving stripes of tan against the pale, unexposed parts of my feet. By the time I finished riding the Cape I was sporting some pretty cool stripes, silly as it may seem I felt proud to earn them and just seeing them on my feet could make me smile and re-kindle the memories of how they got there! :-)

Well, since I'm a fairweather kinda cyclist I've been pretty well sidelined from riding for a while now. Not that I won't keep my eyes & ears tuned to a possible warm spell during which I can scoot out and enjoy, but increasingly my workouts are indoors at the fitness center. Spinning classes are great, but I am finding myself increasingly missing my outdoor "fix."

My Tiger Paws are fading and this past weekend's Daylight Savings felt like a big heavy door slamming shut against the daylight.

Ugh.

The Dark Months are upon us! It's not just the darkness in the morning and after work that I find so oppressive, but the confining aspects of the cold and dark, the withdrawal of abundant sunshine.

A couple years ago I finally bought a used cross country ski set hoping to be able to use them and to get my outdoor fix. However I and many of our bike club members who switch to cross country skiing during the winter are finding that climate change has mostly snatched away our readily available skiing options. Some travel north to ski. But I'd like to gain more confidence, as I'm a newbie, before driving a distance to flop around in the snow.

So the challenge returns: how to keep my Spark during The Dark Months!

One thought which I've started to put into action has been to make a more consistent and concerted effort to head out for power walks with co-workers while on lunch break at work. We have a handy hill nearby which we start right up at the beginning of our walk that always revs us up for the rest of the walk during which we keep a crisp, zippy pace. It's a great break from our long hours either riding around seeing clients or at the pc logging in our work. PLUS we shake loose our work and enjoy our conversations along the way AND:

We get our OUTDOOR FIX! Nice triple bonuses!

The other activity I know I need to enjoy more consistently is to get out for Swing Dance every possible Tues. night:

www.stnyswingdance.com/

Yes it's on the other end of the county 20 miles away...but the costs of not going are too great. Need to make this a priority PLUS:

I need to be vigilant for opportunities to push the envelop, get out of my comfort zone and try other things. For instance, recently one of the most SPARKIN' members of SP I know: 4-A-HEALTHY-BMI has been enjoying the fun and community of contradancing and spotted an event that is coming up this Saturday practically in my back yard!

www.binghamtondance.org/kindred.htm

Part of me worries about being a total newbie to this kind of dancing, but I've heard from many sources how user-friendly, warm and accepting the contradance community can be. So yep: gonna do it!

I've invited our local SparkTeams to join in the fun and am hoping there will be others to meet. I'm truly grateful to 4-A-HEALTHY-BMI for her persuasive, friendly "nudges" to get going here!

Yes, The Dark Months may be upon us, but I'm beginning to realize and utilize one of the most potent defenses against the darkness. Pardon the dated lingo of this song, but it came to me while writing this blog and all "grooviness" aside, the message remains as timeless and vibrant as ever:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_CvBMaijw8

Yours in SPARK!

Don

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SASSYCHRIS1952 11/14/2013 4:33PM

    "Reach Out in the Darkness" is one of my favorites songs (I'm listening right now). I like your other links also, thanks for sharing!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MOTHEPRO 11/5/2013 9:39AM

    emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
CHANGE4FIT 11/5/2013 9:31AM

    Go for it Don-nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? I think any kind of dancing is simply a mood lifter :)
I agree on the DST transition-I have grown so accustomed to my walks and outdoor time that I am in a sort of mourning. I left the house Sunday afternoon at 4pm for a 5 mile jaunt and it was dark when I got back 78 minutes later. 2 months ago, I wouldn't even leave the house until 6:30 to avoid the heat....
I have adopted a habit of taking a half mile walk at lunch-wakes me up and energizes me for the afternoon. Guess that may have to be my "sunshine" fix for a while, too. This too shall pass.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
OUTDOORGIRL69 11/5/2013 9:13AM

    Love the Blog and the shoes. I need to look into them.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SMITTY4RL 11/5/2013 8:57AM

    Hey Don, I love the talk about tiger paws and how they're fading. Do you do a road bike or hybrid of some sort? I'm surprised you wear them instead of clip-ins, and it actually gives me a ray of hope because no matter how I adjust my clip-in's, I still end up with knee pain and it shortened my bike-riding experience to almost nothing this year. Too late for this season, but I have my eye on next--am in talks with DH's family (they live in Iowa) about doing a part of RAGBRAI. Oh, and good luck with dancing--that's something I cannot do to save my life, not matter what style, lol. Cheers!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SLIMMERJESSE 11/5/2013 8:06AM

    Nice blog. Have a great day.

Report Inappropriate Comment
HARMONYAGAIN 11/5/2013 7:08AM

    It sounds like a fun active time.

Enjoy!

Report Inappropriate Comment
4A-HEALTHY-BMI 11/4/2013 11:32PM

    Don, you have nothing to worry about with the contra dancing. It attracts lots of people who feel otherwise socially or physically awkward. It's funny that way.

Just check out this video, if you have any doubts:
http://youtu.be/7m9EGS4i
iOg

And heck, you already do swing, which many contra dancers aren't even brave enough to attempt! LOL

Looking forward to seeing ya on Saturday. And dancing with you.

emoticon

emoticon

Comment edited on: 11/4/2013 11:34:57 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment


Somewhere In The Hills...

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Another wonderful weekend spent with fellow bike club members! Yesterday we had our bi-annual roadside clean up which our many hands wrapped up lickety-split and followed up with a quickie 20 mile ride to Whitney Point. It was more overcast yesterday and overnight it rained fairly hard...which accomplished exactly what I had hoped: a rain-free Sunday for more cycling!

As it still looked and felt like it might possibly rain when I set out from my house at 9:30 a.m. I had this song on my mind...the jazzy bass line walking along setting a nice cadence for my pedaling:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5LSRrAwUtA

I re-named it to "RIDE Between The Raindrops" but fortunately no rain came down on our parade! :-)

I met up with others in Binghamton. Today's ride was a "bunny" ride...as the ride leader calls them. Sounds cute, light and fun right? Well...perhaps all that but one thing her rides AREN'T is EASY! Earlier on when she dubbed her rides "bunny rides" a few got duped by the name and umpteen hills later discovered cool places to ride with wonderful sights from around our gorgeous terrain...but paid for it with sore quads and other body parts! :-)

There were 8 of us for today's ride, including our favorite member, without whom the club wouldn't be here today, who is 80 years old pedaling right along with us!

I already knew that the first part of the ride was going to be a climb out of the south side of Binghamton heading toward the Pennsylvania / New York border:



As the ride went on other riders embellished with route add-ons which took us up more hills so we ended up criss-crossing the hills much like the wooly-bear caterpillars scampering across the roads we powered up and zoomed down! While the colors weren't at their best, the recent rain having taken down quite a few leaves, there was still a rustic beauty pedaling through the countryside, at times through roads layered with pungent pine needles. There were great views of the valley below from atop these hills:



All the hills brought to my mind one of my favorite (oh heck they're ALL my favorite) songs by Antonio Carlos Jobim: "Favela" which is subtitled "Somewhere in the Hills:"

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ya2LUwK1cUk

I especially like the soft samba rhythm of the guitar that propels me along and which is from Jobim's classic album which I HIGHLY recommend...check out the reviews here:

www.amazon.com/Antonio-Carlos-Jobim-
Composer-Desafindo/dp/B0000047D1/




I managed to get myself lost along the way zooming out a bit ahead of the group, not knowing where the heck everybody went and calling one member to get their location so I could back-pedal and rejoin them.



We got back to their parking spots and talked a bit about the ride and upcoming rides. Next weekend promises a return to the Butternut Valley which stretches from Sidney to Mount Upton and Morris and includes waterfalls and hopefully more fall foliage if it holds out! Another one of my favorite rides!

So rather than head straight home after the ride with the group I took the River Road loop for yet additional climbing and racked up a nice total of 56 miles and over 3,000 feet of climb today. Woo hoo, did THAT feel good!

ridewithgps.com/trips/1889900

All righty now...back to the work week...let's fill 'er with SPARK everybody!

Don

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SASSYCHRIS1952 10/19/2013 8:25AM

    I always enjoy the scenic pictures you post, it's second to none to embrace being out and about!

Report Inappropriate Comment
RECREATING_ME 10/17/2013 9:43PM

    Always beautiful scenery on your cycling adventures!

Report Inappropriate Comment
_VALEO_ 10/11/2013 5:57PM

    Oh, thank you so much for this gem "Walk between the raindrops"! A classic song I haven't heard for such a long time, and I needed to hear it today!


If you had a hard time pedaling through the hills, it is because I was right with you on your luggage-rack. Your fault--the way you describe nature and your ride make us believe we are part of it!






Report Inappropriate Comment
CHANGE4FIT 10/9/2013 9:07AM

    What a beautiful place! Glad you had a great day of riding.

Report Inappropriate Comment
HIPPICHICK1 10/8/2013 9:41AM

    Love it!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SMITTY4RL 10/7/2013 9:22PM

    Love the pics. Sounds like a super ride--glad the weather held for you!

Report Inappropriate Comment
ZELLAZM 10/7/2013 7:19PM

    Thanks for that great link about Switzerland. I only had time to scan it, but I've got it bookmarked. And I will need to come back here to your blog and click on all the music links...because right now, I need to finish packing and go to bed! That train at 7:07 isn't going to wait for me!

Have a super Spark week,
Michelle

Report Inappropriate Comment
L*I*T*A* 10/7/2013 10:33AM

    sounds like you had a great time........ emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
WATERMELLEN 10/7/2013 7:44AM

    Your life is in rhythm: and love the big skies in your great pics!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
FERRETLOVER1 10/7/2013 7:17AM

    Thank goodness for cell phones or you might never have found them again! Love your pictures - awesome scenery - sounds like a great ride!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment


First Page  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 Last Page