Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Peanut Butter Corn Flake Energy Chunks*

For instant energy and not so much for instant nutrition.

1 C smooth peanut butter
1 C light corn syrup
1 C sugar
2 C Grape nuts
4 C corn flakes
1/2 C instant oats
1/2 C chopped dates
3 T ground flax seeds
some Tapioca flour

Combine peanut butter, corn syrup and sugar in large pan.
Heat on stove top until it begins to bubble.
Stir in Grapenuts, corn flakes, oats, dates and flax seeds till thoroughly coated.
Press into lightly oiled pan.
Allow to cool.
Cut into chunks of about 1"x1".
Coat chunks with tapioca powder so they don't stick to each other.
Place in plastic storage containers till needed.

At freezing temps (e.g., -7 Celsius), the bars are firm but not rock hard.  Put a chunk in your mouth and let it melt.

*I keep changing the name of these.

Have fun and stay (sort of) healthy,
Robert Matson
New York City Recumbent Supply
The Innovation Works, Inc.
copyright 2012 Robert Matson

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

More about warm feet. And a neat Farmer John suit.

Outdoor Research's Radiant Hybrid Suit(TM).
Now, aside from being in black as opposed to high-viz lime-green,
wouldn't this make great cold temp recumbent wear?
Today I updated my "warm feet for winter riding" blog entry with a bit about wearing neoprene vapor barrier socks under summer road shoes and then covering it all with a neoprene booty.  Super warm.  However...(see below).

What I like about this solution is it lets me keep using my nice SIDI road shoes and Look Keo pedals into the winter.  I prefer the SIDIs over my touring shoes with Shimano SPD walkable cleats because the metal SPD cleats conduct cold air into the shoes.  That, and my touring shoes have never fit too well.  With the Keos, the bolt openings are hidden away and covered by the plastic cleat.  The main problem on cold days has been the light, thin sole of the SIDIs taking the full brunt of the cold wind.

In an earlier version of this entry, I said that -- the full brunt of cold wind -- can be addressed with "all the neoprene."  I need to adjust that.  The neoprene vapor barrier socks are amazing.  That remains true.  But many neoprene booties are open on the bottom of the foot.  So, while your foot is, indeed, overall, kept warmer by the neoprene covering, the soles of your shoes are still exposed.  It's warmer, but there's a limit.  It's a great solution that goes only just so far.

For cold weather bent riding, with cleats, wear a neoprene vapor barrier, socks, and then a cleated boot like Shimano's winter boots.  Here's a review about them with lots of comments.  From there, you could add the neoprene shoe covers, I suppose, to add a few more degrees of warmth.

But if it's really cold, for now, until I find a better solution, I'm saying either forget about the cleats and wear Pac Boots and use platform pedals.  Or keep the cleats and use a fairing.

By the way, while I'm thinking about it, check out this fantastic pair of Farmer Johns from Outdoor Research (OR).  This would make an excellent riding suit for the frigid cold.  I have a fair amount of gear from OR -- a bivvy bag, gaiters, gloves, a hat, a ziptop baselayer shirt... --  and have been extremely happy with all of it.  There are other brands to like, but OR is strong in the technical/expedition department and I've developed a good amount of trust in them.  And they have that infinite warranty.  Holy cow.

Have fun, stay healthy, and don't slip on the ice,
Robert Matson
New York City Recumbent Supply
The Innovation Works, Inc.
copyright 2012 Robert Matson

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Myanmar (Burma) is in the house!

Today I glanced at the statistics for where this week's readers live.  Really cool to see Myanmar (Burma) representing!  What machines are you guys riding?  What are you looking to do?  What are your roads like?

Pageviews by Country, last week's readers:

United States
United Kingdom
Myanmar [Burma]

Thanks for your visits, guys and gals.  It's an honor to be in touch with you.

Have fun and stay healthy,
Robert Matson
New York City Recumbent Supply
The Innovation Works, Inc.
copyright 2012 Robert Matson

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Viet Nam calling.

New York is a funny place.  There are 8.2 million people in the city.  That allows for a lot of variation.  Most of those people are ordinary and decent: their lives are okay -- could be worse, could be better (could be a lot better if they were riding a recumbent bike).  Meanwhile, the city's reputation is tainted by several thousand jerks, many of whom drive SUVs and luxury taxis.  Working with a bell curve here, my totally unscientific and uninformed rough guess is that 2.2% of New Yorkers are chronically bitchy -- 181,388 people who are simply mean.  (And another 2.2% -- 181,388 -- who are chronically giddy.  Look out.  Either they are doping or they just moved here last week.)  Going down this ridiculous path of invented statistics, I'll estimate that another 13.6% or so, conservatively, probably didn't sleep well last night.  So, 1,121,308 New Yorkers who were nice yesterday, but today, look out.

In my business, I don't meet a lot of people who are having a bad day.  In fact, usually they're having one of the best days of their life when they come through my door.  It's not because of me.  It's because they're about to discover the joy of riding a recumbent bike (or trike).  But every now and then one of those chronically bitchy people seem to decide that they absolutely must reach out and touch me.  Ick.  Gross.  Yuck.  Something like this happened recently and it can really bum me out.

Other times, someone comes along who makes my day and reminds me why I like the city.  Case in point, the other day a customer called from Viet Nam just to say thank you for recommending, speccing and selling her what has been an excellent (perfect?) bike for her travels -- a Volae Century ES with several special additions.  We had a great conversation about what she's up to, what I'm up to, and whether her Red Hook home was flooded by Sandy in her absence.  It was funny how casual it felt even though we were speaking over such a long distance!

How nice!  I tell you, that's why I do this.

Keep on Truckin',
Robert Matson
New York City Recumbent Supply
The Innovation Works, Inc.
copyright 2012 Robert Matson