Sunday, February 5, 2012

Winter Miles

Yesterday, it was in the mid-40s (F) here, warm and sunny, the nicest day of a whole week of nice days, which, taken together, served to rid the ground here (and, what is more to the point for my purposes in this post, the roads) of the six inches or so of snow that we got a week-and-a-half ago.  So (you knew I was gonna get around to this, didn't you?), I got to go out on my bike.  14 miles.  In February.  Which I haven't done in many, many years.  Woo-hoo!

Together with the 39 miles I got out on the road in January, I now have 53 miles for 2012, which is fairly typical for my total by the end of March.  Add that to the 56 miles I got to ride in December, and I've done over 100 miles in the three winter months, during which any miles at all are pure gravy.  So, 100 miles of gravy; and there's still three more weekends left in February.  I checked my records, and the last time I actually got out on the road in each of December, January and February was '91-'92.  Just to time-scale it for you, Jen was newly pregnant with the fifth of our eight children at the time.  So, you know, it's been a while. . .

I've got a decent stationary bike that I typically use in the winter months.  It's not so bad, to spin the pedals while I watch a football or basketball game, with snow blanketing the ground.  But it's nothing like actually getting out on the road.  The first few miles, my legs, and even more, my lungs, are getting used to the idea of working quite that hard again.  But once they get 'dialed back in', it's just pure joy to be out in the fresh air and sunshine.

The cynical part of me wonders how many feet of snow we'll get in March and April, to take back the miles that the mild winter has given.  But, you know, tomorrow's troubles are enough for tomorrow.  Or something like that. . .


And, since today is Super Bowl Sunday (and whoop-de-freakin'-doo, eh?), I'll re-post, at no extra charge, my recipe for Jalapeño Cheese Dip, which has become a traditional staple of SBs at our house:

1 24oz container cottage cheese
1 16oz container sour cream
     (just recently, we've taken to substituting plain Greek yogurt)
2 cups shredded cheese – Monterrey Jack or mozzarella
     (Pepper Jack is also good)
3-5 chopped green onions or scallions
3-5 garlic toes, pressed or minced
1-3 jalapeño peppers, chopped
     (mix in a habañero pepper for a hotter bite)

(This is the basic recipe; we have also occasionally added other ingredients, like salsa, chili powder, or cayenne powder, as variations; feel free to be as creative as you feel like)

Combine ingredients at least 24 hours before serving, and refrigerate; serve with tortilla chips (we like blue corn best, but we’re not dogmatic about it), and DON’T rub your eyes (or any other 'sensitive tissues') without first washing your hands, preferably a few times. . .


  1. Woo Hoo on the bike rides! Hasn't it been great outside? Walked a few miles today and sun is still shining, so I might go out for more!

    That recipe might wipe out my family, with our propensity towards lactose intolerance and/or GERD!

  2. alright! Gotta like having a chance to get out on a bike in winter, that's great!

  3. Good job on the bike riding! I went out on a walk today but it was SO tempting to get the bike out. Biking is so much more fun, but I just wasn't quite up to hefting it up all the stairs from the basement. If I had known winter would be like this, I would have never stored it!

  4. Bijoux - Yikes! Don't wanna be wiping out any families! Especially not yours. . .

    Sailor - Amen!

    JM - Totally worth it. . .

  5. 100 miles of gravy? Mmmmm!

    And whoop-de-freakin'-doo for my Giants, eh?

  6. whoop-de-frikkin-do indeed. but yay on the biking.

  7. The dip sounds amazing. I will have to try it the next time I entertain.

  8. Xavier - (*sigh*)

    Yeah, congrats to yer G-Men.

    A little bit of SB Trivia - there is exactly ONE (1) NFC team that has never (as in, freakin' NEVER!) played in a Super Bowl. And, coincidently enough, of the teams that were in the league at the time of the first SB (or heck, the XXIXth!) only ONE (1) has never played in a Souper. Even though two SBs have been played on their home field. . .

    Not that I'm bitter about that, or anything. . .

    Lime - Oh, the ride was amazing! My Saturday was booked solid until about 4PM, so I was racing against the daylight (funny how that never comes into play in July), or Id've done considerably more than just 14 miles.

    But if my Lions ever make the Super Bowl, you'll indulge me one or two genuine, honest-to-for-real 'whoop-de-doo's', won't you? Just, you know, for the sake of 'rejoicing with those who rejoice', right?


    Flutter - Try it out, sometime; it really is quite good. Unless, you know, you've got dairy or acid issues; then, not so much. . .

  9. I knew dat .... which is why I tried to be discreet .... BTW, my G-men have a few openings for new fans, let me know if you need a reference.

  10. You are very kind. . .

    But I'm inclined to leave my level of support at the fact that my alma mater contributed Carl Banks and Greg Jones (among others, over the years, I'm sure) to your cause. And Plaxico Burress. . .

    Besides, Super Bowl champions NEVER have new fan openings, anyway (them bandwagons get FULL). . .


  11. I found you on Suldog's blog and hopped over. My husband is from Boyne City, actually, Walloon Lake, so if you are almost a yooper,as Sudog says, doing any bike riding this time of year is pretty amazing. The Lions are finally getting into the action. Life is good. ( and Michigan is winning too!)

  12. Boomer - My 'near-Yooper' status has more to do with where I grew up, than with where I live now. But I am familiar with the Boyne/Walloon area; done a few DALMACs thru there. . .

    I hope you won't think less of me if I tell you I'm a bleed-green Spartan; life has been pretty good for us for a few years now. . .