Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Fatguy Roller Pic of the Week - 1/23/09

Howdy Ho sports fans!

You may have noticed that there is no Roller Pic. That's is due to the fact that I've been off the bike for 7 days straight and don't have one to put up.

I'm back on the bike today and will be back with a new entry for January 30th.

So why have I not been riding the past week?

Well I'm glad you asked.

I've been growing my new business, JEK Design & Drafting Services.

I'll talk about it more later...right now things are going good so far, I dont want to jinx it.



Update - Back on the bike. I think i picked up a pound or so. But the ride didnt seem any hard then usual. I did 2 x 20's while watching Sukiyaki Western Django. Cool movie.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Fatguy Racer Roller Pic of the Week - 1/16/09

Howdy Ho Everybody!

Another week goes by and I shrink another pound or so. White is not very flattering. I don't care. This feature goes on warts and all.

I'm not sure what the look is about. It might have something to do with what I was watching on TV. I finally got around to putting in a Netflix DVD i've had for 2 weeks now, Atonement. What a dire movie that was. I need to make a note to watch something alittle more upbeat, like Leaving Las Vegas, next time.

Well, until next time...



Wednesday, January 14, 2009

GamJams Reviews: Hydration - Gatorade

Howdy Ho Everybody!

This weeks review topic is indeed one that I have plenty of experience with. Over the last 15 years of cycling I have tried many hydration products. Some were good, some were bad and some were just plain WTF? I'm calling you out XLR8 or whatever that urine colored liquid concentrate was called, with the funky bottle and measuring cap. What I have discovered in those 15 years of trying everything under the sun is that it's all a bunch of marketing bullshit.

I am of the old school mold in all things cycling. I'm not a Luddite by any means, I embrace technology as much as the next guy, but I will only invest in new tech only If I believe it will have a payoff in performance for me. Cycling tech is not cheap, and like a seasoned investor I want a return on my investment. When it comes to gimmicky crap cycling has not been immune to the hucksters and their snake oils with promises of increased VO2, lactic buffering, etc, etc, ad nauseum. I was not immune to the sirens calls of those snake oil salesman and their promises of better, faster, stronger.

I bought into the hype on some of these products and gave them an honest run. I can report that the only thing they did for me is to part me with my money. They worked no better than Gatorade. Some of those products have actually hindered my performance. Cytomax, for instance, always made me sick to my stomach because it sat very heavy down there after ingesting it. My number one criteria for a hydration product is that it should not make me want to belch. Especially when I'm on the rivet. The problem with most products is they have too much sugar or sweetner. Powerade comes to mind here. If you can think of a worse product than Powerade, I'd like to know about it.

Having tried and rejected almost everything that has come to market in the last 15 years I have come to accept the ubiquitous Gatorade as my hydration drink of choice. I like it for many reasons. The first and main reason is that it just plain works. I have never been on a ride where I have bonked or hit the wall when I've had access to Gatorade. I have come close to dying on a ride from running out of fluids and like an oasis in the desert even the most run down backwoods country store has Gatorade. It's no small coincidence either. Gatorade has been around almost as long as I have. I remember buying it as a kid at the local 7-11. Back then it came in quart size glass jars with big mouth lids and metal caps. Which brings me to my 2nd main reason I like Gatorade. I can buy it anywhere. Have you ever been to a convenience store that didn't sell Gatorade? Me neither. It's as omnipresent as Coco-Cola. It's a great product that works and their marketing is 2nd to none in the performance drink market. And since I've been drinking the stuff since childbirth my body is used to it and doesn't reject it even under extreme duress. Even in the high heat of summer when the stuff in the bottle is hotter than jacuzzi water, I can put it down without drama. My body knows what it wants and it wants Gatorade.

Which brings me to my third reason for favoring Gatorade. It's cheap. Even though the marketing is huge for Gatorade, they have an advantage over all the others and it's price. I buy the huge can of powder at Sam's Club and I get more the twice the amount of drink than I would get with the other products. With the powder I can also mix it to any strength I like. I prefer to mix my own batches on the heavy side. That way when I'm out on the road for a long time, I can top up with water and still have a bit of electrolyte in the bottle. Speaking of water, that is my number 2 preferred hydration drink. In fact if I am only going for a short ride of of an hour of so, I only take one bottle of water. On any other ride one bottle of water, one bottle of Gatorade.

I will admit that right now I am out of Gatorade and am using a big bottle of Heed powder that I scored as some feebee swhag. It has the weirdest taste, mine is Strawberry, but it is almost as light as water. Remarkably Heed comes closest to delivering on what it promises for a hydration product. I've been using Hammer gel for a couple of years now with good results, so maybe I might actually spend my own money on another bottle of Heed when the one I got is gone. Than again, maybe not. Sometimes that weird taste just gets to me.

One thing is for certain. Like death and taxes, there will always be Gatorade. It's always there, somewhere, anywhere, when you need it most.



Saturday, January 10, 2009

Recipe Corner with the Fatguy: DIY Pizza

Howdy Ho Boys and Girls!

I didn't get to be a plus size individual without knowing a thing or two about cooking. Just because I'm dieting down to a normal bike racer size doesn't mean I'm willing to give up food. I have just changed my habits to accommodate my choices. One of my favorite is pizza. And not just any pizza, but pizza you can make at home far cheaper and better than what you can get delivered to your house or purchase in the frozen foods section. The best part is that it takes the same time to make one as it does to wait for one to be delivered. So why bother with DiGiorno or Dominos. Make it yourself. Here's how I do a pepperoni & Canadian bacon pie...

First I start with the oven. I set that bad boy to 425 degrees, just like it says on the dough package. I use ready made pizza dough from Trader Joe's. This one is a plain dough. They have whole wheat and herb doughs too. My wife like the herb doughs which I use to make her favorite. A 'white' pizza with fresh Roma tomatoes, whole basil leaves and Asiago cheese. That's the beauty of these things, I can do what ever my imagination inspires me to do. To get the dough ready I set it out and let it get to room temperature. While the dough is getting up to temperature, I gather the rest of the ingredients. Here I have a can of Hunts tomato sauce, extra virgin olive oil, Italian seasoning, granulated garlic, thinly sliced Roma tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, Canadian bacon and the aforementioned dough. Also in the picture is my favored cooking utensil for pizza, a well seasoned Pampered Chef pizza stone.

The next thing I do is to take a sheet of wax paper, set it on a flat surface and place a heaping scoop of flour in the middle of it. This is where I prep the dough. Unfortunately I don't have a picture of that. So here's what to do. I place the fresh dough ball in the middle of the flour and scoop some more flour on top of it. I lightly spread the flour on the dough ball all over so it's not sticky to the touch. Then I work the dough into a 12-15" flat round pie. I even get fancy and toss that sucker in the air too. I learned how to do that 20 years ago working at a pizza place.

I like to get the pie bigger than the pizza stone so I can make a shoulder around the edge. That's the crust. Once done tossing, I place it on the pre-oiled pizza stone. I prefer olive oil. If you don't want to use oil, spread some corn meal on the stone. My wife says that works, but I have better luck with the oil.

Next comes the sauce. I pour it evenly on the pie and then pick up the whole stone and wave it around to let gravity evenly distribute the sauce so that I get a nice even coverage. Don't worry, the dough will not slide off the stone. Another reason I prefer oil. Also, I am not shy with the sauce. The gravity method works better than using your fingers (gross) or the bottom of a spoon. Then I sprinkle the garlic and Italian seasoning on the sauce. Sometime, when I am not in a hurry, I will figure out an uncooked recipe for sauce, In the meantime speed and ease are king. Trust me, it will not taste bland.

Now comes the tomatoes. I place them all over in a single layer right on top of the sauce. It's hard to beat the taste of fresh tomatoes on a pizza. Dominos doesn't do that! Bastages!

Here's the good part. The cheese. This is where home made trumps all. I can put as much of that good stuff on there as I want. There is no skimping at Casa Fatguy. Cheese is a personal choice. I prefer whole milk mozzarella. I grabbed this part skim stuff by mistake. I wont be doing that again. You can use what ever you like. My wife likes Asiago. I do too, but I like to sprinkle it on top of the mozzarella. It gives the cheese a nice aroma and bite to it.

Now the pepperoni. This brand is actually very low on greasy scale and it's thin. The thick stuff is good too. Traders Joe's has a nice Pancetta that I like to top my pies with, but I didn't have any.

Next up is the Canadian bacon. I like to slice it in half. The cheese and pepperoni underneath cooks better if its not covered up with whole slices of bacon. Trial and error learned me that.

Last but not least, extra cheese! I loves the cheese. There is nothing in the world that cannot be improved on with addition of cheese. I also sprinkle on more Italian seasoning and garlic. Time to put it in the oven...

I set the timer for 20 min and check on it from time to time. This pie took about 23 min and I turned it 180 degrees one time to get the cheese to evenly cook. Timing is key to get the cheese melted without burning the heck out of it. A pizza is not a roast. You cannot put it in the oven and forget about it. My oven has a speed bake feature. I don't use it! The cheese cooks OK and quicker but the dough is left partially raw. Slow and steady wins the race.

Once done you should have a beautiful pie like this...

Slice into 8 pieces, pours an expensive Belgian ale with the money you saved and enjoy! I guarantee that this pizza will be better than anything that ever shows up at your door in 30 min or less.



Friday, January 9, 2009

Fatguy Roller Pic of the Week - 1/9/09

Howdy Sports Fans!

Welcome to another weekly installment of my adventures in weight loss. I've lost the holiday weight and I'm back down to where I was before the holidays. About 202-203 lbs. I was really hoping for 195 by Jan 1st. Thanks to that nasty bug I got for the last week of the year, I had no chance. My new goal is 190 by the Latitude/ABRT 2009 season kick off party in early February. At that weight, I'll be in decent shape for the training races at Tradezone.

Oh yeah, the kit? It's what I had left that wasn't in a dirty pile on the floor. I need to get on that this weekend.



Thursday, January 8, 2009

Gam Jams Reviews: Best Cycling Gift - A handmade winter hat.

My wife made this hat for me to keep my head warm on cold days. She did it in Latitude/ABRT colors. I wear the darn thing everywhere. It makes me look like a dork, but I don't care. I love this hat. And I love my wife, she's the best.

Oh and she did buy me a Park TS-2 pro truing stand for Christmas too. So I got that going for me now!



Sunday, January 4, 2009

Fatguy Racer Roller Pic of the Week - 1/2/09

Happy New Year!

Here's the first pic of the 2009.

Right about now I am 8 weeks into my 2009 training season. Unfortunately I only have ridden for 7 of those. From Dec. 25 to Dec. 31 I had been off the bike completely battling some kind of cold/flu bug that seems to be the talk of the town. I am feeling much better now and have resumed training. However, I have had to put off my first all out TT test until my next rest and reco week.

The bad new is that I have not lost any weight in the last 2 weeks. I gained a pound of two instead, thanks to the holiday cooking and parties.

Now that the new year is upon us I look forward to making it a better one than last year. I didnt think anything would top 2006 for suckitude, but 2008 was right up there. I hope every one else had a good 2009.