Friday, April 16, 2010

Cycling World Meets Cooking World Over a Chai Big Bite Cocktail

Shopping for the right bike can be mind boggling. Technology has met the biking mecha full-force and my head is spinning. As a woman, I do NOT want a female biking frame. Right now, I have my father's Fuji, streamlined for speed, but the frame is about 1 to 2 inches to short for me (and also about 24 years old but in great shape with all 10 speeds). As I ride, my body screams that certain body parts are becoming angsty. With the shorter frame, I want to stretch clean off the back of my bike seat. Yes, the bike seat has slide bars underneath for adjustment and this has already been addressed. Maybe I should add here that I happen to be 6 feet tall with a 33 inch inseam, meaning I need height to get a full leg stretch when pushing out or down at a higher gear to attain enough speed for an even pace during a 30 mile course. Right now, my ride ends in frustration. My legs are cramping and my shoulders burn. The shoulder burning could be due to getting used to a biking helmet. My first week in the biking world, after not riding anything for 19 years, was biking 68 miles, divided between 3 days. This is my second week and I am bent on learning how to draft. Drafting means you are right on the tail of the biker in front and the two of you alternate these positions to give each other a breathier. Uhm, trust and knowledge of how your biking buddy rides is HUGE here. Nobody truly enjoys a bike running over the top of you from behind.
Included in the knowledge of my own personal body and the frustration of wanting to really cut loose but not being able to is finding the right fit within my personal budget with all the options I am looking for. Not an easy task unless I am willing to research and research is essential. This is not an endeavor to be rushed and yet I have no idea how much longer I can fight myself out of frustration. Right now, my biking pace is between 16 and 18 m.p.h., hills not included. I am competitive and the road is an extensive one for learning what gear I want to carry with me. So today we start the search!
The Fuji bike at the top is a Carbon Team bike, meant for speed and performance. I want my bike to look the look. Sleek, racy and tough. The bikers around me would know I could kick ass flying by if you saw me coming. The Fuji has 20 speeds, weighs less then 8.5 pounds, has a frame size to meet my height requirements and looks hot!
The second pic is a 2006 Mercier Serpens LTD 20. 20 speed, super light carbon and aluminum frame, with the same geometry as the Fuji carbon race bike. The hunt is on!
Below, is what I do best, play in the kitchen. Chai's Big Bite Cocktail was created by Food Network's Guy Fieri but I felt the drink needed tweaking. First of all, Guy calls for a full blender of ice. The drink ends up tasting watered down. The vanilla vodka is completely lost at only 1 shot, and yes, I like to have a frozen drink that still says you may not taste the alcohol but I am coming to get you! I do not want to drink a ton of beverage to finally feel the edge melt away.
So with a few alterations, here is the new and improved recipe:
3 ounces coffee liquor
2 ounces Irish Cream
3 ounces Vanilla Vodka
8 ounces Chai-tea concentrate (I used the Pacific Chai concentrate)
6 ounces milk or half-and-half
Shaved chocolate, for garnish
Directions: Fill blender 3/4 full with ice, pour in all ingredients, and blend thoroughly. We want NO ice chunks so do not get impatient. REV THAT BLENDER!Pour into a tall iced tea glass - will fill 4, and garnish with shaved chocolate if you like. I do not because the shaved chocolate seems to me that it would just roll off the top during the first sip.

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