Brain Fart: Commuting

Parking lot at DR 5.14.2008.

Yesterday’s view of the parking lot at DR headquarters.

This age of nearly $4/gallon gasoline has certainly gotten everyone’s attention. Fortunately some folks are doing more than simply bitching about the high price of fuel. I’m increasingly impressed by the number of people I’m seeing out and about on bicycles whether it’s for fun, transportation, or both.

Now, since you’re reading this blog, I’m going to assume that you’re a cyclist–or at least interested in cycling. Given that statement, I’m going to implore you to give riding your bike to work a shot if you haven’t. Yeah yeah, we’ve heard all the excuses, while some of them are valid, you can do anything you put your mind too.

Alright, I’ll step down off of that soapbox and onto the next. For those of us that are already established bicycle commuters, our civic duty is to help folks who are interested get into the game. Though it may be hard to believe, you may be a (relative) wealth of information. If you know someone who expresses interest in giving bicycle commuting a whirl, do what you can to facilitate. Offer to check out their bike prior to riding in order to make sure they are safe and recommend a tune-up if needed. Help this individual be as prepared as possible for varying weather conditions, make sure they’re safely lit at night, and help them figure out how they’re going to carry all the stuff they’ll need. Speaking of stuff they’ll need, make sure they have a spare tube, pump, necessary tools, and knowledge to change a flat–confidence in fixing a flat tire does wonders. If possible, ride this individual’s commute with them sometime when the clock isn’t ticking. Point out shortcuts and things to watch out for along the way so they’re confident with their route and know how much time to schedule. There are loads more things you can do, but that covers the basics.

As established cyclists we have the unfortunate tendency to coming off as elitist assholes to non-cyclists and those who are new to the sport. The more we can do to help break down these barriers and facilitate cycling transport and culture the better off we’ll all be. So, when you’re out and about say hello and/or give a wave to your fellow cyclists and pedestrians–don’t even think about judging them based on their bicycle or attire. After all–two wheels, one love.

And since riding a bike makes you hungry, and eating is one many wonderful rewards for riding, I’ll include this yummy recipe courtesy of Vegetarian Times Magazine:

CHEESE ENCHILADAS WITH EASY MOLE SAUCE
Serves 8

Cocoa powder and peanut butter make this traditional Mexican sauce a snap. If you can’t find ancho chile powder, use 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper instead.

Mole Sauce
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
2 medium-sized onions, chopped (about 2 cups)
2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tsp.)
1/4 cup chili powder
2 Tbs. light brown sugar
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ancho chile powder
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1 15.5-oz. can diced tomatoes
3 Tbs. cocoa powder
3 Tbs. peanut butter

Enchiladas*
12 oz. light Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (about 3 cups)
16 8-inch flour tortillas

1. To make Mole Sauce: Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onions, and cook 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until browned. Stir in garlic, chili powder, brown sugar, cinnamon, ancho chile powder and ground cloves, and cook 1 minute, or until fragrant, stirring constantly.
2. Add tomatoes, cocoa, peanut butter and 2 cups water. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. To make Enchiladas: Preheat oven to 350F. Ladle 3/4 cup Mole Sauce into bottoms of 2 12×8-inch ovenproof baking dishes. Place about 21/2 Tbs. cheese in center of each tortilla. Roll tortilla around cheese, and set seam side down on top of mole sauce, placing 8 filled tortillas in each pan. Top each dish with 11/4 cups mole, and sprinkle each with 1/3 cup cheese. Bake 20 minutes, or until sauce bubbles and cheese melts.

PER SERVING: 462 CAL; 24G PROT; 22.5G TOTAL FAT (8.5G SAT. FAT); 47G CARB; 30MG CHOL; 629MG SOD; 7G FIBER; 8G SUGARS

*Add your favorite veggies, or choice of protein, to the Enchiladas for a more balance dish. I usually add a variety of peppers, portabellas, black beans, and whatever else I’m in the mood for at the time. Oh, and only two cloves of garlic? I’d recommend most of a bulb, which could explain why I’m single.

See the original arcticle here.

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