It didn’t make very much sense as cold as it was up here in Michigan yesterday morning, 38 balmy degrees – or 40 degrees colder than the day before, for a bike ride to be “fun”. It was so cold that I had to keep my head down to break the wind with my helmet rather than my face. I was prepared for the blast of cold, but I sure wasn’t ready for it.
I was prepared, I had a light running shirt on, my cycling jacket, gloves, bandana to keep my ears warm, tights and even my slip on foot covers… But once I hit 20 mph I was intensely reminded how much colder it is at 20 than standing still…and how much more difficult it is to make the muscles work when they’re cold.
That notwithstanding, my ride yesterday was fun. The season, effectively over, held no more goals or accomplishments to complete. I can never escape the nagging committee member in my melon who beats on my brain constantly to push harder, if for nothing else, to make next season a little faster, a little stronger. I managed to beat that one back yesterday and just enjoy a Saturday for what it was – a great, if cold, day for an outdoor ride. I spent about an hour at the running club hanging out with my running buddies… Where I ran into another interesting problem, hopping on the scale for the first time in weeks: I had expected to have gained a couple of pounds. My workouts have been cut by a third or more and though I did cut back on the food, the adjustment usually takes a few weeks to get right… I lost three pounds since I made the cuts. This is, obviously, good news – and I absolutely hoped to take advantage at dinner last night… We ate at Raymo’s, a new place in Fenton to celebrate the wedding anniversary of English Pete and his wife. Mrs. BgddyJim checked out the place and I was quite nervous when she showed me this:
“Raymo’s food and music together, sharing food several ways, taking inspiration from the tapas small plate style of dining…”
Sharing? Small Plate? Uh, yeah… I was a bit more than a little nervous. Visions of one ounce steaks and carrot shavings, and three of the four of us (Pete’s wife is a Vegetarian) trying to fill up on that ripped through my consciousness…
They came out first with a salad that my wife ordered… Just a simple lettuce, cucumber, carrot and radish salad, with the most amazing vinaigrette dressing I’ve ever tasted… Ok, the sharing thing wasn’t so bad. Then came the salt and pepper fries with homemade ketchup. Oh, my. Then came the cheese and bacon infused burger… Yes, I used bacon and infused in the same sentence to describe a delectable, juicy, wonderful burger. Yeah, that’s pretty much where the sharing ended.
So here’s the deal with the “small plate” thing: the plate was small – the food, on the other hand was most decidedly not. Call me a simpleton. Now here’s where it gets fun… I cut back too much in the caloric intake and wound up loosing three pounds that I could ill-afford to loose (cue faint violin music: “My Heart Bleeds For You”). Well, it should be quite obvious that the best way to replace those three pounds is to consume calories – and sadly, lettuce, spinach and veggies are a little light on the calories – I’d have to eat, what, four pounds of salad to gain three pounds back? Well, I’ve never been an overeater so the Chocolate Pudding, baked over chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream made much more sense. I know, I know, don’t cry for me – life is full of sacrifices.
Folks, I’m here to tell you, Raymo’s was the most satisfying dining experience I’ve had in years. Dinner was followed by lots of coffee and a fantastic local Blues band. We arrived for dinner at 6:45 and didn’t leave until 10:30. We laughed and ate and drank (coffee) to our heart’s content… And on top of that, I got the back yard’s leaves cleaned up.
What a perfect Saturday… 18.5 average on the way down 3-5 mph tailwind. 17.5 average on the way back, into a 15 mph headwind – and i enjoyed every minute of it.