Ride: Sacramento work commute.

Mileage:  26.1 miles.

Time: 1:41 round trip.  About 15.5 mph average.

Weather: Warm (90 F on return) not much breeze.

Comments: Schedule has confounded me so I haven’t ridden in a while, so easy out.  Really pretty fast on the way back (max 20 mph, sustained 17-18 mph) even with the heat.  Minimal headwind on the causeway makes a big difference westbound.

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Ride: Lake Solano out and back.

Mileage:  50.1 miles.

Time: 3:34 round trip.  About 14 mph average.

Weather: Warm not much breeze.

Comments: Long ride for me.  The Mrs. did the Stevenson Bridge out and back, so she was with me for part of the way.  Minor hills near Lake Solano were a bit tough at the end of long ride out.  Legs were running out of gas, but mostly sore butt and body aches and pains in the last 10 miles.  Still felt pretty good for a longest to date ride.

Ride: Work Commute

Mileage:  26 miles.

Time: 1:45 round trip.  About 15 mph average.

Weather: Cool and breezy.

Comments: Changeable breeze in the am and worse in the pm.  At times had a tail wind that wound me up to 18-19 mph for extended periods on the way out but prevailing headwinds almost all the way bag made it feel uphill the whole way.

Ride: Stevenson Bridge +

Mileage:  25.1 miles.

Time: A little over 2 hours.  11.9 mph average.

Weather: Hot (97F) and a bit muggy, no breeze.

Comments: Ended up being very hot despite the forecast of low 90s.  Coupled with no breeze and a bit muggy had the wife and I feeling too hot and crappy to really rock it.  Hit the shade a few times to cool off and rejuvenate.

Ride: Davis loop.

Mileage:  12.9 miles.

Time: About 50 min.  15.0 mph average.

Weather: Very warm start but cooled off as sun set (95 F ish) and not too much wind.

Comments: Was running late but wanted to get a ride in so I was pushing daylight.  I also wanted to do a faster midweek ride so I was able to accomplish both.  Some portions were quite fast 19-20 mph while a few others were kind of ped and bike trafficky.

Ride: Stevenson Bridge via South Davis/Putah Creek Parkway + a South Davis loop.

Mileage:  41 miles.

Time: About 3 hours.  13.4 mph average.  Probably 12ish on the bridge portion and more like 15-16 on the solo loop.

Weather: Mild temps (85 F ish) and not too much wind.

Comments: Wife and I rode out and back to the bridge.  Flatted just after the bridge.  Patch repair and back on our way.  I added on another 16ish mile loop through farms on the roads south of town.  Just starting to run out of gas as I near the 40 mile mark.

Ride: Home to the Amtrak Station.

Mileage:  About 6 miles, round trip.

Time: Didn’t really time it, but probably something like 10-15 minutes each way.

Weather: Warm temps (95 F ish) and not too much wind.

Comments: Rode my buddies wife’s bike with the kiddie seat and kiddie on board while he rode his soon-to-be-commuter.

Buddy was testing his new seat and timing his ride to the train station.  His work has a deal which gives him a substantial discount on Amtrak (which allows you to bring your bike) from Davis to Sacramento.  He’s planning on starting a bike/train/bike commute, so how could I avoid helping him suss it out?  He’ll probably have about 10 minutes on this end and maybe 15 on the other end, so that’s probably close to an hour of “free” exercise whenever he bike/train commutes.

As luck would have it, the Capitol Corridor train arrived just a few minutes after we arrived so he was able to check out the onboard storage facilities on the train as well as the station ticketing options/times.

Not to mention that said kiddie loves trains and enjoyed the show.  Wasn’t planning on riding anything today, but what the hey.  Time in the saddle and cleared some of the cobwebs.

The Cook’s Illustrated No Knead Bread method has been so consistently great, that I went in pursuit of the almost mythical great good everyday whole wheat sandwich bread.  My charge was simple, replicate the whole wheat bread my wife and I consume regularly which is an oatey wheat sandwich loaf with sunflower seeds and wheat berries.  Great in a sandwich or simply toasted.

I started with the basic Breadtopia Almost No Knead Sandwich Loaf (Wheat Version) below but with a few tweaks.  This doesn’t involve baking in the dutch oven, but after a few attempts, its proven consistently good.

18 ounces (~3 2/3 cups) flour. I use 3 cups of white and 2/3 cup of whole wheat flour.
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill 5-Grain Mix
1 3/4 tsp salt (I use just a bit less)
3/8 tsp. instant yeast
1 cup (8 ounces) water
1/2 cup (4 ounces) beer (non-alcoholic is ok)
1 1/4 Tbs white vinegar
2 1/2 Tbs honey

I combine all the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly in a large mixing bowl.  Then I usually dissolve the honey in either the beer or the water to make sure its distributed evenly throughout.  Add the liquids and mix the dough together until all the ingredients are taken into the dough and you’re left with a bit of a shaggy ball.  I usually use my hands until all the dry ingredients are fully incorporated.

I’m guessing the hands on first portion must be no more than about 15 minutes.  Quicker as you get familiar with the recipe.

Place the bowl in a large bag or cover with cellophane and let rise for 24 hours.  My favorite spot is on top of the refrigerator.  I haven’t tried it using less time for the first rise, but I tend to make bread after work or at the end of the day and then plan on baking the next evening.

After the first rise, turn out on to a floured surface and knead about 10 times or so, folding and rotating gently.  Form into a loaf and place in a standard bread pan which has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Spray the top of the loaf with cooking spray and place in a large cellophane bag.  Let rise about two hours or until doubled.  I use an olive oil spray.

It can’t take me more than 10 minutes to complete this step.

About 1-1.5 hours into the second rise depending on its progress, I start preheating the oven to 425 F.  Just prior to placing in the oven, I make a slit down the entire length of the loaf in the middle about 1/2-3/4 inch deep. I’m always a bit cautious when scoring the loaf, but with this sandwich loaf, it seems the deeper the cut the more the top spreads and makes the ideal “rectangular” slice rather than having a high dome.

Immediately put the pan the in oven and reduce temperature to 350. Bake for about 55 minutes or until internal bread temperature is about 200 degrees.

Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.  About an hour or so after the bread has almost completely cooled, I slice into sandwich sized slices with an electric knife.

As a result of this recipe, we no longer buy any sandwich bread and know exactly what we’re eating.

Enjoy!

Ride: Davis Loop + Stevenson Bridge Out and Back.  One lap with the Mrs., then out and back solo.

Mileage:  36 miles.

Time: 2:40 by the computer (13.4 mph avg).  First loop was probably 12-13 mph, out and back was probably more like 15 ish.  Definitely stayed between 15-17 mph for many portions of the ride.

Weather: Warm temps (95 F ish) and not too much wind.

Comments: Felt good.  Lazy first loop, pushed a bit but not hard on the out and back.  After the turn, cruised about 16-18mph for most of the return then started to run out of gas for the last few miles.

First extended ride on the new bike.  Amazing.  Its just hard to hold it back.  Very smooth ride.  Butt and arms starting to get tired at the end.

Ride: Work Commute.  Davis to Downtown Sacramento.

Mileage:  About 25 miles.

Time: About 50 minutes each way.  Second was about 50 minutes or about 14.5 mph avg.

Weather: Warm temps (92 F ish) and slight SW wind on the way back.

Comments: A little slow at the end after fighting the wind and heat.  Rode the MTB/hybrid commuter.  Looking forward to trying out the new road bike.

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