Sunday, April 25, 2010

Bike Fuel: Today's Ride Powered by Leftovers from Tommy V's

Pasta of the Gods

I was kicking around plans for this morning. Another ride on the Trek? Art ride? More endless bike wrenching? Then, I found inspiration on my own blog, in the form of The Cheesy Chips Ride: sometimes, you need brain fuel to figure out what to do next, and to do it well, and I remembered the leftovers from our family night out to Tommy V's last night.

So, a brief digression on Tommy V's. Check out the menu on the page linked above. The leftover Spaghetti and meatballs was amazing. When I bit into one of those meatballs dusted with the freshly grated parmesan, I recognized that they had been created by a meatball master: the main flavor is in fact, meat, complemented by subtle spices that amplify the meat flavor, and it wasn't buried in fennel or other flavors. When you take a bite of this dish, you realize the glory of basic food cooked with a very high level of skill and care: handmade fresh pasta, tomatoes with garlic, meat, Parmesan. This is not a paid review, of course, the family and I went there for dinner last night, and loved it. The Osteria board comes with the day's pick of meats (we had prosciutto and sliced spicy sausage), cheeses, bruschetta, and warm olives. "V's Kick Ass Burger" is made from an unlikely combination of short rib, brisket, and Kobe beef ground up together, and it is of high rank in the pantheon of burgers. I had to force myself to try something other than the burger, because I tend to be a repeat-orderer when I find something I love. Tommy V's is a JR Alpha recommended stop if you're in Phoenix.

So, filled with happy memories of good food and leftovers of same, I mounted up the Trek burple bike (I will come up with a better name eventually, don't worry, but I swear to you that the color morphs from purple to blue and back depending on the light or my mood or something) and headed to Papago Park for some fun trail riding. Why Papago Park?

  Why Papago Park You Ask?

I went out there because it's been a long time since I rode a bicycle on those trails, and I was looking for something novel, yet undemanding, for continued testing of the no-suspension Trek. I had so much fun on it yesterday that I put my favorite set of Eggbeater pedals on it this morning. It had to pass yesterday's ride test to deserve wearing them. 

I wasn't looking for an easy ride today because I was feeling lazy, but because I have an injury that is slowing me down a bit. It's completely unimportant what the injury actually is, except that it does kind of hurt on rougher trails for longer stretches, so thus, Papago seemed to fit what I needed. It's within reasonable riding distance of my house, so I rode to the ride and then went through and around most of the park. It's almost silly how many trails are out there; it's kind of one big tangle of paths. No big hills or anything hard, although there are some fun, fast swoopy sections, and since I haven't been out there in a loooooong time, some fun surprises that were like reminders of long-lost adventures. I used to live nearby, and ran, hiked, and sometimes biked around this area often. I had a laugh when I crested the first hill and found a bicycle rack at the top. I shot some video, below, which shows some of the faster sections near the end. Get up. Go ride.



  1. Is it my imagination, or are Mrs. Alpha and the little Alphas vegetarians. What do they eat while you are masticating the ground corpse of bos taurus?

  2. USJ it's not your imagination. However, I would characterize them as open-minded vegetarians. For example, neither Z. or E. had seen or tried prosciutto, ever. So each tried a piece, and voted it yummy, though unlikely to ever be eaten again. Also, they eat fish sometimes. We all try new stuff and have fun with food. Except when they go BAH BAH at me when I eat lamb. That's not very fun.


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