New World Explorers Make Food History in 1492, Bring New Cuisine

Columbus and the New World explorers forever changed food history when they landed in the New World. They were first in an inundation of European (Old World) visitors to the Americas that brought new plants, new recipes, and a new cuisine

Food Exchange The new arrivals were human, animal, plant, and pathogenic. At the same time that people and foods were streaming west, several New World plants were heading east to dramatically alter the cuisine of Europe. During these exchanges Native America also gave Europe several foods that would become icons in European cuisine. The tomato for instance, a new world staple common in Pre-Columbian South America and Mexico, would eventually become the base for Southern Italian sauces, the spaghetti and pizza sauce called Marinara which also incorporates the new world bell pepper and the New World chili.

The potato, the staple of the Incas of Peru, would become the storable root crop (tuber) crucial to the Irish of northern Europe.

During this interchange it wasn’t just plants that crossed oceans; Old World diseases wiped out 90 percent of America’s native population according to some estimates. The new worlders might have had their revenge, however; recent research indicates that Syphilis had sailed back to the old world with the crew of Columbus.

The food exchange dramatically altered New World cuisine: onions and garlic, staples of the old World, have become integral to Mexican and South American cuisine. That trip by Columbus was, after all, an attempt to find a sea route to the spice islands of India and to Indonesia’s Molluccas. He might have missed the mark but he did have a lasting impact on world cuisine.

New World Staples That Went East to Europe:

  • Tomato
  • Potato
  • Corn
  • Bean
  • Zucchini /Squash
  • Avocado
  • Bell Pepper
  • Chili
  • Pineapple

New World Spices:

Allspice, Vanilla, Chocolate, Chili

Old World staples that went west (just a few)

  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Wheat
  • Rice
  • Carrot
  • Lettuce

New World foods didn’t wow Europe at first. In fact the tomato was thought by Britains to be toxic (the green leaves of the nightshade plant are toxic) and was slow to popularity, although by the late 1600s it did make it into European cookbooks. It joined the Zucchini, another New World plant that is now identified with Italian cooking.

The potato, also of the nightshade family like the tomato, is toxic when green and uncooked but its winter keeping quality made it popular in Europe and a staple in impoverished Ireland. When blight struck in 1845, potato was the mainstay of the Irish diet; the crop perished, famine ensued.

Maize (corn) was unknown in Europe before Columbus. (Europeans called all grain corn) This New world staple was first hybridized in south Central Mexico, either purposely or serendipitously, perhaps as early as five thousand years ago. It became an important world crop shortly after reaching Europe.

The New Worlds greatest gift to world cooking might one day be the avocado. A New World health food that has no insect predators; the avocado does not need to be dosed with insecticide.

Like olive oil, avocado oil is extracted from the fruit and not the seed. Avocado is so rich in healthy oils that it might someday rival first cold press olive oil as a heart-healthy oil.

Cuisine of Royalty

Cuisine is shaped by royalty who seek exotic spices to enliven a dish. The wise use of spices would demonstrate the kings sagacity and power in importing exotic foods. Important are the thyme, oregano, garlic, rosemary, cumin (all old world) and the more exotic mace, ginger, clove, turmeric, cinnamon, and nutmeg. (India, Asia, Indonesia) The emperor’s table, the king’s kitchen, and the Pope’s banquet table are places where the development of our cuisine reached its zenith. New World spices like vanilla, chili, and chocolate joined the Old World spices in the world’s cookbooks soon after the voyage of Columbus.

The new world had as powerful a ruling elite as did the kingdoms of Europe in 1519 when the Spanish conquered Mexico. Unfortunately the Spanish destroyed historical Native Mexican records. All we have are Conquistador accounts of sumptuous feasts at the table of Aztec Emperor Moctezuma. One legend tells of Aztec runners bringing fresh caught red snapper to the table of Moctezuma after a relay run of a hundred miles through the mountains from the Pacific coast to Tenochtitlan, the city of the Aztecs.

Meanwhile in Europe thePopes were feasting in multi-coarse splendor and the Medici were seasoning with exotic spices from the east shipped through Venice. The Spanish established seaports on their pacific coast at Acapulco and were soon sailing the Pacific to the spice islands of the Moluccas, the destination that the explorer had all along intended.

Columbus did make his mark on world cuisine after all; that five week voyage by Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria to the Bahamas in the Fall of 1492 has forever changed the way the world prepares its food.

Get Rid of Bladder Infections for Good! Herbs and Other Natural Remedies for Urinary Tract Problems

Three types of bacteria, e.coli, chlamydia, and group B streptococcus, cause most urinary infections. They are transmitted by wiping the wrong way on the toilet, by sex, and by some medical procedures, and allowed to grow by poor fluid intake, not emptying the bladder completely, and not urinating frequently enough. Bladder infections are more common in women, especially pregnant women.

Vitamin C

Taking 1,000 mg of Vitamin C with bioflavonoids four or five times a day will keep bacteria from sticking to the wall of the ureter.

Cranberry

Cranberry Juice is a well-known treatment for bladder infections. Cranberry acidifies urine and inhibits bacterial growth. Purple grape has similar actions. Both should be pure, unsweetened juice from a healthfood store. Do not use sugary or artificially sweetened commercial blends as they do not contain enough cranberry and their added ingredients may feed bacteria and irritate tissues.

Parsley

Traditionally a garnish, parsley has antibacterial properties. It cleans and is healing for the urinary tract. Drink two ounces of fresh parsley juice mixed with celery, cucumber, and tomato twice a day to treat infection, and eat parsley salads to maintain urinary health. Stomach upset can occur if parsley juice is taken alone.

Marshmallow

This root is cleansing and strengthening for the bladder. Drink one quart of tea daily to inhibit bacterial growth.

Uva Ursi

This herb is related to the cranberry and has similar properties. Its antiseptic quality is specific to treat e.coli infections. Use ten drops of tincture in a large glass of water three times a day for ten days. Do not use longer than ten days, especially in pregnancy.

Yarrow

If symptoms persist, try adding yarrow, an herb with anti-inflammatory properties that complement the actions of Uva Ursi. It can be taken in tincture form or as a strong tea (infusion). Sip one large glass twice a day.

Other Diuretic Herbs

Diuretics promote the release of water from body tissues and relieve the symptoms of urgency and burning that accompany a bladder infection. Infusions can be sipped until symptoms subside. Herbs used for this purpose are: goldenseal, cornsilk, pipsissewa, and buchu.

When You Gotta Go, You Gotta Go

Take bathroom breaks whenever you need to. Holding urine because you are too busy at work is considered self-abusive behavior by some therapists!

Points to Remember:

  • Drink at least two liters of herb teas, juice and water daily.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol which can irritate the bladder.
  • Hot baths relieve pain, but should not be taken during pregnancy.
  • Avoid nylon underwear, choose cotton instead
  • Women should wipe front to back (clean to dirty). Be sure to teach this practice to girls when toilet training.
  • Do not use goldenseal in pregnancy or if there is a history of heart disease, diabetes, or glaucoma.

Healthy Eating Habits for Toddlers: Getting Toddlers to Enjoy Nutritious Meals

There is little doubt that trying to get a monkey to learn new tricks is easier than getting a stubborn little two year old to eat a plateful of veggies. However, there are ways to encourage and build healthy eating habits in toddlers and you can do it without losing your hair or your mind.

To begin with, accept the fact that toddlers are unique individuals with minds of their own. Therefore, if broccoli is not what they want, you wouldn’t be able to get them to open those tightly clamped lips. However, you can get them to eat it by exercising a little ingenuity and a dash of imagination. Here are a few ways to do just that.

Use Nutritious Favorite Foods

Every toddler would have a few favorites which would often be somewhat healthy. So, try and give the offending vegetable or fruit along with that favorite. For instance, if bread is the food of the day and banana is not, then try making banana spread and putting it on bread slices. You could do the same with any vegetable, after boiling and pureeing it.

Make Meals Interesting and Healthy

Toddlers enjoy meals that offer something to look forward to. Sometimes, simply dressing up the food would do the trick. So, you could make sweet potato smilies, or clown-faced sandwiches, submarine fish fingers, cutlets in various shapes and so on. That would give them an element of fun along with good nutrition, encouraging them to eat well.

Juices and Soups

Toddlers who don’t enjoy eating fruits would normally drink those in the form of juices and smoothies. So, experiment with a single fruit to begin with and then start mixing them up. The same is true for vegetables and soups. If your toddler is game with food floating in his soup, put in small pasta shapes and have him fish them out with his spoon. Make it interesting and appealing to his tiny but demanding tastes.

Use Variety for Nutrition

Toddlers tend to get bored with the same type of food. So, vary the form and type of dish. Giving them carrot sticks once, carrot cake the next time is bound to keep the element of interest alive and give them additional nutrition as well. You could even use different types of breads and cereals to provide them with both nutrition and variety.

Experiment With Food Temperature

Usually, toddlers who don’t enjoy a food when it is served warm, may take to it when served cold or vice-versa. It may not appeal to or agree with more grown-up tastes, but then, in the toddler world, it is a whole different ball game. So, if vegetable soup is not liked hot, chill it. Try the same with cereals and even, casseroles and other main dishes. Chances are they’d be more appreciated at temperatures different than what they are originally served at.

Make Meals Fun and Pleasant

Mealtimes should always be enjoyable experiences. Threatening, yelling and bribing don’t make for healthy eating experiences. So, make dining a delightful time with smiles, laughter and conversation. Toddlers, like adults, enjoy good company. And if your toddler is extremely social, get a friend, who eats well, over for dinner. It may be extra work, but chances are your toddler may start eating well, just looking at his friend eat.

The book What To Expect The Toddler Years by Arlene Eisenberg, Heidi Murkoff and Sandee Hathaway [Workman, 1996] is extremely helpful and loaded with tips and tricks to get demanding and picky toddlers to eat healthy.

Fussy toddlers and odd eating habits are like most things, a part of growing up. While it is important that they get the best nutrition possible, they should also, enjoy that meal. So, do use these steps to encourage healthy eating habits but also, remember that to let toddlers enjoy food and the experience of eating is most important.

Gluten-Free Banana Pancake Recipe: a Healthy and Tasty Breakfast

Few things are more difficult to give up on a gluten-free diet than the beloved pancake. There are quite a few gluten-free pancake recipes floating around, but most of them lack the fluffy cake texture found in the buttermilk varieties.

This gluten-free pancake recipe has a fluffy, light texture that is usually found only in a wheat flour buttermilk pancake. They fluff up in the pan as they are cooked, just like their gluten-filled cousins.

Use a whisk for stirring: it is very useful for smoothing out the lumps that are in coconut flour, beating the eggs, and combining all of the ingredients together.

Spoon the batter into the pan so the pancake will be a little larger than silver-dollar size at the largest. This ensures that they will cook evenly and will be easier to manage in the pan.

A common way to gauge when a pancake is ready to flip is by the bubbles produced in the batter when it is in the pan. Gluten-free pancakes do not have the consistency to produce those bubbles, so it is necessary to keep watching to make sure they do not become overcooked. Flip once, as soon as the pancake is cooked on one side and sturdy enough to flip. Then flip two or three more times until the pancake is fully cooked. These pancakes darken quickly, so it is important that you do not leave them unattended.

Add a favorite topping. A little maple syrup goes a long way, as the banana provides a natural sweetness. Also, a small amount of maple syrup is included in the mix. Butter or fruit also complement this pancake nicely.

Gluten-Free Banana Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 2 tablespoons flax seed meal
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons coconut milk (or whole milk, heavy cream, or half and half)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 banana, mashed

Directions:

  1. Heat a pan over medium-low heat with butter or oil.
  2. Whisk together coconut flour, flax seed meal, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, egg yolk, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, coconut milk, and coconut oil.
  4. Mix banana in with the egg mixture.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture. Stir together well.
  6. Portion into heated pan in spoonfuls. Be sure to keep the size no larger than about three inches in diameter.
  7. Flip when the pancake is sturdy enough. Flip a few times to keep the pancake from getting too dark.
  8. Serve with butter, maple syrup, or fruit.

Green Salad for Health & Taste: Healthy homemade salad & dressing tips

Forget wilted lettuce leaves and soggy sliced tomatoes. These days there is a huge choice of salad vegetables from all over the world, some mild and light, others bold and peppery, so there’s no excuse for a sad salad.

Boasting a very high water content, salad vegetables have very few calories (usually around 10 calories per cup). Raw, leafy greens are good for you – this much we know – but some are better than others. There is a simple rule: the greener the lettuce, the greater its nutritional value. Dark vegetables such as spinach and watercress have more nutrients than their lighter counterparts such as butter lettuce and the ubiquitous iceberg. Salad greens are great sources of beta carotene and vitamin C, both of which may protect against heart disease, some cancers and cataracts. Depending on the vegetable, salad greens can also be a source of iron, potassium and calcium. Remember, the dark outer leaves of a lettuce have several times the beta carotene, vitamin C and calcium that the inner leaves do so be sure to use them in your salad.

Nowadays there is a growing preference for organic salad vegetables. Depending on their origin, this ususally means that they have been grown without the use of the chemical herbicides and fumigants, synthetic fertislisers or toxic pesticides used in conventional agriculture. Many gourmets would argue that they taste significantly bitter too, with a deeper, richer flavour than their non-organic counterparts.

Whatever your salad type, it is important to thoroughly wash your greens first to get rid of any residue, dirt or even bugs that may be lurking. Your salad should be as dry as possible before you dress it, since oil and water do not mix, so invest in a salad spinner – the easiest way to dry your leafy greens. To store lettuce after you have washed it, put a damp paper towel on the bottom of a plastic container and another one of top of the leaves. This will help keep your lettuce crisp and it will last longer. Another tip to crisp up wilting leaves is to dunk them in ice cold water to which has been added a dash of white vinegar.

Some suggestions to perk up your salads. Try honey mustard dressing with romaine lettuce and Balsamic vinaigrette is great with spicy Arugula or a simple blue cheese mustard vinaigrette with rocket lettuce

Simple Blue Cheese Mustard Vinaigrette

Ingredients

3 tablespoonful of Blue Cheese

3 tablespoonful of virgin olive oil

2 tablespoonful of red wine vinegar

2 tablespoonful of honey

2 tablespoonful Dijon Mustard sauce

1/2 tablespoonful of sesame oil

Sprinkle of roasted sunflower seed

Method

Combine the ingredients in a mini blender or small jar. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Applying For Medicaid

Many people these days cannot afford to pay cash for medical care. They try to look for the cheapest hospitals but in the end spend a lot. If you are part of this category of people you should not worry.

Medicaid is a government health program that helps people with limited income to get access to medical care. The difference between Medicaid and Medicare is that Medicaid covers a whole family as long as they meet the qualification. Medicare covers persons over the age of 65.

Many people do not apply for Medicaid because they do not know whether they qualify or not. Therefore they miss on many benefits that could help them in as they live in this tough economy. Medicare helps 60% of residents in nursing homes and also 40% of childbirths. During childbirth, Medicare ensures you will get attended to by nurses with the right equipment, including the best pediatric stethoscope.

Applying for Medicaid involves a lot of paper work like going through federal websites to get information, paper work and sometimes a lawyer is needed. There are organizations that usually offer assistance with this process and can be located online. I have explained below the requirements you need to meet in order to qualify for Medicaid. This will be a give you an idea of what you will be asked for.

  1. Before applying make sure all your family members are United States citizens. Most states require this, because there are many immigrants living in the United States. Unfortunately if one member is not a citizen you will not qualify for Medicaid.
  2. Children who are under the age of 18 or 20 years old are qualified for Medicaid. The ages differ depending on the state where you are living, therefore you can call and inquire. Ladies who are pregnant or a man with a family are also considered eligible.
  3. Sit down and calculate how much income you make every day, month and year. Some guidelines will be given to you that will be based on the 3 categories. If you are many in a house you are expected to be earning more.

After meeting all these qualifications, you can now go ahead and apply. To apply you will have to call the Local State Department of Social Services in your area. They are the ones responsible for giving food stamps and financial assistance. They will provide you with an application form which you will fill up while at the office.

Remember to carry your birth certificate, your drivers’ license, social security card, your proof of address and any other insurance you may have. To be eligible they will check your income, therefore be ready to answer questions on this. If you would like to apply from home, assistance is also available. Filling up the form should not complicated but if you need help there are personnel there willing to assist you in any way.

For pregnant women I suggest you visit your doctor and get a letter that will prove that you are expecting a child. This also applies if you would like to get help with paying for posture aids such as Smart Back Brace. This is needed so your application form can be processed in a timely manner. Medicaid is the answer to all your medical financial needs.

Sleepless In The Saddle

 

The weekend of 14/15th of August saw the Shimano 24 Hour Sleepless In The Saddle event, and after some persuasion from event veterans (in both senses of the word) Sue and Pat Jackson I decided that it would be an ideal way to celebrate my 40th birthday.

So back in May I sent off the entry monies and Team Main Beam was born. The team comprised Myself, Jimmy Winfield, Matt Withers and Jason Brown. A real motley crew.

 

 

 

bomb2

A five minute planning meeting held in the pub without Jimmy present was the sum total of our preparation, and when the weekend arrived we set off in convoy for Trentham Gardens .It turned out we would not be camping on our own! Along with other club members Sue & Pat, representing Team Phaff Pro, and Martin and Chris Urmston, representing the Why R We Here team, & Neil Arnold in the Hope team, there were nearly 2000 other entrants and all there supporters vying for a pitch on the 30 acre camp site.
We pitched our camp in the failing light of Friday night, fed ourselves, then Jimmy and Donna produced a birthday cake complete with candles to remind me of the alleged reason for being there. Thanks very much guys. We had a few beers before retiring at aroundmidnight .  cheers
Despite persistent rain for the previous five days Saturday dawned clear blue. Tents opened, bodies emerged, breakfasts were eaten, and the magnitude of the event started to play havoc with my nerves.On several occasions that morning I checked out the toilet facilities on the pretext of reducing my racing weight! As we looked around that morning it became apparent that this was a BIG event. The organisation appeared to be spot on with plenty of trade stands and free facilities such as Shimano mechanics and sports masseurs on hand right through the night.

 

 

 

motley

After a spot of bike tweaking, cleaning and oiling we registered, collected our race numbers and batons, and resplendent in Hawaiian shirts and helmet mohicans attended the race briefing whilst Jimmy’s son Ryan did a course reccy for us. (Thanks for the tips Ryan.)

Apparently I had volunteered to take the first lap. I don’t remember that part, particularly as it would involve a half-mile cross country run to the bike in bike gear!

At 2.00pm , to the soundtrack of Top Gun we were off. By the time I got to the bike my legs felt like lead and I hadn’t pushed a pedal in anger. The course was excellent. Brutal climbs, tight single-track and technical downs. After a brief warm-up round the lake the first climb was a killer and with no time for a breather you were into the single-track. A second climb brought you to the first technical downhill, a rutted, stepped chute through trees that required full speed to make the off camber swoop back up round a tree  for a second, almost identical swoop down and up. It was around this point the extent of the mud was realised. The stuff was everywhere! Deep, gloopy, sticky stuff that made progress and steering a nightmare.

The course was rounded off by a long fire road climb that lead to a double bomb-hole that was the cause of much swearing and falling off, followed by a quick circuit of the camp site and a sweet single track chute back to the start/finish. An hour. I was more than ready for the handover to Matt. One by one we went out and came back knackered, sweaty, muddy & grinning like lunatics. The three hour period between laps passed in a blur of panting recovery, eating, re-hydrating, cleaning bikes and changing clothes before dashing back to the handover corral. Through the day the course improved as a dry line appeared, then just as darkness fell a heavy, dew coupled with five hundred riders an hour blundering around in the dark, turned the course back into a swamp.

The idea of a two lap strategy through the twilight zone to allow others to rest went out of the window. The memory of being woken at 2.15am , after an hours sleep, and climbing out of my tent and washing my bike in cold water before setting off on another lap at 3.00am with totally inadequate lights will be with me the rest of my days. It was at this point that I was talking aloud to myself and questioning my sanity. I do this for fun?

 

Jason was out for the dawn lap, and Matt was riding as the sun came up over the hills. I remember now why we do it.I send my apologies to Matt, for as my next lap loomed I took the opportunity to let the Shimano mechanics take my bike to pieces as Jimmy came in for the handover and after a quick radio call Matt went out an hour early still eating the bacon, sausage and egg teacake he had scrounged off Martin. The sun did its job and the course dried up again. There was even dust! (Note to self: take variety of tyres next time).

It was amazing to see how quickly the time had passed. Whilst not breaking any records we were consistent.

 

 

sue

Then just as we were feeling confident I snapped my chain mid lap at a cost of twenty minutes – most of which was spent rejecting offers of help or parts from every third rider passing. I was overwhelmed with how friendly everyone was. Two laps later Matt suffered the same fate and got his revenge on me as I was forced to go out on a final lap less than fifteen minutes from the end. Truth be known you would have had to fight me to stop me.
We completed 22 glorious laps and came in 126th out of 221 teams in the fun men’s group.

 

 

 paul3 Martin and Chris came in an impressive 116th when you consider that for more than twelve hours they only had one bike between four team members.
Sue and Pat finished a creditable 28th in the mixed group, but all us “fun men” know that it must have been far easier with five in the team. Just kidding! Anyone who saw the look of determination/agony on Pats face on every lap will appreciate how hard he was going.

All in all it was a fantastic event. We had a great weekend, even the non-riders had a ball. It took over a week to recover and I can’t wait to do it all again next year.

If you can make it in 20015 you won’t regret it, even if you only come along to offer support.

 paul2
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Alpujarras

Expecting merely to revisit the superb trails from 20015 proved an injustice both to Ciclo Montana’s renown and the treasure to be found in the Alpujarras. Relaxed yet, professional a week in this beautiful rugged region of real Spain, is far from a stroll in the park but does give you exactly what you went for; dry, lung-busting uphills of indecent length followed by DH you can only dream of in blighty.
Sunday’s sussing out session over to Capileira gently reacclimatized from the oft forgiving Lancashire moorland to the savage, dusty dry rock of the Sierra Nevada
Upping the ante: Spain’s highest village, Trevelez appeared via signature switchbacks; the return route GR8, honing the balance in preparation for the reputed 70 twists and turns down the camion to Lanjaron on ‘dia tres’.
 alhambra

 

Trusting some statto type had already done the maths, concentration was duly paid to gripping the saddle with gluteas and trusting the old maxim; “speed is your friend”. After the tortuous climb back out of Lanjaron where a mule train embarrassingly overtook us not once but twice, the dusty slide down towards Canar had Jiminez recalling Danish speedway stars of old. Polka dots came more to mind though as Marco announced that the finish line involved a ‘Le Tour’ climb back to the minibus.

 

 gary Web reviews, remarkably seen by Jurassic on his steam powered ‘pewter’, hinted at a more ‘cultural’ excursion from the cosmopolitan Sierra Nevada ski station down the old ‘Iceman’ route to Granada….. sounds OK, reasonable.

The resulting ride completely redefined the ½ day epic and encapsulated everything one bike ride could EVER include.

 

The bus ride up to the ski station left a nervous disposition as to how the hell we were gonna get back down again to Granada in one piece. What transpired was a superb mishmash of technical singletrack. Phew ! made it down then. Ha ! that’s only the warm up.

 

After a dangerous, unscheduled cross-town detour to Dr Bike the clock was ticking as we ascended the hills beyond the Alhambra to complete the tricky dusk, descent down  to the Moorish old town to catch the stunning sun setting behind the Alhambra.  bill
Knowing we’re starving there’s even time for Marco to squeeze in a Tapas Bushtucker Trial with 3 bowls of steaming, Garlic ‘caracoles’ to be slid down the gullet.

What a ride; altitude, dangerous descents, stunning sunsets and snails for tea. And just when were winding down; as if summoned by the flamenco guitarist in the plaza, 7 or 8 Granadan free-riders skid into the square and offer an impromptu tour of the Albaicin.

  snails High Plains Drifter meets the Italian Job as the finale to the ½ day (midday to midnight) sees us blasting through the narrow, cobbled, old town streets at reckless speed, fuelled more than adequately with a heady mix of ‘cerveza’ and mollusc protein.

 

Bloody hell !!! What a ride – what a week. Muchos, muchos gracias to Mark, Jacky and Mark for putting the effort in to make such a wonderful thing work.
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Blackburn and District Mountainbikers Ride Report

Sunday 5th March 2016 – Garburn Pass
Riders:… Sean, Nigel, Jimmy, Donna, Peter, Bill & Matt

We’d grouped at Roe Lee around 9am and left there about 9.15 with bikes and cars juggled for the journey to Ings. Billed to be a Stavely start for the ride, we actually conveniently parked in Ings just beyond the garage and church near the Windmill Pub.

We left the cars about 10.40 am. crossed the road and unwittingly started out on the intended back leg first, but decided to continue with this clockwise direction. This route takes a NW bearing from the A591 and heads towards Moor Howe on tarmac.  It’s a steady ride with gentle climbs.  We pass two tracks leading off right…the first leading to Grasgarth, and the second to High Borrans.

 

The track we required is called Dubbs Road and passes Dubbs Reservoir on the left side.Unfortunately we discovered there is little to distinguish this track, which leads away right from a left bend in the road. The snow was evident as it still laid on the track and there were accompanying massive puddles with crushed ice from the wheeled traffic, spanning the width of the track.
The track narrowed, became more technical for patches and there were spectacular views from along the open stretches looking west to Coniston and NW towards Hellvellyn.We followed this track through a few gates and quite quickly we joined the lower section of the gated Garburn Pass.The bridle pass was three side turned sleepers. We immediately stopped to admire views towards Kirkstone Pass Troutbeck side and the snaked trail up which we’d ridden in thick mist to High Street a couple of years back.
Re-grouped, we started the climb and encountered ice slicks and crept around the edges – this was quickly labelled the Garburn Glacier!  Much of the stoned part of the track we rode and some was just too challenging either because of the ice or gradient or rock – in equal measure. However we all agreed on reaching the summit that actually we’d never ridden so much of it!
This was in part because of our increased experience, low gears available, some “sanitization” of the track, and to some degree thanks to the presence of Donna in the group since we all had time to rest and recuperate and prepare mentally for each section ahead.
Down the other side it was brilliant.  The sun had warmed our backs during the early stage but it was only just arriving on the trails on the up side. Here it was lovely! Ice flows were minimal and where it existed there was normally loads of opportunity to edge down the side or cross gingerly. Matt and myself flew down and grinned at each other at the bottom. Looking back we could see Donna walking her bike in the highest visible rocky & technical bit so we decided to walk it back up as far as we could to meet her and then to ride back down.  Wheeeee!
Below the Z’s we stopped in the sunshine to take on board some food and fluid. Brilliant! We then continued to the fallen rock and then descended all of the way to the church in Kentmere. On the way up to Maggs Howe Donna spotted deer & they stayed long enough to get a snap We just followed the signs to Maggs Howe!
It’s high up on the hillside above Kentmere on the east side and is a real treat.It’s in the picture…somewhere! Today we arrived as a cloud passed and so we retreated into the conservatoire for hot chocolate, scones, cake, and tea cakes – yummy. We actually sweated there in the sunshine trap, doffed outer layers and still had to open the window! It was a haven! Outside were wonderful views Then it was off for the return to Ings
We climbed steadily to Whiteside End, passed through a gate ..then we enjoyed some crisp single track to marshy puddles at Mickle Moss, and with time in hand detoured towards Hugill Fell, and were rewarded with a spectacular final descent down a narrow iced lane from Hugill Hall nearly all the way to the cars…Brilliant!
Another good day was completed with a spectacular choice of ales at the Windmill Pub, which brews its own beers and imp[orts the best of the country’s offerings – my choice Moonraker @ 7.5% – good job I wasn’t driving
And the choice of route. Actually it has major benefits over the intended anticlockwise direction.The morning is harder and provides a longer day to deal with the unexpected along the Garburn pass. In this direction it’s actually more ride-able on both sides! To arrive at Maggs Howe after completing the major assault could offer a recovery from exposure if the weather was not as good as we enjoyed today. Then in the afternoon, Mickle Moss is an easier option thus a gentle return, with choices depending on the weather. whereas – facing the climb over Garburn after relaxing in Maggs Howe is probably not the best idea..with the day more gone you still have the hardest work to do!
  • Trip miles 12.3
  • Ride time about 3 hours
  • Actual time out  4 hours 20 mins. – the difference enjoyed looking at splendid views, taking photos, eating buttered tea cakes and drinking chocolate at Maggs Howe! All paid for by Nige!
  • You can’t beat it!

 

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