Howdy folks!

Biiiit busy lately nailing down final trip items before we head to Spain for two months of bike touring. It's amazing how much has to come together for a trip like this! Lots of upcoming awesomeness to share.

This week's fun and games:

Four of my favorite biographies, how to borrow those books digitally from the library, a delicious (healthy) banana ice cream, and sweet new handlebars we'll rock in Spain.



Jumping over hay bales is the best way to train for an upcoming bike tour.

Most-Excellent Biographies!

I'm lining up books at the library (audio and Kindle) for our Spain trip. Some of them are biographies, which reminded me that I wanted to share a few of my favorites. Please send me your top recommendations too!

The Secret Race by Tyler Hamilton: Maybe it's the upcoming bike trip, but this book popped into my head the other day. A brilliant look at the pressures of professional bike racing by a guy who rode with Lance Armstrong. In Tyler's shoes,would you say yes to the brown paper bag full of drugs...?

Open by Andre Agassi: This is one of my all-time favorite biographies. Agassi (for you whipper snappers, he's a former pro tennis player) writes candidly about growing up stifled and controlled by his overbearing father, slave to hitting thousands of tennis balls spit out by a machine in their backyard. How he topped the tennis world while hating the sport is beyond me.

The Fish That Ate the Whale by Rich Cohen: ever wonder how long bananas have been the most popular fruit in the U.S.? Me either. Luckily, this book talks about a whooooole lot more than that. From a nobody to running a banana company that gobbled up United Fruit, this story is just flat-out excellent.

The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin: A study of excellence and the mindset to get there. Josh was the inspiration behind the movie Searching for Bobby Fischer and his story and approach to being next-level is chock-full of great takeaways.

Stop Paying For Books!

Of course hard copy books are available at your library. BUT did you know you can borrow digital copies to read on your phone/Kindle or audiobooks to listen to?

Read my blog post to learn how to do it! Easy to set up, FREE, and you'll sleep better too. (I made one of those up.)

I've done this for half a decade and it saves me hundreds of dollars each year versus buying books. Don't worry, no need to feel badly about not supporting writers: libraries buying the rights to books is a big income source for authors.

Scope the blog post here.

Banana Nice Cream Recipe

I've rocked this tasty, easy and healthy recipe a dozen times this winter and it's been a hit. Literally all you do is freeze some bananas for a day, toss them into a blender with a few ingredients and stand back.

No sugar, low fat, and you won't believe it's just bananas as the base. PROMISE.

The recipe links to a strawberry banana version. However, you can substitute blueberries or basically any fruit for the strawberries for a variation.

As an alternative, one of my favorite iterations uses bananas and cocoa powder (1.5 tablespoons per banana) to make chocolate ice cream. I hold off on adding almond or peanut butter until after blending and then mix it in by hand for bigger chunks of goodness.

Speaking of this, it's time to go make some riiiight about now!

New Bike Touring Handlebars!

Allow me to evangelize my new favorite bike product: the Jones Bars! This sweet addition to my Salsa Fargo replaced my old Woodchipper bars and I love the comfortable riding position and feel.

Beyond that, switching to mountain bike shifters and brakes gives me a more solid, in-control feeling on the bike vs. in the hoods on the STI/brifter style setup. (For non-dorky people, ignore that lingo.)

In fact, I liked these so much that I replaced the flat bars on Chelsea's new touring bike. We'll both sport the new bar setup in Spain.

For max effect, we paired it with a slick Surly Moloko handlebar bag. Jones makes one too, but it is a) gaudy with a bright white logo and b) more expensive. I also like the elastic jacket holder on the Surly bag. Full writeup on our bike setups coming at some point...

That's all, folks! Next time you hear from me, we'll be pedaling the Iberian Peninsula. Catch you on the flip side.

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Looking for quiet gravel roads like this sweeeet zone in England!
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