CLC 2019: Ride 5 – A sweet (potato) treat

Oh, yes – the weather was no April Fools Joke on the 1st. It was PERRRR-FECT!

21C for a high, with clear skies and light, variable wind.

The cruel April Fools joke was that it was a Monday. Normally, I don’t work Mondays. But this Monday I did have to go to work. That was so cruel on a day where you could just ride and ride and ride. I was swapping Monday for Friday this week, so that Nigel and I can head down to Melbourne on Friday for a long weekend of laughing at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. It is such a fun event – we’ve gone most years for the past 15.

Yet, I was undeterred by my work responsibilities on Monday. So what if I have to be inside until 4.30? I am going to make the most of what I’ve got.

I am particularly motivated to go ride because I just survived two more health woes in the past week… 5 days of hives… like 80 percent of my torso covered with plaques from Wed-Friday last week… by Monday I was finally not looking for wall corners to scratch my back on.

Hive plaques like this coming and going ALL OVER my entire body from Wed – Friday. My coworker kindly informed me Thursday afternoon that it was even on my forehead. It burned and itched like crazy and I have no idea what caused it.

And after fending off the horrible 6-day flu going around and taking down coworkers left and right that made me particularly unwell on Saturday but left me unscathed thereafter…

Yes, I am going to ride out the daylight on the 1st of the month!!

And so I rode. And rode. And rode. I put down 40 kms before the setting sun finally sent me home. As I was riding, the angle of the sun, the temperature and the light, variable wind all reminded me of that day in Wyoming 5 years ago when I rode and rode and rode and set my personal distance record (see that day here). How nice to think about that ride as I pedaled through the vineyards, paddocks and river trails Monday.

Some of the grapes are still netted, but the harvest is pretty much over. It started and finished a month early this year. We know when it is finished because the noisy parrots that gather in huge flocks to eat the ripe fruit move on and mornings and evenings are no longer filled with loud, obnoxious screeching.
It is still super dry here. Long-term forecasts don’t look good either. But this means they’ve extended the fire danger period again and the farmers can’t burn off crop residue yet. I get a few more beautiful autumn days without smoke.
Rail trail on the way home. Look how low that sun is at 4.50pm. That will be 3.50pm this time next week.
As I was riding, I was thinking about what flora I might be able to find for the challenge. Then I remembered it was the 1st of April, the flora challenge was over, and I had no idea what the new challenge might be. I almost got it – rider on bike – but just shadow of rider taking a pic of the shade on the rail trail. I can’t believe another year has passed and we are almost through daylight savings again. I’m looking forward to blankets again after our hottest summer on record.

As we headed toward home, I stopped at the IGA to pick up our CLC purchase 5.

A partially peeled sweet potato – I almost forgot to get a pic – as our purchase for CLC Ride 5.

What? How is a sweet potato a treat?

It becomes a treat when you turn part of it into brownies!! They turned out really good, too! I’ll do them again. The recipe is in the picture caption if you’d like to give them a go.


Sweet Potato Brownies
150 ml olive oil, 175g sweet potatoes coarsely grated, 100g sweetener of choice (sugar, stevia, etc), 50g cacao powder (or cocoa), 1/2 t baking powder, 1/2 bicarb soda, 50g ground almonds, 2 eggs, beaten, 20g roughly chopped walnuts. Preheat oven to 180C. Line 19cm tin with baking paper. Put all ingreds in a bowl and mix well. Pour into tin. Bake for 20 min or until centre is just set. Leave to cool in tin for 15 min. Then lift out of tin and cut into squares.

So it was officially the hottest summer on record… and the hottest March on record. And some poor place in the Northern Territory just set an Australian record of 115 days in a row over 39C. I cannot even begin to fathom that. I could not bear it. If you are nerdy like me, watch the interesting BOM climate update video at the end of the article for all the details here.

I’m looking forward to what April has in store. The weather has the possibility of being good for riding….


Nerdy chick in Australia who loves to ride and is accompanied by the crew: 'The Commander' Verne and the 'Mental Health Specialist' Kermit.

11 response to "CLC 2019: Ride 5 – A sweet (potato) treat"

  1. By: NancyG Posted: April 2, 2019

    It seems to be the way it goes. You kind of try to plan for the weather so to be out on the good day, and then it switches on you and you (I) are indoors at a matinee at the theatre!! Hate it when that happens.
    That rash looks painful Em. I sure hope you are over with it now.

    • By: The Navigator Posted: April 3, 2019

      Oh yes, so many of our perfect autumn days are ruined with smoke from burn-offs that I hate to miss a single great day. Rash is mostly gone – just random itchiness here and there.

  2. By: Seasidejanet Posted: April 2, 2019

    I think I’m going to try those brownies!! Enjoyed the “longest ride” our longest day of our tour in 2014 was through the Wind River Reservation from Dubois to Lander but we only went 78mi!! It too was a pretty perfect riding day…….love those.

    • By: The Navigator Posted: April 3, 2019

      Wyoming has lots of long distance rides between towns. I rode through Lander but came in from the south and then headed east. What if we had crossed paths 🙂 ? I was in Lander on 2/3 July that year.

      The brownies are very moist but more cake-like than fudgey. I only put in half the sugar (raw) and it was fine. If you like dark chocolate, you could do the same, but if you are more a milk choc fan, it might be too bitter. You’d never know there was sweet potato in there if no one told you though!

      • By: Seasidejanet Posted: April 3, 2019

        OMG…..we just missed each other. We were in Lander July 4th!! Did you know they have the most amazing fireworks? Well for the first few hours then at about midnight you would like to sleep after a 78mi day but no they go on until 2AM. Not just everyday fireworks but big commercial mostly not legal anywhere else kind. Was amazing.

  3. By: Rich-Illinois Posted: April 2, 2019

    Great ride despite having to work that day.
    The hives do not look like a whole lot of fun. 🙁
    Brownies look good!!

    • By: The Navigator Posted: April 3, 2019

      I sure tried to make the most of it. I took a pic of the IGA with the setting sun, but it came out blurry so I didn’t include it. I hope the crocus count is exponentially increasing, though I rode through Illinois in April in 2014 and it was cold, windy and rainy (though it was in IA and NE that I got snowed on!).

  4. By: Lednar De Nalloh Posted: April 4, 2019

    Those hives were nasty, this is sometimes caused by eating too much fruit. Hawaiian Sweet potato with purple flesh and white skin is really tasty too, cant get it at supermarkets. Really dry here too, many small gumtrees won’t last much longer without rain , maybes natures way to clear out the undergrowth after 2 wettish summers.

    • By: The Navigator Posted: April 7, 2019

      The hives are mostly gone… I don’t think it was too much fruit, as I don’t eat much of eat. Maybe 1 cup a day of berries, kiwifruit and/or pineapple, but that’s it. Too bad you don’t get more of the moisture from the cyclones – they seem to miss you most of the time.

  5. By: Suzanne Posted: April 5, 2019

    Hope your hives are gone by now! Did you find the cause? The brownies look great!
    I make conventional brownies – all eggs, sugar and butter 😀 – only for the grandchildren, though. They love them and manage to eat them up quickly, thankfully. Otherwise Janos and I would certainly over-indulge. Actually, I think I make the best brownies this side of the Atlantic. There are some German imitations around, but definitely not the real mccoy.

    • By: The Navigator Posted: April 7, 2019

      I am SURE you make the best brownies! I would never go to anyone but an American expat for an overseas brownie 🙂 I could never compete with scones or coconut-based slices like you see in the bakeries here… but I’ve never had a brownie here that ever compared to one from America. I didn’t figure out what caused the hives, but they are mostly gone now. They did cause a ‘crash’ in my energy levels though… what a crazy immune system I’ve got now!

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