Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

It may be snowing up north, but we’ve hit the 90s down here in South Florida a couple of days this week. I didn’t realize how hot it had been until I went to hang up my Camelbak M.U.L.E. Hydration Pack this morning.

That whitish stuff on the strap is salt from sweat.

The black, tube-like thing is the insulated cover over the drinking tube. It’s called a Tube Director because it has a wire as part of the cover that will allow you to bend it to stay in one position. I have mine positioned so I can take a sip just by turning my head slightly.

If you don’t use one of these, you’ll find yourself gulping hot water until you suck the cool stuff out of the bladder.

I like Elete Electrolyte

The salt crystals have built up enough on the other strap enough that you could break them off.

Replacement for all that salt has to come from somewhere, so I put a tiny dose of ELETE ELECTROLYTE into the 100-ounce Camelbak bladder. I use a little less than the suggested 1.5 teaspoons. I like that it adds a slightly salty taste to the water, because it tends to make me drink more. The recommended dose tastes just a tad too salty for me.

Sons Matt and Adam like SPORTLEGS. Here’s Matt’s review of SportLegs

Insulated water bottles

Polar Bottle in the 24 ounce size versus the 20 ounce.

Matt did quite a comparison of water bottles back in 2008. I still like my 24-oz Polar Insulated Water Bottle . Riding partner Osa just bought a Camelbak Podium Big Chill 25 oz Bottle and thinks she likes the valve better than the Polar.

Mulberries: Grazing on the Side of the Road

It’s mulberry season down here in South Florida. The bushes behind the house are covered with berries in every stage of development, from green to ripening red, to dark blue-black, to falling on the ground to be eaten by possums.

Mulberries are messy

Mulberries are messy. They’re much softer than blackberries, so picking them leaves your fingers looking like you just voted in an Iraqi election.

They’re a pain to pick, too. They fall off the branch so easily, that while you’re grabbing one, a gentle brush will cause three more to fall on the ground.

Other Mulberry links

Wib’s Drive In BBQ – A Five-Generation Favorite

Jackson, Missouri's, Wib's BBQ Drive-In was born the same year I was, 1947. I don't think my parents took me straight from the St. Francis Hospital to Wib's, but my grandson, Malcolm, below, was still in diapers when he made his first pilgrimage.

Grandson Malcolm Steinhoff getting ready to chow down at Wib'sMy buddy, Chuck Keefer, has been bragging about South Carolina BBQ, so I felt it was time to write about the best barbecue sandwiches in the universe and set him straight.

When we were in Cape Girardeau last fall, I managed to make four visits to the place, much to my mother's chagrin. We figured that at least five generations of our family have eaten there over the years.

I practically lived there

Sarah servers diners at Wib's Barbecue in Jackson MO

I practically lived at Wib's when I was working for The Jackson Pioneer in the mid-60s.

The sandwiches were cheap and they made the best shakes in town. (Unfortunately, they quit making shakes several years ago and the wonderful homemade pies are history, too.)

Wib's Barbecue menu boardBest of all, it was located just down the road from the newspaper and courthouse and almost right next to a small park with a municipal swimming pool that was a great source of wild art.

(Nah, Jackson wasn't THAT wild. Wild art is newspaperspeak for pictures that can run without a story. Think cute kids and animals.)

What's special about the BBQ?

Wib's Brown Hot Barbecue SandwichI don't know. My mother claims that no pigs are hurt in the making of the sandwiches, and I have to concede that they are a little light on meat.

On the other hand, what's there is nicely smoked and touched off with a peppery sauce that doesn't overwhelm the taste of the meat. If you order a Brown Hot (the brown, outside, smokier part of the shoulder) with hot sauce, you'd better have a drink handy.

Hickory wood used by Wib's Barbecue in Jackson MOSmoked with Hickory wood

A short history of Wib's is printed on the back of the menu. It was founded by Wib Lohman, who had a trucking company. He started out selling barbecue sandwiches to his drivers.

The original smoker used hickory and nothing has changed.

Wib's Barbecue in Jackson MOThe outside doesn't look like much

It's just a concrete block building painted white. There's plenty of parking and a walk-up area on one side. The front door was always notoriously hard to open, but that was solved when a local teenager ran into the front of the building June 17, 2008, doing about $25,000 in damage.

He fessed up to his parents and restitution was made. The front windows were changed to deeper ones and the balky front door was replaced.

One wag remarked, “That poor kid will have to leave town. He's going to be known as the boy who drove into Wib's for the rest of his life.”

Pigs in window of Wib's Barbecue in Jackson MOWib sold Wib's in 1948

Wib Lohman got tired of running a seven-day-a-week, 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. business and sold it to Jack and Sweetie Hoffmeister, who ran it until 1972, when it passed on to A.D. Hoffman. It stayed in the Hoffman family when A.D.'s son and his wife took it over in 1986.

300 sandwiches go out at lunchtime

Dedeiere in the serving window at Wib's Barbecue in Jackson MOWib's opens at 8:30 a.m. (mostly for coffee drinkers; they usually sell less than 10 sandwiches before 11 a.m.) and stays open until 6:45 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Saturday they're open 9 – 6:45. They're closed Sundays and Mondays.

Prime time is the lunch rush when about 300 sandwiches are served.

Cody pours drinks at Wib's Barbecue in Jackson MOWib's had four car hops

In the Old Days, the place had four car hops to handle drive-up orders. If you don't want to eat inside, these days you can go inside to a walk-up window to place your to-go order.

Mallory waits tables at Wib's Barbecue in Jackson MOEvery kid in Jackson must have worked there at one time or another. Many started in high school and continued through college. At least one couple met while working at Wib's and the proposal took place in the parking lot.

Wib's even has a Facebook Fan area with 500 members.

Wib's Drive In, 1204 N. High St., Jackson, MO


Cut Your Bike’s Weight: Do You REALLY Need Two Kidneys?

Ron has a bike blog, The Cozy Beehive, with a different perspective. He’s a mechanical engineer who brings his profession to his cycling passion. I read him every day. He tells you the science behind the sport.

These guys should visit the Cozy Beehive

Matt Steinhoff's shaved legI have a brother and a son who are becoming weight wienies obsessed with removing as much weight as possible from themselves and their bikes. Son Matt just shaved his beard off and Jan Norris documented his shaved legs.

Bro Mark has been known to empty his water bottle before beginning a climb. Yep, both the internal AND external tanks.

Ron says they’re on the right track

The destination of the ideal weightweenie is not a quest for the philosopher’s stone, as some of our purist brothers and sisters will have us believe. To live and act the purposeful climber’s life, we must look to our inner selves. Literally. There are multiple avenues to buy power. We do not see. Look to your inner self, yes inner self.

Fat is our enemy, and duplicated body parts superfluous.

Here’s how they can do better

Look at this table he’s put together to show how much weight you could save if you got rid of that extra kidney and eye. Even teeth, hair and fingernails add weight that slows you down. They’ve got to go.

weightweenie-must-dosGo here to read the whole story

What is Your After Bike Ride Food Treat?

Today I came came across a web site that shows what it describes as the most amazing ‘deliciously gross food‘.

After a long bike ride, Dad likes meat pizza and lots of it. Myself, I’m leaning towards the The Double Bacon Hamburger Fatty Melt (as seen above) after my next century.

What to do with All Those Calories?

Fortunately, as cyclists, we burn a lot of calories and that allows us to eat things that would otherwise cause our immediate death or at least a clog a toilet. Still, that doesn’t mean we can eat anything without regard for miles. As we learned in November, it take 150 miles to burn off a typical 4,000 calorie Thanksgiving dinner. Take home thought: make sure your miles support your waistline.

What Do You Eat After Cycling?

Do you have a favorite post-biking food? Do you ever plan your cycling tours based on what you can eat and where? Do you have any specific regional foods you love while biking? Let us know!

Do You Grow Your Own Fruits and Vegetables?

While on the subject of bike nutrition, I recently planted my own backyard vegetable garden, complete with live streaming video of the tomatoes. The yummy vegetables in my back yard don’t yet satisfy my post-ride needs but someday I might get back from a ride and toss my broccoli from my own garden into my normal pasta-chicken dish.