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Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Wine and Recovery 

Strangely, those two topics are not really linked.

On the weekend, I rode two more training races, again in a category higher than I would normally compete in. The one on Saturday was a pretty standard workout (rode hard, dropped early), but the Sunday race was something exquisite, in its own way.

I managed to stay with the main group for a surprising number (three) of laps. Apparently the group started coming apart on the first lap, and caught the A group not long after I slipped away. Scary. Rode it out, etc. But the hill itself commanded awesome levels of respect. Basically, it was one of those creepy cycling experiences where the suffering was fun. A certain Mr. Armstrong has been known to talk about the difference between "sweet pain" (climbing) and "sour pain" (time trials). Cyclists understand this sort of demented difference.

What hurts in March makes you strong in June.

Oh right, the wine: I finally got around to racking my crab apple wine, one of my last few interventions before I start inflicting it on others, which probably won't happen until sometime in August. Racking is a simple process. You siphon the wine from one vessel to another, mostly to leave the sediment behind. The most time-consuming aspect is cleaning and sterilizing the vessels. A taste test revealed that the wine is still quite nouveau (which is to be expected), but it is very clear, and it has potential. One more racking and a few more months and we should be looking at several gallons of drinkable fruit wine.

The other thing you're probably wondering: white or red? The answer is white. I might try making a red some other time by mixing in the crab apple skins, which is pretty much how red grape wines are made.

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