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Eat, read, learn

Bicycling magazine published an article over the summer offering a list of foods one might consider stocking in the kitchen and eating to help fuel cycling miles and achieve fitness goals. I do pay attention to what and how I eat — after all, it takes work to keep my 166-pound svelte figure!

But of the 27 items deemed important to consume, I only partake of five of them on a regular basis. While I'm obviously not a shining example according to what the story's author was calling for, I do feel fit and I'm just 25 miles from cranking out 4,000 for the season.

'Tis the season for lights on the bike.

What are my five you might be asking? They are peanut butter, almonds, blueberries, tomatoes and tea. I enjoy PB on bread after a long ride; I eat a salad almost every day that includes almonds, blueberries and tomatoes; and when you're married to someone from England, such as I, you automatically drink potfuls of tea.

Other foods on the magazine's list that I do occasionally put in my mouth are as follows: spinach, Greek yogurt, chocolate milk, sweet potato, watermelon, broccoli, pickles, dark chocolate, beans, garlic, honey, olives, popcorn and eggs. That adds up to 14; so with my five favorites, we are now at 19 out of 27. Not bad.

So that leaves eight on what I call my "yucky" list — or more to the point, there's no way in hell I'm going to eat or drink this vile stuff. The hateful eight, in no particular order, are avocado, salmon, red wine, coffee, beets, ginger, tart cherries and chia seeds.

There you have it. How do you stack up against Bicycling magazine's list of 27 fitness foods? What do you find works for you that's not amongst the offerings? Let me know in the comments section below. But regardless — eat, drink, be merry and, most of all, go for a bike ride.

Looking for a good book to read as the days get shorter and the cycling miles — at least for most — begin to drop off? I would like to recommend "Icons: My Inspiration. My Motivation. My Obsession." by Sir Bradley Wiggins (HarperCollins, 2018), the 2012 winner of the Tour de France.

Wiggins, who takes the reader on a journey of his extensive collection of memorabilia, describes the demands of professional cycling by writing about the lives of 21 of the sport's key figures, including Fausto Coppi, Jacques Anquetil, Fabian Cancellara, and Lance Armstrong.

It was enjoyable delving into earlier champions and their rivalries, which I knew very little about; the old-time photographs alone are worth checking out the book, and it was an easy read. A nice addition to my bicycle-themed library of books.

Just a reminder! Mathieu's Cycle & Fitness, the bike shop where I work and a sponsor of Pedal2Page, will be holding a Bicycle Cleaning and Maintenance Clinic on Wednesday, Oct. 16, at 5:30 p.m. at its Farmingdale, Maine, site. The store is located at 727 Maine Ave. The clinic is open to all.

"I'm doing the clinic because I like teaching people about bikes," said Taylor Merk-Wynne, who will be joined at the event by David Houston, a colleague from Mathieu's Oakland shop. "Three areas we will focus on include derailleur adjustments, changing a flat tire, and keeping your drivetrain clean and properly lubricated."

All good things to know; these two dudes know their stuff. Please join us.

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