Saturday, March 8, 2014

Depression Bums by Ken C. Wise

Depression Bums by Ken C. Wise
Copyright 1992
Manufactured in the USA
190 pages

Published by Wilderness Adventure Books
P. O. Box 856
Manchester, MI 48158

This is the true story of two young men, Ken Wise and Ercel Hart, who set out on the adventure of their lives in. For eight months during the years 1933 and 1934 they traveled 2000 miles by bicycle, 1,200 miles on a cattle train and another 1,500 miles by canoe. 

Their trip took place during the years 1933 and 1934. The USA was still in a depression. Unable to find jobs and wanting to travel, Ken and Ercel headed out on bicycles with fifteen dollars apiece. Their plan was to bum around and see the country. They hoped to get to Chicago in time to visit the 1933 World's Fair. 

The pair rode bicycles 2,000 miles, from Santa Monica, California to Great Falls Montana. Their bikes were old single speed racing bicycles with skinny tires. The drop handlebars were turned up to make them more comfortable and a rack was added to the rear of each bike. Both machines were hauling thirty pounds of gear, when they started out. 

The 1,200 mile trip from Great Falls, Montana to Chicago, Illinois was made in a passenger car on a train hauling cattle. The young men were given passes on the train in return for looking after a rancher's cattle during the trip. 

Once in Chicago, Ercel was able to get a job at the World's Fair. They saved enough money while in Chicago to buy a canoe. This canoe was used to travel 1,500 miles to New Orleans, Louisiana. They both got jobs working on freight ships and eventually found their way back to Santa Monica.

Depression Bums is a great book to read for many reasons. The history of this time period and the friendliness of the people they meet along the way was enjoyable. I also liked reading about the amazing adventure of Ken Wise and Ercel Hart. If it's history, cycling, canoeing or adventure you desire to read about, this book has it all! 

The book is out of print. It is still possible to purchase used copies on line. I suggest you buy a copy and read this great book. 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Raul Alcala

Raul Alcala
Raul Alcala Gallegos was born on March 3, 1964 in Monterrey, Mexico. He raced bicycles as a professional from 1985 through 1999.  Alcala was the first Mexican cyclist to compete in the Tour de France. He came out of retirement from racing bicycle as a professional in 2010 when he competed in the Vuelta Chihauhua and won the national time trial champonship. He was 46 in 2010.

In 1986, his second year as a professional cyclist, Raul moved from team Dente to race for the 7-Eleven squad. He had four first place finishes that year and competed in his first Tour de France.

At the end of the 1987 Tour de France, Alcala was awarded first place in the Young Rider Competition, third place in the Mountains Classification and finished in ninth place in the General Classification.  He had four victories in 1987, and was first place in the General Classification at the Coors Classic. 

After switching teams in 1989, to PDM from 7-Eleven, Raul Alcala had his first stage win at the Tour de France. He won stage three that year. Along with six other solo victories, his PDM team won the Team Classification at both the Tour de France and at the Tour of Ireland in 1989.

His second year racing for team PDM was another successful year for Alcala. After winnng the Prologue and Stage 8, he finished in first place in the Tour de Trump. He also finished in first place at the Vuelta y Ruta de Mexico and won the seventh stage of that stage race in 1990. At the Tour de Franc he won Stage Seven and finished the tour in 8th place in the General Classification.

Alcala's last two years racing on team PDM, 1991 and 1992, he had three victories. All will racing in the country of Spain.

1993 saw Raul move to a new team. He began racing for Wordperfect out of the Netherlands. He would only race for this team for one year. During that year he won stage eleven of the Tour Du Pont and was first in the General Classification of that race. He also had three other victories that year.

Motorola was his new team in 1994. He won the Ninth Stage and finished in first place in the General Classification that year in the Vuelta Y Ruta de Mexico. He also won the Prologue of the Tour Du Pont in 1994. 

In 2010 at the age of 46 Raul Alcala returned to professional cycling. Racing for the Canel's Turbo team, he won his country's national time trial championship.


Black Bean Salad Recipe

Black Bean Salad

From the Kitchen of Sonia Frank

Makes 4 cups (6 servings)

2 - 15 oz. cans black beans, drained and rinsed (or cook your own)
1 cup tomatoes, chopped
2/3 cup white onion, chopped
1 cup cilantro, chopped
2 cloves minced garlic (or as desired)
3 tablespoons olive oil (preferably extra-virgin)
1 tablespoon cumin powder
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours 
before serving. 

This recipe was taken directly from the Hammer Nutrition Cook Book. Click here for more information on Hammer Nutrition.