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Mountain Bike Rides & a Recipe for Trail Mix Bars

Cooling Bars
“Well, on the plus side we’re at the top of a mountain, so it’s all downhill from here.” Those were C’s words the other night when we were on a bike ride; a bike ride that ended up being much longer than we thought it would be.

My skin was glistening in the setting sun. Not in an, “oh look, she’s glowing” sort of way. Instead, it was more of a “covered in deet {and bugs}, and sweat” sort of way. I could feel my heart pounding in my head, and that feeling of defeat enveloping my entire body.

Cooling in Pan
“We can turn around if you want,” he said. He should know by now that I’m way too stubborn to give up.

“No,” I grunted {I’m like a Williams sister when I do any sport. I grunt more than I speak.}. “Keep going. There’s no way in hell I’m turning back now.” My stomach started grumbling, my mouth, parched. I needed water and something to eat, but couldn’t bear the thought of stopping just yet. If I stopped, there was that chance that I wouldn’t be able to get going again. I took a quick bite out of one of my Trail Mix Bars, had a swig of water, and kept pedaling.

Cutting the Bars
We rode on for another few minutes and saw the trail start to curve into a slight decline; my legs began to move with less effort and a feeling of relief rippled through me. The decline became steeper, more defined, and my bike went faster and faster down the mountain that almost defeated me. We reached the bottom, my deet and sweat dried from the wind created by speed, and I took in a big breath of relief – satisfaction – and savoured the mountain air and the setting sun.

Trees and Sun

We finished the evening on a patio under the stars; sipping on cold pints of local beer… this is what summer is all about, isn’t it?

Trail Mix Bars
Inspired by Quaker Low Fat Chewy Fruit & Oatmeal Bars
Makes 20

½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup plain yogurt
2 egg whites
2 tablespoons grape seed oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons peanut butter (or other nut butter)
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup 5 grain hot cereal flakes (or similar cereal. For this recipe, I used Bob’s Red Mill 5-Grain)
1 cup trail mix of your choice (or a mix of nuts, dried fruit, seeds)
1/3 cup chocolate chips (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a 13×9” (or similar sized) baking pan with parchment.

2. In a large bowl, combine sugars, yogurt, egg whites, oil, vanilla, and peanut butter; whisk until smooth.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk flours, baking soda, oats, and hot cereal flakes. Add this to the large bowl with the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Fold in trail mix and chocolate chips, if using.

4. Pour batter into parchment-lined pan and spread it as well as you can with the spoon. Hold onto a small square of parchment and press the batter in so it is evenly distributed. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until it is evenly golden brown.

5. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan on a wire rack, and then remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack. Using a large knife, cut into 20 bars; Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days (or freeze individually for snacking later!

Trail Mix Bars


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