When biking 545 miles, keep the calories flowing

This coming Sunday, June 1, I will embark on an incredible journey. I am riding my bicycle from San Francisco to Los Angeles with 18 other members of Congregation Emanu-El to help end AIDS.

“Creating a team and riding in AIDS/Lifecycle 7 is the paradigm for the Jewish struggle in a broken world,” says Rabbi Sydney Mintz, ALC rider No. 2391. “The love of tzedek, righteousness, is what motivates us to be the healers and to repair the world.”

My husband, Joe, has been on the front lines of this battle since 1985, first through his training at San Francisco General Hospital, his career at the Haight Ashbury Free Medical Clinic, and currently as an HIV Specialist at Kaiser Medical Center. He’s been commuting by bike to work across the Golden Gate Bridge for 16 years. My daughter Violet joined the fight last year through her work as a peer educator and leader with REACH, part of the Marin AIDS Project.

To do my part to end AIDS, I will ride 545 miles in seven days. To support those who are struggling with this disease, I will sleep on the ground for six nights. To honor the memories of the millions who have died of AIDS-related illnesses in the last 20 years, I will be participating in a moving event, surrounded by 2,500 cyclists and 500 volunteers. To thank those who have fought so hard against this epidemic, I will leave my comfortable home, husband and three beautiful children for a week, and Team Emanu-El will be my family.

To date, Team Emanu-El has raised $68,000 that will go directly to providing critical services to the more than 150,000 people living in California with HIV and AIDS.

On average, cyclists burn 30 calories per mile. This means that on a 545-mile ride, I’ll burn more than 16,000 calories! For training, cyclists should be eating about 60 percent of their calories from carbohydrates, about 20 percent from protein, and about 20 percent fat.

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Serves 8

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper

1 clove garlic, through the press

1 lb. pasta (penne or fusilli), cooked

2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

10 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

8 oz. fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

4 Tbs. shredded basil

1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved

Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and garlic in a large bowl. Add the pasta and toss well to coat. Toss in the remaining ingredients. Serve at room temperature.

Chickpea Salad

Serves 8

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 clove garlic, through the press

2 Tbs. grated ginger

2 tsp. cumin seed, ground

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 Tbs. salt

1/3 cup olive oil

8 cups cooked chickpeas (about 4 cans)

1 green bell pepper, finely chopped

6 green onions, sliced (white parts only)

4 Tbs. chopped cilantro

In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, garlic, ginger, cumin, cayenne pepper, salt and olive oil. Toss in the chickpeas, bell pepper, green onions and cilantro. Chill well, and bring to room temperature to serve.

Saddle Bag Mix

Makes 6 cups

1 cup M&Ms

1 cup peanuts

1 cup raisins

1 cup dried fruit bits

2 cups whole grain cereal

Mix together. Distribute as needed to energize cyclists.

Rebecca Ets-Hokin is a certified culinary professional. Visit her Web site at www.GoRebecca.com. She can be reached at [email protected].