It has been some time now I have been stressing my husband for buying some bikes, so we make bicycle tours when we are in Sweden. This year I finally got them and by now we have been doing some tours around the area. On Friday, do not really know how we came up to this "funny" idea, we decided to bike to the beach. At first the idea seemed to be so cool and we all were super excited. I prepared a small picnic for us, we packed the food, drinks, our beachwear and picnic blanket and headed our way. The beach is about 13 km away from the house and going there by car would not be more then 15 minutes. This was mostly the reason why we thought its going to be a super duper easy thing to do. We would use the bikes, do something for our bodies and will get a super reward at the beach.
After 15 minutes on the bike I started to doubt the whole super cool idea... our first hill up came and I was hardly able to ride my bike. There is a funny fact about driving the car, you never realize the ups and downs, but you feel those hard time when you are riding a bike. It turned out that almost the whole road to the beach would go up, sometimes less sometimes more, where I really needed to push my bike instead of riding it. OK, OK in my defense, I have not been riding a bike for more than 10 years now, so it was a bit more challenging as I initially thought. The good thing was that we actually made it to the beach, (not really telling you how much time we needed to come there). I gave up on this idea after the third hill up, my husband however would speak sense and hope to me, so I would continue towards our goal.
The reward was magnificent... as soon as we came to the beach and put all our staff down from the bikes, I headed towards the sea... it was such an amazing feeling, after all this groan and dross and all the swearing, jumping into the cool water, relaxing and let the waves take me with them.
We had couscous salad and cheese sandwiches for picnic and the rest of the vanilla sponge with cream and blackberries cake, I made the day before. Couscous salad is my all time favorite, which is ideal for picnics. It is done within couple of minutes, it always different depending on the ingredients you like or have, it is super nutrition, a perfect healthy snack at the beach after a long long long bike ride.
- 1 cup couscous
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1 teaspoon vegetable stock powder
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 cane of corn
- 1 cane chickpeas
- 1 handful of fresh coriander (roughly chopped)
- 1 handful fresh chives
- 2 limes (zest and juice)
- olive oil
Put the couscous in a medium bowl, sprinkle the stock powder on top and pour in the hot water. Steer quickly, cover the bowl and let the couscous absorb the whole liquid. Meanwhile cut the bell pepper in small cubes, add them to a big bowl. Add the corn, chickpeas, roughly chopped coriander and chives. Combine the ingredients. Add the couscous, zest and juice of the limes and some olive oil to the rest of the ingredients. Steer and season with some more salt and pepper if needed.
I made some cheese sandwiches to serve with the salad. The bread is homemade (you can find the recipe HERE), my mother in law bake it for us.... she added different kind of nuts and some dry apricots to the original recipe, which went just perfect with the cheese.
Pablo and I had plenty of fun in the water, we still do not consider it being cold (my husband thinks bit different about it) and use every sunny day to get to the beach. Pablo is in the age (not sure all kids are the same, but my mom says I did the same) where he just love to seek for stones, which will be then collected for later, hence it is just a paradise for him at the beach. So many things, or better said treasures, he can find there... some of them will be thrown back into the sea, some will be hidden in my bag. We played who can throw the stone much further, trying new tricks and some different ways of doing it. It is too cool to see how much fun kids can have with something simple as that.
With all the fun and seeking for treasures time went quick and we needed to go back home, making us ready for the dinner with friends. Finally we biked about 26 kilometers in total and by the time we came home I was not sure I would be able to make it through the rest of the day. Again, remember I am not a sport freak and not really in my best shape, so 26 kilometers are quite a challenge for me. After I managed to drag myself under the shower, everything started to look better... I managed to make myself ready, picked a basket of fresh blackberries for the kids and soon we were sitting in the car on the way to the dinner.
It was a perfect evening for this special day. We were spoiled with delicious food and lovely company. Kids were having the fun on their own, being allowed to stay up a bit longer, while we grown ups were talking about this and that, enjoying a nice glass of red wine (final reward of the biking :-)...
My conclusion of this day: I still am able to bike 26 kilometers, have lot´s of fun with my son at the beach and still look acceptable for a dinner with friends...
P.S. Anna och Tommy tack so mycket för trevlig kväll!!!