All photos taken by: Ian Hylands Photography
We've been living our dream this summer; riding bikes and cooking at cycling related events all over Colorado, the West!! Every menu this summer has been different from the next, rejuvenating to the soul & filled with flavors unique to us.
The Cyclist's Menu had a moment to "check out" of the real world for a moment, along with 13 other like-minded souls on a special work-related trip that led us deep in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho. Niner Bikes (Fort Collins, CO) was about to launch two new mountain bikes, and we had the opportunity to ride some incredible single-track with Sun Valley Trekking (Hailey, ID) into the incredible "Coyote Yurt." Most importantly, we discovered some of the best local food producers in the Central Idaho region and cooked some delicious food. While this crew of talented riders, photographers and writers, rode trail into the sunset, we set the stage for a high alpine, open fire cookout, equipped with expansive vistas, cool mountain air, Colorado beer and stories of grass fed beef, local greens, sun burns and 6 inches of suspension travel! Is there anything better?!
The term "work" was fairly relevant on this wonderful escape from the norm. As we chase our goals to "connect people directly to the food and land in beautiful places," we cant help but think about our "work" more as our passion than something we wake up to 5 days a week. In the lives of two avid cyclists, community builders, lovers of food and stories from the road; we regularly discuss the importance of this and how it drives us, like nothing before, to achieve our wildest dreams. No matter how far off they seem or how hard it might be to get there. We laugh and smile, knowing passion this real, can at times, feel so thick you want to take a bite out of it.
Back to the story... As that Idaho sun began to fall behind the mountains, the light was perfect. Ian Hylands, photo wizard, had his trigger finger ready for the dinner to come. Vietnamese meat balls, wrapped in local red lettuce led into a Wood River Ranch New York Strip Steak, sliced and set on top mixed greens with a garlic pesto, grilled corn and goat chevre. The crack of an Odell Brewing Company IPA (Fort Collins, CO) sparked a few stories around the table and talk went from drive trains and better brakes to the best places to ride in the West and that favorite summer concert series.
It's moments like these with great people that keep us moving, keep us in the kitchen! We are so thankful to look back on these incredible moments in time, where food changes people's connection and understanding of a place. We love to ride bikes, but when we talk about what exists at the core of The Cyclist's Menu, its our ability to change people's perspective on a meal, on what's going into their bodies and how it impacts each location we visit. It had been a handful of years since the last time we visited Hailey and Ketchum, ID. However, we now have a wealth of knowledge on the place, and the incredible people who call that beautiful valley home.
& finally, dinner was served!
More amazing shots, stories and bike reviews about our yurt adventure with Niner, links below:
Next cooking adventure for The Cyclist's Menu, July 28-31, 2016: The Steamboat Ralleye!!
Thanks for reading y'all!! (More photos below.)
CHEF Z & HR