CUSTOMER SPOTLIGHT: THE TRASH PANDA RED DIRT RAMBLE
Way down south in Autauga County, Alabama, a group of dedicated cyclists gathers every year to celebrate the challenge and gritty authenticity of riding on gravel. According to Max Britton, the ride director who organizes the Trash Panda Red Dirt Ramble, there’s nothing quite like biking on unpaved roads. “There’s not much traffic, so they really are the roads less traveled,” Britton says. “It’s a little more challenging, but it’s fun to be out on the dirt, the mud, the sand, and anything else we run into.” In past years, the ride offered three route options — 27 miles, 48 miles, and 68 miles — and wasn’t competitive. But this year, Britton plans to change up the routes and give riders the option to race. The ride is an excuse to get outdoors and have some fun, but it’s also a fundraiser for the Prattville Autauga Humane Society, which helps adorable dogs and cats find good homes. Pets aren’t the only animals featured on the ride, either! Britton says spotting wildlife is a regular perk of riding dirt roads, and he and fellow cyclists often catch sight of the raccoons (aka trash pandas) the ride was named for while en route.
“We see raccoons, deer, snakes, rabbits — you name it,” Britton says.
2020 will mark the third year that the River Region Riders Cycling Association has held the ramble. Lynnpro has partnered with them since day one, providing T-shirts and race bibs for the adventure. “We used Lynnpro from the beginning because the Montgomery Bicycle Club had a good rapport with
them, and they did good work for them,” Britton explains. “Last year, we sold our shirts separately. So if you wanted one, you had to buy it. But we had such positive feedback on the design of the shirts that, this year, we’re going to go ahead and include them with registration.” We’ve already worked with Britton to finalize this year’s design, and we can’t wait to see it debut at the race on Saturday, Oct. 10! To learn more about the Trash Panda Red Dirt Ramble, visit TrashPandaDirtRide.com.
Inspired by Bon Appétit
1 eggplant, peeled and chopped
1 large onion, halved and sliced 1/2-inch thick 1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 large zucchini, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
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2 tsp salt
2 garlic cloves, sliced 2 pints cherry tomatoes
3/4 cup olive oil, divided
5 sprigs thyme
1. Heat oven to 400 F. 2. In a colander, toss eggplant, zucchini, and salt. Let sit for 30 minutes and pat dry. 3. In an ovenproof pot, heat 1/2 cup olive oil. Add half of eggplant mixture, stirring constantly for 5 minutes. Remove vegetables from pot. 4. Tie thyme sprigs together with kitchen twine. 5. In the same pot, heat remaining 1/4 cup olive oil, and cook onion, pepper, garlic, and thyme for 8–10 minutes. 6. Add half the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes. 7. Stir in original eggplant and zucchini mixture and top with remaining tomatoes. Do not stir. 8. Transfer pot to oven and bake mixture for 15–20 minutes. 9. Remove pot from oven and remove thyme bundle before serving. DIRECTIONS
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