Sunday, May 15, 2011

Eating in the saddle

Last weekends Brig Sportive threatened to be a washout with high winds and torrential rain forecast.
Certainly as we travelled to the venue you could have been excused for believing that you were in a car wash as we were buffeted from side to side whilst seemingly being emerged in large quantities of water.
However as the start time approached the aerial sprinkler system malfunctioned and the only precipitation in sight was that left behind forming large puddles along the route.

The field had been depleted by those non attenders who suffered from acute Ombrophobia- (Fear of rain or of being rained on)

As Mark and I prepared ourselves, fellow Mule Kelky and his Colleague Karen turned up to do the Shorter ride. So at least three Mule Shirts were on Parade.The course was gorgeous and well organised although the last 15 miles riding into a strong headwind caused my energy levels to tumble as dramatically as a sneezing trapeze artist.


With my Garmin telling me I had completed 98.2 miles Mark pointed out some riders behind us. These were a couple of young bucks who we had recently overtaken. They were storming up the road and closing the gap rapidly, probably incensed that some tubby veteran was going to pick up a 'ten second pride bonus' at the finish. Mark asked 'what have you got left? With only 1.8 miles to go I knew I had something in reserve and can always be relied upon to lead out when the terrain is flat. 'Don't worry about me' I arrogantly shouted as I blasted past him ramping up the pace to 28 mph. Glued to my wheel Mark shouted out words of encouragement.


After a mile I was hurting, after 1.5 miles I was totally burying myself. Moments later as my Garmin hit 99.80 miles I suddenly realised that there was no finishing line around the corner. The urban area that we were now entering was not in fact Brig but the village three miles to the south of our destination. The sudden realisation crushed me and I let Mark through, frantically trying to hold his wheel whilst yelling at him to slow down. Fortunately the young bucks were now nowhere to be seen and I was able to compose myself and wipe the froth from my mouth before we crossed the line. 100miles should be 100 miles, not F***ing 103.2


This week saw the start of our summer team training on Wednesday evening where it was good to see some new faces.

This week also provided me with over 3,000 miles for the year providing me with a great foundation for the rest of the season.

To get better and faster I now need to get leaner and lighter - my usual problem.

With a 24 hour ride looming on the Horizon its no longer a wish, its now a necessity.
Bob and I had a ride out to Millington on Saturday and stopped at the 'Ramblers rest' for a coffee, a great spot which is a favorite spot for cyclists.

Bob asked me if I wanted my customary Cake which to his astonishment I declined explaining my new ambitions


All around us were other cyclists drinking Coffee and eating cakes which were obviously baked especially for me. I watched intently my head darting from each plate to mouth, as by saliva glands went into overdrive.

Unamused I told Bob that these skinny cyclists were obliged to eat as they had no 'personal fuel' to rely on, I likened their attendance to that of a racing car refuelling during a pit stop.

Bob liked the analogy and chucked.

Developing it further I patted by protruding belly and remarked how clever I was by developing my own fuel reserves which required no saddlebag and could be secured quite nicely on the inside of my cycling jersey.

I then seem to loose the plot and pronounced that when I die I could never be cremated.

I explained that such a course of action might create a large traffic jam with a backlog of funeral hearses trying to reach the crematorium. The delay would inevitably be caused by the time needed for my fuel sacks to extinguish.

Small villages could be heated for weeks or I could be used as an exercise my the local fire brigade.

Bob who was certain that my abstract mutterings were symptoms of some hypoglycemic condition and insisted we share a muesli bar.

It was not quite a cream cake ....but it did shut me up.


1 comment:

Trevor Woodford said...

Good post Philip...
Well done on reaching the 3000 miles point for your year so far...
I am just a few miles short of 3000 at the moment ...but I did have 4 weeks off the bike in February. (Well that's my excuse...Ha Ha)

-Trevor