Food. It’s constantly on the mind of anyone who is cycling a lot. One of the unexpected positive side effects of riding 200kms per week has been that you can basically eat and drink what you like, providing you get into bed before 10pm most nights.
So you’d think I would have been prepared last night when, following our pre-Tour 200 get together, we headed off for a well earned beverage and some finger food – sadly I stopped to chat by the door for less than 10 minutes and in that time, as if by magic, the pies and pizza slices had all disappeared behind a horde of hungry cyclists. I was forced to compensate with a couple (ish) glasses of the finest Pinot Grigio. Fortunately, there was a suitably large plate of curry waiting for me when I got home.
It is impossible to understate the importance of food to me during the past 12 weeks of training. When combining early morning rides with a busy day of meetings, one slice of toast too few could result in an inability to operate basic Microsoft Office applications. On long weekend rides which have run over time I came up with the genius method of texting ahead to my husband to prepare a plate of bacon and scrambled eggs. These can be gobbled down as soon as I walk through the door. Trying this with the teenagers in the house was a disaster though….they never got the messages despite still languishing in bed when I returned ravenous – turned out their attention was on maintaining 10+ snapchat streaks rather than on feeding me. Thank goodness for the large pile of emergency Bounce protein balls in the cupboard.
I’m eternally grateful this year that hot cross buns made their usual unseasonal appearance in January. I tend to hold off from eating these until Easter week, but I reckon I’ve been averaging a packet or so a week on my own. Working out exactly what works best as fuel before, during and after riding has been what we call in technology a “test and learn” process. As a result I’ve learnt to restrict my intake of Thai takeaway the night before a ride, but landed firmly in favour of scrambled eggs before or afterwards. Test results on hot cross buns are mixed. And of course a cold Corona definitely has nutritional value after a long, hot slog around Akuna Bay. Even if it is still 11am…
So the actual 3 days of the Tour 200 is upon us. Looking back at EyesUp Rolling #1 I am happy to report that I have reached a level where I feel I can call myself a road cyclist, based on the following criteria:
- My Tour 200 gear is COVERED in sponsor logos;
- I now own more than 5 pairs of various coloured cycling socks, and 4 sets of very comfortable cycling knicks ;
- The pony tail ready helmet still rocks my world but not as much as chamois cream;
- I am on first name terms with most of the staff at Jet Cycles and I have even purchased a refill for my chain cleaner;
- I finally cracked it and got a Garmin, complete with cadence sensor.
There are 2 choices post Tour – stop eating or keep cycling. Hopefully I can find a balance somewhere between the two……
Massive shout out to everyone for reading my blog and giving feedback. Bigger shout out to all those who have sponsored me, to my gorgeous family for supporting me, and to my 2 dogs for putting up with a lot less walks.
EyesUp will be on air wherever possible relaying how the Tour 200 experience unfolds…. can’t wait!