Fuel, Old Equipment, the TDF and Musings

May 2, 2014

The last time I was on a bike was about two years ago. I don’t count the times I’ve been on my scooter or the scant few times I’ve taken a bike out for a jaunt. I’m talking about a full-on bike ride. Miles underneath the tires, dirt under the knobbies, helmet, camelbak and other accoutrement specific to cycling.

Screen Shot 2014-05-02 at 8.44.00 AM

Why is that? I’d say fitness and health mostly. Not that I’m in such good shape that I don’t need to bike, but because I’m in such poor shape, getting back on the bike would be a trial. Therefore, I’m watching from the sidelines, providing support, and looking forward to another pro cycling season.

Oh, if you’re not aware, I am writing regularly for Texas Bike Racing Magazine, so I haven’t left the sport – I’m just doing it from my desk or the car when I go cover events. But I digress. The headline on this post is Fuel, Old Equipment, the TD and Musings. I’ve done a little musing already, so that’s done. Now let’s tackle the rest in order…

Screen Shot 2014-05-02 at 8.44.36 AM

Fuel. Tomorrow will be a real cycling meal. My friend John Refford is riding in my local park and I’ve volunteered to craft breakfast for him as a pre-ride treat. I’m thinking something light like a five-egg omelet, some sausages and maybe a steak. I believe he’s thinking half a crumpet, some egg whites and a spoonful of dry wheat germ. It’s odd how things change when you’re not riding – or when you’re eating before or after a ride.

I remember post-ride feasts where multiple burritos, crazy iHop breakfasts and rooty-tooty-fresh-and-fruity platters were the norm. Calories had been burned and had to be put back. Now I’m eating a standard amount both before and after a ride – and because I don’t ride, the standard amount actually happens at all three meals.

Screen Shot 2014-05-02 at 8.44.10 AM

I also don’t eat Gu packets as snacks anymore. While they’re quite tasty, a Gu packet snack is akin to downing a few tablespoons of honey and washing it down with Powerade. That’s definitely less healthy than my sausage Benedict breakfast, my roast beef sandwich lunch and my rib-eye steak dinner.

Old Equipment. Do you like spiders? Do you like quasi-vintage cycling equipment? Want to buy a bike? I ask those three questions because my bike is now quasi-vintage with its 26-inch tires and 27 speeds. The shocks only travel about four inches and the brakes are the first generation of non-hydraulic disks. It’s a relic.

Further, it is covered with cobwebs, weighs about 24.5 pounds and is a model that isn’t even produced anymore (at least in this geometry and full-suspension travel). In its day, I paid $3600 for it. Now I don’t know if I could get $1000 for it, but I might try. I’d then use that money to pay for photography equipment with which to shoot the Tour de France.

Which brings me to the Tour.

The TDF. I try to attend the Tour de France regularly. For about a decade I was going to see it in France every two years. There’s now been a little gap because of a wedding, a house, a cat and various other obligations, but I yearn to get back. In fact, I think 2015 will mark another visit to Paris for me. For that visit, I plan to take some photos, follow the tour around the countryside a little bit, and even venture to some of the United Kingdom.

Screen Shot 2014-05-02 at 8.45.33 AM

The race has changed a little in my eyes – in the same way the gloss is now off Major League Baseball. But I still love both sports and enjoy the athleticism and the strategy in each pursuit. I’m not sure if it’s been the Lance fallout or the general changing of the guard, but I hardly know any of the names anymore and that makes it sometimes hard to watch. Like baseball, I want to root for heroes not laundry. Cheering for a cycling team isn’t as much fun as choosing a cyclist and following their journey for 21 stages in early Summer in Europe.

June and July are coming. Maybe a bike sale is on the horizon. And some great meals will certainly be plated here in the states. How it all turns out will be documented here on the blog. I hope you come back frequently to see what I’m up to.

Thanks for reading!