Tag Archives: eating

Put the kettle on – mine’s a pint.

I haven’t stopped eating for 3 days. Well, I’ve just stopped. The hunger has finally gone. After countless bowls of porridge, dishes of pasta, bananas, crumpets, toast, flapjacks, pints of water, pints of tea – I finally feel human again.

Every time my tummy has grumbled at me this week, I’ve thought back to Saturday’s bike ride – the reason for my hollow-stomached hunger. Each fork full of spaghetti has built back a bit of me that I left on a muddy bridleway in Surrey or a bit of gravel strewn lane in Sussex.

I want to feel hungry in my legs again.

Let’s go on a bike ride.

Snoozing and bonking.

Splash face with cold water, look self in mirror, tell self to wake up.

Put on socks, base layer, bib tights, jersey, jacket, buff and cap.

Put bread in toaster. 

Fill water bottles. Sound of running water makes you realise you need to pee. Take off jacket, jersey and bibs, pee, put them back on again.

Pack tubes, tyre levers, pump, cash, phone and keys into jersey pocket.

Locate shoes and overshoes from underneath pile of stuff. Put them on feet.

Put on gloves. Realise you can’t easily eat toast whilst wearing gloves. Take off gloves, scoff 3/4 of the slice of toast, put gloves back on.

Plonk helmet onto head. Do silly fast walk downstairs that maximises speed and minimises risk of slipping on cleated shoes. Jump onto bike, whizz down the road, arrive with seconds to spare….

Getting up ten minutes before you need to leave is never advisable. There are plenty of reasons why it’s a stupid thing to do, but today I experienced the reality of one in particular. I’d usually get up in time to eat porridge and drink coffee before setting off on a ride. This morning I didn’t even have time to finish a slice of toast, and in my rush to leave didn’t put any food in my pocket. This is a mistake I won’t make again.

I always thought ‘bonking’ was what middle aged people called sex, but it turns out it has a different meaning in cycling. And somewhere near Laughton on the team ride today I bonked. I bonked hard. Having struggled to get going and then struggled to keep going, I was soon struggling to cycle at all. Blurred vision, a spinny head and feeling like I was going to throw up. As my team mate beautifully put it: ‘you’ve barely had any food…your stomach is eating itself!’. I know plenty of cyclists who ride 50 miles on no breakfast, but that kind of routine is one you have to build up to, and I’m certainly not there yet. So, along with Matt (who was ill and after an excuse to do a shorter ride), we let the team go on with their full ride and took a turn off at Isfield for an unscheduled stop in the Lavender Line cafe.

A sugary drink and several carby snacks later I was back in the saddle and ready to ride home. It wasn’t a wasted morning – I still managed 34 miles and I definitely learnt a lesson: avoid the bonk – EAT.

(Oh, and don’t press the snooze button.)

Lavender Line Cafe