All bike riders have been there. That moment when you return home from a ride hungry, tired, and in search of anything edible to shove in your mouth. As someone who’s been around the block a few times on two wheels, I like to say I’m pretty good at avoiding this scenario—either by packing enough food at the start of my ride or planning mid-ride stops to re-fuel. After all, they say that if you finish a ride hungry, you’ve done something wrong. With that being the standard measurement, I can say with definite certainty that I failed miserably.
Salt burns my eyes as I scour my food stocks in search of the most easily accessible item. A package of dried cranberries emerges first and I eat the entire contents of the bag (don’t judge…there weren’t THAT many left). Digging some more I find an apple. So as not to get any unnecessary germs, I take the time to wash and dry it only to totally forget about removing the sticker. Moments later I’m peeling it off the roof of my mouth. Back home in Boulder I would probably have served myself some rice with eggs, chicken, or some other leftover protein from the night before. Out of that element though, I find myself scrambling a bit to find something. Eventually, I put together a meal of actual substance that would help replenish what I’ve burned over the course of the day and work to alleviate my hunger bonk. Sitting at the kitchen counter I can only reflect on my own stupidity. The phrase “you’re going to regret this tomorrow” flashes through my mind more than once. I should have seen this coming a mile away.
While it’s hard to believe, several hours prior to this I was happily riding somewhere in the Arizona desert absorbing a good amount of vitamin D and smiling at the fact it was early December yet miraculously seventy-five degrees. Incredibly, the whole week has been this nice and I’m loving how I can base my training around actual training and not the weather. Riders who live in areas that actually experience winter would agree this is a pretty great luxury.
As a bit of background, last weekend I arrived Tucson, AZ for two-weeks of training between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I was fortunate enough to find amazingly gracious hosts in Curtis and Stella Zimmerman, which only served as extra incentive to make the thirteen-hour drive down from Boulder.
Quick Aside: Curtis and Stella are the owners of Stella Java and Presta Coffee Roasters so if you ever come to Tucson, check them out. Also, go to this website and buy copious amounts of their coffee THIS VERY INSTANT http://www.prestacoffee.com/.
Now that I’m here, my goal is to get in whatever time I can on the bike before returning to Massachusetts for Christmas. This year I’ve actually scheduled rest breaks over the holidays, which is something I’m pretty excited about. In standard “Emerson Oronte” fashion, years past have seen me try to cram in whatever training I could around family gatherings and the typical holiday madness. Generally though this only resulted in me pissing off my relatives, sub-par exercise, and getting sick. Did I also mention riding around Massachusetts in December can be a less than pleasant experience?
Anyway, before indulging in the season festivities, I have plenty of work left to occupy my mind here in Tucson—not the least of which is actually getting to know the area. Today was definitely a harsh lesson in “There aren’t many food stops in the desert 101”—at least, not ones that I know of. Fortunately, I had the common sense to turn back for home well before the ride went from “mild bonk” to “spiritual vision quest”—even that though doesn’t do much to repair my somewhat bruised ego. Oh well, happens to the best of us I guess. With any luck (and proper planning) this scene wont pay out again in the next week or so. However, if I show up to the first race of the year with a Jeremiah Johnson beard, severely golden-brown skin, and a peyote addiction you’ll know I took a wrong turn in the desert somewhere. Ill do my best to keep that from happening.