Humans, like hire cars, need refuelling.
Although there the similarity ends. Our Chevy Tahoe with its huge gas tank can go days between refills. We can manage only a few hours between meals. And while eating fast food and filling a vehicle may take roughly the same time only the car can be driven straight away. The body takes much longer to metabolise a meal into the energy it needs to keep going. And so it is that endurance athletes (I use that term only loosely to describe myself and Rose) have to eat little and often to stop running out of energy and hitting the wall or, as cyclists call it, getting the bonk. Our bonk prevention strategy involves posting box after box of energy bars and gels (more than 40kg in total) from the UK to the hotels and motels we’re stopping at along the route.
As you can see from the picture below some of the boxes contain packets of powder that look suspiciously like cocaine or heroin so I’m a little worried they (and quite possibly I) won’t reach their final destination. Note to Hollywood movie moguls reading this: if I am thrown into prison for drug smuggling can Brad Pitt play me in the film version? Rose wants to be portrayed by the actress off Homeland.
For now we’re more worried about whether we’re properly physically prepared for the journey ahead. We’ve put in the distance but will we be fast enough to keep up with the more experienced riders and average the required 16 mph? A chance meeting with ride staff Mike and Karen who, like us, are getting a few last minute supplies at a local bike store doesn’t do much for our confidence. They are whippet to our mongrel.
Later we console ourselves with a carb-loading meal at the Japanese restaurant just over the road from our hotel. And that’s when it hits me. We’re raw. Like sushi. Not just undercooked but uncooked. Let’s hope it’s not that kind that kills you if not properly prepared.