Blood, Barf, and Trails

Rule Number One:

A hearty pre-ride breakfast is important!


Apparently, runny eggs over latka and ham with a suspicious-looking hollandaise-like sauce is not, in fact, the ideal pre-ride meal for mountain bikers. A discovery made on the climb up to the 401 trail in Crested Butte. 45 minutes or so into the climb up to Schofield Pass I felt waves of nausea and my legs became so filled with lead that I numbly watched as a overly plump rider passed me in her granny gear.  She had a camera hanging around her neck for God’s sakes. Yet as mortifying as it was to gamely smile and wave her along, there was nothing I could do about it except console myself that maybe she was a professional mountain bike racers in disguise, ala Gwenyth Paltrow in that movie where she wears a fatsuit. Alas, there were no hidden cameras to be found and my Niner only had one gear.

After another 15 minutes of suffering and wishing my mate Brent an early and painful death by bludgeoning (he seemed to be keeping his brekkie down fine), I reached the top of the pass in time to see my mountain biking buddy starting up the singletrack which starts the 401 trail. “If you haven’t vomited yet, you will in about 5 minutes”, he glibly shouts back to me.

Truer words have never been spoken.

The singletrack wound its way up, as did the bile in my stomach. I pulled myself and the bike off the trail and bent over a fallen tree in time to see my entire breakfast, latte, and my vitamins (still whole) carpet the forest floor and the backside of the tree.

Legs shaking I resumed the climb suddenly feeling much lighter in my pedals.

Rule Number 2:

Never eat Thai from a road side stop in the middle of nowhere – unless you live in Thailand.

Feeling better after a great ride, with a shower, delicious lunch, and replacement latte under my belt…. the mornings’ breakfast redux was long forgotten. Except for the occasional mention of the ‘holiday sauce’ by Brent.

On the drive in we had spotted a roadside café near our hotel – with the sign, “Authentic Thai Food”. Brent had heard, as I had I, from separate friends that this was actually a great little dive run by a Thai family. The fact that the shack it resides in looked like it was due any day for a demo, the menus were sticky, and that you ordered through a Dairy Queen screen window, we took a chance for dinner. Now, I often opt for leftover Thai or Indian curries for breakfast without blinking an eye, so I didn’t think twice about the chance to eat green curry in the middle of nowhere…the thought running through my head was not, “Warning, Warning, Warning,” but rather, “SCORE!”

I walked across the parking lot to get some drinks at the gas station, and came back in time for the order to come through the screen window. As neither Brent nor myself are in possession of a television, we excitedly got the food to go so we could stuff our bellies while watching endless post debate coverage on CNN (me) in between episodes of engineering feats of the New York sewage system on the History channel (Brent).

Strewing napkins and Styrofoam boxes across the beds , I opened up the one marked green curry with my fork poised to dive in, and realized my fateful error. Wilted snow pea pods, pale, limp broccoli, and some sort of vegetable (I think) that seemed to be oozing. My best guess is some sort of zuchinni or eggplant chunks. The chicken was hard to distinguish from what appeared to be mushrooms. In short, this curry had been around a while. Brent’s pad thai was innocent looking enough, and I again sent evil and torturous thoughts his way.

Starving, I gingerly sorted out the worst offenders, all of the oozing vegetables, and spooned the rice into the watery substance leftover with a few sprouts and pea pods. Still hungry, I gleefully remembered the two day old peanut butter sandwich in the car and filled the rest of my ravaged belly quicker than you can say, “Bob’s your uncle”.

A good night sleep would cure all, and in fact, I suffered little ill effect from the gamble. Just a nervously rumbling stomach that wasn’t quite sure what I was going to throw at it next. The next day was a wonderful, barf-free ride along the Monarch Crest. The only stomach distress was the suppressed gagging I endured whenever Brent mentioned oozy Thai veggie wraps smothered in ‘holiday sauce’.

Lesson learned, and my car is now amply supplied with a stash of Larabars and Rolaids.

Bon Appetite!


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