Even sports avoiders like me can’t overlook front-page news stories exposing athletes as they fall from grace due to doping.
It’s time for true confessions.
I’m a cyclist and I’m chemically dependent.
Preparing for a ride requires a significant amount of attention. There’s the applying of anti-chafing cream, suntan lotion, and lip balm. Each contains a long list of substances, ending with “ates” like iodopropynyl butylcarbamate.
There’s a hearty breakfast: eggs, toast, jam, and maybe some peanut butter. I have a small cup of coffee; I don’t want to overload on fluids if I’m unsure of the availability of restrooms. I pop in my vitamins and a couple Advil, a bit of anti-ache insurance.
Mid –morning, there’s a craving, especially if it’s cold as it was this past Saturday, for a major drug break: Caffeine. Of course just when I needed a New Jersey diner, I couldn’t find one.
To tide myself over, I nibble a fruit and nut bar, or if it’s hot, an organic energy chew, packed with Vitamin C and artificial electrolytes, designed to replace the natural ones lost through sweat.
Lunch, if on an organized ride, depends on what’s on offer at the rest stops. Usually peanut butter sandwiches. This Saturday, two varieties of soup- chicken noodle and vegetable struggled to stay hot. Doesn’t matter. When you bike, you eat anything. I drank Gatorade (more electrolytes plus sugar) and happily had a few chocolates. (more sugar, caffeine, and just great whether biking or not.)
The ride ends, about 50 miles later. Those northern New Jersey hills sure seem like French Alps. A manageable distance on a cool, fall day. A half glass of beer seals the ride; it travels to all the muscles.
And sometimes, depending on how hard the climbs and how sore my legs, I find my trusty Advil and swallow a couple more. My drug of choice.