The best thing I've had on the bike this year is homemade chocolate chip oatmeal cookies that team mate Beth C. brought on a ride we did to Poolesville several weeks ago. Beth got 2nd in the Women's 3/4 race and 1st among 4s on Saturday, a success which was precisely zero surprise given the way she'd ridden on that ride, but which was fun to watch anyhow.
In years past I've driven follow car for the P/1/2 race, but this year I guarded the turn into the dirt on Saturday afternoon. It's pretty funny to watch people going into and through that turn. Keck Baker taught a lesson in lines going into there. From 50 yards before the turn through about 50 yards out of the turn, his tires looked like they traced the same arc each time to within about 5mm. I was trying to figure out what all was going on with what he did. His entry wasn't nearly as sweeping as others - he took his set up only about as far left as the middle of the road, while a lot of guys were going out to the left gutter before the turn. The turn itself was sharp, and all done on the paved road. Maybe he'd found some camber in the road, I don't know, but his turn in was wicked sharp. Each time he wound up in the right hand track, completely done with his turn by the time he hit that nasty gravel patch that started the dirt. The people who tried to do the sort of classic "wide-tight-wide" wound up in the grass on the outside left of the dirt road. The Amateur Domestique wins the brass ones prize for the charge he led going in on the first lap of the Men's 3/4 race. Crazy speed going in, and the group of onlookers that was massed at the corner watched with high anticipation of a good wreck into the bushes. He wound up in the grass but upright and still going. I'd guess there was a bit of pucker factor there. Except for Keck and the P-1-2 chase group, each group took that turn slower and slower each time, as if it were wearing everyone down instead of them getting it all figured out.
All right, got way off track there, we were talking about food. Clif Z Kidz bars take up the slack when delicious cookies aren't on offer. The Chocolate Chip flavor is good. Clif started making this white chocolate macadamia nut bar that tastes really good. Except for the texture it's a lot like whatever the Pepperidge Farm cookie of the same flavor is like.
Few of the races I do are really long enough to warrant a lot of eating so most of my on the bike eating is done during long training rides. When I do eat during a race, it's always the "gel pack in the shorts cuff" deal. That's the only way I can reliably access anything quickly enough, especially when most of the time your number is pinned over some or all of your jersey pockets. I hate gels, but you gotta do what you gotta do, right?
It looks like biggest nutritional discovery I've made this year is Endurolytes by Hammer. Not sure if a pill counts as nutrition , but I had my first episode of leg cramps on Saturday of Washington County and IT SUCKED. It's too early to tell exactly how well they work, and it's a tough to prove that they are working. I never got cramps until I started to, and once I cramped once it happened again. The only thing that can reliably be proven is that they aren't 100% effective, which will be proven if I get a cramp having taken them per instructions. As it is, my recent experience is that I got cramps without taking them, then didn't get cramps after taking them. If you don't get robbed, does that mean your home security system was effective or does it just mean no robbers came to your house?
Long weekend. Freaking sweet.