Sunday, November 7, 2010

Part 4 - Bring a Good Can Opener (or better yet, home-made adobo)

"What?" said one of they guys..... "What broke?"

"The can opener" someone replied. This was a stunning development.

This happened a FEW MONTHS EARLIER, at the Spring Death Valley Double Century. Right after that ride, we gathered at our hotel room at 12-midnight to eat. The restaurant was closed at that hour, but we knew that beforehand, so the day before, at Baker (100 miles from our hotel in Amargosa), Louie bought canned sardines and a can-opener at the liquor store. We also brought a rice cooker.

We had a pot of freshly made steamed rice, and we were going to have CANNED SARDINES at the hotel room. There were 7 of gathered us in the hotel room: Julius, Jesse (who both debuted their 200-milers), Pete, Francis, Victor, Ricky, Louie N, and myself (Mandy). (Jun Usi finished the ride too but was in another room with his wife and daughter Lina and Erika, who earlier in the day bought dinner for him before the restaurant closed.)

We each burned about 8,000 calories to complete 200 miles. (In comparison the average person burns 2,000 calories in a day.) AdventureCorps biking & marathon events are the best-stocked and supported rides: They have Subway sandwiches for lunch, pizza after the ride. All the rest-stops have just what you need to refuel during the ride: Water, bananas, powder drinks, electrolytes, energy bars, Hammer products, PBJs, dates, pretzels, hot cup-o-noodles, soda, etc.

But you cannot stuff yourself with 8,000 calories worth of food during the 12-17 hours that you're biking 200 miles, for many reasons. One is, during intense athletic activity, your stomach doesn't have the usual energy to digest it. Yes, the stomach, like any other organ, needs energy to do its specialized work of digesting food.

During a 200-mile bike ride, you're probably at your aerobic capacity for most of most of the ride. When sustaining such an effort over a span of 12-17 hours, the body will concentrate blood flow to the brain and limbs, leaving less energy for the stomach. That means you won't be craving food. (You're burning fat and muscle to make up the caloric deficit). And even if you manage to stuff yourself with food, your stomach would "protest", by giving you a bloated feeling: The food is just sitting there, not getting digested fast enough. No matter how much you eat in one seating, the stomach can only process and send 300 calories to the bloodstream. Bottom line: During the ride, although we each burn over 8,000 calories, but can only eat 5,000 calories.

After the ride, once you start relaxing, your stomach gets its mojo back, and the hunger pangs come.

But the restaurant was closed. So we had our rice and canned sardines readied to tide us over.

But after opening the FIRST can of sardines, the cheap, FLIMSY can opener CAME APART ! Yes, it came apart. We couldn't believe it.

Seven hungry guys, a pot of rice, and only ONE can of sardines. We couldn't open the other cans.

Fortunately someone made hard-boiled eggs. Still... dinner of rice and hard-boiled eggs and a smearing of sardines isn't quite satisfying.

It must have made an impression on Julius, because this time around, at this 2010 Fall Edition of the Death Valley Double, his wife prepared HOME MADE CHICKEN ADOBO for everyone the night before our trip, froze it in Glad containers. We defrosted and warmed it on a gas burner on the lawn outside our hotel room. It was DELICIOUS. George V. came by and had some too. Thanks Julius and wife !!

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