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Messages - percy kittens

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Food Talk / Re: Food by Mail
« on: June 22, 2014, 10:06:46 pm »
It probably would have gone a lot better ( I would have lasted longer) had I taken it slower at the start. I am basing that probability on absolutely nothing as I have never done this kind of race. But it sounds reasonable so I will go for it. I learned about the psychological angle of a race. When I ride by myself, I go at my limits. When I encounter someone on my route going a bit faster than me I tend to speed up to keep up - there is a sense of urgency that was not present when I was alone. Now, transfer this phenomenon to 45 people leaving a destination at the same time and all travelling the same route. My sense of 'keep up', or competition if you will, was really triggered. Add to that the spot tracker - knowing that there was a big watchful eye on all of us and that this was no longer my own personal endeavor but somehow my progress would now be measured , or compared, by how others were performing.
So, a new element to race training that I had not foreseen but now have a year to prepare for. I had heard of the importance of mental preparation but I did not know it included  pacing myself against my own -- and only my own -- abilities and limitations by putting mental blinders on.

Food Talk / Re: Food by Mail
« on: June 22, 2014, 06:41:14 am »
Hi there. First off, no worries about the name thing. I do what I can to maintain this little illusion of net anonymity  ;)

I have been thinking about your question, of how the ride went, and two things come to mind -
1. It should probably be posted elsewhere and not the Food forum, though I don't know where.
2. I could either write 1000 words about the brief experience or come up a total blank, as I am still sorting through it.

In short - I need more training :o

Food Talk / Re: Food by Mail
« on: May 31, 2014, 03:03:21 am »
First of all, let me apologize to the OP for hijacking this thread. If it makes any difference, this exchange has given me insights that I did not foresee when I first joined in.

Earlier this evening I was researching foods to eat while on an endurance ride. My long trip down the rabbit hole led me to the Glycemic Index where I discovered that these stupid energy bars that, I am embarrassed to admit, i practically live on, have the highest GI of most foods! Let me back up. I was a sugar junkie as a kid, an alcoholic who starved myself and lived on amphetamine when I was a teen, and a fairly normal eater when I got sober at 20. I discovered energy bars in the late 80s but ate them sparingly. I have always had to watch my blood sugar due to the havoc I put upon my system in the years prior. Through the brilliant mental system of justification and denial, I managed to move energy bars up to the Safe List. To conclude, my present day eating habits are sickening, as much as I boast having a clean diet.

This really freaked me out. I have to watch for insulin dangers. Through the wonders of self-diagnosis, I now attribute my general mental restlessness and anxiety to spikes and dips in my blood sugar. Poor body :-(

I now see cliffies as something I must avoid and other foods, a variety of whole foods, as something to lean into, and enjoy. My energy levels and heart health will benefit greatly but most of the benefits will be mental. Perhaps this constant fear, which shows up as anger and defensiveness, constant anger really, will subside.

I am glad to have found all this out prior to setting out on my journey. And that discovery, I feel, would not have come without the thought-provoking responses by people on this thread. Thank you.

Food Talk / Re: Food by Mail
« on: May 30, 2014, 02:50:57 pm »
I have seen energy bars priced as high as $2.99 at some convenience stores. That is a huge difference from .59.

Food Talk / Re: Food by Mail
« on: May 30, 2014, 12:47:02 am »
John - I was just going to post a reply saying ' you guys are right, it is downright Victorian to worry about food in this day and age. Better to live a little and trust that it will all work out'.

When I deliberate a plan, I rarely seek anyone's counsel beyond my own. I know what works for me. Or do I? Thus, in the process of being shown another way -- iow, learning -- I will argue like a TV lawyer my case. Somewhere around the time when the other side gives up and says, 'fair enough, have it your way' has the pendulum of my decision maker swung well to the other side. The timing of your post and my change of heart exemplifies this process.

I went for a good long ride today and by my fifth clif bar I was like, ugh. At some point in my travels I rode past a number of food places, serving good, hot, meaty, flavorful delights and oh my senses ached! I came this close to buying a wrap of something -- anything that wasn't a damn energy bar -- but the words piled up in my head: chicken= antibiotics, flour = preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, veggies = sauteed to death, canola oil, pesticides. As usual I rode past and thought of the delicious salmon I would eat at home. I did too, and shortly after a tuna salad with salt shaken on it.

I thought of what someone here said: 'your body will revolt [from a diet consisting heavily in energy bars]' and wondered if the mild nausea i was feeling on mile 60 was from the Clif revolt or simply fallout of the stress i had been feeling this morning. I have thus modified my plan.

I realized that originally, the idea was simply to not find my self out in the middle of nowhere with an aching hungry belly at days end and too tired to ride for food. I freak out at being hungry. I was anorexic when i was a teen. The thought now of being completely without food freaks me out, fills me with a panic that pushes all other thoughts out of the way. I suppose it could be said that I am very in tune with my evolutionary survival brain. But that does not mean I have to lay at its feet.

Modified plan: mail smaller boxes of my lovely clif bars; their purpose is now as another member here said: as emergency food. I have a friend who is a raw foodist and who is currently hiking in Nepal.  I read his blog. He has to eat whatever is available, like rice (gasp!). I take great inspiration from him. If he can do it, i can do it. the importance and beauty of this trip is not to be spoiled by fretting over something as comical as not finding food in America.

I will eat the crap and I will enjoy it. Pig hearts, here I come.

Food Talk / Re: Food by Mail
« on: May 29, 2014, 09:49:55 am »
Crazy Guy:
I have had your page bookmarked since I decided to do this back in November. I have been using it regularly for tips! Thank you.
By fully loaded I mean more like I am a turtle and that bike is my home for the next two months. I have my gear down to the basics, with a change of clothes, tiny first-aid pack, lightweight bivvy and inflatable sleeping bad. I sprung for Revelate Design bags in front and back and will remove the rear rack for this trip. I plan to not wash my (long) hair and appreciate the softness that natural oils can bring. I have a bar of soap, a travel towel (soaks up a lot, packs very small)..
...and a bottle of ibuprofen  :D

I should probably move my gear discussion to another forum.

I thought of having a blog.  I had only planned to post updates on my facebook page to keep my friends current, but I can post here as well if you like (in another forum - I'll look around for the appropriate spot). It would be great to have you guys on board with me! I value the mental support, virtual or IRL.

Food Talk / Re: Food by Mail
« on: May 29, 2014, 01:21:34 am »
This may not apply to you at all, but I'll mention it just in case.

Racing (or even rushing) the TransAm, even at a very low level, would make the route about 10% as much fun as taking a bit longer. So please carefully consider whether you even want to rush this trip. Maybe this race is not the best option for you. Unless you are an exceptionally goal-driven person, and/or have very limited time, taking a few more weeks for this trip would make it ever so much more fun. But maybe you're not out there for fun.

Getting half or more of your calories from Clif Bars is not a balanced diet. My guess is that your body will revolt. I further guess that this strategy will only save you a few bucks a day at most. A typical Clif Bar has 230 calories, and cost you (according to your figures) 59 cents plus 24 cents mailing costs (315 calories per dollar). An two-pound sub sandwich at Safeway costs $5 (on sale) and has 1642 calories (328 calories per dollar). You can eat real, fresh food for less! Furthermore, the all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet in Marshfield, Missouri costs $4.50 and can easily provide you with at least 1500 calories per dollar.

I post just to appreciate your math.  ;D
I suppose, after listening to my internal replies, that I do have what would be called a 'special diet' after all. I am not going to eat sources of non-nutritive energy if it can at all be avoided, and i believe it can. maybe that will be my personal bent to this race, along with the friend mission I have described in a previous reply. Sure, tons of calories can be had for a few dollars, but the ingredients are just toxic and would take more wind out of my sails than riding too hard one day. that sub sandwich has tons of preservatives, the chinese food most likely msg and some toxic oil like canola.

Food for me does not have to be a gourmet experience. I view it as a source of energy. I am happy to eat energy bars all day and salad + fish when I can find it organic. Fruits too. High-fat and high-fiber foods digest too slowly for the purposes of this expedition, else i'd mau on avocados and coconut by the pound.

Mostly, let me thank all of you for your responses, your wisdom and now your excellent road food calculus skills. I look forward to getting to know some of you as time and the miles go by  ;D

Food Talk / Re: Food by Mail
« on: May 29, 2014, 01:11:05 am »
On a tour, I always recommend riding easy days for the first week or so and then building the daily mileage after settled in to the grind.  Not sure if that works for you or not, but it does help avoid overdoing and getting injured an/or discouraged.  It also avoids needing to take days off recovering.  I much prefer to ride every day or at least almost every day.

Sounds good. My plans are loose. I have goals that will be adjusted as new information (pain) comes in.

I don't know your route, but only a few exceptions on any given route I have done it is pretty hard to avoid going past a walmart every hundred miles or so and impossible to avoid dollar stores.  It may depend on what you consider a fortune, but I have managed to eat pretty cheaply even when eating at least one restaurant meal per day.  Both diners and Subway usually wont dent your budget too bad.  You will undoubtedly have lots of chances to buy real food at a grocery or walmart.

I dont shop at WM and I am not going to leave my fully loaded bike, locked, in front of a large store, even if the route allows me access to one. I dont (when it can be avoided) eat processed food, preservatives, junk etc. My plan may sound weird and convoluted to some, but it is a way to keep some kind of organic source of energy with me. I will of course eat other foods, but I do not want to eat crap out of desperation.

Just a suggestion, but...
I don't know your age or fitness level,

47, F, ride about 80 miles a week, constraints due mostly to work+school. I'd ride all dang day if I didn't have work or homework to do when i got back. I am taking two months off for this  ;D

but I know that I personally didn't mind didn't mind doing quite a few 100+ mile days on my last coast to coast road tour.  That said it was nice to take some easy days and I wound up only averaging 80 miles per day.  I was 61 at the time, not much of an athlete, and didn't train for the trip beyond just trying to remain at a good overall fitness level.  Also, an injury slowed me down for some of the trip.  Only you can say what will work for you, but much more mileage than that would have been a lot less fun to me.
I will play it as it comes :-D

I'd suggest that you consider taking time to talk to the locals and hang out.  See the sights a bit.  It doesn't sound like you will be competitive at the pace you are contemplating unless you are at a pretty advanced age and there are age brackets, so treating it more like a tour and less like a race may be nice.

I am competing with me and one other person whom I hope to beat, as yet undetermined. My goal is to a) finish b) not last. What is the point of entering a race if one does not do better than their best? It is always easier for me to assume I can do less than I think I can, if that makes any sense. I am just going for it, is all. As far as stopping, I am trading in my vintage flip phone for a smart phone because it has an app where I can locate an AA meeting wherever I am. To me that would be awesome. AA people are the most. I have been in for 27 years, with four years in between out doing research  :-X

 Plus I have a woman's AA coin she gave me to take with me, as she cannot travel right now, she would like her coin to see the sights. I plan to photograph it at various spots along the way and email her, like that garden gnome in [In Bruges?]. So, the race does have a spiritual bent to it. ;)

Food Talk / Re: Food by Mail
« on: May 28, 2014, 12:37:47 am »
Great advice, all around, thank you.

100 mpd is my best guess at what I can do. This is my first "race". I like to think of the endurance part of it more than the speed part of it. It is 4200 miles, so I figure, aim low to avoid burning out in the beginning. Since I have never rode across the country before, I have absolutely no idea what to expect of my abilities.

The clif bars idea came about as I am on a budget and was trying to shave down my daily food costs. I am a sugar junkie, although I don't eat candy bars and the like, so cliffies for me are sort of a legal candy. Yes, I could and have eat[en] ten a day. It is said that one could expect to burn 4k calories riding this much. Even 3k calories a day would be a friggin fortune at the small stores one is bound to on a x-country race consisting of side-roads.

There are no qualifiers for the TABR, which is how people like me come to be a part of it. There are a number of pro racers who plan to do 200+ miles per day. That's great, enjoy your youth ;-) Me, i'll stick to 100 mpd and see how that feels and will adjust as more information comes in.

Food Talk / Re: Food by Mail
« on: May 27, 2014, 02:31:02 am »
I will be mailing myself food for the Trans Am Bike race. Thanks for the heads up about checking PO hours ahead of time. This works for me as I prefer organic foods and sources of energy that are free of standard commercial toxins. Since I have a map of the exact route and a rough goal of my daily mileage, I am planning to send three boxes at 1000-mile intervals. As far as cost, the local discount grocery has clif bars and stingers for .59 a pop and I can fit about 50 in a medium-sized flat rate USPS for a mailing cost of $12. It is still a significant savings and I get ingredients I can live with. Sure, the first day of toting 50 clif bars will be cumbersome, but figure that at 240 calories a pop and me riding 100-120 mpd I will easily eat 10 per day. This plan works for me as I am riding at a race pace and hope to eliminate excessive searching for food. The post office will hold general delivery for 30 days. My roommate will send the last two packages for me.
Hope some of this can be of use to the OP!

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