Music, the track, white cycling shorts, & personalised cycling food & nutrition.

The rock band ‘Free’ came out with the music track ‘All right Now’ in 1970, and whilst I do (just) remember it first time around, it’s popped up again recently for me. The first occasion was when I was a passenger in a colleague’s growling, open top, sexy car on a warm, sunny day. The engine and the track went well together. The second time was whilst I was cooking a ‘Pasta number’ and it was shot out of the speaker as part of an iPhone-shuffle session. It’s a timeless and classic music track. Talking of classic tracks, I’ve been back at the velodrome again and hammering around the wooden track on the blue line. I do between 60 to 90 minutes in a session after work. As I’ve mentioned in previous episodes, it is a great way to clear the mind of all thoughts, because it focuses all of the senses due to the fast and close riding.

It is all action! Photo by Rodrigo Macip

In one session recently, I found myself riding behind someone who was wearing white cycling shorts. My front wheel was about 50mm or 2” from his rear wheel as we raced around the banked, wooden track. Track bikes are quite short in length in relation to some road bikes, which means your head is then a little bit closer-ish to the saddle and ass of the rider in front. Black Lycra shorts hide everything appropriately, but white ones really don’t. White shorts do not work from a fashion perspective and they certainly didn’t hide the hairy ass crack of the sweating man on the bike in front of me. I stuck it for two laps and then peeled off out of the line of riders, and higher up the banked track to escape the view. If you know someone who cycles in white shorts, you owe it to them to prevent them from at least a fashion disaster, and critically, from an exposure point of view. I hate to think what they’re like when they’ve been wet through by rain as well. Dreadful.

As we all know, cycling requires a good diet. Fact. In addition, we are not on the planet long enough to read every theory, marketing and medical view on the nutrition subject, so I’ll make my view quick for you to read. My observation is that every individual has/needs a personalised approach to managing their food & nutrition intake, and energy output. It also depends on whether you’re cycling all day on a road or mountain bike, or just doing track sessions or time trials. It also depends on your age, level of fitness, gender etc etc. Talk to any cyclist and you’ll get a slightly different story about their own approach. For example, is the current approach to Veganism as a way of keeping the body super clean, ‘free from’ non-GMO-type-things, and wholly organic on the inside, a good energy providing approach? It doesn’t work for everyone, but neither does a big carbohydrate or protein approach.

Everyone’s lives require balancing of some sort, and as I don’t pay the mortgage with my cycling winnings, or actually win anything, I have to nutritionally fuel the ‘day job’, the ‘home job’ and the ‘me job’ by my own nutrition plan. My wife is a fabulous cook and we eat a complete balance of fresh and great food, all washed down with healthy and nutritional wine of course. So, on track days, I’ll have a very big salad at work for lunch, some biscuits with a Nespresso in the afternoon as a treat, and I’ll mix up something I call ‘my sport juice’ which is a sport focussed product by a very successful business called Garden of Life. They are the leaders in ‘free from, non-GMO & organic’ vitamins, minerals and supplements, and if you’re a vegetarian, vegan or ‘balancer’ (this last term is a new category of food person that I’ve just invented) like me, they have a vast array of stuff to enable you to personalise your diet, and to achieve in their words, ‘extraordinary health’. Their ‘Sport’ products gets me and my steadily emptying stomach around the track ‘well fast!’ If the salad wasn’t big enough at lunch, I might eat one of their performance protein ‘Sport’ bars as well. On arriving back at home, it’s a quick shower and the post-track ride menu is usually a ‘something pasta-or-homemade-soup-ish’ meal with my wife, and with a nutritional glass of wine of course. If I’m really hungry, a piece of toast with homemade jam on it may follow this as well.

Continuing the pasta theme, which as well as really great bread, has to be the best food products ever invented. Pasta is the foundation of the best do-it-yourself meals too. You can have soooooooooooo many great flavours in and on it. I was recently given a bottle of organic Jalapeño hot sauce, called ‘Vicious V‘ (see piccy below) by another colleague, and it’s ace mixed in with a pasta-veggie combo’. As it is organic as well as flavoursome, it’s got to help my healthy and personalised diet hasn’t it!?……..

http://viciousvhotsauce.net
Photo by the author

The other nutritional products (in my view) that are important to my personalised diet includes cake, biscuits or sweet stuff. My cycling friend loves cake, especially made by his wife, but he won’t eat any unless he’s done at least 4 hours hard alpine climbing. He’s either way more committed than I am, or just very extreme. In fact, he does measure nutrition to power, and he doesn’t eat anything which isn’t thought through or good for his body or cycling. He’s very disciplined and a lot faster than me, so maybe he’s right in his own personalised approach.

There is one cakey thing that you may not have heard of in your recent nutritional readings. It’s called The Cronut. As the name possibly suggests, it’s a cross between a croissant and a doughnut (see piccy below). They’re made in a bakery-patisserie in New York named after the chef, Dominique Ansel, and this innovation was recently introduced to me by our daughter-in-law. As daily Cronut production capacity is limited, Cronuts can be booked on-line. You are given a time window to collect it/them, and if you’re late, they get sold to someone in the queue outside. One Cronut is enough for anyone, and provides a sugar and carb’ boost to get you 2 hours of brisk walking-shopping in New York, or probably a whole track session without the pasta afterwards. Just the glass of wine.

Photo and bite out of the Cronut by the author

As I’m a 100% cycling nobody, you’ll now have a good idea of my personalised, nutritional approach to fuelling my performance on two wheels. So, to bring this journey full circle, you could say that I’m ‘All right Now’, just like I was in 1970 when Free exploded onto the music scene. Whatever nutritional approach you take, do it for you, and enjoy it.

Got any proven advice on cycling diet and nutrition? then drop me a comment.