As most of you know, part of my contribution to the DBC race team comes in the form of co-coordinating the weekly Racing Skillz Ride and committing to being ‘that guy’ for the team in the phrase that gives every new racer hope: “At least I’m faster than that guy.” So since I tend to work with lots of people even newer than me to the racing scene, I’ve started a collection of what I call Joaquin’s Rules for Heroic and Athletic Cycling Achievement, or ‘HAKA Rules,’ for short. Here’s the newest one that I just developed during today’s Foxy’s Workers Ride: HAKA Rule #26 – Never eat a steak sandwich when you’ve still got over 30 miles to ride.
It went down like this. At the Mankas Corner lunch stop I decided to just refill my bottles and keep on going since a sizable group including Lee, Marianne, Licatesi, Jim Sharp, and Freddo was all ready to head out when I rolled up. A few miles down the road, when we stopped to let a few more folks catch up to us, Lee produces this steak sandwich from his back pocket and says, “Joaquin, do you want to have this steak sandwich?” A number of questions should have come to the forefront of my mind to make me pause before accepting the offer, such as, “Why the hell did Lee have a steak sandwich in his jersey pocket? How long has it been there? Who made it? Does it have horseradish sauce?” But, no, he pretty much had me at, “steak.” After the first bite I tried to stuff it into my jersey pocket so I could sort of nibble on it for the rest of the ride. However, it was immediately apparent that it wouldn’t fit, ironically because I’ve probably eaten too many steak sandwiches in my past. So I HTFU'd and ingested that sucker faster than you can say, “I can't believe it's not butter!" And then, in a moment of clairvoyance, I joked to Marianne, “Wow, I think that sandwich is going to make the rest of this ride a whole lot harder.”
How right I was. By the time we hit Pleasants Valley Rd. I knew that there was a significant chance (alpha = 0.05) that there was going to be some extravagant beef-flavored chunkage going on. All of the signs were there: copious salivation, cold sweat, light headedness, extreme remorse and guilt. Just as I resigned myself to the ignominy of asking my teammates for a wee vomit break, I got my chance - Lee let a gap form while he slowed down to make the turn onto Cantelow Rd. Once he turned, I was 100m back from everyone else, they were accelerating, and the time was right to put my foot down to have a proper barf.
Lucky for me, I have plenty of experience with this sort of thing from my Navy days. And I had inadvertently followed Joaquin’s Rule #8 for Minimal Suffering While Vomiting: Chew well and don’t eat anything with sharp edges. Here’s the procedure, in case you need it in the future: Pull over near some grass or other uneven surface to avoid splashing the bike or yourself; don't worry about unclipping because, frankly, you probably won't have time; lean out over your shoes so your upper body is 90 degress to the wind; keep your head inclined slightly to avoid hurling out your nose; take a deep breath; and CHARGE! Repeat as necessary.
Dog, that felt good! A little lukewarm Subtle Orange Perpetuum to rinse out the mouth and I was as bright as a shiny new penny. My heart rate didn’t even have time to drop out of LE by the time I was back on my bike looking forward to finishing the ride and having second lunch at Steady Eddy’s .