A friend of mine oft used to quip that you, “Gotta gain fat to lose fat.” For many years I hated this expression that he’d trot out any time someone would ask for nutrition advice, or what to eat during racing or riding. It wasn’t that he was an actual believer that obese people have a better chance of getting as slim as a two dimensional model any more so than you or I do. He was, I hope, trying to take a dig at the idea that we can really control something that is oddly unpredictable.
So let’s assume he was just making a point. Trying to say that anyone will believe you if you say something with conviction and a whiff of authority. His own little Stanley Milgram-style experiment. But without the ensuing law suits. Oddly, I’ve come to realise that maybe he’s not all that wrong — from a conceptual point of view, not from an actual real world, science-grounded, factual view. Bear with me on this.
Let’s say you’re training for a race in the summer. The ‘cross season is over. So you maybe have a few too many beers/pies/tubs of ice-cream. You get passed the fat gaining hump of the winter solstice, and you realise you look like a fattie rolled out from the pages of 2000AD trying to pick on the skinny folk. You grab your winter bike, the heavy bike with all the dependable, often heavier parts that you’ll use to slowly beast yourself around your local rides without chundering over it. You know those rides, the ones you normally cruise as a recovery ride during the summer nights, but now, have you grovelling for the end of even the mildest climb.
Eventually, the weather ceases to be as awful as it has been. The clocks change. We drop the winter gloves, overshoes, hardshell jackets in favour of thinner layers and brighter colours. We’re no more worried about the Brompton Bum that comes from gritted roads, so we even take the guards off the commuter.
Slowly, without noticing it, we’re losing mass. We’re maybe not losing fat, but we, the bike and I ‘we’, are losing combined mass. Still, it’s not going to make it easier to get up that sodding hill.
Beer of the Week
Golden Pippen – Copper Dragon Brewery – ABV 3.9%
“‘Pippin’ was one of the first UK blonde ales, often copied but never mastered. Packed with citrus flavours and aroma, this light thirst-quenching ale has become the connoisseurs favourite since it’s conception in 2003.”
I spent the weekend on a fell running navigation course running about, wearing out my legs and brain. Sometimes all I want after these days is something that is there to feed a thirst, nothing else. It needs to be smooth, not too warm or cold, and will taste great even if I take an hour to drink a pint. Golden Pippen is one of those wonderful ales that just works. Always reminds me of times out on the hills, usually getting covered in mud.