WHAT IS YOUR FUEL? 04.03.2020

For the past fortnight, there has been a lot of talk about what people today take into their digestive systems, especially energy drinks. From INEOS director Nicholas Portal dying of a heart attack to a Kenyan Rugby Star collapsing and dying, athletes are being forced to bend the rules of strength and durability to achieve and please their supportive fans and sponsors who yell ‘Better, Faster, Stronger’ at the expense of their own health in the long run. It’s a shame, how most big sports worldwide started off clean, now riddled and sprayed with confirmed doping cases over the last 30 years, but that’s how life is right? Nothing stays pure forever. A river starts off fresh and clear on the mountain top, by the time it meanders into its ending at the lake or ocean it is dirty and tired. It’s a sad state of affairs, you cannot be clean and b on top these days. No matter, your health is your wealth.

My typical diet, all natural and powerful

So, Leakey Hero and I plus various cyclists in a certain WhatsApp group are busy shooting rockets on who gets the first prize in a race. Is it the clean cyclist or the doping cyclist, time has proven that cheaters always win but I am here to prove him and his supporters wrong. These are the facts. A cyclist on a high pace race burns above 2500 calories alone, that’s a whole pizza for one guy. Add USN electrolyte drinks and gels plus CSDs( Carbonated Soft Drinks) and you get a rider packed with 4000 calories ready to fire up that 50*11 gear ratio for 271 kilometers at most. Truth be told, as much as cycling is superbly fun, it is ridiculously expensive. From the bikes alone, its components, nutrition, transportation, you ought to be earning a six figure salary to truly enjoy it without and constrain. But yet again, where is the fun without the struggle?

Eating green helps with quick bodily recoveries

Back to the collusion, I set out to prove Uncle Leakey wrong. For my diet, I had Ugali, Sossi, Malenge, Managu and Kales for late lunch at 3pm. That’s about 330 calories. I added Sprite Lemon-Lime 350ml for ready sugar absorption during the ride. I then had Ginger Black Coffee with 2 KDF cakes at 5pm. My calorie intake sat at 500 by then. Still I’m 2000 calorie behind the expected calorie count but here is where cycling becomes a sport of specialization. My diet is mostly fresh natural traditional African greens. Add that to my life-long cycling experience, I was ripe for this dietary test. 6:02pm and the sky starts to rain partially, Thunderstruck is aggressive on ILRI Climb. The ride is on high gear. We pass through the rain aftermath between N-market and Thiong’o. Since its in rush hour and the sky is watering the earth, I foresee a lot of time lost battling bumpers. I’m firm on STTB MAK-2 as we chase this maroon trailer down Waruku Climb. We reach Westlands in 19 minutes, wow. 6:23pm and we finally catch up with traffic near Data Handlers stage. I diverted left to Westlands Road, dropped down to Museum Road through tight traffic. Passing by Taarifa Road, I blew my whistle out to Brian Tabbs and Kamelback, I’m not sure if they heard me or not. The traffic extended way beyond the usual markings, past Pangani footbridge and onto the exit to Kiambu Road as the vehicles were been obscured by this DHL parcel trailer. Still I’m battling heavy traffic at KCA University, GSU all down and up to Garden City where finally the traffic ceased like a river vanishing underground. “Where is this Mad Leakey and his Noah,” I asked myself as I crotched on time trail position. We are on 50*11 gear ratio; THITIMA was cutting through Safari Park rain like a samurai blade. My glasses were now coated in brown spots; I carefully balance Thunderstruck with my right arm as I clean my visual accessory for better viewing at high speed. It’s 6:47pm as we began descending down Roysambu. We are at par with these Githurai 45 bound buses, speeds above 65kph, I found myself in the middle of the superhighway with vehicles tailgating me as we overtook the slower ones. 500 meters away from the turnaround at Githurai 45 roundabout covered in 20 seconds, my Classic Slim Shady Boy is proving once again why He is Kenya’s fastest steel road bike. Its now 6:51pm, that’s 30 kilometers covered in 49 minutes. Eliminate the traffic and this would have been another story altogether. 6:53pm, after battling the usual Githurai mad traffic, we were back to aero plane flight mode, cruising back into Nairobi County to the Western edge 30 kilometers away. The famed Roysambu Climb (Why even a podium finisher cyclist hates it I have no idea) was as always never a challenge, in 3 minutes I was done grooming it with polkah-like excellence. Now to practice what Martin Ngochi preached: On Thika Road, you cover the river valleys, kufunika. Drop with 65kph and climb with 35kph then sprint off at 45-52kph on the flat sections. 21 minutes later at 7:14pm, we were entering Forest Road. My legs are still strong; with a little sip of my Gathondeki made Electrolyte Fluid (I made just 150ml) I was able to give my pedal-strokes some good spins.

Passing Westlands with not traffic at all, I set the gears right for the climbs and sprints, 50*18 is my sweet spot. Jam towards James Gichuru as always, I took to the fast lane, attacked against three matatus before taking the slow lane for safety. Waruku Climb welcomed me back at 7:36pm as this Toyota wagon tailgated me to Kianda Rise before zooming away to the awaiting traffic at Kangemi Bridge. Back to the clear and onto my favorite 2kms of well expanded and carpeted tarmaced section of Waiyaki Way, I went TT Mode on this stretch unchallenged. Onto the last stretch to ILRI, the light post shone above my speedometer, its 7:46pm. I’m 14 minutes ahead of the expected finishing time of two hours. Onto the 1.5 kilometer drop to home, Thunderstruck on cruiser mod overtook this nduthi guy burning fuel in the black hue of the darken descend and finally where the tarmac ended towards home, the clock stopped at 1 hour 47 minutes 32 seconds. That’s and average of 33.8kph.

Very impressive despite losing nearly 30 minutes altogether on traffic snarl ups from start to finish, my quads not on fire, my lower back still fresh and my kit brown as porridge, this test has been proven that a healthy diet can still give you desirable results. Of course with experience, genetics, nutrition, good bikes, mental strength and madness as the icing on the cake, you can get to the podium easily in time. Now I have to wash both my superfast bikes and myself as well.

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