Our trip on the Kettle Valley Railway in August seemed like a good time to try "carb loading" which I had recently seen mentioned in a book about the Tour de France. The first opportunity came when we chowed down at an Italian restaurant in Princeton that my cycling friend Richard had recommended. After a couple of cold ones, my spaghetti and meatballs arrived at the table and I heartily scooped spoonfuls into my hungry face.
My next opportunity came at the hotel in historic Hedley (for some reason locals refer to it as "Hapless Hedley").While quaffing ice cold lemonade and sitting under the air conditioning vent, a heaping mound of pasta was placed before me and I tucked into it with relish (not the pickle kind). My cycling partners chose salads and smaller main courses. Each to their own.
At breafast on the last day of our trip while we were camped at Tuc 'l Nuit Lake, I got the bright idea to carb load again except that it was too early for the grocery stores to open. We still had freeze - dried dinners in our saddlebags but none of them were pasta. Roy (my other cycling buddy) suggested I try the store down the street from the campground. In Western Canada we call them Convenience stores but in Eastern Canada they are referred to as Variety stores. Did you know that?
So I hopped onto Big Blue and took the short jaunt to the Convenience store where I was looking for Kraft dinner which my children call Mac 'n' Cheese. I was lucky on two counts - the store was open and I found a box of KD/M'n'C on a shelf near the back of the store. Carrying it under my arm as I rode back to camp, it did seem like an odd thing to eat at b'fast.
Richard and Roy are too nice of guys to say anything, but I could tell that thay thought this was a little eccentric. And once I had the hot macaroni in my origami bowl and had my first spoonful, I remembered that years ago I stopped eating the stuff because it just did not have the same taste that I recalled from my youth. Being the cheap guy that I am, I continued filling my gaping maw until the last crescent of pasta was devoured. Right away it felt like a lump of clay in my stomach and as I lurched to the sink to wash the pot and my origami bowl, I realised once again that "Prospect is often better than possession".
A few klicks down the road on our way to Richard's place on the outskirts of Penticton, the lump in my stomach began to dissolve and convert itself into energy for my legs. Maybe there was something to be said for carb loading - I had noticed better performance cycling from Princeton to Keremeos and the uphill ride from Oliver to Okanagan Falls seemed easier than in the past. The hotel where we stopped in OK Falls for lunch had spaghetti and meatballs on the menu. When the waitress came over to take our order, I ......