Friday, October 16, 2015

Food Glorious Food

Anyone who has been bikepacking for a long period of time knows how much the idea of food dominates your thoughts. A lot of calories are being burned just by pedaling but even more if you are humping any kind of weight. Every year, I try to whittle down the amount of junk I strap onto the bike.

There have been many memorable meals of the trail in the last 10 years. A notable one stands out because of the food we didn't eat. Three of us, Roy, Richard and I were cycling from Princeton to Tulameen after having camped the night before (see below).
See above
Roy is never one to stop for a meal during the day and it was Richard's comment "That's what normal people do" that prompted us to start thinking about having lunch. The first town we reached was Coaldale, a virtual ghost town. Pretty but abandoned. Not a soul to be seen. Consulting our map, it looked like we could make it to the next town, Tulameen in about an hour.
I could hear Roy mention fish and chips as we rode away. Like a magnet, my mind grabbed onto this idea. In my imagination I savored the crispy batter with its beer undertones, the tang of vinegar, and my mouth began to water when I thought of the salt on a mountain of chips hitting my tongue.

Up ahead was the Trading Post - a sort of general store with a restaurant in the back. Finally,menus in hand, glasses of water with beads of condensation dribbling down their sides in front of us, this seemed like the perfect place to have lunch. Richard must have heard Roy because all three of us ordered fish and chips. Snapping a wad of gum in her mouth, the waitress in a bored voice informed us that we could order chips but no fish. They had no fish. When Roy pointed out that it was on the menu, it made me think of the person who declares "What do you mean there is no money in my account? I still have a stack of cheques!"
Our disappointment was such that I have no recollection of what any of us ordered. Probably a nondescript burger for one of us, soup for another. I was in my carb-loading phase so I probably would have ordered a pasta dish.

Some day soon, I'll be able to ride without thinking of food. Maybe I'll daydream about what kind of hooch I'll drink at the end of the ride. That smoky taste of Scotch, the pleasant burning sensation at the back of your throat as you guzzle a carbonated drink...

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