How not to train for a bike race |

How not to train for a bike race

William Ferchland

Red wine and frozen pizza don’t constitute a healthy preparatory diet for a participant of the Lake Tahoe Marathon.

Perry Creek 2004 Zinfandel and a margharita pizza from the California Pizza Kitchen was my dinner Tuesday night, less than three days before I plan to get on my road bike and burn it off again.

But red wine coupled with a cheese and tomato pizza might be adequate fuel. Red wine, in doses Charles Bukowski would likely deem a tease, contributes to a good heart, a necessity in any athletic event, except maybe bowling. Pizza, of course, is a gift from the gods, who needed something to fill their stomach when Dionysus stopped by for a visit.

So maybe I haven’t trained as hard as I have for the Wildflower Triathlon in May or a triathlon near San Jose in June. I can’t help it if my body is telling my mind to gear up for winter, to save my calorie expenditures for pushing my new/used Toro snowblower I purchased from the Tribune’s former managing editor, Jim Scripps. I’ve even tried growing a beard with mixed results. Although I think it makes me look more introspective and earthy, I don’t think I can even call it a beard if hair refuses to grow on certain spots on my mandible. Maybe it’s only an aggressive advance of flanking sideburns like that Civil War general by the name of Hooker, infamous and not for his facial hair fashions.

I really thought my beard and I could be something, but like my reaction to the doping allegations of Floyd Landis, it has disappointed me.

Ah, I digress. Must be the wine. But the thing about races such as triathlons is the excitement and anticipation before the event. The atmosphere is electric and seems to share that energy with every participant. So even though my bike has a rear flat tire and perhaps a light dusting of, well, dust, I look forward to crossing the finish line in Zephyr Cove. Hope to see you there and good luck to the other marathon athletes.

– William Ferchland is a staff writer for the Tahoe Daily Tribune.

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