Tuesday, August 5

You are what you drink... unless it's Mad Dog, which turns you into someone completely different

Beverages are an all important part of cycling, before, during and after.  Watts from Revolution Cycles in Greensboro, NC understands this, and he's doing everything he can to keep the single speeder on the go fully supplied with his/her needs.

His shop recently got the proper permissions from the local constabulary to serve alcohol.  Unfortunately, if you're in need of adult toys, you'll have to wait a couple more weeks until Watts has finished up with his Associate Degree in Adult Toy Purchasing.  Until then, he has a few personal phalli you can borrow.

Sorry.  This is supposed to be more about beverages and less about Watts and his shop of global implications.

I've been quite a cheap bastard when it comes to racing.  I want to be the best I can be, but with the most minimal amount of training, preparation and expense producing maximum results.  Somewhere in there, amongst the cost cutting and effort reduction, lies the sweet spot.

I've tried and failed many times in terms of nutrition and hydration.  One of the worst best (or best worst) examples of a successful failure would have been the 2012 ORAMM.  In an effort to save time, money and hopefully go fast enough to win, the night before the race (while watching Rambo: First Blood Part Two in a hotel room) I decided that rather than having to keep up with hydration (Gatorade), food (gels) and electrolytes (Endurolytes), I would mix them all together in my water bottles.  It was a great idea... until it wasn't.  It tasted nasty and sat in my gut like a rock.  I choked back what I could, faltered and in the end, came up just a little short.

Yeah, I still won the podium, so there's that.

I've played with all sorts of drinks in the past.  Free tubs of various things that I'd won at races, Heed that I learned to drink back when they started this whole NUE business, Gatorade, watered-down Gatorade, Osmo, and last year, Skratch Labs.

Skratch was the opposite of what I tried to invent in 2012.  The thinking behind it is more of a hydration need and very little fuel for the fire.  It worked as far as not upsetting my stomach, tasted pleasant enough to drink, and my local bike shop carried it.  Good enough, but it required that I get my calories from elsewhere, which means one more thing to keep up with.  I don't wear a watch or run a computer on my bike, so that's near impossible to do (when you're me and you get distracted by the patterns in gravel).

After this year's Tour de Burg, long story short, I ended up with Chris Merriam's drop bag (he had to go home early and be an adult).  Inside were many innertubes that weren't his, a rain coat that was size small, some sun tan lotion, a bottle of TUMS, a Camelbak bottle, and some Carborocket drink stuffs.  I contacted him and he instructed me to keep everything but the water bottle and drugstore items, and if it pleased me, to try the remaining drink powder mix.

So I did.

There was enough left in the jug for one serving.  I mixed it up and used it on a short ride.  Pleasant.  Tolerable.  Almost yummy.

My interest was piqued.

I read up on this 333 Half Evil All-In-One Endurance Drink concoction.

What do you know?  They make the shit I tried to make, but where I failed, they succeeded.  It does not suck.  I ordered a tub of mine own right away.

It can be mixed as strong as 333 calories per serving, but I've always been a @250 calories/one bottle an hour (or less) kinda guy.  They even suggest you start with two scoops to start (222 calories), and it's been working fine for me.  Without bagging on all the other products I've tried that vowed to deliver all my needs in one drink, this tops them all in terms of drinkability and giving me what I need.
I'm not gonna cut and paste all the nutritional information here because it's already over there.  There are 33 scoops in each jug, so doing some quick math... that's just under $1 per scoop.  That makes $2 a bottle minus the cost of all the gels I was taking in (or trying to take in).  So it's more expensive than watered-down Gatorade, yes... but cheaper once I add in the expense of gels, blocks, bars, what have you.

Stoked that I found this.  Sad that I wasn't paying attention earlier.  Once I took my head out of my ass, I found out that many of my friends (and mortal enemies) in the endurance race world have been using this stuff for years.  And I called them friends?  Thanks, guys.

I'd go through the whole Seal of Semi-Approval thing, but I'm outta time.  Wasted too much time photo-shopping dildos this morning.

Well, it wasn't really a waste of time, was it?

If you're Charlotte local, go tell Donald at Bike Source to start carrying this stat.

BTW: It also comes in single serve packs which is what I plan on using at races like Double Dare and PMBAR where I'm getting water from creeks and treating it with iodine.  Yumm.


Chris said...

Maltrin QD mixed with Skratch (half scoop raspberry, half scoop lemon-lime). Yum! 2/3 cup maltomeal is ~200 cal. Kelly and I split this bag a year ago and I'm still chipping away at it.

Anonymous said...

I recommended you try this stuff a couple of months back in your comments section.:-\

dicky said...

I just don't plunk down $30+ on a product I've never tried nowadays. I've tossed out countless containers of drink mixes that just weren't worth keeping. I was able to try Skratch labs in a sample first and the Osmo was obtained when I cashed in a race swag certificate. Tastes like balls (or how I imagine balls would taste).

Otherwise, it's been Gatorade for years. I woulda never tried Carborocket unless I had a sample or if I stole... I mean borrowed Chris's jug.

Watts said...

Speaking of adult toys... Last year we (I) actually tried really hard to get Adam and Eve to be one of the title sponsors for the Revolting Cogs race team. And by "tried really hard" I mean that I walked down there (because parking my very conspicuous van in front of it seemed... very conspicous), ignored the "no soliciting" sign on the door, wandered around trying to seem A) not creepy and B) totally cool with, like, whatever people are into and shit, saw quite a few casual transactions pertaining to things not-so-casual, and told the owner that as the title sponsor, they'd be in the "money spot."
No shit.