Trouée crushing!

Trouée crushing!

Guest Article: Clean Livin’

by / / 62 posts

Cyclists need the carrot and the stick. It’s all we understand. Do you want to perform well or not be embarrassed? It’s all the same. Either way one needs to train like a bastard to get there. The good news is training means more time on the bike. The bad news is not much else is going to get done besides work and cycling. Once in a while that is not such a bad thing. @Harminator is in for a real fun ride for KT 2015. There is still room for riders so make your plans before life passes you by. 

Yours in Cycling, Gianni

Nothing sharpens you up more than having a clear objective. Except maybe losing money in real estate or nearly cutting your thumb off with the drop saw. Or touching wheels in the sprint. Heck, there’s probably some more, but having a clear objective does a pretty good job of it. For me, that objective is Keepers Tour 2015. To begin my preparation I spent a good six weeks at the Jan Ullrich school of winter conditioning. It was undoubtedly a good time but inevitably there came a moment when I poured another Kwak, slumped back into the sofa and slurred to myself “Maaate. You’ve gotta sharpen up!”

An old raft guiding buddy of mine used to attribute good days to a karmic reflection of what he termed “clean livin’”. Those happy, contented river days when everything runs smoothly were the universe’s way of saying thanks for being a good human. The clean livin’ ethic was both internal and external: Eat fresh fruit & veggies, drink plenty of water, breathe deeply and often. Treat others nicely, keep your temper in check, stay calm in a shitstorm and laugh at your own misfortune. It was all pretty lighthearted as far as ethics go – here one day, gone the next – but I always thought there was something in it.

So I put a bit of the clean livin’ ethic into sharpening up. I cut a lot of crap from my diet including processed sugar, white carbs and all alcohol. I resolved to Train Properly – especially when a 5am roller session was about as enticing as setting my teeth on fire. For the first time in forever I put together a nice long block of good, healthy work. Usually I’m one of the first to give in to temptation. You know the type – the after work beer, the Sunday night pizza, the choc-chip cookies in the lunchroom. But good has a way of breeding more good and I steadily became more and more invested in my V bank savings scheme. I wasn’t about to take backward steps just for a slice of cake at Nan’s birthday party. Merckx knows she won’t be next to me on The Kappelmuur in April.

The results have been just as you’d expect, Captain Obvious. Like the research paper that concluded that sword-swallowing is one of the world’s most dangerous occupations. On the upside I’ve lost weight and gained energy and strength on the bike. On the downside I’ve completely lost my tolerance for alcohol which is a completely unfamiliar problem. With less than a month to go before the rubber hits the stones the challenge now is to drive it all home. Many times in my life I’ve been satisfied with “pretty good”. Just when I get into the downhill slope of the bell curve I ease up in a cocktail of smug complacency and self doubt. What if I do everything right and still I fall short?

Let’s see this time eh? It’s Keepers Tour on the cobbles of France and Flanders. If I can’t sharpen up for an objective like that, stick me in the broomwagon now. I’ve seen the Welliminati kitted up and they look like they mean business. So tomorrow morning before the sunrise, after the intervals start to burn, I know where I am going. After all, this is what I came for.

// Belgian Affirmations // Guest Article // Keepers Tour

  1. There’s clearly more V on a Keepers Tour than in the peloton.

    Embedded image permalink

  2. @Chris

    Didn’t the man on the right win that race?

  3. @Harminator

    Article and sentiment and perfect timing. Clean linen should do it. Thanx

  4. @Harminator

    @frank stop it. I’m a married man.

    It’s not my first time either. I’ve ridden some secteurs and a few cobbled climbs. Enough to know that a Big Day means full body suffering. The training is an effort to be able to stay with the group as long as possible. Rule #10 and all that.

    Don’t worry about me – I always carry a map of the way home.

    And some lights.

    And a banana.

  5. a fine article…… I’m now going to go bang my head against a wall since I will not be participating in this bit of awesomeness!

  6. 2 1/2 months now, never felt better, the shit is big business poison.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/well-good/teach-me/67270707/the-addictive-white-powder-thats-killing-you

  7. So if you cut out all booze, how do you get beer on the Sunday ride? That doesn’t seem right or proper. I’ll take too fat to climb over no beer, because the inverse has to anger the gods.

  8. @Harminator

    @Chris

    Didn’t the man on the right win that race?

    There’s a lesson there.

  9. On the downside I’ve completely lost my tolerance for alcohol which is a completely unfamiliar problem.

    But the Keepers Tour says

    all meals, transport to rides and events and unlimited supply of all selections of Malteni beer and fantastic French wines. [are covered]

    This can’t end well..

  10. @Harminator

    @Chris

    Didn’t the man on the right win that race?

    No, that was K-B-K… a short fat sprinter won that.

  11. Nice one mate. Hope the abstinence is worth it!

  12. Will it make me live to be 100?

    No – but it’ll feel like it

  13. @Owen

    @Harminator

    @Chris

    Didn’t the man on the right win that race?

    There’s a lesson there.

    Amen brother.

  14. @the Engine

    @Harminator

    @frank stop it. I’m a married man.

    It’s not my first time either. I’ve ridden some secteurs and a few cobbled climbs. Enough to know that a Big Day means full body suffering. The training is an effort to be able to stay with the group as long as possible. Rule #10 and all that.

    Don’t worry about me – I always carry a map of the way home.

    And some lights.

    And a banana.

    @brett will teach you about bananas.

  15. To each his own but I’ve had some good mojo from quitting drinking. It goes back about 4 years…was drinking too much, too often, too quickly, two at a time, to excess etc. etc. Finally got my noodle around quitting and just up and did it one day. No baggage, no meetings, no mind fuck – I’m just a fella that chooses not to consume alcohol.

    My life has seen a dramatic improvement on all levels since – work, family, fitness, happiness – all of it.

    This winter I’ve been working hard on getting seriously fit for spring riding. My FTP has climbed from 240 to 292 and I’ve dropped 10 pounds. Tomorrow is supposed to be +5 centigrade and sunny in Toronto – can’t wait to hit the open road!

  16. @frank

    @Owen

    @Harminator

    @Chris

    Didn’t the man on the right win that race?

    There’s a lesson there.

    Amen brother.

    A word of warning to KT attendees; if @Frank sees you riding the footpath down the side of the Trouée d’Arenberg, his granny will drive her car into you later on in the ride.

    , his granny will drive her car into you later on in the ride.

  17. @Chris

    @frank

    @Owen

    @Harminator

    @Chris

    Didn’t the man on the right win that race?

    There’s a lesson there.

    Amen brother.

    A word of warning to KT attendees; if @Frank sees you riding the footpath down the side of the Trouée d’Arenberg, his granny will drive her car into you later on in the ride.

    , his granny will drive her car into you later on in the ride.

    I’m curious about what happened here. I’m more curious about how the photo was taken from nine feet off the ground.

    (And belay the short jokes, Frank. This post is a short joke.)

  18. @PeakInTwoYears

    @Chris

    @frank

    @Owen

    @Harminator

    @Chris

    Didn’t the man on the right win that race?

    There’s a lesson there.

    Amen brother.

    A word of warning to KT attendees; if @Frank sees you riding the footpath down the side of the Trouée d’Arenberg, his granny will drive her car into you later on in the ride.

    , his granny will drive her car into you later on in the ride.

    I’m curious about what happened here. I’m more curious about how the photo was taken from nine feet off the ground.

    (And belay the short jokes, Frank. This post is a short joke.)

    Perhaps the driver was making a statement about the witte kit.

    As for the apparent height of the viewer – its steep country: look at the horizon line. Even a metre in front of you is three feet down.

  19. @Harminator

    The horizon line makes it look like all that took place on a small asteroid.

  20. I’m a big fan of clean living. I was sometimes known as Ken Clean AIr Systems in my yoof, being one of the few who did not smoke. Booze has never really agreed with me.

    I’ll add plenty of laughter and plenty of shagging to the clean living recipe too.

    My immediate goal is to lose the excessively hot summer lard, and then to get ready for Maui in June, where I have a date with a certain volcanic mistress, Ms Haleakala.

    Still gigging with my bike, lights and all, no case queening there.

  21. @PeakInTwoYears

    I’m curious about what happened here. I’m more curious about how the photo was taken from nine feet off the ground.

    (And belay the short jokes, Frank. This post is a short joke.)

    That’s me on the ground at left so I can answer the first part of the question.

    For some reason that part of France has curious traffic rules where cars coming from the right, even if they are turning on to the road, have priority over traffic which is basically just rolling along in a straight line.

    Frank and I were on the front, him on the right, me on the left. We were aiming straight ahead and she was coming around the corner.

    There was only room for one bike to go to the right (Frank’s) so I threw myself left, hit the kerb and rolled. Blew a tyre but I was fine.

    And before @The Pressure makes a note, I was wearing a helmet under protest only because the Pave guys insisted.

  22. @ChrisO

    That’s me on the ground at left so I can answer the first part of the question.For some reason that part of France has curious traffic rules where cars coming from the right, even if they are turning on to the road, have priority over traffic which is basically just rolling along in a straight line.

    Reading this makes it sounds like in other parts of France they have sensible traffic rules, not in my experience. Having said that there is some semblance of order, unlike Cairo. I saw my first proper MTB there in 84, being ridden by a mad yank engineer who told me tales of pot holes that swallowed whole vehicles, donkey-cart v tram collisions (I still have nightmares about that one) and ‘letting’ a policeman have a go on his bike after requesting one at gun point.

  23. @brett

    @the Engine

    I’m fucked aren’t I?

    Not as fucked as @Harminator will be when all that free Malteni is available! One Pint Screamer?

    This is as far as I got through the comments, then I read “free Malteni” and headed for the fridge.

  24. The “good” thing about Cairo traffic is that when you see a car approaching from a side street you don’t have to wonder if they’ve seen you or who has right of way. Its coming out.

  25. @Ken Ho

    I’m a big fan of clean living. I was sometimes known as Ken Clean AIr Systems in my yoof, being one of the few who did not smoke. Booze has never really agreed with me.

    I’ll add plenty of laughter and plenty of shagging to the clean living recipe too.

    Essentials. Going without booze is a good thing. Not laughing or shagging is very, very, bad.

  26. Sleeping properly is also essential

  27. Embedded image permalink

  28. @ChrisO

    @PeakInTwoYears

    I’m curious about what happened here. I’m more curious about how the photo was taken from nine feet off the ground.

    (And belay the short jokes, Frank. This post is a short joke.)

    That’s me on the ground at left so I can answer the first part of the question.

    For some reason that part of France has curious traffic rules where cars coming from the right, even if they are turning on to the road, have priority over traffic which is basically just rolling along in a straight line.

    Frank and I were on the front, him on the right, me on the left. We were aiming straight ahead and she was coming around the corner.

    There was only room for one bike to go to the right (Frank’s) so I threw myself left, hit the kerb and rolled. Blew a tyre but I was fine.

    And before @The Pressure makes a note, I was wearing a helmet under protest only because the Pave guys insisted.

    I was going to make a snarky comment about white bike vvitte kit, but upon learning it was worn by someone who’s legitimately fast I won’t. Glad the worst of it was a blown tire.

    Full disclosure: my #1 is all white and you won’t catch me in matching kit. I don’t pretend to be quick enough.

  29. @Owen

    Ah, the bike wasn’t mine, it’s one of the Pave rentals, so snark away !

    As for the white kit, I tend not to go for it myself but given the choice between white and black and the fact that I would be mostly wearing it in Dubai, it was the lesser of two weevils.

  30. @PeakInTwoYears

    @Chris

    @frank

    @Owen

    @Harminator

    @Chris

    Didn’t the man on the right win that race?

    There’s a lesson there.

    Amen brother.

    A word of warning to KT attendees; if @Frank sees you riding the footpath down the side of the Trouée d’Arenberg, his granny will drive her car into you later on in the ride.

    , his granny will drive her car into you later on in the ride.

    I’m curious about what happened here. I’m more curious about how the photo was taken from nine feet off the ground.

    (And belay the short jokes, Frank. This post is a short joke.)

    The camera was a go-pro fixed to the top of @Marko‘s helmet.

  31. @ChrisO

    @Owen

    Ah, the bike wasn’t mine, it’s one of the Pave rentals, so snark away !

    As for the white kit, I tend not to go for it myself but given the choice between white and black and the fact that I would be mostly wearing it in Dubai, it was the lesser of two weevils.

    Fair enough. If one’s name isn’t Italian and one weigh more than 65 kilos it is my reasoned opinion that one will generall look like a tool in such matching equipment.

  32. Thank you all for clearing all that up. And for a Patrick O’Brian reference, which always improves one’s day!

  33. @PeakInTwoYears

    Thank you all for clearing all that up. And for a Patrick O’Brian reference, which always improves one’s day!

  34. “He who would pun would pick a pocket.”

  35. @ChrisO

    See? It’s not so bad. Might even become a habit…

  36. @PeakInTwoYears

    Thank you all for clearing all that up. And for a Patrick O’Brian reference, which always improves one’s day!

    And thank you for spotting it.

    Pass the salt.

  37. Ah fark, that Clean Livin’.

    Yeah, my alcohol tolerance declined significantly since my days as a waiter in Italian luxury restaurants. Half a Chianti before the shift, and half a Montepulciano after and used to made it back home in one piece on the bike. These days a pint puts me to sleep but my FTP is twice as high, so I guess there’s a cosmic balance here.

    And here I was hoping to vent on PEDs. Raced a Granfondo this weekend behind the queen stage of the Intl Tour of Arad, and apparently both that stage and the opening 20km climbing prologue were won by a 38-year old Masters racer who made Continental riders and UCI 1.1 race winners look like fools, climbing up a 15% grade with ease next to a young talent at ~6W/kg. A month ago he couldn’t even stay in the pack with the Masters pack (~Cat 2-3 equivalent), suddenly he’s dropping U23 racers like flies.

  38. I started what appropriates to a ‘Clean Livin” regime last Autumn, and have carried it on through the winter. So that’s no drinking mid-week and moderation on the weekend (like, 2 pints or something), and trying to limit portion sizes and cutting out snacking.

    And I’ve dropped 9kg already and felt my power on the bike increase dramatically. And, as I haven’t really done anything that dramatic, lifestyle wise, it’s very sustainable. I still eat cake when I want, and have a bacon sandwich in the morning when I want, I just moderate.

    I’ve been upping the training this month to peak for TT season, and I’ve had to eat more but I’m still losing weight! The hardest bit is getting started with a new regime. Once it becomes a habit, it’s easy. Especially when you can feel the benefits stacking up.

  39. @RobSandy

    Sounds perfect. I had 10kg to lose in 11 weeks so a more radical (read unsustainable) approach was needed. After Keepers’ Tour I’ll be more relaxed but also keen to keep up some of the good habits. Cutting midweek drinking is a nice idea but one I struggle with esp. after a long day at work.

    @ped

    Sleep is totally underrated. The Scientists are still trying to understand the powers behind its magic. I heard an athlete recently talk about trying to out-sleep his rivals in order to get an edge.

    Awesome photo. I’m betting on Sep for some results this spring.

  40. @Harminator

    @RobSandy

    Sounds perfect. I had 10kg to lose in 11 weeks so a more radical (read unsustainable) approach was needed. After Keepers’ Tour I’ll be more relaxed but also keen to keep up some of the good habits. Cutting midweek drinking is a nice idea but one I struggle with esp. after a long day at work.

    I know what you mean, but I always found 1 drink leads to two…especially with wine.

    A concession I make if I’m feeling weak is a whisky.

  41. Also, two tips that have helped me lose weight.

    1. Soup for lunch. Make sure it’s really hot, so it takes ages to eat. if it’s moderately healthy or home made it wont be very calorific but will keep you full.

    2. Eggs for breakfast. Me and my son have regularly started having boiled eggs for breakfast. Takes roughly the same time to prepare as a bowl of cereal but has loads of protein and really fills you up. The size of bowl of cereal I have to eat to get me through the morning contains about 800+ calories. 2 boiled eggs and 2 slices of toast contain less than 350.

  42. @Teocalli

    @PeakInTwoYears

    Thank you all for clearing all that up. And for a Patrick O’Brian reference, which always improves one’s day!

    Love. That. Movie. Always a favorite. Weird editing at the end though. No minimum drinking age back then, that’s for sure.

  43. @tessar

    Ah fark, that Clean Livin’.

    Yeah, my alcohol tolerance declined significantly since my days as a waiter in Italian luxury restaurants. Half a Chianti before the shift, and half a Montepulciano after and used to made it back home in one piece on the bike. These days a pint puts me to sleep but my FTP is twice as high, so I guess there’s a cosmic balance here.

    And here I was hoping to vent on PEDs. Raced a Granfondo this weekend behind the queen stage of the Intl Tour of Arad, and apparently both that stage and the opening 20km climbing prologue were won by a 38-year old Masters racer who made Continental riders and UCI 1.1 race winners look like fools, climbing up a 15% grade with ease next to a young talent at ~6W/kg. A month ago he couldn’t even stay in the pack with the Masters pack (~Cat 2-3 equivalent), suddenly he’s dropping U23 racers like flies.

    Well, I hope the 38 year-old is appropriately proud of his “performance.” Must make him feel extra special.

  44. @wiscot

    FFS, if you look this happy up a hill while dropping the field, there’s something wrong.

    Those knee-warmers are a rule violation by themselves, even without PED abuse!

  45. @Chris

    @PeakInTwoYears

    @Chris

    @frank

    @Owen

    @Harminator

    @Chris

    Didn’t the man on the right win that race?

    There’s a lesson there.

    Amen brother.

    A word of warning to KT attendees; if @Frank sees you riding the footpath down the side of the Trouée d’Arenberg, his granny will drive her car into you later on in the ride.

    , his granny will drive her car into you later on in the ride.

    I’m curious about what happened here. I’m more curious about how the photo was taken from nine feet off the ground.

    (And belay the short jokes, Frank. This post is a short joke.)

    The camera was a go-pro fixed to the top of @Marko‘s helmet.

    Most of us just assumed the camera was perched on top of Frank’s lofty seatpost.

  46. VMH and I were just out of bed yesterday and she was complaining about being tired. I was dancing around, playing with the dogs and listening to music. She asked how I never feel tired in the morning and just wake up, no alarm, no snooze button.

    “Clean living!” I told her. She laughed, since I’d had a few drinks the previous night. Life is good these days, so no reason not to be a happy fella. But, I’ve always just gotten up. It’s never going to be fun, so why bother hoping? Just get goin’ and make it happen.

  47. @Ron

    VMH and I were just out of bed yesterday and she was complaining about being tired. I was dancing around, playing with the dogs and listening to music. She asked how I never feel tired in the morning and just wake up, no alarm, no snooze button.

    “Clean living!” I told her. She laughed, since I’d had a few drinks the previous night. Life is good these days, so no reason not to be a happy fella. But, I’ve always just gotten up. It’s never going to be fun, so why bother hoping? Just get goin’ and make it happen.

    If you go through life expecting to be shafted you will never be disappointed when you are and you will always be happy and pleasantly surprised when you are not.

  48. @Harminator

    haha, that sounds just like the Istanbul traffic. It was bad enough before everyone had mobile phones, but now they have them and the police do nothing about it is like riding whilst every car drive is drunk. They just swerve all over the place and its a bloody death trap. Its also the case that traffic lights are optional when there are no cameras on them and the majority dont.

  49. @kixsand

    To each his own but I’ve had some good mojo from quitting drinking. It goes back about 4 years…was drinking too much, too often, too quickly, two at a time, to excess etc. etc. Finally got my noodle around quitting and just up and did it one day. No baggage, no meetings, no mind fuck – I’m just a fella that chooses not to consume alcohol.

    My life has seen a dramatic improvement on all levels since – work, family, fitness, happiness – all of it.

    This winter I’ve been working hard on getting seriously fit for spring riding. My FTP has climbed from 240 to 292 and I’ve dropped 10 pounds. Tomorrow is supposed to be +5 centigrade and sunny in Toronto – can’t wait to hit the open road!

    This is awesome. I still enjoy some alcohol, but know that it would be better but too. I can tell it does nothing healthy for my body.

    @Harminator

    @RobSandy

    Sounds perfect. I had 10kg to lose in 11 weeks so a more radical (read unsustainable) approach was needed. After Keepers’ Tour I’ll be more relaxed but also keen to keep up some of the good habits. Cutting midweek drinking is a nice idea but one I struggle with esp. after a long day at work.

    @ped

    Sleep is totally underrated. The Scientists are still trying to understand the powers behind its magic. I heard an athlete recently talk about trying to out-sleep his rivals in order to get an edge.

    Awesome photo. I’m betting on Sep for some results this spring.

    I have heard the same things about sleep… Wish I followed the recommendation though. Recently I’ve gotten less sleep for the sake of working out. For my life is worth it.

  50. Great stuff mate, I was at the KT a few years ago and enjoyed my short stay immensely, despite not touching a drop of the ever present Malteni, but the lads managed to get through my ration somehow. It will be a grand trip for sure, sadly I will be stick here in a northern Alberta sandbox. Enjoy !

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