Thursday, 24 January 2008

Why are cyclists coffee mad?

As much as I like a good coffee, or reading about coffee, I am not a big coffee drinker. I guess I will be forever black balled from the fraternity of road cyclists. I think the membership test involves knocking back 10 short blacks and then riding until your pants explode.

I have never done the coffee and riding thing. Well, may be I did it once, when I stopped at a shop that sold handmade chocolates and coffees, and I had to sample a bit of each. But that was a one off, although I will do it again if I ever ride down to the airport again on a day when that cafe is open.

My normal pre-ride drink is a bit of Endura, because I used to suffer from wicked muscle cramps and spasms. I'd wake up at 3am with a cramped calf muscle and it would be agony. Nasty, nasty way to get woken up. Since I started to do the Endura thing twice a day, the cramps have gone and never come back.

But today, I decided to tempt fate and screw with my routine. I made a short black coffee using instant muck and had a bit of that before hitting the road.

Big mistake. Within about 2 kilometres, my heart was absolutely racing, even though I was just tonking along at a slow cadence. It was going so fast, I started to feel sick. Clearly, a caffeine jolt first thing in the morning before a bit of exercise is not the thing for me. The only jolt I need is to do a fast cadence spin on the flat to get the legs warmed up.

I do enjoy a coffee after I get to work, but some mornings, I can't take just a single latte. I drink about half of it for the taste, but have to stop at that because just that amount sets my heart racing again. Other mornings, I need a whole coffee and then feel like a short black on top as a bit of a booster. I have no idea what causes the variation in the reaction to coffee on different days. Probably sleep.

PS - this blogicle may hold the answer.

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