Smoothie operator

25 07 2010

Cycling season is also smoothie season.

There’s no better way to start a riding day, or any day for that matter, than with a thick, sweet fruit smoothie. And I make a pretty mean smoothie, if I do say so myself.

While winter smoothies are mostly comprised of frozen fruit, as the summer progresses, the smoothies are all about freshness. Mid-July to mid-August is the nadir, when pretty much every fruit in my smoothie is fresh.

I always start with a banana and orange juice, but from there, it’s a symphony of whatever is in season and available at the produce market. In this smoothie, there are: strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, kiwi, peach, pear, mango, pineapple, watermelon. Yum!

A blender full of freshness!

If only I could bring some of it along on rides. Because as much as I love to imbibe in a tall glass of fruit smoothiness in the mornings, I’m not so diligent about staying hydrated during rides. I always fill my water bottles; I just don’t empty them. Something about drinking tepid water, I think.

Yes, I’ve tried various thermal bottles, but with mixed results.

I’ve tried ice cubes, but that lasts only a few moments on a warm day.

I freeze my filled bottles overnight, and that’s great for maybe the first half hour of a ride on a summer’s day.

Sometimes, I admit, I just get so engrossed in my ride, I simply forget to drink.

A rare photo indeed.

Friday, my inattention caught up with me. On the return leg of my 107 km loop to The Stan, I was afflicted with a terrible stitch in my right side. I tried to ride through it. I stopped for lunch, but it returned as soon as I hit the road again. I chug-a-lugged from my warm bottle. Nothing seemed to relieve it.

Finally, I called Katie. As a runner, she’s probably dealt with side stitches; she’d know what to do, I thought.

Raise my arms over my head and take deep breaths, she advised. And sure enough, it worked!