Thursday, January 20, 2005

Powered by....carbs and coffee

Powered by....carbs and coffee

In commercial aviation, there's a saying that airliners are powered by equal parts kerosene and caffeine. I suspect it's true. I'm seldom more than a few yards from a coffee pot here at work, no matter where I wander.

Coffee is about perfect for cyclists too, or at least it is for THIS one. On a cold winter morning, a thermal bottle full of coffee is a welcome companion. After a ride, it's equally welcome. I don't need a big caffeine wallop all the time, so in the afternoon and evening I drink decaf. Yeah, I know, what a wuss! I have a benign cardiac arrhythmia that's aggravated by caffeine, so if I want to sleep that night, it's best to avoid the coffee, or Pepsi, or even chocolate.

Morning commute coffee doesn't have to be good. It simply has to be hot. In fact, bad coffee may actually be better at oh-dark-thirty because the annoyance may keep me a little more alert. I have a stainless steel insulated water bottle with a conventional water bottle cap on top. It keeps coffee very hot, so hot that I usually add an ice cube to bring it down to a drinkable temperature. I wrapped some plastic tape around the bottle cage to keep it from rattling. The only drawback about a stainless steel bottle is that I can't squirt the Yard Dogs from Hell.

I keep some good coffee in my toolbox. When I get to work, it's the first thing I want. The current favorite is a dark Italian or French roast, though one of my co-workers brought in some home-roasted beans that were absolutely wonderful! They weren't as strong as the French stuff, but they were very smooth, with just a little acid that gave it a slight citrus taste. Better yet, this stuff delivered a huge dose of caffeine! My heart hammered all morning! Lord, that stuff was good, but I don't think I could take it every day.

I mentioned something about carbs too, way up there at the top. What could go better with a cup of coffee than a piece of chocolate? The kids gave me a bag of Dove dark chocolate pieces back at Christmas. I've been eating a couple of them every day. And Mary tucked a peanut butter cup in my lunch today. I ate that too.

Is it any wonder I gain weight through the winter? "I ride to lose this", I've said while patting my belly, "but it always finds its way home around dinnertime!"


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