The Banana Pancake Effect

These look much better going down....

These look much better going down….

When I was just a little kid, my eyes would often be larger than my stomach.  We won’t talk about how that paradigm has reversed itself in the last 30+ years (ahem!).

One particular time where this was most evident was during a trip to Florida.  My family had stopped off at the local IHOP, and I boldly ordered a stack of banana pancakes.  Happily, I munched along on this pile of ooey-gooey goodness.  As I neared the end of that pile, my belly told me I was full.

I told my father that I couldn’t eat any more.  He looked at my plate and saw only a few bites left.  He encouraged me to finish the last few bites – but I insisted I was full.  His encouragement (and my protests) continued back-and-forth for a bit – until he finally said (well, strongly demanded) “Eat it!”

So, trying to be the obedient son, I took the next bite.  And that’s when it happened!   My 7-year-old body let out a 30-second burp that the whole restaurant could hear (no exaggeration here).  Right after that burp, I proceeded to redeposit that stack of banana pancakes back onto my plate (and all over the table……and all over the floor).  My father picked me up, put his hand over my mouth and carried me into the bathroom (while I’m depositing more banana pancakes into his hand and, I’m pretty sure, on a trail the whole way into the bathroom).

Now, if you’ve made it this far in this post, I’m sure you’re wondering what this has to do with cycling. Well, I had that “Banana Pancake” Effect this morning.  I woke up after a pretty good night of sleep (and two extra hours of sleep – since I had to work the 1-8 Sales Floor shift today).  I ate breakfast and tried to figure out how to spend the rest of the morning.

The weatherman said there was a good chance of rain for the day, and I knew if he was wrong I’d get notified that my brother got out for a nice ride during the evening when I was stuck in the office.  The sunlight was peeking through the clouds, and the roads were drying from the rain last night.  I stepped outside and figured that I shouldn’t miss the opportunity to ride.

I felt well-rested.  I ate pasta last night (pre-loaded on carbs).  Weather was pretty decent (only a little bit of wind).  Why should I miss this ride?

So, I slapped on my cycling shorts and jersey and hit the road.  It was a familiar loop for those days when I’m feeling extra chipper – the ride over our local mountain.  It’s a great loop where the traffic is pretty sparse.

The ride was going ok.  I could feel the smaller hills – but – I knew that I don’t typically ride in the morning.  I usually go after work, and I pre-load with a Clif Bar and a big bottle of water.  This morning, I was running on Honey Nut Cheerios and two cups of coffee.

As I got around the side of the mountain, I started dreading the mountain itself.  I just wasn’t “on” today.  The mountain itself seemed much tougher.  On a great day, I can make it up with no stops.  On a typical day, I’ll stop at a point about half way up.  Today – I stopped three times.

This is not a super easy climb.  My GPS app (MapMyRide) rates it a Category 3 climb.  So, I can’t be too upset about stopping – but I did feel like I was going to redeposit my Cheerios.

Some rides are just like that!  We wake up and our ambition is bigger than our leg strength.  It’s a part of riding that regular cyclists know.  But, even on those days when we do feel like burping loud-and-proud (and even feel like yakking), we know that it’s still better than sitting around doing nothing.

When was your last ride where you suffered the “Banana Pancakes Effect?”

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