Bird on the bike

The bike mod I posted about a few weeks back didn’t work out. The wedge kept slipping, and I got tired of futzing with it. So I just mounted the Garmin unit on the handlebar.

I also, finally, found a replacement for the Pink Panther that I retired back when I had the bike repainted.

The bird is carved from Western Red Cedar and finished with Minwax paste finishing wax. It should hold up well in the sun and rain. I’m not sure it’ll survive for 20,000 miles like the Pink Panther did, but one can hope. And if it doesn’t, I can always carve some other mascot to share the ride with.

Lots of carbs

“There is an overwhelming amount of scientific and real world evidence that demonstrates that a diet rich in carbohydrates is critical to success in endurance sports. Carbohydrates are stored in the body as liver and muscle glycogen. With it, an athlete’s ability to perform at high intensity is severely diminished, and when it is depleted the dreaded bonk is a distinct possibility.” -Allen Lim in The Feed Zone Cookbook

Even those who try to maintain a paleo diet find that they need to modify that diet at times to include carbohydrates with a high glycemic index. The Paleo Diet for Athletes describes those modifications.

The most crucial time to eat carbohydrates is immediately after a workout. The muscles are depleted and are highly sensitive to insulin, allowing them to quickly store glycogen. Failing to replenish your muscle glycogen stores will lead to much slower recovery, including muscle soreness and weakness that will last a few days.

Most sources say that for high intensity rides of up to two hours, one should consume two grams of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight within 30 minutes of completing the ride. For rides longer than four hours, increase that to four grams of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight.

I currently weigh about 81 kilos (180 lbs). Ideally, I should weigh about 165 lbs, or 75 kilos. That’s the number I use when figuring out how much carbohydrate to eat after a long ride. It works out to 300 grams of carbohydrate (1,200 calories) after a four hour ride.

Do you have any idea how hard it is to consume 300 grams of carbohydrate in a short period of time?

Medium grain white rice has a little over 50 grams of carbohydrate per cup (uncooked). Imagine scarfing six cups of rice. Depending on the pasta, you get 40 to 45 grams per cup of cooked pasta. That’s about six and a half cups of cooked pasta (13 oz uncooked). Imagine throwing almost a pound of spaghetti into a pot, cooking it up, and then eating it all.

It’s really, really hard to eat 300 grams of carbohydrate quickly.

Rice and pasta are about as good as it gets when it comes to high carbohydrate foods. That’s why a lot of people turn to recovery drinks that contain maltodextrin. One example (I’m not endorsing this product, as I’ve never tried it) is Mike’s Milk, which packs 73 grams of carbohydrate into a 100 gram serving. With their suggested mixing ratio of 100 grams per 1/2 cup of milk, I’d only need to drink two cups (16 oz) of milk to get the carbs I need.

There are many different recovery drinks, but you have to be careful what you get. Those that contain primarily fructose and other sugars are inexpensive, but not all that good for you. You want something that has more complex carbohydrates. You can purchase maltodextrin in bulk and mix your own drink. Search for “homemade sports drink maltodextrin,” and you’ll find some good (and lots of bad) suggestions. The most difficult part is actually obtaining the maltodextrin, which is somewhat difficult to find in stores (the local Whole Foods store didn’t carry it), but easily available online.

A couple of carvings

Still plugging away on the Hundred Birds Project, I’m now up to 60 different kinds of wood. I need 40 more by the end of the year. It’s getting more difficult to obtain new species. If you can help out with a new kind of wood for me to carve, please contact me.

Although the birds take up the majority of my carving time, they’re not all I carve. I recently finished two non-bird pieces.

First, the whisk. Debra got an electric whisk in a drawing or as a door prize. The thing was terribly under-powered and was pretty useless. So she threw the electric part away and kept the implement. I fashioned a new handle from a scrap of mesquite.

The handle is about four inches long and approximately 3/4 inch in diameter. I drilled a hole in the center and used two-part epoxy to attach the whisk to the handle. It should work well.

I saw the pattern for this baby rattle a few years ago and thought I’d give it a try. It stands about 3.5 inches high and the outer ball is about two inches in diameter. The wood is cherry.

And, yes, I carved the inner ball in place. That is, I cut it away from the cage bars, the top, and the bottom. It’s surprising to me how many people will look at one of these and say, “How did you get the ball in there?” The ball was already in there. I just made it smaller.




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