In skiing it’s called the “yard sale.” In climbing, the “whipper.” Mountain biking has its own compendium of words for a fall: endo, auger, corndog, soil sample, blood donor, captain crash…. No matter how catchy the term, wrecking never comes easy.
My latest was one of those you kind of see coming, possibly because you realize you’ve done something stupid, and it’s too late to take it back. Possibly because the clock stops ticking as you enter a compromised plane of existence.
I had just climbed more than 2,500 feet in elevation on dirt roads and was getting psyched up for the payoff: some fun double-track descents before five miles of narrow singletrack contouring above the Glenwood Canyon, topped off with a screaming 2.5-mile, hands-burning drop into the touristy western Colorado town of Glenwood Springs.
As I loosened up my arms and neck, I began picking up speed. Then I had a fleeting thought about how hungry I was and how I should’ve stopped to have a nibble. Gaining speed and dodging some ruts, I thought more about my belly and how convenient it is that the Glenwood Brewing Company is back in town, mere yards from the end of the singletrack. Picking up speed… hungry… Picking up more speed … fish and chips and a nut brown ale.…
As I came into the hit, a thought flashed: You’re going kinda fast. Then all points were off, and I saw it coming. I was going down. Maybe I could tell my body weight was wrong. Maybe I could tell I had locked up on the brakes. Maybe it was simply because I was headed toward the sage bush on the side of the track.
I landed with a thud, and a little dust devil formed from beneath my body and spun wickedly down the road. Fine dirt covered my shirt, shorts and skin (corndogged). My sunglasses, coated with a velvety layer of dust, had launched off and were laying in the narrow track (face shovel). Blood was dripping from my arm, and raspberries were already forming on my knees (blood donor). When I was younger, I thought scars and bruises were cool. They were war wounds, proof that I rode hard … or at least fell hard. But I just fell a lot (captain crash). I don’t think it’s cool anymore. Now I just don’t like falling. It kinda hurts.
To recover my balance, I sat in the dirt and sipped some water. The question resurfaced: Why am I so hungry? I dug around in my pack knowing I wouldn’t find the beer-battered fish fillets. Then I felt it—in the far-reaching catacombs of the pack, between the pump, tire irons, multi-tool, tube and windbreaker—a Honey Stinger waffle.
The organic, real-food treat was sweet music to my taste buds. And I had the luxury of trying the newest flavor: chocolate. Cool, calming chocolate. Can I get an amen, sistah?
Honey Stinger waffles been a cure for my sweet tooth (even when I’m not exercising) since they were introduced in August 2010, and provide me with plenty of good calories on a ride. Each little treat—also in honey, vanilla and strawberry versions—contain 160 calories of honey-based energy.
And the other ingredients are good. The chocolate waffle, for example, contains organic wheat flour, organic palm fruit oil, organic rice syrup, organic cane sugar, organic whole wheat flour, organic cocoa, organic soy flour, organic honey, natural flavor, sea salt, organic soy lecithin, baking soda.
Honey Stinger’s waffle is a take-off from the traditional stroopwafel, a waffle made from two thin layers of baked batter with syrup filling and sold on the streets of Netherlands and Belgium. They are popular with European cyclists looking for a quick boost of energy, and caught the attention of Honey Stinger co-owner Lance Armstrong, who suggested the company produce them.
I’m not saying that a chocolate Honey Stinger waffle will be enough to ease my neck pain the morning after a good wreck. Oxycodone might be a more full-proof answer. (Did I type that out loud?) But it’ll give you good energy as you stave off hunger, and it sure did sooth my nerves after yet another experience of me being an unbearable lightness of being … over the handlebars (endo).