Sunday, April 6, 2014

Taco plate

Welcome to my favorite scene of the day!

For $4.30 you get the Taco Plate at the Mercado y Taqueria de Amigos in Pescadero. The place has been written up in the New York Times and Sunset Magazine, but it's still got fuel for the hungry cyclist.

Here you've got your market with Gatorade and the colorful Mexican pastries made with lard, your Alliance gas station, and the world-class taqueria. All in one!

Though Pescadero may get it's name from the salmon that used to run here and you can order a fish taco (tilapia), for me it's always the pollo.

At 1pm, I'm just starting to feel human.

First there were the hordes of weekend warriors, stampeding up Old La Honda. All in a hurry, all guys, racing me to the top. Talking loudly, passing on the right, and in general making nuisances of themselves. When a car approached it was chaos. What it it, spring or something?

At the top, without so much as slowing down I cross Skyline and head west toward the coast. Leaving them all in a clump at the stop sign. But the nasty mood follows me down.

On the far side of the ridge, it's much quieter. I can listen to my thoughts, even my physiology. Climbing Haskins Hill I'm not in real trouble, but there's definitely too much suffering. The pedals turn over but where's the speed and power? Lightheaded, I begin to fantasize about abandoning cycling suddenly and totally, in favor of something more sedentary. Like getting a PhD... in whatever. Sounding better and better.

A persistent hunger, and that floaty feeling. Definitely on the verge of running out of fuel. I eat a bar, then a banana, but nothing seems to help for long.

Well, I've been in a special kind of gluten hell for 3 days. After eating licorice, of all things! Licorice. The first freaking ingredient? Flour.

Hence the weakness, hunger, and mood issues.

Figuring this out helps a little. It's reassuring to know I don't have some unknown, wasting disease. That I'm not aging in triple-time. That even in the midst of a major health issue I can ride 100 miles. Not dead yet.

On the other hand, I don't enjoy this ride - in the middle of scenery people come from all over the world to enjoy - until the taco plate.

Afterward, my stomach's a little upset from the shock of so many calories. And from the salsa.

Yet it says yes, go home via West Alpine, the hard way. 500 feet more climbing. It goes along for the ride.

There's another cyclist on the hill, a guy who is about my pace, and his friend, who keeps letting us go ahead and then sprinting to catch up. With my blood sugar normalizing, I manage not to kill that guy or even say anything nasty to him. I survive the climb; we all do.

Today this is success.

1 comment :

  1. ...Reading that ingredient list, I wonder how I liked that liquorice in the first place (also, it makes me wonder what's in all sorts...) You are clearly a saint. People like that (the chatters, the sprinters, the people WHO PASS ON THE RIGHT) make me nuts.
    I've descended West Alpine but not climbed it. It's beautiful, but I can imagine the challenge going up!