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Aaaah. Perfection.

Dump the expensive Cytomax, Powerade and nefarious Red Bull from your rehydration regimen.  The best sports drink has been right in front of you since childhood and it is the Slush Puppy. 

Like so many great inventions, the Slurpee was created by accident.  In the late-1950s, Omar Knedlik of Kansas City owned an old Dairy Queen. His machinery was always breaking down.   When his soda fountain went out, he improvised by putting some bottles in the freezer to keep them cold. 

When he popped the soda tops,  the drinks had turned to a syrup slurry.  Folks loved them and started requesting the drinks that were left in the freezer the longest.  Realizing he had a surprise hit on his hands, Knedlik built a machine in the back room using an air conditioning unit from a car that created slushy sodas by combining a flavor mix, water, and carbon dioxide to make it fizz.

A "Name the Product" contest was held and the winning entry was "ICEE."  With help from an engineering and manufacturing company in Dallas, the ICEE machine was redesigned and sold to a few convenience stores throughout the early 1960s.  In 1965, 7-Eleven licensed the machine, but called the drink "Slurpee," by the sound it made while sipping it through a straw.

I used to think that the junk science behind sports drinks was legitimate. I'd pore over the fake statistical evidence about this product or that making claims about electrolyte rebalancing and glycerin absorption. This beverage pseudo-science is just the same regurgitated bullshit fomented by University of Florida "researchers" to promote Gatorade in 1965. 

 In 2010, a less than robust, but no less legitimate study of "ice slurry ingestion on thermoregulatory responses and submaximal running time in the heat," demonstrated positive effects from drinking Icees. It was conducted by New Zealand sports nutritionists.  Of course, I didn't need a study to convince me that the Slurpee is the ultimate cycling drink. 

Call it placebo or short term sugar rush, but it works for me.  My anecdotal experience is pure bliss.  I love the cold rush of artificial flavors pouring down my greedy gullet after 50-60 sweltering miles.  Once "brain freeze" subsides, I feel recharged.  

Popeye had spinach, Count Dracula had the blood of glamorous women, and the Silly Rabbit had Trix.  I have the Slush Puppy--a cosmic power energy source capable of doing almost anything, from re-arranging molecules to making energy blasts, allowing time travel and bringing people back from the dead.

It's also kosher!

Muslims, Jews and infidels can equally enjoy this holy concoction. 

All Slurpee flavors are considered kosher pareve.  That is food considered neither meat nor dairy. Some 7-Eleven stores get the machines themselves certified kosher, which the store owners use as a selling point in places like Borough Park, NY. 

So, you can't go wrong with God's chosen energy drink. 


 
 
Karl Marx was a miserable man who despised bourgeois conventions and advocated class warfare. His motivation for this wasn't generated by his experience in German sweatshops, but because he was afflicted with carbuncles. His affliction made it hard for him to work, which made his wretched poverty worse and destroyed his self-esteem.

I can't relate to the fist sized boils that Marx wrote about in his journals, but I can empathize with his discomfort from my experience. Yet, unlike curmudgeonly Karl, I refuse to yield to painful bacterial growths on my posterior from all of the grinding and chafing on tour. I'm already living like a vagabond, so I don't want some furuncles driving me to madness and communism on this trek. That's why I abide by an absolute standard that my bibs and chamois are removed as quickly as possible after a rude and washed, with river water if need be.

I know people sporting shorts that are two and three days into biothermal activity. These microbial composting ass-dungeons are doing Satan's work on thriftier riders. I heard a few of them lamenting about their saddle sores today in the Adventure Cycling lounge.
There's no way to eradicate soreness and raspy bumps from long distance riding. It's like herpes and Afghanistan: it just keeps coming back again and again. So, when denial gives way to acceptance my strategy for dealing with the scourge involves the following:

1: Washing

If a washing machine and enough quarters are available, it's easy to clean up. If not, any sink or basin will do. I carry a flat rubber drain cover so that I can build a washtub. Then I use Tide hand washing packets that work wonders with just a bit of agitation.

2. Ointments!

A man must have his topical creams. There are folks that swear by commercial cycling products like Chamois Butt'r, but I find the stuff too viscous and water soluble. A thick dollop if Balmex diaper rash salve coupled with some narcotics does the trick for me.

I discovered lidocaine ointment from an Englishman during the Paris-Brest-Paris super randonee whilst toiling at the 600 mile mark. Dr. Feelgood kept me going with a generous helping from his stash. I learned that Europeans, unlike Yanks, are allowed to buy pharmaceuticals without a prescription. Since then, I've legally used my connections to doctor friends to get my derrière drugs.

EMLA is used in dentistry for chancre sores, but wirks little wonders. Unfortunately, it comes in little tubes. Hence, when I can get it, I stock up on a 2.5% prilocaine/2.5% lidocaine generic cream in the largest vessel I can find. I have one of my cartel connections sending an Rx to a Missoula Safeway for pick up tomorrow. I'm stockpiling for the spartan land mass that lies ahead.

Balmex and EMLA is a winning combination that doesn't cure saddle soreness, but masks the problem enough to put a chafed man back in the saddle. While not as effective, the numbing agents in Vagisil and Preparation-H offer some relief, but fade so so quickly that it's probably not worth the effort but for a placebo effect.

"The bourgeoisie will remember my carbuncles until their dying day," Marx told Friedrich Engels in a letter from 1867. He was probably wrong about that, but I hope this posting will help his acrid legacy live on just a bit longer.

 
 
My crappy plastic bar end caps kept slipping off every time I parked my rig. I finally lost one before I hit Hood River, OR. I didn't want my tape unraveling and I needed to conserve duct tape for emergencies.

So, I stopped at a bike shop and purchased these over-engineered beauties. I have no idea if the vibration dampening claims are real. My guess is that my 29" wheels are doing most of the work reducing road shock. I've been a sucker for a lot of bike technology that just turned out to be goofy: rear elastomer suspension; Profile aerobars; biopace chain rings, you name it.

No matter, the Bontragers serve the purpose of staying put. Look how long and fat they are! I had a hard time impaling my bars with the squishy fat rubber enclosures around the brass bars. I used a screwdriver to no avail to jam them. Finally, I just spit on them and they slid right in. It was almost erotic.

So, no more worries about tape unraveling.