By Brian Canty
I haven´t done a blog in a while and Lee´s mutterings and monologues are in danger of overwhelming the Eat Sleep Cycle website, so it´s my turn.
I started today with the notion of writing one so I opened up a blank document…but it stayed blank, the cursor blinking at me.
So I did what I always do when I need to get thoughts and ideas flowing; I rode. Correction. I drank a coffee and then I rode.
And not long into the ride, in time-honoured fashion, the thoughts came thick and fast until one consumed me: Coffee. I´m going off it. For three months, starting November 1st.
I´ve been tempted to quit drinking it a few times over the years but I never succeeded, or really made a concerted effort to be honest.
Now, I want a fresh challenge and I want to do an experiment to see a) can I actually do it and b) will it actually improve my health and/or performance on a bike and in the office in any way.
When I got home from my ride I did some research and incredibly, I came across an article written on US publication OutsideOnline last month about a guy called Brendan Leonard who did similarly and the results were astonishing.
Some of those ´findings´included how he:
- Functioned for 18-20 hours on three hours of sleep the previous night
- Stayed awake for 42 hours (while in constant human-powered motion for 36 hours)
- Drove a car for more than eight hours straight
- Got out of bed at 1 a.m. to climb mountains and actually got to the summit
- Stayed up until 2 a.m. editing video
- Continued to write/create for a living
- Still had insomnia induced by anxiety (dammit)
- Ate three ounces of dark chocolate (an entire bar) almost every day, which gave me somewhere between 30 and 100 milligrams of caffeine every day
So I want in on this. I want to know will I have problems with dehydration during races and long training rides. I want to know will the headaches I get when I don´t have coffee for a day disappear when I just push through it, will I save money, will I achieve any of what Brendan achieved?
I want to race well next year, but not as much as I want to work long hours so Eat Sleep Cycle can become the best bike tour operator in Europe. Both are very achievable but one of the things I know will hinder this is how alert I am to make the necessary decisions.
I like a coffee boost as much as the next person but I like other things too and I know I can get caffeine elsewhere, like chocolate!
What will make this test even harder is the fact I can smell and hear the finest coffee being brewed in Girona from where I work.
Espresso Mafia and La Fabrica are two of the most popular places on this earth for cyclists looking for a caffeine fix, but from now on, it will be decaf for me.
So, I have 9 days of coffee drinking left until I wake up on November 1st. And I will not drink a coffee until March 1st. F***…..
I´m excited and a little nervous, exactly how one should be before big challenges!
I´ll keep you posted on how the mood swings go…