Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Hymenoptera power!


As Ike will doubtless tell all of us on the ride, bees and wasps are fascinating critters. They are not, as widely assumed, all social insects that live in hives or nests. Vespa contains royal jelly, bee propolis, honey, and Asian wasp saliva/regurgitated by adult wasps, fed back to the larvae, and then fed back to the adults. It contains 25 amino acids, and no caffeine/methylxanthines.

Ricky Garcia, our Montrose, Colorado rider, was approached by Vespa to sponsor the Big Fix with their product. He felt it helped him on long rides to burn fat, and spare his glycogen stores.
During strenuous exercise, it is very difficult to consume and use more than about 250 kcal per hour. The rest of the fuel must come from 4 sources: first, usually, glycogen stored in the liver, next, muscle glycogen, then adipose tissue (fat stores), and finally muscle protein.
Vespa putatively works by shunting oxidative phosphorylation pathways towards the beta-lipase, or fat-burning option, thus sparing glycogen, using fat as a fuel at higher aerobic outputs, and sparing the precious glycogen. This reduces caloric intake needs while riding/exercising, and avoids glycogen depletion(the BONK)

I admit to huge skepticism, but gave it a try. First, a couple of times before the Davis Double century. I took a couple of 90" rides, bringing only water, and on an empty stomach. I felt some increase in smooth power production, but not a huge effect. Then came the test--May 20, the 37th annual Davis Double--204 miles, 8K ft of climbing. Rick and the product info said to take one pouch every 3 hours. I took one before the ride, and one 3 hours into it. Now, I was trained, and prepared for the ride, but not prepared for how great I felt: maybe the best day I have ever had on a bike, er, THE BIKE aka sex machine, concubine Phil "gives me a Woodie fixie. The first 6 hours flew by, I rode in 49X17=73.5 gear inches(thought I had flipped it over the night before to 73.5", oops) and was on fire. I ate almost nothing for 6 hours, and at about 6 hours (end of 2nd pouch) I did feel a dip in power and mental clarity. Call it coincidence, but I am a true believer. Visions of the Furnace Creek 508 fixie record danced in my head. (watch out Barley)

Since we each may need up to 4 pouches per day on the Big Fix, and Vespa has committed to 450 units, we may be fighting over the bug juice, in say, Missouri.
See: www.vespapower.com for testimonials, clinical trials, etc.

Welcome to the Big Fix Blog

Dear Big Fix Participants, welcome to the DAILY FIX.

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Keep on pedalling - as if you have a choice :-)

Cheers, Paul Charteris

(Big Fix 06 Webmaster)