Column | Three weeks of gelling in the Giro: feel sorry for the bus drivers!

When I have a multi-day cycling trip myself, I often try the favorite food of professional cyclists: gels. Unlike many people, I find that portion of energy in the form of gelatinous muck with a chemical taste quite acceptable – when I write it down like that I find it miraculous myself, but I squeeze it in like this.

What it does to my body once it’s squeezed in there is a whole other story. In the short term I can feel my energy level rise again after a few minutes to a level where that magic potion from Asterix & Obelix can still suck a bit. Especially when they’ve also added a little caffeine, I’m unstoppable – for a while.

But unfortunately there is also a long-term effect. Just as there is a downside to the fun you have with alcohol, the same is true with gels. And it’s actually kind of similar. Not that one day after a gel like a dishcloth I lie on the couch in a fetal position with self-pity all day, but gels, just like booze, do make you completely rotten inside.

Nuclear disaster

At least, that’s my experience after a few days of cycling – and then I only take two gels a day at the most. The effect on my intestinal flora is such that I have sometimes worried whether my body, after Chernobyl, could not cause a second major nuclear disaster in Europe.

If those thoughts come to my mind after a few days of cycling on two gels at the most, what on earth must it be like in a team bus full of cyclists who live on that stuff for about three weeks? Not good, I think.

And that’s an understatement. I can imagine that the stench in the team bus is unbearable with eight gel samples on board. No air freshener with a pine scent can compete with that.

With the air conditioning at 100 you can get rid of the sweat smell (or more the rain smell this Giro ..) from immediately after the stage when the riders are showered, but such a shower does not clean you from the inside, to put it euphemistically. to press. In other words: poor, poor bus drivers!

Image: Cor Vos

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