book review

food for fitness

food for fitness by chris carmichael
putnam press (usa)

years ago, when i'd thought of becoming a super duper bike rider - mountain bike or road bike, didn't really care at the time, i bought a copy of eddie boresewicz's (don't know if that's the right spelling but it's the best i can do - don't have the book anymore) book on training for racing. ok, i wasn't going to race since there aren't any such things on islay, but i always thought it would be nice to be as fit as those who do.
all was going well until i got to the chapter on diet, after which it almost wasn't worth continuing. eddie b (as he was apparently referred to) maintained that there was no way you could be successful as a rider unless you ate red meat, and proceeded to define why this was the case. having been a vegetarian since the age of fourteen, you can understand my disappointment that the plan for world domination and at least seven tour de france victories (all won in the mountains, i hasten to add) had been torn from my grasp, but also my incomprehension. the god of scottish cycling, robert millar was a vegetarian throughout his professional cycling career and it didn't seem to do him too much harm and apparently so was sean yates, who went so far as to wear the yellow jersey and cycle like a trojan all day without ever breaking down or giving up. so was eddie b wrong?
well apparently he may have been a tad misguided, since i have just finished reading food for fitness by chris carmichael. mr carmichael knows a thing or two about training folks to be at their best on two wheels, since he is the chap who provides mr armstrong with his training plans. and lance has won only one fewer tours than i had planned on not so many years ago. chris doesn't see anything wrong with matching world domination with vegetarianism such that there is an entire section devoted to the vegetarian cyclist in his book. it appears that at least two of his senior staff members are vegetarians themselves and it is they that delve into the what to do and what not to do of meat free cycling. in fact, at the rear portion of the book there is a delectable section of recipes for the active cyclist, many of which have no meat in them.
i have no intention of reiterating the contents of the book, but if you're really interested and have a need to win eight tours de france, then buy a copy of the book. admittedly it doesn't seem to be too readily available in this country but if you try, they will probably send it to you for only a few pence more than it would cost if it were available here.
now, further to my piece in the last post (isn't there a tune called that?) it appears that we are so close to the arrival of ardbeg cycle jerseys that you can almost touch them. ardbeg have an advert in the ileach this week announcing their imminent arrival, and jackie at said distillery assures me that she has placed the order for cycling's holy grail. ok, so maybe this isn't the best time of year to be ordering short sleeve cycle jerseys, but think of the delight in your spouse's/boyfriend's/ girlfriend's eye on christmas day when they unwrap an ardbeg cycle jersey. you'll be able to get them from ardbeg distillery as soon as they're in stock and we'll have pictures on thewashingmachinepost as soon as they reach ardbeg.
my son has reached the age when he can easily remove the muddy fox from the bike shed without much help from myself, and head off into the hinterlands unfettered by care or trouser clips. at least it's something he could do if he wasn't so nervous of herds of cattle liberally strewn across most of the local trails (actually they're just muddy farm tracks, but trails sounds so much more hip, don't you think?) anyway, the way round this would be my joining him on these mythical trips into the wilderness and sand dunes that are islay. except if he's riding the muddy fox, what the heck do i pedal? there is no way on this earth that i would even think of taking either of the colnagos through off-road muck - there's enough of that on the roads at this time of year, so my only option is to invest in a new mountain bike for one of us (probably him), or is there?
a sudden influx of interest in cyclo-cross on means that i start to think of this as a possible alternative (campag have even come out with brake/gear levers suitable for flat bars should the mountain bike option prove the more practical). colnago have always had a cross option on the alu dream, but recently at the milan show, they were showing a cross verion of the c50 (a guy can dream can't he?). this would allow the luxury of a similar position to the regular colnago, 700c wheels and a refreshing antidote to the 'suspension at both ends and hydraulic discs' scenario. something to mull over - i'll let you know if it ever gets any further.
and while we are moving from subject to subject this week, something i haven't deliberately done for quite some time, if you are ever visiting islay on holiday, please do drop by the office in main street to say hello. i am constantly astounded at the number of folks throughout the world who read the post and it is very gratifying to meet some of you from time to time.

this website got its name because scotland's graeme obree built his championship winning 'old faithful' using bits from a defunct washing machine.

on a slightly different note, my regular reader will have noted the addition of a 'colnago c40' rollover to the left. this contains a reprint of a recent article featured in cycle sport magazine, which they were very kind to let me present here (because i'm a colnago geek) there are also links to cycling weekly reviews of the colnago c50 and colnago dream b-stay. i have also found an excellent review of the colnago c40hp here

i have been asked to add the following link to the post by wheelygoodcause. they're a cycling club dedicated to arranging epic rides for charity and do not charge charities for the pleasure. They ride because they want to. here's the link.

Remember, you can still read the review of 'the dancing chain' the utterly excellent book on the history of the derailleur bicycle by clicking here

any of the books reviewed on the washing machine post can probably be purchased from or

as always, if you have any comments on this nonsense, please feel free to e-mail and thanks for reading.

this column almost never appears in the dead tree version of the ileach but appears, regular as clockwork on this website every two weeks. (ok so i lied) sometimes there are bits added in between times, but it all adds to the excitement.

on a completely unrelated topic, ie nothing to do with bicycles, every aspect of the washing machine post was created on apple macintosh powerbook g4, and imac computers, using adobe golive cs and adobe photoshop cs. needless to say it is also best viewed on an apple macintosh computer.

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