It’s the Engine, Stupid


I was SO STOKED to get out on Ben Friberg’s board – you know, the one that ferried him safely from Cuba to Key West this summer?  I’d fiddled around on one 14′ prior but was stoked to get out on the last leg of the Chattajack course for a spin.  It was going to be GREAT.  I would FLY.  It would be the BEST. PADDLE. EVER.

Well.  The board was great.  Great glide, super stable, handled wakes no problem and bumped along nicely in a bit of a downwind as we worked northish on the river.  Fennel and I passed Hal and Bethany, coming downriver from their long training day.  We should have noted their comments about the wind we’d have to turn back into.  On we pressed, me in a pretty good mood, and enjoying the new snacks I’d brought from Whole Foods in lieu of my standby Hammer Nutrition faves, you know, just to try them out.


At the turnaround at about 5 miles, I felt a little “off” but turned around and pressed on until the big left turn back across the algae beds.  Then the wind hit.  I felt bonked.  I felt tired.  I knew I was needing more nutrition, so tried to eat a few of the (seemingly logical) squares of fuel I’d brought.  Mrffffff, I thought.  I sipped my Fizz, and hoped for the best.  I kept losing ground, and finally had to pull over and try to eat.  By then, it had all gone to $#!% and even Fennel’s offer of Nutella left me feeling like I might yak.  I think I managed to get literally two bites of coconut in, and we pressed on the last mile home.

So, kids.  It ain’t having a fancy car.  If you have a small engine and pour crap in it, it’s not going to be the best day ever.  But I survived and loved the ride anyway, and recovered well with a big ole burger at the Terminal.

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