Emergency rations

Mercx and spaghetti

I tore at the packaging, numb fingers failing then teeth employed. A nick. An edge. An opening. Shadow bathed the firm contents. A whiff of sugar. The release of trapped odour. Mouth salivating. Snapping the packet away from clenched teeth ripped the top like a tornado through a prefab. Greedily, the biscuits were consumed – one finger, two finger, gone. The effect was immediate. Sugar rushed through veins and my head stopped spinning.  With no more than 200 kcal passing my lips it was a get out of jail card; the equivalent of carrying a gallon of diesel in the boot; just enough to limp back.

Well that’ll teach me. I know this area intimately and was a little complacent about current endurance levels (or at least my ability to operate full tilt  on toast and honey).  The ride was a good pace for just over 3 hours, but neglecting food intake resulted in light headedness and tucking into emergency supplies (courtesy of Arriva Trains Wales). If you want to maximise your time on the trails – unlike me – remember to pack something calorific in your camelbak.

Machen mountain is one of several excellent mountain bike routes easily accessible from Cardiff, Caerphilly or Newport (and one of my favourites). Take a sarnie ‘cos no-one is going to hand you a musette. Below – manna from heaven.


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