Five Boro NYC Bike Ride Fueled by Kale.

Last Sunday, I rode in the TD Five Boro Ride by BikeNYC. Through streets free of cars and over five bridges with a total of 32,000 riders, we covered 40 miles.

IMG_2084What a great ride! It was a beautiful sunny crisp NYC day. I had the crazy idea to do the entire 40-mile ride fuel only by Kale. It was a vaguely Peter Attia, MD (doctor/NuSi/extreme athlete/blogger) inspired self-experiment: Does kale have enough water and nutrients to fuel my aging, undertrained body to every NYC borough on a bike – Manhattan, The Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island? Riding my steady old, one speed bike, I consumed nothing but raw kale after my cup of coffee and the ¼ bagel with cream cheese my 2-year old daughter insisted I eat. I left our apartment at 8 am and rode seven miles south towards the starting line, the new One World Trade Tower gleaming in the distance. I was riding solo today and pondered that my bouquet of kale was perhaps a blessing of sorts. In all the boroughs and around the US, Kale is in the ground or will be soon…may it grow well this year.

I tried the kale on the ride down to the start and wondered if this was nuts. Is there enough fuel in the kale? Enough hydration? The race begins downtown in TriBeca and we were off with a stop and go Sprint up Sixth Ave followed by a sunny ride through Central Park.

The kale was great. I wasn’t thirsty or hungry the entire trip. I rode pretty hard. The BQE was post-apocolyptic. I got to Staten Island around 1pm and the cold ocean wind and long hill up to the peak of the bridge was tough. I was out of kale and hungry, but I wasn’t dying to eat.

There was only one rider I really wanted to beat – the NesQuik Bunny who was riding, I assume, fueled only by low-fat chocolate sugary milk. I saw him pull off at mile 9 and yelled “Hey Bunny! Eat More Kale!” Riding a bike in the street yelling at a guy in a bunny suit ….I decided to hunker down and focus on the ride.

We wound through so many amazingly varied NYC communities – thanks to everyone who came out and cheered. To all the bands – Singers in Harlem, Rockers Queens, Drummers in BK and Bx, crazy circus band on Staten Island (and the two guys who hooked up speakers to their bikes and DJ’d the ride), thanks and you are awesome.

IMG_2049The Results:

Ride was completed without thirst or hunger eating only kale (about 6 -8 leaves)

My mouth was never dry.

The kale provided a nice slow chew of hydration adding a meditative quality my ride.

Interesting variations in sweetness between the leaves.

Late in the ride I felt a little full, nothing uncomfortable.

Certainy believing I could do this fueled by kale helped i.e. I wouldn’t try this unless you really like kale.

Drew Ramsey, MD

Drew Ramsey, M.D. is a psychiatrist, author, and farmer. He is a clear voice in the mental health conversation and one of psychiatry’s leading proponents of using nutritional interventions. He is an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

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