Our Head of Research and Development, Dr. Tim Podlogar, is not your usual lab guy - when he's not delving deep into the scientific aspects of sports nutrition, he's testing this stuff on the field.
Normal people see a sunny Saturday ahead and plan a nice trip outside on their bike. Maybe, if they feel their energy crackling on that fine morning, they might get some elevation in.
Tim doesn't need any special motivation to get on his bike, and if there's no elevation, it's just too boring. Vršič Pass, a 11.6 kilometer climb with 802 meters of elevation from the northern side and 8.8 kilometer and 808 meters of elevation gain from the southern side, is exactly the thing he needs to get his blood flowing.
And it wasn't even a Saturday, it was Wednesday.
And he did it six times straight. Three times from each side.
Tim goes outside
What Tim loves most is getting those elevation kilometers pumping under a warm sunny sky.
Unfortunately, he spends most of his days riding his bike inside a lab, pushing his body to the limit to merge science with nutrition and help produce the athlete of the future.
Plugged into a computer, pedaling like a mad scientist that he is, Tim looks at a note stuck to a nearby wall. Written by his coach, a mysterious man seldom seen, it says, "Do a ride with at least 3,000 meters of elevation gain!".
"What a great idea," Tim thinks, "I think I'll do just that."
He unplugs from the computer, glances at the sunny sky, grabs his road bike and off he goes to Kranjska Gora where Vršič Pass lies straight ahead.
A mountain and a snowman
A little girl looks outside the rear window of her daddy's BMW as they ascend the serpentine road of the Vršič Pass. A figure flashes by, could it be a snowman?
There were no snowmen on Vršič that day, but there was Tim, leaving bikes, and cars, and road behind, and there was plenty of snow on that road, unexpectedly tossed down by the mischievous skies the night before.
"Snow in May?", thinks Tim, and looks at his silly shorts and puny road bike. He laughs. "Things just got a little more interesting."
Days after the event, the few people who witnessed it were telling everybody about a crazy man pushing his road bike over ice and snow at the top of the Vršič Pass, laughing maniacally as he was squeezing at his energy gel.
Ten Nrgy Units
It took Tim 8 hours and 5 minutes to cover 144 km of distance and 5,800 m of elevation on his road bike.
It also took him 10 Nrgy Units (a combination of Nrgy Unit Gels and Nrgy Unit Drinks). Those of sharp mind and eager math skills quickly see Tim consumed 1.25 Nrgy Unit per hour, which is obviously not enough for such a beastly feat.
"I could have planned hits better," muses Tim as he descends Vršič Pass for the final time, feeling powerful and wondering why his fueling has actually worked out.
"Could it be that I have become too powerful?"
A question he was left to ponder.
DISCLAIMER: Kids, don't try this at home. Tim is a trained professional who regularly pushes his body to the limit. Also, he has a secret weapon and is not adverse to use it - gummy bears!
You can check Tim's ride at Strava.