I love cheese burgers, I always have. Since early childhood they have hands down been my favorite food. I mean growing up Jersey you learn to have respect for a good pizza, but I was a cheeseburger kid. I love them in all of their numerous ways to be prepared. My absolute favorite I discovered while living in Ithaca, New York involves the addition of a fried egg to the otherwise standard preparation, I often ate these late at night in this awesome little twenty-four hour diner with a side of cheese fries and gravy, and cup after cup after cup of coffee. Delicious, fattening, and hedonistic that’s the way I like them. It’s not always convenient to get ’em that way though, which is probably for the best.
If it’s convenience you want then you, my friend, are going to have to look towards the fast food distribution centers that line every street corner in America and most other parts of the developed. These corporate swill shacks are more than happy to offer with, little exception, the most hollowed out, cut-rate cheeseburger experience available. It’s like eating a cow that’s had all the serial numbers filed off. Shame and disappointment on a bun and served to you wrapped in printed wax paper.
When I first started taking my commuter ride seriously, I noticed that as soon as I would get off the bike I would be starving; well, to be honest the first few times I was too nauseous to eat but that’s because I was doing it wrong, but that isn’t part of this story. Close to the restaurant that I work in there’s a burger mill just a couple of blocks down; my hunger immediately latched on to this fact and I started wandering that way. For some reason I can’t figure out I decide to walk past the crap factory and go to the corner store and get a banana instead; I tell myself that I’ll earn a cheeseburger when I ride eight miles without stopping.
An arbitrary number, eight miles. I didn’t think anymore of it until I finally made my eight miles as the return trip portion of a fifteen and a half mile ride my wife I took a couple of days later to go get coffee and a biscotti. It was a fun, relaxed, morning outing; she had just gotten her new bike and we decided to give it a decent airing. When we got back to the house it was almost lunchtime; before I put the bike up I glanced at my tracking app and it said that for the eight miles I had burned about 380 calories
I don’t know if your aware of this but, as it turns out, that fast food cheeseburgers your thinking about right now probably falls between 280 and 420 depending on where you go, and that’s not the limit. This is just their bare bones cheeseburger too, not one of those Cadillac style double-decker monstrosities that, by the way, you look oh so attractive trying to cram into your maw. Now lets just look at these numbers for a second; it looks like it would mean that in order to burn off the average (and average is a kind word here) cheeseburger I would need to ride my bicycle eight miles. I did the math and decided that the usual options weren’t going to cut it; I tried a little local stand that was absolutely delicious. If I added it all up I am sure that it would be just as heavy. It tasted better though, and I gave my money to a local family run business so that was cool. The whole idea just made me feel good.
Look, I am not here to tell you what to eat, if you like that puck looking thing that they hand you from the other side of the caring corporate wastelands order it; but when you taste it, do yourself a favor and ask…
Would I pedal my ass off for eight miles for this?
Maybe we should start asking how far we’d be willing ride for all of our favorite things, maybe not just food.
Just a thought.