Barely broke a sweat cycling 20km uphill aged 82

Location Cute bunkbeds in sleeper train across France | Mood Utter exhaustion | Date 20 May 2006
Author (full name): 
Franny Armstrong
Cute bunkbeds in sleeper train across France
Utter exhaustion
Cabin mates snoring
Sore stomach muscles from bike filming
20 May 2006
Current crisis: 
Destroyed another camera
Current silver lining: 
Exceptionally witty - but too rude to reproduce here - text from The Boy

Second of two consecutive nights in two consecutive weeks in French train bunk beds.

As Fernand dropped us at the station last weekend, he casually mentioned he was going on a big anti-truck cycle protest this weekend. 300 hardy Chamonix-ers cycling, Critical Mass style, along the huge motorway that cuts through the valley. Couldn't resist coming back to film it, as it's so perfect for the some-hope-remains theme.

Lizzie is such a Kiwi sometimes. Even after she'd cycled getting on for 15km, uphill, in absolutely torrential rain (this is becoming a theme), with me filming from the back of her bike shouting instructions, "go right next to Fernand, overtake and turn, slow down and let him go by", she still insisted on finishing the whole 20 kilometres with the rest of the protestors. I sat in the support van trying to resuscitate our camera, which had not taken well to the downpour. I failed.

Fernand had prepared a lovely lunch for us after - French bread, cheese, wine, salad, pasta and sausage for him & Lizzie - but I still can't eat. Three weeks' crash diet in Nigeria followed immediately by meeting The Boy, has resulted in me almost completely stopping eating. But what I don't understand is how that can coincide with stuffed-face-with-sweets hyperactive energy supplies. Running up stairs, cycling everywhere, hands and feet drumming non-stop, walking miles at night through London. Can't even sit through a movie - only lasted 15 minutes. Like today, where I would normally have climbed onto a bollard at the side of the road to get a shot of the cyclists, I had to take a running jump (mis-timed it and fell on my face, but that's beside the point).

But presumably adrenalin can only get you so far and there comes a point where you can't dance around the front room to one more sappy love song till you've eaten three Mars bars, I mean fairly-traded carob snacks?

Maybe I should ask Fernand, who barely broke a sweat cycling 20km uphill aged 82.

So my question is: if you don't eat, where does the energy come from?? Is their some work+love formula that can defy the laws of physics thereby solving the world's energy crisis?? Might we have stumbled across the solution to peak oil here?