December 24th, 2013
- 3 mature touring cyclists (choose cuts with 2+ years on the road for a lower fat version)
- 5kg of mixed food per cyclist (opt for quantity over quality, use pasta and porridge as a base)
- As much Argentine red wine as you can carry
- Copious quantities of coffee (if desperate, even the terrible Argentine stuff will suffice)
- One national park with a view and free camping (Parque Leoncito recommended)
- Two observatories for star gazing
- To decorate, a sprinkling of Christmas cheer
In preparation, pre-heat your grill to “Northern Argentine desert” setting. Once at 40 degrees, take your cyclists and grill slowly but continuously for two months, rotating occasionally to ensure even sunburn. Keep them mildly dehydrated, and marinate in sweat and factor 60 sun cream at least twice a day. Maintain a safe distance from showers or other washing facilities at all times.
A couple of days before Christmas, fill cyclists’ panniers with food and drink until expletives begin to flow continuously. Pedal mixture vigorously to your chosen camp spot, ideally into a vicious headwind. Pour mixed food into cyclists and allow them to rest in the shade until stomachs begin to rise slightly, and ribs become less pronounced. At this point, feed again, and continue this routine for the following 3 days. It may seem obscene, but for best results at least every 30 minutes is recommended.
When necessary, loosen mixture from time to time with a little coffee (especially early mornings) and red wine (afternoon and evenings). On at least one occasion, try to douse your cyclists thoroughly in water with a little added soap. They will complain, but can often be lured into water with leftover scraps. Throughout, keep your cyclists covered under a blanket of cloud. Then, on the evening before serving, remove clouds and bathe your cyclists in perfect starlight.
Finally, your stuffed cyclists are ready to be served – top with a healthy sprinkling of Christmas cheer. However, by this point, I guarantee you will be so repulsed by their smell and habits that the prospect of actually presenting them to your guests will be appalling. It’s probably best just to let them and their strange ways be. Release your cyclists back into the wild for another year – and next Christmas, I’d recommend you just stick to the turkey.