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  1. #1
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    Eating during a ride.

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    Hi ,I'm attempting my first 20 mile Charity ride this summer.It advises a snack along the way to refule. What should I have ? Do I need a cereal bar for sugar boost ,an apple??? (unfortunately I hate Bananas) Advice please ! Tbh I'm struggling with the whole food regime for cyclists. Cheers

  2. #2
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    When you are training for the ride, you'll have time to see better what works for you. It depends on how long it takes you to ride the distance. I typically ride in the 13-14 mph speed range so wouldn't need a snack for a 20-mile ride so long as I'd eaten beforehand. I will take a snack for a ride for over 90 minutes. You might be fine with a sports drink in your water bottle instead of water. As a new cyclist, if it were to take you two hours to ride the 20 miles, you should stop midway for a snack. A granola bar or a couple of cookies or a "Gu" or similar gel will probably do it for a ride of that length. No need to overthink it. Rides that take all day require a more "finesse" strategy and a lot more food, but you'll be fine keeping it simple on a 20-miler.

    Best of luck with the ride and welcome!
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    To eat or even not eat on a ride is a matter of you and your physiology and diet requirements. I very rarely eat anything on a ride, even on all day ride, but my eating habits are different than most folks. I only eat two meals a day, anyway, so I'm used to going for long stretches between eating. Whatever you do choose to eat, make sure you can comfortably ride while it digests. Fruits, for instance, make me feel bloated and uncomfortable when I ride.

    Water, though, is essential for everyone, no matter how or what they eat. Don't leave home without some water.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    northern Virginia
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    +1 on previous responses.

    I think in terms of time more than miles -- at my typical average speed, how long will the ride last and how much time between rest stops. I generally plan for 1 water bottle per hour (more on very hot days, less in the winter) and usually have two bottles on my bike -- one with plain water and one with Gatorade or bottled iced tea with sugar so I have some variety.

    For food, I usually stop for a snack for rides lasting more than an hour. For rides that are 2 hours or so, I will just have a cereal bar or fig bar, 100-200 calories. For longer rides I have a variety of snacks with me, including Gu, Jelly Belly sports beans, cereal or fig bars, crackers, and/or Honey Stinger waffles, and will eat 200-400 calories each time I stop, which is usually every 60-90 minutes. The common denominator is that everything is easy for me to digest, mostly carbs (since fat and protein take longer to digest) and not super sweet. This is what works for my palate and stomach. If I have a sandwich, it will be just jelly on bread or a tomato sandwich. A little fresh fruit is also nice, especially grapes. (And peaches if you're in ever in the Frederick MD-Gettysburg PA area in early September. Best fruit I have ever had. )

    I have friends who bring pb&j sandwiches on every ride and that's all they eat. I've seen other friends stop mid-ride and eat egg sandwiches, pulled pork, cheesesteaks, all sorts of things that for me would be too heavy.

    It mostly comes down to trial and error while you do your training rides to prepare for the event, figuring out what works for you. Also experiment with what you have for breakfast before the ride, and pay attention to what you eat on the days leading up to the event. I've learned the hard way to avoid big heavy meals the night before a big bike ride, and to stick with foods that I know won't be a problem for my somewhat-delicate digestive system.

    Good luck!!!!

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
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    Quote Originally Posted by Biking Muma View Post
    Hi ,I'm attempting my first 20 mile Charity ride this summer.It advises a snack along the way to refule. What should I have ? Do I need a cereal bar for sugar boost ,an apple??? (unfortunately I hate Bananas) Advice please ! Tbh I'm struggling with the whole food regime for cyclists. Cheers
    Congratulations on your first organized ride. This is really something you will find out while training for the event. Everyone has different pre/during/post ride preferences. Disclosure: the following is just me, YMMV;

    Pre-I often skip breakfast. I know that's not good. I NEVER skip coffee if I can possibly help it. But if I'm doing a long ride, and for me that'd be 40 - 60+ miles I like oatmeal or even an oatmeal scone if in a rush. Oatmeal keeps me feeling full and fueled longer with no upward tummy issues. Moat important for me is nothing sweet before I ride.

    During-On longer rides I'll have water bottles in both cages. One's plain ol' ordinary H2O, the other might be a sports drink. Anywhere from 15 - 30 minutes in I'll start slugging water and mostly while riding. It's a skill you'll want to get eventually. If you can't drink and drive yet, don't worry. Grab a sip at stops, even a traffic light. I can sometimes tell especially if it's hot I start to slow down when I get dehydrated.

    During longer rides: You're on a 20 mile so you might not have rest stops. Rest stops are often 20-30 miles apart. But as you get into the sport you'll want to master rest stop planning so you can eat and get back on the road. Again, this is just me but what I do is this:

    * Park the bike. Remember where you put it. I don't like to be at the outside of an organized ride but somewhere closer to the middle. Bike thefts are extremely rare on an organized ride they sometime do happen in a grab and go style. I lock my bike. Noooooooo, I don't bring a bike lock but I'll attach my gloves on both front and rear wheels just looping the velcro wrist strap through a spoke, and do the same with my helmet. Sometimes I'll pop it in a slightly higher gear than I'd like. I just want to make things difficult for you if you want my bike.

    But if you see me on a ride don't let me forget these things are there or I'll fall over as I leave

    * Switch the water bottles; remember I've taken slugs of the front bottle, now the rear bottle goes forward, front bottle goes with me. Depending on heat I will be drinking as I go through the stop.

    * Food! You're just going to have to learn what works best for you. Are you going to need a snack before the next rest stop? Put it in the back pocket of your jersey. Fill the now empty water bottle.

    * Crew: Always always always thank the volunteers.

    *Porta potty: Need I say more.

    Now for you, this routine I'd use for the 2nd, 3rd and beyond rest stop might be what you'll do at ride end for this. Except your food needs are different at the end of a ride and it's mostly more leisurely. You're not trying to get back on the road before the sweep car as I often am . The longer the ride and the more often you do endurance events the more important this is.

    After a long event our bodies are primed to refuel. To avoid a feeling of tiredness or soreness I find I want some protein right away. Chocolate milk is an excellent. As you train, perhaps doing longer and longer rides, you'll want to see what food work best for you after a long ride.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by north woods gal View Post
    To eat or even not eat on a ride is a matter of you and your physiology and diet requirements. I very rarely eat anything on a ride, even on all day ride, but my eating habits are different than most folks. I only eat two meals a day, anyway, so I'm used to going for long stretches between eating. Whatever you do choose to eat, make sure you can comfortably ride while it digests. Fruits, for instance, make me feel bloated and uncomfortable when I ride.

    Water, though, is essential for everyone, no matter how or what they eat. Don't leave home without some water.
    Definitely! I eat breakfast (cereal and coffee) before most of our rides, so start out well-hydrated. As a result, one large-size water bottle is plenty for me on even my 35-mile rides.

    I could never ride all day without eating and don't recommend it. I have a very fast metabolism and will start feeling hungry two hours into a ride, if not sooner. It's best to eat a little before you feel hungry! I stop about 90 minutes in for a light snack, typically a granola bar or cookie of some sort (soft, since I have braces on my teeth right now). Usually ~100 calories will do it, since I only have an hour to go at this point in my ride.

    I've recently discovered the joys of potatoes as bike fuel. I wouldn't bother with something like this on an organized ride, but I get tired of sweets riding 4 times a week. I buy smallish redskin potatoes, cook them until soft in the microwave. Once cool, I roughly chop them and mix with a small bit of oil (coconut or olive), salt, pepper, and a bit of mustard. I make enough in a batch to use for several rides (storing them in the fridge, of course). I take a small Tupperware container of these in my bike bag, along with a plastic fork. They warm up a bit during my ride, so by the time I eat them, they are room temp and taste so good. Provide a lot of immediately available carbs, a little fat, and a little salt. I think they are the perfect cycling snack, other than they take a little bit more storage on the bike, and a fork. I could eat them with my fingers in a pinch, of course!

    YUM.
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Another reason I believe we were separated at birth.
    I had already decided to try this on my long rides this year.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
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    I have seen boiled potatoes served at the rest stops of some century rides in recent years. But not chopped -- served whole, wrapped in foil. I haven't tried them, though.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ny biker View Post
    I have seen boiled potatoes served at the rest stops of some century rides in recent years. But not chopped -- served whole, wrapped in foil. I haven't tried them, though.
    That would work too -- except not for me in braces, too hard to bite into big things like that. I have to cut everything up. Plus I like being able to have a few seasonings mixed in. Not a lot, but just enough to give them some more flavor.
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crankin View Post
    Another reason I believe we were separated at birth.
    I had already decided to try this on my long rides this year.
    LOL! I can't really take credit. I read about it on a bike blog and thought "yum!" I get so tired of sweets on rides that this is a perfect solution for me. You'll have to let me know what you think!
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Concord, MA
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    I will. I have read about it, too. I usually only eat sweet potatoes, but I think I will use red potatoes or Yukon Golds for this.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura

 

 

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