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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 03-11-09, 03:15 PM   #1
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What food(s) do you travel with on longer rides?

Last year I began riding again. I’m 52 years old, and I had a great year. Between commuting and fun riding I covered about 100 miles a week between June and November.

I’m going to step it up this year. I’m planning to ride about 500 to 600 miles/month and do a few century rides starting in April. My normal pattern of riding includes a 40 mile solo ride in 2.75 hours every very second or third day.

I eat a balanced diet, mostly prepared from scratch. I am feeling weak, tired and sometimes dizzy for 90 minutes after I ride. My doctor checked me out: he suggested that I drink plenty of electrolyte replenishing sports drinks and that low blood pressure was causing the dizzyness. Last year I went from 245 lbs to 220 and kept it at 220 this winter. I would like to lose 30 lbs this year.

I'm considering having a healthy snack during my longer rides.

What food(s) do you travel with on longer rides?

Michael
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Old 03-11-09, 03:24 PM   #2
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i like clif bars and fig newtons, i prefer to get my calories from drink though perpetuem or sustained energy mixed 2 servings of gel.
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Old 03-11-09, 03:30 PM   #3
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On long rides (100k - 200k) I'll bring a couple Clif Bars, a couple gels, a half salami and cheese sandwich (whole one for a 200k) and maybe I'll stop to buy a candy bar. I also bring a couple refill baggies of Accelerade powder for my water bottles.

Anything that works out to around 250 - 300 cal/hr if I'm going to be on the bike for more than 5 hours. I used to be strictly a bars and gels guy, but getting into randonneuring has opened my eyes to the fact that if you ride for long enough, you can just start shoveling anything in for fuel; chips, salami sandwiches, cheese danish, soda, candy bars... after 12 hours of turning the pedals, your body doesn't care what it is anymore as long as there's some carbs, fat and salt.
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Old 03-11-09, 03:32 PM   #4
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Bananas are the ultimate non-processed energy food. Clif bars are also good.

However, I usually try to choose a route that has ice-cream shops and bars along the way.
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Old 03-11-09, 03:33 PM   #5
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I usually just bring a Nature Valley granola bar with me on a ride over 40 miles. People that I ride with who are far more educated than I am about such things eat more often and generally are consuming fancier things. So far I haven't had any problems, so I'll probably just stick with the granola bar and water until proven otherwise.
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Old 03-11-09, 05:17 PM   #6
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Are you dizzy after the 40 mile ride?

I carry a clif bar and sometimes fig newtons. Usually I drink a lot of water before I go on my 40 mile ride, and then I drink more fluids during the ride. Are you sure you are just not dehydrated. 40 miles isn't a ton of calorie loss.
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Old 03-11-09, 05:28 PM   #7
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Depending on my mood (and availability in the fridge) I take a combo of one or two of the following...
peanuts
bananas
tangelos
baby carrots
cherry tomatos
cliff bars
various protien bars and/or gels or blocks from the bike shop
**new fav: stinger protien bar
and i'm liking those enlyten electrolite replenishment strip thingys. means i can just take water

looking at this list, i'm not sure it's any help to you.

OP: You can take a look at this article. It might help you: http://www.active.com/cycling/Articl...r_cyclists.htm

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Old 03-11-09, 05:29 PM   #8
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50 mile rides, nothing. On 60 ish rides, a Clifbar and some gatorade powder mix. On a strenuous century like 10,000 ft, they serve a turkey sandwich at the 50 mile reststop. Man, that is the best turkey sandwich I've ever had! Really seems to work wonders eating something solid at mile 60 of a century.

I eat a good breakfast and bring along a bar on our usual 40-60 mile rides but find I can't eat it. IF anything, Gina and I will share one bar and a bottle of G-ade.
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Old 03-11-09, 05:36 PM   #9
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Are you dizzy after the 40 mile ride?
Yeah, my doctor discussed that my typically low blood pressure drops further if I stand quickly after exersize. Its temporary, with no risk of fainting.

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Old 03-11-09, 05:39 PM   #10
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I ususally have a 140 calorie South Beach Bar for a 2 - 3 hour ride. I usually go have Subway or some other lunch after the ride.

For a 100 mile ride...I would have a few south beach bars...or maybe a couple of fig newton at each rest stop or more...


I am tyring to lose wieht - so I don't want to consume too many calories as I ride, but I wanted to be able to ride well - and last the whole ride. I use part G2 (low cal Gatprade) and water in my water bottles.
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Old 03-11-09, 05:44 PM   #11
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If you ride more than a couple hours, you need more than you can get from Gatorade: sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, others(?). It will help if you choose foods rich in them, like: almonds, potatoes (especially with skins on), bananas, beef jerky, pretzels. Of course you can add supplement tabs, too.

200-300 calories is the target every hour. Your body can only process so much at a time(I got wicked heartburn on one of my early brevets), but you'll konk out if you don't keep putting in calories.

I got some good answers from the rando gurus in this thread on the long distance forum. I put it to good use on a 250 mile ride last Sat. If you eat and drink just right, you can ride about as long as you can stay awake.
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Old 03-11-09, 06:12 PM   #12
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I make oatmeal-dried cherry-coconut-walnut cookies. I keep 'em in the freezer so I don't have to make a batch every week. I also keep some of the sports gels around because they don't go bad and I suspect they are a little easier to digest. So I switch off between them. I've been just working on my climbing recently, so it's been more gels than cookies.

But, very often, cookies. I resent paying all that money for sports bars or even granola bars.

At least the way I ride, I'll get sick if I eat anything close to the number of calories I'm burning. So I don't worry about consuming too many calories while I ride.

I'm still working on my electrolyte intake. I hate sports drinks. I found some gels that contain a fair amount of electrolytes. I may go all of the way down to some of the electrolyte pills. I'm going to be experimenting when the summer comes and I can no longer cool off by removing items of clothing.
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Old 03-11-09, 06:19 PM   #13
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For longer rides I use a 3 part strategy. Eat something with good energy (like peanut butter on whole wheat with a banana) and get well hydrated before I leave. Drink water regularly along the ride and have a granola bar and Gatorade mid-way through the ride. Then eat and drink well after the ride. If I leave one of these out I feel it.
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Old 03-11-09, 06:30 PM   #14
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I carry Cliff Bars Glucerna bars rasins and will add a piece a fruit now and then and I carry V8 juice and lots a water one a my water bottles is 50% water 50% vitamin water . But remember I was diabetic stil borderline even after a weight loss of 120+ lbs . Always drink befor your thirsty and eat befor your hungry .

Until I got my diet right I had a diabetic crash almost every ride the first month or so . I t a work out . REMEMBER to drink a LOT if its hot out .
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Old 03-11-09, 08:06 PM   #15
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When riding a century, I consume a gel pack (Cliff moca or choc) every hour, like clock-work. I also stop to eat something after 50-60 miles, usually a small plate of pasta or a veggie sandwich.

In an effort to lose some poundage, I tried something different on my most recnt century, this past Saturday. I took some figs and dates along, as well as an apple and pear. Alternated between those and the gels every hour, but by the 50-60 mile mark, I was starving so I bought a box of Fig Newtons. Also, ended up really hungry again at the 80-90 mile mark and bought a Rueben Sandwich -- needless to say, I did not lose any weight that day.

BTW: When I eat Pasta at the half-way point, I am usually not hungry for the rest of the way.
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Old 03-11-09, 08:24 PM   #16
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When your body is not use to it even 5 miles can bonk you !!!
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Old 03-11-09, 09:03 PM   #17
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Last year I began riding again. I’m 52 years old, and I had a great year. Between commuting and fun riding I covered about 100 miles a week between June and November.

I’m going to step it up this year. I’m planning to ride about 500 to 600 miles/month and do a few century rides starting in April. My normal pattern of riding includes a 40 mile solo ride in 2.75 hours every very second or third day.

I eat a balanced diet, mostly prepared from scratch. I am feeling weak, tired and sometimes dizzy for 90 minutes after I ride. My doctor checked me out: he suggested that I drink plenty of electrolyte replenishing sports drinks and that low blood pressure was causing the dizzyness. Last year I went from 245 lbs to 220 and kept it at 220 this winter. I would like to lose 30 lbs this year.

I'm considering having a healthy snack during my longer rides.

What food(s) do you travel with on longer rides?

Michael
If you have been on winter hiatus, take it easy the first few weeks, lots of folks see nice weather and think that last fall they could do a 200 mile day, and don't realize that the body will rebel to that. As one gets older (I'm 48 in June), this process gets slower, you might consider buying a trainer for next winter, so you don't lose as much conditioning, even if you cut back quite a bit, you can still keep going.

As for food, I like GORP, after riding for a while, I like to stop and smell the roses, have a handful of GORP, some water, maybe take a few pix, then get back on and going again.

Last edited by Wogster; 03-11-09 at 09:04 PM. Reason: Forgot the food bit
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Old 03-11-09, 09:07 PM   #18
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Homemade trail mix bars are tasty. I found a recipe in a Momentum cycling magazine last summer and I tweaked the recipe a bit and made some tasty bars. I store them in the freezer and would grab them before going out on long rides. It was cheaper than buying store brand bars and tastier since I only used ingredients I liked (dried apricot, ick).

On shorter rides I just take water and stop at a coffee shop for an iced coffee.
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Old 03-11-09, 09:12 PM   #19
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I make oatmeal-dried cherry-coconut-walnut cookies.
You're so right Wirehead! I forgot to mention that I never leave home without having had a bowl of oatmeal. I heard that bananas and oatmeal are the perfect cycling foods (for those of us who can't stomach spagetti or pizza before a ride.)
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Old 03-11-09, 09:19 PM   #20
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Clif bars and gels mostly. Though I'm planning a solo century for Sunday and I'll probably take along a big sandwich. Eat half at 40 and the rest at 60. I'll also bring along a pair each of clif bars and gels.
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Old 03-11-09, 11:30 PM   #21
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Bananas, apples, a granola mix with a few extra non-sweetened dried fruits and raw nuts thrown in. Lots of water.
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Old 03-12-09, 07:47 AM   #22
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Last year I began riding again. Iím 52 years old, and I had a great year. Between commuting and fun riding I covered about 100 miles a week between June and November.

Iím going to step it up this year. Iím planning to ride about 500 to 600 miles/month and do a few century rides starting in April. My normal pattern of riding includes a 40 mile solo ride in 2.75 hours every very second or third day.

I eat a balanced diet, mostly prepared from scratch. I am feeling weak, tired and sometimes dizzy for 90 minutes after I ride. My doctor checked me out: he suggested that I drink plenty of electrolyte replenishing sports drinks and that low blood pressure was causing the dizzyness. Last year I went from 245 lbs to 220 and kept it at 220 this winter. I would like to lose 30 lbs this year.

I'm considering having a healthy snack during my longer rides.

What food(s) do you travel with on longer rides?

Michael
Cliff Bars are great and a great way to empty your wallet. At a cost of around $1 to $1.5 a bar, they are very expensive, especially if you are going to need a lot of them. A cheaper...and just as good...alternative is commercially available granola bars. A box of 6 will cost you around $3 and you can usually find them for cheaper than that. The Quaker Chewy bars are good and they have a new line that has different flavors. Breakfast bars, fruit bars, etc are also good. I've used Fig Newtons in the past but those can get pretty crumbly and aren't packaged individually. Less convenient.

Whatever else you eat is up to the individual. I can't eat foods with high fat contents...it just makes a brick in my stomach that makes me ill. I stick with fairly small portions - which is why the granola bars are good (100 calories vs 280 for the Cliff)- and just eat a bit more often. Some people can tolerate more, some less.

For sports drink, Gatorade works. I find I have to dilute it at the beginning of the ride or it tastes like syrup by the middle of the ride.

Gels: Ugh! They are like taking shots of corn syrup or icing during a ride Eww!

Experiment during your training rides with different food items until you find what works for you. However, as you get closer to the event, reduce your experimentation and settle on something that works. The day of the ride do not make any major changes! Don't think you are riding and can drop a dozen donuts! Don't think that you are riding and can do 6 molten candy bars from Starbucks! Don't down down a tasty steaming bowl of New England clam chowder at the lunch stop!

Stick with your routine. Save the barbecue for after the ride
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Old 03-12-09, 08:03 AM   #23
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I stick with fairly small portions - which is why the granola bars are good (100 calories vs 280 for the Cliff)- and just eat a bit more often.
I agree with the small portions part, I usually will break up the clif bar into four pieces and slowly chew it up to tiny pieces. I can't stand the feeling of a full stomache while on the bike.

Nothing like that post ride BBQ though.
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Old 03-12-09, 10:13 AM   #24
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Long rides are one of the only times that I eat salty and crunchy carb-filled foods these days. I can down a whole family-sized container of stuff like whole wheat crackers, corn chips, sweet-potato chips...well just "chips", just munching here-and-there if I don't pay attention.

But those foods are perfect for long rides. They are also very easy on my stomach. Which is important when I'm 2+ hours away from home on a bicycle. I prefer whole-wheat crackers or other items that don't crumble or fall apart too easily. Stuff like wheat-thins, triscuits, shredded wheat cereal biscuits, different flavors of pita chips, etc. Regular potato and corn ships crumble apart too easily to eat while you are riding, but work fine if you are going to stop. I also like dried fruits like apricots, banana chips, pears, mango, papaya, etc. Raisins are okay, but I drop a lot of them on the road, getting them from the baggie in my jersey to my mouth. Bite-sized and non-crumbly items are best.

Wheat crackers and chips also pack a lot of calories into a small area. Some of the calories are digested rather quickly and up your blood glucose almost immediately (powdery pure starches and sugars), while the more complex "wheaty" components take longer to digest and continue to provide energy over a half-hour or so. They are also very high in potassium and salt, which are good for replenishing some of the nutrients that you sweat out. I can actually get by on fewer calories with stuff like this, than I do with things like energy bars and sports drinks.

Salty nuts are also good on really hot days with lots of climbing. Not too many, though, maybe 150 calories of nuts for the whole ride. Too much fat upsets my stomach during a hard workout.

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Old 03-12-09, 10:57 AM   #25
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I agree with the small portions part, I usually will break up the clif bar into four pieces and slowly chew it up to tiny pieces. I can't stand the feeling of a full stomache while on the bike.

Nothing like that post ride BBQ though.
That's pretty much my strategy, too...half a Clif every forty five minutes or hour will carry me through rides up to fifty or sixty miles. Beyond that I need food. I like to put peanut butter on a hot dog roll and put in a banana like it was the dog. Sometimes throw a handful of raisins or drip some honey in there too. You just don't want that in a jersey pocket, though
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