Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 09-01-10, 09:55 AM   #1
Skandl
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Charlottesville, VA
Bikes:
Posts: 6
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Eating before a commute

Hi All,

I've been lurking for a while but this my first post.

It's been a long dream of mine to commute to work by bike, but I've always thought of it as kind of impossible. Finally tiring of making excuses and waiting to live/work in a area that makes it a no-brainer,I've decided to make the best of what I have and just give it a shot.

I've mapped out a route that keeps me off main thoroughfares sticking mostly to nice country roads. It's less direct, but not unrealistic for me (20 miles) and I'll just have to be extra cautious in some places. I think with reasonable planning I can make it work, at least this first time. Who knows, if it works out, maybe it could even be a regular thing.

Fortunately, since I live in the city, and my office is outside it, I will most likely be moving opposite most traffic anyway. And my thinking is that if I leave at a good early time, I will have less traffic to deal with, and less pressure for me to get to the office on time.

My question to you all is: what do you do about breakfast? Since I want to leave pretty early, and will take a shower once I get there, I don't see a whole lot of time in the morning for me to eat and digest a meal. Do you guys just eat afterwards, and not worry about running low on energy along the way? Do you just do something minimal?

skandl
*

Last edited by Skandl; 09-01-10 at 10:01 AM. Reason: $&$!n formatting
Skandl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-10, 09:57 AM   #2
10 Wheels
Galveston County Texas
 
10 Wheels's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: In The Wind
Bikes: 2010 Expedition, 03 GTO
Posts: 29,366
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 96 Post(s)
I eat about one before riding.
__________________
[SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI
10 Wheels is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-10, 10:04 AM   #3
sauerwald
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: San Jose, CA
Bikes: Bianchi San Remo - set up as a utility bike, Peter Mooney Road bike, Peter Mooney commute bike,Dahon Folder,Schwinn Paramount Tandem
Posts: 1,838
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skandl View Post
Hi All,


My question to you all is: what do you do about breakfast? Since I want to leave pretty early, and will take a shower once I get there, I don't see a whole lot of time in the morning for me to eat and digest a meal. Do you guys just eat afterwards, and not worry about running low on energy along the way? Do you just do something minimal?

skandl
*
I've had a variety of commutes, and have handled breakfast differently depending on the commute. I used to have a 15 mile commute (each way), over rolling hills. With that commute, I ate at work, after showering and getting dressed - usually something like instant oatmeal or a bagel which could be fixed in the small 'kitchen' that we had (coffee machine and toaster oven).

My current commute is 8 miles and flat - I usually eat at home before the commute, and don't ride hard enough to work up much of a sweat.

Try different things - see what works for you.
sauerwald is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-10, 10:09 AM   #4
Steely Dan
born again cyclist
 
Steely Dan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Chicago
Bikes: I have five of brikes
Posts: 2,017
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
i'm all about efficiency in the morning. typical routine: wake up, hop in the shower, groom, get dressed, pack up my backpack, shove two hard boiled eggs and a banana into my gut washed down with a tall glass of ice water, then hop on the bike and go. 20 minutes total elapsed time.

i usually bring an apple with me for my mid-morning snack when i get to work.

Last edited by Steely Dan; 09-01-10 at 11:21 AM.
Steely Dan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-10, 10:52 AM   #5
tjspiel
Senior Member
 
tjspiel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Minneapolis
Bikes:
Posts: 8,042
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Different people react to food right before strenuous exercise differently. Some people don't do well with much of anything in their stomach. Others are fine. I'm kind of in between. I wouldn't want a big heavy meal before a 20 mile ride but I'd want something, even if it was just an energy drink.

Before my evening group rides, I don't eat dinner. I might have a cliff bar or a banana and a gatorade.
tjspiel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-10, 10:55 AM   #6
caloso
Packfodding 3
 
caloso's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Sacramento, California, USA
Bikes: Ridley Excalibur, Gazelle Champion Mondial, On-One Pompino, Specialized Rock Hopper
Posts: 33,621
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 57 Post(s)
You may have to experiment. I've found that I do best with a small breakfast before I leave (usually cereal and coffee) and then a snack at my desk after. I'd suggest starting small and if you find that it's not enough, go bigger the next day. And pack a banana or gel to eat on the ride just in case.
caloso is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-10, 11:03 AM   #7
AdamDZ 
Bike addict, dreamer
 
AdamDZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Queens, New York
Bikes:
Posts: 5,166
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Yeah, you'll have to experiment to see what works for you. I normally eat a regular breakfast about 40-60 minutes befor riding in the morning. But I can also eat an orange, banana and a oatmeal bar and get on the bike right away, and that's enough food for a 40 min ride. Then I can eat at work.
AdamDZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-10, 11:04 AM   #8
diff
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Bikes:
Posts: 488
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I need to eat something. Anything. Can't have a 100% empty stomach.
diff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-10, 11:15 AM   #9
Absenth
Senior Member
 
Absenth's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Fishers, In
Bikes: 2010 Surly Long Haul Trucker - Blue Velvet
Posts: 306
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I live on the edge of the suburbs, and ride into the country on my way to work. I usually leave at about 6am and arrive by about 6:30 (8mile commute one way)
This morning I ate a Cliff Bar about 15-20m before I left with a couple glasses of water. Once I got to work I had a bowl of oatmeal, and some more water.

Bananas before and/or after the ride are a personal favorite of mine as well.
Absenth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-10, 11:16 AM   #10
tsl
Plays in traffic
 
tsl's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Rochester, NY
Bikes: 1996 Litespeed Classic, 2006 Trek Portland, 2013 Ribble Winter/Audax
Posts: 6,944
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15 Post(s)
I too am borderline in the mornings. I need a little something--even if its just some toast and OJ. More importantly, I need something after I arrive.

At the branch I used to work at, when I rode my 20 mile route, there was a diner a mile before work. I used to like stopping there for breakfast, and swapping lies with other guys at the counter.
tsl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-10, 11:16 AM   #11
puppypilgrim
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Bikes: Brodie Force w/ Xtracycle, Dahon Helios, Merida Folding, Pacific Carryme, Softride Classic
Posts: 791
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Being a Paleo\Primal diet kind of guy, I can go on my 20 km commute with or without eating. I even skip breakfast sometimes after the commute. This morning however, I had 2 tablespoons of peanut butter and 2 pears + 1 cup of black coffee before heading out the door.
puppypilgrim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-10, 11:24 AM   #12
ratell
Senior Member
 
ratell's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Portland, OR
Bikes:
Posts: 355
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't usually eat breakfast when not riding, so I have coffee and go. It's only a 6 mile ride though. Times I have tried eating I usually end up feeling sick while riding. I am more likely to eat after getting to work then if I don't ride.
ratell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-10, 11:32 AM   #13
mtalinm
Senior Member
 
mtalinm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Westwood MA (just south of Boston)
Bikes: 2009 Trek Soho
Posts: 2,214
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
eat a lot the night before and then you can go without breakfast. if you're in a hurry, a bowl of cereal is quick and gives you an energy boost for a reasonably short commute. if you're going an hour or more I'd try eggs (what I usually do)
mtalinm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-10, 11:33 AM   #14
GeneO 
Senior Member
 
GeneO's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Chicagoland
Bikes: Felt 2012 F55X, Specialized 2016 Diverge Expert X1
Posts: 931
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Coffee and a bowl of cheerios, no sugar or a banana & yogurt. 12 mi in, 18 back
Gene
GeneO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-10, 11:45 AM   #15
Steely Dan
born again cyclist
 
Steely Dan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Chicago
Bikes: I have five of brikes
Posts: 2,017
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtalinm View Post
eat a lot the night before and then you can go without breakfast.
that sounds like a recipe for weight gain, at least for those of us with specific types of metabolism. i'm extremely endomorphic and was told to stop eating any and all food at least 4 hours before going to sleep at night. i tried it, along with my bike commuting and overall healthier eating, in an effort to combat my obesity. i do feel that not eating anything after 7:00pm helped me in my journey from 240 pounds down to 180 pounds.
Steely Dan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-10, 11:59 AM   #16
ItsJustMe
Seņior Member
 
ItsJustMe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Michigan
Bikes: Windsor Fens, Giant Seek 0 (2014, Alfine 8 + discs)
Posts: 12,977
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
I don't eat before riding. I tried it and it really bothered me. If I'm hungry before I set out, within 5 minutes I'm no longer hungry, and I don't get hungry again for about half an hour after I get to work.
__________________
Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.
ItsJustMe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-10, 12:12 PM   #17
scroca 
commuter and barbarian
 
scroca's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Potomac, MT, USA
Bikes:
Posts: 2,499
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
If I were you, I'd eat something before I rode 20 miles, even if you don't each much.

I eat a hard boiled egg and a cup of yogurt with granola. That doesn't fill me up enough to bother me on the bike. Then after I get to work, shower and get to my desk, I eat oatmeal with raisins. With that, breakfast is over.
scroca is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-10, 12:20 PM   #18
Booger1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Gaseous Cloud around Uranus
Bikes:
Posts: 3,688
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
I just eat what I feel like eating,could be bacon and eggs,could be fruit,could be oatmeal,could be a bottle of beer.
Booger1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-10, 12:25 PM   #19
noisebeam
Al
 
noisebeam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: AZ
Bikes: Cannondale SuperSix, Lemond Poprad. Retired: Jamis Sputnik, Centurion LeMans Fixed, Diamond Back ascent ex
Posts: 14,109
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 32 Post(s)
I don't eat before my 9mi commute and rarely before 60mi weekend rides, although I may have a banana at mile 30.
noisebeam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-10, 12:28 PM   #20
groovestew
Senior Member
 
groovestew's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Edmonton, AB
Bikes: 2012 Surly Disc Trucker custom build, 2009 Kona Jake the Snake, 198? Bianchi road bike, 2012 Scott OTG-20
Posts: 1,386
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Bowl of cereal w/milk and a glass of apple juice every morning before my commute. There's about 10 minutes between when I finish brekkie and when I start my commute, but my stomach never bothers me. I don't have a terribly sensitive stomach though.
groovestew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-10, 12:42 PM   #21
mtalinm
Senior Member
 
mtalinm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Westwood MA (just south of Boston)
Bikes: 2009 Trek Soho
Posts: 2,214
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Yeah you're right bad idea on my part

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
that sounds like a recipe for weight gain, at least for those of us with specific types of metabolism. i'm extremely endomorphic and was told to stop eating any and all food at least 4 hours before going to sleep at night. i tried it, along with my bike commuting and overall healthier eating, in an effort to combat my obesity. i do feel that not eating anything after 7:00pm helped me in my journey from 240 pounds down to 180 pounds.
mtalinm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-10, 12:45 PM   #22
chrisb71
Senior Member
 
chrisb71's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Chicago
Bikes: 09 Jamis Aurora, 4 Giant ATX 870, 64 Schwin Traveler
Posts: 248
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Start by eating small. Some oatmeal, fruit, protein (even just milk) before leaving. My pre long-run breakfast was oatmeal and protein powder. You MIGHT even want water with some gatorade mixed in at the beginning since you don't know your endurance levels. You'll have to experiment to see what your stomach will tolerate. But that is far to go in the morning before eating, you're already hungry from fasting for 8-10 hours overnight.

Soon you'll figure out your own method and what works best for you.

edit: Another thing to vary is when to eat before. I would eat 1/2 hour before a long bout of cardio. so basically eat as soon as I get up, then walk dog, change, get everything ready by then some time has gone by. Eating right before? I can can see how that would cause some people problems.

Last edited by chrisb71; 09-01-10 at 02:26 PM.
chrisb71 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-10, 12:56 PM   #23
Kojak
Senior Member
 
Kojak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: PNW - Victoria, BC
Bikes: 2002 Litespeed Vortex - 2007 Trek Madone 5.9 - 2004 Redline Conquest Pro - Specialized S-Works Festina Team Model - 93 Cannondale M 800 Beast of the East
Posts: 1,482
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
As many have stated, everyone is different. I can do 20 miles easy on an empty stomach but for some people this wouldn't be such a good idea. I'd start with at least a banana or some other lighter fare.

I don't know if this is flawed thinking on my part, but I always feel that if I exercise prior to eating it aids in weight loss as I'm burning what I have instead of what I've just eaten. I also feel like it revs up my matablolism, but again my reckoning isn't anything scientific.
Kojak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-10, 02:03 PM   #24
ItsJustMe
Seņior Member
 
ItsJustMe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Michigan
Bikes: Windsor Fens, Giant Seek 0 (2014, Alfine 8 + discs)
Posts: 12,977
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
I find that if I eat, my stomach gets upset AND I get hungry. If I just start out hungry, the feeling goes away quickly and I have no problem.

Occasionally I will ride 35 miles instead of my usual 11. On those days I do have a small snack first, usually a bagel with cream cheese or some cereal. Then I have to take it easy for the first half hour or so.
__________________
Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.
ItsJustMe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-10, 02:07 PM   #25
tornado60
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: norther ohio
Bikes:
Posts: 166
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
First time out I didn't and was real hungry when I got to work. So next time I did. Started getting real queasy in route. Now I just make sure something is available when I arrive.
tornado60 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:09 AM.