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Thread: Mid-Ride Eats?

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    Mid-Ride Eats?

    Except for the !*&#!*! wind, the weather here was pretty nice, about 79 F max. I rode a 65-mile out-and- back route with 2,965 feet of climbing. Head wind on the way out and tail wind on the way back. Most of the climbing is on the return route, 10 to 11 miles of climbing.

    At the half-way point of the trip, I got a small hamburger, a chocolate malt, a milky way, and refilled my gatorade bottles (2). I drank the gatorade in excess of what would fill the bottles, but it was a tight fit. Total down time for eating burger/malt about 15 minutes. On the return trip, the gastrointestinal system didn't feel all that good, and I didn't have the energy I thought I should have on the climb. Once I topped out and started back down my system seemed to be running more smoothly.

    At this point, I'm thinking the malt wasn't a good idea as it probably does not provide the amount of liquid that a Coke would have provided. I think I should have been drinking more, but the GI tract acted like it didn't want any more volume.

    Also, I'm thinking I should have spent a few extra minutes at lunch to let everything settle.

    Finally, my legs cramped at one point, and I downed a bunch of gatorade, which helped.

    So, what do you eat/drink mid-ride, and how much time is involved?

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    On a ride of that length, a Cliff (or similar) bar, a goo pack at maybe twenty mile intervals, several bottles of water and probably two bottles of some type of replacement drink (don't care for Gatorade). I usually carry a tube of NuuN http://www.nuun.com/ hydration tablets in my seat pouch in case there isn't a store on my route. One can usually always find fresh water.

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    Healthy and active twobikes's Avatar
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    Back in 1971 I was living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and went on a double century. We left at 5 AM. By 9 AM we were chowing down on a hamburger and a malt with real ice cream and real malt powder. I would like to say I completed the 200 miles, but I gave up about 5 PM. That day temperatures were 20 deg. F. warmer than they had been for several weeks and my clothing did not allow adjusting to the warmer temperatures. Still, I do not remember anyone having discomfort of any kind from the hamburger or malt. There is always the possibility you got some very mild food poisoning.

    I went on a ride of 35 miles recently three times. Once I refreshed with granola bars, once with M&Ms, and once with a banana. The banana was the best thing by far.
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    seattle based cyclist merlinman's Avatar
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    I do a ride about like you described. I would NEVER load up with calories mid ride like that. Remember what your mom said about waiting 1/2 an hour after lunch before going back swimming. 300 calories or so per hour in easy to consume forms (power bars, raisins, dates, powdered drinks) - in ways you can nibble on or eat/drink frequently.
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    The sugar would have sent me into a slump and stolen all of my energy. It seems that a meal that large would redirect circulation to your stomach, when you really need it in your legs. I'm a new cyclist so what do I know..... but wouldn't it be better to eat smaller amounts at more frequent intervals?
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    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    I made the mistake of stopping on a long ride half way in and getting a couple of chili dogs, some fries, and a Coke. Gawd! Thought I was gonna die on the way home!
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    I did eat and drink what you are describing and it did not work for me either. Since I do many centuries, I needed to find something what works and can be done without too much fuss.
    Here it is:
    Good size breakfast based on oatmeal. If not available, pancakes will do.
    Trail-mix and water. Occasional Gatorade or similar.
    Mid ride stop with plain pasta with a little butter or olive oil. I have had a good size portion without ill effect. (Hamburgers or meat sandwich does not work for me. I tried it.)
    More Trail-mix with water and energy drink.
    Upon arrival at end stop, (and if want to go on another ride the next day) I need a recovery drink such as milkshake followed by a steak and potato dinner.

    This has worked for me for 25 consecutive 120 mile days.

    BTW, I recently did 150 miles without the pasta. I bonked. Trailmix alone did not work.

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    Senior Member CrossChain's Avatar
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    LOL.....I don't often indulge in a malt/burger/candybar off the bike let alone mid ride. Go with Merlinman's advice. A steady trickle of calories from easily digestible foods is far better than chowing down on meat midride. Save the feast for afterwards...hopefully something better than greasy spoon stuff. For this sort of thing, experience (Burp!) is indeed the best teacher.

    At the risk of being ostracized....I probably would also save the pie till afterwards as well if I was riding seriously that day.

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    Senior Member RockyMtnMerlin's Avatar
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    Man, I can't imagine eating a burger on a ride like that. On my favorite 75 mile ride (with about the same climbing but all between 7200-8500 feet elevation) I use the following fuel:
    Oatmeat or Cheerios two hours before ride
    HammerGel about ever 30 minutes during the ride with water
    Two PowerBars during the ride with water
    And finally (the inexpicably) rest stop intake at 45 miles - one small bag of Lays potato chips and a Dr Pepper.
    Never had any stomach problems or cramping.

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    You need more training. Pie is always on the menu but a hearty breakfast halfway round works wonders
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    Check out this thread on the Long Distance Forum:
    Food for long distance
    It addresses much of your question, as well as individual experience with certain foods. For me, the oatmeal (steel cut, slow cooked) or whole wheat cakes, some other protein (PB, vegetarian sausage patties, NF yogurt), fruit (esp. blueberries) for breakfast before long rides works well. I like to eat that amount about 3 hrs before start time, especially if a cup o' joe is on the menu. Coffee too close to ride time will cause me some discomfort with acid. During the ride it's some recovery drink mixed with water 50:50, Cliff Shots or GU, and the occasional store brand granola bar, usually at 1 hr intervals. On support events at rest stops, I'll do bananas, orange sections, Fig Newtons, that's about as heavy as I get. Never have any stomach issues with that mix.

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    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    There's nothing like a bite of good, fresh, dog haunch in the middle of a ride. Once you've developed a taste for it, you'll never have dogs barking after you again.

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    Yen
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    It seems to me that whatever is eaten during a ride should be healthy and nutritional while also replacing electrolytes and fluid. I'm just sayin'.....
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    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yen
    It seems to me that whatever is eaten during a ride should be healthy and nutritional while also replacing electrolytes and fluid. I'm just sayin'.....
    Replacing electrolytes is important and this can easily be done with the isotonic drinks that are available. But when it comes to eating- Every ride should have a stop for nourishment. Depends on the length of ride as to how "Correct" it should be. Only a 10 miler- then you cannot beat pie. Then you have to do 20 miles to work off the calories. Out for more than 4 hours in the morning- Then Brunch or a breakfast is on the cards. An all day event then you eat whatever you fancy. Base it on carbo-hydrates but whatever you want to eat- then eat it. Plenty of dried fruit- Cereal bars- Cake- hot dogs- Sausage rolls---- Anything just to keep to munching and replacing the calories you are using. Then when you have finished the ride- Then eat some more to make certain you have replaced them.

    On Fluids- There are additives to add to drinks that can be isotonic- Energy replacement and several others that I have yet to try. Main thing is to keep fluid intake up. No Alcohol but if you like soda- then take soda, but the main thing is water. I reckon on at least one bottle (500mls) per hour -right the way through the year. When it gets hot- then 2 bottles per hour. And if it is going to be a gruelling ride- then take as much as you can.

    A good home made Isotonic and energy drink is half a bottle of Orange juice and top it up with water. 1 teaspoon of sugar and a good pinch of salt. I used this for years and is as good as my expensive additive I now use.
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    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    My favorite ride on Cape Cod often results in a stop at the Clamshack at the western mouth of Falmouth Harbor. You may be a little slow for the next couple of miles but it will be worth it.

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    My stomach starting hurting after reading what you ate and I wasn't even riding!!! Others have offered good ideas but probably better to stick to foods that digest a little more easily. Bananas, peanut butter crackers and Cliff Bars are about all I need.

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    Senior Member lighthorse's Avatar
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    When training around home I normally ride early in the morning right after breadfast. For a 40-80 mile ride I eat a power bar of some kind and at least one full bottle of water during the ride. When summer gets here some kind of gatorade or electrolyte replacement drink will be required during the ride. I carry powdered stuff that I can mix when I want it.
    When touring, I like to stop midmorning and have a second breakfast to get me through the day. But that is a different routine altogether. I go inside a restaurant, order, read a newspaper, eat leisurely and ride slowly for the first hour afterward.
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    Quote Originally Posted by maddmaxx
    My favorite ride on Cape Cod often results in a stop at the Clamshack at the western mouth of Falmouth Harbor. You may be a little slow for the next couple of miles but it will be worth it.
    Yea If you ever ride the Cape Cod Rail Trail, near the north end is a place called Arnolds. Great for a clam stop. I'm doing my birthday ride there again this year.
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    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    Weekday rides after work are usually no problem. However with the advent of summer and warm weather, my rides get more and more early.
    Getting a proper breakfast diet that 1. lasts for the ride and 2. Does not lay in my stomach robbing blood flow that my legs need has been a challenge.
    Surprisingly my doctor agrees with the final choice. Begal with peanut butter or a peanut butter sandwich. Good protien, enough carbs and it doesn't kill your stomach.
    Supliment with the appropriate fluids and your choice of snacks, bars, nuts whatever on longer rides

  20. #20
    Happy Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee
    I made the mistake of stopping on a long ride half way in and getting a couple of chili dogs, some fries, and a Coke. Gawd! Thought I was gonna die on the way home!
    If I ate something like that I would have to stuff 2 panniers w/toilet paper and stop at every tree on the way home

  21. #21
    Coyote!
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    Stap' stepped up to the edge of the hornet's nest when he said. . .

    >>> but a hearty breakfast halfway round works wonders

    You're joshing us, right? They say that in Hell, all the cooks are English*. Looks like you folk might be cycling in Hell after THAT lot. On the road, keep it light, 'cause it's a "lean dog for a long chase".

    * - and the police are German, the lovers French, and the Transportation Department are Italian. . .lesse' who haven't I offended? OH, yes and the war planners are Yanks.

  22. #22
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coyote!
    Stap' stepped up to the edge of the hornet's nest when he said. . .

    >>> but a hearty breakfast halfway round works wonders

    You're joshing us, right? They say that in Hell, all the cooks are English*. Looks like you folk might be cycling in Hell after THAT lot. On the road, keep it light, 'cause it's a "lean dog for a long chase".

    * - and the police are German, the lovers French, and the Transportation Department are Italian. . .lesse' who haven't I offended? OH, yes and the war planners are Yanks.

    No- wasn't joshing. If I am just out for a 35 to 40 miles offroad- then I will not have breakfast so 2 hours or so into the ride- then Breakfast is on the cards. Eggs, Bacon, Saussage, Mushrooms, Tomatoes and plenty of toast and preserves. Now if it is a serious ride- of 50+ then the breakfast will be a couple of hours before and right the way through the ride- I will be munching on carbo- hydrates. Then after the ride its find a restaurant and replace the energy I still have to replace.

    Now on the road- Serious organised rides and it is still the carb eating in the ride- On sunday I am doing a 40 miler with a new Tandem rider. We will start at 9 am and at 11.30 we will be back at the finish in our favourite spot on the balcony of a Club that will be open serving Bacon Butties. (Don't do breakfast) Couple of them and I will be fit enough to ride the 30 miles home.
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  23. #23
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    I stay away from Milk products when I'm riding. When I try and have ice cream or milk with a meal during a ride it just seems to turn to phlem in my throat or upsets my stomach. I usually only drink water at rest stops or at a meal break and that seems to do the trick for me.

    Now after a long Tandem ride with the wife, a stop at the Dairy for some nice ice cream is our reward!
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    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    I think that people train to eat just as we train to ride. I wouldn't expect someone who trains on cornflakes and fruit to wolf down a couple of blintzes for breakfast. However, someone who eats sausage and cabbage for breakfast may find cerial and yogurt a little lite.

  25. #25
    OnTheRoad or AtTheBeach stonecrd's Avatar
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    When I do a ride of that distance I just make sure I eat a reasonable breakfast either oatmeal or cereal and then I take two 24oz of gatoraides which I mix 50/50 with ice and a gel for about 3/4 mark. I don't really like to stop for any length of time since I just tighten up. I usually keep a spare gel for emergencies in my bag. But for a 3.5hr ride I really don't need a lot of additional calories.
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