Went out yesterday and as a result of the experience I think I am under fueling. First a little background. At age 68 I am down to 180 lbs which is 2 lbs over what I weighed when I finished Basic at Ft. Jackson in '69. Been riding about 100 mi./wk and better than I have in the past 10 yrs. Yesterday's club ride was 66 mi. with 4,000 ft. of climbing according to Strava. Our group was about 12 riders of various ages. I was the oldest by about 10 yrs. Going out everything seemed fluid and easy. On the way back with about 20 mi. to go I began struggling on any sort of elevation. It wasn't that I couldn't do the climbs, I was just about 2-3 mph slower than most of the group. And, I was really hurting when trying to power up climbs. My gearing is 50x34 crank and 12x27 10-sp cogs. I was climbing with the 27 and trying to spin. Near the very end of the ride we were on a long slight down grade and then on a long section of flat. One of the guys (this was a mix of male/female riders) took off. I was now back in the main group and I jumped on his wheel. I then pulled up next to him. He was shocked to see me there. I could have gone by but just sat there and chatted with him. When we re-grouped we got on the flat back to our start and I cruised along behind the lead rider. There are two things I do well...I recover really well and I know how to suffer. But, what's with the climbing? FWIW my average speed for the entire ride was 14.9 mph.
At first I thought this was just 68 yr. old legs. But, then I started thinking about how I fueled before and during the ride. In the morning I had 1/2 peanut butter, jelly and banana sandwich. During the ride I had the other 1/2 sandwich, 2 GU gels and a Power Bar. Also had 2 water bottles w/GU tabs and 2 w/water. Note: on my body fat scale I am at 21%. One other thing....temp was around 77 F and comfortable humidity. Not a lot of wind either except in a few spots. I'm estimating that over the 4:24 ride I burned about 3,000 cals. That's just a rough estimate based on formulas I've seen on-line.
I'm just wondering if, for my weight, I am not fueling enough and also wondering if there are better bars/gels to use. I would be grateful for any insights.