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  1. #1
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    What food to bring on a long ride

    I'm only familiar with 25km rides yet. Ride to work and back.

    Though I have decided to upgrade my scheme by doing longer rides as well. Maybe 50km, 75km, 100km.

    I just don't have a clue what to bring on those kinds of rides when it comes to food. My 25km ride into work and back I don't eat at all. During the summer I take a few sips of water as it might get too warm, but that's it.

    Anyone can enlighten me on what to eat during these longer rides?

  2. #2
    Randomhead
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    we used to call a 100k a "two banana ride." Depends on how long it takes you and how strenuous the ride is, but that's a fairly good estimate of how much food you would want to take on a ride of that length. I keep a couple of Clif bars in my saddle bag just in case I underestimate how much food I need.

  3. #3
    Senior Member jdon's Avatar
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    I agree, although everyone is different. I normally take a couple of bananas, some gels and bars for "rescue" food. In the summer, water and electrolyte drink.

  4. #4
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    -- A few granola bars or oatmeal raisin cookies
    -- A packet of salted almonds
    -- Dried fruit
    -- Bananas

    And once you get up to 100 km or longer, you might even want to plan a route where you can stop in a bakery or something at the halfway point and pick up something yummy.

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    Senior Member Jim from Boston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FreddyV View Post
    I'm only familiar with 25km rides yet. Ride to work and back.

    Though I have decided to upgrade my scheme by doing longer rides as well. Maybe 50km, 75km, 100km.

    I just don't have a clue what to bring on those kinds of rides when it comes to food. My 25km ride into work and back I don't eat at all. During the summer I take a few sips of water as it might get too warm, but that's it.

    Anyone can enlighten me on what to eat during these longer rides?
    I'm a fan, but not strict adherent of the Zone Diet, which to me means eating protein + carbs together in a certain proportion. Even on a supported century I bring my own food in a rear trunk bag because that's my preference, and is convenient to eat when I want. I usually plan on about four snacks on a ride greater than about 70 miles. For example:

    -yogurt and cereal mixed together in a mash (almost like a pudding)
    -pretzels and a yogurt drink called kefir
    -one or two Zone bars
    -some fruit and nuts (blueberries and walnuts are my preference)

    My mindset on a long ride is to break it into segments and each of those snacks is a "mile marker." I must admit though on my last century ride I did snarf down two PB&J sandwiches and two oranges in addition at the 80 mile stop. FWIW

  6. #6
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    Thanks a lot guys! And Machka of course

  7. #7
    Dead Men Assume...
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    I don't even eat on the 50 km rides. Once you get past that point then food becomes a bit more important.

  8. #8
    Senior Member QuickityJacks's Avatar
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    Did a 60 mile (96km) ride through barren desert the other day and didn't know what to pack. The Eagle Scout in me insisted I have more than I need, so I had a clif bar, a granola bar, and a sandwich. I ate the clif bar and the granola bar, but the sandwich wasn't necessary, so it was given to a homeless guy (he was pretty surprised when I pulled it out of a jersey pocket after he asked me for change).

    I'd say take more than you think you need depending on your options along the way. I definitely went through more than the two bottles I packed, though. A gatorade stop at the fanciest liquor store I'd ever seen came to the rescue there.
    "I was handed a chocolate bar and an M-1 rifle and told to go kill Hitler." -- Jack "King" Kirby

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    Senior Member skiffrun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FreddyV View Post
    . . . .

    I just don't have a clue what to bring on those kinds of rides when it comes to food. My 25km ride into work and back I don't eat at all. During the summer I take a few sips of water as it might get too warm, but that's it.

    Anyone can enlighten me on what to eat during these longer rides?
    You apparently live in the Netherlands: can't you just ask some neighbors?

  10. #10
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    Sure... I can ask anyone.

    Even though nearly the entire world thinks our whole country rides a bike, it's not true. Most people that do ride, don't ride longer distances. And believe it or not... I don't know anyone riding longer distances than me...

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    I commute from Amsterdam to Utrecht (92km return), and that is about the longest ride I can do without a snack. If I know I'm going to be out for more than a 100km, I'll plan on eating a few hundred calories (sandwich/banana/nuts) every couple of hours, a real meal about every 8-12 hours and as much water/tomato juice as I can stomach. For anything under 300km I'll generally not stop for a meal. If I eat more than that I usually encounter digestive unpleasantness. The big thing is to get your body used to digesting food while you are riding. It took me a few brevets to figure out what and how much I could stomach.

    For a century around here I'll pack a couple sandwiches, a pack of stroopwafels and a few bananas. I usually come back with the stroopwafels, but they are nice to have in case you can't find an AH or whatever.

    There is a randonneur club in the Netherlands: http://www.ern-ossendrecht.nl/ if you are interested in that sort of thing.

  12. #12
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    Peanut butter sandwiches!

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    The only way I can motivate myself to do anything over 50km is if there is a sweet place to eat halfway through. I love small town diners, especially the ones that laugh when you walk in your tap-dancing shoe cleats.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by matthieu View Post
    I commute from Amsterdam to Utrecht (92km return), and that is about the longest ride I can do without a snack. If I know I'm going to be out for more than a 100km, I'll plan on eating a few hundred calories (sandwich/banana/nuts) every couple of hours, a real meal about every 8-12 hours and as much water/tomato juice as I can stomach. For anything under 300km I'll generally not stop for a meal. If I eat more than that I usually encounter digestive unpleasantness. The big thing is to get your body used to digesting food while you are riding. It took me a few brevets to figure out what and how much I could stomach.

    For a century around here I'll pack a couple sandwiches, a pack of stroopwafels and a few bananas. I usually come back with the stroopwafels, but they are nice to have in case you can't find an AH or whatever.

    There is a randonneur club in the Netherlands: http://www.ern-ossendrecht.nl/ if you are interested in that sort of thing.
    Obviously, you have my respect for a commute like that. I'll have a look at ern-ossendrecht.nl. How often do you do that commute? Each day?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FreddyV View Post
    Obviously, you have my respect for a commute like that. I'll have a look at ern-ossendrecht.nl. How often do you do that commute? Each day?
    Usually three days a week, but I'll be giving four a shot in the spring. With the recent poor weather conditions it has been a bit of a slog, but in general it puts a pretty big smile on my face. Actually riding that on the day after a fresh snowfall is pretty fun too. There is nothing quite like having 70km of those 92km as untouched snow. Actually it is all good, I just love bikes!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by matthieu View Post
    Usually three days a week, but I'll be giving four a shot in the spring. With the recent poor weather conditions it has been a bit of a slog, but in general it puts a pretty big smile on my face. Actually riding that on the day after a fresh snowfall is pretty fun too. There is nothing quite like having 70km of those 92km as untouched snow. Actually it is all good, I just love bikes!
    So what do you usually ride? My first guess it's something fast, as it's quite a distance...

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    Quote Originally Posted by FreddyV View Post
    So what do you usually ride? My first guess it's something fast, as it's quite a distance...
    I've got a '70s Colnago Super fitted out with mudguards that I ride most of the time and a late '80s Colnago cross bike that I've been riding in the snow and ice. So nothing too fancy, just comfortable bikes that fit well.

    I was riding a 90s Giordana for a long time, but this summer I damaged it pretty badly in a crash. Too bad as it was a nice columbus tsx frame.

  18. #18
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    The 70's super seems like an awesome LD bike as well. Pretty different from my '02 Giant OCR

  19. #19
    The Professor akohekohe's Avatar
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    Poi
    The more you drive the less intelligent you are. - Tracy Walter as Miller in Repo Man.

  20. #20
    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
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    I find that when I am feeling low that an apple alway brings me back. I always keep a couple of apples with me.
    I don't do vintage, I bought them new, rode them, kept them. Now they are just old bikes
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bustercrb/sets/72157623483647522/

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclist2000 View Post
    I find that when I am feeling low that an apple alway brings me back. I always keep a couple of apples with me.
    I always have an apple with me when I go to work, but I found it gave me an extra empty feeling in the stomach and hardly gives me any energy at all.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Steve in MA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuickityJacks View Post
    I'd say take more than you think you need depending on your options along the way.

    +1, especially if you're riding in an area that you're unfamiliar with, or may be inclined to make your ride longer than you originally planned.

    I generally keep a baggie of whole grain fig newtons in my jersey pocket, and I always have two 24 oz bottles of fluids with me (usually one water, and one sports drink). But I keep a reserve in my saddle bag: powdered Gatorade to mix up another 24 oz bottle, a power bar, and some cash.

    I like to have more than I think I'll need, because I often will vary my route and add more miles than planned; and I tend to do my long rides early in the morning, when some of the stores/restaurants that I'll be passing aren't yet open.

  23. #23
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    Cotton candy is probably the best food to prevent bonking.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard_Rides View Post
    Cotton candy is probably the best food to prevent bonking.
    Too much wind resistance.

    But other than that, sugar is what your brain needs when you're bonking and that's about all there is in cotton candy, so it ought to work well. If you happen to be passing by a county fair when you're bonking, that is.

    Keith
    Keith Hearn

  25. #25
    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
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    does that mean that when I bonk my blood sugars are low?
    I don't do vintage, I bought them new, rode them, kept them. Now they are just old bikes
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bustercrb/sets/72157623483647522/

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