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  1. #1
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    Favorite Touring Food

    I'm leaving for my first tour in a week, and realized I have no idea what foods I'll be eating (planning on cooking/eating away from restaurants as much as possible to save money). I've been planning on just playing it by ear and seeing what looks good in the stores, and I figured I'd see what good suggestions I could get from this board.

    I know I'll be looking for the foods with the most calories, fat, protein, etc., all in the smallest package. So I've been thinking about lots of canned tuna and peanut butter, but I'd love a little more variety than that. I'll have a stove and a pot, so I'd love to hear what delicacies and standards all of you rely on while touring. I can't wait to hear what suggestions you all have.

    Also, I know in the past I've read a lot about restaurants I have to visit while on a tour down the Pacific Coast (mainly following the Spring/Kirkendall book), but I don't remember any of those now. So if you have some can't miss restaurant ideas along the coast, I'd love to hear them.

    Thanks for all your suggestions!

  2. #2
    cyclotourist
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    rice cakes with betty crocker icing

  3. #3
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    Oatmeal - cheap

  4. #4
    Science Fanboy KrisPistofferson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScandiHo
    Oatmeal - cheap
    Yes, and it stays in your gut for a while, and it's a good quality carb that doesn't make you spike then crash.You can technically live off of it and multivitamins-I learned a couple other things in college, but that was probably most important.
    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Hitchens
    What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof.

  5. #5
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    Kevin, what do you eat at home? Do you actually cook at home? (I know, a blunt, but often fatal question, because if you don't cook at home, how can you expect to cook on tour) What's the simplest dishes you cook at home?

    There are all sorts of possibilities. Will you be riding past markets with fresh vegetables and butcheries (does the US still have butchers?)? You can make up stews without much trouble. The old standbys are still noodles or pastas with sauces with canned tuna or chicken mixed in... or seasoned sausages. Rice is another useful stomach filler that can be flavoured with anything and is high in cycling energy. Take some sachets of flavourings -- curries and stock cubes or powders. Crispy bread rolls with ham and cheese and tomato can make a meal in themselves.

    I've found TVP when cooking at home to be a good substitute for mincemeat. It's light, reconstitutes quickly, and is filling, and will absorb the taste of whatever is cooked with it.

    It truly does depend on the circumstances of your travels.

  6. #6
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    It all looks good. One of the best things about touring is the grocery stores. There isn't much I'd pass up when I can eat 6000 calories a day.

    The last long tour my wife and I did, we hit on the perfect quick camp meal: crab louie. You stop at a Safeway in town and get a pound of imitation crab (or the real $tuff if you're on the Oregon coast) and a bag of salad mix. In camp, toss it all together -- you don't need a hot meal every night. At the grocery store, don't forget the loaf of french bread and the watermelon.

    Clam chowder on the Oregon/Northern California coast. Locals can steer you to the good places. The best is in Land's End (northern edge of Lincoln City), Newport, and Fort Bragg.

    -- Mark



    [QUOTE=KevinSherm]I'm leaving for my first tour in a week, and realized I have no idea what foods I'll be eating (planning on cooking/eating away from restaurants as much as possible to save money). I've been planning on just playing it by ear and seeing what looks good in the stores, and I figured I'd see what good suggestions I could get from this board.

    ...QUOTE]

  7. #7
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    On a tour I'll eat just about anything SOMEONE ELSE is cooking up.



    I can't cook.


    But if I might suggest a few things to the cook as we are grocery shopping ... whatever catches my eye in the grocery store at the moment, and whatever is feasible to prepare. It varies.

  8. #8
    Senior Member gregw's Avatar
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    B (double E) R

  9. #9
    Older I get, Better I was velonomad's Avatar
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    I cook most of my meals while touring, my staples are oatmeal, dried beans, rice, and dried vegetables. (I presoak the beans and rice by putting them in a small plastic jar with water in the morning, by evening all they need is ten minutes boiling to be done) I carry a few spices including pepper, garlic, chili powder ,curry, dried onion, chicken bouillan. I bring dried soups like the knorr-swiss type to add to beans or rice. I usually carry a couple packs of ramen noodle for quick roadside meals,
    I also buy fresh produce (if available) daily to go along with the dried food I carry. You can eat very well on $5 a day if you cook and shop wisely

  10. #10
    where2pedalto.com andrewh's Avatar
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    Not too sure if you get them where you are, but here in Australia we can get foil packets of salmon or tuna (with or without added flavours like smoke, tomato & basil and the like), and those foil packets are heaps better than cans, pack easier and weigh less. We used them on on our Australia tour and found them great. Another idea is to do some meals and dehydrate them. You can get a good book for that called "the backpack gourmet". make em, dry em, pack em and eat em. you can carry lots too because they weigh nothing. you will however need water to cook them in so a long desert trip is probably not the one to take them on.
    Enjoy.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregw
    B (double E) R
    Hey Greg! Do you have an interpreter's manual? Sorry mate, I've just lost another 20 hairs over my head that I can ill afford to lose!!!

  12. #12
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    You can buy pre-cooked chicken, turkey, and tuna in foil pouches (less weight than cans) that need no refrigeration. Look for items that require minimal cooking in the rice and pasta aisle of the grocery store. There are a lot of noodle or rice side dishes that require only adding boiling water and letting sit, or minimal simmering. You can add a pouch of precooked meat to them while the sit or simmer and have a filling one-pot meal with little preparation time.

    Instant mashed potatoes are another good option. You can get them in different flavors in cyclist-sized single serving envelopes (2-3 normal person servings!). All they require is adding boiling water, stir to mix and let sit for a few minutes.

    Summer sausage is another option for meat that does not require refrigeration. If you can find it in small single meal sizes, you can eat it with some cheese and crackers. It can make a nice easy lunch.

    Pita bread (or flour tortillas) pack easily and with some good old peanut butter and jelly makes for a quick filling lunch.

    Of course fresh fruits and vegetables are always a good idea especially if there is a grocery near your campsite.

    Try to keep things simple. When you're tired, it's hard to do much cooking.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by supcom
    If you can find it in small single meal sizes, you can eat it with some cheese and crackers. It can make a nice easy lunch.
    I'd argue vehemently on this one idea of single...


    Single doesn't count -- buy up a minium of two meals, and probably three. There's nothing worse than a couple of ultra-hungry cyclists fighting over..... well... maybe you need FOUR!!!

  14. #14
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    Donuts, pudding, jam, ice cream and fried chciken
    plus the occasional beer.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregw
    B (double E) R
    I got it. It's what I should have been drinking last night. And here I was trying to work out the latest emoticon! It went completely over my head (hence the hair loss).

  16. #16
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    How does it work when buying beer & wine in the US ?
    Is it only sold in separate shops?
    And how much for a cheap bottle of wine? Beer ?

    Done loads of touring in Europe and enjoying a few glasses of wine after a long days riding is priceless.

  17. #17
    Senior Member biodiesel's Avatar
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    Breakfast:
    cereal in a ziplock bag and a little box of soy milk. If you can't find single boxes of soy buy the coffee, milk, sugar drinks at gas stations. I toured light and carried just the cereal and would buy the coffee's the night before. Good very high carb breakfast and no cooking.

    Lunch i don't worry about since i'm eating all day.

    Dinner, thai noodles cook fast and use little fuel. Easy to find at convient stores and cheap. The kind that comes in its own bowl is nice and it's just add hot water easy. Otherwise a small ziplock of minute rice. You boil it for a few seconds then simmer and let sit. Easy carbs and fiber. Add some protien and your in buisness. I'd usually buy a bit of meat and some veggies to add to the rice or noodles. Frozen precooked shrimps are good protien and just need to be rinsed thawed and dropped in the mix. Cooked tofu blocks (seasoned) are good too, not too much cooking.
    If you have the stove fuel you can cook a chicken breast and veggies then top with rice, add a bit of water and simmer for a few minutes. I usually have only enough fuel to boil a little bit.

    Another neat trick is to use a meal replacement. You can buy ensure on the road (yuck) or bring a 3rd ziplock of your choice protien powder. I use a combination of whey/ soy protien and find a higher carb version than most that's got all the multivitamins in it. Only use that in the evenings and not in liu of a meal, but it helps the muscles stay strong and is very light and very filling. Bring another ziplock freezer bag, add the last somewhat squishy bannanna, a strawberry or two...zip and squish to a paste. Add a little water, zip and shake into a purree. Add that to the protein powder with a small OJ and you've a bannanna strawberry protien smoothie. YUM

    Keeps the shopping down to a few items a night, and your carrying only a few ziplocks of essentials.

  18. #18
    In Memory of One Cool Cat Blackberry's Avatar
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    M&Ms. They melt in your mouth. Not in your panniers.
    Dead last finish is better than did not finish and infinitely better than did not start.

  19. #19
    this bike is an aqueduct Matthew A Brown's Avatar
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    Little Debbie brownies. 25 cents = 320 calories.
    Villin custom touring | Raleigh XXIX | Medici Pro Pista | 1978 Schwinn Stingray

  20. #20
    Caffeinated. Camel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScandiHo
    How does it work when buying beer & wine in the US ?
    Is it only sold in separate shops?
    And how much for a cheap bottle of wine? Beer ?

    Done loads of touring in Europe and enjoying a few glasses of wine after a long days riding is priceless.
    Varies widely. Most states have a combination of seperate shops that sell hard booze&beer&wine only, but then allow other licensed stores to sell beer&wine&groceries. Sometimes this is even regulated at the town or county level. Usually its the town or county that regulates times or days that alcohol can be sold (example special times on sundays, or not at all).

    Prices vary, but I'd guess 5$ for a six pack, 7$ for a tasty "micro brew". I only buy wine as gifts, so not sure on that.

  21. #21
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    I've said it before: Doughnuts/donuts. Fats, carbs and sugars in a handy, light and filling bundle. Fills the calorie hole for hypoglycemic skinny people, like me! Cheap too, and they keep a few days with very little staleness.
    Go big.

  22. #22
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan
    I'd argue vehemently on this one idea of single...


    Single doesn't count -- buy up a minium of two meals, and probably three. There's nothing worse than a couple of ultra-hungry cyclists fighting over..... well... maybe you need FOUR!!!
    A single meal size is not the same as a 'single serving'. You have to decide what constitutes a single meal for you. I do a lot of solo cycling and I have a hard time finding summer sausage in the grocery store in packages smaller than a baseball bat! Well, maybe not quite that large, but certainly more than I would be able to eat before it went bad. If you got several cyclists, your options improve significantly.

  23. #23
    cyclotourist
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    Breakfast:
    Coffee, strong and black
    Eggs and bacon and Hashbrowns or biscuits and gravy.
    toast.
    A tablespoon of JW red (for medicinal purposes only)
    chocolate.

    Mid morning break
    More coffee, donuts, bananas or other fruit
    chocolate

    late morning break
    More coffee. chocolate. More donuts

    Lunch: Bagel with peanut butter. banana. chocolate.
    rice cakes with betty crocker icing. Red Bull.


    Mid afternoon snack: PopTarts. Apple and /or orange.
    chocolate

    Late afternooon snack/appetizer.
    Picodon cheese with crackers and red wine (if stopped)
    Potato chips. Beer Nuts.
    Henry Weinhard's Dark.
    chocolate


    Dinner:
    Spaghetti with pesto and roasted red peppers. Red Wine.
    Banana Cream Pie.
    Cognac
    Picodon and crackers, followed by a fine Port.
    single Malt Scotch or if indisposed a tablespoon of JW red (medicinal purposes only)
    chocolate

  24. #24
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    What ?

    No dessert and before bedtime snack ?

  25. #25
    Quietly Desperate Kodama's Avatar
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    You're carrying, JW (yuck), Cognac, Single Malt Scotch (yay) and Port? I felt I was extravagant with my flask of whisky
    "The true traveller is without goal, it is the absence of goals which creates the ultimate traveller."
    - Gao Xingjian 'Soul Mountain'

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