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Old 02-12-08, 09:00 AM   #1
tate65
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Eating

I know I will need to eat, and eat quite often to do 75-90 miles a day for the week we are riding. What I don't realy know is how much and what. What to you carry, vs how often do you stop and shop, vs sitting down to eat? I get real sick of Cliff bars and the like real fast, so what else is there, and how much do I load on day 1 and buy on the way?
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Old 02-12-08, 09:13 AM   #2
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1) 250 to 300 calories per hour while you are riding on rides over 2 hours.

2) Look up HealthStatus.com and others for the number of calories you might be burning on a tour.. You may want to eat that much or less.

3) Look up your route on a map and see where the shops along the way might be. Carry enough so you can consume 250-300 calories per hour between those shops. Buy groceries for the night toward the end of the day.

4) This evening, go to your local grocery store ... the biggest one you've got. Wander the aisles. There's a lot more food in there than just Clif Bars!!
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Old 02-12-08, 09:39 AM   #3
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Hi tate65,
When touring I find it hard to eat as I don't seem hungry but I do drink a lot of different things from beer to gatorade. The one thing that is essential for me while on tour is ice cream, I eat some at least once a day.
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Old 02-12-08, 10:02 AM   #4
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While on tour, I get insane cravings for fresh fruit. Apples, oranges, bananas, plums, peaches... everything.
And bread is also good, preferably dense bread like bagels as it packs more calories... mix that with a bread dipper and you got a great snack with lots of energy
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Old 02-12-08, 10:55 AM   #5
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While riding: Fig newtons/dried figs, pop tarts, PB&J, jerky (unless I'm low on water) fruity trail mix (no chocolate - it melts). Handlebar bags rock for carrying grazing food.

At stops, chocolate milk, nanners, hot dogs, breakfast burritos.
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Old 02-12-08, 12:48 PM   #6
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A very small something to start the day and then I nibble all during the ride and then a really nice loaded carb meal when we stop for the day. All the suggestions above make for great nibbling. Try sampling various foods on smaller rides to see what works for you.

Last edited by robow; 02-12-08 at 01:03 PM.
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Old 02-12-08, 01:17 PM   #7
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While riding: Fig newtons/dried figs, pop tarts, PB&J, jerky (unless I'm low on water) fruity trail mix (no chocolate - it melts). Handlebar bags rock for carrying grazing food.

At stops, chocolate milk, nanners, hot dogs, breakfast burritos.
Chocolate tastes good, but the melting issue makes it bad cycling food. I'm with you on fig newtons and I generally carry jelly beans that I eat regularly while I'm riding.
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Old 02-12-08, 01:24 PM   #8
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Chocolate tastes good, but the melting issue makes it bad cycling food. I'm with you on fig newtons and I generally carry jelly beans that I eat regularly while I'm riding.
I eat chocolate at stops fairly often. While riding I really like fig newtons. Fresh fruit, gorp, and various baked goods also work well for me while riding. When it is really hot for days on end I tend to eat jerky too, craving salt maybe?
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Old 02-12-08, 02:32 PM   #9
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Addendum: A quart of Gatorade and a peach fried pie did NOT sit well riding back from Mineral Wells on Sunday. Of course, I really did guzzle it, but back to chocolate milk for me, just the same.
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Old 02-12-08, 06:24 PM   #10
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This page at www.biketouringtips.com has 15 links to information about eating on tour. Keep in mind that you have to eat while you are riding your bike but also before your ride in the morning and after you stop at night.

You need to decide if you are going to take cooking equipment or if you are going to rely on roadside markets and restaurants for food. If so, you need to plan for a place to eat breakfast and dinner, not just snacking during the day.

Ray
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Old 02-12-08, 06:27 PM   #11
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A cafe with a nice looking cheeseburger and a beer is always my favorite. Pizza and said beer run a close second.
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Old 02-12-08, 08:23 PM   #12
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Getting enough to eat for a week tour is not much of a problem, after 3 months it becomes a problem. It became a big chore every day to eat that much. Keeping hydrated is more of an issue in the short haul.
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Old 02-12-08, 09:25 PM   #13
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Eat what you like when you feel like it. It's been a good many years since I did a tour, but am planning for the next adventure. I left home on the first morning with food for lunch and a plan for the grocery stop in the evening. Each afternoon I stopped at the last known grocery store before where I planned to camp and bought whatever I felt like eating that evening, along with food for the next day's breakfast and lunch. Dinner almost always included a bottle of beer, as well as protein, veggies, and some sort of starch. Breakfast was often bagels & cream cheese with yogurt. Sometimes I stopped and bought a prepared lunch. Fresh seafood was always good. This was a trip down the Pacific coast from Bellingham, WA to Bandon, OR. I didn't do a lot of snack foods and very little "junk" food along the way. I like to cook and have been camping for decades so that part's easy for me.
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Old 02-12-08, 09:52 PM   #14
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I hike and mt bike a lot, am rather new to touring still, but I find that if I'm out there for a long period, a PB&J works great. Mt Biking I burn through a lot of sodium and potassium, sodium is easy to replenish as it's a major preservative in just about every american food, potassium is another matter though. I crave fruit when I'm out there so I bring along bannanas, they replenish your body's potassium and add water soluable vitamins and fiber. I also find that biking in eastern WA, it's a lot less expensive and a lot more rewarding to buy fruit from a roadside vendor than to schlep around bars. First, you don't have any wrapers to deal with. It's fresh fruit, much of it picked un under 24hours which means that vitamins that often degrade within a short period of time are STILL in that piece of fruit.

Multi Day travel: Your body burns through more than just calories, it burns through vitamins as well. Make sure that you get enough of them. Does that mean take a multi-vitamin with you when you're out there?--well if they're part of your daily regiment, it's a good idea not to skimp on them on the road. One thing I have noticed though is that the fat content of a person's diet drops when they head out onto the road. That's fine, but just remember that certain vitamins you NEED are fat soluable and do the body best in the presence of FAT. Vitamin's A, E, D, OMEGA-3S, certain amino acids that your body needs, they all need the presence of fats in the digestive tract to pull threm from the intestines into the blood-stream. These fats can be animal or plant based, they just need to be fats.

You're putting your body under abnormal strain when you undertake an adventure, make sure you're getting enough building blocks into your system to help replenish your stores. It will cut down on your recovery time and keep you healthy.

Caloric consumption: 2000 calories is the average daily recommended consumption level for an adult. A proffessional athelete in training or the height of their season can go through 4000cal per day easy. I tend to cut caloric consumption to 1500cal on the road/trail for the first few days--under 1200 cal a day and your body starts to think you're starving and becomes stingy. I find I get lethargic and the lactic acid tends to build up in my muscles more if I dont keep my diet up around 1500+ for the first three days I'm out there. After the first three days, I go back up 2000cal aday. Why?--well you're body pulls blood to the stomach and digestive system to carry away the nutrients you digest, if you're body isn't CONDITIONED to deal with higher lvls of exercise at the time which you start-out, it helps to cut back on what you're taking in so that your digestive system isn't over-taxed. In a resting state your body stores away extra nutrients that it isn't imediately using. For me, these extra stores last me about 3 days before I burn through them, hence returning to a 2000 cal diet. If I'm out there for even longer and push myself for a week or more, I tend to go up to about 2500cal. I still burn through more than I eat though, especially when I am pushing myself.
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Old 02-13-08, 08:47 AM   #15
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Hi tate65,
When touring I find it hard to eat as I don't seem hungry but I do drink a lot of different things from beer to gatorade. The one thing that is essential for me while on tour is ice cream, I eat some at least once a day.
+1 on the ice cream! That stuff works wonders for me while doing long distances. A chocolate frosty from Wendy's works well for "unbonking".
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Old 02-13-08, 09:06 AM   #16
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Hi tate65,
When touring I find it hard to eat as I don't seem hungry but I do drink a lot of different things from beer to gatorade. The one thing that is essential for me while on tour is ice cream, I eat some at least once a day.
Wow! That is hard for me to imagine. On tour I munch while riding and anytime I stop my body either wants to eat or sleep. Well maybe not the first few days, but once in the groove I eat constantly if usually not that much at a time.

I think I was eating close to 5000 calories a day and I still lost a little weight over the course of the Summer.
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Old 02-14-08, 09:59 PM   #17
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Where are you touring? If you're going to be passing stores occasionally I wouldn't carry much more than an "emergency ration" or two. I typically stop for groceries at the last store before the campground. I buy enough food for dinner and for "first breakfast" the next day - some oatmeal or bagels and cream cheese (I'm diabetic and can't eat most granolas.) I cook my dinner. In the morning I have coffee and first breakfast before I pack up and leave my campsite. Then I look for a town within 10-20 miles, where I stop at a restaurant for "second breakfast" - ham, eggs, hash browns, etc. - something hearty. Around lunchtime I look for another restaurant, or a grocery store with a deli for a sandwich. Then I find a grocery store in the afternoon and repeat the whole process.

If I'm going to be away from stores for awhile I have to stock up. There are lots of choices. One thing I like to have if I have room is a loaf of bread, some peanut butter, and some sugarfree jam. I've lived for two days straight on nothing but PB&J sandwiches, and done just fine!
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Old 02-14-08, 10:16 PM   #18
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Hi tate65,
The one thing that is essential for me while on tour is ice cream, I eat some at least once a day.
You got your fat, your protein, your calcium and a whole lot of satisfaction Heed his advice and enjoy yourself out there.
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Old 02-15-08, 02:17 AM   #19
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Where are you touring? ......... I buy enough food for dinner and for "first breakfast" the next day - some oatmeal or bagels and cream cheese (I'm diabetic and can't eat most granolas.) I cook my dinner. In the morning I have coffee and first breakfast before I pack up and leave my campsite. Then I look for a town within 10-20 miles, where I stop at a restaurant for "second breakfast" - ham, eggs, hash browns, etc. - something hearty. Around lunchtime I look for another restaurant, or a grocery store with a deli for a sandwich. Then I find a grocery store in the afternoon and repeat the whole process.

If I'm going to be away from stores for awhile I have to stock up. There are lots of choices. One thing I like to have if I have room is a loaf of bread, some peanut butter, and some sugarfree jam. I've lived for two days straight on nothing but PB&J sandwiches, and done just fine!
I am also an IDD and have been for 44 years now... When I bicycled in outback Australia for about 6 weeks I was totally self supporting during July/August 2006.

I drank 5 liters of H2O a day and used some additional for cooking. The rivers/creeks were fine to drink out of although I did bring a filter and boiled water for tea/coffee. Porridge, rice, lentils, etc worked as did some fresh meat that I would use up in a day or so. I had some canned sardines etc. I made whole wheat "scones" when I could and that was the basis for PBJ that worked really well as I snacked along. Dried fruits and even cheese were snack foods (but not processed sliced plastic cheese - just the real stuff). I brought eggs and they DO NOT need refrigeration. I kept them for a week sometimes and started putting cooking oil on them when I bought them to seal the pores on the shells, but after a week or?? of travel I stopped doing that with my next purchases because it did not help - the eggs were still nice for frying, boiling, etc and provided a nice change when put into the instant noodle soups (ramen)...

Oh, one more important point about sweating and salting food: several times my legs started to cramp up in the afternoon and I just took some salt (NaCl) into my palm and put it in my mouth and guzzled down some water. A bit of a rest and then several dried apricots/raisins/dates and I was fine. I boinked several times in the first 2 weeks because I was not paying enough attention to what my body was saying and was trying to look at scenery and maintain a certain speed/timetable.. Dried druit, water and a couple of hard candies solved the issue fast. I made sure I stopped for a half-hour to rest my body as well when that happened. In those cases porridge and lentils and some sardines were also taken at the evening meal, BUT I did not OD - just made sure I rested for perhaps 10 hours ( 7 pm to about 5 or 6 am) so I could maintain some cadence the next day..

OTOH, I never missed a pub and a "counter lunch" if I bicycled into some small town (Croydon, Borroloola, etc..). It was a good psychological break from pedalling for several hundred km on a dirt/gravel road.

It seemed also a common courtesy for the local Australians to stop and ask "D'you need wattah?" or "You 'right?" Some even offered a cold "beeah" after a bit of a talk at the side of the road surrounded by gum trees and spindly grass.... The Australians are sure concerned about safety in the outback as anyone can have a mechanical breakdown and be stuck..
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Old 02-15-08, 02:54 AM   #20
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Obviously people vary a lot in what they like to eat.

I like a big carb breakfast (well I don't like a big breakfast but I eat one anyway if I've got a long ride ahead) - cereal, fruit, coffee. I occasionally succumb to the temptation to have a big egg and bacon roll, which is inevitably a big mistake, despite the calories I get tired quickly and don't feel so good.

Snacks - choc chip bikkies, dried apricots or figs or apricot delight or dates (my favourite), muesli bars, power bars (surprisingly good). Always drink when I eat. Occasionally stop at shops (maybe 2-3 times / day) for a drink and a snack and a toilet break.

Lunch - bread, cheese, fruit, maybe ham. Coffee if I'm near a place that makes a good one. Fruit juice or gatorade. Sometimes a packet of chips if I think salt levels are low. Usually something sweet before I get back on the bike. Often a nap if it is hot and I can find a nice shady tree.

Dinner - as much as I can. Prefer buying it (short tours, time-poor, after the experience not just the journey).

Water - yes and lots

Cramps - water, then salt and rest and cooling off a bit, then magnesium. Have only gotten to step 2.

Getting stuck in the bush - fortunately never happened to me, yes people die every so often. Some friends of mine got stuck in the desert outside Alice Springs, fortunately a group of Israeli soldiers on holiday in Australia found them, dug them out of the sand dune and gave them some water.
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Old 02-15-08, 10:48 AM   #21
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I prefer starting the day with some oatmeal or something similar, having a light lunch at a country store or just along the road if necessary and then making a supper of lentils and ham or something similar in the evening. In between, I'll carry fruit leathers and trail mix and fruit and I'll stop several times for a snack. On a hot afternoon, if I see a small store, fruit stand or campground with ice cream for sale, I'll often stop in for a rest.

I don't eat junk food or fast food along the way since those things will make me feel sick. And I try to balance out what I'm eating.

On the road, it's a good idea to carry some snack food for energy. It's much more important to carry a lot of water, especially in summer when temperatures reach 40 C.
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Old 02-16-08, 10:01 AM   #22
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My caloric requirement seems to significantly increase along about the second week on the road. The first few days I just eat whatever I usually eat at home.
I always carry bagels, peanut butter, power bars, and banannas in various quantities. Even though I prefer to camp in motels, I have found several small towns that were closed tight when I arrived, If I hadn't had my store of food along I would have been eating out of a gas station vending machine.
Once on the road for a couple of weeks, I prefer to eat a large breakfast (bagels w/peanut butter, bananna, yogurt, chocolate milk, etc.) early before I begin the day. Then after three hours or so on the road, I like to stop in a cafe and have another large meal. The evening meal is just whatever I find appealing.
Whatever it takes to float your boat down the road.
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