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  1. #76
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclesafe View Post
    bikenh,

    Your posts indicate that you are ignorant of most things nutrition. Do yourself a favor and get yourself straight before you mess yourself (and potentially others) up.
    +1


    bikenh ... take a class or two.

  2. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikenh View Post
    You can't hardly find any corn or soy anymore that is natural.
    My experience is not quite so dire. I consume food here and there without knowing about the GMO factor. But what I eat in my daily routine, I do. Most of the soy I get comes from the (1 cup) of soy milk that I cook my oatmeal in, then about 1/2 cup that I drink. These days that's consistently Plain Silk Soymilk that includes labeling endorsement by the NON GMO Project as having been verified non GMO.

    I don't have a personal opinion about whether GMO is really a health issue or not. But I stay away from it as I can, as part of my general philosophy of eating food that's not seen much alteration from its natural state. This is my lazy approach because it's overwhelming to "figure out" what's good for you and what's not when it comes down to the fine detail.

    Quote Originally Posted by bikenh View Post
    The reason I eat the way I do is for simplicity and it accomplishes everything I'm trying to accomplish. I'm not trying to ride 50-75 miles a day when I go on a trip/tour. I'm generally riding 120 miles a day and sometimes as much as 170 miles in a day.
    A good comparison says something about load. My average day on tour is 80 miles. My loaded bicycle will weigh in around 120 lbs.

    But I accept at face value that you have a bigger focus on racking up the miles than I do. I've been there too. In recent years I've backed off some. The point of my tour is not just to ride the bicycle. I'm trying to experience the countryside I'm traveling through including its natural beauty and local culture and people and activities. When I find a campsite or stop that I really like, I often want to just hang around for a couple hours and enjoy it or use it as an opportunity to catch up on email with loved ones, etc. And I'm not about to compromise my health in the interest of short term goals like how many miles I'm going to average. I'd rather just average less.

    It's just a different focus - I'm not saying you're wrong!

    That touches on what the topic of this thread is - i.e. calorie consumption. It's quite incomplete to talk about calories without talking about what foods they come from, as we're doing. The "right" and "wrong" choices in that regard include some of the factors we've discussed, like how fast the food is turned into usable energy, etc.

    But food is for more than just calories. For example you won't get nearly as much in the way of calories from eating a bunch of fresh leafy vegetables as you will from eating a couple candy bars. Does that mean you should shun the vegetables and stick with candy? If this is the last bicycle ride you plan on going on, maybe so. But otherwise you need a balanced diet with the proper NUTRIENTS, not just calories.

    Still, the decisions we all make even if thought out with exhaustive analysis that we can all agree on (I'm fantasizing for a sec) are a complex set of trade-offs based on our goals in life. If we all agree on what gives you the best nutrition, we still may not agree on what makes sense to eat that day or even in general because that's based on more than where the absolute best nutrition comes from.

    Quote Originally Posted by bikenh View Post
    Sleep deprivation can do all kinds of crazy things to the body, including slowing it down. I don't think the RAAM boys are running into bonking as much as they are riding into sleep deprivation and they just can't keep the body moving as the only thing their body wants to do is shut down and go to sleep. Try spending the next three days off the bike/not doing anything too terribly active but fully awake 24 hours, around the clock, and then go out and ride you bike and see how your speed compares to when you have been getting a good nights sleep each night. I bet you'll find your speed will drop quite a bit as well compared to when your fully awake.
    Not directly related to calories, but I strongly agree on the importance of sleep. Not just for your energy level. But also for your general health and mental outlook on life. And for improving your ability to mentally cope with challenges along the way.

    Quote Originally Posted by bikenh View Post
    Like I've said before and most everyone else has said...hydration is far more of a worry than running out of calories. Unless you are already borderline anorexic you don't have much to worry about when it comes to running out of calories. For most Americans in this day and age you probably need to lose weight rather than maintain or gain weight. For most people, losing a few pounds can only do the body good.
    Who can disagree with that?

    One thing I respect about you, independent of whether I agree in detail, is that you're not just blundering through your trip without having a well thought out plan that has obviously seen significant refinement in the interest of making a lot of things come together and work for you.

    Happy touring.
    Last edited by Walter S; 04-06-14 at 06:06 AM. Reason: grammar

  3. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by JEdward View Post
    I think it will be impossible to replace all the calories used each day on a tour lasting weeks, especially on hot days, climbing days, and tough days when you are fighting head wind. Weight loss, and muscle loss is gonna happen. I asked this question because I wanted to ride to NY from CA.

    I now now think planned rest days are mandatory to replenish calories and to avoid fatigue, rather than go every day until you bonk and your body just quits.
    It is quite possible to fuel yourself for each day and the next day.

    What you are describing isn't insufficient fuel but excessive exertion or insufficient recovery capability to continue the next day.

    One has a base level of fitness for putting out so many miles a day at a particular level of exertion. Once you exceed that level, either cumulative miles (total calorie output) or intensity (hitting aerobic limits, repetitive stress to muscle/connective tissue) YOU HAVE TO RECOVER. Quantity of food is not recovery. Rest is recovery.

    For example you may have a base level of fitness to ride 50miles a day at an easy pace. Whatever heart rate or calorie expenditure that is it's your base and you can recover in your sleep. If you bump up the miles to 75m a day you will probably need a few rest days every few days until a new base level of fitness is reached. When I was young and fit the new base took at least a month to reach, it took about a season or three months for substantial changes to occur in recovery. What you do on recovery days starts to become as important as exertion days as your ability to recover is what enables you to put in long miles and have reserves for those particularly hard days.

    back to your base fitness, if you are accustomed to a particular effort and you substantially increase that effort you introduce new levels of recovery needed. Your muscle fibers and connective tissue could be presented with cumulative stresses that might cause enough minor damage that a day of reduced intensity and off the bike movement is absolutely required or you may find yourself with a chronic injury that becomes acute when ignored. Calories have very little to do with this stress/recovery cycle.

    Planned recovery during the day, over days is always worthwhile. It gives you reserves because you don't know what is around the corner.
    Last edited by LeeG; 04-06-14 at 02:58 PM.

  4. #79
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    Interesting perspective LeeG.

    When I go on tour a frequent pattern shows. The first day I feel pretty strong but have spikes of over exertion as I awkwardly settle into the difference from my regular commute load. The 2nd day I'm a little bit off of that but not much. The 3rd day is a low point. My legs may be sore starting out. The 4th day I feel pretty strong and I start feeling I'm settling into a sustainable pace. The 5th day a feel like superman. Nothing's going to stop me. After that I quit thinking about the topic much and just ride.

  5. #80
    Senior Member Thulsadoom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
    It is quite possible to fuel yourself for each days and the next day.

    What you are describing isn't insufficient fuel but excessive exertion or insufficient recovery capability to continue the next day.

    One has a base level of fitness for putting out so many miles a day at a particular level of exertion. Once you exceed that level, either cumulative miles (total calorie output) or intensity (hitting aerobic limits, repetitive stress to muscle/connective tissue) YOU HAVE TO RECOVER. Quantity of food is not recovery. Rest is recovery.

    For example you may have a base level of fitness to ride 50miles a day at an easy pace. Whatever heart rate or calorie expenditure that is it's your base and you can recover in your sleep. If you bump up the miles to 75m a day you will probably need a few rest days every few days until a new base level of fitness is reached. When I was young and fit the new base took at least a month to reach, it took about a season or three months for substantial changes to occur in recovery. What you do on recovery days starts to become as important as exertion days as your ability to recover is what enables you to put in long miles and have reserves for those particularly hard days.

    back to your base fitness, if you are accustomed to a particular effort and you substantially increase that effort you introduce new levels of recovery needed. Your muscle fibers and connective tissue could be presented with cumulative stresses that might cause enough minor damage that a day of reduced intensity and off the bike movement is absolutely required or you may find yourself with a chronic injury that becomes acute when ignored. Calories have very little to do with this stress/recovery cycle.

    Planned recovery during the day, over days is always worthwhile. It gives you reserves because you don't know what is around the corner.
    Rest and nutrition work together.
    You work harder, you have to rest more and eat more (quality food) in order to recover faster.

  6. #81
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    Just from watching a lot of these guys on youtube, and reading journals of long distance touring, I think one recovery day a week is a must, and you can use that to replenish calories and energy lost. I'd probably just take the weekend off and do it that way.

  7. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thulsadoom View Post
    Rest and nutrition work together.
    You work harder, you have to rest more and eat more (quality food) in order to recover faster.
    That certainly is my take on it, as well as my experience.

  8. #83
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JEdward View Post
    Just from watching a lot of these guys on youtube, and reading journals of long distance touring, I think one recovery day a week is a must, and you can use that to replenish calories and energy lost. I'd probably just take the weekend off and do it that way.
    Not always. My wife and I averaged over 50 miles per day for 74 consecutive days. We had some 80 mile days, but followed them with a 25-30 mile day. While 50 miles a day is not high mileage, we were still in excellent shape when we started with a 4500' foot climb on the first day. Very seldom did we have to dip into our reserves. Our experience parallels what LeeG posted.

  9. #84
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JEdward View Post
    I think one recovery day a week is a must, and you can use that to replenish calories and energy lost.
    Personally I don't think rest days are necessary. My personal opinion is that if I NEED a rest day I over did pretty badly. Easy days once in a while are a different matter I do take a shorter mileage day here and there, but generally ride every day. I do take a relatively rare day off now and then to do something interesting, but not to rest. I have very rarely taken a full day off and when I did it was because I wanted to go whitewater rafting, hiking, or something.

    I don't think replenishing calories or energy are really accomplished by taking days off. It is kind of like missed sleep, you make it up right away but much after that it is too late. You might put weight back on but lost energy isn't accomplished that way IMO.

  10. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by JEdward View Post
    Just from watching a lot of these guys on youtube, and reading journals of long distance touring, I think one recovery day a week is a must, and you can use that to replenish calories and energy lost. I'd probably just take the weekend off and do it that way.
    It's clear you understand the need for a rest day but seem unclear on the reason. You can have a rest day every few days where you make it an easy low mileage day. You can have a rest day where it's a long downwind ride most of the day and you take it easy never exerting yourself, you can have a rest day every five days where you hardly ride the bike, you can have a rest day where you camp in the same spot two nights and stay off the bike. You aren't resting because of a calorie deficit you're resting because the cumulative exertion is beyond your normal day to day experience and your body needs rest to repair and recover.

    Some folks have a base conditioning, heart, lungs, gut, butt, back, hands, etc. that they can ride one 50mile day after another until the seasons change. If that person tries consecutive 75mile days they'll probably need recovery days as the exertion is more than they are accustomed to. The rest isn't because they aren't taking in enough food it's because the exertion is more than normal and it takes time to recover. With adequate recovery over weeks, months and a season or two they could have a higher base fitness and put in longer consecutive mile days.

    Or if that same person who can ride 50milers back to back until the cows came home tried to increase their effort and speed they'd have to recover from that. Instead of a 4.5hr 50miler they tried a 4hr 50miler where they jammed up every hill and pushed harder on the flats. That increase in exertion would require recovery days just as long mile days. If that 50mile in 4.5hrs person wants to make it in 3.5hrs they will have to go substantially harder up hills which is very easy to fuel but there's a limit how much hp they can put out the muscle, joint and connective tissue strain is something that may take days to recover from. It wasn't the calorie exertion but the strain. It doesn't take much extra calories of food to put out a few hundred extra calories of energy but the issue becomes the strain on your muscles and connective tissue to transmit that greater power. Like weight lifting it takes time to develop the greater strength through cycles of stress and recovery. Simply eating more food won't enable you continue a higher level of exertion. Milkshakes don't make a weight lifter strong, it's training and recovery.

    Recovery/rest, whether it's minutes after a sprint, taking a rest after a mtn climb, or a day off after consecutive days of hard riding isn't an issue of calorie intake it's because your body has limits in energy output and when you approach or exceed those limits you need to recover. A milkshake won't fix a sore knee, chafed skin, tired exhausted muscles, irritated tendons, tired knees. etc.

  11. #86
    Senior Member Thulsadoom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
    It's clear you understand the need for a rest day but seem unclear on the reason. You can have a rest day every few days where you make it an easy low mileage day. You can have a rest day where it's a long downwind ride most of the day and you take it easy never exerting yourself, you can have a rest day every five days where you hardly ride the bike, you can have a rest day where you camp in the same spot two nights and stay off the bike. You aren't resting because of a calorie deficit you're resting because the cumulative exertion is beyond your normal day to day experience and your body needs rest to repair and recover.

    Some folks have a base conditioning, heart, lungs, gut, butt, back, hands, etc. that they can ride one 50mile day after another until the seasons change. If that person tries consecutive 75mile days they'll probably need recovery days as the exertion is more than they are accustomed to. The rest isn't because they aren't taking in enough food it's because the exertion is more than normal and it takes time to recover. With adequate recovery over weeks, months and a season or two they could have a higher base fitness and put in longer consecutive mile days.

    Or if that same person who can ride 50milers back to back until the cows came home tried to increase their effort and speed they'd have to recover from that. Instead of a 4.5hr 50miler they tried a 4hr 50miler where they jammed up every hill and pushed harder on the flats. That increase in exertion would require recovery days just as long mile days. If that 50mile in 4.5hrs person wants to make it in 3.5hrs they will have to go substantially harder up hills which is very easy to fuel but there's a limit how much hp they can put out the muscle, joint and connective tissue strain is something that may take days to recover from. It wasn't the calorie exertion but the strain. It doesn't take much extra calories of food to put out a few hundred extra calories of energy but the issue becomes the strain on your muscles and connective tissue to transmit that greater power. Like weight lifting it takes time to develop the greater strength through cycles of stress and recovery. Simply eating more food won't enable you continue a higher level of exertion. Milkshakes don't make a weight lifter strong, it's training and recovery.

    Recovery/rest, whether it's minutes after a sprint, taking a rest after a mtn climb, or a day off after consecutive days of hard riding isn't an issue of calorie intake it's because your body has limits in energy output and when you approach or exceed those limits you need to recover. A milkshake won't fix a sore knee, chafed skin, tired exhausted muscles, irritated tendons, tired knees. etc.
    I'm trying to follow what you're saying, and it sounds suspiciously like you're saying that if one increases ones workload, I.E. a bicycle tour, that one needs to rest more in order to recover as quickly as possible and doesn't neccessarily need to increase ones nutritional intake. If that is in fact what you are meaning to say, then you are incorrect. To recover as quickly as possible from hard effort that your body is not accustomed to, you need both increased rest and nutrition. If you bust your butt, and rest more but don't eat more, you will recover but it will take longer than if you did both. Maybe I'm misunderstanding you...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thulsadoom View Post
    I'm trying to follow what you're saying, and it sounds suspiciously like you're saying that if one increases ones workload, I.E. a bicycle tour, that one needs to rest more in order to recover as quickly as possible and doesn't neccessarily need to increase ones nutritional intake. If that is in fact what you are meaning to say, then you are incorrect. To recover as quickly as possible from hard effort that your body is not accustomed to, you need both increased rest and nutrition. If you bust your butt, and rest more but don't eat more, you will recover but it will take longer than if you did both. Maybe I'm misunderstanding you...
    No, I'm not saying nutritional intake doesn't need to increase with increased workload but that increased workload requires adequate recovery. The op seems to be focusing inordinately on calorie intake as a means to address exertion recovery as opposed to rest and recovery.

  13. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by JEdward View Post
    Just from watching a lot of these guys on youtube, and reading journals of long distance touring, I think one recovery day a week is a must, and you can use that to replenish calories and energy lost. I'd probably just take the weekend off and do it that way.
    Yet another nay vote on this idea. Sure, there's nothing wrong with a rest day! But I take them for fun, not out of necessity. I keep a sustainable pace on my tours and hikes, mainly because cycling or hiking every day is my idea of a perfect day and a perfect trip. I also feel, as said above, that if I need a rest day, I screwed up and overdid it and I try not to do that.

    I think this view is in the minority because most organized tours of over a week seem to have rest days built into their schedules. I would go crazy sitting still for all those days.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
    It's clear you understand the need for a rest day but seem unclear on the reason. You can have a rest day every few days where you make it an easy low mileage day. You can have a rest day where it's a long downwind ride most of the day and you take it easy never exerting yourself, you can have a rest day every five days where you hardly ride the bike, you can have a rest day where you camp in the same spot two nights and stay off the bike. You aren't resting because of a calorie deficit you're resting because the cumulative exertion is beyond your normal day to day experience and your body needs rest to repair and recover.

    Some folks have a base conditioning, heart, lungs, gut, butt, back, hands, etc. that they can ride one 50mile day after another until the seasons change. If that person tries consecutive 75mile days they'll probably need recovery days as the exertion is more than they are accustomed to. The rest isn't because they aren't taking in enough food it's because the exertion is more than normal and it takes time to recover. With adequate recovery over weeks, months and a season or two they could have a higher base fitness and put in longer consecutive mile days.

    Or if that same person who can ride 50milers back to back until the cows came home tried to increase their effort and speed they'd have to recover from that. Instead of a 4.5hr 50miler they tried a 4hr 50miler where they jammed up every hill and pushed harder on the flats. That increase in exertion would require recovery days just as long mile days. If that 50mile in 4.5hrs person wants to make it in 3.5hrs they will have to go substantially harder up hills which is very easy to fuel but there's a limit how much hp they can put out the muscle, joint and connective tissue strain is something that may take days to recover from. It wasn't the calorie exertion but the strain. It doesn't take much extra calories of food to put out a few hundred extra calories of energy but the issue becomes the strain on your muscles and connective tissue to transmit that greater power. Like weight lifting it takes time to develop the greater strength through cycles of stress and recovery. Simply eating more food won't enable you continue a higher level of exertion. Milkshakes don't make a weight lifter strong, it's training and recovery.

    Recovery/rest, whether it's minutes after a sprint, taking a rest after a mtn climb, or a day off after consecutive days of hard riding isn't an issue of calorie intake it's because your body has limits in energy output and when you approach or exceed those limits you need to recover. A milkshake won't fix a sore knee, chafed skin, tired exhausted muscles, irritated tendons, tired knees. etc.
    All very good points Lee, the red coloured part is a different way of putting what I've always felt, but I've thought of it in terms of my output in % in a day. I try to keep my output at an amount, I dunno, something like 75%, that I can do all day and not be totally overcooked at the end of the day, nor for the next day. Days in really mountainous terrain means I use my gears very carefully to try not to consistently go over my " cruising % of output", and as you say, a 60km day in mountains can have the same output of energy (joints, muscle as you say) as a 100km flat day. Just as a tailwind day is going to mean you put out a heck of a lot less watts than a big headwind day.

    Being attentive to my output took time to learn, and probably becomes more evident the older one gets, slower recovery, less output anyway. I do it instinctively, but it works for me.
    Another factor is how the more you ride, the stronger you get, especially on a loaded tour just because we have to work so much harder than commuting or whatever on a much lighter bike. As time goes on, my power output goes up, my knees are stronger etc, but instinctively I still ride at a % that I can do all day without overextending things and not be dead at the end of the day etc, but I'll be faster and have more endurance than at the start of the trip.
    I've always found that about after a week of riding, there's a noticeable difference in being stronger, and a lot more after 2, 3 weeks.

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    I did some real miles(50 miles only) and felt gassed out. I think it was the sun, I'm not really use to warm weather and I really don't like cycling when it's in the mid to high 80s. By mile 35 I felt spent and was already struggling, though I think I was getting head wind at the last stretch. Bike wasn't loaded or anything, and this was pretty much on flat paved surface. Took me over 4 hours just to do 50 miles. I'm not ready for touring it would seem. I felt fine the next day though, no sore muscles or anything like that. Starting to think it's just the heat and recent weather change that my body has to adapt to. And deciding to just eat oatmeal for breakfast was probably a bad decision too. I may of bonked. Not sure. But going 12mph at the last stretch was pretty silly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JEdward View Post
    I did some real miles(50 miles only) and felt gassed out. I think it was the sun, I'm not really use to warm weather and I really don't like cycling when it's in the mid to high 80s. By mile 35 I felt spent and was already struggling, though I think I was getting head wind at the last stretch. Bike wasn't loaded or anything, and this was pretty much on flat paved surface. Took me over 4 hours just to do 50 miles. I'm not ready for touring it would seem. I felt fine the next day though, no sore muscles or anything like that. Starting to think it's just the heat and recent weather change that my body has to adapt to. And deciding to just eat oatmeal for breakfast was probably a bad decision too. I may of bonked. Not sure. But going 12mph at the last stretch was pretty silly.
    Going 12mph isn't silly. It's a pretty average pace for touring. 4hrs for 50miles is excellent. You will know when you bonk, it's pretty severe. I wonder if you have an expectation problem thinking you can be fresh anywhere in the ride after pushing for most of it. Try this next time, go easy for the first hour, somewhere between breathing through your nose and mouth, just get used to easy rolling and smelling the roses. I used to think of it as %60 effort. Make sure you don't get into pushing at all in the first hour. See what happens. Oatmeal is a good breakfast but if that's all you had and your body hasn't developed energy reserves for multiple hours you're going to need to fuel up until your body becomes more efficient. Take it easy in the first hour, drink water and have a second breakfast snack of anything by hour two with more water.
    Instead of thinking of this in terms of "getting gassed" think about being a steam engine needing fuel and water.
    Take it easy, you had a good ride, have another one but consume the equivalent of another bowl of oatmeal by hour two. Did you ride four hours with no other food than the oatmeal starting out?

  17. #92
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JEdward View Post
    I did some real miles(50 miles only) and felt gassed out. I think it was the sun, I'm not really use to warm weather and I really don't like cycling when it's in the mid to high 80s. By mile 35 I felt spent and was already struggling, though I think I was getting head wind at the last stretch. Bike wasn't loaded or anything, and this was pretty much on flat paved surface. Took me over 4 hours just to do 50 miles. I'm not ready for touring it would seem. I felt fine the next day though, no sore muscles or anything like that. Starting to think it's just the heat and recent weather change that my body has to adapt to. And deciding to just eat oatmeal for breakfast was probably a bad decision too. I may of bonked. Not sure. But going 12mph at the last stretch was pretty silly.
    So ... what did you eat at Mile 35 when you started to bonk?

    If you answer "nothing", then your problem is not the heat, not the head wind, not the bicycle, not that you're not ready, not the recent weather change, and not the oatmeal. The problem is that you did not eat during your ride.

    It doesn't particular matter what you eat before your ride (although going super spicy could be an issue) ... what matter is eating during your ride.

    Aim to consume (food, beverages) 200-300 calories per hour during your ride.
    Aim to drink a 750 ml bottle of water and/or sports drink every 1 to 1.5 hours.

    Your calories could come from energy bars, granola bars (they've got some good ones of those available now), fruit, a sandwich, beef jerky, potato chips, cookies, pastries, crackers and cheese, salted almonds, 100% pure orange juice, iced tea ... whatever is available ... whatever grabs your fancy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
    Going 12mph isn't silly. It's a pretty average pace for touring. 4hrs for 50miles is excellent. You will know when you bonk, it's pretty severe. I wonder if you have an expectation problem thinking you can be fresh anywhere in the ride after pushing for most of it. Try this next time, go easy for the first hour, somewhere between breathing through your nose and mouth, just get used to easy rolling and smelling the roses. I used to think of it as %60 effort. Make sure you don't get into pushing at all in the first hour. See what happens. Oatmeal is a good breakfast but if that's all you had and your body hasn't developed energy reserves for multiple hours you're going to need to fuel up until your body becomes more efficient. Take it easy in the first hour, drink water and have a second breakfast snack of anything by hour two with more water.
    Instead of thinking of this in terms of "getting gassed" think about being a steam engine needing fuel and water.
    Take it easy, you had a good ride, have another one but consume the equivalent of another bowl of oatmeal by hour two. Did you ride four hours with no other food than the oatmeal starting out?
    I think I just felt weird that day. 50 miles is too much. Boredom kind of sets in, so I think I need a better route. I did eat a granola bar after 30 miles or so to see if it would help. It helped a tad but still felt very low energy wise in the end. I don't think I drank enough that day either, it just started to get into the 80s that day, and I was not use to that kind of heat. Maybe it was just a combination of all those things. I'll eat and drink smarter, but I'm cutting my miles back to 40. 50 seems like a lot for me right now, I don't have my cycling legs back yet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    So ... what did you eat at Mile 35 when you started to bonk?

    If you answer "nothing", then your problem is not the heat, not the head wind, not the bicycle, not that you're not ready, not the recent weather change, and not the oatmeal. The problem is that you did not eat during your ride.

    It doesn't particular matter what you eat before your ride (although going super spicy could be an issue) ... what matter is eating during your ride.

    Aim to consume (food, beverages) 200-300 calories per hour during your ride.
    Aim to drink a 750 ml bottle of water and/or sports drink every 1 to 1.5 hours.

    Your calories could come from energy bars, granola bars (they've got some good ones of those available now), fruit, a sandwich, beef jerky, potato chips, cookies, pastries, crackers and cheese, salted almonds, 100% pure orange juice, iced tea ... whatever is available ... whatever grabs your fancy.
    I had a granola bar and water after 30 miles or so. Maybe it wasn't a bonk, I just felt weak and I probably didn't drink enough water, only had three bottles of water maybe for those 50 miles. Energy level was just very low at the end. I usually like to finish strong, but couldn't that day. It was one of those, can't wait for this ride to end type of situation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JEdward View Post
    I had a granola bar and water after 30 miles or so. Maybe it wasn't a bonk, I just felt weak and I probably didn't drink enough water, only had three bottles of water maybe for those 50 miles. Energy level was just very low at the end. I usually like to finish strong, but couldn't that day. It was one of those, can't wait for this ride to end type of situation.
    Did you wait until 30 miles to start drinking????

    How long did it take you to ride 50 miles?
    How many calories are in one single solitary granola bar?

    The recommendation is 200-300 calories per hour. If you're really fit, you can eat less than that, but you're not really fit. So you need to eat 200-300 calories per hour.

    If you did 50 miles in 4 hours, you needed to consume 4 decent granola bars of 200 calories each. But you only had one granola bar.

    Your body needs fuel to keep going. And when you are consuming enough fuel your attitude toward the ride will improve.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bikenh View Post
    One of the top 10 reasons for thruhiking the Appalachian Trail applies equally as well to long distance biking...'lose weight...without dieting.'

    All kidding aside thruhikers find the secret, whether they like it or not. After the first couple of weeks of normal eating but exerting a lot more calories than what you normally would you're body kicks in and starts demanding you to eat more and you just start carrying a lot more food with you. The trouble comes when you stop hiking/biking. The appetite is still there while the exertion isn't...you gain weight quickly......whether you like it or not.

    For the distance most of the guys on this message board typically ride a day they won't have any kind of trouble keeping up with their caloric intake needs. You would have to be riding 100+ miles a day to run into any kind of real trouble...that or you would have to be really out of shape at the start. Otherwise even if you were doing a standard 50-60 mile a day tour I couldn't see how you could run into any kind of trouble keeping up with the diet.

    One secret for getting the calories is to forget the quality of the food and just focus on the quantity(calorie wise). I don't have a sense of taste or smell so I can eat the same thing day in day out. I did when I thruhiked back in 1997. I would eat 2 fruit pies(think Hostess) in the morning for breakfast(roughly 900 calories). Lunch I would eat 6 oatmeal cakes(think Little Debbie)...another 900 calories. For supper I would spoon out around 1/3 of a 40 oz jar of peanut butter and lick it right off the spoon(2000 calories). Yes, I still eat oatmeal cakes and i'll still lick peanut butter off the spoon. I didn't loose any weight when I thruhiked. Even though I did come off the diet immediately upon finishing I still gained around 10 pounds after I finished the thruhiked.
    If you're not balancing your diet to include fresh vegetables and fruit then you're missing important nutrients for maintaining your overall health. That may not be a rich set of calories. But for me anyway, I'm in this for the long haul. My food is for more than just the energy to ride the bicycle today. If that means I'll need to settle for a 75 mile average instead of perhaps 125 miles then so be it. The journey means more than covering the maximum number miles per day possible. And I can still expand my baseline to include longer days where necessary.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JEdward View Post
    I did some real miles(50 miles only) and felt gassed out. I think it was the sun, I'm not really use to warm weather and I really don't like cycling when it's in the mid to high 80s. By mile 35 I felt spent and was already struggling, though I think I was getting head wind at the last stretch. Bike wasn't loaded or anything, and this was pretty much on flat paved surface. Took me over 4 hours just to do 50 miles. I'm not ready for touring it would seem. I felt fine the next day though, no sore muscles or anything like that. Starting to think it's just the heat and recent weather change that my body has to adapt to. And deciding to just eat oatmeal for breakfast was probably a bad decision too. I may of bonked. Not sure. But going 12mph at the last stretch was pretty silly.
    How many miles the day before that? And the day before that, and so on? A 50 mile ride out of the blue is too much for almost anybody. Once you can do 50 miles, doing 50 miles back to back becomes a challenge. If you're in the right condition you can last 50 miles just fine with Zero calories, just what your body packs along for the ride. In lesser condition occasional eating along the way is definitely advisable. And of course hydration is critical, etc. There's a lot more to be said about making 50 miles comfortable than with respect to calorie intake.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Walter S View Post
    .... If you're in the right condition you can last 50 miles just fine with Zero calories, just what your body packs along for the ride. In lesser condition occasional eating along the way is definitely advisable....
    sorry Walter but I have to disagree with you on this perspective.

    Sure, one could do it, but we're not talking about The Bataan Death March here, we're talking about enjoying oneself, and eating numerous times during a day of riding 80km or cross country skiing all day, when feeling hungry, is both necessary and well, frankly, going to avoid you feeling like crap at some point.

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    Quote Originally Posted by djb View Post
    sorry Walter but I have to disagree with you on this perspective.
    I, for one, was nodding in agreement as I read Walter's post. I routinely go out for 50 mile rides without carrying a lunch or a snack. Say it's mid-season, I'm in shape, I've just had a decent breakfast and I know I can eat at the end of the ride, I sort of enjoy going for a ride like that without packing anything other than water and a patch kit. There's a good training ride outside of Prescott, AZ, the Skull Valley loop, 54 remote miles and 4000' of climbing, lots of in-shape cyclists--hardly anyone brings food.

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    definitely part of it is that I'm a skinny guy who has always needed to eat often, so I'm sure thats a factor.
    That said, all of my riding friends who come in all shapes and sizes, aren't that different from me in wanting to eat a snack here and there, not to mention lunch, on a 80km day--especially on a bike that is not a 15lb wunderroadie machine, but a touring bike that weighs 45, 55, 75lbs.
    Same with my friends that I cross country ski with, if we are out all day, little snacks and then a lunch are the norm, not really any different than a cycle touring day.

    As always, just like with riding speeds, one really does need to "ride their own ride", so whatever works for you, guess its the same with eating.

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