So I'm doing the San Dimas stage race this weekend, and I am currently attempting to "carb load" for it. The idea is that you restrict yourself carbohydrates for 2-3 days completely, and the day before the event you stuff your face with as much as possible to completely restore your glycogen stores and teach your body how to properly use carbohydrates again( there have been studies that show you can almost double the amount of stored glycogen in your body, if done correctly) . I am in my second or so day of the low carb diet, and I feel like I've lost weight already. This works perfectly because my taper for the race starts today with only 1 hour of L1 training both today and tomorrow, so the restricted carbohydrates will not affect my preperation for the race. Anyone else ever try this?
Carbo-loading is really only important where you have limited energy-stores for the entire event and taking in more can be a detriment, such as running a marathon. Then carbo-loading and getting an extra 20% of glycogen packed it may make the difference between winning, versus pulling out due to a bonk.
For cycling, it really isn't that big a deal, you can always eat on the bike and get more at feed-zones.
I don't do the carb-restriction thing, but the night/morning before a big ride I'll start eating every piece of bread in sight. I've found that if I wake up at around 2 in the morning and eat about 1000 calories of mostly carbs with some protein and very little fat, I'll be good to go hard all day. I tend to look for whole grains and more complex carbs/less simple sugars so that it doesn't get metabolized right away and gone before I need it.