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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Taking food on a ride?

    How far do you have to ride before you'll take any kind of food with you for energy?

  2. #2
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I always have at least one energy bar tucked in my handlebar bag or bento bag no matter what the distance. You never know if your little 1 hour ride might turn into a 3 hour tour!

    As for actually eating the energy bar ... I wouldn't likely touch it until at least an hour into the ride.

  3. #3
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    The only riding I'm doing lately is commuting but at 45 miles r/t it's a pretty good commute. I don't take any food with me but I used to eat power bars and gels on longer rides. I do eat something when I get to the office though of course.
    '04 Specialized Allez Elite - Rigged for the daily grind....

  4. #4
    Senior Member VanceMac's Avatar
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    Less than 2 hours, no food. Over 2 hours, and I make sure I have an adequate fig bar supply.

  5. #5
    Videre non videri
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    More than three hours - I bring food, unless I plan to stop somewhere, in which case I just bring money.

  6. #6
    seattle based cyclist merlinman's Avatar
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    depends on how hard I'm riding. If easy recovery spin for 1 hour - just water.
    if hard intervals - I'm sucking down calories with water right from get go.
    generally for training hard for me it goes like this:
    first hour - in water bottle - HEED (200 calories) during hour
    second hour - in water bottle - Recoverite or Ultragen with some dextrose (around 300 calories)
    3 hour - power type bar (250 calories) with protein
    augment with sips of Endurance Max (malodextrin that tastes ok) (700 calories in a easy carry bottle)
    goal is 300 cals per hour

    when return home - get big glass of chocolate milk!
    Andiamo!!

  7. #7
    c'mon up front and work jamesstout's Avatar
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    pack a gel always you never know you're gonna blow until its too late

  8. #8
    Pat
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    I can get up and not eat and go over 50 miles without eating. I almost never carry food on the bike. I just stop at a convenience store and get something with lots of carbohydrates like fig bars. If I am riding a century, I usually have a little cereal and an orange and banana and hit a couple of SAG stops for fruit and some carbos. But for some reason, I don't seem to need much food on a ride. Now water is a different matter.

  9. #9
    Not obese just overweight ratebeer's Avatar
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    It all depends. You can train yourself to ride without food for many hours. If you planning on riding hard for more than 90 minutes you'll usually be better off with more than carb drink calories. The trick is to make it very digestible food -- high glycemic index.
    Joe

    Veho difficilis, ago facilis

  10. #10
    Not obese just overweight ratebeer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat
    I can get up and not eat and go over 50 miles without eating. I almost never carry food on the bike. I just stop at a convenience store and get something with lots of carbohydrates like fig bars. If I am riding a century, I usually have a little cereal and an orange and banana and hit a couple of SAG stops for fruit and some carbos. But for some reason, I don't seem to need much food on a ride. Now water is a different matter.
    I used to do the same and get to about 65 miles before absolutely needing food. What you're doing seems kind of crazy though. What happens if you start getting the shakes and you're in the middle of some climb or way out in the middle of nowhere? How do you know there's going to be a convenience store nearby?
    Joe

    Veho difficilis, ago facilis

  11. #11
    umd
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caliente
    How far do you have to ride before you'll take any kind of food with you for energy?
    I've ridden over 100 miles with no food, but generally take a Cliff bar for every 2 hours I'll be out if the ride is likely to be over 2 hours. But I'll have a good breakfast before I go and I make stops at stores along the way and only use the bars if I don't make stops.

  12. #12
    Senior Member slim_77's Avatar
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    I'm a Type 1 diabetic so I am bound by a particular requirement, but in general after about an hour I'll eat; if training hard then every 20-30 min I take some carbs...I do not generally feel hungry though.
    gravity: it's not just a good idea, it's the law.

  13. #13
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    I pretty much always have a bottle of accelerade with me, but I don't go for ride less than 20-25 miles.

    Sunday I did a hilly 38 miles, drank about 32 oz of accelerade and had 2 fig newtons.
    Eric

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  14. #14
    Videre non videri
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    If I'm planning a long ride the next day, I always eat and drink a lot, and I also eat right before I go out. That way, I can manage without extra energy for 2.5-3 hours typically. When I do bring food, that's usually a couple of bananas and a few packs of dextrose "tablets".

  15. #15
    NorCal Climbing Freak
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    Anything over two hours and I bring food. I'll bring food anyways, just in case I get hungry.

    Just because you can go long without food, doesn't mean you should. It could negatively impact post ride recovery, as you will have more calories to replace. It could also cause a drop in blood sugar, leading to a food binge. Neither outcome it good. So eat.

  16. #16
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    Always have at least 1 gel and usually I carry 2. When I used them depends on how I feel. If Im starting to fade 40 minutes into my 1 hour commute, Ill down one. Otherwise I try to just ride it out. I always have a bottle full of cytomax.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by grebletie
    Anything over two hours and I bring food. I'll bring food anyways, just in case I get hungry.

    Just because you can go long without food, doesn't mean you should. It could negatively impact post ride recovery, as you will have more calories to replace. It could also cause a drop in blood sugar, leading to a food binge. Neither outcome it good. So eat.

    +1

    I'm eating for tommorrow, too. One of the big adjustments I made to getting old.

  18. #18
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    I think someone said the same:
    Depends on intensity.
    A 50 mile hard ride of say 18-22 MPH (flats) requires food at 25 miles for me.
    OTOH, I am trying to loose some weight. So, today, I did an easy 60 mile ride after a breakfast with Oatmeal, blueberries, three eggs on six slices of dry rye. Nothing else but water for the 60 miles. I felt OK and could have done some more miles. Ran out of time but not energy.

  19. #19
    c'mon up front and work jamesstout's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by will dehne
    I think someone said the same:
    Depends on intensity.
    A 50 mile hard ride of say 18-22 MPH (flats) requires food at 25 miles for me.
    OTOH, I am trying to loose some weight. So, today, I did an easy 60 mile ride after a breakfast with Oatmeal, blueberries, three eggs on six slices of dry rye. Nothing else but water for the 60 miles. I felt OK and could have done some more miles. Ran out of time but not energy.
    thats cos you ate a HUGE breakfast why not eat a smalle rone and then something in the ride

  20. #20
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesstout
    thats cos you ate a HUGE breakfast why not eat a smalle rone and then something in the ride
    Because I love that HUGE breakfast. One must have some fun in this life.

  21. #21
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caliente
    How far do you have to ride before you'll take any kind of food with you for energy?
    It depends upon the intensity...

    If I'm riding at 25mph ave. at TT pace, then I can go max for about 1.5-2.0 hours before I run completely out of energy and bonk. That's because I'm burning 800-900 cal/hr using 100% glycogen & 0% fat and will completely consume my 1600-2000 glycogen supply. Even eating at this time is too late as the maximum 250-calories/hr digestion rate for the highest-GI fastest/digesting food will only allow me to go at 6-8mph the rest of the way. So I need to be eating right at the beginning of the ride to maintain this kind of pace.

    However, if I'm doing a real endurance ride at 15-20mph, then I can go for 3-4 hours. This pace will let me burn 500-600 cal/hr using around 50/50 to 60/40 glycogen/fat. Adding food after 1 hour will let me go about 6-7 hours and 100-miles+ before the bonk. If I had breakfast and eat 250-cal/hr, I can go for 12-hours+.

  22. #22
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
    It depends upon the intensity...

    However, if I'm doing a real endurance ride at 15-20mph, then I can go for 3-4 hours. This pace will let me burn 500-600 cal/hr using around 50/50 to 60/40 glycogen/fat. Adding food after 1 hour will let me go about 6-7 hours and 100-miles+ before the bonk. If I had breakfast and eat 250-cal/hr, I can go for 12-hours+.
    Hey Danno-Thanks, this is what I do and it works for me. Nice to see it documented by others.

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