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What do you eat on a long ride?(12 posts)

What do you eat on a long ride?fire737
Aug 5, 2001 4:43 PM
I am curious as to what kinds of food people pack to eat on a century ride. I have a century coming up quick and need to find out what to have my support crew (wife) put in a musette bag? Also how much should a person pack in there jersey? Another big question is all I have ever drank on my bike is water. Is there something else I should drink as a fluid replacement? Let me know any ideas and also what kinds of foods would be good for me to eat leading up to the event. Please respond if you have any ideas.
re: What do you eat on a long ride?badabill
Aug 5, 2001 5:50 PM
Test out some things on your training rides before you use them on the century. What works for me are fig newtons, raisons, and power bars. For fluids I use a mixture of cytomax and pedia lite. I keep Gu packets as a back up if needed. I try to eat little snacks every hour on the bike, and drink at least a bottle of fluid per hour.
Most organized centuries...MrCelloBoy
Aug 5, 2001 5:55 PM
provide plenty of food and drink at regular intervals, but I usually supplement this with an energy drink such as Gatorade (20 oz. per hr.) and water, plus an energy bar or gel every hour or so. One can typically load food up at the rest stops too, so it's possible to not have to carry much of your own. I just like the buffer of having some calories along just in case. I've found it keeps me much more refreshed to maintain this steady intake than to go between rest stops then gorge.
re: What do you eat on a long ride?Rev. Litespeed
Aug 5, 2001 7:50 PM
I rode an 80 Monday and 100.5 Sat with my buddy who was on a mtb we rode these two rides alone I brought 2 power bars drank around 60 oz poweraid bought at those sag stops known as gas stations we stoped and ate lunch at wendys I ate a salad and a potato and a small buger quite a musette this was my first century and we rode painfully slow (buddy on mtb) but it was not that hard at all enjoy your ride God bless
Go with what got you therespookyload
Aug 5, 2001 8:18 PM
Don't change anything this close to the century. Your body is used to water in training, so give it water when it needs to preform. I had a buddy at a MTB race get all excited about a free bottle of Prolyte energy drink he scammed off a vendor prior to the race starting, and he puked his guts out for the whole race and ended up DNF for cramps and dehydration. His body was used to plain water. More importantly, unless you are trying to qualify for a ride like Paris-Brest-Paris with this century, sit back and enjoy your ride. Don't get all spooled up about passing rest stops to finish faster, enjoy the company of the others around you who have the same passion for the sport you love. Ride organizers spend a lot of time organizing rest stops, take advantage of them. Take some sort of gel for emergency bonk medicine at most.
here are my actual results from mayHaiku d'état
Aug 6, 2001 5:14 AM
Total distance: 102 miles
Total time from start to finish: 9 hours, 4 minutes.
Total time on the bike, pedaling or pushing: 7 hours, 40 minutes
Total time riding (estimated): 7 hours
Total time pushing the bike (estimated): 40 minutes
Average ride speed: 14.57 MPH
Total elevation gain: 7,673 feet
States: Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia
SAGs: 4
Suck Creek at 2050 feet
Sand Mountain at 1600 feet
Lookout Mountain at 1800 feet

Estimating 40 minutes as the time it took to push up the main part of the final climb, Burkhalter Gap, which came at 80 miles. The rest of the time was taken dawdling off the bike at SAGs. Lesson learned, won't happen again.

Pre-ride breakfast: banana (100 cal), bagel, breakfast bar and ½ liter of water
Clif Bars: 6 @ 240 cal ea (1440 cal)
PowerGels: 2 @ 100 cal ea (200 cal)
Trail Mix: ½ cup at 240 cal total (240 cal)
2 quarters of a banana: 50 cal total (50 cal)
¼ of a peanut butter sandwich on wheat: 75 cal (75 cal)
Gatorade: 6 @ 16 oz ea, 200 cal ea (1200 cal)
Water/Bottles: 3 @ 16 oz ea
Water/Hydration Pack: 135 oz total (estimation)
Total Gatorade intake during the ride: 96 oz
Total water intake during the ride: 183 oz (not including Gatorade)
Total caloric intake during the ride: 3205 cal
Calories burned: between 4314 and 5846

I would agree with other posters that you don't want to try anything new on the century--if your body is working well on water, keep it to water. just make sure you're well pre-fueled and pre-hydrated over the week/few days prior. you'd want a good salt/electrolyte-replinishing drink on the bike, but now's not the time to experiment.

on recent weekend 70-80 milers, i've been starting with an espresso and a can of strawberry ensure, then eating a clif bar at the first hour mark, 1/2 cup of trail mix the next hour, and either clif or trail mix thereafter, about every 60-75 minutes. if my cadence bogs down, i'll take a powergel or clif shot, but once i start those, it seems like i have to keep 'em coming or risk hitting the wall.

good luck, and drink lots!
I am a freak.Thioderek
Aug 6, 2001 6:47 AM
I went out by myself this weekend to do a century. I forgot to grab a Powerbar I had on my coffee table on the way out. I nailed 105 miles on hills in 4:45 total time on the bike-no average. All I had was 2 bottles of Gatorade and a nectarine. I got back home and ate a huge lunch, but generally I felt good after and during the ride.

I always eat well the night before a ride. A good dinner with plenty of carbs and protein. I have a slow metabolism, so I get all the benefits in due time.
Nice storyspookyload
Aug 6, 2001 7:32 AM
Just to do the math for averaged well over 20 mph by yourself, not to mention it had hills that you had to climb. Sounds like a fishing story to me. Not to mention you did it with less than half the water you needed in the dead heat of summer with less than 200 calories of intake. If you indeed accomplished this you need to go out and start looking for sponsors, because you are an animal that should be roadracing at the highest level.
Aug 6, 2001 7:45 AM
Sunday I rode 78 miles in 3:35 total on 4 bottles of Gatorade, no food, in 100 degree heat, with 2 flat tires. I was alone, but on aerobars. It's not that far-fetched. A pro or elite ultra rider could average nearly 25 mph for 100 miles. There's a huge difference between 20 mph and 25, though.

You want more details?Thioderek
Aug 6, 2001 7:48 AM
Here they are:

I left my apartment in Brooklyn at 7:45 in the morning.

Rode out to Queens Blvd.

Took the Union Turnpike out to LI.

Turned left off the UT for about 3 miles to the LI service road.

Crossed over to ride through Glen Cove.

Hit Oyster Bay.

Hit Cold Springs.

Hit Northport.

Hit the Eamont town beach.

Headed back on 25A through Syosset.

Back to the LI service road.

Back to the UT.

Back to the statue.

Time: 12:30.


From my door out and to the statue it was 105 miles.

I mixed some water with the Gatorade and the ride was fast enough that I didnt get hungry.

I used to race. Now I only do triathlons. I dont want a sponsor, I ride for me.

Any other questions?
re: What do you eat on a long ride?mr tornado head
Aug 6, 2001 9:17 AM
The biggest thing I can think of, which bit me in the butt this weekend (where I teetered on bonking for ~last 30 miles) is to eat before you get hungry, especially if this is your first. And Gatorade or a sports drink of some sort after about an hour would be a great benefit, to keep sodium, potassium, and other electrolytes up (hadn't this problem last year, but terrible cramps Saturday after the ride!).

I've used those Fruit and Grain bars, fig newtons, Power Bars, Gatoraid Bars all to good effect. And if you'd rather not buy Gatoraid, try 50% Orange or Grape Juice (100% juice!, not reconstituted with high fructose corn syrup) and 50% water. It has worked well for me, also.

After you've done a few centuries *then* experiment on how little you can eat or making fewer rest stops. Don't worry about the pace of others who may be flying from the start, just sit back and ride your own ride.

Best of luck!
what I eatDog
Aug 6, 2001 12:47 PM
1. Hammergel - my #1 energy supply
2. Bananas - eat one at a stop, then take another in your pocket to eat along the way - I throw the peel in a ditch (hope this is ok)
3. Cookies
4. Maybe half a pb&j sandwich
5. Ensure Plus, if you can get it (if self supplied, this is great)

Drinks? I'd stick to Gatorade and water, maybe 50/50 of each