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eating on long, cold rides(37 posts)

eating on long, cold ridesJS Haiku Shop
Feb 27, 2003 6:14 AM
any advice? seems thick gloves and several layers of clothes make it challenging to access food and open packaging, and put the unused portion back. i plan to stop every 2-3 hours, but will need to eat every 30 minutes, or more frequently (it works for me). aside from stopping to get the food out of a buried pocket or pack, what's the best plan?

I considered a bento bag--one of those bags that sits on top of the top tube behind the steerer tube/stem, often seen on long-distance bikes--but have no experience there. I don't want to use a handlebar bag, as the ones i've seen seem to prohibit full use of the handlebar tops.

thanks in advance.

Not ideal but...KeeponTrekkin
Feb 27, 2003 6:22 AM
I slow down (not on an uphill section), take off one glove, tuck it in a place I can't lose it, get the pre-portioned goodie from its convenient source (a pocket) where it is loosly wrapped and eat it (hopefully without its wrapping). This is more challenging if the goodie is wet or sticky.

Try it, you'll liiiiike it....

Eating is for wimps!MB1
Feb 27, 2003 6:26 AM

My outer jacket has front pockets that I put some of Miss M's great cookies in to eat on the bike. We have Gatorade in our waterbottles and I eat a good breakfast. Doing this allows us to only take one or 2 short food stops during cold centuries.

By cold I mean below freezing-anything warmer than that seems pretty warm lately.

BTW if your gloves are so thick that you are having a hard time getting food out how about a waterbottle with Ensure or the like in it?
real men ride double chainrings and drink SPAMJS Haiku Shop
Feb 27, 2003 6:39 AM
i've used ensure and boost on long/hot rides in the last 18 months. only problem was the weight, but the logic behind a liquid diet on the bike is clear. for this weekend, it's not feasible. between this weekend and the 300k (~1 month), i might be able to try that on long "training" rides.

unfortunately (or maybe not), i wear XL gloves--PI Amfib right now--and can't find any larger shell gloves to go over XLs. sure would like to find some wind/rainproof thin shells. best match so far are plastic grocery bags tied in a loose square knot around my wrists. the amfibs are water resist, but not water proof, and aren't 100% windproof, either. any hints?
Spam?! I don't like Spam! (spam,spam,spam) nmlook271
Feb 27, 2003 6:47 AM
Search Sierra Trading.MB1
Feb 27, 2003 6:50 AM
I too wear XL gloves and often find it hard to find outer gloves. Miss M has been successful getting me Gore-Tex outer gloves from Sierra Trading however you have to be quick since they often sell out of their limited sizes.

Alternately you could just get some rubber dish washing gloves. Fill them with enough prewarmed Vasoline so that it just doesn't quite ooze out the cuff when you put them on. Then go for a long ride.

Let me know how it works out for you.....
most respectfully declineJS Haiku Shop
Feb 27, 2003 6:54 AM
and suggest that you have far too much snow in DC.

related: i have considered latex gloves under my amfibs. seems like they'd be pretty wind/waterproof. would keep my fingerprints off the crime scene, too. :)

i'll check stp. it's difficult to know what works and what's hype, though, from their ads.
what about these?JS Haiku Shop
Feb 27, 2003 7:00 AM,55292,74402,74403,/header_title./page_name.prod_list_display.asp/search_type.L2%7E225/size1./size2./gender.0/ShowImages.yes/sq.0/cont.1/sqlSearchStr./intPgNo.1/special_type./qx/product.asp
Probably weigh even more than the Vasoline filled ones.MB1
Feb 27, 2003 7:10 AM
Look for cross country skiing gloves. Motorcycle gloves are partially designed to protect a bit in high speed spills and are likely to be very heavy and stiff.

Still, anything bought from Sierra Trading can be returned so any glove that looks good is worth ordering.
while you're at it, you'll be prepared for a prostrate exam!tarwheel
Feb 27, 2003 8:51 AM
I try to stay away from rubber gloves and vaseline.
try sealskinsbigrider
Feb 27, 2003 7:19 AM
If you are looking for thin and waterproof, sealskins are good. You need another layer underneath because of the condensation effect and they are not insulated. Cabelas carries these gloves.
Feb 27, 2003 7:52 AM
Don't know how old your Amfibs are, but I ride with mine in 28-40 degree weather with no problems. Wind never seems to get through them. However, as gloves wear (mainly from washing), wind will seep through the fingers. But maybe you are riding in some colder, windier, and wetter conditions than me.

Maybe spray some Goretex revival stuff on them? That is the stuff that you spray over the nylon to repel water, because if the nylon shell gets wet, then you feel cold clammy even though the goretex membrane underneath would still keeps you dry.
Hammergel and liquidsDougSloan
Feb 27, 2003 7:56 AM
I use only Hammergel and liquids, like Sustained Energy. You can get plenty of calories from those alone.

If you want to go 2-3 hours at a stretch, fill two bottles with highly concentrated Sustained Energy, and then drink just enough from them for your required calories. Then, use a large Camelbak for most liquids.

Take along Hammergel flasks for supplemental energy, like before and after big hills, or if you feel a bonk starting.

I have the small and large Bento boxes, but they don't hold much. It's hard to fit even two flasks into the large one.

the only thing keeping me from trying hammer productsJS Haiku Shop
Feb 27, 2003 8:48 AM
is, of course, expense. i haven't done a comparison between them and the stuff i'm currently using (clif bars/luna bars/powerbar harvest/powergels/gatorade), but it would be an interesting collection of numbers.

thanks for the bento info.
I am even cheaper than thatbigrider
Feb 27, 2003 9:06 AM
I buy a huge bage of iced oatmeal cookies from Save a Lot or buy a whole box of fig newtons for a 1.50 from Dollar General. Caramel creams are 50 cents a bag.

The iced oatmeal cookies are amazingly balanced food for cycling. Just a tad higher on the fat but everyone on our rides likes to be beside me when I open the bag.

My philosophy is if I am burning calories I am going to eat something pleasurable to replace the calories. I follow this philosophy on the bike. It is caramel creams, salty combos and pretzels, peanutbutter and cheese sandwiches, and figs for me.
sort of depends on how hard you are ridingDougSloan
Feb 27, 2003 9:18 AM
If you are cruising along at 60% hr, breathing well and never going close to LT, then you probably can get away with solid food, even junk food.

However, if you are sort of "racing," whether you call it that or not, and going for a PR and redlining all the way, it may be difficult to get enough replacement calories and water into you system fast enough, without bloating, puking, or dehydrating, without refined nutrients. YMMV.

cost of hammergelmtber
Feb 27, 2003 9:52 AM
A bottle of hammergel costs $17.00 and contains 26 91cal servings. This works out to 65 cents a serving - pretty cheap. They send you a free flask with your purchase, so you just fill the flask up (it holds 4-5 servings) and you are set for your whole ride. No trash (or litter) is a plus, too. The apple-cinnamon and raspberry are my personal favorites.

Hammergel sponsors my team, so if you would like to try it out I can send you a code to get 15% off your first order.
team ratesDougSloan
Feb 27, 2003 10:08 AM
At team rates, I can normally get it for around $11. Probably would not be very hard to get associated with a sponsored team.

do you have problems with the high test sweetnessbigrider
Feb 27, 2003 10:16 AM
I tried some of the gels and I found them pretty hard to get down. The concentrated sweetness was sickening. Do you ever get sick by getting too much at once?
Hammer gel isn't that sweet.look271
Feb 27, 2003 10:29 AM
It uses maltodextrin, which isn't sweet like, say, a Clifshot. (That stuff is so sweet it hurt my teeth!) Some flavors of Hammergel are actually sort-of bland. It is easy to digest. I never had any problems.
Feb 27, 2003 10:30 AM
If that's a problem, squirt them in your water bottle instead. In the last 100 miles of my solo 508, I couldn't handle anything "straight," but diluted in water worked fine.

cost comparisonJS Haiku Shop
Feb 27, 2003 11:12 AM
9 hour ride
9 clif bars @ $1.09 each (on sale at grocery)
2 power gels @ $1.09 each (on sale at grocery)

same 9 hr ride
9 servings SE @ $1.60 each (list)
2 servings hammergel @ $.65 each (list)

$15.70 - 15% ($2.35) = $13.35

pretty close.

we have all of three teams in town, all of whom would turn their noses up at me. i don't count grams, nor do i weigh 140 pounds, i don't ride a colnago or litespeed, and i have a family. oh, and i'm not fast (that always helps for team membership). that said, i don't have any interest in getting on a team at this point, even if i could blow their doors off--the only reason i'd do so is for shop & other (this type) discounts.

i'll have a talk with my favorite shop manager and find out if they can come close. you may be surprised to know that i actually do give them quite a bit of business of my own, plus a great deal of referrals. :)

now, the question is: will SE and hammergel work for me?

might compare calories/costDougSloan
Feb 27, 2003 11:27 AM
Might want to compare the actual carbo calories per dollar. The fancy stuff might come out ahead.

Works for me, if I dial in the quantities and concentrations. Probably would for you, too.

might compare calories/costJS Haiku Shop
Feb 27, 2003 11:30 AM
I compared overall calories, not carbo--but i know without looking that the hammer nutrition products will come out ahead on the carbs--there's not much else in 'em! :)
Feb 27, 2003 11:37 AM
Make that "usable carbo calories/dollar."

Carbs such as maltodextrins are more readily absorbed -- something to do with molecule size (certain number of molecules can be absorbed, and maltodextrins contain more calories per molecule."

Also, no food does you much good, no matter how cheap, if it makes you puke, gassey, give you the runs, or just decreases your appetite and desire to eat and drink enough on the ride, etc.

another reason i'm considering strictly liquid/gel...JS Haiku Shop
Feb 27, 2003 11:46 AM
besides mb1's suggestion above: after eating clif bars for 12 hours, my gums become sore and often times raw. i'm eating a 1/4-bar piece every 15 minutes. by the end of those doubles, my jaw muscles were tired, too.
Feb 27, 2003 12:07 PM
Same here. If you really get up to the "mass quantities" sort of endurance riding, you are almost stuck with mostly liquid.

Also, my mouth gets dry, and swallowing can get hard. Plus, it's hard to eat solids if you are hammering along at 10 beats under LT. Breathing is more difficult while chewing.

Bananas aren't too bad, though. You can eject the container pretty much at will, too.

climbingJS Haiku Shop
Feb 27, 2003 12:21 PM
being a slow climber, eating on mountainous rides is another concern. i've had problems with breathing and chewing, also. this is another good reason. i'm pretty much sold.

called the shop and they will match or beat the online list price, not including tax (9.25%), which is good enough for me. they are putting back into our club and the local cycling community, and in doing so, changing my opinion of local retailers--so they'll get my business for SE and HG, at least for a trail period.

your input is very valuable. thanks again.
Feb 27, 2003 12:27 PM
It's very important to get the quantities and concentrations of these things right. I tend to be a "more is better" kind of guy, and have screwed up several rides that way.

Try to limit caloric intake to around 300-400 carbs per hour, with at least 28 ounces of water (not mixture, but water plus powder) per hour. Also, get the right amount of salt. If you over eat, you likely will get gas, the runs, and then dehydrated (as too many carb molecules in your digestive tract limit water absorbtion).

Since it sounds like you are getting serious about this long distance thing, you may want to seek some specific advice; e-mail Steve Born at E-Caps/Hammergel. He has been very helpful to me. Tell him I sent you. (use the symbol @, of course).

Duct tapecyclopathic
Feb 27, 2003 11:45 AM
first you won't need to eat every 30min. It is only double metric you can ride 60-80mi w/o any food even if your usual rides are ~40mi. Trick is to keep efford down to Zone 2-3.

For quick fixes just tape a couple gells to top tube/stem that would be enough to get to next check point. At check point go for hot soup and/or 6" subs or hamburger.
Duct tapeJS Haiku Shop
Feb 27, 2003 12:29 PM
everybody's different, and i've discovered it's best for me to eat every 15 minutes to stay ahead of the curve. otherwise, i forget to eat at all (or often enough, or enough), and suffer.

(power)gels tend to give a little kick in the rear, but also have a downside when the sugar wears off. i prefer to save them for special circumstances. when it's time for one, i either have it handy (tucked somewhere quickly accessible), or would not mind stopping momentarily--it would probably help at that point.

not all long cold rides are 125 mile brevets in march. i'm keeping the distance up over the winter. this also applies to warm weather riding--it would really be that much easier not to fiddle with wrappers and pockets and pieces of food and sticky trash.

riding stop to stop to eat means not only do i stay at stops longer (what i'm working away from), but that i'm dependent upon the next stop. also stopping and ingesting 500-800 calories at a time gives me a heavy/full feeling that i don't enjoy. if i'm planning to do 10-12 hour solo training rides without "civilized" stops, eating a burger or hot meal doesn't count. i'd like to have a standard that can be applied to all rides over 2-3 hours, supported or not, stops or not, solo or not, cold or not. takes the guesswork out on my part. if this stuff will work for me, all i'll need to forage for on the road is water.
Feb 27, 2003 7:32 PM
as you I was nervous with "eating" aspect on my first brevet series. Then it all fell into place. You don't ride at high intensity, so you don't really need those extra calories you'd curve for during races.

Believe it or not I can rider 130mi w/o food on 1-2 water bottles and yet bonk at the end of 2.5hr hard ride. On long rides give enough time to warm up (~40min) then maintain HR in zone 2. Under no circumstances go over Zone 3 you have only ~1hr worth of threshold level effort.

You burn ~400-500cal/hr and depending on terrain and pace ~3/4 of it comes from fat. This leaves you with 100-125cal/hr coming from glycogen storage and carbos you digest. There's no need to consume 400cal/hr of carbos you're not gaining anything out of it and probably overloading stomach and diverting resources to digestion.

You only stop and eat because it's lunch time. I more worry about getting protein to prevent catabolism then calories. My not so skinny 145lbs ass carries extra 5-10lbs of fat enough to power me for 40-60hr.

On training rides I intentionally ride myself to bonk and then ride for a couple hours. I found it to be the most effective (though not very enjoyable) way to improve endurance quickly.

and don't worry you'll sort it out. On first brevets I'd suggest to stick with experienced rider who might be riding at your or slightly slower pace. That would make ride more enjoyable and let you learn a thing or two.


PS and don't worry about carring stuff with you. All that junk just makes ride harder. All brevets are doable with 20$ bill, a flask of hammergel, 2 tubes, patch kit, basic tool and 2 water bottles. I'm sure Doug never ridden a double with more then that.
yep, agreedJS Haiku Shop
Feb 28, 2003 6:17 AM
i'm out there to learn, at least on the first couple.

again, the difference between perhaps doug's riding experience and others, is that they're riding from their front door. i'm riding from my car door, 320 miles from home. if something goes wrong, i can't call for a ride from the wife--i have to make it back to the car. the closest bike shop might be miles and miles away, and would they be open on a 30*F saturday? most of our LBSs closed their doors this week during sub-freezing weather.

as it comes from an experienced distance rider, and is motivated by a genuine wish to help, i appreciate and look forward to your advice. however, being stubborn and thick-skulled, i'm sure to learn the hard way. :)

will report back post-ride.


ps. weather says 26-35*F with snow and rain in the afternoon.
re: 26-35*Fcyclopathic
Feb 28, 2003 9:02 AM
*F stands for F*CKing, right? well it will be ride to remember. try to keep feet dry/warm good luck.


PS if you DNF come to our rides DC shouldn't much more drive then St Luis.
re: 26-35*FJS Haiku Shop
Feb 28, 2003 9:14 AM
st. louis 320.3 miles, d.c. 861.1 miles. :(

DNF = not an option.
where do you live at?cyclopathic
Feb 28, 2003 12:38 PM
you still have Georgia Atlanta
South Carolina Spartanburg
North Carolina Raleigh and one more 200 out of High Point
Kentucky Lexington
and Columbus Ohio

something has to fit in.

Besides according to Jennifer Wise you can substitute any ride with longer one as long as they go in ascending order. Basically you can qualify by riding four 600km or something like 300, 300, 400, 600 or 200, 400, 400, 600 etc.. you get an idea.

So DNF is an option; not very nice though.


PS I don't know much about NC brevets but Georgia is rumored as real b!tch. Still probably just a nice warm up comparing to Quadzilla.
SW TN. did all the math: IL is the closest by over 100 miles. nmJS Haiku Shop
Feb 28, 2003 1:07 PM