Wheel full 70pxA cup of green seedless grapes equals 110 calories.

Wheel full 70pxWe arrived back in Alaska on Monday evening.  I have pretty much lived out of a suitcase for the past three months, after packing to accompany my wife down for the first 10 days or so of medical treatments expected to last for four weeks.  Heh!  That went well.

Wheel full 70pxOne of the things I planned to do after I returned home for the month during the month preceding heading to Florida to start the ride is to eat more frequently each day and keep the overall amount I eat within a set caloric limit.  I’m going to start with 2,000 calories per day.  That’s an arbitrary number, and I know I’ll require more when I start logging daily miles.  So it’s not a diet- it’s just an effort to routinize what I eat and get used to many small portions over the course of a day.  I’ll also be logging everything I eat or drink except water, and I may start keeping track of that as well.

Wheel full 70pxI would be really pleased if the long-distance cyclists reading this would make recommendations concerning trip food- good stuff, stuff to stay away from…

Flaming Butt 800px

..jalapeños, five alarm chili, food covered in Sriracha sauce…

any “dining out” suggestions (remember that I will not be taking anything to prepare or heat food with), that sort of thing.  I don’t intend to make a Tour Gastonomique out of this ride- food will be fuel, and that’s pretty much it.  That said, if you think a place is just too good to pass up, let me know.

Wheel full 70pxMore about the next month in a bit.

David Edgren


3 thoughts on “Lunch

  1. Eat real food whenever possible. Real protein, real fat, carbs with lots of fiber. That means eggs for breakfast and oatmeal you have to cook–not the processed powder that comes out of an envelope. Make a real dinner with meat and vegetables and not just packaged rice or instant noodles. Eating real food presents a serious challenge day after day on the road with nothing to cook with but a backpacking stove but you will feel and perform better.

    When you’re on your bike plan on 200-400 calories minimum for every hour of riding. That’s less than you’ll burn but about all you can get through the pipes without upsetting your stomach. Fresh fruit should be a daily priority. I’ve never had a belly problem while riding due to fresh fruit. Make an extra breakfast burrito (tortillas seem to keep pretty well, at least for a day or two) and put it in rubbermaid bento box in your handlebar bag, or boil a potato, sprinkle it with salt and put it in a ziplock bag. Snack on apples and peanut butter or cheese. Keep a stash of dried date, apricot, almonds and cashews.

    Still, there will be times when for whatever reason you don’t have real food as described, I’ve ridden my bike through the takeout window at McDonalds and ordered an egg McMuffin. The cheese is a little weird, but the rest of it resembles food. Same for a Wendy’s baked potato or a plain Arby’s sandwich or a Taco Bell 7 layer burrito. Things get really interesting when all you can find is a gas station/ Crappy Quick, which are usually the checkpoints for randonneuring events. Some Crappy Quicks have pizza and burritos, and I’ve gambled on that and won and lost. All Crappy Quicks have chocolate milk, chips, candy bars and soda. I can’t remember when I drank chocolate milk before last year but all the guys I rode with swore by it and now I do too. Payday candy bars also seem to be popular with the randonneurs. My colleague at the office who rides much further than I do swears that when things get tough you should drink a can of coke and wolf down some chips.

    Use sports drinks, gels and blocks very sparingly. Too much of that stuff inevitably leads to belly problems. Last year when I was training for randonneuring season I kept a package of Clif Blocks in my handlebar bag but I treated it like medicine and only used it when I felt like I was going to bonk and didn’t have other options. Same for gatorade, gu, etc. If you’re circling the drain you absolutely want to use it but if you’re just hungry or thirsty try something else.

    Finally, never pass an ice cream stand without stopping. Just don’t.


  2. No real advise on trip food, but I will recommend MyFitnessPal as a great calorie counting ap. If you stick to 2000 cal per day, for a person of your size that is a diet. I am a little smaller than you now, used to be larger, and was losing about 1 lb per week on a 2500 cal diet, have now moved down to 2000 cal per day to maintain 1 lb per week. has some good calorie guidelines for losing mass. I expect if you are able to keep up the riding schedule you will lose some weight during your trip, unless your food stops are something like the food channel guy who visits all the best high calorie food places.


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