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Saturday, April 18, 2015


What do you eat on those long bike rides?  Ask 100 endurance athletes.  Get at least 100 answers.  The best result from experience.  That is, you find what works for you over time.

That Gas Station Burrito seemed like a good idea at Almanzo Royal 2014.  Thirty minutes later, not so much.
(photo by Scott Redd)
I'm a Hammer Nutrition guy.  That stuff just works for me, and has for over 15 years.  I like the science behind it and love the people that stand behind it.  Before Hammer, I would often scour the kitchen for a few days after a long effort, not hungry but searching for something to eat, like I was missing something.  After Hammer, that simply never happens.  I get the nutrition I need during the ride and then I eat normally the next day.  That's when I realized it works for me.

So, what to eat on the Black Hills BackBone?  The same as my other long rides.  Keep it simple:  Hammer Perpetuem (liquid protein fuel), Hammer Gel (complex carbs) and Hammer HEED (electrolyte drink).  I'll also carry some Endurolytes Fizz, an electrolyte supplement.  For my size and output, I plan on about 150 calories per hour and about 24 ounces of water per hour, depending on conditions.  Assuming 30-40 hours for the BackBone, that's 4500-6000 calories to carry.  No problem.  24 servings of Perpetuem (3,200 calories) + 10 servings of Gel (1,000 calories) + 18 servings of HEED (1,800 calories) = 6,000 calories.

I'll rotate between the calorie sources and drink about a full bottle of water or HEED every hour, depending on how I feel.  That's the plan.  Simple.  Didn't say it was fine dining.  Just makes for fine riding.

Spring order is here.  It's Hammer Time!
That's it.  Well, mostly.  I can actually stick to Plan A for awhile, say 12 to 15 hours, maybe a few more.  Then it's Plan B.  I'll bury in the bottom of a pack a substantial stash of regular M&M's and roasted peanuts.  Sugar and salt.  Carbs and protein.  Something to actually chew.  Quite a treat after a day of fluids.  Now, that's dining in style.

Then there's always Plan C, which is more standard gravel grinder fare.  Find a convenience store and eat everything in sight.  Not a great plan here, since such stores appear only at Miles 133, 226 and 285.  Besides, that never worked out too well for me.  Nonetheless, I'm sure to find something tasty in Spearfish at Mile 133 that I'll regret shortly thereafter.  I'm also not saying that coffee and a donut won't be tempting in Custer at Mile 226.  In fact, that thought may keep me turning pedals to get there.

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