Monday, January 6, 2014

What Do Randonneurs Eat?

I'm always hungry....

There are as many ways of approaching eating for rando success as there are randos.   When I first started randonneuring, I would sometimes have challenges with nausea and/or bloating on longer rides.  That’s mostly gone away, as I’ve learned what my stomach can and can not tolerate.   

For example, I CAN tolerate a peanut butter/banana/bacon "sandwich.

Still, I’ve never specifically tracked my exact intake for a ride, nor tried to calculate the nutritional value/caloric content of my intake.

Recently, I decided to track everything from start to finish, including my pre-ride and post-ride meals.   Here’s the good, the bad and the ugly…

Pre-ride (~850 calories)
Bowl of oatmeal with dried currants and maple syrup @ home
Grande nonfat pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks enroute

During the ride, in no particular order:

(solids ~1700 calories)
1 banana
1 package (1.375 oz) honey roasted peanuts
1 Gu gel
1 PayDay bar (1.85 oz)
1 Kashi Granola Bar (trail mix flavor)
3 tablets Perpetuem solids
2 pieces “trail putty” (peanut butter/honey/powdered milk/flaxmeal)
1 egg salad sandwich

(liquids ~ 1100 calories)
3 bottles Perpetuem (café latte flavor)
2 canned Starbucks Doubleshots
1 bottle water with a Nuun tab
1 bottle plain water

Post-ride @ the brewpub (~1400 calories)
8oz hamburger with blue cheese and bacon on a kaiser roll
waffle fries
Pint of Stout

Total caloric intake for the day: ~5,050.

Sign me up.

Estimated caloric burn (24 hr period):
9 hours turning the pedals at 400 calories per hour = 3600
2 hours off the bike (controls, etc.) at 200 calories per hour = 400
7 hours sleeping @ 50 calories/ hr = 350
6 hours (the rest of my day) simply living @ 100 calories/hour = 600

Total estimated burn for the day ~ 4,950.

All the numbers are estimated but the consumption calories are based on product labeling, etc.   The burn calories are based on testing I’ve had done in the past, plus online calculators for averages of types of activity like sleeping etc.

I was quite interested to see that when all was said and done, the calories in and calories out worked out to be roughly the same.  I’m sure there’s a reasonably large margin of error to all my estimates, but nonetheless I was still surprised to see them come out so close.


The thing about randonneuring is that you never know what you're going to find/forage, and sometimes you just have to be flexible.

If you find yourself in a place like this at oh-dark-thirty,

you'll need to be willing to eat whatever you can find that looks the least toxic, like this:

On the other hand, you might luck into a wonderful donut shop or coffee shop!

Try the bacon maple bars in Sandy, OR
Coffee and pumpkin bread in Camas, WA
Bagel sandwiches at Rosies in Mill City, OR.

One of my favorite things about travelling to ride a brevet or perm is the chance to try the "regional delicacies" such as:

Hawaiian mochi
Pecan waffles in Key West, FL

Snack bars in the UK.
Spam musubi in Hawaii.  Kickass rando food.  Salt, carbs & fat.  Yummers!

I didn't try the "Beef" in Arizona, though.  Too bad.

International events provide a great opportunity to try new foods as well.   Sometimes good, sometimes somewhat less than appetizing.

Roadside crepes in France - PBP 2011

The biggest fish sticks in England?  - LEL 2013
Jeff Tilden demonstrates the ride-while-eating-baguette skill necessary for any successful completion of PBP.
Control food on LEL 2013.  It tasted better than it looked, but just barely.

Breakfast food seems to make GREAT brevet food, no matter what time of day you eat it.

Denny's in Arlington, WA

Omelettes at the Little Red Barn in WA - Fleche NW 2013
Of course, sometimes you're just too damn tired to eat the food, even when you know you need it.

Fleche power nap

Table nap.  Dreux control.  PBP 2011.

Wakey, wakey.  Your food is here!

Of course, the best part of a brevet, is the celebration with adult beverages and good friends.

Cidre in Eugene, Oregon with Theo & Lesli

Curbside Gin & Tonics, courtesy of Theo, to celebrate the successful completion of the ORR Spring 2013 600K, aka The Hillpocalypse 600K

 Wishing you many happy miles and many happy meals!