Win 5 Boxes of Matisse & Jack’s Bake-at-Home Energy Bars

12.13.2006 | 9:44 am

I love to eat. I love to ride my bike. Strangely, though, I don’t love to eat while I’m on my bike.

It’s strange, when you think about it. There’s nothing in the world I enjoy eating more than a peanut butter and honey sandwich. Seriously, I believe that may be the best food in the world. But when I’m riding, all the pleasure goes out of eating that sandwich. It becomes fuel, and nothing more. The same thing goes for Snickers bars. And for cookies.

Even after a dozen years of riding, I still don’t understand why this is true.

I have tried to find something I really, really love to eat while biking, because I figure if I can find something I look forward to eating even when on an endurance ride, I’ll have eliminated one of the big problems of endurance riding. Here are the things I have tried:

Campbell’s Soup-at-Hand Chicken and Stars Soup
Let’s at least start with my one moderate success. A few years ago it occurred to me that since I have such a hard time eating while riding, maybe soup would do the job. At about the same time, Campbell’s came out with these single-serve pop-top wonders. When you’re on the trail, for some reason you don’t care that the soup’s just body temperature. It tastes good — your body craving that 890mg (!!!) of sodium, I think.

At only 60 calories / 10g carbs though, it’s not going to exactly power you for the rest of the day. And the packaging’s awkward. Maybe for Leadville this year, I should just fill my camelback with soup (pureed first, so it won’t jam up in the drinking tube).

Turkey sandwiches
A turkey sandwich is a perfectly balanced meal. You’ve got your grains, your meat, your vegetables (dill relish), and your dairy (mayonnaise). The only thing better than a good turkey sandwich is a peanut butter sandwich. But, like a peanut butter sandwich, a turkey sandwich crushes to an unrecognizable form when it’s been compressed by your jersey pocket for two hours.

Meanwhile, the mayonnaise is busy converting itself into poison.

Plus, there’s the problem that while on the bike, a turkey sandwich just doesn’t taste good. How can this be?

OK, I admit I haven’t ever tried eating Spam while on a bike. You’ve got to admit, though, it’s an intriguing idea. Plus, by bringing this up I can now relate the following anecdote:

About seven or eight years ago, I thought it would be funny to try to put together a team of Sport-level racers, sponsored by Spam. We would be Team Spam. So I wrote to Hormel with a proposal, telling them that if they would pay our entry fees and design a Spam jersey for us, I would become the single most passionate advocate of Spam in bike racing history.

I would provide Spam samples at every race I went to.

I would have my Honda Civic painted to look like a Spam can.

I would send them entertaining race reports they could put up on their website (nowadays, I would have proposed a racer’s blog, but this was before blogs).

Hormel sent me a form letter saying they get a lot of requests for sponsorship and can’t sponsor everyone. So that was the end of that. I’ve been thinking lately, though, that I should do more with this idea. I.e., I should start putting sponsorship requests together for very unlikely companies, then see what happens. At the very worst, I’ll have some fun proposals to share with you when they don’t work out. At the best, I could wind up with some very unusual and entertaining sponsors on the upcoming Fat Cyclist jersey.

Clif Bars
I’m going to come out and say it: I like Clif Bars. I eat them recreationally. But when I’m on the bike, I can only barely choke them down.

Gels / Shot Bloks / Ensure
These aren’t real food, so don’t count. Plus, it’s not like I ever find myself a-hankering for a Gu. Strangely, though, after drinking an Ensure, I have a powerful urge to yell at kids to get offa my lawn.

Contest Time! Win Matisse & Jack’s Bake-at-Home Energy Bars
OK, these I like. They’ve got a problem, though: these are especially good hot out of the oven. What are the odds they’re going to last ’til the next time I go riding?

Want to see what I mean?

You can win five boxes of these energy bars by entering today’s contest: Tell me about the best and/or worst thing you’ve ever eaten on a bike.

And, meanwhile, may I please make a recommendation? Christmas is coming, and these energy bars are on sale. Five boxes costs only $25 and gets you free shipping, and they’d make a great, affordable present for a cyclist you know.

I especially recommend the Chocolate Chip flavor.


  1. Comment by Rick S. | 12.13.2006 | 9:51 am

    During LOTOJA this year, I found a winning combo…V8 in the small cans and deli turkey shaved ever so thin. At each feed zone, I would pop open a V8 and scarf down a handful of shaved turkey. More than anything, it got rid of the sweet taste in my mouth and pit in my stomach from all the Gels and ShotBloks consumed while riding.

  2. Comment by dug | 12.13.2006 | 9:58 am

    the worst thing i ever ate on a bike was a bee. i was on a nasty mountain bike downhill, couldn’t even think about stopping, much less swatting at bugs. i had been getting buzzed by bees the whole way down. i had one in my jersey too. then one flew straight into my mouth. i actually gave it a crunch with my back teeth, accidentally busting the thing open into my mouth and throat.

    when i finally got myself to a stop, i drained my entire bottle of cytomax trying t clean out my mouth.

    it was icky.

  3. Comment by dodger | 12.13.2006 | 10:09 am

    I had just moved to San Antonio and was on a re-introduction ride. I was about 30 miles into an improvised 50 mile ride. The weather was perfect and I was giddy about being back in SA. I was becoming afraid of not having enough to get home because I had only taken one GU packet with me (it was supposed to be a short, 20 mile, ride. I came across Rudy’s BBQ, A Texas hill country favorite and decided to stop by and refill my bottles. And have a brisket sandwhicih. And some sausage. And some creamed corn. All topped (not the corn) with Rudys awesome sauce. I was bruping BBQ all the way home but I had what I needed to get home; A full stomache and a smile.

  4. Comment by tayfuryagci | 12.13.2006 | 10:14 am

    I eat A LOT on the bike. Even if it’s a 30-40km ride I’m constantly stuffing my face. The best tasting thing I’ve ever eaten on my bike was a pair of pears I had in the saddlebag for a day long ride during last summer. They were partly squished but very very sweet.

  5. Comment by art | 12.13.2006 | 10:42 am

    Worst: Honey roasted peanuts. They seem like a good idea, but I always manage to drop more than I eat.
    Best: Carob and ginseng “energy chunks” from the local food co-op. They’ve got one of the highest calorie to weight ratios around, and somehow manage not to taste utterly revolting.
    Second Best: A slightly under-ripe banana that’s spent about two hours roasting to mushy perfection in my jersey pocket.

  6. Comment by Karst | 12.13.2006 | 10:47 am

    Best food on bike: peanut butter crackers.

    Worst food on bike: gnats.

    Gnats come out in late September and early October in the Piedmont of the Carolinas. They can be so bad that you have no choice but to swallow them to avoid constant spitting; in any case, you can’t avoid swallowing. My glasses (eye wear is a necessity) become gummy, so that it is hard to see after passing through the worst swarms. Jerseys and shorts have to be presoaked to get (float) the corpses off before even thinking about gently hand washing the clothes. I won’t even mention the number of black specks encrusting my face, hair, legs, and arms after a ride. Fortunately, gnat season is short. Next year I may use actual goggles, because several rides had to be interrupted to wash gnats out of the eyes with spray from the water bottle.

    Note to self: always grab the water bottle (not the apple juice bottle) before spraying. This is a mistake not to be repeated!

  7. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 12.13.2006 | 10:54 am

    A couple years ago, I decided to start making my own GU. I made several small batches, and perfected the recipe. Then right before the E100, I made a big batch and decided to change the recipe. Somehow I got at least 10 times too much Black Cherry Koolaid, and not nearly enough Brown Rice Syrup. The result tasted a lot like Cherry flavored Elmer’s glue. Turns out the stuff I made is a fantastic laxitive and is pretty good at inducing vomiting too.

  8. Comment by seth | 12.13.2006 | 10:56 am

    The worst thing I’ve eaten on a bike was a mouthful of moab dirt with a touch of cactus.

  9. Comment by obra369 | 12.13.2006 | 11:02 am

    A group of guys I rode with years ago had a “Grossest Ride Food” contest. Many, many disgusting items were consumed, but the prize went to the racer who showed up at a Tuesday night training race, sat up in the field in the middle of the race,and cracked open a can of Vienna Sausages. And ate them. All.

  10. Comment by Eufemiano Fuentes | 12.13.2006 | 11:11 am

    Basso always liked to drink a few Clamatos during a hard ride.

  11. Comment by SpikeBlue | 12.13.2006 | 11:22 am

    The best: a perfectly ripe peach from a local fruit stand that was strategically placed during a ride. Also, a snickers ice cream bar from another strategically placed gas station. I ride those two routes frequently in the summer!

    The worst: one of the old style Powerbars. I swear they turn to glue in your mouth. They are just not right.

  12. Comment by sans auto | 12.13.2006 | 11:43 am

    I ussually don’t go with best or worst, I’m all about calories/dollar. A powerbar or the like is only about 200 calories and they cost at least a dollar. After a brief analysis at the grocery store I found Payday candy bars to be $.79 for over 400 calories. I ate about 30 Payday candy bars on my 10 day ride from Oregon to Utah… I haven’t had one since.

    The best: you have to cut a bagel in half and toast it so that it’s a little crispy, but not burnt. Then you cover one side with a generous portion of cream cheese and the other side with a lot of jam. Put a big ol’ hunk of ham between the two bagel halves and put it in a plastic bag. Put it in your jersey pocket to “simmer”. Depending on how much you sweat, and how hard you are riding the sandwhich will be ready in an hour or two. The crispy bagel should be softened by condensation within the bag, but not soggy from sweat.

    Worst: Powerbar wrapped around the top-tube during a race to maximize accessability. Powerbars aren’t good to start with, but a thin coating of road grime and dripping mucous doesn’t help the flavor at all. Add in the stickiness that is stuck to your fingers for the duration of the race and your bike for its entire life and it was a failure all around… but it was accessable.

  13. Comment by brett | 12.13.2006 | 12:00 pm

    -smucker’s brand “uncrustables”. they are peanut butter and jelly sandwiches found in the freezer section. they come with grape or strawberry jelly flavors, are frozen solid, have teh crusts cut off, and are perfect for a ride. throw them into your camelbak, and they thaw in about 2 hours. perfect.

    -trail mix that contains a majority of dried sweetened cranberries and almonds.

    -beef jerky

    -gummi bears

    -balance bars
    they taste okay, but will destroy your digestive functions during a ride. i know this is not the case for everyone, but for 3 guys in my group, they have pretty raunchy effects.

  14. Comment by Lurch | 12.13.2006 | 12:06 pm

    I am a dedicated “foodie”. My friends have said that long rides/races are just moving smorgasborgs for me. It’s true. Gotta fuel the fire. Was once on a 24 hour Duo Team named “We can eat anything we want”. I got creditentials.
    What you are missing, my fat friend, are TORTILLA’s! You want a Peanut Butter Sandwich that doesn’t MUSH – use a tortilla! It works GREAT. Roll it up, wrap it in a ziplock and into the camelbak or jersey pocket – DELICIOUS and easy to eat.
    In the 2nd day of a 2 day adventure race I once had a tortilla PB&J fall out of my hand and straight into a mud puddle. I went back for it, then I picked that sucker up, brushed it off and continued to eat it. No problems (might have been a little more crunchy than prior to the mudpuddle).

  15. Comment by Earl | 12.13.2006 | 12:26 pm

    Hey Fatty,

    I just want to appologize right out of the gate. But I have an uncontrollable desire to toss in a correction. Mayo dosen’t contain any dairy. Real mayo just has egg yolks, oil, salt, and some lemon. The mass marketed stuff usually has some perservatives and other words I can’t spell. Man! Do I feel better.

    Ok, back to the original point. I really enjoy Payday candy bars on long rides. Even though I get most of my calories from sports drink. They have a good amount of salt and fat so I don’t get that empty feeling in my stomach. I think probably the worst thing I’ve had on a ride is some dairy laiden pasta (not with mayo) at the first rest stop of a century ride. Then at the second stop I had a bowl of chili. The third, fourth, and fifth stops were to some bushes. I think maybe I lost ten pounds in one ride. Not a bad idea to keep in your back pocket just in case you need to lose some weight in a hurry.

  16. Comment by James | 12.13.2006 | 12:35 pm

    Hmm this is a tough one…I don’t usually eat on the bike. I mean I’ve had my fair share of Power/Cliff/Luna bars and Gu but I usually like to stop somewhere and get something.

    This of course requires me to strategically plan my ride around the city to pick up fun treats. On a 50 mile Sunday ride I like to stop by Racanelli’s and get a slice of sausage pizza. It comes on two overlapping paper plates and they toss it into the brick oven to make the crust crispy again. It probably contains around the same number of calories burned on the first 25 miles.

    I also like to stop at Whole Foods and graze on the sample trays. There is always an assortment of weird fruit and cheeses and some crackers with some sort of seafood dip. If I’m really hungry I’ll get one of their ready made avocado and hummus wraps. This is probably one of the most pleasurable things to eat on a ride. It’s also portable so I suppose one could put it in their jersey pocket and enjoy it on the bike. The spinach tortilla makes it relatively crush proof and the hummus insulates the veggies on the inside keeping them cool and crisp. One of its key benefits is that it doesn’t dry your mouth out like a Clif Bar and it’s not hard to unwrap like a warm Powerbar.

    The worst thing I’ve ever eaten on the bike (ride) is Thai food. I love extra spicy drunken noodle. It’s got carbs, fat, protein and all of those things you need to put the power to the peddles…the only problem is that it also has a powerful cleansing effect. It took about 2 miles after chowing down before it began. It was insatiable…anyway spicy Thia food isn’t a good mid ride refuel.

    If I were going to go really far-like endurance ride far-I’m not sure what I would tuck into my jersey…maybe I should try the bake at home bars…for now I’ll just stick with my debt card and pull over to get something tasty…I deserve it, right?

    –a cyclist who is also fat

  17. Comment by DP Cowboy | 12.13.2006 | 12:41 pm

    Best tasting thing….:

    You know, often we have a memory of something and it seems better than it ever really oculd have been.

    Food is like that for me…like the first time I had a realy yogurt, sitting at lunch next to Katie Schneider, and she was eating this stuff out of a cup, and I said, “What’s that?” She gave me some. I was 17. I have loved yogurt ever since. The same is true for Foie Gras, and I know it is not very PC to like that, but it IS wonderful, and some gourmand dinner served it once for one of the courses, and I didn’t think at all abou the poor goose who had a tube stuck down it’s throat, etc. It was just yummy.

    Well, I was racing in Italy in like, 1982, for some obscure amateur team, and I got housing with a family of one of its riders and we would go out every day to ride to a race or train…every day…for three or four hours. That was the way it was…and the first day there my friend Arly was in the kitchen making up these things. When i asked him what they were, he said, in broken English, followed by some pigeon Italian, “riding food’, or something like that. It looked horrible..white dinner rolls partially baked with the center pulled out, and cut in half. Half would be filled with with Ricotta cheese (kinda like a smoother version of cottage cheese and not as milky), and the other half with jam…this time it was some generic berry jam mix. This ricotta was piemontese, which I think is made from cow’s milk, rather thatn sheep’s milk. The halves got smushed together and then the little gem was wrapped individually tin/alluminum foil.

    They really got smushed in my back jersey pocket, and were shaped like an old wallet when we first took them out in a couple hours. Had to be way worse smushing than a turkey sandwich. I was expecting it to be something horrible, but it was smooth, and sweet, and went down without much water. Arly and I, and a couple of his pals, ate like four or five apiece that first day. I was severely bonked and jet-lagged, and tired. Nothing has ever tasted better. I have eaten them ever since…not all the time, but on most longer rides. Makes for a good trip down memory lane, too.

  18. Comment by Softie | 12.13.2006 | 12:42 pm

    The worst thing I remember eating on a ride was Sustained Energy (R). Not that Sustained Energy (R) is a bad product, or whatever, just that it should come with very specific product warning labels.

    I trained last summer for a double century I never got to do, and was trying out liquid fueling. So I gave Sustained Energy (R) a try. It came in the mail, and I mixed up a small bidon for a Friday night training ride. I only finished half the bottle, so I refilled it and mixed more Sustained Energy (R) into it. Then I made the crucial error of refrigerating it overnight.

    Apparently Sustained Energy (R) tastes like pasta dough but actually consists of powdered growth medium. I went out for a long ride the next day (or maybe the day after), with two bottles of Sustained Energy (R), one in my bottle cage and one in my jersey. As I finished the first bottle, approximately 25 miles from home, I discovered that it had tasted funny all morning because it had grown some new things overnight. Furry dark blue things that explained the occasional flaky chunkiness I’d swallowed.

    I was 25 miles from home, had swallowed a bidon full of mold, and my other bidon, that I refused to look at, was suspect. Icky icky icky gross.

    There’s nothing like being the guy on the tri-geek bike tootling along at bonk speed from fear of the mold in your stomach and principled refusal to make matters worse with your other bidon.

    I have nothing against the Hammer people, but they really should warn people that Sustained Energy (R) should ideally be mixed with water inches from your mouth, carbuerator-style, to prevent it going off.

  19. Comment by bikemike | 12.13.2006 | 12:52 pm

    out doing a long solo century one day. ran out of food. really hankering for sodium content. anything. stopped at the next zippy gas. (you’ll never do this otherwise , unless you’re pregnant) bought a jar of dill pickles and drank the juice. holy crap, better’n gu.
    go ahead, i dare you.

  20. Comment by DP Cowboy | 12.13.2006 | 12:59 pm

    I am still laughing. Dill Pickle Juice, hmmm…?

  21. Comment by Al Maviva | 12.13.2006 | 1:24 pm

    Bikemike, that’s very old school. Did you play for Coach Bryant at Texas A&M?

    Best food – damned if I can come up with anything better than a turkey or ham sandwich, though one of the better ones I had was in Germany on a long ride with some friends. We stopped at this trailside gasthaus for a beer and a bite to eat. I ordered up a ham sandwich made out of bretzen (sp?) which is essentially a small hoagie roll made out of soft pretzel dough. Awesome. It had nothing on it but Danish drawn butter, some black forest ham (natch) and some butterkase (butter cheese) and cucumber slices. It was good enough that I ordered an extra for on-bike food. I’ve had turkey sandwiches on long rides that rivalled it – especially when they come on a honey wheat roll with extra salt. Dang, I just gained two pounds writing that.

    The worst food – on another long ride in Germany, we decided to stop for a beer at every trailside gasthaus we could on a long-ish ride, maybe 120 kilometers or so. We limited ourselves to one or two beers at each gasthaus. The only problem was that the beers in that part of Germany come in liter portions, and the gasthauses are usually only about 10 klicks apart. After maybe a dozen liters of beer, 70 or 75 or 85 kilometers into the ride (it’s tough to recall the details), we had to abandon and take the train home, I think. The food – and beer is classified as food under the German Brewing Purity Act, the Reinheitsgebot – wasn’t bad per se; but taken in the aggregate it totally destroyed our ride, and left us first drunk and out of control, then hungover and sore and kind of stupid feeling. Plus we wound up sort of converting the ride into a full blown three day drinking binge when we got back home, during which I met this really lovely girl who was pretty cool but totally broke my heart later after I’d well and truly broken hers… so really it’s amazing that my life ever recovered from that stinking beer. I completely learned my lesson. Never drink beer and ride… stick to hard liquor if you can.

  22. Comment by Lmouse | 12.13.2006 | 1:42 pm

    Best: Fruit picked from trees and vines hanging over the road. Normally, I’m not that into fruit, but tree and vine-ripened, sun-drenched, wormy contraband is food for the gods. (As long as its local and I know they aren’t spraying.)

    Worst: Any processed energy bar containing sugar alchohols. That stuff is baaaaaad–real baaaaaad.

  23. Comment by Caloi-Rider | 12.13.2006 | 1:55 pm

    A friend and I thought it would be a good idea to grab a Jamba Juice before a ride once. The ride was a steep climb on an almost overgrown jeep trail. I didn’t puke, but, at the time, I really wanted to. It wasn’t until later that I learned that almost all of their drinks have sherbet in them. Yech.
    My favorite thing at the E100 12-hour (my one and only experience with endurance racing): tomato soup. I’m also still a big proponent of lime-flavored Jelly Belly Sport Beans. For some reason, I can eat those even when I can’t choke down anything else. And they’re tangy.

  24. Comment by Teamfubar | 12.13.2006 | 2:10 pm

    The absolutely nastiest item I have ever eaten on a bike was the first year I raced in the 24 hours of Moab. A guy on our team (in the “rotating” spot since we can never get 4 guys and 1 girl to all agree on something) was a former Olympic athlete hailing from Heber City UT. He had these electrolyte tablets. Huh? We all tried one and holy smokes was it foul. I was more like an Alka-Seltzer coated with a bit of sugar. I rode around the pit area looking like a rabid dog, electrolyte foaming from my mouth, wanting to bite someone. More likely that had to do with the effects of being up for 24 hours and sporadically trying to ride a bike…

    Coincidentally, the best tasting food came that same weekend. At about 3 pm on Sunday. It was Eddie McStiff’s pizza, but honestly it could have been anything I put in my mouth that afternoon as long as it wasn’t a Clif Shot or pesto pasta. I swore I’d quit biking before I ate another Clif Shot or rode in the 24 hours of Moab again, but we came back the next year. And I ate more Clif Shots. And Eddie McStiff’s afterwards. Thankfully, no electrolyte tablets this time!

  25. Comment by Lofgrans | 12.13.2006 | 2:21 pm

    The only problem with getting my cyclist the bars is that I’m the one who’d end up making them. Do you think I could count that as two gifts in one?
    What is it with you cyclists and PB&H? Bob makes them so fat, he has to pinch them shut while consuming.
    I once gave Bob a can of cheese-whiz during lotoja as a joke at the Montpelier feedzone. He actually ate some!

  26. Comment by Lofgrans | 12.13.2006 | 2:24 pm

    and Eddie McStiff’s has the second best utah pizza i’ve ever had. Geppettos in Holladay is #1.

  27. Comment by KatieA | 12.13.2006 | 2:29 pm

    Best – Water. I rode an event once where it was 50km road (not too long really), but it was 40degrees celcius (which is lord knows what in Farenheit, I don’t do maths) and my pack ran out of water, the 4 bottles of stole from my boyfriend ran out, and when I got to the finish line, all the stalls had no drinks either. I loved water then – because I rode to a bottle-o (liquor store to you) and bought 4 x 2L bottles and drank them there. Damn that was good. And before you say it, I realise it’s not technically something you eat, but screw it.

    Worst – Fudge. My friend thought it would be SO great, full of instant energy. Yeah, except when the ba$tard melts in your backpack and you spend three weeks trying to get the stuff out. And it tasted foul, and I needed something else to eat about three minutes later, because I used up all the energy!

    And send me those damned energy bars – we can’t get them in Australia, and they won’t ship them here (yet).

  28. Comment by Jill | 12.13.2006 | 2:41 pm

    The worst thing I ever ate on a bike was a packet of French Vanilla Gu washed down with Lemon Lime gatorade. I started dry heaving right there on the trail. So now I’m a convert to fruit snacks, the kind that come in little packages and come in fun colorful Shrek and Barbie shapes. They’re just as effective and go down just as easy as Gu, and they’re a lot tastier and cheaper.

    By the way, 40 degrees Celcius is 104 Farenheit. In those temps, you don’t need water. You need an IV.

  29. Comment by Rocky | 12.13.2006 | 2:43 pm

    You were there. The nasty salad on the Kokopelli. Actually, it was delicious going down. But the 24 hours of by turns wretching and hurling as the after effects – eewww. It tasted like, well, rotten salad…over, and over, and over.

    Best ever…super sloppy Tuna sandwiches. They keep well, and they go down so well. Nick Abbott ate one in a single bite on the Leadville.

  30. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 12.13.2006 | 3:28 pm

    I just can’t believe that Spam is really innudated by requests for sponsorship. I’d have thought you were essentially the only cyclist/runner/polo player to have ever asked them for a sponsorship.

    Personally, I’ve never seen the Spam sponsor anything. Spambowl anyone?

  31. Comment by Terri | 12.13.2006 | 3:47 pm

    TastyKake Oatmeal Raisin Bars are perfect for my Sunday morning 50 miler. They hold up great in the jersey pocket and cost a mere quarter a piece at the local dairy. Once, they were out of these, so I bought Little Debbie Oatmeal Creamies instead. Let’s just say anything with the word creamie in it should not be eaten on a bike!

    The absolutely worst thing I’ve ever eaten on a bike was my accidental ingestion of some sort of insect. I was riding with a head cold, and the effort forced me to mouth breath. I saw this ugly bug thing flying right at me…hoping against hope that it would fly off my glasses or helmet, but nope..Right down the hatch. Blech! I spat and sputtered to no avail. I am still traumatized.

  32. Comment by Al Maviva | 12.13.2006 | 4:07 pm

    Personally, I’ve never seen Spam sponsor anything.

    Dude! Lake Speed in NASCAR… the “Spam Can.” Awesome looking car… looked just like a Spam can, hence the innovative name. Too bad Lake Speed, in spite of being a nice guy with the second best NASCAR name ever, was a mediocre driver, similar to the other nice guy with the best NASCAR name ever, Dick Trickle. Ironically enough, Speed replaced Trickle on Cale Yarborough’s team.

    Whoa. That’s way more than I probably wanted to say. But here’s the Spam Can.

  33. Comment by Olivia | 12.13.2006 | 4:45 pm

    Peanut butter & banana sandwiches are the best. Even squished beyond recognition, they still taste darn good. You’ve got your carbs, protein, fat and sugar all in a nice little package. Best energy food I’ve found. I eat them before and during every race (and sometimes after, just for the heck of it).

  34. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 12.13.2006 | 4:51 pm

    Well, there you go. Spam sponsors NASCAR.

  35. Comment by Pete | 12.13.2006 | 5:27 pm

    Gotta agree with Olivia on the PB and banana sanga being up there. Another supreme combination is PB, honey and sultanas. Give it a go, you’ll never be satisfied with just PB and honey again.

  36. Comment by Jordyn | 12.13.2006 | 6:02 pm

    Love, love, love your site (and the old one) I hope you will go to my space too.

  37. Comment by Born4Lycra | 12.13.2006 | 6:24 pm

    So you eat stuff on long rides. Can’t see the connection myself but you learn something new everyday.

    Yep 40deg C= 104deg F – multiply by 9/5 and add 32.

  38. Comment by Lisa | 12.13.2006 | 7:20 pm

    I ride so that I can have an excuse to eat whatever I want. I highly prefer brats and sweet corn, but when I have to carry my own food I have two favorites, one sweet and one salty. The sweet is rice krispie treats. When I go on week long rides, I stop at every bake sale stand and buy as many as I can fit in my pockets or zip tie to my bike. The salty are these garlic bread sticks that I cook at home, then squish into any open space available. Who cares if they are malformed when I eat them? They are especially delicious with lemonade gatorade (NOT lemon-lime).

  39. Comment by Andrew | 12.13.2006 | 7:30 pm

    Best: Homemade rice crispy treats with peanut butter m&ms, almonds, and melted chocolate drizzled over them. You get sugar, protein, fat, and carbs all in a delicious square, that even if has been mashed up is still really tasty. *NOTE: You will see Lisa too enjoys rice krispie treats too, these ones are better than the normal ones because you must make them, and they have m&ms in them.
    Worst: apple pie and an ice cream pop, at mile 137 of a 157 mile ride in Montana. You’d think that it would be delicious and make you all happy and feel like a kid again. Instead I pulled off of a small pace line, turned my head over my right shoulder and puked it all back up.

  40. Comment by JET(not a nickname) | 12.13.2006 | 8:37 pm

    The worst thing I’ve ever “eaten” while on a bike was swamp water. It was back in my mountain biking days and we were all trying to ride this log that went over a little piece of swamp, and yours truly biffed it (I had no business doing the move anyhow) and wound up going face first into the muck and coming up with a mouthfull of fowl mud like stuff.
    As far as the best thing, I’d have to say orange slices, especially when they are kept in buckets of ice and handed out to you on a hot sunny day. They are fantastic!

  41. Comment by Rocky | 12.13.2006 | 9:02 pm

    Wait, wait, wait. Three of us were riding a fast singletrack on blm land. The blm part is significant because cattle are allowed to graze on blm land in Western Colorado.

    Cattle are insensitive creatures where mountain bikers are concerned. They leave mushy little (and sometimes big) land mines in the middle of trails.

    So there we were, screaming along when we hit the mushy stuff that some digestively challenged bovine left behind. At the end of the track, there was an undetected clump of freshy cow poop right on the end of my Camelbak bite valve. Eeeww. Cow poop tastes like…well, cow poop.

  42. Comment by GeekCyclist | 12.13.2006 | 10:26 pm

    Best thing – Payday bar. This has an advantage of being very inexpensive (but certainly more expensive than free…) relative to “energy bars” and gels, and the nutrition is not that much differerent. Another advantage is that they can be found and every gas station convenience store on your route.

    Worst thing – Scrub Oak Leaves. I am not a mountain biker, but while waiting for my older sons during the City Creek Hill Climb in SLC my younger son talked me into going a little way up a trail while on my commuter outfitted mountain bike. I was paying attention to him and not the trail when I tried to impale myself on a branch. It was pointed almost directly down the trail and hit me square in the chest, almost pushing me backwards off the bike and causing me to make a loud “Hunghhh!”. As I inhaled trying to regain my breath I sucked down a leaf right off the branch.

  43. Comment by tayfuryagci | 12.13.2006 | 11:11 pm

    Al, you drank 12 liters of beer during a bike ride? That’s one of the craziest things I’ve ever heard.

    You actually can get water poisoning if you drink 8 liters at a time. Not technically hepatotoxicity like poisoning but some kind of poisoning. Can kill you man!

  44. Comment by Weean | 12.14.2006 | 12:46 am

    Best food= dried bananas. You get them in health food stores, they look like sticks and have the texture of dog chews, but they taste (unsurprisingly) like banana, and they’re virtually indestructable in your jersey (although a tiny bit sticky).

    Worst food= cheaper dried fuit (apricots, prunes) that use sulphates. The natural sun-dried stuff I can chow down on all day, but the sulphates (OK, sulfates) in the cheap stuff play havoc with my digestive system. After about five miles I feel bloated. Another five and I’m checking out ALL the hedges.

  45. Comment by buckythedonkey | 12.14.2006 | 1:56 am

    > your dairy (mayonnaise)

    Mate, tell me you’re kidding. Either that, or promise me that you’ll stick to making the mashed spuds and leave the mayo to somebody else.

  46. Comment by Gewwez | 12.14.2006 | 2:26 am

    best ever – freshly picked extra-juicy peaches. we figured out since half the fruit was lying rotting in the soil then no harm in picking a few

    usually i carry around a banana or two – however not in summer, it will go up in the high 30s (celcius, no idea what that equates to in farenheit) here apart from being very humid, and even an unripe banana will get squashed within 30mins in those conditions – i’ve had days when drinking 1ltr water every 10km was barely enough

    on long rides i like to carry around some almond cakes – full of fuel and reasonably indestructible and they rid you of that empty feeling in your stomach. we also like to stop for a toast and coffee at village bars when it’s cold.

    worst thing i’ve had – went to a local bar in Mellieha (that’s a village on the island of Malta, where i live), i bought a small cake or muffin, which turned out to be a few days old and it had become rock hard – we finished banging it against the wall and it finally broke into small fragments – not exactly a rock cake but the name fitted.

    anyway, fatty pls send me those bars, i live in faraway Malta and these guys won’t ship outside the US, so you got to be my saviour

  47. Comment by KatieA | 12.14.2006 | 3:38 am

    104 Farenheit sounds so much worse than 40 degrees celcius. Despite being in Australia, I think I may have to convert everything to Farenheit, then I would sound so much more impressive.

    BTW – is it very sad that I’m home from my work Christmas party at 10:30pm?

    Or even worse – I’m home from my work Christmas party at 10:30pm, and on the internet writing on here??

  48. Comment by dawn | 12.14.2006 | 4:23 am

    Worst thing ever ingested on a bike ride? Water from a puddle on the side of the road. I had left my water bottle in the car and didn’t realize it until about mile 7. I was thirsty and desperate, the road I was on was a winding one through the woods with no houses in sight, the puddle looked clean. The really sad thing, unlike JET, I chose to drink this.

  49. Comment by tayfuryagci | 12.14.2006 | 5:38 am

    How did it taste?

  50. Comment by Gewwez | 12.14.2006 | 6:14 am

    I nearly forgot when I nearly injested two coupling flies – but I didn’t actually swallow so that doesn’t count maybe

  51. Comment by Esther | 12.14.2006 | 6:51 am

    Hmmmm sponsors to approach….

    Underalls – they used to sponsor a NASCAR car. almost as good as wearing tights, right?

    Johnson & Johnson – cyclists tend to use a lot of bioclusive dressings. – clothing for large cyclists

    Ann’s House of Nuts – hey, nuts are a great food to munch during a ride

    Just Born – the maker of Marshmallow Peeps. You can color-coordinate them with the jersey, and they are very portable.

    Fleischmann’s Yeast – used to make light and fluffy homemade energy bars

    - Esther

  52. Comment by FliesOnly | 12.14.2006 | 6:51 am

    Well the best thing is a little tough. I do remember that at the end of a particularly grueling ride, we stopped at the house of one of the riders and he disappeared inside, only to return with three very cold cans of Miller Lite. Ok, first off, beer out of a can totally blows. Second, Miller Lite is perhaps one of the worst beers on the market. But nonetheless, after that particular ride, at that particular location, and at that particular moment, all stars must have been in perfect alignment because that can of crappola tasted like a fine bottle of Fuller’s ESB. Technically, though, since we were done with the ride and since this was a liquid, I’m not sure that this constitutes the best thing I’ve “eaten” while on a “ride”.

    So I guess I’d have to say that the best thing I have ever eaten while on a ride would be a tie between ice cold Jell-O and ice cold vanilla pudding. My club does a ride early in the year (Memorial Day Weekend) called the BagBalm. We have a SAG vehicle that follows along, carrying (amongst other things) food and refreshments. Last year’s ride took place during an unseasonably warm period. Early on (and then throughout the rest stops), I discovered the joys of eating extremely cold Jell-O and pudding. They were, without question, the best thing(s) I had (or have since) ever eaten on a ride.

    The worst thing though? Boy, I’m not sure. Just about anything tastes “acceptable” if I’m on a ride and I “need” some sort of nourishment. But I guess I’m with you on this one. While I do enjoy cliff bars, they are somewhat difficult to chew and swallow while riding a bike. I go through about half a bottle of water just to wash the things down. And since I only ever carry one water bottle, wasting half of it on one cliff bar can be somewhat bothersome.

    (And since I desperately want to win the five boxes, I’m going to link this message with your thread from yesterday (about being a blogger) and do a little shameless self promotion. I’m part of the reason you went to this new format. At your old sight, you mentioned that you were getting burned out, so you wanted your readers to send in some stories…and I sent the one about what it’s like riding with some guy that’s much stronger than yourself. You appreciated the stories you received so much that you decided to go to this “new” forum format. Your welcome.)

  53. Comment by Al Maviva | 12.14.2006 | 6:56 am

    Tayfur, after downing 12 liters of German beer on a daylong drunkfest/road ride, I wasn’t terribly worried about getting water poisoning.

  54. Comment by tayfuryagci | 12.14.2006 | 7:45 am

    Al, Lisa said she drink 8 liters at once a few comments after yours.

    How you could even manage to stay on the bike after that kind of an alcohol intake is a mystery.

  55. Comment by barry1021 | 12.14.2006 | 8:35 am

    Did anyone mention Fig newtons? Easy for me to digest (the middle looks like someone already chewed it a bit doesn’t it??) And the sugar is much appreciated. If you put a bunch in a plastic bag in your back pocket, especially on a hot day, you get a FN smushball, but it still tastes great.

    Not technically on a ride but right after a century, I ate a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. Turned out my digestive system decided right before to take a little siesta. THAT, my friends, was not pretty.

  56. Comment by fatty | 12.14.2006 | 11:18 am

    what? mayo isn’t dairy? cuz i’ve been equating it with yogurt, and consuming accordingly.

  57. Comment by tayfuryagci | 12.14.2006 | 11:42 am

    who said mayo isn’t dairy? it most certainly is. I balanced my diet according to it too: mayo, ketchup and burgers. you have your veggies as ketchup, dairy as mayo and meat as well meat.

  58. Comment by Jsun | 12.14.2006 | 12:51 pm

    (burp) stay away from the brocolli chedder soup (burp)

  59. Comment by Tim D | 12.14.2006 | 2:12 pm

    Best stuff is Polaris food – boil in the bag bacon and beans followed by boil in the bag chocolate sponge pudding and chocolate custard followed by sweet tea made with the boiling water.

    Worst stuff – the same thing minus the ability to boil the water


  60. Comment by Kerri | 12.14.2006 | 2:46 pm

    Mine is not food, but drink. I found out the hard way a few years ago that it was possible to overhydrate. I always had had problems with headaches after exerting myself in hot weather. I thought I had figured out the proper intake of water, but man was I wrong. My husband and I were riding the Elroy-Sparta Trail in Wisconsin. It was the end of July and 90+ degrees, so I was sipping from my Camelbak every minute or so. Needless to say, by lunchtime I had drained my water supply. All was OK until I got outside the nicely air conditioned cafe and tried to get back on my bike. My stomach was doing flip-flops and I could barely stand up. It took about a half hour before I stopped sloshing and could get back up. Ever since then, I have been very careful about what I consume on my bike, especially when it’s hot out.

  61. Comment by TeeBone | 12.14.2006 | 3:39 pm

    Best food:
    For ultra long races nothing beats Hammer Perpetuem. But that alone is not my answer. For LOTOJA this year I tried something new. I mixed it up as a gel and put it in my gel flask. When prepared this way, this stuff tastes just like cake batter. Really, cake batter! Who doesn’t like cake batter? The only down side is that it is so delicious, it is hard to stop sucking after only one serving has been dispensed. Try it, it’s awesome!

    Worst food:
    Sticking with the Ultra long race theme, because that makes a big difference on what works and what doesn’t, I’d say anything that contains refined sugar. For the 12 hours of Endurance race in Park City this year, fueled up on cookies, jelly beans, and Gatorade, no less than 5 minutes of each of my last 5 laps were spent in the porta-johns. Not fun.

  62. Comment by dawn | 12.14.2006 | 4:02 pm

    Tay, if your question is directed at me – not too bad, a little gritty, but I couldn’t get enough to satisfy my thirst. I kept thinking “I’m going to get dysentery from this” so I stopped drinking. Plus the sun came out and I saw it reflecting in the oil scum on the top of the puddle.

  63. Comment by Jose | 12.14.2006 | 4:28 pm

    The worst thing I heard somebody had on a bike was IV fluid instead of water. A friend of mine had the genious idea if drinking IV fluid thinking that it would be a great for hydration. The salt content almost killed them.
    The best thing I’ve ever had are the shot blocks.

  64. Comment by squeakycyclist | 12.14.2006 | 5:53 pm

    Worst: Flies. Flies activate my gag reflex and I start puking. It’s not a pretty sight…

    When I first started riding the yellow Huffy my wife would graciously bake me some of those Bicycle Energy Bars on page 72 of The Bicycling Users’ Manual, published by Bicycling Magazine back in 1982. They were quite ugly, like big brown logs, so they had to be good for you!

    I skipped breakfast (tummy hurt) for the Tour de Tucson, lived on aid station cookies all day. Yummy!

  65. Comment by JET(not a nickname) | 12.14.2006 | 9:09 pm

    My vote goes to Dawn. CHOOSING to drink from a road puddle…blaah!

  66. Comment by Gewwez | 12.15.2006 | 12:12 am

    i suggest you read the contents on your mayo fatty.

    no wonder you’re fat

  67. Comment by Jen | 12.15.2006 | 6:40 am

    Best: Pop-tarts are pretty easy to eat, come in a nice package and in a variety of flavors and can be found at almost any store along the way. Another vote for pickle juice as well, while not exactly food, it scraped my flagging spirits off the melting pavement on the Hotter than Hell ride.

    Worst: Eload, while a fine drink, does not work very well if you are nervous before your first race, mix it too strong, and bring no water. It’s 90+ degrees with Houston-like humidity and you’re about to gag, but you have no choice, you have to drink this stuff in your bottle. I thought my stomach was going to crawl out of my ears and choke my neck.

  68. Comment by Tim D | 12.15.2006 | 7:50 am

    Talking of SPAM, its understandable why they chose to sponsor NASCAR, a motor sport surpassed for dullness only by Formula One.

    I once set fire to my kitchen frying some spam

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  70. Comment by T-Nice | 12.15.2006 | 8:24 am

    Worst was the bananna flavor gel flask I got as a sample from my LBS from some off brand energy food start up company. I don’t think they made it in the business.

    My favorite isn’t really food, but I like to mix orange Cytomax with vanilla Hammer Gel. Mmmmmm……. creamcicle.

  71. Comment by Uncadan8 | 12.15.2006 | 9:26 am

    The best thing I ever had on a ride was some fresh peaches. Wow, were they ever good! The only problem was that they had the same effect as that stuff you take before you have a surgery in order to clean out your system. Yeah, it was not fun. But for a brief time, I had the best average speed I have ever experienced.

  72. Comment by salex | 12.15.2006 | 11:58 am

    Favorite: I second T-Nice on the mixture of Cytomax with, in my case, soy protein. makes a good endurance booster at the mid-ride rest break.

    Least Favorite: Second whoever disrespected balance bars – they had the same effect on me!

  73. Comment by Brian C | 12.15.2006 | 12:41 pm

    i saw several votes for payday bars, ill have to try that. word on the fig newtons, i usually eat those or some other type of breakfast bar. honey bunches of oats makes one with banana, and they are darn good, and light on the stomach.

    someone also mentioned wrapping an unpackaged powerbar around their top tube while racing. this person should win, thats ridiculous.

    i like the clifshot gels too, the vanilla and coffee ones are great.

    the worst? clif bars. i know, blasphemy. but they seem to suck the moisture out of my mouth and body like a sponge. that, and the hippie granola seeds DESTROY the roof of my mouth. maybe im just weak.

  74. Comment by The Weak Link | 12.16.2006 | 7:12 am

    The best thing? On a bitter cold night I was practicing on my tandem bike, riding it solo. I pulled up to a Skyline Chili (it rules) drive-through, but I wasn’t fat enough to set off the pressure strip, so I pulled around to the window and started banging on it. They served me a four way with beans. Yummy.

    The worst thing? I once accidentally put in my Camelbak twice the recommended quantity of Crystal-lite. It was a very hot day, yet everytime I took a swig from the Camelbak I though I was drinking right out of the Dead Sea. Nasteeeee.

  75. Comment by Lemyke | 12.16.2006 | 8:05 am

    Have you ever tried a sandwich with mustard and Lay’s Potato Chips? Nice and crunchy.

  76. Comment by Jeff Y | 12.16.2006 | 11:04 am

    gotta be peanut M&Ms – easy to open, anything from one bite to a mouthful, cheap, and how can you go wrong with chocolate! There is the choking hazard though…

  77. Comment by BIg Mike In Oz | 12.16.2006 | 7:19 pm

    I don’t know whether what I consumed on this particular ride is technically good or bad. It was good, and necessary, at the time but is probably considered very bad from a dietary and health perspective.

    On an epic solo 4 day 400 mile ride I consumed a lot of Coke. The Coca-cola type coke. A total of 43 litres. That’s 11.5 US gallons in 4 days.

  78. Comment by Michael | 07.24.2007 | 10:45 am

    Whole Foods and many coops sells a bulk dairy free energy bar called Chunks of energy, they cost about 1/2 of what packed bars cost. All good ingredients and many flavors: chocolate almond chip, mixed berry, carob spiruina, and vanilla almond. They give me a sustained energy boast a good value when I am hiking, biking or kayaking.

  79. Comment by Michael | 07.24.2007 | 10:45 am

    Whole Foods and many coops sells a bulk dairy free energy bar called Chunks of energy, they cost about 1/2 of what packed bars cost. All good ingredients and many flavors: chocolate almond chip, mixed berry, carob spiruina, and vanilla almond. They give me a sustained energy boast a good value when I am hiking, biking or kayaking.


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