This post is targeted towards those of you who have toured the ACA maps in US. I have posted this in a European bike forum, but it seems that people back here have a hard time understanding how food supplies are in the US.
I myself am from Europe and have toured Northern Tier, Pacific Coast, Great Divide Trail, Atlantic Coast, Transamerica and and parts of Western Express.
When riding I never use a stove. I eat from super markets, grocery stores, gas stations, family restaurants, Subways, Burger Kings etc. Anything at hand along side the road. And you know how difficult it can be getting food in the middle of Montana, Kansas etc.
My riding style is approx 125 mi/day. Approx 60 mi before 1 or 2 pm and the rest thereafter. On my last tour I realized that I either
1. Get hungry too fast.
2. Or my blood sugar level drops too fast.
However I do not know what applies in my case.
Typically I would eat breakfast consisting of oatmeal and stuff as much as possible into my stomach. Then add a drink and maybe a granola bar/chocolate bar. I hope this should last the first 60 mi, but it rarely does. After a few hours a need to top up with chocolate bars, granola bars, peanuts, drinks or whatever to keep going till noon where I will have some sort of meal. After the meal at 1 or 2 pm I get going again, but the topping up has to be done again.
The reason for this posting is that basically I don't like that many chocolate bars, granola bars etc and would rather have something different. Also, because of the heat I spend too much money at gas stations buying these quick fixes = chocolate, soft drinks etc. The quick fixes are not bad - they work very well - but I would rather have the option to try something else. But as you know, in the middle of Montana/Wyoming/Kansas ... something more wholesome is very difficult, because ACA maps take you along the quite roads.
Now here is the problem, at least what I believe:
Riding for 1 hour at approx 15 mph burns approx 650 kcal (based on internet information). Riding 60 mi will thus burn 2600 kcal. Looking at oatmeal (or any other grain) they contain approx 375 kcal pr 100 gram. If I really push it, I can eat 200 grams = 750 kcal and then there is no more space left in my stomach. Then I can add a chocolate bar of 240 kcal. Then a drink of 150 kcal. Now I total at 1140 kcal. But I am still far away from my 2600 kcal which I need in order to make the first 60 mi. I believe this explains my hunger after some hours of riding. I do know that chocolate bars and soft drinks are bad, but I just don't have many options at the tiny gas station somewhere in Kansas (when refueling to make it to the first meal around noon).
I do like fruits: When possible I get bananas, apples, pears, peaches etc, however there is a problem with that. They are tasty but contain a lot of water. Thus my stomach is filled very quickly with too few calories.
You folks who follow the ACA maps do know that food can be a problem on route. There are plenty of gas stations, but stores with healthy food can be a problem - also you need to observe their opening hours.
So my question is: What do you guys do in order to get all the calories? Do you drink pure olive oil? Are you actually able to do 60 miles with only one single meal and no snacks/drinks at all? When posting, please consider that many ACA cyclists have a daily milage of 60 miles in total, so making a comparison to my daily milage, you need to basically imagine that you eat breakfast, have no lunch, but a meal in the evening.