Author Topic: Eating well on tour.  (Read 45499 times)

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Offline obinja

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  • What a long strange trip it's been...
Eating well on tour.
« on: November 03, 2015, 10:00:28 am »
I wanted to just begin a new topic about food and eating on tour. I've done some 1,000 mile plus rides through rural areas. In some places food is not only scarce but it's crap. I ate things like Jimmy Dean Sausage Mcmuffins on the Western Express from convenience stores because that was it... Now I'm on the Atlantic coast route. I stock up when I can in larger towns where there re actually grocery stores. But the concept of "food deserts" is a reality out here. In the summer months there is produce of course. But now in the fall post harvest, even the locals eat conveneince store crap. Towns in North Carolina have the Dollar General. These are fairly large but I could not find one piece of fresh produce. How is it for other cyclists?
Never a bad day to ride...

Offline John Nelson

Re: Eating well on tour.
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2015, 09:32:03 pm »

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Eating well on tour.
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2015, 11:22:38 am »
My first reaction (and I mean this sincerely, not trying to be offensive), is "Great!"  You're learning first hand that your presumably comfortable lifestyle is not universal, even in this first of first world countries.  That broadening of horizons is one of the main reasons I encourage people to try travel -- especially by bicycle.

I don't know if Dollar General has succeeded in driving "real" grocery stores out of large swathes of N.C.  I'm guessing that if you went a few miles out of your way to larger towns and even small cities, you could find Food Lion, Piggly-Wiggly, maybe even Winn Dixie.  Those are more likely (but still not certain) to have fresh produce.

A surprising number of convenience stores will have some of the less perishable fruits, such as bananas, apples, or oranges, located near the checkout.  They're overpriced, but that's what you'll have to pay to support the low turnover.

As far as nutrition goes, my ancestors managed to survive on preserved food through the winters.  I'd guess you'll have a fair selection of canned fruits and vegetables, even in small towns.  You might want to supplement those with a multi-vitamin, although I doubt you'll suffer severe vitamin deficiency on a tour of less than 5-6 months.

I remember walking into a restaurant somewhere in Kansas and exclaiming, "They have a REAL salad bar!"  After the western half of Missouri on the TransAm, that was a sight for sore eyes and a feast for a jaded palate.

Offline misterflask

Re: Eating well on tour.
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2016, 05:59:25 am »
Through indifference to diet on my part, I lost half-a-pound a day on a trans-am ride, which I believe would be about a 1500 kcal-per-day deficit.  Fortunately, I had the weight to lose and the final weight was a good one.  Unfortunately, my body was not happy with what I had done to it and I couldn't stop eating after the ride until I'd regained all of the weight.  I've since  worked back down to that healthy weight, but I don't have that huge calorie buffer available anymore.  I pay a lot more attention to fueling the machine now, but as others noted, it is a challenge.  On the kind of roads that make for a pleasant day's ride, you're not likely to encounter a Publix salad bar.

Just about every grocery store I was in out west, the only bananas were aged, discounted and marked as 'Bananas for banana bread!'.  An erstwhile riding companion turned me on to a nifty road-recipe using couscous, but I absolutely couldn't find any for about 2000 western miles of the TA.

Offline johnsondasw

Re: Eating well on tour.
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2016, 08:52:31 pm »
I spent 20 days on the Pacific Coast route in 2005 and gained 10 pounds!  Of course my thighs each increased by and inch in circumference.  I was always hungry after the first 5 days or so and just ate all I wanted to for fuel.
May the wind be at your back!

Offline staehpj1

Re: Eating well on tour.
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2016, 07:38:15 am »
I have usually found what I considered decent enough food on my trips.  Sometimes the choices were limited, but it was never too bad.  Even in gas station  mini-marts there is typically something better than those huge sausages on the rotisserie.  When pickings are slim, I might on occasion resort to having a granola bar or fig newtons, an apple or banana, and maybe a chocolate milk for a meal.

Fresh vegetables can be scarce a lot of the time, but canned, dried, or frozen ones are usually easy enough to come by.

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Eating well on tour.
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2016, 11:00:48 pm »
I'm guessing you are exaggerating a bit.  The convenience stores you stopped at with the Jimmy Dean sausages, probably had a cooler with orange juice and V8 juice.  Fruits and vegetables!  Sort of.  Juice has some downsides but its main ingredient is kind of healthy.  As mentioned, milk is available.  No problems with proteins, fats, and carbohydrates of course.  Just drink your fruits and vegetables.  If there is food to buy in the USA, you will get by OK.  It will take a long, long time to die of malnourishment.  No place sells only Hostess fruit pies, Ding Dongs, and Coke.  You might die pretty quick on that only.

Offline jamawani

Re: Eating well on tour.
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2016, 11:11:41 pm »
If you happen to be in small towns with church potluck dinners, stop in.
It will not matter that you have nothing - although you can offer to help clean up or something.
Most of the time you will be welcomed and overwhelmed with good wishes.
Plus the food will be the best you can get for 100 miles.
Lots of salads and casseroles - not to mention a whole table of desserts.
(And they will probably load you down with stuff for the road, too.)

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Eating well on tour.
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2016, 04:16:06 pm »
Potluck dinners in the summer?  Watermelon!

Offline Storming

Re: Eating well on tour.
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2016, 10:00:08 am »
Corny helps out quite well!
Ride en' joy

Offline cyclone

Re: Eating well on tour.
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2016, 05:39:17 am »
There's only so much you can take away.... but i recommend in times of hardship and not been able to find a store....

Peanut butter : plastic containers are light... OR make your own at home... bigger pot...
Cereal bars... are VERY light and stuff them in your socks if you need to :-)
Honey/butter/coconut oil : butter can difficult to take as Obv it melts BUT ..conut oil in a small bottle is GREAT as combined with honey it boosts your metabolism which can be a real life saver man when out and about

SEEDS!!! are great for travelling/cycling.... flax/sunflower/chia ... to name a few are great for energy might not be very filling but combined with some fruit you can pick along the way is! and NUTRITIOUS!

The idea im really getting at his take things you can combine well with if you happen to find a hald decent source for food in remoter areas.... so honey... combined with fruit! you can easily pack some light weight untensils!

Ginger ale is also great ! home made is even better using the live organisms... and is very rich in protein... and anti bacterial properties - better than yoghurt and you can bottle up and take 2/3

depends how much storage you have... i suggest you take a a medium bag and a travel/food box for the front and back of bike... smaller one for front... depends how much you wanna take obv...


  • Guest
Re: Eating well on tour.
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2018, 07:19:29 am »
same  :) :)

Offline jamawani

Re: Eating well on tour.
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2018, 08:40:33 am »
Fresh fruits are not as much of a problem.
Even C-Marts have apples and bananas.
And bigger stores have peaches, grapes, strawberries, etc.

But fresh veggies are more of an issue - esp. for solo riders.
There are Subways in practically every small town.
I load my sandwiches down with veggies.

Most restaurants - esp. in small towns - have few vegetables.
But - - - church potlucks have incredible home-cooked food.
Regardless of your religious views, the people are always welcoming.
And they will try to fill your panniers to overflowing with leftovers.

Offline J Griffin

Re: Eating well on tour.
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2018, 11:38:33 am »
I've been playing around with foods for quite a while now, both for gravel biking, and pavement touring.  so depending on where I'm riding, I'll take different stoves.  If we're out in the boonies, with the Jetboil, it's stuff from Packit Gourmet, which is hands down, the absolute BEST food I've ever eaten i the dehydrated/freeze-dried variety.  On the other hand, if I'm on pavement, doing stuff like a SanJuan Islands tour (we live in central Washington state), I'll pack the Trangia cookset, which is much more heavy and bulky, BUT.....I can cook anything I want on it.  The slow cooking and simmering qualities are superb!  so, with the opportunity to buy smaller quantities of stuff along the way, and the right equipment, cooking shoyu chicken and veggies, stews, crepes, and scampi; even a paella isn't out of reach!  the stumbling block is the usually larger quantities of stuff pre packaged in the smaller stores though.  And it really requires some serious thought.  I keep coming back to Packit Gourmet though.  Y'll really ought to at least hit their website, and wander through the "general grocery" section.  Pretty much anything you'd want to make is in that section! 

Offline impulsepp

Re: Eating well on tour.
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2019, 04:58:07 am »
I think you should try eating Thai food.

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