View Full Version : Improving Ride Time & Eating

08-20-2006, 12:13 PM
So with my upcoming increased ride (currently ride 18 miles, and increasing to 30 miles), I'm looking at improving my ride time, speed, energy output, and all around quality of my ride. I'm riding a 06' Specialized Allez Tripple, with everything still factory except tires (Armadillo's) and lights.

Possible upgrades;
Clipless pedals & Shoes
Clip-on bars
Lighter wheels

Any Suggestions?

I am 23, 5 11, and weight 155-165lbs. I eat pretty good (honestly not perfect but good), drink soda (I try and keep it at a max 1-2 a day), drink a good amount of water... powerade/gatorade, and make sure I have a few calories about 20-30 mins before each ride.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to maybe eating a specific bar or drink before a ride, after a ride, etc?

Thanks in advance.

OH I guess its kind of important to know how long it takes to do my current ride. I do half the ride, 9 miles, at my best couple times right around 30 mins flat.

08-20-2006, 02:50 PM
Hi GelFreak,

For long rides many cyclists like carbs. Before and after, and even during if it's really long. Pasta, rice, peanut butter and bagels, potatoes.

I drink an energy fluid with electrolytes, and also eat a South Beach Diet energy bar or Gu2O energy gel every 45 minutes or so if I'm going hard.

Bananas are great for replacing potassium. If you're prone to cramping, trying eating Tums with calcium, and KEEP drinking lots of fluids.

If you do a long supported ride like Reach the Beach, Ride Around Clark County, Cycle Oregon, you'll see what people who put in big miles like to eat and drink during a ride.

There's good basic info on riding and eating at:


Nothing like experimenting, and nothing more fun to experiment with than food.

08-20-2006, 03:30 PM
awesome article, thanks!

09-05-2006, 05:11 PM
1) good nights sleep before the ride
2) breakfast -eat eggs before you ride, scrambled with toast, they keep stay in your system a long time and stop you from feeling hungry and have some good protein.
3) for 30miles, i normally have just one bottle, but maybe over the years I have got to that level, 2 might be good for you, one plain water, one powerade
4) if you have to eat during the ride, I think cliff bars or gels are good, but if you have eaten eggs before....for 30 miles you prolly won't need anything. :)

09-06-2006, 07:40 AM
Are you talking commuting, or training? Or since it's such a lot of mileage, a little of both?

Clipless shoes and pedals are great. Get some neoprene booties for winter. In fact, if there's anything that will make you faster, it's the right clothing so that you won't wimp out of winter rides because of the weather. Gear doesn't really make you that much faster, but riding lots will.

If you're commuting, get a rack and panniers so you can carry all your gear without ravaging your neck and shoulder muscles. Plus, when you take that gear off, you'll FLY down the road...

Aero bars for a commute? During the week dealing with traffic and bad roads? I wouldn't go there, personally. You're 23. You're strong enough to support your own weight for 30 miles. You will go faster with them on, but here's a secret that triathletes don't know: aero bars don't look cool on the Springwater Corridor or the Eastbank Esplanade.

Food? PB&J stays down pretty well. But I'm no monument to diet...

Finally, if you want to ride faster, don't use the granny-gear. Avoiding that tiny little chainring will put hair on your chest...

09-06-2006, 09:56 AM
Thanks for the feedback guys!

Its just commuting right now, but seeing that its 30 miles a day I've considered possibly trying a duelathlon or triathlon. Is that distance pushing myself each and every ride good enough or would i need more miles?

I don't think I'd be able to get up early enough to cook eggs. I already get up at 5am to leave by 5:30.

I know I need to eat before the ride, which I try and eat a little protien before hand, but I usually cant eat much or my stomach wants to projectile vomit as I ride :P

Would eggs be cool to be cooked the night prior and reheat in the morning?

As for water bottles...I'm currently carring 1 24oz filled with a gatorade + protien type of drink. It taste like *&$# but it works.

I use a backpack now...you're saying drop that and get the side carriers to save my upper torso muscles? I think I'm gonna break down and spend the few hundred bucks to get clipless pedals and shoes...


as a last point...i read the article that was posted above and it said to use a gear that allows me to pedal as fast as possible without feeling winded to help my lung capacity/endurance.....you're saying to not do that?

Thanks for the input and keep it coming!

09-06-2006, 02:31 PM
if you are commuting 30 miles 1 way I would highly recommend eating before riding, not a massive meal or anything, but you need something to break the fast and kick start your metabolism.
Scrammbled eggs in the microwave takes less than 5 mins for a couple of eggs, or get some cereal or a powerbar (this can be expensive if you eat em every day)
Oh... toast is good also and thats super quick, or toasted bagel. Don't worry about the 150 calories your ride will burn way more than that, thus the reason for eating.

As for nasty tasting liquid in a bottle, don't do it, just get some water or some fruity powerade, the stuff with protein in it tastes like kak and has little advantage for you on a commute sub 30 mile ride.

I also second the clipless pedals :) you will love em and they are much more efficient. If you ride a lot, get some good shoes, you will not regret. I go Sidi all the way, because of the fit, but they are more expensive than some, but will last a long time.

ps I wish I had a 30mile commute each way to work- I would be fast as hell on a weekend :)

good luck

09-07-2006, 12:43 PM
Sorry -- forums are great place for over-simplification.

Spinning is great. Staying aerobic is great. I've been very committed to it lately, and I already feel better -- last night, I went up and down to Council Crest twice, and once used to kill me. Last night was nothing short of incredible, and I'm pretty sure it's because I've been going really long and staying pretty aerobic.

However, I think that you'll never really fly unless you ditch the triple. Pure and simple. Fifteen minutes of grinding up a hill with a cadence of 50-70 will be really good for your leg strength. Now, that said, if your cassette only goes up to 21, you're gonna be cursing me, 'cuz theres some hills around here that will hurt you if you can only go 39-21.

I dunno. Spinning a high cadence is great. Really. I feel weird under 92 rpm. And I don't know your exact goals. Or how much climbing you're doing on a daily basis. But if you wanna get strong and fast enough to race, even Cat. 5, ditch the triple.

Unless you're going up and over the west hills twice a day, that is. And if you're doing that, then via con Dios, my friend.

09-07-2006, 10:06 PM
"Unless you're going up and over the west hills twice a day, that is. And if you're doing that, then via con Dios, my friend."


Scholls Ferry road to Patton
Patton to SW Vista
SW Vista across burnside to 23rd.

... thats up and over the west hills twice a day : )