How to Go on Tour – Thoughts From a Cyclist That Rode the Pacific Coast (part 2)

In part 1 of this guide, I discussed two of the most basic issues when planning a tour, lodging and training. If you have not read it yet I suggest you start there. In this article I’ll tell you about my favorite aspect of touring, food!

Eating while you are on tour is perhaps that most important thing you do. The food you eat is literally the fuel that gets you down the road. With that, all I can tell you about eating on tour is, it depends. One of the most limiting factors is simply what is available. If you are riding through moderately populated areas then finding a good grocery store shouldn’t be a problem at all. However if you find yourself nearing the end of the day at a gas station in the middle of nowhere, do what you can. Hopefully by the time you find yourself in that position you will know what foods get you down the road best. For me foods high in fat and protein worked best. Occasionally areas of limited food choice serve up amazing treats. Areas with lots of farmland are usually sprinkled with roadside produce stands so be on the lookout for those.

I had a simple strategy for diet: I literally tried to eat as much fat and protein as I could. I found that fat and protein gave me better energy than carbs. Your body and metabolism are unique and what works for you may be entirely different. I’ll leave you with the advice that was given to me and a word about applying it. When you are on tour put yourself on the 6,000 calorie diet. When something edible is out in front of you, eat it. It is better to eat too much and feel bloated than to eat too little and hit ‘the wall.’

In the final article I’ll discuss bike maps.

Ian Harper is an avid cyclist and publishes the blog about bike maps and other topics. The blog also hosts a bike map creator web app.

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