Lurking on bicycle touring forums, it is obvious there’s a spectrum of adventurers. There are those who will hop on their bikes with only the vaguest notion of a plan, while others spend months laboring over every imagined contingency.
The Cyclist’s Food Guide: Fueling for the Distance would be found on the shelves of the latter. While a quick thumb-through seems promising, there’s little to glean here for anyone who’s ridden a busy summer season and a couple rides longer than 50 miles. The advice, while practical, is the kind of stuff you pick up from riding with friends, doing group rides, and honestly, from the slightest amount of experience.
“Hungry cyclists need good, wholesome food on a regular schedule so they can enjoy an even flow of energy throughout the day.”
While Nancy Clark’s and Jenny Hegmann’s injunctions like “Honor Hunger” are flaccid, I thought the quick rundown of standard convenience food, like Pop Tarts, and how they fit into your caloric plan was a decent take on touring when you can’t often get the food you should have.
My other complaint with the book is it feels dated. This could be the uninspired graphic design, which lead me to assume it was one of those old war-horses in its 5th edition since 1974. As far as I can tell, it’s a 2005 book, though the new FDA food pyramid is ignored, as are new insights into carbo-loading, and the long-term strategies of having many small meals instead of the three biggies.
While I like the idea of shelves filled with cycling books, save your money on this one, and check out the food chapter in Joe Friel’s The Cyclist’s Training Bible.
Knox’s Food Rules While Bike Touring
1. Oatmeal before leaving camp
2. Stop for a second breakfast
3. Snack often while you bike
4. Drink plenty of water
5. Have some salted nuts or sports drink once a day
6. Ingest a multi-vitamin every day
7. Eat fresh food when you can get it
8. Avoid getting drunk at night as much as possible
9. Try all the local specialities
10. Enjoy yourself