Since we’re still on the topic of food in the last couple of posts, let me get into the good stuff: snacks! These are my favorite things to pick up while I am on a ride or even stock up on before I hit the road.
1. Ice Cream
Ask any bicycle tourists, and I’ll bet you that ice cream will be on the top of their list of snacks to enjoy on a bike tour. Even when the weather was on the colder and wet side of things during our Pacific Coast tour, we would find ourselves indulging in the creamy goodness of an ice cream cone.
Ice cream is the perfect reward for a job well done on the road for the day. My favorite kind is real ice cream and not the popsicle or frozen yogurt variety. Give me plain old strawberry, and I’m a happy camper. I am just glad that I am not lactose intolerant.
2. Peanut Butter on Kings Hawaiian Bread
I pretty much grew up with Kings Hawaiian bread. The delicious sweet dinner rolls are so good and soft that you can’t have just one. Combine that with some crunchy peanut butter, and you have a deliciously good snack that’s packed with carbohydrates. Maybe not the complex carbohydrates that you may need, but a satisfying snack on the road.
The only setback is that the breads are a bit awkward to carry, so we normally try to finish it in a day or two before they get smooshed in our panniers or they may go bad. Trust me, they never last more than 2 days anyway.
Gatorade is a must have in all cyclist’s snacking regimen. Not only will it help replenish important electrolytes and sodium in your system after a long day of riding, it tastes refreshing, especially when it is chilled.
What we tend to do is buy the powder mix from the supermarket and carry that along. I dedicate a water bottle just for Gatorade and mix it with water. Forget Powerade or even Vitamin Water. Gatorade is my drink of choice when it comes to sports drink. Good ole Lemon-Lime is my flavor of choice!
4. Cliff Shot Bloks
I normally don’t like candy-like energy snacks like this, but when I tried it for the first time back in 2010 on the California Coast Classic ride down from San Francisco, I was a believer. After depleting your energy and you’re struggling to finish your day, popping one of these with plenty of water can give you that energy boost you need to power through your ride. On several occasions, I was so amazed by how well my body reacted to these little blocks of gummy miracles.
A bit of warning though. I have heard that consuming these on an empty stomach is a bad idea. Especially if you eat 3 of them. Unless you are trying to use it as a laxative, I would highly suggest avoid doing that.
5. Beef Jerky
Sometimes you just have to pick up some dehydrated flavored meat in a bag to go. Sweet snacks and nuts can only go so far in terms of deliciousness. That is why you will see me with a bag of beef jerky in my snack stash for the days that I just need something meaty and savory. These are more of a “treat” as the price of one bag is super expensive, so I don’t get them all the time.
I also try to avoid them as they can get very salty and not good in terms of the amount of sodium in them. But when there’s a craving, I won’t hesitate to snatch a bag or two and indulge a little bit.
6. Chocolate Milk
I call this my perfect post-ride drink. The combination of carbohydrates and protein makes a great recovery drink as indicated in my previous post. I typically don’t drink this when I’m not riding, but after a good day on the saddle, drinking some cold creamy delicious chocolate milk really hits the spot and helps erase all the frustration for the day.
This is a tradition my brother-in-law, Sang Hyun, and I partake whenever we wrap up a tour. We would treat ourselves each to a quart of chocolate milk while we recount our adventure on two wheels.
One of the major highlights for bike touring is all the guilt-free snacking that you can do. I mean you are burning an extra 3000 – 5000 calories per day. Be judicious with your snacking choices and try not to overindulge. Remember that snacking is good not only for your physical well-being, but it can also be used as a good mental boost to keep the good vibes going. I can not count the number of times that a simple favorite snack brightened any difficult day. Go ahead and treat yourself to the good life when you’re out there touring the world.
What are some of your favorite snacks? I’d love to hear what you enjoy eating. Share in the comments below.