After last weeks long ride I couldn’t sleep, I felt like I’d drunk 5 cups of coffee and I stared at the ceiling all night. So I’ve spent the past week asking questions, reading and researching alternative ride food. Thank you everyone for getting in touch with suggestions and ideas. I’ve been eating gels and bars for years because I thought this was the only option for easy fuel on the move but I’ve now discovered there’s loads of alternatives.
On Saturday evening Savannah and I had great fun making Team Sky’s rice cakes. I found the recipe here on the Rapha website, I found the recipe easy to follow and really easy to make. I don’t have a rice cooker, I just used a saucepan with a lid and checked it throughout the cooking process and gave it an occasional stir. I opted for Team Sky’s favourite chocolate flavour mixed with cinnamon. I used a quarter of the recipe and this made 4, very thick cakes. Savannah helped me stir the mixture together and she was rewarded with the spoon to lick. She was very impressed, she thought her cakes were delicious.
I also bought some Soreen Malt Loaf and Fig Rolls. A few people had suggested them and because I’ve eaten both before I knew my stomach agreed with them. The Soreen Malt Loaf comes in really handy lunch box, individually wrapped portions so I thought these would be easy to eat on the move. Packing up my jersey in the morning was a bit challenging but after some forcing and squashing, it was all in. I did feel a bit overloaded at first and I was unsure how much I’d need for the ride. I took 4 rice cakes, 2 malt loaf slices and 8 fig rolls. I waited until 40 minutes in to the ride before I consumed any food, I’d eaten a big bowl of porridge before I’d left home.
I’d just ascended Hexton Hill and I was riding through an area called the valley. I managed to get the small foil parcel out of my jersey and unwrapped all whilst riding, it wasn’t as easy as getting a gel out but with a bit of practise it will get better. The rice cake tasted so good, it really made me smile. There’s a very faint taste of coconut from the coconut oil, it’s quite firm, it held together well so it’s really easy to eat. You can bite in to it but it breaks up easily in your mouth, there’s very little chewing required and the taste is subtle, it’s not sweet like all those bars. I’m completely sold. I motored along and soon came to a well known incline The Poggio, I powered up it and felt really strong but level, this felt good.
As the day went on my jersey emptied and my energy levels kept up at a really good level. I was riding with an old friend Nick, although he’s only just recently returned to his road bike after years of mountain biking he’s not really lost his pace, he’s been riding for years and I was managing to stay on his wheel and do my bit at the front. When I got home I felt completely different, it was a lovely feeling, I just felt a bit tired. I could’ve curled up on the sofa there and then and had a little snooze. This has changed the way I ride.