One of the great things about mountain biking is that it is a pretext to chow down on a large amount of food either during a ride or immediately afterwards.
There was one local frame builder who was infamous for organizing marathon mountain bike rides but would only pack the most disgusting food imaginable with them. The only one I remember hearing about was some sort of brains packed with milk… Perfect for a hot summer’s afternoon.
I’ve thrown up a couple three times while riding a bike but never voluntarily.
I will say this, however, even though my inclinations lean towards the less gothic end of the spectrum but there have been some memorable trailside meals. One memorable trail side meal was simply a bag full of chocolate chip cookies with some mint extract that was mixed into the batter.
Another was when a buddy of mine and I went for a ride just outside of Santa Cruz. I thought he packed a good amount of snacks with him and he thought the same of me. As it turned out neither one of us packed a lot of food.
My riding buddy wound up bonking pretty bad and at a certain point I could no longer turn my pedals either. At a certain point my wilderness first aid training kicked in and I started to look off of the side of the trail to see what was edible. Sure, we could have gone Bear Grylis at a point, tearing up logs looking for grubs, noshing on some banana slugs, or maybe even trying to spear one of the wild boar we saw earlier but our situation wasn’t quite that dire.
Instead I scoured around for some little edibles, berries (there weren’t any that time of year) so I had to look for… uh… alternatives. I eventually was able to find some young fiddlehead ferns and some young pine needles. Granted they weren’t the most fillings of all trailside snacks but it beat having to resort to eating a “gulag sandwich”.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term “gulag sandwich” it was a phrase by those trying to run away from the Soviet prisons; gulags. Two larger and stronger convicts would kidnap a smaller and weaker convict then they would kill and eat the smaller and weaker convict as they escaped.
Often times I let my inner cheapskate be my guide. There isn’t anything wrong with a Snickers or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on the side of the trail. Over the years I’ve filled my water bottles with a variety of concoctions ranging from, Coca Cola to horchata , cold coffee and even water mixed with honey and lemon juice. And despite the millions of dollars of spent by sports drinks companies telling you otherwise some of these home brews work surprisingly well… even though some of them might not be quite as palatable.
But its not like hot, salty fruit drinks taste all that good either…
Post ride food is another matter. I figure anything goes at that point. Pizza, burritos, any thing with fat and carbs… Deep fat fried Twinkies, greasy Chinese food, French fries so drenched in oil you can light them on fire, pie with ice cream, donuts, heart-stopping amounts of potato salad, pasta with cream sauce, coleslaw so white with mayo you swore it was bleached, c’mon, you worked off breakfast so you deserve some corn chips dripping with guacamole and sour cream.
Buttered popcorn with blue cheese dressing, Lucky Charms with raw cream, fudge covered Oreos with double stuff (whatever “stuff” is, double it), milk shakes so thick that you have to eat it with a spoon… bring it…
The drinking part, however, you are on your own. I usually reach for one of four things, black coffee, a Coke in a bottle wey, horchata, or some sort of barley pop.
Black coffee is a particularly good after ride drink, especially on hot days; partly just to see every one’s reaction and partly because its like getting a straight shot of Motrin.
Or… I could just go the sensible route and have a salad with lemon juice and cracked black pepper and a tall glass of ice water.