Biking Tips & Tricks

Happy weekend everyone!  Mine has been very happy.  Since the boys (David & his best friend Boudreaux) were off to go fishing on Saturday, I decided to do a bike ride.  I tried the Bike Barn *free* monthly ride.  It was 52 hilly miles out of Chappell Hill.  I’d never ridden east out of Chappell Hill all the way to Burton, so it was fun to do something different.  It was almost cool when we started and the country views were amazing.  I saw a hot air balloon, rolling hills, nice dogs lazing in the shade, and lots of horses and cows.  The last 10 miles were killer though – it got hot and I was tired.  The ride support itself was really only a rest stop & maps, but you can’t expect too much for a free ride!  There were a lot of riders there though, which always helps with visibility, etc.

On biking… I enjoy riding solo for some reason (I think it’s my alone/thinking time).  I feel very independent and confident when I do it; I think it reminds me of my single time living and biking in Colorado.  Biking gets me energized and is probably my sport of choice, but can be intimidating and can confuse your tummy at first.  So here are a few tips about eating & riding (especially for those just getting into it):

  • I carb up the day before an event, but I don’t overeat (there is a difference).  Contrary to popular belief, I think lunch the day before is probably a more important carb loading meal than dinner for any athletic event.  I also hydrate a lot the day before.  I recommend a few Nalgene bottles, and for a really long ride, I might even have an energy drink or coconut water the day before.
  • When riding, I eat a full and not greasy breakfast (usually oatmeal or similar).
  • I try to drink one bottle of fluid every 15-20 miles.  Ideally, I probably should drink even more.  I start with a half and half water/sports drink mix, then go back and forth between that and water.
  • I aim to eat protein within an hour of the ride.  This time, since the drive home was one hour, I brought little cooler with a Clif Builder Bar and a Coconut water, and I think they helped a lot!   But I’m not a huge advocate of protein bars (they have a lot of ingredients unknown to me).  Stopping for Subway or BBQ are always an option too, though not always the healthiest option.
Anyway, enough about biking.  I got home, showered, took a quick 15-min. nap, then made some crispy kale.
I topped it with half a bag of brown rice (this stuff is awesome if you don’t feel like waiting for rice – I use it way too much!  Bulk brown rice would be way cheaper), and a veggie burger and voila, that was lunch.
I normally want BBQ, but today I was craving a healthy, hearty meal after that long ride.  Then I just snacked a lot the rest of the day; biking makes you huuungry.   I was also able to pack for my upcoming business trip to Covington this afternoon.  Covington is just north of New Orleans; I’m leaving Sunday and will be there all of next week.
The guys eventually made it home and brought home a mix of fish (flounder, etc.), so on Saturday night we made fish tacos, with a quinoa black bean mix, and (at their request) rhubarb pie.  I prepped everything for the pie and cooked the quinoa Saturday afternoon, to make things easier to throw together once they get hungry.  Unfortunately I completely forgot to take a picture of the finished Rhubarb pie, (recipe from Clean Food).  It had a nutty homemade crust even!
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