Every month here at Art’s Cyclery, we put on a little thing called a women’s ride. I have the pleasure of corralling women from all different training regimens into a cohesive and excited group moving towards a common goal, at least for a day. Every one of these monthly women’s rides starts the same. An early morning hour, brisk air, sponsored hydration, AND baked goods. Let’s be real, even kick-butt athletes want to chew on some nice home made cookies and brownies.
I started noticing that some women would sneakily wrap these baked goods in napkins so that they could eat it on the go or at our regrouping points. Of course we all use gels, bars, and chews as a quick sugar intake on these rides, but when you are out for those long rides you start needing and craving real food items. It took several of these women’s rides for me to realize what was happening, but once I started seeing this trend I couldn’t help but think of solutions. I know that donuts are supremely delicious, but is this really propelling our women towards a successful bonk free ride? The answer is debatable and ultimately an individual will do what they want to do, but my solution was to get some real food out there in the mix in a portable, nutritious, and friendly way.
Feed Zone Portables, a cookbook we carry at Art’s Cyclery, is a perfect starting point for those wanting to add real food onto their riding menu. In preparation for this month’s ride I consulted the Feed Zone Portables for a quick recipe that could be prepared in bulk. I settled on a rice cake that contained coconut milk, chocolate chips, and blueberries. Of course I am biased, but they were amazing! The quickly digested carbs, also known as fast energy, that the rice provides staves off the dreaded bonk. Plus, protein from coconut milk creates an long-lasting, stable stream of fuel for your performance. Without getting too technical about the science of nutrition, I will entrust you to the arms of The Feed Zone to satiate any further questions of a scientific nature.
With 30 women on the ride, not one of the rice cakes remained. My friend Kelly Dakin, who is a Kona Ironman qualifier and finisher, was seen at the regrouping point chowing down on the rice cakes I had prepared. Between bites he said, “This is really good. It’s not too sweet and I love the chocolate and blueberry combo!” She then clipped away at an 18.5 mph average on the way back. Not bad!
Another option that came out on our women’s ride this past weekend was Skratch Lab Cookie Mix! WHAT?! That is correct, it is now perfectly acceptable to eat cookies while exercising and Skratch Labs is making it possible. They give you the base materials for an “athletes cookie.” Essentially, this gives you a trust worthy cookie mix with no added chemicals or surprises. Just a straight forward cookie with maybe a touch more sea salt. One of our ladies brought this option to the start of our ride and it was an instant hit. There are endless combinations that you can add to this cookie to cater to your specific training needs, and your taste buds, which makes this the Jane of all Trades when it comes to fueling on rides.
Between cookies and rice cakes, I send you forth equipped with more armor to defend against the bonk. May you ride hard and never feel its effects.