A couple of weeks back I extended my cycling to 70 kms for the first time. I know, I know, for many this is a triviality, but the ride was a biggie for me. My body is used to running for just over an hour without carrying food or water. After some initial problems, I’ve learnt to carry about 100 grams of nuts and M&Ms on a full day’s hike. So on this 70-km journey, which I tackled slowly in order to ensure finishing, I took a liter of water and 100 grams of nibbles.
A lesson hard learnt! After two hours my legs grew a mite heavy and I sipped and supped. At the three-hour mark, I was nearly out of supplies and from then on my entire body faded. I did finish but could barely lift legs off the bike. In cycling terms, I’d “bonked.”
Since then I’ve read that you should eat 50 grams every quarter hour in excess of an hour and a half. I think that may exaggerate the requirement, so this week I’ve trialled muesli bars, about 50 grams per half hour over 2 hours. It seemed to work but the distances weren’t as great as the 70-kmer, so quite what suffices over four or five or six hours is yet to be determined. As for water, at what point does one need more than a liter?