Fall is the ideal season for planning a longer ride outside of the city. You can take a deep breath and savor the crisp autumn air, and be able to take in stunning fall leaf colors without having to be so focused on staying safe in traffic. Another benefit of longer rides is that they require more snacks!
This is a guest post from Po Campo brand ambassador Jasmin Welter, aka @princess_layup. All photos are hers unless noted.
Long rides are beautiful - you have time to reflect, time to take in new scenery, time to push mental and physical boundaries. What one defines as long ultimately varies. For me personally, a long ride starts at 60+ miles, because that's when I start wanting to be prepared. In order to get a long ride in, I stray away from my standard routes in Chicagoland and might find myself exploring new roads or gravel routes in other states.
Photo credit: Brian Vernor
To enjoy "the long ride", a little bit of extra preparation goes a long way. For me, that begins at considering bringing additional layers, an extra spare tube, more water - and having the right food with me. While it is nice to do long rides that are supported with SAG and food stops, I rely on my Po Campo Kinga Handlebar Bag to be my partner in crime.
Photo credit: Kevin Sparrow
As small as the bag is, it is the perfect place to store a mini-pump, an extra vest, and some snacks. I like having an extra snack with me in case I get lost or I come across someone else who's out of nutrition - some extra calories can be immensely appreciated.
And while gels and chews might be very convenient, I don't mind putting in some extra work in the kitchen to whip up a few treats - because I know I will appreciate them during long hours in the saddle.
My go to-snacks for long rides are:
- PBJs/ABJs: My favorite combination is almond butter & peach jam
- Rice Cakes: While they're far from being a recent invention, rice cakes are a versatile treat. They are great filled with tart cherries and coconut flakes, caramelized apples and cinnamon, or honey and jam.
- Dried mango, dates - or the good old banana
Even though I have a giant sweet tooth, I get weary of sugary snacks during a long ride. For a more savory palate, try the following:
- Sweet potatoes with salt and pepper
- Rice cakes with peanut butter and soy sauce, or eggs and bacon, avocado and hummus
- Egg muffins with peppers and spinach
- Peanut butter Pretzels
- Roasted nuts
- Beef/salmon Jerky
- Plantain chips
There are really unlimited ways to break through the vanilla gel-uniformity of sports nutrition. There are times when you know what you should eat but you don't feel like it - but fueling properly is key for the long ride. Opening up my Kinga Handlebar Bag and pulling out a snack I look forward to has definitely helped me during tough mental times on the bike. Give it a try!