Category Archives: Nutrition

Cycling squares: update!

You’ll remember my previous post on cycling squares. Quick recap: top ride snacks should be Pocketable, Chewable and Full of Energy.

Mr Rossi riding buddy has thrown a new contender into the mix! More home-made cycling squares. This time full of honey-filled, peanut-fuelled, energy-packed oatey goodness. And with the odd surprise crispy crunch thrown in for good measure. This many flavours usually disappear in a confused melange. Not here – each bite packs a different punch.

The verdict: we have a new joint No.1 Ride Snack. These tick all the boxes – only available at Pretorius Bikes! Or if you can persuade Rossi to give you some (like I did)!

Pro score: 9/10

ross cycling squares

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Cycling squares

Training on empty might be good for fat burning on short rides. But even if you’re watching what you eat off the bike, you need to eat when you’re on it… and often. Riding nutrition is a very personal affair, but we can find some common ground. What makes a great snack for cycling? For me they must be…

  • Pocketable. Robust. It’s got to stay in one piece. Nobody wants crumbs in their jersey pockets.
  • Chewable. When you’re in the red, breathing hard. Must not make you choke when you’re supposed to be going faster.
  • Full of energy. And the right kind of energy. Slow and fast release. Easy on the stomach, but with enough punch to give you that something extra when you’re running on empty.

I love cycling and I love food. The two come happily together in my constant quest for better riding snacks. Here in reverse order are my top three so far!

Third place: Everybody loves a banana. Nature’s energy bar, full of the right kind of stuff and easy to eat. Biodegradable skin so no need to worry about the wrapper. But nowhere does a banana deteriorate faster than in the back pocket of my jersey while riding. Besides, we’re not tennis players.

Banana. Pro score: 2/10

Second place: Nutrigrain elevenses, a reliable personal favourite. I’ve been eating these cinnamon-flavoured goodies ever since I started riding and still use them. They taste good and keep you going, but make no mistake, you’ll want some water to wash them down. Also, being shop-bought, not very pro.

Pro score: 3/10

First place: Vac-packed cycling squares. I came across these while staying at Gite Belle Vie in the Pyrenees, right at the foot of the infamous Tourmalet climb. Eric, our host, kindly offered Wife-To-Be and me some squares for our assault on the Col D’Aspin and Hourquette D’Ancizan. Sure, you need a bit of infrastructure to make them (vacuum machine)… but they are Hands Down Number One Ride Snack! Home made (by Eric’s wife), delicious, nutritious, chewable, mess free in your pocket and easy to unwrap thanks to a nick in the vac wrapping. Plus you can mix it up with any of your favourite ingredients. It just doesn’t get any better!

Pro score 9/10

cycling squares

A hint of marmalade

Flapjack fuels my rides, so I’m honing my baking skills for the Haute Route too! This one is a real mix, with a hint of marmalade for a twist.

  • half whole oats
  • half broken oats
  • some ground almond
  • some melted butter
  • more golden syrup
  • chopped dried fig
  • walnut halves
  • seeds

I’m discovering that less oven time makes for easier eating. Send me your favourite flapjack recipes and I’ll give them a try!

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