By Denis Faye
We often turn to packaged, on-the-go snacks for a couple reasons. First, long rides are a major energy suck, so cyclists need to bring food with them. A mellow pace burns about 300-400 calories an hour. Put the hammer down and you’re burning 800+ calories an hour. You need fuel.
Second, lycra is tight. It smooshes whatever you put in it. Regardless of whether your jersey is race or club fit, put a pastry in your back pocket and, two hours later, you’ll pull out a pancake.
The best solution has been to stow form-fitting, compression-proof foods for your Tour de Wherever You Ride Every Weekend. With that in mind, the aforementioned packable foods make sense.
Until now—thanks to the rise of the handlebar bag.
Not only have les petites valises à vélo such as Fierce Hazel’s True Grit Handlebar Bag brought even more style into the already stylish world of cycling. They’ve also opened up our culinary horizons, giving us access to a world of round, tubular, and/or easily crushed foods! The True Grit is especially special, given its semi-rigid design further protects your vittles.
Here are seven foods perfect for toting in the True Grit Handlebar Bag. I’m not saying these are health foods; Some of them are far from it. But we consume major calories on long rides. We burn through sugar and sweat out salt, so if you’re doing a grand fondo this weekend, you’re fine eating any of these foods. Except maybe the hot dog. That’s an abomination in any circumstance. But whateves. Carpe diem, baby.
Veggie burrito with grilled veggies, brown rice, black beans, salsa, and guac
The True Grit Handlebar Bag is the exact size of a traditional California burrito. It’s like God herself wants you to put one of the Cali Mex masterpieces in there! Keep it healthier with brown rice and black bean and you have a great source of sustainable fuel for longer rides. Just don’t eat it all at once unless you want it to come back to haunt you during subsequent hard efforts.
Hot dog (with bun)
Given the high fat content, wieners are not ideal cycling food. Also, they’re made from highly processed pink goop that, at one point, was the less desirable parts of a cow or pig. That said, eating a hot dog in the middle of a group ride would be absolutely hilarious, so set phasers to “fun” and chow down!
An apple and an orange
It’s really not fair that bananas get all the love when it comes to bike fruit. Apples and oranges are also a natural sugar source—and they’re much more hydrating. So, the next time someone says it’s like “comparing apples to oranges,” tell them that there’s no need to compare. With a True Grit Handlebar Bag, you can have both!
The apple (fuji)
Two fruit cups peaches in juice
Eat the peach. Drink the juice. The sugar and water are great energy and hydration for your ride. In fact, peaches in travel cups are kind of a perfect riding food, except for the sticky factor, so remember to bring a spoon.
Calories: 60 (each)
Pringles “Grab & Go” can
At this point in their lives, Pringles are scarcely even potatoes anymore. But they’re just so… aero! And the little red cannister fits so elegantly in your bag! Furthermore, on a sweaty day, the salt will do you good. Make sure to drink a healthy swig of water with your chips.
Most cyclists love donuts. Not sure why; it’s just a thing. Sadly, donuts are not handlebar bag shaped. (Although rumor has it that the Fierce Hazel R&D department is hard at work on a solution.) In the meantime, opt for a maple bar, which fits perfectly in the True Grit Handlebar Bag. Or, if you’re in a giving mood, you can fit a crap-ton of donut holes in your bag instead. They’re perfect for sharing and/or pelting.
Two Jell-O Pudding Cups
Bring two spoons so you can share with a friend. Nothing says, “I love you” like a pudding cup. It also says, “Better enjoy your pudding now, beeatch, because I’d about to kick your butt up the next climb” or “Lookin’ good in spandex, babe! What are you doing after the ride?” Basically, pudding cups mean a lot of things. They’re like the “aloha” of cycling snacks. Enjoy.
Calories: 120 (each)
About the writer: Denis Faye M.S. is a fitness nutrition expert who has written for dozens of publications, including The New York Times, Outside, Men’s Journal, and Men’s Health. His most recent book is The BWR Guide to Eating Like a Semi Pro: Nutrition Strategieën for the Most Unique Cycling Event in the World.
He’s also a dedicated semi pro (amateur) competitive cyclist, having raced (and occasionally podiumed) crits, road races, XC mountain bike races, gravel races, triathlons, and cyclocross races… so many painful cyclocross races.
For more of his nutritional rantings, subscribe to his New Personal Best newsletter.
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