Those of you who have raced with me are probably aware that I have habitually been abysmal with my nutrition.  I tend to finish one hundred mile road races with at least one full bottle and all of my gels still in my pockets.  When I say “finish” I mean: crack spectacularly at mile seventy, then eat a gel to give me the energy to sputter to the finish line at ten mph. It is just so hard for me to eat "that stuff" in my pockets when I train eating PB&J made on chocolate chip pancakes or . . . ice cream.  Yes, I routinely stop mid-ride to buy ice cream.  

Unfortunately, during a race not many competitors are willing to call a neutral ice cream break, and my sandwich concoction, while delicious, is bulky and messy.*  Nevertheless, trying to be pro, I usually toss some junk into my jersey and head to the line.  After not eating any of this, I realize that the 3500 calories burned > the 150 calories I consumed (note: lack of ice cream).  This is a problem.

This problem was solved when I joined Team Mike's Bikes p/b Equator, who is sponsored by PRO BAR, a company based in Salt Lake City, Utah. They make five different products, one of which is the PRO BAR Meal, that is meant to be exactly what it's titled. This bad boy is vegan, GMO-free, organic, and packs three hundred and seventy calories.  

When I first read the wrapper, I thought: "How am I supposed to finish something that contains almost twice the calories of a normal bar?  I can split this over three rides."  During my next ride I opened one and to my surprise I saw food!  I didn’t have to read the label to know that there were walnuts, raisins, oats and flax seeds spilling out of it.  I could see them in all their glory right in front of my eyes.  Even blindfolded I would have been able to feel the contours of the walnut taste the raisin and hear the joyous crunch of the toasted oats.  A bar with real FOOD in it!  I found that, in spite of the hearty pack of calories, it is easy to eat and digest while riding, and tastes delicious. Needless to say, it did not last three rides, it did not even last three minutes before I ate it all! It’s the business, it’s the shit, it’s the bomb, even bomb.com, it’s arguably the bee’s knees if you’re old school.    

ProBar makes 4 other types of food products—Core, Bolt, Fuel, Halo—that can be seen above and learned about at PROBAR

*The best/worst thing I've eaten mid-race was a three foot long rainbow sour candy strip: hard to manage and gross if you have to lick the sour sugar off your glove. 

-Craig