Ride Fuel

Team Mike's Bikes

When we're out riding day in and day out, proper fueling is essential to keeping us going. We are happy to be fueled this year by Clif Bar. From training to racing, they have a product that matches perfect. During your ride or race, you are looking for carbohydrates + fluids. The easier the food is to digest, the quicker it absorbs into your system to provide energy.

When I'm out racing, I choose:

1 bottle of Clif Shot drink mix 1 bottle of water Clif Blocks and Clif Kids Fruit Twists (the first couple hours of the race) Clif Shots (when the racing heats up)

When I'm out training, I choose:

1 bottle of Clif Shot drink mix 1 bottle of water Clif Blocks, Clif Kids Fruit Twists (when I'm going a bit harder) Clif Shots (in case I start to bonk) Clif Bars (helps me stay satiated on a long ride, eat when the riding is at a low intensity)

Clif Bar

During both racing and training, I aim for 300-400 calories per hour depending on how much my stomach can handle. I also aim for ~1 bottle per hour depending on the weather. If I keep myself fueled, I will burn through my glycogen stores at a slower rate and will be able to ride stronger for a longer duration.

When I'm looking for some extra protein to help with my recovery, the Clif Builder Bars are a convenient (and delicious) way to fuel up properly. See article about post-ride recovery.

If you're out training and see a Mike's Bikes kit, come say hi. We'd be happy to share some insight (and likely a few samples) of the Clif Bar goods we bring along.


Post Ride Recovery Food (or drink)

Provantage Sports: Customized TrainingWhy it's important The right fuel at the right time can help you get the most out of your workout. By speeding up the rate at which you get yourself into recovery mode, you'll be more rested and less fatigued for the next day. Food consumed within the first 30' after a ride is the magic window.

The science Insulin levels are very high immediately proceeding a workout. This is the body's way to help replenish glycogen supplies. Insulin along with other circulating hormones take glucose and turns it into glycogen. In essence, it will turn food into stored carbohydrates in your legs and in your liver so you'll have energy to continue the next time you go to workout.

Fueling advice Consume a 4:1 ratio protein:carbohydrate along with lots of fluids.

For an individual weighing 150 pounds, consume a total of 400-800 calories immediately after your workout (for workouts <2hrs or at a low intensity, stick with lower GI foods):

75-150 grams of carbohydrates 19-38 grams of protein 1-2 liters of water

Food with a high glycemic index food (simple sugars) along with an easy to break down protein will work best.

Recovery drinks are preferred since they allow you to get the calories you need and are easy to digest. Drinks are convenient since you can have drink prepared prior to your ride and keep it in the fridge for immediate consumption when you get home.

To pick a drink:

It must taste good It should have a 4:1 ratio of carbohydrates:protein If possible find a drink that includes whey protein since it breaks down quicker

You may have your favorite drink; however, one of the easiest to find and tastiest includes chocolate milk. Chocolate milks does well with its 4:1 ratio, high sugar content, and quality proteins.

While this only accounts for food consumed within the first 30' after a workout, continue to fuel your recovery with wholesome, lower glycemic index meals throughout the day.

Preparing for Winter – Part 1.2: Cyclocross

For those who have the racing bug, it's hard to go cold turkey and put the racing wheels away. Fortunate for those, there is cyclocross to feed that heavy appetite. Give your mind and life a break Following up from the prior article, the mind needs a break. Talking with Hank Scholz (Team Mike's Bikes), he is taking on CX because he finds “it a great way to keep enjoying [himself] on the bike without burnout”. On top of that, taking a much more lax approach, mentioning some of the beauties of the CX season: “I can eat whatever I want, drink beer, stay up late, and sleep in”. Spending some time to recharge the batteries and focusing on what it is that you enjoy will go a long way toward continual progression and success.

Strengthen the whole body You may have seen the movie “Triplets of Belleville” and laughed at how ridiculous the cyclist are portrayed. Huge legs with a scrawny upper body. This is in many ways true. Unlike weight bearing sports, cycling does not offer enough stress on the bones to build stronger bones. In some cases such as the TdF, where riders put their body through weeks of cycling, the body will pull large amounts of Ca+ from the bones and a cyclist will finish the the month with weak, brittle bones (Ca+ is an electrolyte needed for muscle contractions). CX is a mix between road cycling, mtb'ing and running. The whole body gets worked. Hank noting that “[...] I also find my abs, arms, back, and overall entire body sore after doing a cross race”. Continuing on, noting that “I always feel really solid, strong, and overall fit once I get back on the road”.

Build additional skills You are going down a descent and hit a loose section on the apex of the turn. While scrubbing some speed, you notice your friend flying by you, gaining 20m on you around the corner with ease. How did he do that? Was he just ignoring the sense of self preservation that should be wired in us? Or did he just have some bit of extra skill and confidence? One day I was riding down Mt Diablo and this day was unlike others. Instead of going through a set of brake pads, I had an Suburu Impreza behind me, squealing tires trying to keep up. I got to the bottom of the hill was just amazed. I didn't know how that descent just go so much easier. I gave it some thought and I realized I had spent the last month getting comfortable on my MTB and taking my road bike on the trails around the area.

The skills and confidence gained from taking a road bike off road (cyclocross) can make for a nice transition when getting back on the road. While this may seem like a safe generalization to make, Hank found that “after 4 moths of turning the bike around sharp turns on flat, loose terrain, flying down a paved descent, counter-steering and leaning my bike scares the crap out of me”. The differences among individuals is what makes cycling such an interesting sport to coach.

“In the end I race cross because it's fun. Immediately after a cross race, I catch my breath and start thinking about doing it again” (Hank)

While cyclocross may add some fun back into winter training, it may be a bit much for those who have been racing already for the past 9-10 months. For those looking to take a rest and rebuild a base for the next year's season may want to follow through with some lower intensity rides, focusing on efficiency, strength, and endurance.

Preparing for Winter - Part 1.1: Time For a Break

While we may be a strange breed that enjoys the 5am wake ups out of a starch-pressed Motel-6 bed, our masochist mentality can only be sustained so long. While it may seem worth it to starve ourselves of the divulgence of life such as the delicate brews and endless slices of pizza so we can climb with the Chris Horners in our races, there's a time of the year when we need a break. After a long, difficult season of racing on the road; it's time for a break. Your mind, your body, & your life needs a break.

Give your mind a break We all have the moments when we want to hang up the bike in the garage and just leave it there. Thats a good sign that you've fallen victim to one of the first signs of mental burnout. If you're looking at your rides as a chore rather than a reward you're getting there too. Save yourself from being “that guy” on the ride who complains about the rides being too difficult or being too hilly and give your mind some warranted rest.

Give your body a break You're at work and complaining that the room is too cold. Even with your down jacket, your hands are freezing. While mittens may seem like the perfect solution; typing becomes a bit burdensome. It's getting colder out and your 4% body fat isn't doing you much justice for staying warm nor is it doing much justice for your immune system. The racing season puts a huge chronic stress on your body. Going too far can be detrimental to your immune system, put you at high risk of injury, and put you at high risk of suffering from months of physical fatigue. Some time off will give your body time to catch up and repair itself. Much like your need for sleep at the end of each day; you need to take some rest at the end of the year.

Give your life a break With some free time & energy on your hands start looking to invest into other parts of your life. If you're fortunate enough to have a significant other; this is the perfect time to start putting money in the bank. If there's projects that you didn't have the time for during the racing season, this is the perfect time to catch up. For example, Ryan Johnson (Team Mike's Bikes) is using his free time to put together a garden in your back yard. It'd be safe to argue that the 80 races in the season didn't leave much free time. Catch up now so you can withdraw from the account later.

There's no question cycling has it's opportunity costs. That said, it also has it's rewards, which far outweigh the costs. Spend a minimum of 10 days off your bike; possibly up to 3 months off your bike. Feel free to engage in other activities. Run, swim, rock climb, hike, maybe even pick up horseback riding. If you've been racing your road bike all season and still want to get out there and shred banshee style, CX season is in full fledge.

Riding Safety: Pivoting Weather & Shorter Days

Your legs are ready for some longer miles and the number of sunny days left in 2011 are limited. Some nuances that can make a big difference in staying safe as the seasons change.

Make sure your bike is in good shape * Make sure your tires are in good shape - the last thing you want on a twisty descent is a flat tire * Inspect the rest of your bike for wear and damage

Wear bright clothing * Yellow, orange, and red are the most visible * Avoid colors such as white, black, earth colors, & darker hues of blue, green, & purple

Light up your bike * The rods in your eyes are much more sensitive than the cones. Rods are responsive to movement; therefore, the blinking setting is best for being seen. * Place two blinkies on the back of your bike, spaced apart vertically. This will help a driver guage how quick he is approaching you. * The brighter, the better

Riding smart * If possible avoid risky weather, times, & locations * Be defensive and alert while riding