Monday, September 9, 2019

Gelled Out?


What did bike riders eat back-in-the-day? You know, before those bars were invented? When they first came out three decades ago, some of us thought, "Cool, a sort-of banana you can throw in your pocket that never goes bad or gets smashed." They even came in banana flavor!

But they tasted like....well....not very good, no matter what flavor they made 'em in. There was a berry-flavored one that smart-asses used to unwrap and stick in their mouth like a giant tongue or the chocolate one about which they'd ponder - "Should I eat this or just put it directly into the toilet and skip the middle-man?"

Soon there were bars to eat before your ride, others to eat during your ride and still more to eat after your ride. If you followed these rules cycling could start to be a very expensive sport compared to the days of bananas and cheap manufactured snacks like the infamous Little Debbie Cake.

Next up of course were gels. No chewing needed, just yank off the end and squirt the stuff down your throat. Nothing new there really as Ambrosio has been marketing honey (see above photo) in an instant dose packet for decades.

A chemist might do a real comparison but we'd be interested to see how much difference there is in energy provided by honey, canned cake frosting or the various gels on the market. The bottom line is all of them contain various sugars which give one a boost of energy. 

But some of these things cost a lot more than others with the ones marketed directly to cyclists and runners by massive marketing efforts certainly topping the list. Somebody's got to pay for those TV ads or big bike race sponsorships - and you can guess who that is, right?

Our idea is: EAT FOOD! Enjoy a nice breakfast before your ride. If you're still out around lunch time, stop and have some lunch. It can't hurt to have something in your back pocket that lasts forever if you don't eat it, but save it for the situation where you're starved and there's no place to get anything rather than using these chemical compositions as a substitute for real, tasty food.

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