Training, Nutrition, and Health

The (Daunting) Ride Meal

November 19, 2014

You can feel it com­ing– you deny it at first. That slight­ly …emp­ty feel­ing that begins in your gut. You con­tin­ue ped­al­ing through your favourite sin­gle­track; not a care in the world. Per­haps your mind starts to wan­der; per­haps you ask your­self, “What did I have for break­fast, again?” or “How long ago was 8:30…?” And then it hits you like a ton of bricks: BONK. Your legs turn to mush and you notice your­self sit­ting down over obsta­cles that require slight­ly more phys­i­cal exer­sion. What hap­pened here!? You for­got to eat on the bike, you Bonker! Below is an excerpt from our Wom­en’s Guide to Moun­tain Bik­ing that (when fol­lowed) will make you a Bonk-Proof-Non-Bonker. There’s even a recipe at the bot­tom for awe­some home­made ener­gy bars!


By Mea­gan Broughton, Busi­ness Devel­op­ment Direc­tor and Pas­sion­ate Cyclis­tIf you are any­thing like me, and most avid cyclists I know, you like to eat– a lot. This should­n’t change when on the bike. Eat, a lot, and often. Eat­ing on the bike will avoid the infa­mous “bonk” and reduce the chances of gorg­ing when you and your dirty bike roll back home.   Sci­ence has shown that there is in fact NO one-size-fits-all opti­mal macronu­tri­ent ratio (car­bo­hy­drates to pro­teins to fats).  That said, there are some rules of thumb to go by, if invest­ing in a sports nutri­tion­ist to cus­tomize a plan for you is out of your means or interest. 



  • Con­sume 30–60 grams of car­bo­hy­drate per hour.
    This equates to 120–240 calo­ries per hour and can be a com­bi­na­tion of both liq­uids and solids.  For example: 
    • 1 Car­rot Cake Clif Bar has 45 grams of car­bo­hy­drates and 240 calories. 
    • 1 Cashew Lara Bar has 23 grams of car­bo­hy­drates and 230 calories. 


Con­sume 1 bot­tle (750 mL) of water and 1 bot­tle of sports drink to replen­ish elec­trolytes every hour. For example: 

  • 2 scoops of Man­darin Orange HEED con­tains 54 grams of car­bo­hy­drates and 200 calories. 


  • Eat before you are hungry. 
  • Drink before you are thirsty. 
  • Begin con­sump­tion no lat­er than 30 min­utes into your ride. 
  • Aim to con­sume calo­ries and hydrate every 30 minutes. 
  • For rides 3+ hours, con­sid­er bring­ing “real” foods along that are high in car­bo­hy­drates, low in pro­tein and mod­er­ate in fat. 

If you have had your fair share of store bought bars and just can’t choke down anoth­er, try giv­ing these real food brown­ie bars a try.  Your kids will even like them! 


This recipe is 100% gluten free, veg­an, and paleo. 


  • 2 cups Roast­ed Mixed Nuts (I sug­gest Cen­tral Roast Roast­ed Mixed Nuts with Sea Salt)
  • 2 cups Med­jool Dates (pit­ted)
  • 1 cup Cacao Pow­der + 3 tbsp for dusting
  • 1 tsp Pure Vanil­la Extract 


  • Using a food proces­sor or cof­fee bean grinder, grind 1 cup nuts into flour. (If there are still some larg­er pieces, don’t stress, as long as most has turned to flour). Set aside.
  • Rough­ly chop the oth­er 1 cup nuts (I did this by hand). Set aside.
  • Using a food proces­sor, blend dates until a dough forms. (It will like­ly turn into a big ball, so spread it out with a spat­u­la). Add vanil­la and 1 cup cacao pow­der to the dates and blend until combined.
  • Add all nut flour and rough­ly chopped nuts to the date mix­ture and blend until just com­bined. (Do not over com­bine at this point, as you want to keep the integri­ty of the larg­er nut pieces as they add great texture!).
  • Line a stan­dard size bak­ing sheet with parch­ment paper.
  • Place dough on the parch­ment lined bak­ing sheet and press even­ly with your hands or a rolling pin.
  • Dust with cacao pow­der (this make them less sticky when handling).
  • Freeze overnight. Cut while frozen. 

Prepa­ra­tion Time: 20 Minutes 

Stor­age Tips: Store in air­tight con­tain­er in the freez­er. Edi­ble right from the freez­er and will keep for weeks! 

Makes: 15 Squares