It gets hard easily out there.
So don’t “take your water bottle out for a ride.” That means finishing with the bottle still full because you forgot to drink, or you didn’t start till the ride was almost over.
Been there, done that, eh? Well, the same goes for food. You don’t want to take your energy bar, gel packet or other snack for a ride, either.
Especially on a cold, windy ride, your energy can suddenly take a nosedive. Cyclists should never get on a bike in winter without food in their pockets. But, of course, you also have to eat it for it to do you any good.
Don’t wait till you start feeling tired and hungry. By then it may be too late to re-stoke your furnace. Especially on a ride that’ll last two hours or longer, have a bite or two every 20-30 minutes from the start.
If you blow it and feel yourself flagging with miles still to go, your best chance will be to wash down a packet of energy gel. Taken with swallows of water, it’ll get into your system fast. You probably won’t feel strong again, but you will feel better. Do another one (and another one) every 20 or 30 minutes as necessary.
Tip: Keep foodstuff inside your jacket. Body heat helps stop energy bars from becoming hard, unchewable bricks and energy gels from assuming the consistency of window caulk.