Whether you prefer a mountain bike, an e-bike, or even a motorbike, if you’re travelling alone it can often be quite difficult to stay healthy and eat well. The temptation is there to stop at a fast food joint, a pub, a petrol station, or to not eat at all! While travelling on a bike, food is fuel and it’s important to listen to your body and give it what it needs to keep you going. Packing enough protein and carbohydrates into your diet will keep your energy levels up and your mood positive.
In this article, we share some of our top tips for eating well while travelling alone on your bike, so you can stay fit. Whether it’s a short solo trip or a longer tour, you need to make sure you’re giving your body what it needs to stay healthy and to keep going.
Preparation is Key
Before you set off on your trip, think about where you will go and what you will need. If you’re likely to stop off at a restaurant at some point during your trip, then spend some time researching your route in advance and find out what food establishments are on route. But more often than not, the key to eating well while bike travelling is to prepare your own food, either in advance or on the spot. Depending on how long you’re going for, you may be able to prepare all your meals in advance and not have to cook a thing! Or at the very least, you may just need to re-heat food so you can enjoy a warm meal every day.
Cooking for Yourself
Cooking is a good option if you’re travelling by bike, as it means you can be more in control of what you eat. The downside, of course, is that it means more to carry, so plan carefully to avoid carrying too much weight. Think about whether you’ll need to carry a camping stove, or whether you can use your campfire building skills or just eat uncooked or cold food. Make sure you take enough protein, carbs, and vegetables. If you’re taking meat, cook this in advance so it doesn’t spoil, and then just re-heat it on the day. If you’re just going for a shorter trip then avoid having to cook on the spot, it’s just not worth having to carry all the weight! Instead, prepare foods in advance that will store well, or items that only require boiled water like instant noodles or porridge bags. When planning your route, look at where you can stop to buy groceries to stock up on those essentials.
If you want to cook for yourself but you’re not sure how, then do some research in advance to learn from the pros. There’s nothing worse than realising you have forgotten crucial items at home! Check out TomsBikeTrip.com, Cycletourer, or TwistingSpokes.com for some cooking inspiration.
Snacks on The Go
Snacks are vital when you’re travelling on a bike, as you will often need the energy boost. You can make an array of healthy and tasty snacks in advance that will keep for the duration of your trip.
How about some energy balls for fuel and protein? Or some home-made granola bars for breakfast? Or pack some nuts in re-sealable bags for when you need a hit of something salty. There are plenty of recipes available online, but once you get the hang of it you’ll notice you can customise them to whatever your taste buds prefer. They’re packed full of protein and energy to keep you going and it’s certainly a better option than chocolates, crisps or even store-bought cereal bars that are just packed with sugar and very little healthy stuff!
Carbohydrates need to be consumed early, in small amounts and frequently. It’s important not to skip meals or to leave long periods in between meals. If you tend to get lost in your own thoughts while travelling on your bike, then the solution is simple: set an alarm! Set this to go off at regular intervals so you remember to eat and drink regularly.
On the subject of drinking regularly, this is just as important as eating well. Make sure you always have a bottle of water at the ready and take small sips throughout the day. Take some sports drinks with you, or why not make your own home-made energy drink which is much healthier without all the added chemicals.
These are just a few starter points if you’re planning your next bike trip or motorcycle adventure. Leave a comment if you have any other tips to share.