Here I am stopping for a quick snack: a Trek Peanut & Oat bar (more on this below). Eagle eyed readers will know I’m booked in for the Coast to Coast In A Day challenge for 2014 and some of my friends are also taking part. We’ll be having some more cycle rides together as we train but for this afternoon, it was just me. Me, my bike and the rain.
Ride in numbers:
Distance: 29.6 miles
Average speed: 15.6 mph
Mother-in-Law stops: just 1
Trek bar stops: 1
Gashed tyres: 1
Punctures: 0 (thankfully)
Turned out I was on my own for this ride but that was okay. As I set off I was vaguely aware of a few spots of rain which got heavier and heavier as each mile went by. At one point I remember thinking about turning back or perhaps taking a shorter route but decided to press on. Why? Simply because I’d been looking forward to this ride all week and I wasn’t going to let a little rain spoil it. By coincidence I covered the same route as last weekend as that was, for the most part, gently undulating with no serious hills. I was quite pleased with the pace and I even enjoyed the rain after a few miles!
As I always seem to be more vulnerable to getting punctures in wet rainy conditions, I was painfully aware of a nasty gash in my front tyre. Noticed it a few days ago. Having survived this ride with a tyre like that, I’m pushing even my luck too far. So I’ll be ordering a new one soon. Won’t be another Panaracer Pasela though – even with Tourguard built in, I’ve had too many punctures from these.
It’s nice to stop for a snack sometimes and I was eager to try out the latest Trek bar to come my way. This is the Trek Peanut and Oat whole food energy bar, it’s vegan and GM friendly. First bite was familiar – a nice solid consistency. This is useful for us cyclists as no one wants a snack that falls to pieces after a mile in the saddle bag.
The Peanut & Oat flavour was new to me and I am a real fan of these snack bars – especially because they have minimal processing and they’re good wholesome foods. I liked the savoury taste a great deal.
I suspect Trek and nakd bars will be featuring quite a bit in our Coast to Coast training as we need to have a compact source of energy as the miles increase between now and June 2014. A few of the others in the group have already said they’re keen to try them out.
For now the Trek Peanut & Oat protein bar from Natural Balance was pretty good. I like the slightly crunchy texture (the peanut pieces I guess) and the feeling you’re eating something substantial. Packed into the 68g bar is 11g of protein and 239g of carbohydrate which we all know to be a good dose of slow release energy and this is what we cyclists need. Having dates as a principle ingredient means there’s an nice taste, along with some more instant energy (some fellow runners like to eat dates on long distance runs). I certainly felt well energised. Peanuts, or peanut butter, is really healthy in my book as part of a healthy well balanced diet. This means you should frequently have a little to contribute good things to your diet. In the case of peanuts they provide monunstaturated fatty acids (these are healthy fats). These fats are healthy in the right quantities. Some people assume they’re fattening but in practice we are likely to have them in small quantities there is no problem – and that’s why these healthy snack bars are great for delivering a sensible amount for us to enjoy the taste AND the benefits.
I usually drop into see the Mother-in-Law on a Sunday afternoon and today was no exception. She thought I was a little mad for cycling in the rain but confessed to having got used to this sort of thing over the years. I dried out for a bit, cuppa tea and the final 6 miles blast to our home.
I feel great! I really do. I need to cycle longer to enjoy the same ‘high’ I experience from running. A big part of me just wanted to carry on further – 29 miles was just enough to get going.