One of the biggest challenges of a multi-week self-supported ride through largely unpopulated country is figuring out what to take, what to leave behind and what to purchase along the way. In my planning process I have divided things into 5 categories, and I will be blogging about each of these over the next few weeks as each category is a blog in itself.
- Bike maintenance tools, spare parts, etc
- Navigation, communication, electronics
- Camping supplies
- Personal hygene/meds/1st aid, etc.
The conspicuous omission here is FOOD... Obviously weight and space are huge restrictions when travelling (especially when racing) by bike, and food is typically heavy and bulky. Consequently Tour Divide riders have traditionally "dined out" whenever possible in towns along the route, and "bulked-up" on whatever junk food is available at the local C-Store when the next town is more than a day away.
ENTER HAMMER NUTRITION - At the suggestion of Matt Butterfield and Mike Gwiazdon at Sportsman Ski Haus, I contacted Myke Hermsmeyer at Hammer Nutrition about a possible sponsorship along with some nutrition counselling for ultra-endurance activities. Myke has been great, putting together samples of various products designed to meet the needs of Marathoners and Triathletes. Right now I'm working on putting together a "Hammer Nutrition Survival Kit" consisting of fuels and supplements that are light and compact even when packed for multiple days. This will enable me to graze much more conservatively at all the "Burger Bob's" and "Fred's Last Chance C-Stores" along the route, while maintaining the high-calorie, high-carb, high-protien diet needed - I anticipate burning 6,000 to 10,000 calories per day for 30 straight days. After a few trial training days, it's working great and the stuff tastes good too!