So let’s talk food. I’m not going to write about what you should be eating or what you shouldn’t be eating. I am merely here to discuss something all mountain bikers crave from time to time, rad meals that satisfy our stomachs and damn it, taste good! Oh no, this food does not qualify as healthy and is certainly not the kind of food that a lab rat athlete consumes to be as light as possible. I’m talking about food that would never be considered to be part of a regimented training plan. Many of us are not afraid to indulge when needed to satisfy a nagging craving in a rebellious way, such as scarfing down a couple of corn dogs as a reward for that gnarly singletrack we have mastered. Mountain bikers and cyclists, in general, tend to have ravenous appetites and have been known to indulge in copious amounts of food and drink after a long ride. We all have our favorites, and you know what makes your mouth water.
As cyclists, many of us do attempt to make a concerted effort to choose a diet that is well balanced and packed with nutrition. It is a well-known fact that to become quicker on your bike you need to eat with your health in mind. Otherwise, you can become sluggish and have no energy reserves left for your next adventure, but sometimes we do need to cut loose, stop listening to our practical side and let our growling stomachs take over our brains.
Ever since I have been a mountain biker, I have had my list of preferred favorites I like to wolf down after a monster ride or race. Furthermore, as you know, the feeling of hunger is never more potent than that of an overworked, beat up dirt junkie at the end of an epic ride. Bonking is undoubtedly eminent if we do not seek out the nearest food source and short of eating roadkill or scouring the trails for edible vegetation, the closest suitable kitchen, restaurant or delivery guy is the swiftest way to satisfy our insatiable post ride appetite.
I asked a few of my mountain biker friends what they generally craved after a monster ride, and these are some of the foods they love to scarf down.
Meaty, juicy, tasty, the post-ride burger always seems to put your taste buds into overdrive. Stuffed between two fluffy buns, burgers pack a protein punch for post ride recovery. Of course, a grilled burger is the smarter choice for fat content, but the point of the article is to highlight the fun side of a post-ride meal so fried or grilled. Any way you like it, just enjoy it! Bacon cheeseburger, guacamole burger, BBQ burger, buffalo burger… the list goes on and on. Nothing says post-ride deliciousness than a mouthwatering juicy, thick burger. Add a side of crispy fries and a cold microbrew, and you have a significant scarfing session.
Mexican food goes together with mountain biking like bread goes with butter. You can’t have one without the other. The link to Mexican food and mountain biking seems to go way back to the early 90’s when riders and racers could be spotted at the local taco stands and restaurants. Go to any NORBA national race in the 90’s, and you would run into the who’s who of mountain bikers. Chicken tacos seem to be the favorite among mountain bikers, Spicy chicken tacos piled high with shredded cheese, guacamole, salsa, and lettuce. We all agreed that spicy food after a monster ride really hit the spot! Any kind of taco: beef, fish, chicken, etc.. a basket of crunchy chips, zesty salsa and cold beer for a most excellent post ride feast!
A two-handed half-pound monster! Stop off at your desired taco stand on the way home and indulge yourself in a cornucopia of flavor. The super burrito can cure even the most ferocious post ride craving. A tortilla packed full of the meat of your choice, cheese, refried beans and hot sauce. Awesome stuff! This ingenious invention is super convenient for mountain bikers that don’t have time for a sit-down meal. This ready to go meal can be eaten practically anywhere, even on the trail.
Spaghetti and More Spaghetti
Pasta is a staple in the world of cycling. Nothing tastes better to a cyclist than a delicious plate of pasta. Spaghetti with marinara sauce, creamy Alfredo or pasta with succulent shrimp and Parmesan is a killer post-ride meal. How about a heaping pile of noodles drenched in marinara sauce and topped off with spicy meatballs? Very tasty after a ride plus you’ll be carbo-loading for your next mountain bike adventure.
A barbecue with friends after a great ride is always a gratifying choice. Why not indulge in a messy, spicy chili dog? Grilled hot dogs smothered with chili, jalapeno peppers, cheese, onions and a big basket of french fries often satisfy many mountain bikers fresh off the rigors of the trail. Top notch chili dogs require a cold refreshing beverage, and of course, a light sparkly ale is the perfect pairing with a spicy dog!
Pizza and suds
Who doesn’t love pizza and beer? After an epic ride you really can’t go wrong with pizza and beer. A zillion toppings to choose from and after a really tough day in the saddle, pizza goes down real easy with a cold brew or an icy cola. I think most mountain bikers have scarfed down a pizza at some point after on the trails.
Beer, what else can I say! Pure liquid gold. Mountain biking and beer, perfection at it’s best. Beer earns it’s own post ride section. After all, beer is liquid bread, therefore when it comes to replenishing your post-ride nutrients, beer is always a pleasant way to indulge. With so many microbreweries out there, any rider should be able to quench their post-ride thirst. Whether you dig IPAs, Pale Ales, Porters or Stouts, kicking back with close friends and your preferred brew after a monumental day on the trails is pretty much the most refreshing way to spend a post-ride evening.
This is a small list of some of the delicious possibilities available for post-ride consumption. Mountain biking and killer food make for a formidable pairing, and every rider has their favorite. What is yours?