Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Nutrition and Hydration

The TD route is all over the place when it comes to food and water resources. The northern part of the route has a many mountain streams and lakes to refill from water, and the stretches in between potential food resupply points aren't too large. The southern part of the route becomes a lot more arid and the towns along the way are more spread out, as well as smaller. It's important to know where you will need to carry large amounts of food and water, as well as have a means to carry those supplies.

To cover my hydration needs, I'm leaving Banff with the ability to carry up to 7L of water. I will have a 4L MSR Dromlite bladder in the main compartment of my frame bag, with a hose running out the framebag to drink from. The hose has a couple of quick disconnects inserted inline so I can quickly refill the bladder without removing the hose. I initially used a standard camelback bladder but it wasn't as thick and abrasion proof as the MSR bladder. Since the MSR bladder is a little tougher on the outside, I won't be afraid to mount it somewhere outside of the framebag during the more remote sections of the route if I need more space for food. The remaining capacity will come from three 1L SmartWater bottles. Each fork blade holds one bottle in a Topeak Java cage. The third one is in a King Ti cage on the downtube, and is secured with a toe strap to keep it from contacting the wheel or bouncing out. The SmartWater bottles are a lot lighter than a regular water bottle, and hold a lot more water. These will likely stay empty until the southern sections of the route where surface water becomes more scarce. The ability of these bottles to withstand a healthy impact and remain attached to the bike has been tested in a couple of real world situations since installation.

For treating water, I'm using a Sawyer Mini water filter with a 1L bag. I filtered water from streams and lakes with this for a week in Montana with no health issues. My only complaint was the small bag 16 oz that came with the filter meant refilling took longer than I would have liked. This was easily fixed by ordering a larger bag. If a water source needs pre-filtering, I will use my cloth bandana for that task.

From a nutritional standpoint, most of my rides in Iowa are fueled by convenience store foods and I'm fortunate to have an "iron stomach", so I will be able to eat just about anything along the route. I've been testing out some TD staples such as Sour Patch Kids during training and races the last 18 months just to make sure I know how my body will react to them. I know can ride a long ways on nothing more than nuts, fig newtons, water, simple sugars, and some caffeine. The time honored strategy of stuffing myself at a diner and taking food to go will definitely be employed. If I run into a grocery store or a fruit stand along the way, I won't hesitate to grab some fruit and store it somewhere as an extra source of fiber and potassium. Ice cream and pie will be consumed wherever I can find them. :)

My primary nutrition storage will be the Porcelain Rocket pocket on the front of my sleep roll, along with my jersey pockets. Secondary storage will be wherever I can stuff things - primarily, spare space in the frame bag and spare space in my Mr Fusion bag. I also have a 20L Sea To Summit Ultrasil Daypack in my Mr Fusion seatbag for extra food/drink capacity for the long stretches between resupply points, like the Great Basin. 


Jim said...

Hope you have a great ride. Wish I was riding with ya, maybe some day.
Good luck
Jim Reed

Steve Fuller said...

Thanks Jim!!!