Carrying some sort of food is wise on any long ride, to stop what cyclists call bonking (which marathon runners call “hitting the wall”, and I call “running out of puff”).
A quick bite can perk you up surprisingly quickly if you find yourself flagging.
There are all sorts of premade gels, jellys, bars and snacks to choose from, but if you’re going on a long ride a few times a week, these can get pricey.
Making your own bars is one solution. It’s much cheaper, but it does take a little time.
This recipe is one that I have used, which makes around 20-30 snack-sized bars. I sometimes make a batch and keep them in a Tupperware box in the fridge.
Firstly, the ingredients. Nothing special here, just your basic, slightly-altered flapjack recipe.
There’s less sugar than normal, to avoid a rush-and-crash, and a whole host of slow-release energy sources.
You can chop and change these to taste. A little chocolate might be a nice idea.
250g unsalted butter – a whole UK-size pack
2 pints of oats, roughly measured in a glass
1 x 340g jar honey
3 heaped tablespoons of brown sugar
2 heaped tablespoons of sunflower seeds (crushed with a rolling pin)
2 handfuls of sultanas
2 handfuls of chopped, dried apricots
4 crushed digestive biscuits
The recipe is as simple as the ingredients, really.
1. Gently melt the butter in a microwave. This just makes it easier to get all the ingredients stirred together and sticking in one lump.
2. Add the ingredients one by one, giving it a good stir as you go.
3. Take a baking tray, line it with greaseproof paper, and pour in the mix. Cook for 15 minutes or so at 200 degrees Celsius (400 degrees Fahrenheit, Gasmark 6).
4. Remove from oven (don’t worry if it is still a bit soft) and leave to cool on the side. Once it’s at room temperature, throw it in the fridge for a couple of hours. After that you can chop it into bars and eat/store them.