Rest Stop best practices

First off, forgive me if this has been asked before. Besides filling bottles and natural breaks, are there any best practices for what to do at rest stops? Stretching? Mechanical evaluation? What to do when you can’t carry all your food/water and you must replenish supplies, what to choose? The reason I ask is that I was at a race that was “poorly supported” and suffered some cramping and “intestinal distress” because the nutrition available was not my normal food along with only having water only and no electrolyte drinks available.

Is this a race? Or a ride?

The former I wouldn’t expect them to have much. The later will have stuff - but you should pick rides that are better supported. The rest stop snacks (and lunch) are part of what makes a supported ride awesome.

If you’re a picky eater like Jonathan you should bring your own stuff. Sucks but the alternative is worse.

As for other stuff - do whatever you want at a rest stop. No set protocol.

For a ride: do whatever feels good. Rides with others are a social event, so shooting the breeze is part and parcel of them. During a race, I can’t say. My races were too short for refueling to be an issue.

Sorry. I should have specified. Paid for event. And a premium at that.
On the other topic, what kind/are you doing any kind of mobility work at rest stops for ultra-endurance events?

It’s all too common these days. There’s a high profile Gran Fondo series that charges premium dollar and dishes out 1970’s nutrition - I won’t name them. I would completely fall apart if I had to rely on their supplies for 80-100+ miles.

I’ve learned the hard way to bring my own supplies. Then, if the rest stop supplies are good, that’s bonus and I’ll use theirs and save mine for another day.

Beyond food, it depends. If there’s a timed segment coming up within 2-3 miles, I want to get back on the bike ASAP. If I’m with a well-working group, I also want to stay with that. Mostly, I do best if I keep going as much as possible while keeping the nutrition topped off as best I can. I never deal with mobility - I might stretch something in a basic way if it’s bothering me. Usually, things bother me more because my electrolytes are slipping than for any other reason.

Yep. I minimize the time spent and will typically make only 2 stops over 100 miles. A quick pee, fill the bottles, pick a few food items for the jersey pockets and back on the bike.

Remember, it’s better to have and not need, than to need and not have… That’s my MOTO.

Disclaimer: I am very anal because I am diabetic and the last thing I want to happen while out riding is my glucose to drop too low (i.e. diabetic hypoglycemia) while out riding…not a good thing at all.

When I do those supported rides, I self supply certain essentials, one being electrolytes items, the other are carb items because I don’t know what they will have at those stops. Hell, I will even carry PB&J sandwiches. If they have some good nutritional items at the stops, then that’s icing on the cake for me. I did the Seagull Century (30th anniversary) and recall them having a bunch of cakes, pound cakes and cookies crap at the rest stops. That crap don’t sustain me…just spike and crash…and I need something that will sustain me…more of the complex carbs. I typically seek out PB&J sandwiches, oranges, bananas and stock up on those energy bars for between rest stops.

Depending on the group I am with some are more social than others. The social group wants to hang around longer. However, I don’t want to spend too much time at those stops because when I start out again, it feels like I just started riding and need to get warmed up (again). The good thing is there are always groups to ride with because the events are so large. When I get to the 80 something mile mark though, I just want to get the ride over with…haha!

Just One Man’s Opinion…Al

I found a top tube bag a no brainer for storing enough food on a longer ride - if you’re worried about volume. Made some home made rice cakes and flapjack that I’ve tested before and took some hydro tabs to add to water.
If you stop too long it takes a while to get going again and warm up. Depends what type of ride you’re on and who with.
Never stopped so long I thought I needed to stretch - just got back on the bike and eased back in.
Having done a number of events I always take enough of my own food to be self sufficient as others have said. Better to take more than you need and you should know what’s works for you.

Thanks for all the suggestions. Lesson learned… carry all you need. Anything you get along the way is a bonus

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