Unbound Gravel 2023

Still on topic of nutrition.

If you have multiple fueling sources. Say some gels with 20g carbs or 30g of carbs or waffles or energy chews. Then you have some drink mix. Do you mental math it or do you really have it laid out to eat certain things on a schedule so you’re guaranteed to 80-100g carbs/ hour.

I have a rough idea on the serving size for each type of nutrition (chews, drink mix, waffles, etc.) and rotate thru the options. Sometimes I can’t grab my bottle but I can grab a serving of chews, so that’s what I go for.

I mix it up, but no hard fast rule as long as I’m eating something on a schedule.

So far this has worked for me, but I’m sure I could always do something better.

I’ve worked my system so that I always take in something every 15 minutes. It just makes it so much easier to look at the clock on know at the top and bottom of the hour I should eat, as well as at the quarter hours. I then picked foods that are rough 20gm of carbs, give or take a few gms, to get close to 80 with food and then I add the Skratch on top to get close to 100gm. On a hot day I may end up drinking a little more and therefore get some extra carbs but I’m not too worried about being off a little as long as I’m consistent throughout the day.


Part of the reason I went to Maple was to save some $, so I’m not even going to try them with the fear of really liking them. I’ve been focusing on long events the last couple years and that means big calorie training every weekend on long rides. Knocking back 15+ gels every saturday (plus the skratch) gets really expensive. Maple syrup isn’t cheap either, but less than half the cost of gels. I’m not a guy to worry about pallet fatigue, I find that nothing is going to sound good deep into a long hard race or training day. I find that I can train to eat the same flavor/gel, you just have to train yourself to make it a mechanical event, it’s not eating for enjoyment.

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Yep, that’s where rice balls out of the Feedzone portables cookbook come in. Make them in a mini-muffin tin so each one is bite sized. Once you’ve got the process down, the time it takes to make a batch plus keeping ingredients on hand has huge savings. For training they are almost as good as gels/bars. Oh french toast bites are great too.


Couple of tips for those looking to save some $$ on long training rides leading up to Unbound.

Maple syrup - Costco is the cheapest I have found anywhere and its really good maple syrup.

Z-Bars - basically kids ClifBars. Much lighter than ClifBars and more sugary, so good ride food. A little over 20gm of carbs per bar. Costco also good place to get them, but Walmart and many other places have them too. Got this tip from Bonk Bros podcast.

Costco (seeing a trend here) has had organic gummy chews that come in small individually wrapped packages. I saw them the last time I was in Costco so should be in most warehouses.

Last summer Costco has individually wrapped ready to eat maple syrup filled crepes. The packaging was really good for putting several in a pocket while riding and I really liked them on long rides. However they then switched to a chocolate filled version which was ok too, but I liked the maple syrup one better. Since then they have disappeared altogether but perhaps they’ll come back again. They were another good option that was a lot cheaper than typical ride food.

I saw Rob Briton post that he was eating a lot of store bought Rice Crispie squares that were in individually wrapped packages to save money. I start to worry about all the other junk in those, but perhaps an option in a pinch.

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Part of the maple appeal for me is calorie density, easy digestion, and quick/easy to get to (no packaging to mess with). About 900 calories in a pretty small flask is so much simpler than having a bunch of things (gels, bars, etc.) in your pockets, especially in off-road races where finding a place to eat can be tough.

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Also available at…wait for it…Costco. :wink:


just make sure the top to that flask is on tight before putting it back in your jersey pocket.

whether gels or maple syrup, i am definitely looking at using a flask to not have to carry so much. seems like a great idea and way easier to pack and not worry about wrappers everywhere

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Flasks are awesome. You can put powder in them, too, if needed.

Agreed, I’ve got a couple old hammer gel flasks that are pretty decent. Struggling to find something currently that is decent sized (but not a water bottle) and quality closure. I bought some off amazon and the containers are perfect (multiple sizes), but the closures are pretty crappy.

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I got these ones. Closures aren’t as solid as the Hammer flasks, but they work and don’t leak.


I’ve used these and found they worked pretty well.

at $.93 /oz and 297g of carbs. This thing is way cheaper than untapped and should last from 3-4 hours depending on your preferred carb intake. may be a bit extreme to carry something this big with you, but we are talking about racing bikes 200 miles, so maybe extreme is normal

Amazon.com : Nate’s Honey Maple Syrup - 10.75 oz Sustainable Pouch - Pure Honey and Real Maple Syrup - All-Natural Topping for Waffles and Pancakes - Kid-Approved Taste : Everything Else

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Yeah, the advantage of the GU flask is that you can collapse it as you consume the gels, so it takes up less space in your jersey or pack. Plus you can just squeeze them to get a quick hit instead of having to try and suck it out of a rigid flask.

Sucking and riding def do not mix

Thanks, that looks very similar to what I got off amazon, but I got a set with 2 small and 2 big. The size is really good, but agree with the assessment on the closures. They don’t leak, but they are kind of sloppy when open (syrup comes out the little hole and also around the edges of the thingy). Manageable, but could be better.

Thanks, I saw that one and it had mixed reviews. Not crazy about the size for long events, but might give it a try.

This happened to me at the exact same spot this year :upside_down_face:

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Just as an FYI, the lights can’t run off packs. The lights themselves will slowly discharge while simultaneously charging off the pack. So I guess the addition of a battery isn’t perfectly summative if that makes sense. That was my understanding from talking to the Outbound guy at 24HOP.