Despite that I sell “tech” bike food on my site, I frequently get tired of it on long rides (300K +). I consequently designed a top tube bag that enables me to have food conveniently in front of me, w/o the need of reaching back to my jersey pocket (which is frequently covered with a jacket during all night brevets anyway). I also have a “mini food box” insert, which I place inside this bag for real food.
My new favorite cycling food, which sustained me through my last ”straight through” 600K, is steamed red potatoes. I add a salt and pepper and quarter them with the skins left on. I also supplement this with Perpeteum as the potatoes provide lots of carbs, but little or no protein, which is needed for 4+ hour events. I also like PB&Js a lot, but they dry out quickly when I have them in my top tube bag. Lately (2012) fig newtons have been one of favorites. A recent article in Bicycling Magazine endorsed these as the best pick for convenience store choices.
I think my favorite “provided” food is the soon-to-be world-famous tortilla wraps provided by Susan Plonsky (RBA, Ariz.). Those are worth the 10-hour drive to Arizona! (Ham and/or turkey, cheese and a little potato salad in them along with other secret ingredients that she is always changing so I can’t copy the recipe).
As far as tech foods go, I like Cliff Bloks (carbs only) and also the new Clif Roks, which are laced with some protein. I usually have two “water” bottles on my bike, one with water with an electrolyte additive (Elete brand in liquid form) and the other with a flavored sport drink like Perpeteum (also adding Elete to it, as oddly enough, Perp. has little or no electrolytes) or Cytomax sports drink (no need to add Elete).
I have a weakness for pastries, so at convenience stores, I usually go for a donut, muffin, sweet roll or a packaged danish. Sometimes I get a small sub sandwich with ham or turkey, in an effort to get some protein into my system. I always bring my own Perp. or Cytomax mix, pre-measured in powder form, in small Zip-Loc bags and mix with the water from the c-store fountain.
> Richard (this is a copy of an e-mail posted on a Randoneeuring forum, Feb. 2011)