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What Normal Food Can I Eat When Cycling? | Ask GCN Anything Cycling

– We’re back for another Ask GCN Anything, where you can get to ask us
your cycling related questions. Don’t forget, if you’ve got any questions that you would like to ask us
ready for next week’s show, leave it them in the comment
section just down below or use the hashtag #TorqueBack on Twitter. Or you could even send us a
direct message on Facebook if you so wish as well. This week’s first question
comes in from Giorgio Sterlini, energy gels and bars are quite expensive if for just fun spins if
you’re on a student budget, what normal foods are good
for fueling on the bike? Alright, that’s a very good question. The idea behind energy gels and bars is that they give you very quickly
absorbable carbohydrates to help replenish or top
up the glycogen stores that you’ll be getting through
when you’re out exercising. So in terms of normal food,
you want to find something that is pretty good at
doing that same job. Bananas as a good example,
as is dried fruit, although that is a bit
awkward sometimes to store in your pocket. But the great thing is that
it’s actually reasonably cheap to make your own homemade
energy bars if you so wish. So you want to have ingredients which are quickly absorbable, cook them before hand,
store them, which you can do for quite some time, cut them into nice small segments and then you can wrap
them up and take them out on your ride, put them in your pockets, and eat them when you wish. Now Simon Richardson a few years ago gave his very own recipe
for his über energy bars which he was very proud of at the time and still is to this day. And if you want step by step
instructions and a recipe on exactly what you need to do, you can watch this next video. (upbeat music) – Ready made energy bars are
fantastic fuel for cycling but if you want to make your own however, you could try this secret GCN recipe. Now it’s based around oats,
which are fantastic fuel for cycling and that’s why
everyone seemingly uses them in their energy bars. Now, there are reasons for that. Partly because they’re a
great source of slow release carbohydrate. They’ve also got quite a high
proportion of protein in there and fat as well so it’s a really good all-round source. – Right, next up is this
question of Arjen Kingma, quick question from the Netherlands. I’m thinking of going
to the Alps this summer to cycle some cols. Hence, I would like to do
some training for that. However, as I’m living
in the flattest country, training up hill cycling
isn’t really an easy option. Instead, we do have a lot of
dykes and a lot of headwind. And I was wondering is
cycling into the winds for long distances a good
replacement for hill training? Well yes, it very much can be
if you’ve got a long enough stretch of road with a big headwind, but there are a few other options as well. Handily, very recently, we did a video on this exact subject. And one of the things that we
briefly mentioned in the video is something called an air hub. Now I was listening to a podcast recently with two pro riders from Orica-Scott, Mitch Docker and Luke Durbridge. And Durbridge has been
using an air hub in training for the last couple of
years, with great effect. He’s been coming on
leaps and bounds in some of the biggest races in the world. Now I’ve also seen Michał
Kwiatkowski use on in the past and Andre Greipel already this year. And what an air hub does is allows you to get extra resistance at the front wheel so you can be putting up more
power for the same speed. Now most of us don’t
need any help whatsoever in going slower but if
you’re really serious about training for climbs on a flat road, this could definitely be a consideration because it allows you to
put out a lot of power while keeping the speed low
so it’ll be nice and safe. However, there are a number
of other things you can do to train for climbs when
you’ve only got flat road, so if you want some suggestions, check out this next video. (dramatic music) – One thing, I wish I’d done though is better utilise some of the terrain next to my house because local to me there is an abundance of
fire roads and gravel roads like this one, which all link up and that’s perfect because
there’s no junctions and of course there’s no traffic as well. Plus, you’ve got the
extra resistance off-road which perfectly mimics the
kind of resistance and power that you’re going to have to push out when you’re on a longer climb. So it’s easy to do 30 minute intervals or even longer than that. – Rapid fire round now and
we’ll start off with this one from Yee Dinosaur, is
there a weight difference if you attach equipments on the bike rather than carrying it yourself? For example, lights, tools, et cetera. Well no, there’s no difference
as far as I personally know. The only time when an equivalent weight can make a difference is if
it becomes rotational weight, i.e. it’s around the rim, and of course you won’t be
putting tools or lights there. So to me, it makes no difference at all. I do tend to prefer a saddle bag, even though it contravenes certain rules that you can find out
there on the internet. I think it does a great job
of keeping your inner tubes and your tyre levers and
sometimes your multitool in a nice neat package. I don’t like have it
all on my back pocket. And next up, from Daniel v D on Twitter, why do people find they have
a higher FTP on the open road as opposed to the indoor trainer,
and can you mitigate this? That’s a very interesting question. My understanding is
that a lot of the losses that you experience on an indoor trainer versus the open road are
down to heat build-up. So of course, when you’re
out on the open road, you’ve got lots of wind
blowing in your face, and also from the fact that
you’re going through the air at a certain speed, you’ll
have some cooling properties from the air as well. And on the indoor trainer,
even with a fan in your face, it’s quite hard to replicate this so you’re body quickly starts to overheat and you then don’t have the capabilities of putting out exactly the same power. There’s also a difference in
the inertia of many trainers. So the power stroke is
ever so slightly different. Sometimes a bit like the
difference between riding on a flat road versus riding on a climb, lots of people find it easier
to put power on the climbs than on the flat road and
it’s a similar case really with a trainer so you can mitigate it by trying to keep yourself
as cool as possible, having multiple fans and also making sure you’re hydrated and also choosing your
indoor trainer carefully, one that allows you to
have a nice power delivery throughout the pedal
stroke should help you to get as close as possible to your FTP and your power out on the open road. Alex Tigton, here is a quick
one I’ve been musing over since I started cycling. What is the true purpose of a cycling cap? Well I’m not entirely sure to
the answer of this question. I’m sure there’s some historians out there that will tell you the true
history of the cycling cap. I would imagine though
that in its origins, it was there to try and
keep some of the elements out of your eyes because
riders didn’t use helmets or indeed shades in those
early times of cycling. So we keep the rain out,
possibly mud coming up from the rear and in front of you and also some of the sun as well. And it tends to be now when it’s raining, that the pro-riders still use
them underneath their helmets because they do do an incredibly good job of keeping that rain
and spray off your eyes. Lewis writes, do pro
cyclists get back problems when they are older due
to riding so low and aero all the time? Well Louis, I wouldn’t personally
know just yet, obviously. I’ll ask Matt later on today. In all seriousness though,
I haven’t heard of anyone having any major back
problems post cycling but you only have to look
at cyclists off the bike and the way they sit to see that they do have postural problems and I am certainly one of those. So if you are dedicated enough, I urge you to do some core exercises to try and kind of straighten yourself up because you are hunched over
for multiple hours per day as a pro-cyclist and it
can reek havoc on your back so hopefully I will find
the time to do that myself later on in life. Next up, and finally for
the rapid fire round, from Tims on Twitter, would you rather ride under
the best weather conditions in the worst traffic or under
the worst weather conditions but no traffic, #torqueback. Wow, what a question. I think I’m going to say
the worst weather conditions with no traffic because
although that’s not much fun, I would say it’s even
less fun to be riding amongst loads and loads of
cars and motor vehicles. So yeah, so that’s what
I’m going to go with. Actually, I’d be interested to know what everyone else’s thoughts
are on that question. Let us know your comments down below. Our penultimate question comes
in from Sam Hellebrekers, if I only have budget for one
bike, what type should I get? Aero, lightweight, or endurance? Well I would imagine there
are a lot of people out there pondering this exact same
question at the moment as they’re about to purchase a new bike. So the first thing you want
to do is analyse the terrain in which you’re going to ride. Is it mainly flat where you are? Or is it mainly mountainous? If it’s the former, an aero
bike is probably the way to go. If it’s the latter, a lightweight bike might be more suitable to you. Although you can get lightweight
aero bikes these days. Also analyse the type of
riding that you want to do. Do you want to go out and
actually pin a number on your back and race? Or just go really fast
on local group rides? If that’s the case, you
want to go for an aero bike, if you just want to enjoy long jaunts out into the country side and
be as comfortable as possible, then you might well want to
get an endurance type bike. Having these written down,
will allow you to make that kind of decision
but you should also look at your own personal
flexibility because aero bikes do tend to be quite low at the front end and have quite aggressive geometry. Now Simon went into quite
some detail a year or so ago about the differences between an aero bike and endurance bike and lightweight bike and you can find that
video right behind me now. (upbeat music) – Firstly what are the
differences between them then? Well let’s start with an aero bike. Now, as well as designed to be aerodynamic there are other things that set this apart from our benchmark lightweight bike. So for example, to help
make you more aerodynamic as well as the actual bike
itself, these tend to have the lowest front ends out there. Meaning that if you’ve got the flexibility in your hamstrings, in your glutes, then you’ll be able to adopt
a super aerodynamic position. – Our last question this
week comes in on Twitter from Matt Doke, he’s training for his first
century ride and wants to know if he should take any
days off before the event. I would say never be afraid
of having a day completely off the bike. It is very easy to become
extremely concentrated, almost be afraid of not touching the bike for an entire day. But even the pros do that. And especially that is apt
one week before the event because by that point,
you should have done all of the hard work
and it’s about tapering and freshening up before the day itself so to give you a personal example, if I was doing a big one day race that I really wanted to go well at, I would tend to take the Friday off if it was an event on the Sunday. And on the Saturday, I would
go out for a nice steady ride with a couple of efforts
to open my legs up. So I didn’t feel blocked on the day. So if you’re century
ride is on the Sunday, don’t be afraid of having the Friday off. Maybe even the Monday
previous off as well. And do some nice steadier
rides in-between. And an opening up ride
the day before the event. Recently, Matt and I talked
through a preparation plan for the Maratona Dles Dolomites which we are both doing later on this year so that includes the schedule for training in the months leading up to it and also what you should be doing the week leading up to the event itself. And you can find that right here. (upbeat music) It is vitally important
that you allow yourself enough rest in order for your body to make the necessary
physiological adaptations. Because essentially when
you’re out training, you’re breaking your muscles
down and it is during rest that your body repairs those muscles which will hopefully make
you fitter and faster. Don’t get enough rest, and
what you risk if over-training or even worse, getting ill. – Now if at any point
during your training period, you feel overly fatigued and
your motivation is at a low ebb like Dan’s clearly is
today, it’s important that you take a day off. Listen to your body and
that’s especially important if you’re training around
a full time job, study, and a family. – Well that’s it for another
week here on Ask GCN Anything. Don’t forget to leave
your questions down below or to put them onto social media. If you haven’t subscribed to the channel, it is free to do so, you’ve just got to click on the globe which you should be able
to find on the screen somewhere right now. Okay, two videos which might be relevant to some of the questions
that we’ve had already, first up in that corner down there, is a video we did at the very
start of GCN with Matt Raven, a chiropractor to the
Cannondale Drapac squad, or Garmin-Sharp as it was at the time. That is how to improve
your lower back stability with a certain Dan Martin. Meanwhile down here,
we did an ask the pros. How much do they do on their rest days during the big three week grand tours.

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