Friday, July 3, 2009

Food and cycling

Food is a major highlight of any cycle touring adventure, or should be, if the right delectable delights can be sourced. Fortunately, Robert has a similarly hearty and wholesome pescetarian diet (vegetarian with the odd bit of fish) and we have been eating surprisingly well. I may have lost weight on my face (as always) but no marked difference elsewhere (I need all the padding I can get on my backside!)

Here is a sample of what we munch on to fuel up to 6 hours of exercise a day:
Breakfast: Organic oats, dried fruit and agave syrup (vegan honey subsitute and much easier to source in Alaska) with bananas on top
Snacks: toasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds, dried fruit, muesli bars, tahini cookies (just baked a batch for the next leg), apples, pears
Lunch: flat bread, pumpernickel or bagels with rehydrated hummus or spicy Mexican bean salsa, cheese, green leaves (sometimes roadside dandelions), fresh tomatoes, hard boiled eggs, peanut butter (thanks to Paul)
Dinner: cous cous, pasta or rice with a variety of flavours, spices, lentils, TVP, cheese, savoury yeast flakes.

We've just acquired a jar of organic coconut oil (fortunately stays solid this far north, avoiding messy leaks) which I've just learnt is not only fantastic for frying, baking, spreading on bread and skin and possibly lubing chains but also is a very concentrated source of protein!

Most food is prepared quickly as my trangia stove is small and doesn't burn too hot. Finding the right fuel (methylated spirits) in the US and Canada has been a challenge but I think Robert hit the jackpot today. We have roasted some vegies in the fire (spot the roasted potato amongst the pebbles), which were delicious.

I have taken a distinct liking to north American pies. No, I haven't become a meat eater in these energy-burning times. Meat pies don't seem to exist with an Australian persistence, however large, thick, homemade pies filled with local berries and fruits and varyingly glutenous goo are served warm at appropriate intervals for a calorie-craving cyclist. "Pie a la mode" is a common and very elaborate way of saying "pie with two big blobs of icecream". Usually I go for this more posh version.

Mostly we cook dinner - sitting on the edge of the road, on a specially chosen rock or patch of grass or if we're lucky, at a picnic table. We have splurged a couple of times so far and amazed ourselves and the waiting staff at the volume we can consume. Our last feast was at Mosey's Cantina in Haines (see photo of the spread below) - 2 dips, 2 main meals (everyone else took doggy bags home) and a dessert. Divine!


  1. Fabulous spread, Emma! I want to know how to bake Tahini cookies with a camp stove. Look for denatured or methylated alcohol (that is what I burn in my Trangia).