When I’m on my road bike I often enjoy an energy gel, well perhaps I don’t enjoy an energy gel, but I certainly benefit from a little caffeine and carbs. But what about for touring? I think some insight into this question can be gleaned from a little light philosophy; when you’re out on a road bike you don’t need to ride in a sustainable way, you can ride vigorously all day before returning home to a warm shower and rest until you feel you have recovered again. Some gels can enhance your performance for a short time but at the cost of extending your recovery time. On a Sunday road ride this doesn’t matter. Chances are that you will be at work on Monday and able to rest and recover for the next cycling opportunity, probably a mid-week ride or the next weekend. On a tour there isn’t necessarily a day of rest coming up and so you must pace yourself – pacing yourself means that high concentration energy supplements shouldn’t really be necessary. Continue reading Are energy gels useful for long distance cycling?