New Does Not Always Mean Better


I love testing new cycling food, but (true to my ultra-picky nature) tend to hate most of it. Oddly enough, this never seem to diminish my enthusiasm for experimentation. I am consistently drawn in by the shiny packaging, cheap single packet costs and exciting sounding flavors… only to whine about them later. For extra bonus fun, my love for testing food has to be balanced against my general inclination to forget to eat on rides, or to only eat the bare minimum that’ll keep me going (as too much food tends to make me nauseous). Therefore, in order to test new foods and actually complete rides, I typically have to carry backup items that I know I’ll eat in case of emergency… and then force myself to consume one or the other in its entirety.

And man are there are lot of exciting, new, and (so far) mostly terrible things to try this season! I’m trying to front-load my testing phase (no sense bonking on a 60mi ride due to lack of electrolyte drinks), which means I’ve already started ripping through the bright neon pouches.

Brand Flavor Rated (1-10) Notes
Food
Clif Shot Razz 3 Sticky sweet to the point of nauseating, with that chemical-fruit flavor problem. Texture wise it wasn’t terrible, but I couldn’t manage to swallow more than a quarter of the packet
Clif Shot Vanilla 3.5 Too sweet, but at least didn’t sport a terrible chemical aftertaste. Overly pasty texture, but I did (with a lot of water) manage to eat the whole thing.
Clif Shot Bloks Orange 6 Decent orange flavor and I always love their texture. Also dig the new “easy access” packaging. Odd aftertaste (possibly due to the caffeine?) knocks this one slightly below typical Clif Shot Blok average.
Clif Shot Blocks Mountain Berry 8 Good flavor, no funky aftertaste, good texture. Excellent non-caffeinated block option.
Gu Chomps Strawberry 8 Solid strawberry flavor with a non-offensive (not too sweet) aftertaste. Good texture, but a little annoyed at the giant packaging. Fully support anything that can combine caffeine and berry in a tasty way though.
Drinks
Clif Electrolyte Drink Crisp Apple 2 Excellent apple flavor on the front is utterly crushed by terrible salt flavor on the back end (had I read the website before buying, I would have known this was the intention and sidestepped this one). Definitely not for me. Ewie… salt.
Luna Sport Recovery Smoothie Dark Chocolate 4 Someone took a chocolate milkshake and removed the milk, leaving… chocolate water. Tastes exactly like what it promises. May try again blended with milk, but not sure how much dairy I actually want in a post-ride drink.

No good news on the drink front so far, but the chewy snacks are faring well. I’ve got at least a dozen or more options till to burn through, so I’m still hopeful for a few more gems to come out!

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What do we have here?

An often sarcastic, occasionally humorous journal of my training adventures in preparation for the Livestrong century ride. I took up cycling back in '07 in hopes of meeting new people, and, with the help of Team in Training, making my small positive difference in the world -- and haven't stopped spinning since. Follow along as my Trek road bike and I try and hash out our differences, hopefully with me upright and in the saddle.

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