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How to Fuel for Long Bike Rides: 3 Chefs Show You the Way

Three professional chefs share what they eat and drink during a 300-mile race — and the gear they use to power through it.

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Stirl and Rae Photo

In the world of professional chefs, there exists an overlap between chefs and cycling. This overlap is perhaps no more prominent than with events like Chefs Cycle. The event takes place over three days, where chefs ride 100-miles per day. There are around 200 participants — most of them chefs — that cycle all day and eat plentifully at night. The event raises money for No Kid Hungry, a nonprofit working to provide kids with healthy food.

So what do top chefs eat and use to tackle three Grand Fondos in a row? We spoke with Neal Fraser, chef at Redbird, Chris Cosentino, chef at Cockscomb, and Michael Kramer, chef at Jianna, to hear what they bring on the bike with them, and what their gear of choice is.

The Food

All three chefs we spoke with packed their own food. None of them wanted to deal with any GI issues during the three-day event, and the safest way to do that is to eat what you know works.

“I created my own energy bar line with a max of seven ingredients. They’re all-natural, organic, gluten-free and easily digestible. There are four flavors and will launch soon. The base of everything is dates, which prevent GI issues, so they’re calming for the stomach,” Cosentino says.

“My word of mouth is 250 calories an hour, and I try to spread them out across the whole hour. I became a chef because I like the taste of food, but eating Gu is like telling me I have to eat oatmeal for the rest of my life. However, I do eat gels and bars — Shot Bloks from CLIF. Then I make one water bottle with Skratch Labs,” Fraser says.

Kramer goes the other direction. “I usually do Gus. I like salted caramel, espresso and the berry flavor,” he says. “I like Lara Bars too — the blueberry and cookies and cream. I always bring my own stuff because it’s what I’m comfortable with and I can easily digest. I also eat those applesauce packets, the Motts ones. They’re just 60 calories and super easy to digest.”

Chef-Cycle-Gear-Patrol-Lead-body
Stirl and Rae Photo

The Gear

All three chefs are big cyclists — they all used to race, and some still do. Kramer started road racing in 1988, Fraser has been riding since he was 15 and Cosentino raced professionally as an ultra-endurance racer doing 24-hour solos on a single speed.

 

Neal Fraser’s Gear

Custom Carbon Fiber Bike by Land Shark $5995+

Ultegra R8050 DI2 11 Speed Groupset by Shimano $1212

Carbon Wheels by Reynolds $1500+

S-Works 7 by Specialized $400

Elemnt Bolt GPS Bike Computer by Wahoo $250

Chris Cosentino’s Gear

TCR Advanced 2 by Giant $1735

303 Firecrest Carbon Clincher by Zipp $950+

DZero Power Meter Spider by Quarq $679

Endurance Tubeless Sealant by Orange Seal $17

RED eTap HRD Group by SRAM $2335

Scoop Race Flat by Fabric ~$83+

Carbon Shoes by Lake $479+

Michael Kramer’s Gear

F1 by Felt $6999

CX 237 Wide Road Shoe by Lake $300

Carbon Shoes by Lake $479+

303 Firecrest Carbon Clincher by Zipp $950+

CPC Scratch 2 Saddle with Carbon Rails by Prologo $201

Edge 520 by Garmin $200

 

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