|CyclingSite > CO Collected Wisdom > Touring Info > In Camp > Food|
|Tell me about the food in camp.|
|There are separate vegetarian/non-vegetarian
food lines. Note that you must indicate on your registration form whether
or not you want vegetarian meals. At check-in, vegetarians will be given
an extra wristband, which must be shown to the food folks in order to enter
the vegetarian meal line. Unless you have that band, you will not be permitted
I'm vegetarian, and I would say that on most days, the meals were good, though occasionally only adequate. The basic meal is usually the same as the non-vegetarian meal, with a non-meat entree being substituted. These substitutions involved some sort of tofu maybe 1/3 of the time - the tofu they used was a bit odd, being very firm with a skin-like brown surface. As often as I eat tofu, I think I can safely say this is one of the more unusual tofus I have ever encountered!
As a vegetarian, you will certainly NOT go hungry on Cycle Oregon. As a vegan, you'll probably still do OK, though I'd recommend reading the daily menus (which will be sent to you before the ride) carefully. You will probably need some supplementation of your own on some days.
On another note...there's been lots of talk about carrying power bars, etc for the ride. On my first CO, I took a dozen or so and came home with all of them. If you are worried, carry one in your jersey or seat bag, "in case of emergency". But really, there is plenty of food and water available at the rest stops - make it a priority to take advantage of them and you will be just fine. You all know the drill - eat before you're hungry, drink before you're thirsty.
Housekeeping tip 397.556
Surviving the food lines... Get used to lines sportsfans. :-)
Fanny pack with water bottle holster(s)..
Dinners: Served in "Chinette" plates, you have salad bowl, main entre plate, dessert plate, Plasitcware, napkin, condiments. Now you pop over to the drink table for a pop/ice tea etc. Then on for the puckerbrush waddle balancing all this till you get to the tables some 100 or so yards away....
I find the fanny pack holds the loose prepackaged items, the bottle holsters hold the drinks so I only have to balance three plates on the "PW".
Don "watch for divots" Bolton
Don, I have to agree with you on your juggling tips. I have found that sweats/sweatshirts with big pockets will also serve you well for soda cans, plastic "tools", etc.
I have always made sure that the shorts/long pants that I have for around camp have nice big, deep pockets (i.e., you can stick a pop can in the pocket and still walk.) That works for the dinner food-haul. When we eat breakfast our gear is already on the truck, but my cycling windbreaker also has nice deep pockets so I just use it.
Even if you are not using it for food hauling twice a day a very lightweight fanny pack is nice just for your billfold, keys, medications/vitamins, etc. - and the homemade carbohydrates you buy from the local community (those brownies at Haines last year [CO 12] were really good!)
P.S. You forgot about trying to carry a cup of hot liquid (coffee/tea/cocoa) on those COLD mornings! I have seen people carry that with their mouths.
Not being a hot cereal fan, I haven't had the joys of multi plate breakfasts so I've always had the extra hand available for sloshing coffee all over everyone in the procession to the tables.
Don "The guy stumbling along in the brownish SIDIs:-)" Bolton
Food is prepared and served in an area somewhat adjacent to the actual grazing area. It’s typical to have the loads described above and having to make a several hundred yard shuffle across an uneven ground to the tables.
I find a fanny pack fits the loose condiments, flatware, etc. The bottle holster handles the beverage(s) leaving me with two hands to manage only three plates while stumbling across the path.
Nothing worth doing just isn't worth doing unless to excess so I have a monster fanny pack with two bottle holsters. Camps have split apart over the years to enable a quieter campsite. The showers, food area, and bandstands usually will be located away from the tent city. A larger fanny pack with external lashing points allows one to pack along cool weather evening attire and a light. So you only need hike out once for the whole evening on the "pasture".
Don "you'll know me by the list to port" Bolton
If you don't want to go back to your tent tie a jacket around your waist and throw a small flashlight in your pocket. This leaves your legs still in shorts. If you get cold easily cram a knit cap into a jacket pocket. Most heat loss is from your head anyway.
Breakfast can be interesting, too. Possibilities = food plate, cereal bowl, cereal box(es), silverware, hot cup of something.... They feed you well so you are carrying a lot! Actually, I have never had any trouble as long as I took the march at a gentle easy pace and paid attention to what I was doing and the ground ahead. ;-)
Rox "looking forward to the food!" Heath
I also took a backpack last year for exactly this purpose, but what I found was even more useful was a _Large Canvas Shopping bag_ with two handles, long enough to put over my shoulder.
I had put this into my baggage as an after thought, but this turned out to be by far the most useful item that I brought with me on CycleOregon, after my bike shorts! At meal times, I could drop drinks, plasticware, napkins, wrapped foods, etc into its interior without needing an extra hand to manage a zipper. It was big enough to use as a shower bag (clean clothes, towel, toiletries) and after dinner I could take out the extra layers of clothing from the bottom. My camera was in there.
However, it is easy to forget and leave such a bag in the dinning area once you are finished eating. If you are prone to do this, the fanny pack might work better.
One other thing that I have found _really_ useful: a large coffee mug with a lid.
Coffee and tea are served at breakfast and dinner, but not at lunch, and hot drinks are not available in the evening after dinner has closed. Sometimes there is a coffee stand open late at night, and sometimes it is easy to walk or ride into town and get a cup. I have brought a thermos, intending to fill it up at dinner and drink later in the evening, but I found that I didn't bother.
What I do use is the large (1 pint) coffee mug. The lid makes it much easier to get my beverage to the dinning area without spilling it, and also keeps the contents hot while I'm eating. The large size works better for me than the small paper cups provided. I can take a mug-full to the entertainment, and it will last most of the evening. And I feel good because I get to reuse the same mug all week, instead of consuming so many disposable cups.
As always, your personal needs may differ, but I have found a mug so useful that when I forgot it on CO XII, I searched in every town in which we stopped until I found one.
At one of the tandem rallies we got these great red tote bags with a long shoulder strap. We have long taken these to meals with us. That is where we stash our flashlight (morning and evening), drinks, napkins etc., which frees up our hands to carry the rest of our food stuff.
In the mornings there were sometimes muffins/bagels that we would want to take with us, a couple of small sandwich size ziplocks were perfect for transporting these.
In the evenings we would never go to dinner without a jacket, flashlight, sweat pants (to put on over our shorts) and warm hat. That did save us the long dark walk back to get something between dinner and announcements. As soon as the sun goes down it gets cold (and dark).
On evenings when we went to dinner especially early we would come back for announcements and bring our own chairs, the kind that fold up and go in a bag with a strap. We have not really used them that much but we still bring them.
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