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    Do I need to bring food and drinks to Cycle Oregon?
    I'd say that you don't even have to think about bringing your own snacks. They provide plenty at the meals and loads at the rest stops. I've done a bunch of these rides and never seem to learn that you DON"T need to hoard snacks from the rest stops. I always end up with about six months worth of Fruit Roll-ups, licorice, cookies, trail mix and Clif bars that I've tucked away in my bike bag "just in case." You will NOT go hungry on this ride. Saying "no" to a fourth Rice Krispie Treat or a third bagel is more like it..

Katie Peters

I would highly recommend bringing a favorite energy bar or two each day - something that you know that you can stomach, even if you're not feeling your best. There usually is plenty of food, but not always when and where you need it. Keep eating all the way is my motto.

Michael Brown

I agree that there is plenty provided to eat on CO. I do recommend, however, carrying a couple of those little gel packets (power gel, etc) for bonk emergencies...When you hit the wall because you were too hot or whatever to eat the way that you should, the gel packets provide that glycogen boost which enables you to get your head and your body together once again.

Debi Toews

Good idea, I will carry some of the gel packs, but I will carry them inside a zip-lock bag. I had one break in my trunk bag, and what a mess. That stuff is sticky enough to bind books.

Phil Ford

I really enjoyed all of the meals. Sag stops are also full of good stuff. There is plenty of variety so if there is something you don't like there are many other alternatives.

I am mildly hypoglycemic and I like to snack all day long while riding to keep up my blood sugar level - especially on the hard days. I therefore bring about 1/2 cup of fruit and nut gorp for each day (individually wrapped in heavy duty Ziplocs). I put one in my front bike bag each morning and leave it open. Some days I eat all of it, some days only a little. I supplement this with stuff found at breakfast, lunch, and sag stops.

I also bring one granola bar per day and leave it in my luggage. As soon as I retrieve the luggage and while I unpack I eat it. This makes me feel much better during the late afternoons.

Rox Heath

You will be passed by sag vehicles and ambulances and support vehicles quite often (seems like at least 2 or 3 per hour, probably a lot more). They all carry water - just give them a "thumbs down" if you run out.

There are often small food places by the sides of the road when you are near civilization, but when you get out in the forests you need to plan ahead. At each food stop (and at breakfast) there are always items you can carry with you to eat as needed. These range from little boxes of cereal to raisins to cookies/crackers to Pop Tarts and Snickers bars. Just remember to grab some "extras" for the road. The quantities of food they put out at these food stops support this. This year I am taking a very lightweight plastic bag to put some of this in. This way I can also carry some of the fruit and messier stuff with me if I want to.

It became very obvious on CO 12 that they expect us to carry enough stuff from breakfast, lunch, and sag stops to last in between. With the maps and elevations it is not too hard to guess about how long that will be and plan accordingly. The only problem has been people taking more than they need so that supplies run low at the end of the week. I just use whatever is left over from one afternoon on the next morning.

Rox Heath

They had Clif Bars for the first 4-5 days last year, but then they seemed to run out.

Craig Bryant

As to energy bars, C.O. has, for the last few years provided Clif bars. My experience is that they are offered only once per day. I have also seen people overload on Clif Bars early in the ride, most likely causing the supply to dwindle later on. If that happens, the bike shops usually will have energy bars for sale - at regular prices.

Curt Coleman

I used to bring breakfast bars for the first few years, and after taking home a dozen crunched breakfast bars in my bag, I realized that Cycle Oregon provides plenty of food unless you have a blood sugar problem. I would suggest bringing dry Gatorade mix, (If you like it) because you won't always find it in the morning.

Ken Cregger

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My first year I brought along a huge mountain of power bars, I came home with all of them plus other snack items I picked up at the food stops. Really don't think your going to need anything. The food, though nothing to rave about is quite good, and there is more than plenty.

At lunch stops they set up table space for unwanted food items, you can leave off the items in your box you didn't want and grab up items others left you like. It's really "hog heaven" :-)

Given the baggage transport, if you do bring Twinkies they'll become flat pressed Twinkies on day one.

Don "it's beef jerky time" Bolton


I manage my excess food by bringing it with me! The warm prepared food, of course, I eat on location. The portable stuff goes in my food bag. I, for one, cannot eat everything at once that CO offers in their meals. SO - I simply take it along with me and graze on it as my stomach makes room (cereal, packaged pastries, bagels, fruit, etc.). One section of my handlebar bag is the lunch box. It came in handy more than a few times on CO XII. Day 2 wasn't bad for me because I had other snacks as well as the snack stops. I hate the feeling of bonking. So I always have food with me.

It doesn't take much room for the fuel.

Capt. Dink ~

The major suggestion that I would have is to have some carbos available immediately post-ride, especially if we are not camped in the middle of a town. When we were camped right in town, as in Butte Falls, it was pretty easy to buy some juice or cookies as you pulled in hot, glycogen depleted, and hungry. It's also nice to support the local economy when the town is close, or if local people have booths set up. If you left early in the morning, dinner might be a few hours off when you arrive. Those few hours can be forever after you've finished 80 miles.

Debi Toews

With past years' experience, All Sport was available at least once per day.

As to Ice, don't count on it, as available ice is usually used to cool All Sport and other drinks. However, if you fill your Camelbak (or ANY water bottle) the night before, and leave it by outside of your tent, it will be pretty cool in the AM. Recent night time temperatures in the Wallowas [CO 12] have been in the 30's. (On CO-5, at Redmond, it got down to 17 degrees, with several other nights just above freezing.) Even if there is a night time heat wave and it does not go down below mid-40's, the water will be cooler than what you would get in the AM. Finally, any of these containers, being full of water, will cool rapidly if placed in an ice bath - say at breakfast where they will distribute milk, etc - for the time you eat.

Curt Coleman

As for the Camelbak & ice - my advice is that you should be drinking the entire volume between stops [editor’s note – this was a smallish camelback!] If not, then you're probably not staying hydrated - drink lots. Another gauge - if you're not urinating at every stop - then again drink more. A slight decrease in hydration decreases your body's ability to function bunches. So under these conditions your cold Camelbak will primarily be cold just in the early a.m. - when added cold might be less than desirable!!!!!

Dan (Spinning, drinking, and peeing) McKenzie

If past experience is any indication, you can fill your Camelbak at every water stop and like most Oregon water, it's usually cool. As for ice, the only ice you'll see is used to ice down cold sport drinks. I don't know how important cold Camelbak water is to you, but you might get a chip or two out of the chill buckets the sport drinks are in, if the sanitation laws and the ice supply allow it. As for the snack stops there'll be Clif bars, fresh fruit, etc. I was quite impressed with the spread CO puts out. In fact I would go so far as to suggest don't eat any more than you need to in order to Enjoy the Ride!

Ted Magnuson

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  Page Last Updated: Jan. 20, 2003  
    CyclingSite > CO Collected Wisdom > Touring Info > On the Road > Food & Drink  

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