Cyclists are known for strange eating habits and obsession with their weight, frankly, this stereotype couldn’t be more accurate. Everyone in cycling has a story of a rider and their strange habits. Having lived among cyclists for the best part of a year, I have accumulated my fair share.

One member of a group of Basque riders I sat down for lunch with last winter had an interesting set of rules. First, he would never have dessert unless it was fruit, in which case he would eat it before his meal. His logic was that the sugar content of fruit would increase his blood sugar levels after having eaten making him more active and less keen to rest. This would result in his digestion being less efficient. An interesting superstition but it didn’t take the rest of the table to pick apart his logic. Another lad asked what if he was only eating fruit ? If he eats a banana as a snack should he then eat another type of food with a lower sugar content to ensure he isn’t left with high blood sugar during digestion ? If so wouldn’t this be counterproductive given his original goal was to lose weight ?

Other riders have equally strict rules but  are backed up with far less logic. One lunch time, after having arrived late for lunch after a long ride I was eating alone. While I was working my way through a plate of pasta another more experienced rider came into the kitchen and tutted. He told me I was to make the most of days where I had done a long ride to lose weight. I saw the logic but never felt like not finishing my generous portion of pasta. The next day I only had a couple of hours to do to allow me to recover for a race that weekend. I had gone out quite late and so again, ate alone, just like the day before the same rider joined me in the kitchen. He tutted once more, telling me that I need to make the most of days where I don’t train to lose weight because the body doesn’t require as much fuel. I then asked him, “ok, so when should I eat ?”, to which he responded “never, cyclists don’t eat”.