There's loads of posts out there telling you what to eat whilst on a ride. There's posts on when to take some food on, what macronurtrients you need to take on at what time, how many grams of carbs you need for an hour's ride and so on.
But there's not many posts that tell you HOW to eat on the bike, a skill that can take some getting used to to perfect and can be quite dangerous if you get the wrong technique.
Here's our guide to several of the most popular foods to take on the bike and how to eat them.
We should say before you continue that if you aren't comfortable eating whilst moving, take a break at the roadside and eat off the bike.
The age old favourite. Who of us hasn't set off with a banana stuffed precariously into the jersey pocket? It's the sign of a long ride and a note to other road users that you're serious about your nutrition.
But how to peel them on the move? The traditional top-down peeling method is tricky whilst trying to ride unless you're proficient at riding with no hands, so we favour the twisting method which is much quicker. The downside to this is that you have to stuff most of it into your mouth at once.
Of course you could always chop up the banana beforehand and take them in a seperate bag, which leads us on to...
Bagged snacks include everything from raisens and dates to jelly beans or M&Ms, depending on your individual taste. The main isue here is that they come in bags which are fiddly to open on the move.
The easiest way is to keep them open in your back pocket so you can dip your hand into your jersey and pull out a handful. The only problem here is the rain which can ruin a good snack, or the perils of the low-profile aero position which could send raisens tumbling down your back.
The pro's favourite, gel bars can be a quick way to get some much needed carbs into your system before a big climb or if you're on a long ride and don't want to carry pockets full of food.
The best way to eat a gel on the bike is to rip the tab off with your teeth (don't forget to catch it and pocket it), stick the opening in your mouth and keep squeezing until it's finished.
The real finesse of eating a gel on the bike is ensuring you don't squirt it all over your face, fingers and bikes in your haste. Lest you have stickyness on the rest of your ride.
In a similar vain to gels, these are often seen amongst the pros but are a little more gastro-friendly than their gel counterpart. Bars aren't as easy to eat on the bike as they require more effort than just placing and squeezing, but their dense, often chewy nature makes the tricky to consume.
The easiest way is to break the bar into pieces before the ride whilst in it's packaging so that when you come to open it, you can remove a piece then put the rest back hassle free.
Watch out for crumbs though, they're not very comptaible with gears and oil.