Cycling is a fun way to see Wyoming! Here’s our recap of our first charity bike tour with Ride with the Winds in Riverton, Wyoming
Good morning friends! This past weekend we had fun riding around Riverton, Wyoming, for a good cause! We signed up with Wyoming Cares to do the Ride with the Winds bike tour this year. We had never done a 2-day bike event before (and this was my first long ride ever) so this was a first for us. The Ride with the Winds event is a fundraising event for Wyoming Cares, a non-profit group that supports Wyoming residents in need.
Zach and I didn’t get photos of us together with our new bike jerseys! We got caught up prepping and riding that we forgot to get people to take our photo. Bummer!
That’s okay 😉 Here are the 2 bike jerseys I got: the pink one is this year’s Ride with the Winds jersey and the green one the design from a couple years ago. Riders are required to raise at least $150 in donations for Wyoming Cares, and you get a jersey if you raise over $250. Zach won the green one in a door prize drawing (it was a bit small for him) so I got 2 jerseys!
I packed a bunch of snacks and foods, along with our workout fuels. Wyoming Cares provided breakfast, lunch en route, and dinners both days, but I wasn’t sure what they would serve or what I could eat so I packed a lot of my own food. It was a good thing too since I was super hungry after our rides!
Here’s a few things I packed for myself (Zach had some different things like instant grits and protein bars):
- Almond butter packets
- Gluten-free instant oatmeal packets
- Chicken jerky sticks
- Bobo’s Oat bars
- Mama Chia squeeze
- Fruit + veggie squeeze
- Instant organic coffee (our favorite brand!)
- Clif fruit ropes
- Unsweetened almondmilk
Wyoming Cares provided breakfast both days but I ate my own breakfast early so my food would settle before the ride.
Lunch was provided on the route, about 25 miles into each ride, but I didn’t want to sit and eat too much food or I wouldn’t want to get up and move again, haha! So we skipped the heavier meal and stuck with our fuels and stopped for water.
Wyoming Cares provided a lot of SAG support and had plenty of volunteers that stopped along the route to provide water, food, and medical and mechanical support as needed. They even had a massage therapist provided some massage therapy at the end of the rides on both days. It wasn’t too long, just about 15 minutes, but sooo nice! My shoulders and low back were getting tight and sore from the ride.
We stopped in Casper on our way down to Riverton and I found a new top tube bag for my bike made by Sherpani. I liked the one Zach has (it’s a little bit bigger) but this one worked pretty good and there is a little inner zipper pocket for a key
On Day 1 they added a fun poker run during the ride to make things fun! During breakfast we grabbed a card and then we collected cards during different SAG stops along the way. I missed a few, but we could get our missing cards at dinner and see who had the best hand (which was not me btw haha!)
Getting ready to start our Day 1 ride! We started at 7 am both days and it was chilly, but it got hot quickly. The event was a nice size: about 30-40 riders, so not too many people. It was a tour, not a race, so there was no pressure to compete
We had a strong headwind the first half of the ride but a nice tailwind the second half of the ride. Yay! That made the ride go smoother
Day 1 done! Almost 53 miles, my first long bike ride. The most I had rode before Saturday was about 15!
Here’s what I ate/drank in fuel during the Day 1 ride:
- 4 Hammer Gels (I took 1 right before we started the ride)
- 3 Gu chews
- 1 fruit rope
- 2 packets Ultima electrolyte powder
- 1 Bobo’s Oat bar immediately after our ride was finished
It worked out to a 90-calorie fuel every 30-40 minutes, which was what I had planned for: 180 calories per hour @ 1/3 the calories I burned (@500/hour estimated), which is a good replacement goal during extended workouts. I definitely don’t think I could have had this much fuel if I was running! My stomach tolerates much less when I am running versus biking.
I alternated the Gu chews (which have more sugar) and the Hammer Gels (which have 2 g sugars) so I could keep my sugar intake lower during the rides. Both of these are FODMAP friendly (no fructose) so my stomach didn’t react badly to the chews and gels. The Ultima has no sugar in it so that helped too. I felt like my energy levels were much steadier than they have been in the past with high-sugar fuels so I really like the lower-sugar fueling options. The post-workout crashes weren’t as extreme either.
It’s recommended that you add some protein in to your fueling if you’re going over 2 hours in duration, but I can’t tolerate most any kind of protein powders anymore so that was not part of my fueling strategy.
Here’s what I carried with me:
- FlipBelt (put my phone in there for quick photos)
- My small CamelBak for extra fuel and essentials, but no water bladder ( I carried 2 bottles on my bike and just refilled them when needed)
- Cash (just in case)
- Hammer Balm
- Seat Saver & Aquaphor
- Meal tickets
- Kleenex (my nose always runs when I’m biking!)
- Go Girl
- Extra electrolyte packets and some extra fuel just in case
My little pack wasn’t too heavy and it came in handy since my bike bag wasn’t big enough to hold all of my fuel and empty wrappers. The fueling and drink schedule was the same for both rides, I think I had a little more fuel the second day and felt better and more energized when the ride was done. I ate my last gel about 30 minutes before the end of our ride so it would also double as recovery calories. I ate the Bobo’s Oat bars right after the ride was finished to tide me over till we could get lunch. Thank goodness for those bars! We ate lunch on our own so it was a little while before we could get lunch so those bars and snacks were a lifesaver.
We went to Safeway for lunches both days, which worked out perfectly since we had a hard time finding good places to eat in Riverton (Friday night dinner at the Depot was a disaster). I tried to keep things well balanced: baked chicken, kale salad, coconut water, and popchips = protein, veggies, electrolytes, and carbs!
We finished our ride around 11- 11:30 both days so we had the whole afternoon to relax on Saturday, but had to drive 4 hours home on Sunday. Thank goodness for coffee! 😉
I had 2, 21-ounce water bottles on my bike: 1 filled with 1 packet of Ultima electrolytes + water, and the other with just plain water. I alternated sips of each bottle throughout my ride and drank about a bottle each hour, which is a good replacement for liquids. I was well hydrated during the rides since I had to take several bathroom breaks both days, so that was a good sign!
And I wasn’t over-hydrated or had too little electrolytes: I had minimal muscle cramping after both rides and felt pretty good after both days except for the usual fatigue. My biggest problem was making sure I stayed hydrated the rest of the day after the ride!
After both rides I added some supplements to help with recovery:
- Tart cherry extract
- Turmeric capsules
- Probiotics (to prevent upset stomach)
- BCAAs (I have the allergy-friendly ones from Jarrow Formulas)
The Hammer gels also have amino acids in them too so that is really helpful when you can’t get protein or you can’t tolerate it
Day 1 loop
Day 2 was a typical Wyoming high plains ride: minimal trees, 2 lane road, a few cows at the beginning, and a light headwind on the ride back. Fortunately it was mostly down hill – any headwind sucks and it sapped my energy pretty quick.
Finding places to use the bathroom gets tricky when there are no trees or bushes…
Day 2 out-and-back route
Overall we had a blast! I did really well considering this was my first long ride event. Wyoming Cares put together a great event that was well-organized and had lots of support for riders. We are planning on doing this next year! The location changes every year: last year it was in Wheatland, Wyoming, so I’m not sure where next year will be.
Sarah Jane Parker is the founder, recipe creator, and photographer behind The Fit Cookie. She’s a food allergy mom and healthy living blogger based in Wyoming. Sarah is also an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer, ACE Certified Health Coach, Revolution Running certified running coach, and an ACE Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist