It’s almost time for RAGBRAI….
What’s that I hear you say? Well, it’s an annual seven day bike ride across Iowa. RAGBRAI is the oldest, largest and longest bicycle touring event in the world and this year my boyfriend is taking part. Riders begin at Iowa’s western border on the Missouri River and finish, a week later, at the eastern border at the Mississippi River. It’s a week of cycling, drinking and camping and it should be a really good time. As I’m currently in training for my marathon, I opted to be the support vehicle driver for him and his buddies. That way I can fit my daily training runs into each day.
Each night is spent in a different town across Iowa and there are many vendors and stalls selling various foods to provide sustenance to starving cyclists. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, most of the foods for sale are the usual glutenous treats that I am forced to stay clear of…..
….As a result of this, I must come prepared with a week’s worth of gluten free food.
My gluten free food bag is filled with 3 boxes of Chex cereal, milk, plain and caramel rice cakes, yoghurts, corn tortillas, sandwich ham, babybel, grapes and a couple of Tootsie Rolls. I also have one pack of maki sushi, 3 containers of rice, tuna and a bottle of wheat free soy sauce.
My diet over the week won’t be the most varied but it will be 100% gluten free! I plan to pick up some fresh veggies en route to eat with my rice and I’ve heard that there will be corn on the cob in most of the overnight towns so I’m looking forward to nibbling on that.
I’m prepared with enough food to last me the week as I don’t want to have to rely on finding anything gluten free. Anything I do come across en route will be a much appreciated treat, which will vary my week’s diet!
UPDATE: RABGRAI was lots of fun! What a unique and crazy party experience!
When it came to finding gluten free food however, that was a different story. I was very glad to have my own food
with me as there was almost nothing gluten free to eat en route. I was able to find sweet corn only twice (and never in the overnight towns). The rest of the time I ate the food I had brought with me or popped into the local Hy-Vee for extra supplies. Tequila, cider and wine were my gluten free drinks of choice throughout the week.
I wasn’t biking so having my food with me in the van made things pretty simple. I can’t imagine how difficult it would have been to ride for the whole week though…stopping in each town to drink and party without much chance of finding something gluten free to balance out all of those calories being burned! I’d be very interested to hear about the experiences of any other Coeliacs on RAGBRAI, especially if you managed to ride for the week, as I’m contemplating riding myself next year and would love some advice on how you did it without gluten!