The human body really is quite an incredible machine. We all use it in different ways and yet, like the ocean, even in this technological era, we are still finding out new things about it. One thing remains constant, and has been so since the human race began: the human body needs movement, and fuel.
Cyclists need fuel to keep pedalling. No matter what your mileage is, if you’re cycling, you’re burning energy, and we need to keep the fuel up. Good fuel. When it comes to snack foods for cyclists, these energy bars by Thunderbird Energetica and raw Bite are at the top of the list.
Never having been a big one for snack bars or energy gels, it took a while to warm to the idea of packing a snack for the journey. Many young years as a messenger instilled within me a self-sadistic urge to consider beer to be a viable source of energy for a long ride.
Although I’m older now, I’m not necessarily wiser, except when it comes to sustainable riding. And I know now that when I’m out for a multi-kilometer ride, my body needs stoking with good energy. Bars and gels that are formulated in a lab don’t do it for me, they just give me a belly ache.
My wife has made me endure enough detox diets with her to make me value raw foods, which is why the snack bars by Thunderbird and Raw Bite seemed like a good alternative. Kitty at Australia’s Good Fuel Co. gave me a selection of each to try out and now, I have to admit, I’m a bit addicted.
One of the best things about a long ride is the increasing knowledge of what your body needs to keep going. Years ago, I rode from Sydney to Melbourne on the clandestine 1,200km Cannonball Run, organised by Scooter at Impact Massage. It was a steep learning curve about how the body works.
On one of the first days, racked by hunger, I had a burger for lunch at one of the coastal towns on the Princes Highway. Worst thing I could’ve eaten. Could hardly move after it. Ate nuts and bananas every day after that, and I really wish I had some of these bars for that ride.
Thunderbird Energetica bars are slimmer than the Raw Bite bars, which means you can fit more of them in your jersey pocket than the Raw Bite bars. They’re a lot juicier, whereas the Raw Bite bars are more like a fresh muesli bar.
Raw Bite is a Danish company intent on providing an organic, whole food snack option. They contain only two-to-seven ingredients and are manufactured without the use of heat, meaning they retain all of their goodness. They’re also free from gluten, dairy, soy and have no added sugar.
The flavours of Raw Bite bars are very straight-forward: Apple/Cinnamon, Cashew, Coconut, Protein, Raw Cacao, Spicy Lime, Vanilla Berries and Peanut. They’re all delicious, and you’re pouring sweat, won’t leave you with a funny feeling in your mouth or belly.
Interestingly, Raw Bite were awarded Health Food of the Year in 2011 and is the sole food bar in the individual field ration of the Danish defence forces.
Thunderbird Energetica are full-on and exotic: Cashew/Fig/Carrot, Cherry/Walnut Crunch, Hyper Hawaiian Crunch, Sweet Lemon Raindance and Almond Cookie Pow Wow. Thunderbird Energetica was created as a distinct reaction to the standard fare that contains numbers instead of real food.
Oh, they’re 100% soy free, dairy free, gluten free and have no added sugar energy. And their wrapper is 100% biodegradable and compostable. That’s a plus.
As a cyclist, you have an intrinsic awareness of how the world moves: it requires energy. Good fuel in, good energy out. Whole food bars like Raw Bite and Thunderbird Energetica are good fuel. Give ’em a go, and see how better your ride is.
Shot on location at Skunkworks Bikes.