Napoleon famously said that, “an army marches on its stomach.” The same is true with riding motorcycles or any athletic pursuit.  Tired?  Hangry? Dehydrated?   You can bet reaction time and patience for your riding buddy’s antics are going downhill as well.  Staying well fed, hydrated, and rested will keep you making the most of the trip.

The meal plan breaks down this way:

1. Start right

2. Keep the tank topped with snacks

3. Stop when you’re hungry

4. Plan a back-up

5. Stay hydrated


1. Start right with a good breakfast. Fill up. Whether its oatmeal, eggs, bacon, or another protein and/or fat source, be sure to get your system started off on the right foot in the morning.  At camp I always enjoy breakfast because I find it easy to cook. With a skillet, a few planned garnishes, and some eggs you can make culinary delights to woo your spouse or wake your riding friends from their slumber.  Trade that breakfast know-how for changing a flat on the trail later.  I’ve done it!

Riding out of base-camp? Pack a few extra items in the cooler to make breakfast great (repeat in best Tony the Tiger voice). Cilantro, bacon bits, sliced green onions, and carton egg whites are your friends.

Camping off the bike? Consumables that spoil can be eaten on the first morning, so pack a few extras to make a unique meal.

Are you an omelet fanatic or always in search of the ultimate cinnamon roll? We are.  Check out the local breakfast restaurants.

Heather enjoying some camp breakfast.  Avocados are a great addition to any egg recipe.

2. Gas for your bike. Snacks for you. Beef jerky, fruit, plantain chips, tuna packets, and nuts all make great trail snacks.  Keep a baggie of your favorite snack accessible in your tank-bag or backpack.

3. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is stop to eat. We’re out her to ride right?  He said another 20 miles 35 miles ago! Head off hunger by grabbing a handful of your favorite snack at a photo stop.  Ask the group for the lunch plan before the day gets underway, so you can plan accordingly.

Use photo stops to grab a bite of your favorite snack. View west of dirt roads into the San Juan Mountains, Colorado.

4. Flat tire? Weather delay? Take a long scenic detour? Plan a back-up meal to make these more enjoyable. If you’re camping and carrying water and a stove, a dehydrated meal can be a great solution.  Only going out for the day?  Pack a bag of mixed nuts, M&M’s, and raisins.  This high calorie snack will carry you to the next stop.

5. Stay hydrated. Running out of water can quickly ruin a ride. Your concentration and mood quickly go south when dehydration sets in. Camel-bak backpacks or other bladder hydration systems work well for dual-sport riding. Water is available on demand and most bladders carry at least 100oz of water.  This is a good volume for a day of riding for most people. Whether a backpack, a water bottle in your tank bag, or stealing from your buddy’s backpack, plan to have water available to keep you well hydrated during the ride.

Photos: Richard