Best JPF

Jersey Pocket Food: Food you eat while riding your bike. According to the Fat Cyclist, the criteria -besides being food and fitting in a jersey pocket – are that it be:

  • Easily Edible: Simply being food is kind of a low bar to clear in a JPF. Even the original PowerBars are a JPF by this metric, albeit barely. Easily edible means that you can, while still riding, reach back into your pocket, get the JPF out, remove the packaging, chew and swallow, all while still breathing and hopefully without wrecking. By this more stringent metric, very few foods qualify as a good JPF.
  • Delicious: During a long ride, do you actually look forward to eating your JPF? Or does your stomach clench up and you find an excuse to go for another 20 minutes without eating? Your food is not a good JPF if you are reluctant to eat it.
  • Highly Available: Suppose you’re in Hurricane (pronounced “HURR-uh-kuhn), Utah, about to spend the day riding Gooseberry Mesa. You need to buy food at the teeny-tiny grocery store there. Will you be able to get your favorite JPF there?
  • Good Calorie Mix: Does your JPF have carbs, protein and fat? In other words, is it going to just power you for fifteen minutes, or does it have some legs to it?

I have nothing to add to that. Not so sure I agree with his conclusion, though, that the ultimate JPF is:

Avocado, sliced onto and folded into a piece of white bread, kept in a sandwich bag.

Love avocado, love white bread, but I do not think these two great tastes would taste great together. Especially not after sitting in my back pocket – stuck between a sweaty back and a scorching sun – for three hours on a ninety degree day. Avocados aren’t the most durable food in the world, so even in a plastic bag, I don’t think they’d last real long in those conditions.

What’s my favorite, then? Home made energy gel. Here’s the recipe I use:

6 Tablespoons of Honey
5/8 teaspoons of Blackstrap Molasses
6 and 3/8 teaspoons of Soy Protein Isolate
1/16 teaspoons of salt
1-3 Tablespoons of water

I’ve used this stuff many times, and I can testify that it excels at all four of the criteria for a great JPF. You put it in a plastic squeezie container and it is as easy to eat as the energy drink in your bottle is to drink. Though a bit gritty with the soy protein, the taste of the honey more than covers up any potential problems. You’ll find all the ingredients in any store. And it has the right mix of calories. The honey gives you a kick while the protein sticks around for a while.

Why not store bought goo? One, it tastes terrible, way too sweet. Two, I think the packaged stuff is made with some kind of industrial strength adhesive, because whenever I use it my hands get so sticky I feel like I could make like Spider Man and climb a building or two. Even with the honey, the home made goo is nowhere near as messy.

Granted the avocado white bread wrap is probably easier to make, but the benefits of the goo, I think, more than outweigh the extra two minutes needed to make it. Good stuff.

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