When touring a continent by bicycle the most important engine is your body. Keeping it fuelled and sufficiently watered is a vital part of a smooth successful tour. When boiled down to its essence, food is fuel; just like putting petrol in your car or recharging your phone. We don’t have access to a kitchen, fridge, freezer, oven, fancy utensils, large storage cupboards, toasters, kettles, food processors, grills, work surfaces and any other everyday items we would take for granted at home.
Indeed, our ‘kit’ consists of some small saucepans, a £4 walk frying pan, one small stove, a knife, a spork and (arguably our most important item) one coffee pot.
Given our restrictions, it is important to remember that we are travelling through Europe, a land of plentiful supermarkets and amazing abundant produce. If you sprinkle in a little bit of imagination it’s possible to eat interesting, varied and delicious meals. Of course, for those who aren’t foodies, boiled pasta for dinner, bananas for breakfast and a huge jar of Nutella will also suffice.
So whether it’s mushroom and mozzarella pasta, pesto and garlic butter toasties, avocado, tomato and cream cheese sandwiches or just a simple plate of chips from a Belgian Frituur (easily our favourite lunch/dinner/snack/any time of day/any excuse meals), cycle touring does not mean monotonous eating.
Gradually however, practicality does win the battle over imagination and our diet has become far more budget oriented. Oats for breakfast, fresh bread and cheese for lunch and pasta and jars of pesto for dinner provide a nice balance between cheap, easy-to-store meals and fresh tasty food. Calories are our fuel.