Nutrition may be the one thing that can make or break your progress into becoming the cyclist you’ve always dreamt of being. It is so important to fuel your body with the right energy, energy that lasts and in the long run will keep your body happy on and off the bike.

We’ve all had that ‘bonk’ moment, it’s not fun and it’s not pretty. We pull out the sickly gel from our back pocket, regretting the next few seconds as the gel hits our tongue. But we at NEOS believe that, no matter if you need require slow release energy or a quick burst of energy, you should know exactly what you’re eating. So when we discovered the Pedal Bites, who offers 100% bespoke handmade cycling nutrition, so we just had to find out more from Riley.

 

pedal bites cycling food interview

Who created The Pedal Bites? Where did the inspiration come from?

 I’m Riley, a 25-year-old Aussie abroad! Moved to Europe in January 2014 to travel and work with my then girlfriend now fiancé Jenn. Having spent 5 years working in fine dining restaurants in Sydney, and having been an avid cyclist at home I decided to seek sometime away from the kitchen and enjoy a summer of riding through the mountains of Europe!

I scored a job with a tour company Le Domestique Tours: as their chef *I now work full time for them and juggle pedal bites on the side*. Living in Nice, France for most of last year the riding was plenty, but the bank account was scarce and so any cost saving opportunities were sought! My ride fuel suffered as a result and the concept of pedal bites was born.

For most of the summer when I wasn't on tours, I was riding the mountains behind Nice: living off rice bars and a version of our "get up and go ball" that is now a crowd favourite! I realised that people couldn't handle the processed energy products all the time and neither could I: so why not make my own and see how they went down! And I didn't look back!

The inspiration was and is very simple: if you eat properly your body will be able to keep up with your demands: don't and you'll body won't cope.

 

NEOS believes that nutrition is key to performance and health in all sports and it is evident through intensive research over the years, but why is nutrition so important to you? 

 Food in general is important to me! Without the right foods you can't function to your best potential! Your body needs fuel to go and the fuel is food! Especially with a sport such as cycling which is high intensity it's important to know what you'll be needing in terms of food to be able to provide the necessary energy and supplies for your body to achieve the goal!



Did you notice a difference when you began using food with true nutritional value on the bike?

 How different was it compared to using off-the-shelf gels and energy bars? Most definitely! You could feel your body refueling and taking on the food you were eating, where as I found with the gels: they went in, sugar levels went up and then a massive crash resulted. With the real food, it took a bit longer but you new that your levels would never reach a dire state! And the feeling of the sickly sweet flavours and odd after tastes of the store bought products wasn't there: which was something I personally hated and couldn't ever enjoy no matter what the flavour.

The other big difference for me would have to be knowing what your eating! If you asked a vast majority of people about what goes into the store bought products they wouldn't have a clue! Where as with real food and pedal bites especially: you know what you're eating the entire time! Which for me is a key element of real food and what it's all about.



Do you remember your first customer? How did it feel to make, package and send out the first order? Do you still keep in contact with this customer?

 I do indeed. It came through Instagram and has now resulted in one of our best customers and biggest fans of what I do at pedal bites! They've ordered several times since and continue to be impressed with the range and options as we grow, along with providing some constructive feedback and suggestions for me throughout which is just key to improving and going forward!

There was definitely a lot of apprehension, nerves and uncertainty - would they like them, would they share with there friends? What happened if they didn't like them and posted negative feedback on social media! It was stressful, but as I've sent more and more orders its calmed down a lot and now: each order is individualised with a small message or note for that person, so they feel unique and so that we continue to offer a high level of personal and professional customer service.



pedal bites cycling food interview protein



Creating new and exciting recipes must be challenging, yet interesting! Have you ever tried out a recipe, tested it and instantly regretted it? What was it and why?

 Several! Top of the list would have to be the concept of creating a clean version of a shot bloc style jelly bite! It took me quite a while to get the ratios and quantities right for texture and flavour and ultimately they tasted great, full of flavour - but the texture and feel in the mouth was absolutely awful! Needless to say that recipe went in the bin for now!

 

If you had to choose, what would you say your all time favourite product would be?

That's a very tough question! I think that all the range have there own uniqueness that make them all special! If I had to choose one: it would probably be the "lets go apre" bar. It's only new to our range, but to me it's all about memories of home! Warmer days riding, those summer vibes and all the tastes that are associated with it!


What are the plans for the future? Are there any interesting recipes in the pipeline right now?

 Continue to grow the business and develop the range and recipes further. We're currently on the look out to expand into cycling cafes / like minded coffee shops across the South East and feel that this is the next logical step in expanding and broadening our clientele range and reach.

We're always looking for new and exciting options for our range - we've got a few things in the works that will aim to complement what we already have on our store. Well keep them under wraps for now: but I think they'll be worth the wait!


We love independent cycling specific businesses; it’s the personal experience, knowledge and customer focus that sets them apart from the rest. To find out more and to keep up to date with new releases and recipes, be sure to follow them on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook!

To find out more and to keep up to date with new releases and recipes, be sure to follow The Pedal Bites on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook! Instagram: @ThePedalBites / Twitter: @ThePedalBites / Facebook: Pedal Bites