So...how was it?

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Postby Shifty » Thu Sep 18, 2008 10:46 am

I agree, the food is not the best, but for a traveling road show, it's as good as can be expected. Go behind the kitchen truck and you'll see the boxes that the pre-cooked food comes from, you'll see that some of the boxes do indeed say "gourmet" on them, so. I look forward to towns that have cafes or other places to get better food, and I guess that since one of the objectives of CO is to bring business to towns along the way, this benefits all. By the end of the week I am ready to get away from the industrial "gourmet" food. :lol:
Last edited by Shifty on Fri Sep 19, 2008 7:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Jackson » Thu Sep 18, 2008 1:30 pm

Trying to see where in CO information it states gourmet food. I was able to find: 3 meals provided each day. Breakfast and dinner served in camp and lunch served on course. It is what it is. 2000 different people have 2000 different expectations. The catering provides the best possible way to serve this many people.
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Postby slv0700 » Thu Sep 18, 2008 1:42 pm

Brettha........I don't think the cheese made you feel bad. I think you
just didn't replenish yourself enough for that long day and bonked
at the end.
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Postby kirsten » Thu Sep 18, 2008 1:59 pm

Jackson wrote:2000 different people have 2000 different expectations.

Yeah, I think so. I liked the hot cereal w/out the salt. I ate it every morning.

About Day 5 and the chocolate milks - my understanding is that they weren't handed out after it started to get darker/colder, especially as some of the milks had gotten frozen in the refrigerator truck. Didn't want to make people any colder.
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Postby David R » Thu Sep 18, 2008 6:12 pm

The course closes at 6:30 so if you finished later you would not get the milk. Those volunteers have to go on to their next job.

The food seemed to be about the same as all the Co's I've done. I noticed more of a distribution problem this year but not so much a change in food quality. One night there was no french or thousand island dressing put out at all. Next night there was plenty of thousand island but no honey mustard. I find little of the food appealing but its easy enough to eat and does provide the calories needed for the next day.

Early faster riders tend to skip lunch and eat localy when they get to camp. Was a little put off by the attitude of Hot/Lips pizza people on day 5. Hard day and I was in need of some food. They didn't seem too interested in cooking pizza's until more people showed up in camp. My mistake should have stopped in Joseph and spent my money there. I'll remember this and won't do business with them next year.

Noticed a real lack of sport gels and energy bars this year. I find the fresh fruit messy and more of a water sorce than a food sorce. the rest of the food seemed sugar oriented which is not what we need. There were some good grain/nut bars but their distribution was messed up making their availability inconsistent. I'm not for taking the sugar foods away from people, just noticing that the energy bars and gels that have been there for the last 5 years suddlen vanished.

Still, I'll be back, I'll just pack more energy bars next year.
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One last comment on food

Postby wayneh » Thu Sep 18, 2008 7:43 pm

Lot's of varying opinions, I don' think anyone is questioning how difficult it is to feed/satisfy 2,000 + riders a day. But as food during a 7-day ride is pretty essential to successful completion, strong emotions pro or con aren't a surprise.

All of the meals were edible, except for the mayo-laden chicken wrap on day 2 lunch. I just couldn't handle it. Many meals were tasteful and consistent with years past. Lunch on the last day was pretty good. As I've said, the rest stops were very good. I brought my own gel shots for the harder days and am glad I did, not a problem to do so.

Somebody at CO please talk to Hot Lips pizza, after two years they should have it figured out by now. For those of us that got into camp early on the short days early in the week, they could have been a welcome tide-over until dinner.

Keeping everything in perspective, it's not like the food one way or the other affected my overall enjoyment of the ride. The volunteers serving the meals and the volunteers at the rest stops were all terrific. Please look at the lunches, if something can be improved, great. And maybe Hot Lips simply isn't up to the task - I don't recall any of these problems with the past vendor, and their pizza tasted just as good if not better.

I've worked in commercial kitchens and spent a number of years in the food and beverage industry, so I'm trying to be objective while providing constructive comments on this topic.
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Postby ronnydb » Fri Sep 19, 2008 5:56 am

I think the gourmet food was Hot Lips Pizza and just like the beer it was not included in the price of the ride.

I thought the food was the same as it always is. Not too bad in my opinion.

As far as lunch goes.. I thought it was fine when I ate it. How much lunch do you need on a 50ish mile ride?

This was my third CO and it was exactly what I expected "Perfect".. I will be back for more next year.

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Postby beachdog » Fri Sep 19, 2008 6:31 am

I'm not whining. I just really did not like the food and will have to think before signing up again. This ride isn't cheap, so the expense of buying almost all meals from outside CO adds quite a bit to the overall cost of the trip. I would love to see CO offer a price break on the cost of the trip for people who would prefer to eat elsewhere or bring their own food.

I give the ride (with the exception of the food) an A plus. The level of organization was amazing. All of the services provided were beyond what I've seen in other rides I've done. The route was well thought out and fully supported.

I just think the catering firm made some pretty bad choices and being in the industry myself I know for a fact that you don't serve salmon that has been held in a warming cabinet or on a hot line for an extended period of time and expect it to be anything but inedible shoe leather. There are a lot of dishes that hold up much better under these type of circumstances. The turkey dinner wasn't "gourmet" but it wasn't bad and neither was fajita night (except for the cardboard whole wheat tortilla).
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Re: it was great

Postby Don Bolton » Tue Sep 23, 2008 2:24 pm

All comments about the food aside for a moment...

This was my lucky thirteenth CO and I found the formula of more limited base miles daily a very refreshing change. Instead of a series of epic day endeavors it was a week long vacation.

There was time to sleep in a bit, linger in camp and visit with people.

There was time to slow down on the ride and visit between those of us that had only met via this medium and finally imprint faces and voices to the logins.

There was time to stop and drink in the majesty of the countryside we were pedaling through.

There was time to go with one's own whims.

There we options for the obsessively insane and options for those of us that just wanted to take in the experience.

It was all good.

OK that food issue...

Yep the food is consistently so/so. Been that way for years. When the local communities had the responsibility for feeding us from their own facilities, meals varied greatly from site to site, seasonings changed, style and servings changed. One day could be bland the other OH YEAH! only to be followed by an extended morning case of the "uh oh's".

My first time ever at Crater Lake was preceded by a vicious case of excessive food post processing. Managed to find some Pepto at a store we passed by that saved the day. So all that consistently commercial quality food just might have spared you some gastronomic distress in the long run.

There is nothing to stop one from bringing along some of their favorite table spices, condiments, drink mixes, etc. I bring bags of Good Earth decaf tea for the evenings for that taste of home every night. There are ways to "dress up" the food to your liking.

For a warm breakfast...

Bring a covered travel mug with an open bottomed handle so it will slip in a jersey pocket. Enter foodcortia at the beverage table and fill up on coffee/tea (if you desire milk/juice consider bringing a couple of small plastic bottles for this purpose and fill them then too) then go out to the food line. Once you've obtained the morning gruel it's direct to the table for consumptive processing. No balancing plates waiting to get to and use the beverage dispensers!

Each CO has had its moments but this year was the first one for me that felt less of an epic journey and more a vacation. That was truly wonderful.

Don "the Mexican place in Joseph was pretty good too" Bolton

SchleckJr wrote:It was great.

my first CO, gonna come back next year. Only comment: food sucked
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Agreement here

Postby wayneh » Tue Sep 23, 2008 7:06 pm

Don,

I agree with your comments about the first couple of 50-ish mile days. Knowing I could get out early, enjoy the pure fresh air and rising sun, get into camp and have the better part of the afternoon to relax, unwind, walk into town etc. definitely made it seem more like a vacation (which this is for me) than an endurance ride. And quite frankly, looking at this year's route, I didn't feel compelled to kill myself training in preparation, so everything really worked out quite nicely. I was less stressed and more laid back, and had plenty of time to set up for the next day, visit with folks I'd never met before, and just kind of cruise through the week.

BTW nice to meet you in Joseph. I also ate at the Mexican place, luckily got in just a few minutes before the two unfortunate employees were totally overwhelmed with CO diners. The chile relleno, tamale and enchilada really hit the spot.

Wayne
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Postby beachdog » Wed Sep 24, 2008 10:35 am

Oh yes! Must put travel mug on the list for next year.
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Re: Agreement here

Postby Don Bolton » Thu Sep 25, 2008 3:59 pm

Yes it was finally nice to make a face to face meeting. Sorry you dropped the chain going into Joseph we were riding along nicely there for awhile.

I had the cheese enchilada dinner Thursday night along with part of a nacho. Then I came Back for Lunch on Friday and had their monster burrito in beef.

Lost 5 lbs since returning by keeping the metabolism still cranked and a normal diet.

Don "Hoping next year is a vacation too" Bolton

wayneh wrote:Don,

I agree with your comments about the first couple of 50-ish mile days. Knowing I could get out early, enjoy the pure fresh air and rising sun, get into camp and have the better part of the afternoon to relax, unwind, walk into town etc. definitely made it seem more like a vacation (which this is for me) than an endurance ride. And quite frankly, looking at this year's route, I didn't feel compelled to kill myself training in preparation, so everything really worked out quite nicely. I was less stressed and more laid back, and had plenty of time to set up for the next day, visit with folks I'd never met before, and just kind of cruise through the week.

BTW nice to meet you in Joseph. I also ate at the Mexican place, luckily got in just a few minutes before the two unfortunate employees were totally overwhelmed with CO diners. The chile relleno, tamale and enchilada really hit the spot.

Wayne
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Nice vacation

Postby SummerBreeze » Mon Sep 29, 2008 11:33 am

I liked the vacation part too - no stress about getting to camp on time and enough time in the afternoon to play in town and check things out. We saw museums and little shops and neat places to eat. and I bought things! However, I looked and looked and never saw the cow bike!! Think I got up way too early. Saw lots of cows though... Even spotted a cow skull on the way out to the dam that looked just like our CO logo this year, but decided to pass on stopping and trying to put it on my handlebars. Ditto on the pancaked rattler. (those who pedal slow see much) BTW - whoever the very kind gentleman was who warned me about the puncture weed; many, many thanks! I saw so many folks along the roads fixing flats and I didn't have a single one all week.
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