Where are we at with trail food for the hungry cyclist these days?

Normally I stop off at a café mid ride and scoff huge slices of cake with a black coffee partnership. Does it for me. However the other week myself and children discovered how much fun can be had buying random foodstuffs from the Polish delicatessen. We've had dried fish on a stick, octopus flavoured crisps, some spicy garlic sacks, and excellent cakes, all for pennies. However, for me the find has been this stuff:

Only 50p a bar, it's bound to be nutritious and healthy, offering the ideal combination of carbs and proteins for the hungry cyclist.

Actually that's a lie. For 50p a bar you're just getting mashed up junk food. Looking at the ingredients, that's exactly what you're getting; mashed up biscuit with some Turkish delight thrown in for good measure. My daughter hates it, my son can just about tolerate a nibble, but it made my wife almost threw up when she tried it. I love it, and not just because it's only 50 pence. This, a banana and a black coffee, are what I consider good trail food when out on a three hour spin in the winter.

Can't be bothered to tell you where I went - Surrey basically.

Oh go on then, I'll tell you about my ride out today seeing as you asked so nicely. You want more than that? You, Dear Reader, want to know about my night ride Saturday as well? Wow, Monday in the office eh? Have to look busy, I'll read some tosh by Muddy, job done.

Saturday night was but a simple spin out. X-Factor on the telly, not too cold, just a hint of rain in the air. Batteries charged, no excuse to stop in and watch some lame telly, so off I went out into the deep, dark woods for a few hours.

And that folks was it. Just a two hour ride in the dark. It was amazingly tame, and not a ride to go down in the history books. No owls, no badgers, no bats, no doggers, nothing. Just me, my bike, some lights and a fine drizzle. It wasn't even that cold.

Today? Sunday spin out. Any better? Well last night wasn't actually a bad ride. Uneventful certainly, but not bad. It was just a ride is all. Same as today really. Bit of a grey day with total cloud cover, not too cold, but not warm either. Dull because of the grey? Actually no. It was that kind of a flat, neutral grey that brings life to all of the autumnal colours. I did take some photographs, but my £3 thrift shop camera didn't do them justice. My ride just consisted of me taking the views in with an happy smile - the kind of face simpletons have I guess, which may explain why people gave me a wide berth. It's funny, but when you're riding people generally say a cheery "hello" now and then. Stop on the trail and things switch; people see you as some kind of challenge or nutter. Last week one large group of cyclists got all passive aggressive with me, shouting to each other that I should get off the trail if I want to do that sort of stuff. Er, like stand in the bushes perhaps? Which is what I was actually doing, so ya boo snubs to you, you big girl's blouses. This week I was scoping out a view with the notional idea of photographing it, camera in hand-up-to-my eye style. Couple of dog walkers actually tried to hide behind their dog as they walked past. What the Dicken's did they think I was doing?

The low cloud also had the effect of bouncing sound around some of the valleys. For the main this meant shitty M25 traffic drone, but in parts one could hear general woodsy type noises - birds, horses that kind of thing. At times it was quite pleasant.

Quite a few solo cyclists out like myself, but interestingly they all seemed to be on direct sell bikes such as Canyon. Nothing wrong with that, nice looking machines, it was just odd to keep seeing that particular brand on one day. Caught up with two on different occasions; one was quite chatty, having had what seemed a good spin out to Godstone, whilst the other gave me a look of startled rabbit when I said "hello" to him. Clearly us cyclists are not meant to speak to each other eh? He'd passed me when I was putting on a top, just before one of our mini downhills, so I didn't expect to see him again. Rather alarmingly I caught him up quite fast, quite soon, and had to dive up a bank to get around him as he just kind of stopped mid-trail just ahead of some mud. My bad.

My bike worked, I didn't fall off, and neither did I get moaned at by walkers. The rear Aspen worked for once as the mud has been drying in a cold wind. Even got some air down Stane Street, which was nice. Indeed if this drying weather continues I sense the Orange 5 coming out next week for a bit of playtime.

All in all, two very average rides out of no consequence. But for all that it was great to be out and I enjoyed myself. Even - and don't tell anybody will you? - cleaned my bike such was the level of internal contentedness. That or my Salam de Biscuiti had far more E numbers than is healthy for an adult male.