I like to bike over my lunch hour, so I prefer to eat while biking if possible. My main problem is that I get all messy and will often choke when coming to a rapid stop. My weekly meals are pb &j sandwiches, granola bars, chipotle burritos, clam chowder, and sloppy joe's.

How can I avoid getting messy and choking?

  • 2
    Put your lunch through a blender and drink it from a water bottle. That should make it a lot easier to eat while biking.
    – Kibbee
    Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 20:55
  • 2
    Riding with your mouth open & trying to swallow bugs is also a solid approach.
    – renesis
    Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 21:33
  • 2
    OP by Ryder Enthusiast.. suggested edit by Ryder, both with one rep.... Hmmmm perhaps you should not try and eat giant burritos and soup while riding...?
    – Nate W
    Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 21:50
  • 1
    Take up stoking on a tandem, that way you can use both hands for eating.
    – Criggie
    Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 23:37
  • Pick better lunches for riding. I think if you used a sandwich press (the thing that presses fillings between the bread and cuts them into triangles, and heats the sandwich up), it would seal the pb&j in a way that it wouldn't be messy to eat on a bike.
    – Batman
    Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 23:54

2 Answers 2


I am not entirely sure this is really a bicycle question. It amounts to "I can't eat my usual lunch while riding a bike. What should I do".

Fundamentally you can take two different approaches. First, you can modify your bike or riding style so the food you currently eat works. The most obvious solution is to fix the bike in place and add a table to the front. An exercise bike, in other words. Mounting a table to the front of a moving bike wouldn't help much, as road vibration and wind would make it less useful, you would probably want a bin or bucket instead.

Secondly, change the food. This is what most riders do. Eat things that are either fluids, or non-messy finger foods. By attaching a small bucket to your handlebars you could eat most potato chip style foods, or kebabs or even fish and chips, "buffalo wings" or similar. Fluid foods are more commonly associated with athletes, though, because they require less effort to digest. Mostly those are powders that you mix with water and put in a drink bottle. They tend to be focussed more on content than taste, though, and are often "edible" rather than "nice to eat". The opposite of most takeaway food, in other words.

Finally, eating while exercising is not really a great idea. To get most benefit from exercise you need to be working fairly hard, which means breathing through your mouth. It's hard to do that while eating, and it's not safe - you could easily choke. Your body will struggle with the competing demands from your legs and stomach, because digesting food is an energy-intensive activity. You will cramp more easily, and will find it generally hard going.


At first I thought this was trolling. But having made a sticky mess of my brake levers last weekend, there's a hidden relevant question.

Option 1 Don't eat on the bike. Rides under an hour don't really need fueling while riding.

Option 2 Stop to eat. Its not hard to put a foot down and eat your food standing still. Could even dismount at a park bench, or stop at a convenient coffee shop.

Option 3 Gels - they're expensive and quite variable, but 30 or 60 millilitre gels can provide a boost. The trick is to get ones that work for you. Some require a good swig of water with them else they irritate the stomach. Some gels are the consistency of caramel sauce, and need to be forced out the foil bag, and some are more sloppy and can ooze easily. With the wet ones, its easiest to tear the top and hold the open end between your teeth, and then squeeze the pouch with one hand as opportunity allows. Holding the foil pouch in your hand is asking for a mess.

Remember, don't be that-guy... take all your rubbish with you, don't litter.

Option 4 Bananas are good bike fruit, and muesli bars work for some people too. I find bananas too squashy, and muesli bars too dry so they mess with breathing.

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