I found an article in the the New York Times, Turning a Century in California, that describes Century riding in Northern California better than I ever could. Here the author, John Markoff, discusses the merits of the food available at the various events:
Over the years the refreshments served by century ride organizers at rest stops have become a source of heated competition. Some rides are epicurean, some are organic, some offer complete feasts, and at the bottom of the heap are the rides that provide the meager PowerBar and Gatorade.
Each May, the Foothill Century, which involves a leisurely spin along the edge of Silicon Valley, bills itself as the “only kosher ride in the West.” In August, the Tour d’Organics, in Sebastopol, offers locally grown fruit.
The Grizzly Peak Century measures up well. In fact the ride’s slogan is “eat to ride and ride to eat.” This year the organizers handed out yellow Grizzly Peak Century socks to all riders, with the slogan embroidered on the bottom.
THIS year the first rest stop in Tilden Regional Park, in the hills behind Berkeley, featured tasty chocolate chip cookies prepared by a local culinary institute. At the second rest stop, just past the refinery-laden town of Rodeo, there were more cookies and a lot of fruit, from orange slices to watermelon, as well as more muffins. In fact, there were three rest stops in the 73 miles before lunch.
My favorite cycling food is small, salted and boiled red potatoes, which this year were served at the rest area just before the three bears, three climbs that form a classic patch of cycling territory in the rolling hills east of Berkeley. It’s odd to think that you can burn four to five thousand calories and still gain weight, but I believe it’s true.
I burned about 7000 calories when I rode the Marin Century last weekend, so I don’t think there was any weight gain, despite the well stocked rest stops.