"Beautiful, hilly, hard, bumpy, nature, country, farms, bike-friendly."
In about 7 miles, you are out on some of the most beautiful country roads, with hardly a car in sight. The roads are not always paved well so a smooth ride is always a treat when you can find one. Turn after turn, hill after hill, every ride requires concentration and focus and strong legs and a strong heart...and a very well-fueled body.
If you aren't comfortable removing your hands from your bars or grabbing a bottle while climbing/descending or riding with others, it is very hard to meet your fluid, electrolyte and calorie needs. I can't tell you how many times I have seen/heard athletes with cages on their bike and filled water bottles that they are unable to grab/reach. Riding in windy or chilly conditions also makes it difficult to stay up with fueling so it is imperative that you simplify your fueling regime....immediately, as race season is approaching and learning how to fuel on the bike is just part of your athlete development.