Ice Cream: Fueling Touring Cyclists Around the Globe

May 25, 2012

Triple Scoop from Willie Weir on Vimeo.

I know that nutritionists will cringe, but as a touring cyclist I consider ice cream as the Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner of Champions. It should have its own food group category. Ice cream companies should set aside a day each year to celebrate and thank touring cyclists. We are a ravenous revenue source!

The instant the temperature sneaks above 80 degrees, if I'm on a bike, ice cream shops sing out like roadside Sirens. Their songs are irresistible.

My travels are filled with epic ice cream tales. I once ate an entire half gallon of ice cream in a grocery store parking lot.  Just a spoon, a tub, and me.

At the Ben and Jerry's factory (back in the 80's), they used to sell their "seconds" (pints that didn't quite pass the quality test) for a buck. What was wrong with them? Some had too many nuts or too much chocolate. Damn. I sat down and ate four pints and then wondered if I could strap a cooler onto the back of my bike and buy them out.

For my twentieth birthday, my buddy Thomas went out and bought a box of twenty ice cream sandwiches. We were in Wisconsin in the midst of a cross-country tour. We ate them all. Thomas had nine, I had eleven (it was my birthday, after all).

After pedaling across Canada, I crunched the numbers and discovered that seventeen percent of my budget went to ice cream. I told an ice cream tale (video above) at The Church of Great Rain, a variety show in Vashon Island, Washington.

Feel free to share your own ice cream encounters in the comments section. Keep eating those triple scoops ... as long as you keep spinning those triple cranks!


SIGHTS AND SOUNDS is posted every other Friday. Willie Weir is a columnist for Adventure Cyclist magazine. His latest book Travels with Willie: Adventure Cyclist will inspire you to hit the road and just might change the way you approach bicycle travel. He lives in Seattle with his wife Kat. You can read about their adventures at


Soft Ice Cream Cyclist June 25, 2013, 9:38 AM

Whether it's soft ice cream or hard ice cream, it's always a great way to fuel up on tour. When you're cycling for most of the day you can afford to get your calories from delicious and cheap sources like $1 sundaes and cones.

Jim B May 26, 2012, 2:31 AM

probably 1/4 of my calories from florida to michigan consisted of $1 ice cream sundaes from mcdonalds and burger king

anniebikes May 25, 2012, 9:08 PM

Ah, I remember the B&J seconds pints. They are history. But did you know that in the early days they gave out birthday cards, good for a free cone on your birthday for life? I still have mine. It's a credit card sized thing that has my name and birthday on it. Every year I line up to receive a free cone. You should see the looks on the faces of the 20 year olds who scoop a double cone for me. They seldom see these things but honor it nonetheless. Aside from that I don't buy much B&J anymore as a small costs 3.50. I'm becoming more of maple creemee girl.

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