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You’ve heard a lot of negative things about carbs lately.

And it’s true that eating them in excess is not a good thing for any fit guy trying to trim up for summer.

But there is a case for keeping some carbs in your diet.

They find ways—wearing Lycra, riding in their handlebars’ dropped position, even drafting off each other—to make every calorie consumed and every muscle fiber twitched count.

Not only will you have a faster overall finish time, but you’ll enjoy the final hour on the bike a lot more.4. Try to keep your upper body as still as possible, because the more you move it around, the more energy you’re losing. What you put into your body has a huge impact on the performance you can get out of it. Bring a good energy drink, like all-natural Skratch Labs, and hydrate constantly—at least a bottle every hour—especially if it’s hot. On a technical descent, look where you want to go and relax your upper body. You’ll go much farther in a group—thanks to energy savings from drafting and good conversation—than you would going it alone.

Focus on being relaxed and on directing all your energy into your pedal strokes. Eat every hour on any ride longer than two hours to properly refuel your body. Your bike wants to go fast and follow the best line; if you loosen up, stay focused, and trust your bike—it’ll respond. Being in close quarters with a pack of, say, 10–20 riders will also help improve your technique.

Available for: i OS, Android Price: Free (paid for upgrade to become a Premium Strava member) Website: your cycle route is made easy with Cycle Maps, which uses a host of sources such as Open Cycle Maps and Cycle Streets to plot the most direct and safest route for you and your bike.

You can plot a simple A to B route, or include multiple stops or ‘via’ points.