Introducing Riley, chef and founder of the Pedal Bites
Hello all, I'm Riley Kamsler, creator of Pedal Bites, a cycling nutrition start-up that launched earlier this year.
Ask any new business why they got going, and you’ll usually discover that the founders saw a problem and wanted to solve it. For me that problem is the scourge of energy products! Not only are these false friends extremely expensive for regular riders (the pros get them for free remember), but more importantly, they aren’t doing your body any good either. After moving to Europe from the pro kitchens of Sydney and searching for a new job, I had some time to begin developing recipes for making my own ride snacks. Realising how much better I rode and felt with them, the idea of Pedal Bites took shape!
Growing up and living in Sydney, I was always quite an active guy. From playing baseball, golf, football and riding MTB’s; sport had never been far away. Upon leaving school the kitchen called, which led to an apprenticeship to become a chef. Five years later, after having worked through several well known fine dining restaurants, it was time to leave home and head to Europe with my girlfriend at the time (now Fiancé, Jenn).
Throughout the last two years working in professional kitchens, I began to seek a way to come down after the frenetic work pace of a top restaurant. Cycling once again stepped in and provided me with that getaway; it didn’t take long, and I was hooked. 5am alarms, two hour morning rides and then off to the restaurant to do a 13hr day became my bittersweet routine.
After a hellish schedule, Jenn and I took the opportunity to travel in Europe over summer, and I was lucky enough to score a job working for a UK based tour company as their chef. The summer came and went: the various places we'd stayed became hubs of recipe development for rice cakes, flapjacks and Pedal Bites. A short spell living on the Cote d’Azur and working for Cafe du Cycliste followed, and allowed plenty more riding. Recipes, concepts and notes were stuck up all over my bedroom walls.
In March of this year, I formalised my plans and set-up Pedal Bites with the simple ethos “to create nutritionally beneficial products for cyclists, that are full of energy, taste great and have a story alongside.” I was and still work full time as chef and tour manager for Le Domestique Tours - but juggling pedal bites was a challenge I really wanted to undertake.
The range initially started out with 2 bars: Fruity Fuel and Nuts about Grains; two energy balls, Get up and Go, and the Re-Energiser, plus a muesli, Proper Breakfast. Taste came first, working in kitchens taught me that - there's nothing worse than having something that's designed to boost you up and having the taste and flavour do the complete opposite.
Using dried fruits, I cut the need for added sugars; in fact the only sugars you’ll fine in the Bites are all natural. My next priority was to make the range gluten and dairy free - in the modern world we live in allergies are common, and I wanted the range to be accessible to all.
With feedback from our early customers, friends and family, we've now added two new bars (well one new bar and a bar version of the crowd favourite, Get-up and Go). The new Le Rouleur is based on the rider who is always up early, searching for those extra kms and adventures that only come with time on the bike.
I'm excited to be joining Always Riding’s features section where I'll be sharing recipe’s, food articles and other exciting nutrition and food tips over the coming months!