Ahh, I like this thread. I went for a 25 mile ride yesterday and after 10 miles of hill (which I totally killed!) I got on the gravel trail. By that point my energy started dropping like crazy, so the gravel totally killed me. While sweating the last 5 miles I was thinking about the mistake I made by eating a very small breakfast beforehand.
One thing I always do on the rides - dissolve some Accelerade into my water. I has 4:1 ratio of carbs : protein and that's supposed to give you enough immediate blood sugar to burn + protein to rebuild the muscles. If you're on Atkins, you could try using watered down whey protein shake.
Studies showed that the taste of sugar (not sweetener, but real sugar) gives you more immediate energy. you don't have to drink a sugary drink, just add a tiny bit of sweet (you can even use just splash of juice). I think it tricks your body into thinking that more blood sugar is coming and it can afford to spend more energy on pedaling
And yes - lots of water. While riding fast you don't notice how much you sweat and how dehydrated you can get. I usually drink two 24oz bottles of water with a scoop of Accelerade on my 25 miles rides.
The first person who should be in love with you is yourself, no matter how imperfect.