Yes I understand its all about calories in vs. calories out. Now when your determining your daily daily requirements, say your recommendation is 2500 which mine probably is (24 yr old male, active every day whether running or cycling). Do you recommend consuming the additional calories you burn during activity (say you burn 1k calories on a ride) in addition to the 2500, so 3500 in total or is this just like spinning your wheels.
It depends. What type of ride was it? What part of the season are you in? What are the overall goals?
Generally speaking on a "hard" to "very hard" ride additional intake during the ride will ensure the high quality output (and thus overall more calories burnt). However there are some signs of good evidence that blocks of low carb might help bring around some adaptations that are good for aerobic cycling.
When I say diet is individual, it is not a throw away line. Many, many things need to be weighed and balanced, and sometimes a professional dietician can be a real help here.
Personally, I don't count calories per se. I did a long time ago, got a good sense of what is worth what and roll from there. Hence I haven't really stripped down in a long time, nor have I bulked up.
Most cyclists, especially those on the more "serious" side though *generally* tend to underestimate how many calories they burn, and overestimate how much they take in. A proper 1000 calorie ride is almost 1/3 of a normal persons DAILY intake.
On the slightly less serious side of the coin, they *generally* tend to overestimate how many calories they burn, and underestimate how much they take in.
Sanrensho's point about going to bed *slightly* hungry is one method, but if you're deep in a hard training block that strategy has the potential of compromising recovery. But other times it might be perfect.
So, so complicated in some regards, very easy in others.