Thursday, August 11, 2016

Rice Cakes

Whenever you have been riding for as long as I have you get sick of eating the same pre-packaged food over and over again. A few years ago I started making rice cakes for my ride fuel. Rice cakes are so soft and moist that you barely have to chew them. I also love the fact you can make any flavor you like, and from a fueling stand point these puppies work super. I start eating the rice cakes about half an hour to 1.5 hours into my rides and take one roughly every half hour throughout my rides. This past Monday I made rice cakes with an athlete I coach, and I am going to share some flavors I make with you.

   Showing Spencer how to (w)rap

1.5 cups of sushi rice
1/2 cup of chocolate chips
2 tablespoons of molasses
3 tablespoons of honey or maple syrup
2 tablespoons of almond butter
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/3 cup of chopped almonds
2 tablespoons of mochi flour (optional helps bind the rice cakes better)

Cookie Butter Cream Cheese
1.5 cups of sushi rice
2 tablespoons cookie butter
Half a stick or 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup of cream cheese
4 tablespoons of sugar, honey, or maple syrup
2 tablespoons of coconut oil

Sweet Potato
1.25 cups of sushi rice
1 small sweet potato, skinned, cooked, and mashed
1/4 cup of raisins
1/4 cup of chopped almonds
3 tablespoons of maple syrup or honey
1 tablespoon of molasses
2 tablespoons of almond butter
Small amount of cinnamon
2 tablespoons of mochi flour (optional helps bind the rice cakes better)
              Sweet Potato Rice Cake

To begin cook the sushi rice in a rice cooker or on the stove top with about 1.5 times the volume of water to volume rice. After the rice is cooked mix all the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. After the ingredients are mixed put them in a brownie tray and spread them out over the entire tray. Press a spoon over the top of the mixture to make sure it is spread to a relatively even thickness. I prefer to let my rice cakes sit out at room temperature for 1.5 to 2 hours. This ensures they are cool before you wrap them. It also makes the rice cakes dry and stick together well. You could put your rice cakes in a fridge or freezer to cool. I do not prefer this method because the cold leaves condensation on the aluminum foil when I wrap the cakes. I use a sharpie to label the flavors, and the condensation makes it impossible to label them. After the cakes are cooled wrap them up in aluminum foil. You have some tasty ride fuel as long as you don't eat all the rice cakes while you are making them. I can't say this hasn't happened before...

The finished product. Now it's time to ride!

Not all prepackaged foods are created equal. This year the Lupus Racing Team is sponsored by Honey Stinger. If you decide to take the pre-packaged route I recommend their products. They offer a great variety of tasty flavors, and you can not beat their waffles. Strawberry is my favorite flavor.

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Salisbury Crit

Today I raced the final 60-minute stage of the Crossroads Cycling Classic on a four turn 0.9 mile circuit that included a hill up to the start finish line. There were black clouds hanging overhead at the start, so it seemed a thunderstorm would be imminent. As soon as the gun went off rain began on the first half of the course, but it never rained on the second half of the course. It was a little strange that half the course was dry, and half the course was wet. Since turns one and two were wet I decided to never take them too hot. From the first lap riders attacked up the hill, but the long, flat straightaway on the bottom of the course made it so riders could easily pull back breaks. I put in many digs myself throughout the race on the hill and on the flat part of the course. Throughout the entire race no move was able to gain a significant advantage over the peloton. This made it easy for me to take almost all the sprint primes throughout the race, securing the All About the Pipes sprint jersey. In the final laps of the race I stayed near the front and took the final turn in the top 10, passing a few guys for 7th place on the day while Ben Renkema of Finish Strong took yet another stage win over Thomas Brown of Litespeed BMW and Alder Martz of Attaque Team Gusto taking second and third respectively. My 7th place on the day secured me third overall in the omnium behind Ben and Alder. It was really fun racing the Crossroads Cycling Classic. I am thankful Alex Winnicki and Cyclus Sports allowed me to stay at their apartment for the week. Alex was a super accommodating host who even taught me how to make this flatbread pizza recipe. Next up on the calendar are the East Atlanta Village Crit and the Grant Park Crit in two weeks.