In case anyone was wondering, yes I did make a batch of rice cakes and muffins for the opening weekend- I will get to the muffins in a second-, and no, they did not propel me to victory. I think that is the sort of problem that can only be solved by adding more wattage to the cottage. If I’m going to keep playing the blame game, there are a few other things that I would blame for subpar racing: potholes, slush freezing on my cleats, a bike that is in need of a good trip to the repair shop, not enough sleep, too hard of a ride the day before, and other lame excuses*.
Oh well. Spit in the wind, and see if it comes back.
So about my muffins. I’m pretty happy that I decided to include those in my war chest of a nutrition bank, particularly for this venue. Stevens (Hoboken) Institute of Technology managed to not only find the one plot of land in New Jersey removed from traffic, but one not walking distance of a Subways or convenience store between races. Eating and drinking properly in between races is a vital part of dealing with multiple races in one day. Think about how your legs feel. “Hey legs, let’s wake you up with a minimal warm-up, pedal a time trial REAL FAST, then just sit in agony without refueling until our next race, which you then inexplicably give out and leave us off the back of the pack. Or, you know, stand in agony, as we want to watch the Intro riders suffer through their first bike race.” At least walking to buy a six inch meatball sub to stuff your face encourages loosening up your legs.
(Good side note, if you ever have down time in between races, elevating your feet helps with recovery. So legs up, ECCC, let them pale things tan a bit)
I got this muffin recipe from my mom’s circle of cooking friends. The big highlights of these muffins are they are very filling and simple to make. To the cooking club, this means “gluten-free”, “wholesome” and “healthy option for breakfast.” To me- the college student on a budget-, it means “cheap”, “cheap” and “maybe they will be easy enough to bake about fifty minutes before the team vans roll out for the weekend.” You can follow the recipe to a T, and they should be about as tasty as what I have eaten at home. Or, you can use the abbreviated version below that I whipped up. It is basically the same, but a bit more… improvised.
- Eggs from last week
- Chocolate soy milk
- One really brown, ripe banana
- Old fashioned rolled oats (Bob’s Red Mill)
- Oatmeal (Quakers, because I forgot the flaxseed and felt obligated to throw something else in)
- Baking powder (the magical component that prevents this from just being a massive bowl of hearty oatmeal)
- Cinnamon and sugar (because oh snap, they can come together premixed! Plus, I ate all of the chocolate chips on my own- I mean, my friends ate them)
Mix your wet ingredients together, then your dry ingredients and plop them in cupcake liners. Frantically place the filled cupcake liners in a muffin tray. Bake them at a hot enough temperature, periodically stabbing them with a butter knife to check for readiness. Take the tray out of the oven while you finalize packing your overnight bag. Throw the muffins in a Tupperware, and then kick yourself for putting hot baked goods in a closed container where they can get condensation and might taste gross.
Proceed to eat them whenever hungry, because everything tastes good on a bike**
*By listing the usual silly explanations for failure that most riders use, I hope to highlight how ridiculous the whole blame game analyzing your performance post-race can be. I actually thought Stevens did a great job of hosting a weekend, and look forward to future races of the season held to similar standards.
**I did not actually eat my rice cakes or muffins during my bike races; I still have not engineered a foolproof system for unwrapping baked goods without the fear of getting dropped by the pack mid-race. I will get around to Joe’s suggestion of wax paper, but feel free to comment on what has worked for you.