Monday, September 2, 2013

Savage CX and more Recipes

This is the inaugural year for this event and it will should grow into a huge event.  It is held at a great venue,
and all the logistics were great also.  The course is one of the best I have been on.  I got there the night before and went with my buddy to check out the beginning of the first climb since it was going to be a brutal climb, and found out quickly it was going to be a brutal one.  The 50 mile course was one large loop in the mountains of NC and it was not easy, especially the first 17-18 miles of nothing but climbing with grades of 20-22% at times.  Going into this race I knew it would not be easy for me since rolling my ankle 1 week prior and advised by the doctor it would not be in my best interest to race.  I put on the sports brace and decided to race.  Right off the start we have a short climb on the grass before going through a parking lot and up a nice steep 200 ft hill before being dumped out on to a fairly flat 2 mile gravel road.  Once you make the left hand turn onto Old 105 the climbing began after rolling on the pavement for about a half mile.  I never knew we had any climbs in NC that could go up for 15+ miles until this race.  It was hard to decide whether to sit or stand because of traction depending on how steep it got at times.  My gearing wasn't tall enough, and my ankle would hurt if I tried to mash really hard on the pedals, so I had to hike-a-bike a few times.  I was around the same group of guys for this part of the course and would end up leap frogging with them depending on the terrain of the course.  Once at the 1st rest stop at mile 17 was the first true downhill section on gravel until it dumped you out onto pavement which running the cross bike was an advantage unlike some of the other guys around me on mountain bikes.  When I came up to the next section of gravel it was a slight downhill that I was caught again by the guys on mountain bikes and passed.  This is where they had the advantage from the amount of rain we have had this year the gravel roads had lots water breaks or ruts that ran horizontal across the road which the guys with suspension forks just flew across.  I caught these guys again on a short pavement section right as we came up to the 2nd rest stop at mile 30 which dumped us down this blown out trail that was more singletrack for the 1st 5 miles then anything that resembled a road.  This is where the guys on the mountain bikes got away from me again.  Miles 35-40 were uneventful for I couldn't see anybody and in every turn were baseball size rocks that were so loose it had you slowing down through them.  Finally I hit the hard packed dirtroad at mile 40 and turned it on until the finish since it was nice and smooth that transitioned over to pavement.  This is where I ended up passing 8 riders in the last 10 miles.  I finished 29th in the under 50 category and 38th overall with a time of 4:12:23.  Not to bad for having a bummed ankle and looking forward to next year.

The first recipe that I made out of the new Feed Zone Portables cookbook were the Bitter Chocolate and Sea Salt Rice Balls.  This like most of the other recipes are easy to make and taste great.  I used these during the Savage CX 50 mile gravel grinder as my only source of food during the race along with Skratch Labs Hydration Mix.  I made these two nights before the race and kept them in the fridge at home.  Then as you can see in the photo I wrapped each individually in plastic wrap and had them in a container that I kept in my cooler while camping out the night before the race.  When I wrapped them I folded all the corners up and twisted them to make it easier to open with one hand and my teeth.  Had to make it easy since I didn't know if I would be on gravel or a road while eating.

My meal before the race was the Angel Hair Pasta with Sweet Corn and Bacon recipe.  One of the only changes I made was to the type of pasta used instead of angel hair.  I cooked the pasta, bacon, chicken at the house and had them separated out in containers to cook on the gas grill at the campsite the night before the race.  For the pasta I added the olive oil to the pasta in the container to make it easier once at the campsite and didn't have add anymore to the pan.  It made this easy to just reheat these ingredients and it cut down on the prep time that night.  While these ingredients were reheating I cut up the cherry tomatoes and basil.  The one ingredient that I left out was the corn and only because I forgot a can opener.  Once all done I combined  the items in the pan and it was time to eat.  To add a little spice I used Sriracha to give it some heat.  This is one of my favorite meals out of the Feed Zone Cookbook.  For breakfast the morning of the race I used the French Toast recipe, but I unfortunately forgot to take a picture of it cooking that morning.

I did a Labor Day group ride that was roughly 40 miles, so this was a good time for me to try another recipe with this being the Sweet Breakfast Burrito.  For the oatmeal I made it the night before with the overnight refrigerator oatmeal recipe.  This is just adding dry rolled oats with vanilla greek yogurt and some milk to get the consistence you want.  Stir it up, put it in the fridge and it is ready the night before.  I like making a large amount of this that can be used for 2-3 mornings if needed, especially with kids.  For my burrito I added the overnight oatmeal, chopped almonds, banana and honey.  I had this about two and half hours prior to the ride and only used the Skratch Labs on the 2 hour ride.  Never got hungry on the ride, but once home I was ready to eat.  Another quick recipe that it took me less than 3 minutes to put together since I prepped the overnight oatmeal and chopped the almonds the night before.

These two cookbooks have made me change how I eat while training and racing.  I have no stomach issues during or after them.  My next race is at the end of the September at the Hellhole Gravel Grinder Stage Race.  Since I will be camping out again for this I will be using a few of these recipes for my meals during the days and definitely the recipes for on the bike.  If you have not tried any of these recipes then you should because I think it will make a difference in how you use real food versus all the prepackaged stuff out there for athletes.

Thanks for reading


  1. Nice write up Jeremy. That pasta and French toast sure was good!

  2. Wish I was still there riding with you, Kelly and the rest. You really started pouring on the training before I left and apparently you have not let up...Awesome! Keep it up buddy. I love reading about your adventures. Not the food though. Thanks to a bad knee that will need surgery, I am already fat, and reading about your recipes just makes me hungry. ;)