Eat Well to Ride Fast


As the road racing season heads to longer, tougher courses, like this weekend’s Nor Cal  classic Copperopolis, good nutrition becomes all the more important to riders. Put another way: poor nutrition comes with more clear-cut consequences. While a diet of junk may result in suboptimal performance in a 60 minute crit or 10 mile time trial, not properly fueling the body before a 105 mile hilly road race wreaks a different kind of havoc -- like DNFing* a race at a gas station and bumming money for a Coke from the cleaning staff kind of havoc.

That’s why the racers of Team Mike’s Bikes got together this past Sunday to hone their nutritional knowledge and culinary skills. Hosted by Ken Martin, the co-owner of Mike's Bikes, and led by master chef Ryan Johnson, the squad discussed key topics including the value of refueling the body in the post-ride recovery window and the importance of a balanced diet in bodily function.

Here’s some of what we made:

Recipes and instruction by Ryan Johnson

Plump brown rice

1c rice : 4+ c water

Konbu (or other seaweed)

Liquid aminos to taste

Honey (optional)

- Rinse rice in a strainer under the sink a few times, until water runs clear

- Put rice and water in a large pot with seaweed, bring to a boil

- Once boiling, remove seaweed and cook for ~30 minutes, until rice is done

- Drain and rinse rice to stop cooking

- Mix with liquid aminos, honey (for a sweeter breakfast rice), sesame seeds for some crunch, or whatever else you can think up


Proper mushrooms

Cremini or button mushrooms, as many as you want to cook (they will shrink in size once cooked)

Fresh herbs (thyme is great, or tarragon, rosemary, dill)

Oil (with thyme, rosemary, or dill, use olive oil. with tarragon, sesame oil)

- Quarter mushrooms, add to a big, dry pan (no butter or oil, for now)

- Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, and watch the mushrooms start to relinquish their water

- Once most of the water has cooked off (you'll notice the mushrooms start to stick to the pan a bit), add oil and fresh herbs

- Cook until mushrooms are tender and no longer rubbery

Chinese Salad

Red Cabbage, chiffonade (chiffonade link:

Kale, chiffonade

Daikon radish, julienned (julienne link:

Carrot, julienned

Almonds, roughly chopped

Sesame seeds

Small oranges, in wedges

Dulse (or other seaweed), torn or chopped


1 part orange juice

1 part sesame oil

1/2 part rice vinegar

Squirt of honey

Glob of hot mustard

Dash of liquid aminos

- Combine and mix.

Thoughts on the choices? What’s your favorite post-race meal? Best pre-race snacks?

Stay tuned for more nutrition posts looking at topics mentioned here in detail.

-Steve O.

*DNF = Did Not Finish in race result lingo. Not to be confused with DFL which stands for something else.