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Gregg Blanchard is a self-proclaimed frugal cyclist from Logan, UT. After saying good bye to running (and sore knees) five years ago, Gregg got over his fear of wearing spandex in public, fell in love with cycling, and managed to ride his first LOTOJA last year.
Posts by Gregg Blanchard
Gregg Blanchard rides the Fezzari Catania.
1) What has been the highlight of your biking career so far?
Finishing LOTOJA last year. Not the time I was hoping for, but still 100% awesome. (Way to go Gregg! For those of you who haven’t heard of LOTOJA, it’s a 206-mile race that runs from Logan, Utah to Jackson, Wyoming “LOgan TO JAckson.” It is the longest, one-day USCF-sanctioned bicycle race in the United States and includes 10k+ feet of climbing).
2) How many miles did you ride last week?
Lets see, just over 135.
3) What is your favorite race?
To watch? The Tour of Utah. Super fun to be that close to the action and brush shoulders with pros. To ride? LOTOJA.
4) When did you start biking?
I rode mountain bikes a lot in high school, but picked up road biking in 2006.
5) What was your first bike?
A Windsor Wellington 3.0. The thing probably weighs 25 pounds but did the trick for 5,000+ miles.
6) What bike setup do you ride now?
7) Why do you bike?
Fitness, for one. Its a great way to stay in shape. But riding is also incredibly fun. Long solos where you can quietly enjoy the scenery or group rides where you can race and try to drop your buddies and joke about it in between.
What is your favorite ride or route?
Skaneateles Lake in Central NY. It’s one of the medium sized finger lakes. Amazingly beautiful scenery. Pretty hard to beat.
9) What is your favorite time of day to ride?
Evenings. Although the wind sometimes picks up in the afternoon, in the late evening everything calms down, you get those cool pockets of air every now and again, and the low light makes the view from the saddle that much more amazing.
10) What is your biggest goal with cycling?
To always have a smile on my face at some point during the ride. Just want to keep cycling as fun now as it has been for the past 5 years. I do have a secret desire to ride a solo century in under 5 hours. I’ve come semi-close, but still haven’t nailed that one.
11) What does an average training week look like for you?
I’ll usually ride a medium length ride on Tuesday (35-50 miles), a shorter easier ride on Wednesday (25-30 miles), a long ride Friday (75-100 miles), and maybe spin on the trainer for a few over the
12) What do you do for training during the winter?
Ride on the stationary trainer for an hour or two a week while I watch a soccer game and then ski as much possible. It’s cross training, right?
13) What do you do for nutrition on long rides?
I’ll bring along frozen burritos, clif bars, Pearson’s Nut Rolls, the occasional energy gel, and maybe even a PB&J. For every bottle of water I drink I’ll usually do one bottle of something with electrolytes as well.
Being a frugal road biker is tricky. At times, it’s near impossible. So when I started training for LOTOJA last spring I instinctively shielded my wallet when the realization struck me of how much I would be eating, let alone pedaling, on my long training rides. Armed with the sum of human wisdom (Google) and a tough set of intestines, my homemade energy bars recipe experiment ended with this tasty number. At less than $.20 per 200 calorie bar, it satisfied my hunger and my budget.
Energy Bars Ingredients List
1 1/4 cups store brand Crisp Rice (Rice Krispies)
1 cup uncooked quick oats
2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
1/4 cup chopped raisins
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
Stick your oats, flaxseed meal, raisins, cinnamon, and Rice Krispies in a semi-large mixing bowl. Stir them together a bit so when you add the peanut butter mixture you don’t inhale balls of cinnamon that throw you into a coughing fit at mile 65 this weekend.
On the stove, warm up the peanut butter and syrup. Heat and stir until they form a nice, smooth mixture. After you take it off the heat, add the vanilla. Why you do this, I have no idea, but one cooking blog insisted. Who am I to argue.
Pour your peanut butter goop into the bowl with the rest of the ingredients. Mix until everything is coated in peanut-buttery, syrupy goodness.
Spray a small cooking sheet with PAM or whatever non-stick cooking spray you fancy. Dump your mixture onto the sheet, cover it with wax paper, and use a rolling pin to mash it down hard into the pan. Stick the whole thing into the fridge to chillax for a bit.
Take it out of the fridge (unless you have a special talent for wielding a pizza cutter among milk and eggs) and slice your concoction into 8 bars.
Wrap each one in wax paper (you can do plastic wrap, but wax paper is much easier to unwrap when riding), tape it up, and throw a few in your jersey pocket for your next ride.
So, here’s how it goes, for the recipe above you’ve got a total 1670 calories, 214g of carbs, and 48g of protein. If you cut it into 8 bars, you’ve got bars that have 209 calories, 27g of carbs, and 6g of protein a piece for about $0.19 a bar. Not too shabby.
If you like nuts. You can add those. I’m not a big fan of nuts in bars so, obviously, my version is nut-free.
Maple syrup isn’t the healthiest option. If you’re picky about that stuff, some of the recipes I looked at recommended brown rice syrup. I had no idea what that was, so Kroger brand flavored corn syrup was my fuel of choice.
I’ve tried other dried fruit like craisins, dried pineapple, etc., but you can’t really taste a difference so stick with trusty, cheap raisins.
If you like protein powders or whatever GNC had on sale this week, can’t hurt to give ‘em a try.