Our newest addition to the Cyclocross Magazine pit crew, UK-based intern David Evans, is back and in the kitchen to talk about ways to keep your food budget somewhat sane during a long, hungry season.

by David Evans

Nutrition is almost as important as training, but can be super expensive. David Evans

Nutrition is almost as important as training, but can be incredibly expensive. © David Evans

This week: cheap eats. When reading up for this article, I came across two schools of thought: those who ride to eat and those who eat to ride. I can’t pretend to be too partisan, I have sympathy for both camps.

There is no solace to be found in the shortness of a cyclocross race; you still have to consider the provenance and composition of your food. The half an hour or hour and a half is long enough to expose every flaw and inefficiency hidden within your body, and your diet will be amongst the first things to betray you. No number of energy drinks or gels can stave off the regret of an imbalanced diet. Cheap cyclocrossers should be thankful for the equality of this awfulness.

My recent experience with this has been entirely accidental. As the season looms, my friends and I have taken to nervously re-categorizing every ride into faux-cyclocross races. Lots of prolonged efforts, repeated sprints out of the saddle and many hairy corners taken shoulder-to-shoulder.

After forty-five minutes I am sure that the lower right-hand side of my back is three inches higher than the lower left-hand side of my back. Another ten minutes and my head attempts to loose itself from my shoulders by bobbing with each pedal stroke. Just before the end of the ride, I become aware of a vague shakiness in the muscles between my shoulder blades and up the sides of my ribs.

All these sensations point to lack of preparation, a need to spend more time stretching and tensing and cajoling my body into readiness. Oh well. This will take time. The feelings from my stomach, however, can be altered immediately. Few people reading this will be strangers to the rising biliousness that can take hold as wheels begin to ghost away in front of you, but if you follow a few of these (so cheap, especially when compared to a 24 box of bars) recipes then you can be sure that the acid making its way up your esophagus isn’t full of nasty things.

Save your money, look after your body, perfect these recipes:

Cyclocross Magazine’s Psychlo-Mom’s Earth-Shaking Granola

A video guide to Leah Vande Velde’s flapjack energy bars.

Quick Breads, courtesy of Rapha