I feel kind of bad for all my buddies in Canada reading about my cycling adventures. Not much cycling is happening there, unless it is of the indoor variety. The weather here is glorious (not too humid yet and only a few mosquitoes have been spotted so far) but more importantly, we have to start cycling early. Our first cycling goal is less than a month away. 100 miles in early May. We need to get moving.
Last weekend, Rob and I finally started training together. My last few jaunts have been solo, so we weaned in carefully: 140 km over 2 days (split 90 km and 50 km). The advantage of splitting the distances is that you have a break for your legs but not your bum. ;)
The other reason we had to split our distance is because we had a late start on Saturday. With my recent string of flats, my 3-year-old tires were in need of replacement. We spent the first hour changing the tires only to realize that we also punctured one of the tubes. The fresh tires were a bit tight and I even managed to snap one of the plastic doodads trying to get the tire back on. By this time, we were too frustrated to remove it and try again and wanted to call in the pros. However, it seemed like all bicycle stores open at 10 am so had to wait it out.
As we waited it out, I made these delicious snacks.
Do you remember last year when I cycled 100 km and came home too tired to make my own smoothie? In retrospect, I wonder whether I had encountered the dreaded bonk. This year, I am ramping my snacks and calories. I am drinking my homemade sports drink. Even for these “short” beginner rides.
I really liked these treats. First of all, because they look like rice crispy treats but there are no marshmallows here at all. The goopy mess that keeps it all together is tahini and brown rice syrup with a touch of vanilla. I loved Gabby’s sesame overload with sesame seeds in addition to the tahini and the marvellous addition of chewy raisins. This is a grown-up version of rice crispy treats if I ever tasted one, assuming that adults grow up. Perfect as a cycling snack, especially for long rides, since it is mostly carbs with some fats important for longevity… but most importantly: it tolerated the Houston heat perfectly.
While I wish I could say this was a fairy tale ending, with Rob and I cycling away without any hiccups, as we peddled away together, I noticed I lost the clipping mechanism on my clippy pedal. I opted to ride this weekend with only one foot clipped in.. I suppose I am working my way in. When I completed my first 100 km ride of the year, I only had regular shoes. Hopefully next weekend, I will have both shoes clipped in. ;)
Sweet Sesame Rice Crispy Treats
Adapted from The Veggie Nook
3 cups crispy rice cereal (I used the one from Trader Joe’s)
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup tahini
1/2 cup brown rice syrup
few dashes umeboshi vinegar or salt (I used salt)
1 tsp vanilla
1. Grease or line a 9″ square container with plastic wrap or the like.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the rice cereal, sesame seeds and raisins.
3. In a small saucepot over medium-low heat, combine the tahini, brown rice syrup, umeboshi vinegar (or salt) and vanilla. Watching carefully, stirring often, stir until it thins slightly, right before it is about the boil. Remove from heat and pour into the rice mixture. Working quickly mix until everything is incorporated. The sesame seeds are difficult to catch but you can always add to the top of the bars.
4. Scrape mixture into the lined container. Spread out evenly and press down such that it is evenly spread out. Cover and allow to chill in the refrigerator for a few hours until set (or an hour in the freezer). Remove and cut into desired size. Store in refrigerator for a week.
Makes 12 pieces.