Eat like Lance at Amgen bike race in May

You might not be riding in the Amgen Tour of California bike race when it rolls through the Foothills, but you still can eat like a champion bicycle racer.

Endurance cyclists get their energy from healthy eating: grains, legumes, fresh fruits and vegetables, fish and meat — but not too much. They eat plenty of carbohydrate-rich food, such as pasta, bread and rice.

The best foods for cyclists are “whole foods” — ones that are natural and unrefined. Here are some examples and where you can get them:

BackPorch Market: For a natural “carbo load,” the fine food store, located along the Amgen bike route in Grass Valley, offers items including home-made meatballs, which can go on top of the store’s fresh pasta and sauces.

BriarPatch Market: The store offers an extensive selection of bulk foods, including staples-grains, beans and more. BriarPatch also carries organic and natural meats and poultry. Seafood is sustainably farmed. It carries local eggs seasonally, always cage-free.

Caroline’s Coffee Roasters: Cyclist often is synonymous with “java junkie.” Caroline’s has been roasting and selling coffee since 1988. All fair-trade coffees guarantee that the farmer gets a a fair wage for the green coffee. Their coffee is all organic too.

Nevada City Seafood: This fresh-fish store has now opened a second location at 115 South Pine St. in downtown Nevada City. Owner Eric Jewell sends his custom refrigerated truck to San Francisco four times a week to bring fresh seafood back to the Foothills.

Nevada County Free Range Beef: Owner Jim Gates’ grass-fed beef is available year-round at the BriarPatch and Diego’s Restaurant in Grass Valley, also along the Amgen bike route. It also is available as “freezer beef” by the quarter, half or whole.

Bike racer ice cream
Treats ice cream at 110 York St. in Nevada City plans to name some of its flavors after the Tour of California bike race.

Examples include Paceline Praline, King of the Mountain Mint Chip and Sprinters Strawberry Sorbet. The flavors will be made by owner Bob Wright using local organic ingredients whenever possible.

The Truffle Shop at the New York Hotel Shops at 408 Broad Street will offer its famous Ice Cappuccino to race-goers.

(photo credit: Lisa Redfern)

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