Spokes and Spuds: Trying out the Garmin boiled potato recipe


We've been pining to try out Dr. Allen Lim's boiled potato/bike fuel recipe, the one famously prepared for the uber amazing Garmin-Cervelo pro cycling team. Who wouldn't be tempted, after all? What could possibly go wrong? It's just a potato. A de-skinned, dare I say "cute" little potato rolled in salt, a light splash of olive oil, and freshly grated parmesan cheese.  So easy, yet so novel. Making them takes next to no effort. It's even therapeutic, like making playdough. You just boil up some potatoes (new potatoes are the perfect size), 15-20 minutes. After boiling, run them under cool water, and the skins slip off just like that.

You've got a charming little nugget that happens to be a high-glycemic, instant energy source, perfect for long rides or hikes (perhaps a bit too heavy for the long run, though). As Dr. Lin explains in the video, wherein he models the simple process, removing the skins removes fiber, and you're left with carbohydrate, potassium, and a little bit of protein. It's like a ball of Claymation dough ready for action.

All that's missing is salt, and a little bit of fat. This part's weirdly fun, too. Just roll your de-skinned potatoes around in a dish or tray with a little salt and olive oil. Grate some parmesan, and roll around some more. There you go--you know exactly what you're fueling with, and you're in charge of how much of each ingredient. Wrap them up in foil (fold one half over, and fold back to make a seam, then same with the other half, and close up the ends), you're good to go.  Fits great in your jersey pocket.

We'd waited a good long stretch to try out these potatoes. We'd really built them up, in fact. For endurance junkies, we haven't been doing anything that extended yet this season. Our big goals are a ways away. We're heading to Redman for USAT long course nationals at the end of September, and we're still vacillating over what event to sign up for in December: another marathon, a 50K, or a 50-miler. This summer is more of an eclectic mix of shorter tris, 14ers, and trail running. On Saturday, however, somewhat on a whim we decided to go ahead with a hot, hilly, 70-mile ride with Lindsey. Finally,  a spud-tacular opportunity.

Seventy miles shouldn't have seemed so mammoth for this time of year, but it did. Dave and Lindsey are significantly faster cyclists than I, by a long shot. Even drafting them the whole way was going to be a stretch, I thought. Good thing I had The Potato to bolster my confidence. I wasn't sure how I'd handle the jump in mileage, but I was sure The Potato could pull its weight, and it did. I may have lost a couple gallons of water out there in the baking heat, with the billowing, menacing High Park fire in the backdrop, but I didn't bonk.

Thanks, little Potato. You're a spud--I mean stud.