Too Busy to Prepare Meals? Let Your Bicycle Do the Cooking for You

Velo Chicken
Oftentimes friends and readers who are getting into cycling encourage me to share what they refer to as "practical tips." What gives them the idea that I am an appropriate target for such a query, I do not pretend to know. Nevertheless, on occasion I make an effort to oblige. For instance, recently I was asked whether I have any tips for getting out on the bike in the evenings while still managing daily housework and meal preparation. And while, as far as the "housework" bit, I might not be just the best person to ask, as my way to dealing with it is usually to eliminate it from the equation altogether, as far as the other thing it just so happens that I do have some rather valuable information to share. You will be delighted to know that I have discovered a secret that has not only saved me time, but has solved the dangerous problem of hungry post-ride cooking (Ever tried to dice an onion in the throes of bonkium tremens? I need hardly say more!).

Imagine then, if you could ride your bicycle and arrive home to find the dinner cooked for you? Sounds too good to be true, I know. Yet I assure you that it is perfectly attainable. As an example of how to make the magic happen, I give this secret, exclusive velo-roasted chicken recipe:

Velo-Roasted Chicken

chicken, whole and gutted
baby potatoes
black pepper
olive oil

Pre-heat oven on highest setting.
Stuff chicken with quartered onion and place on roasting tray.
Surround with mushrooms, potatoes, more onions.
Crush garlic, then mix with oil, rosemary, salt, pepper and douse chicken liberally with resulting mix.
Place tray in oven, then lower heat setting to low-medium.
Wash hands, don wheeling suit, and go for a fast-paced bicycle ride 1 hour 30 minutes in duration.
Upon return, move tray's contents from oven to plate and eat (sharing optional).

Spin in a lower gear for a golden glaze finish, or mash in a higher if you prefer a crispy skin. Note that a smooth pedal stroke will always result in a more even roasting.

There is much beauty and value in this recipe. Just think: Without any involvement on your part whatsoever, your chicken will be roasting as you enjoy your bicycle and the evening scenery, each pedal stroke bringing your meal closer to completion. But in addition, if you've ever wanted to motivate yourself to improve your cycling "on the clock" skills, this method of meal preparation will help you do just that - introducing the extra challenge of finishing your ride within the allotted time frame, lest your food be ruined or your house burned to the ground.

As you can see, the velo-roasted chicken recipe is super practical and highly motivating! Looks like my job here is done. And remember: the harder you pedal, the better your food will taste.


  1. Yes, just don't have a flat for goodness sake and make sure you always ride with a tailwind! The other alternative is to mount the chicken on a pan on top of your bar bag for wind-convection chicken although it might be a bit dry. Jim Duncan

    1. On the contrary. This recipe will also help improve the skill and speed with which you repair flats : )

  2. I quite enjoy going far enough that I arrive at dusk with no time to spare (and no lights). Same general idea...

  3. Reminds me of the people who would cook meals on their car engines. I wonder if there's a bicycling equivalent. I know that when I refill my water bottles and add my liquid food powder I don't usually have to do much mixing, the bicycle does that for me.

  4. P.S. Flat tires may be hazardous to the moistness of the final dish!

  5. It's funny how you post about thing which have been going on for decades as if it's new. You're readers must be very young.

  6. Harriet Fell, widow of the late, great Sheldon Brown, is said to have carried a roast chicken in her handlebar bag when she rode Paris-Brest-Paris. The archives don't discuss whether she followed this recipe.

    1. Since PBP is in France, Harriet's chicken probably had tarragon as an ingredient. Folks at control stops must have been quite fascinated to see her pull that out.

    2. I was fascinated with the roast chicken idea after reading that story for the first time. Problem is, I don't like the taste of roast chicken once it goes cold, so would need to rig something up to keep it simmering...

  7. With regard to the food, I incorporate a shop stop into my ride and pick up a microwaveable roast chicken dinner for one. Thought I was doing well until I read your blog above - I just know yours is 10 x as healthy and 50 x more delicious than my sad effort! I might have a rethink ...

    On the housework point I'm already there with you, although the corner of the lounge where my much-beloved bicycle lives is kept (of course), spotless.

  8. Um housework? Due to lack of time and desire to be outside, that tends to go by the way side. Cooking too, sometimes it ends up darn near feral feeding in the end. I do a similar thing, usually in the fall/ winter. I will do the throw everything in the oven and roast, but out of fear of fire or ruining everything I don't like leaving the oven on, so it gets turned down or off. Good to know you have had success with chicken left on low as I am too afraid to ruin it(but finally was shown how to make a perfect roast chicken) I might start off with roasting veg for awhile and either turn the oven off or down to low and go out to either ride or go for a hike down to the beach. When I get home I will check things, throw the oven back up if needed, add any last minute morsels, and by the time I dither around, it's done. I do not do this nearly enough so post ride or commute home from a looong hard day at work, I end up eating chocolate and peanut butter or toast and peanut butter...and then not hungry again until later so second supper awaits around 10 or 11 pm.

  9. The slow cooker is your best friend! Put it on before you go out. Or better still, prepare it the night before and put it in the fridge to steep. Red meat, red wine, onions, tomatos, chilli; white meat, white wine, onions, mushrooms, garlic. Plus anything else lying round in the fridge. Add cream or creme fresche at the end for extra piggines

    1. Mon Dieu! The slow cooker is YOUR ENEMY Mon' Ami!!! It is the where food goes to die the long slow agonizing death!

      Resist! Or do you long for beef reduced to gelatinous paste, vegetables a composted layer of grey matter and herbs reduced to atoms? Of course you do not. The slow cooker is for the manufacturing of the Rabbit Skin Glue to prepare your canvases, to fill with kerosene to cleaning your chain and derailleurs or soaking your dentures. The slow cooker is an ATROCITY.

      You revolt me...

      Jean Claude De' La Blahblahblah

    2. Jean Claude, you are just using the wrong cuts of meat. Get shin or skirt, stuff with lots of connecting tissue that goes all gloopy and delicious.

  10. For slightly longer rides, follow this recipe which I devised circa 1978 when I got stuck with cooking duties in a shared house.

    1. Take frozen, styrofoam/cellophane-wrapped chicken breasts out of freezer.

    2. Rip off packaging,

    3. Dump on cookie sheet.

    4. Shove cookie sheet into oven.

    5. Turn oven to 350 degrees.

    6. Go away for 3 hours.

    7. Come back, remove from oven, and eat.

    It seemed to work pretty consistently. Of course, we were a bunch of young guys who thought unheated canned refried beans and slices of refrigerator-cold cheddar on an un-warmed flour tortilla was "normal" food.

  11. Nice, or you can try to rock a little bit harder, Like Atomic Paul does with bacon and coaster hubs....

    1. Wow, thanks so much for sharing this! How have I not tried it before?

      {runs out to look for coaster brake bicycle frantically}

  12. An electric oven? Really, Velouria!

    1. Came with the house (and pretty much the norm here). I'm used to gas, but the electric doesn't especially bother me.

  13. Who said , a clean house is tge sign of a wasted life? I try to convince my spouse of this truth, to no avail so far. She wont even consider wasting her life only.


Post a Comment