Women’s Pro Cycling

Modern society has long believed that women hold up half the sky in terms of equality and progression. So when it comes to professional cycling, why aren’t women receiving half the road?

HALF THE ROAD is a documentary film that explores the world of women’s professional cycling, focusing on both the love of sport and the pressing issues of inequality that modern-day female riders face in a male dominated sport. With footage from some of the world’s best UCI races to interviews with Olympians, World Champions, rookies, coaches, managers, officials, doctors and family members, HALF THE ROAD offers a unique insight to the drive, dedication, and passion it takes for a female cyclist to thrive.

Ride Fuel: Vegan Banana Flapjack

Always on the lookout for new energy food to take on my rides, I stumbled across this great recipe on the Vimeo channel of Sarah Kim Bonner (she also has a blog).

I’m not a vegan, but this flapjack recipe appealed to me due to it’s ease of making and my love of bananas! Great taste and simplicity are what I love in the kitchen and this recipe delivered on both counts.

I modified mine slightly by mashing two bananas and adding half a cup of seed/nut mix with half a cup of dried fruit. It sweetens up the bars a little. I would have preferred just cranberries but I only had that pre-mixed dried fruit packet in the house.

VEGAN_01All the ingredients. Doesn’t get much simpler than that!

Also I shaped my mixture into bars for ease of wrapping and eating on the bike. You could do a tray and cut them up afterwards or of course Sarah’s cookies. My bars took longer to cook than the video states, possibly because they were thicker and also I think my oven wasn’t quite hot enough.

VEGAN_02

I’m still a big fan of my Lazy Cyclist’s Flapjack, although these are very good! They can be frozen for later and are easy to eat on the move. Whats more they are healthier and more nutritious as there’s no butter, syrup or condensed milk. Enjoy! #ridefuel 

EDIT: On a totally unrelated note, this is my  50th blog post! :-)

More time in the Surrey Hills

Another solid training ride today focusing on endurance and climbing. I had three main objectives for today’s ride: 1) I needed to clock at least 60 miles, 2) Hit some hills but at a sensible pace, and 3) Be back home by midday. This meant skipping the Sunday club ride to get out the door early and crank some solo miles through the Surrey Hills.

ride-profile

I’d never ridden up Leith, Whitedown or Green Dene before so didn’t hit them quite as hard as I could have, but I think I paced myself quite well. They’re not huge hills in the scheme of things but Leith and Whitedown both feature in Simon Warren’s 100 Greatest UK Climbs books. Leith is also the second highest point in south east England.

A respectable 70 miles with four main climbs and over 4700 feet of total elevation gain, arriving back home by 11:45am. Happy days!

CaptureView from the top of Leith Hill, Surrey (photo by Photator, Flickr)

More training & some new kit!

Glad to report that my training is back on target at last! :-) Last weekend I did a 40-mile lumpy ride on Saturday, followed by 65 fast paced solo miles on the time trial bike on Sunday. That ride included 30 miles at a shade below race pace, holding the TT tuck on the extensions for almost the entire effort. I’m feeling totally comfortable now, something I attribute to adding core workouts to my weekly routine and of course spending lots of time training in the tuck.

11262378_401466836727158_7517411049128657988_oYesterday evening I attacked my local 10-mile time trial course. The effort felt fantastic and well measured, although I don’t think I pushed hard enough over the first half. I did manage to set a new 20-minute power PB during the TT so was pretty stoked about that! On the way home I still had enough energy left to hit a new 5-second sprint power PB too. This all bodes well for me finally clawing back some form.

In kit news, I recently felt the need for a new helmet. I’m a sucker for a bit of “free speed” so wanted something aero. After lots of internet research and some advice from the Time Trialling Forum, I settled on a C ORIGINALS G14 helmet:

C-ORIGINALS-G14Same helmet: Standard vented road setup on the left, full-on TT setup on the right!

I’m not sure why nobody has thought of this before! The G14 converts from a standard road helmet, into an aero road helmet and also into a full-scale aerodynamic time trial helmet. I managed to source one at half price from Sports Pursuit. So far I’ve only had the chance to test it in “aero road” mode. Certainly feels more slippery than my Specialized Propero II lid. Comfortable too! #keepcycling

Kolonial – Prague’s Cycling Restaurant

There’s been a multitude of cycling cafes popping up around the woods in the past year or so, testament to the growing popularity of cycling in Britain. It can only be a good thing in my book as cycling and coffee go hand in hand! Recently on a trip to the Czech Republic, I stumbled across a little beauty – a cycling themed restaurant.

Tucked away in the lovely Jewish Quarter of Prague is KOLONIAL. A modern, yet character filled restaurant with a difference. It is billed as a cycling themed restaurant, the only one of it’s kind in the city. I say it’s a cycling themed restaurant, rather than a cyclist’s restaurant, as it’s aimed at non-cyclists as well (which are a large proportion of it’s customers).

Upon entering you are greeted by the enthusiastic staff, who all wear custom Kolonial cycling jerseys as their uniform. I thought this was a great idea! Also very practical as the rear pockets serve for storing notepads, pens, spare change, etc. The local beer bottle images emerging from the three rear pockets were a great touch too!

Kolonial is quite possibly the perfect place for a post-ride coffee. There’s no cycle racks outside, but secure cycle parking is provided inside the restaurant. I enjoyed a delicious cappuccino and cake for 85Czk (roughly £2.50).

The entire restaurant is covered in cycling memorabilia. Images from famous stage races and cycling themed art cover almost every inch of the restaurant. Bar stools constructed from leather Brooks saddles and classic Penny Farthings in the windows really give this place a classic cycling atmosphere. There’s even signed kit from local Pro riders and World Champ medals on display.

My morning coffee and cake was so good I decided to return to Kolonial for dinner as well. The menu is chock full of choices, including some Czech favourites. If you’re ever in Prague and fancy a great meal surrounded by cycling memorabilia then be sure to hit up Kolonial. It’s only a little off the main tourist route and easy walking distance from the Old Town. If you really love it then there’s the opportunity to purchase one of their custom jerseys to take home too. I can tell you I did…

 

Originally published on Wheelsuckers.

Saturday Staple & Crocknorth

I broke a spoke on my TT bike’s rear wheel earlier this week, so today I decided to head south into Surrey and test the legs with a few climbs on the road bike.

The first climb of the day, Staple Lane is a favourite of mine. It was the first “Surrey Hill” I rode when I joined Woking CC and one I sometimes use as my climbing fitness benchmark. I bagged a PR today so something must be going right! There’s a brewery at the top and on a clear day a great view all the way across to London.

The second climb – Crocknorth Road – is a different kettle of fish. A particularly tough one for me and I don’t choose to ride it often. It was used as a KOM on a 2013 Tour of Britain stage. I imagine I looked something like this as I danced up the 10% section:

tob13_st7_Crocknorth_Road_3Crocknorth: Cavendish in the British Champs jersey, Wiggins in the Leader’s jersey

Just under 45 miles in total, not a bad ride on limited time. I wanted to get home to watch Alex Dowsett set a new Hour Record, followed by Stage 2 of the Tour de Yorkshire. Going to sneak out again Sunday morning for a few more miles.

It’s so good to be feeling fresh again after shaking off illness!