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Showing posts from January, 2022

Big Rides – The Long Road North – A Winter Adventure Ride

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Sometimes it is fun to throw a ball and see where it lands. To drop a pin on the map and see if you can get there under your own steam. It has been a while since I have done a real long ride, but the ' Long Road North'  – from Portsmouth to Manchester was designed to be a bit of fun, with a healthy dose of trepidation. The planned route totalled 377 kilometres, from the South Coast to The North. On my previous multi-week tours, I have known that 240 kilometres a day on a fully loaded touring bike is about my max; but that I have done 500+ in one hit on a lightweight setup on several occasions (check out the #BlackForest400 and #RideTheTrafalgarWay ). This ride was on the Kona Rove tourer, with panniers full of clothes and a laptop; that all made it a bit of an unknown on the timings and speed, but I thought I would give it a shot as a long day out… The maths and planning were simple. 04:30 wake up. 05:45 ferry. 06:15am start. Pedal for 16 hours. Hopefully, finish around

Recipe – Natural High Energy Cocoa Protein Superfood Balls

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These little protein balls use just a handful of natural ingredients to produce the perfect jersey pocket snack. Containing slow release energy from natural oats; protein from nut butters, tahini paste and hemp protein powder; as well as natural sweetness from honey, and superfood seeds such as chia seeds—these little natural energy balls offer a balanced and tasty bite-sized snack. Ingredients 200 grams Naturya Cocoa Mama Organic Overnight Oats 100 grams tahini paste (or nut butter) 50 grams dates (pitted) 1 tbsp set honey 1 tbsp runny honey 1 tbsp water (add more if mixture is too dry) 1 tbsp Lotus Biscoff Spread (optional) 1 tsp vanilla essence 100 grams desiccated coconut Method Place the desiccated coconut into a small bowl and set aside Place all other ingredients into a food processor and mix until they reach a dough-like consistency Using your hands take tablespoon sized amounts and roll them into balls Roll each ball in the desiccated coconut Store inside a re-used seal-tight

Review – Pro Bike Tool Single Bike Floor Stand

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There are bike racks, and there are bicycle stands. The first can be considered just a bicycle storage solution; the second doubles up to present and display you bike. The Pro Bike Tool Bike Floor Stand (for one bicycle) is a quality example of the latter; safely and securely holding your bike for presentation or storage. The collapsible bike stand uses an innovative spring-loaded three-point hold of the bicycle's wheel. You roll the front or rear wheel into the self-adapting lower cradle, and the spring-loaded arm locks around the tyre to give a secure three-point upright hold. It is a far better way of storing a bike than leaning it against a wall and it keeps delicate drivetrain and disc brake components away from potential knocks and drops. The Pro Bike Tool Bike Floor Stand is compatible with road bikes, cyclocross bikes, mountain bikes, hybrid bikes and kids' bikes—with any tyre size up to 2.3 inch. It is not recommended for heavy e-bikes though. The stand is made

Personal Care – Improving Sleep Quality and Recovery

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Sleep is the primary pillar of effective recovery—getting enough quality sleep is therefore fundamental to endurance sports performance. I have learned the hard way what a lack of sleep can do to your health, wellbeing, and cycling success; in this post I look at seven of those lessons, and tips on how you can improve your sleep quality and recovery. Getting 7-9 hours of sleep every night is a critical part of recovery. It is during the deep sleep period that our bodies begin to fully repair and rejuvenate themselves, readying themselves for the next effort. Key growth hormones are released when you are in undisturbed sleep—so it makes it a fundamental part of performance improvement. 1 – The Sleep Routine The most important ingredient in getting superior quality sleep on a regular basis, is to create a regular sleeping schedule. You often hear people say "I wake up at the same time, even when I am tired…"—this is natural—it is because our bodies like routine and so we h

Maintenance – How to Prevent and Fix a Puncture

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We have all had that sinking feeling. Flat tyres are something you accept with bike riding, but there are several ways to prevent and reduce the chance of a puncture on a bicycle tyre. Whether you are running tubeless tyres or an inner tube there is still a risk of a puncture, and several ways to repair a flat. This blog post considers 7 Tips for preventing, fixing, and repairing a bicycle puncture on all kinds of wheel setups. Prevent Punctures – Tyre Choice The single most influential factor in preventing a bicycle puncture is your choice of tyre. Not all bicycle tyres are made equal. Most confusingly, even those with the same name are often not of an equal quality level. Some tyres feature inbuilt puncture protection belts made of Kevlar or a similar fibre—these help to avoid penetration of the tyre and puncturing of the inner tube. When looking at tyre reviews and choices, look out for those tyres with inbuilt puncture protection. It is worth noting that when you bu

Review – Smith Trace MIPS Helmet and Smith Optics Attack Max ChromaPop Sunglasses

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Smith make exceptional bicycle helmets and cycling sunglasses. I have used their accessories for many of my past trans-continental bikepacking tours, because they are exceedingly comfortable and built to offer the highest level of protection. The Smith Trace MIPS Helmet and Smith Optics Attack Max Sunglasses are new releases from the Italian brand. They have fast become my go-to choice—offering the highest level of performance, comfort, design, and protection. Review – Smith Trace MIPS Bicycle Helmet The new Smith Trace MIPS Helmet builds on the strengths of my favourite Smith Overtake Helmet; with subtle design tweaks to supply added comfort and flair. Like the Overtake, the Trace helmet uses Smith's signature Koroyd technology. This honeycomb polymer structure material is built into the shell of the helmet; its superb impact resistance has allowed Smith to reduce the overall weight of the helmet by minimising the volume of the helmet's shell material, yet still offeri

Recipe – Rude Health No-Bake Cereal Energy Bars

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My recipe for High Energy Flapjacks has always been a favourite on the blog. So, when I spotted this great looking recipe on the Rude Health website, I thought it needed to be shared with the cycling world—these are a great homemade cycling energy food bar. Combining Rude Health's Puffed Oats with seeds, fruit, and nuts, these make a great snack either for on the bike or for those mid-afternoon stomach rumbles. Best of all, there is no need to bake. Ingredients (makes 8 breakfast bars) 2 ½ cups (65g) Rude Health Puffed Oats   ¾ cup (150g) dates (about 7 medjool dates)  ¼ cup (80g) honey (or substitute in maple syrup, for a vegan option)  ¼ cup (60g) almond butter  ¼ cup (50g) almonds  ¼ cup (50g) pecans  ¼ cup (35g) sesame seeds  ¼ cup (50g) sour cherries or dried blueberries Method  Line an 8×8 inch (20×20cm) pan with parchment paper Add the dates into a food processor and run until the dates are well chopped. If the dates form a large ball in the process,

Kit Care – Re-Waterproofing and Restoring Waterproof Cycling Jackets

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In the ' Kit Care ' series I look at how to rejuvenate and re-use well worn kit; saving you valuable money compared to replacing favourite pieces of cycling apparel. In this post, I consider the frequent question of how to re-waterproof and restore a waterproof cycling jacket. Waterproof shell jackets using fabrics such as GORE-TEX, Polartec NeoShell, and eVent are designed to last. With proper care and attention there is no reason the waterproofing and performance of a jacket cannot last for many seasons. The key is how to wash and treat these waterproof jackets. GORE-TEX and other similar waterproof fabrics such as Polartec NeoShell, eVent and Conduit use an advanced waterproof membrane to provide a waterproof and breathable layer within a garment. This fabric is often coated on the outside with a DWR (Durable Water Repellent) finish—to provide the 'beading' of water that you see on the surface of a jacket. Two problems occur when using a waterproof jacket in

Review – Hutchinson Cycling Tubeless Tyre Fitting and Repair Kit

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Hutchinson Tires were a pioneer of tubeless tyre technology—creating some of the first tubeless road and mountain bike tyres in the industry. They have continued the strong brand position with an ongoing range of superb tubeless road, gravel, and MTB tyres. Now, they have branched out into an accompanying range of tubeless kits and accessories—to complete the offering. Many riders are cautious about making the switch to tubeless, having heard about tight tolerances that can make tyres a challenge to fit and seal, the setup being a messy process, and the difficulty to repair a tubeless tyre mid-ride. Keen to address each of the above concerns, Hutchinson Cycling has developed a new range of tubeless tool kits and accessories. Hutchinson Tubeless Valves and Tubeless Rim Tape Hutchinson have released a new tubeless rim tape in 20, 25 and 40 mm widths, as well as universally compatible black conical tubeless valves with the option of 20 mm and 40 mm valve extenders. The rim tape and valve