Posts

The '9 Roads to Nowhere' Ride Social

Image
Back in December, I led my '9 Roads to Nowhere' ride for a group of friends. It was filmed as part of British Cycling's Let's Ride #RideSocial campaign - showcasing the best kind of 'Social Ride' I could offer.

The video was shortlisted as one of the best examples of a group ride - Hopefully it inspires you to get out and ride. If I win the contest, I'm proposing to run the route again in 2017, you can come and join! PLEASE VOTE BY CLICKING HERE

Review - Vaude Power Lizard SUL 1-2P Touring Tent

Image
Your choice of tent for bikepacking or bike touring makes a notable difference to comfort and speed, both on and off the bike. Go too big, and you'll be carrying extra weight. Go too small, and you might struggle to get a good night's sleep.

The Vaude Power Lizard SUL 1-2P Tent looks to be the perfect size for the solo cycle tourer.


A spacious one-man tent The Vaude Power Lizard SUL 1-2P is branded (as the name suggests) as a large one-man tent, or a small two-man tent. I have heard of people using it for both, and the footprint of the internal area is similar to other super-light 2 person tents from brands like Nordisk and Telemark.
For me though, the tent is the ideal size for comfortable solo bike touring or hiking; and that is what I have used it for to date. Weighing in at 1,100 grams (including pegs), it is minimal in weight; and it has a tiny pack size (34 x 12 centimetres). 
Small enough and light enough not to be a burden to a solo explorer, it has enough room inside…

Weekend Watch - Lost Coast North

Makes me want to get bikepacking very soon...

Riding the Strade Bianche Grand Fondo 2017

Image
Suddenly the tarmac ends. Gravel pings from beneath tyres. The white limestone paste is kicked up by wheels; hitting shins, feet and back-side. Your grip tightens on the hoods; riders swerve around potholes and large stones in front.

Benvenuto a Strade Bianche…



Torrential Tuscany In the weeks before an event I often find myself scanning the local weather forecast; trying to decide on kit, and crossing my fingers for good weather.

The forecast for the historic Italian city of Siena seemed to deteriorate every time I checked it though; starting with 'occasional rain showers', it evolved into 'thunderstorms and heavy rain' by the day before the event.

Welcome to Flanders, in Tuscany. This was going to be a true 'Spring Classic'.



Kitting up After watching Elisa Longo Borghini solo to victory for Wiggle High5 on the Saturday, and then standing on the finish line for the men's race a few hours later, I gained an idea of what was to come… there would be no dust on…

Recipe - Peanut Butter and Banana Baked Oat Bars

Image
Flapjacks are a staple of many cyclists' diets. The fact that my High Energy Flapjack Recipe is one of the most viewed blog posts every month without fail, confirms that.

How can you create variations of the oat-based favourite though; to add in greater variety and interest?

This recipe is for a different kind of oat bar - held together with banana, eggs and coconut oil; rather than the traditional flapjack honey/syrup and butter.

I'm not going to claim that it's 'healthier' or 'better'; but it is a great alternative. The less 'crumbly' nature of the bars also means they are ideal for jersey pockets.


Ingredients2 medium bananas1 large egg1 cup rolled oats½ cup wholemeal flour¼ cup coconut oil¼ cup dark brown sugar1 tbsp peanut butter (I'm a big fan of Pip and Nut at the moment)1 tsp vanilla essence½ tsp baking powder¼ tsp salt1 cup of your flavouring of choice: choc chips, chopped dates, raisins, etc.

MethodPreheat the oven to 180'CGrease a…

Review - Vaude Kabru Light II Insulated Down Jacket

Image
The Vaude Kabru Light II Down Jacket has achieved the rank of 'favourite' amongst my insulated off-the-bike jackets, within a very short space of time. Much like the Vaude Termatic RC Mountain Bike Boots, and the Vaude Winter Cycling Jackets, it is an incredibly well thought-out and executed piece of kit.

What makes it the best lightweight down jacket that I've come across to date?

First, there's the colour - that perfect blue (regular blog readers will know I'm a sucker for this).Second, there's the fit - not too flappy, not too tight. Vaude call it a 'Sportive' cut.Third, there's the build quality, and the weight of the jacket - it reaches that sought-after balance of feeling featherweight, but with a German quality that promises to last many winters.
The Kabru Light II is the kind of jacket that I would wear on a smart business field trip; an evening walk; or take with me on my next bikepacking trip.

Intelligent insulation This jacket is feather l…

Riding the TorTour UltraCross Cyclocross Stage Race

Image
Three days of mud, gravel, sub-zero temperatures, and flat-out racing. An invitation to ride the world's first ever cyclocross stage race, seemed like an opportunity that couldn't be missed...



Race Report: Stage 2 - 74km - 1,530m elevation I pushed from the gun - trying to hold my own in the front group. 
I didn't quite push hard enough though; before long, the five front-runners had got a gap, and I was left in the chasing pack. Nothing for it... solo bridge time.
It turned out to be a long bridge to cross. Almost an hour of sitting at threshold, trying desperately to regain the wheel of the last rider in the group ahead.
Eventually I made junction. Exhausted; I clung to the wheels. By now the two professional riders were long gone into the distance, and our small second group comprised of two Swiss junior riders (one the U23 National Champ), a super-strong German, and myself. 
Up. Up. Up. Today was a day of hunting vertical. From vineyards, through forest, and then up ab…