For those that don’t know, I’m taking part in Ride London 100 this year. A 100-mile cycle challenge starting at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, heading out to Surrey and then finishing on The Mall. Yes. I know. 100 miles is a hell of a long way.
It’s about four and a half months out from the event now which will be my biggest ever cycle to date, and well, training hasn’t exactly gone to plan so far – mainly thanks to two rounds of the Beast From The East (as I type this, my workout plans for the day had to shift slightly – I was supposed to be running the Run Nation Northumberland Half Marathon but snow and ice meant it had to be called off!). I have been making progress in other areas though – I’ve been spinning, keeping up my running and working on my strength at CrossFit which has been helping me feel pretty damn amazing.
Spinning especially has been a godsend in the absence of not quite being able to get in the miles on the bike yet. There is a beautiful new studio in Whitley Bay – Studio Velo – about two miles away from where we live and it’s the kind of studio that makes you want to go and feel the spinning pain. Beautiful interior, great trainers and always a supportive group in every class.
But I really can’t wait for this crappy weather to be over, because that’s when my cycle commutes can finally start. It’s around 8-10 miles to work from the coast, depending on the route, so I’ve been investing in a few new pieces of kit (and adding more than a few to my wishlist… more to come on that soon) so it makes the commutes as easy as pie.
Speaking of pie, I’ve also been getting my thinking cap on about the best part of cycling long distances. The food. Oh yes, the food. Joe and I will be heading out for some hella long training rides ahead of Ride London at the end of July, so we’ll need all the right stuff to keep us going. I’m a bit over some gel products (I couldn’t look at a gel for a loooong time after 2017 London Marathon) so, I’m thinking along the lines of more substantial treats – thankfully you can carry a lot more cycling than you can for running.
So, as the weather’s been a shocker this weekend, I hibernated yesterday and ended up adapting a Deliciously Ella recipe which will actually be perfect for fuelling long rides. This oaty banana loaf was super easy to make, and it’s delicious squidginess means it’s ideal for pre or mid-cycle, or even post-cycle… hell this is a recipe for anytime. It’s packed with loads of lovely ingredients and tastes delicious.
Oaty Banana Loaf (adapted from Delciously Ella’s Bircher Muesli Loaf)
3 ripe bananas, mashed
230g ground porridge oats (DE uses her Bircher Muesli mix)
200g coconut sugar
1 tsp of bicarb
½ tsp baking powder
50ml almond milk
3 tbsp butter, melted (DE uses coconut oil)
The method couldn’t be simpler. Basically, just bung all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix until thoroughly combined. Pour the mix into a lined loaf tin and bake for 30-35 mins at 180C/Gas Mark 4 or until golden brown.
This is a perfect base recipe to add anything to. I added in some sunflower seeds and cinnamon and next time I’ll be throwing in some dark chocolate chips – yum.
Hit me up with your favourite things to fuel with for long rides – Twitter @alicemmillican