Planning for tomorrow in a Pandemic

I’ve had this familiar feeling inside all week, I’ve only truly experienced it once before in my life like this. For a split second when I wake up everything is OK then I get the feeling and it’s like I’ve been punched in the stomach and I want to pull the duvet back over my head and go back to sleep.

Continue reading “Planning for tomorrow in a Pandemic”

The struggle and the sparkle

After I completed London-Edinburgh-London (LEL) in August 2017 I felt lost without the goals or ambitions that previously motivated me. It’s widely published how good cycling is for your well-being and mental health but I didn’t feel proud of myself, I felt ashamed of what it took to finish that ride, the depths I had to go to and how long it took my body to recover. When my body finally felt well again my mind was floating in and out of the dark and I never celebrated my achievement. I wasn’t sure what sort of cyclist I’d become, I tried to ride for the enjoyment alone but I wasn’t putting in the same effort. I was the spark, igniting ideas of fun and adventure and encouraging others to come with me. My first school report said I was good at motivating others, it was recognised in me from an early age and cycling had highlighted this but I’d left that behind somewhere.

Continue reading “The struggle and the sparkle”

You can teach an old dog new tricks

As I cooled down after this morning’s training ride I couldn’t help but smile, I’ve been on a really big journey for the past 12 weeks and in the last 30 minutes as I completed my final training session those 12 weeks flashed through my head. I’ve been training for my biggest cycling adventure to come but this time, I’ve really been training, I’ve not just been out riding my bike as I’ve done in the past. For the first time, I’ve followed a customised training plan and I’ve had the benefit of riding with an Infocrank power meter that Verve Cycling kindly supplied for me.

My first experience of road cycling in 2009 was possibly like most other peoples, I just jumped on my new bike and I rode a few miles with no understanding of how to really ride other than turning the pedals and pulling the brakes. I bought my bike in the Lake District and I enjoyed a lovely ride around one of my favourite places there, around Lake Coniston. When I returned to London where I lived at the time I took my bike to Regents Park, I had no idea this was a place for London cyclists. I lived in North London and it seemed like an obvious place to enjoy quieter roads. When I arrived in the park I was surprised to see so many cyclists doing laps of the park and I soon found myself looping around the park too, chasing the group until the sun went down.

Continue reading “You can teach an old dog new tricks”

What advice would you seek from a pro rider?

I’m riding the Chiltern 100 sportive at the end May, Human Race the organiser has invited me to join Team Sky pro rider Luke Rowe for a training session. After the ride I’ll have the opportunity to ask him a few questions. If you have a question you’d like me to ask for you please post them here and I’ll include as many as I can. Write them below in the comments so I can collect them tonight. I’m looking forward to hearing from you. Nicole

What do you eat when you ride?

I did my first century of the year today. A fairly epic ride, over to the Chilterns and we took on Whiteleaf a top 100 climb. Being the first really big ride of the year it was also my first day consuming a load of gels and bars.  I find the bars really hard to chew, gels are a bit better but on a long ride they’re a bit limiting as I can’t stomach too many. I’d love to know what you’re all eating on the bike, is there anything easy to eat that also tastes good and gives you the required energy? With my L’Etape Du Tour coming up soon I’d love to find better ride food. You can comment below and let me know.


An exciting journey with Rapha

Last summer I took part in the Rapha #womens100 event. The 100km route was from Richmond Park to Boxhill but it seems one of life’s journeys had other plans that day and this was just the beginning of something very exciting. 

Unbeknown to me, my cycling adventures have been inspiring a few people and Rapha got in touch with me a few weeks ago and invited me to apply to become one of their ambassadors for women’s cycling in the UK. I’m so happy and proud to share my news, I’ve been selected. 

Join the ride this year on the 26th July and see where the journey takes you

The Jubilee Pancake is still on the menu

It’s Shrove Tuesday next week so I’m sharing my protein pancake recipe. Pancakes spark fond memories for me. We did a lot of traveling in our childhood, we spent many hours on the UK roads, traveling to different race tracks with my Dad. We often stopped at the Little Chef and I see the Jubilee Pancake is still on the menu, I’m a 1970’s kid so that makes me very happy.

Pancake Day for the last few years has had quite a big meaning for me as I’ve actively taken part in lent which follows Shrove Tuesday. It’s been the time where I’ve stopped feeling comfortable through winter, stopped eating big meals and pudding. I’ve decided to get back on it, get my summer focus on track and think about my cycling goals for the year ahead. The one thing that really works for me is giving up all things sweet for lent. I have a real sweet tooth, I love cake, chocolate, cookies especially homemade ones from a really nice coffee shop so it’s really tough on the club run. Pancake Day is the last outing before I go in to battle for 40 days and 40 nights.

This year I’ll be having these protein pancakes. I try and add as much protein in to my diet as possible and these can make a really nice change from the morning shake or porridge (although I do love porridge).

For 1 serving, this makes about 4 pancakes you need:

  • 1 scoop of vanilla whey protein (you can use other flavours, chocolate is also OK but I think vanilla works best)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 TBSP of Quark/creamy cheese (I use low fat mascarpone)
  • 1/2 cup of oats
  • 1/2 cup of whole milk
  • 1 TBSP of coconut flour

Blend all of the ingredients together, until it’s smooth. I do this in a nutribullet.  On a hot non stick pan fry the batter up as pancakes, pouring out the mixture to the size you prefer. Flip them after a couple of minutes to cook and brown off the 2nd side. I served mine with 0% greek yogurt but you can top them with fruit, honey, maple syrup, bacon, nut butter, ice cream or whatever you like best on your pancakes. If you prefer your pancake batter thinner just add more milk.

It’s really easy, just put all the ingredients in the blender together. It’s a 1 pot recipe

I use the nutribullet to blend the ingredients but you can use any blender
I use the nutribullet to blend the ingredients but you can use any blender

I always put a little oil on the pan then wipe it away with kitchen towel before adding the batter
I always put a little oil on the pan then wipe it away with kitchen towel before adding the batter

Let the batter cook for approximatley 2 minutes on one side then give it a good flip
Let the batter cook for approximatley 2 minutes on one side then give it a good flip

If it's not stuck to your ceiling it should look like this. Let is cook for another 1-2 minutes then pour out the next one.
If it’s not stuck to your ceiling it should look like this. Let it cook for another 1-2 minutes then pour out the next one

Da da served with 0% fat greek yogurt yummy
Da da served with 0% fat greek yogurt yummy

The famous Jubilee Pancake

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