Surely the ultimate fuel for a long day in the saddle – eaten for breakfast a few hours before setting out – the slow release energy in the oats will keep you turning the pedals well into your ride. 

Porridge – the ultimate breakfast ?

For each rider – You need –

  • 1 x cup of Scottish / rolled / porridge oats
  • 1 x cup soya ( or other ) milk
  • 1 x cup water
  • optional – raisins – sultanas – honey – chopped banana – cinnamon – maple syrup – chopped apple – chia seeds – salt – whiskey – brown sugar

To make in a pan –

  • put 1 x cup of oats – 1 x cup of milk – 1 x cup of water into pan
  • put pan over a medium heat
  • stir mix as it warms
  • after 2 minutes add any optional seeds, fruit, salt or whiskey
  • keep stirring until porridge thickens to your taste
  • tip into bowl and cover with any optional sweeteners or spices

To make in a microwave –

  • put 1 x cup of oats – 1 x cup of milk – 1 x cup of water into a microwavable bowl
  • cook on full power – 2 1/2 x minutes for 800w – 2 x minutes for 900w
  • remove bowl – stir mix and add any optional seeds, fruit, salt or whiskey
  • cook for a further 2 x minutes
  • leave bowl to stand for 1 x minute
  • add any optional sweeteners or spices

A simple to make, classic start to any day – that can be tweaked in many a way.  Experiment by adding things you might not have had before – we had real porridge in Scotland when canoeing The Great Glen.  A B & B owner (known as “Drunken Duncan” !!) insisted in making everyone’s porridge with a tot of Whiskey and it makes a real creamy treat.

Safely oil your chain

The last thing you want is oil splashing onto your wheels rim or disk brake rotors – as this will lead to dangerous brake failure 

safely oiling bike chains
Keep oil off wheel rims

Place a piece of cardboard between the chain and your back wheel

Oiling bike chains
Applying lube to bike chain

Place nozzle of chosen lube onto chain (only bottom section – as only this touches cogs)  slowly turn pedals backwards and squeeze container gently to evenly apply oil to every link.

Wipe any excess lube off with a tissue / cloth and carefully remove the cardboard.



Ideal rest day breakfast or lunch – fill your omelette with your favourite veg’s – or raid the fridge and use up fresh odds and ends.  Eggs and cheese provide tired bodies with lots of protein to rebuild muscles. 

Recovery day omelette

You need –

  • Selection of chopped mushrooms – peppers – tomato – spring onion – chillies
  • 3 x eggs whisked together in a bowl / jug  + salt and pepper ( optional )
  • Grated cheese ( non dairy versions are available )
  • Coconut or olive oil – butter ( or similar )
  • Oven proof frying pan ( with metal handle )
  • Optional – mixed herbs – spinach

To make –

  • Pre heat your ovens grill – removing the grill pan while its cool
  • Melt cooking oil in frying pan over a medium heat
  • Add chopped veg’s and fry for a couple of minutes – till softening
  • Add a little extra cooking oil if needed – to prevent omelette sticking
  • Pour in egg mix
  • Add any optional spinach or herbs
  • Jiggle pan so egg covers the veg’s evenly
  • Cook for 2 / 3 x minutes – until edges are browning slightly
  • Sprinkle with grated cheese
  • Put frying pan under hot grill for 2 / 3 minutes – until eggs are cooked and cheese is melted – omelette should also be loose on bottom of pan if shaken
  • Tip cooked omelette onto a plate – folding in half

*A great start to your well earned day off – enjoy with a slice off bread for a more filling meal – a dollop of tomato sauce or chutney will add a spicy kick*


Vegan Sweet Potato Chilli

Laden with slow release carbs and proteins this hearty vegan chilli will help re fill your fuel tank while also helping to build and repair the muscles used on your rides.

Smokey Sweet Potato Stew
Smokey Sweet Potato Stew

For 2 x hungry cyclists you need –

  • 2 x medium / large sweet potatoes – roughly peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 or 3 x tablespoons olive oil or similar
  • 1 x red onion – finely sliced
  • 1 x large or 2 x medium sized red peppers – sliced
  • 2 x garlic cloves – crushed
  • 3 x teaspoons of chipotle paste
  • 1 x teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1 x 400 g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 x 400 g tin of kidney beans – drained and washed
  • optional – salt and pepper – sour cream – soft creamed cheese – grated cheese – fresh coriander leaves

To make –

  • Pre heat you oven to 200o C / gas mark 7
  • Put sweet potato pieces on a baking tray – in a single layer – coat with 1 x tablespoon of oil + sprinkle with salt and pepper (optional)
  • Put tray into hot oven for 20 x minutes
  • Then pour remaining oil into a saucepan over a medium heat
  • Add the sliced red onion and red pepper – with a pinch of salt (optional) and cook for 6 – 8 minutes until soft
  •  Add the crushed garlic, chipotle paste and ground cumin to the saucepan
  • Stir the mix and cook for 2 minutes
  • Pour in the drained kidney beans and chopped tomatoes
  • Simmer for 10 x minutes
  • Have a look at sweet potato in oven – which should now be soft
  • Remove sweet potatoes from oven and tip into saucepan
  • Serve chilli into bowls and add optional seasoning, toppings and garnishes

*Enjoy this healthy vegan chilli – it replaces used carbohydrates and the proteins will help in the repair process of tired muscles from today’s exercise – but if you have had a rest day – the chilli  will also go a long way to fuelling  tomorrows efforts – especially if eaten fairly late in the evening*


Vegan Chocolate Brownies

Quick and easy to make post ride or rest day treats – to make vegan versions use strong dark chocolate ( 80%+ ) and vegan protein / cocoa powder

chocolate brownies
Chocolate Brownies

You need –

  • Large bar – 170 / 200 g – dark chocolate ( 80%+ vegan? )
  • 170 g self raising flour
  • 50 g light olive oil
  • 230 g soya milk
  • 180 g brown sugar
  • 30 g chocolate protein  or cocoa powder ( vegan? )
  • 15 g vanilla extract
  • Optional – pinch of salt – raisins – sultanas – goji berries – cherries

To make – 

  • Pre heat oven to 160o C
  • Line a medium sized ( 20 cm square or 28 x 18 cm ) baking tray with grease proof paper
  • Warm a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water – make sure bottom of bowl stays out of the water
  • Break 150 g of chocolate into pieces and put them into the bowl to melt
  • Sieve the self raising flour and protein / cocoa powder into another bowl
  • Add brown sugar – salt (if used) and vanilla extract to the flour / powder bowl and mix well
  • Then add the olive oil – soya milk and melted chocolate to the bowl and mix well
  • Roughly chop or grate the remaining chocolate and add to the mix along with any optional fruit
  • Pour the mix into the lined baking tin – spread the mix out evenly
  • Put tray in pre heated oven for 20 / 25 minutes – until the the outside is browned while the inside remains moist
  • Remove from oven – allow to cool and chop into squares

* These are great with a coffee after a long ride or relaxing on a day off – but beware that they won t be around very long*


Post Ride De-Grease

How often should you bikes chain set be de-greased ??

After every ride – we believe 🚴‍♂️
As part of your post ride bike wash – use a paintbrush dipped in de-greaser to clean – chain, jockey wheels and cogs (by spinning peddles backwards)
Then wash it all off – allow to dry – we leave ours overnight- then re apply lube to suit riding conditions- wet or dry to chain sets and other moving parts 😎

Vegan Flapjack

The best tasting and easy to make version of this timeless favourite – great fuel on the go – as well as a pre and post ride snack.

vegan flap jacks
Vegan Flapjacks

You need –

  • 150g coconut oil
  • 90g brown sugar
  • 90g maple syrup or agave nectar
  • 170g porridge oats
  • 75g rasins or mixed fruit
  • 75g mixed chopped nuts – sunflower, chia, linseeds, mixed seeds, pistachio nuts can be included
  • 1 x peeled and mashed banana

To make –

  • Pre heat your oven to 160o C or 140o C if its fan assisted
  • Line a medium sized – 20 cm square or 18 cm x 28 cm baking tray with grease proof paper (top tip – scrunch it up 1st – then it covers the tray better)
  • In a pan over a moderate heat – melt the coconut oil, brown sugar and maple syrup / agave nectar together (don t overheat)
  • Remove pan from the heat and mix in the oats, fruit, nuts and mashed banana
  •  Tip the mix into the lined baking tray and spread / flatten the mix with back of spoon
  • Put baking tray into oven to bake for 30 – 35 minutes (till golden on top)
  • Remove baking tray from oven and allow to cool
  • Place a chopping board on top of tray, tip over to remove flapjack
  • Remove grease proof paper and chop flapjack into squares
  • Store in an airtight container (best for around 3 days if they last that long)

*These don t last long in our house – lovely with a coffee – 1st thing in morning – heading out the door to ride – foil wrapped in our jersey pockets for fuel while out on the bikes or to kick start the re fuelling process  on our return.*

Quorn Chicken and Tomato Stew

A simple to make stew which can be prepared and then left to cook in slow cooker while you are out riding – quickly made on your return to re fuel or for dinner on a rest day. 

Chicken and Tomato Stew
Chicken and Tomato Stew

For 2 x hungry cyclists you need –

  • 1 x tablespoon of olive or coconut oil
  • 1 x packet of Quorn fillets or pieces
  • 2 x Quorn sausages
  • 2 x carrots (chopped)
  • 2 x tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1 x onion (chopped)
  • 2 x fresh chillies (chopped – seeds in for hot – seeds out for mild)
  • 2 x cups (350ml) of stock
  • 1 x tin of white (butter or cannelloni) beans – optional
  • Fresh parsley

To make –

  • Warm oil in a large pan (with lid) over a medium heat
  • Add Quorn sausages and Chicken pieces to pan to brown
  • After a couple of minutes – chop sausages into 4 x pieces and fillets into chunks
  • Add all veg to pan  along with stock – put lid on and bring mix to boil
  • Reduce heat and simmer for 45 x minutes
  • Add beans for last 10 x minutes if including them
  • Serve up and garnish with chopped fresh parsley
  • Boiled rice or crusty bread are good with this

*This can also be made in a slow cooker – quickly brown sausage and chicken pieces – add all other ingredients with a little extra stock – and cook on “Low” setting for around 4 x hours (while you go for a ride)*

2020 Season

half moon bay Heysham

Wow – we didn’t see that coming !!

Then it seems like no one else had heard of Corona Virus a month ago either – now its shutting the country down

We have been all set to run 4 x existing sportive events along with 2 x brand new rides – 1 x off road / gravel bike ride in Grizedale Forest along with an exciting new sportive – as part of a new weekend “Festival of Cycling” at Lowther Castle in The Lake District

Following HM Government / British Cycling / common sense – we have now decided to re schedule the first 3 x rides of the 2020 season – to similar dates in 2021 –

  • 12 April 2020 – 68 and 32 mile Yorkshire Dales Loops
  • 10 May 2020 – 108 mile Lake District Loop
  • 14 June 2020 – 63 and 30 mile Forest of Bowland Loops

We have everything crossed that we can run the 3 x remaining events later in the year – but will also reschedule these too if it proves ill advised  –

  • 11 July 2020 – 80 and 33 mile North Lakes Loops from Lowther Castle
  • 11 October 2020 – 66 and 35 mile South Lakes Loops
  • 7 November 2020 – 32 mile Grizedale Forest Gravel Rash off road sportive

The team is obviously disappointed – as we were just starting to get excited about the fast approaching  Yorkshire Dales Loops – but are focusing on keeping our nearest and dearest safe and healthy over the next few months

Sure you are the same 🙂

We can t wait to see everyone at an event v soon tho –

Chris, Lynn and Top Dog Events team

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