In what can only be a vain effort to stave off the inevitable decrepitude that is staring me in my middle-aged face, I do my best to stay reasonably fit. I love to get out on my bike and lose the pounds, while searching for my long-lost youth, up in the wild Wicklow Mountains. One of my cycling partners is Rodrigo, a Portuguese photographer and videographer. We have kept at the cycling through the winter and are in reasonable shape for the various sportives over the summer cycling season.
My problem is that Rodrigo’s reasonable shape and mine are fifteen years apart. The other issue is one of size. I am a small fella akin to a leprechaun while he is a pretty powerful, big man. In cycling terms, this translates into my having the best of it when climbing the hills. He has the best of it on the flat or downhill.
This means that I spend most of my time panting and gasping as I try to catch the Big Fella while out on our training cycles. The culinary high point of our slogs in the mountains comes when we pause for fuel. The Big Fella will often produce a couple of his home-made flapjacks. Perfect endurance food and very tasty. The lovely blend of honey, oats and fruit throws energy into the depleted system and makes for a very pleasant chew.
All too soon, we are back on the bikes and I am trying to not focus on my burning thigh muscles as once again, I grind out the kilometres watching the Big Fella become smaller in the distance. To think I do this for fun. But, you aren’t here to listen to me moan. You want the low down on the tastiest cycling fuel around.
Rodrigo’s Flapjack Recipe
- 480g Porridge Oats (half jumbo, half regular)
- 240g Real Butter
- 200g Brown Sugar
- 150g Golden Syrup
- 60g Honey
- Add raisins or fruit to your taste.
Melt the butter in a pan, add the syrup and honey and mix.
Put the oats in a big bowl.
Chop the dried fruit quite small.
Add the honey / golden syrup / butter mixture to the oats, the sugar and the fruit, if using and mix it all so that it is consistent.
Put it on pre buttered, lined tray and pat it down.
Then put it in a pre heated (180º C) oven for 30 minutes.
Allow to cool completely before slicing into bars.
This year, we are again taking part in Cycle 4 Life in aid of Temple Street Children’s Hospital. It’s a great charity and a great cause. Cycling ace Dan Martin will be there to get us underway. Why not join us and you too can have the pleasure of a sore backside, burning legs, rasping throat, scorched lungs and mental fatigue. All while watching the Big Fella disappear over the horizon, fuelled by those beautiful Flapjack bars.
Cycle4Life takes place on June 7th at Dunboyne, County Meath.