Tag Archives: cycling

Save the nod. Don’t be a non-nodder!

Convicts of the road. The fellowship of the wheel. Cycling is a broad church and it is a congregation united by the pleasure, fitness and memories gained aboard our self-powered transport. Racers or tourists, rough stuff riders or commuters we all share the invigorating enjoyment and freedom of the open road or trail.

You’ll already know or will have noticed that many cyclists acknowledge each other with a nod or raised arm when they pass each other, but it’s an action that seems to be increasingly neglected or unadopted by some riders.

A few years back I was lucky enough to ride in an area populated by numerous World Tour racers, including Giro D’Italia winner Tom Dumoulin, and one misty morning on a climb used in the Amstel Gold race we passed each other and naturally nodded. On roads between the Ribble HQ and home I’ve also had a cheery grin of acknowledgment from one of Britain’s top road racers out on a spin. Yet strangely I can also be out on quiet roads, in pleasant sunny weather and be completely blanked by numerous riders. If the ‘nod count percentage’ from my fellow cyclists drops below 50% I am dismayed, but luckily there are still enough of us nodders out there to maintain my faith in cycle kind.

Fair enough if you are doing a training interval but nodding is one of the cycling customs which must not be lost. If you think you’re too pro or cool to nod, then I’m afraid you’re mistaken. Pro riders nod so why don’t you?

The year I had to endure a 30-mile commute and could not cycle to work I bought a classic Volkswagen and discovered that Beetle owners raise a hand to each other out on the road. Similarly, motorcyclists often nod to each other and ramblers say hello.

So, let’s unite to save the nod. Don’t be a non-nodder!

Team Ribble


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Continue reading Disc brake vs Rim brake – Which one is better?

GUIDE: The Crossing – A Multi-day Fuelling Plan

When taking on multistage events, your nutrition and fuelling plan becomes even more important. For a one day event you may be able to just ‘wing it’ but when riding back to back, a bad day on the nutrition front can seriously catch up with you the next day. When taking on such a challenging event, preparation is key.

Studying the event information is always a must before getting to start line. The Crossing, for instance, is three days of off-road fun. The days are long and lumpy and to be able to keep going, paying attention to your nutrition before, during and after is going to be very important if you want to see the finish line in Scarborough and get that well-earned ice cream

To get the best understanding of the diet needed to succeed, Ribble Cycles spoke to Annie Simpson, an expert nutritionist from OTE Sports, to find out what is needed to take on this feat.

Before the event

Your start each day can take place from 7am. Nutritionist Annie Simpson would strongly advise not skipping breakfast despite the early start. Having a meal three hours before you start exercising is the ideal, but in this case it just won’t be practical. Annie advises having breakfast at 6am at the latest as this will allow it time to settle before you set off. Something like a big bowl of porridge is ideal as it is high in slow release carbohydrates to fuel the first part of your day.

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Fuelling during the event

Each day on The Crossing you will have one pit stop during the day to top up those energy supplies.

Simpson explains that there will be a whole host of snacks and drinks on offer, but having extra food with you is going to be important too. “Did you know that when cycling our body tends to use our carbohydrate supplies, especially when the going is tough. The only problem with this is out supplies are limited, so if we want to be able to keep to a good pace and not ‘hit the wall’ we need to make sure we keep replenishing these carbohydrates stores.”

“How you do this is up to you. Whether it is a banana, an OTE Anytime Flapjack Bar or an OTE Energy Drink, it doesn’t matter. Just as long as you are giving your body the energy it needs” she adds.

Annie confirms that you need to take on board 60g of carbohydrates per hour of moderate to intense riding. Here are Annie’s ideas of what 60g of carbohydrates could look like:

“Work out how long you expect to be riding for and make sure you are carrying the means to get through this or at least have some money to stop and refuel with. Remember you will have your Pit Stop to help and there are also unmanned water stations along the way to top-up your bottle.”

Annie stresses the importance of not neglecting hydration. “Did you know: As little as a 2% loss in body weight through sweating has been shown to reduce performance, so don’t compromise your training by forgetting to drink.

“Approximately 500ml per hour should be sufficient or try and stay just ahead of the feeling of thirst. Using products such as OTE energy drink makes for a much more palatable, lighter on the stomach and enjoyable drink, whilst providing carbohydrates and electrolytes too. Dehydration can not only lead to loss of performance but concentration too, and for 3 days of off road riding, concentration is going to be important for riding safe.”

After the event

Simpson stresses that when riding back to back days, nutrition for recovery or re-fuelling is very important.

“As soon as you finish riding each day, don’t switch off, think recovery! Within 30 minutes of finishing exercising the best way to kick start recovery is to consume a recovery drink. This supplies protein to help with muscle soreness, carbohydrates to replenish the fuel stores you have used and fluid to help you get back on top of hydration. Then resume your usual meal pattern as soon as possible. Each meal needs to be high in carbohydrate (aim for around 50% of your plate) and have a portion of protein if you really want to maximise your recovery.”

Annie continues: “Try having a high protein snack before you go to bed, something like an OTE Protein Bar would be great. This can help with reducing muscle soreness overnight and getting you ready for the next day.

“Then it is just a case of repeating this for three days, until you reach the finish line. Start your preparation and planning now to make sure you get the most out of yourself during The Crossing.”

Good luck in your next challenge!