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Ride Fuel – Banana Bread

If you’ve ever been to Australia you’ll know that the staple in many cafe’s is not flapjack but banana bread. Bananas are often used during a ride but with this easy recipe can be turned into something a little more exotic.

Great either cold or toasted, a slice of this is an ideal post ride snack.

You’ll need..

  • 4 bananas – the mushier the better
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • 115g butter
  • 115g brown sugar
  • 250g plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

To make…

  • Heat the oven to 180 degrees
  • Mix the butter and sugar together in a blender
  • Add the eggs and bananas to the mix
  • Stir in the salt, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon
  • Pour into a 1 lb bread tin lined with grease proof paper
  • Put in the oven and go and clean your bike or drink some coffee for around an hour
  • Check the bread is baked by stabbing it with a knife – if it doesn’t come out clean give it a bit longer
  • Once done leave it to stand for quarter of an hour in the baking tin resisting temptation to dive in
  • Remove from tin, slice and consume either toasted or as is.
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Favourite places

We feel very lucky to be based in Chesterfield. We have a choice of heading out west into the Peak District or east into the flatlands of Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire.

Many of our rides end up an eatery of some kind or another. Here’s a few of our current favourites for if you are ever up our way.

David Mellor  – Hathersage

Sat on the edge of the popular Peak District village of Hathersage, this cafe is in the grounds of David Mellor’s eponymous cutlery factory. Also in the same building is a small design museum and factory shop. At Christmas time they usually get a classic sports car inside the cafe to carry the presents. There is also a free factory tour on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

No Car Cafe- Rushup

High upon the hills above the iconic climbs of Winnats and Mam Nick sits Rushup Hall. Due to it’s location whichever way you get to it (even from the Western side) it involves a monster of a slog up hill. The cafe is in a barn conversion and is so called because it has no car parking  – just somewhere to lean your bike or tether your horse. The food is freshly cooked and tea is served in huge tea pots. Definitely worth the effort to get to.

Loaf  – Crich

Crich is one of those picture postcard villages that was used in the 1990’s TV series Peak Practice. As the name suggests Loaf is a bakery, so you are spoilt for choice of what to have your sandwiches made from. Like the No Car Cafe (above) this eatery has table service which is a nice touch. It also offers cookery courses if you want to find out some of the methods and secrets behind their delicious fare.

Highfield House Farm – Stonedge

Located on the edge of Chesterfield this farm has its own shop and cafe. A lot of the meat in their food is from the farm is used in their food so as you look out of the window and gaze across the fields you can see what you will be potentially eating in a few months time. The cafe makes what we at Velotastic consider to be the gold standard benchmark full English breakfast.

Ilam Hall  – Ashbourne

Ilam Park is a 158 acre estate situated just north of Ashbourne. This stately pile was built in the 1820’s for the Watts Russell family and in the early part of the 20th century was nearly demolished. Luckily it was saved by a local philanthropist and given to the National Trust to maintain. There is also a Youth Hostel on site if you fancy staying a little longer. Being run by the trust the fare is their usual high quality, but what makes this property is the view across the Italianate gardens towards Dove Dale.

The Apron  – Gamston

Airport eateries usually conjour up the image of cardboard sandwiches and tepid coffee. However the Apron bucks this trend with delicious food and lovely drinks. Situated at Retford – Gamston airfield just off the A1 which is primarily used for light aviation, this cafe has rightly become popular with local riders.

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Cycle Grub

Eating on the bike is extremely important to avoid the dreaded ‘bonk’, but what you eat is equally important. One of our freinds has a created a fantastic new website Cycle Grub Providing healthy & not so healthy food inspirations to fuel your ride, before, during & after.

Check out their energy laden Granola Bars. This recipe is simple and like no other!!!

In a large saucepan, melt together:

Sunflower Oil – 120ml
Soft Dark Brown Sugar – 200g
Manuka Honey – 2 tbsp
Peanut Butter – 1 tbsp
Vanilla Extract – 1/2 tsp
Toffee Pieces – 2 tbsp

Once melted add:

Sesame Seeds – 25g
Sunflower Seeds – 25g
Dried Cranberries – 50g
Chopped Hazelnuts – 50g

Once all mixed gradually add 225g
thick cut porridge oats/oatmeal.

Cycle Grub Flapjack

Transfer mixture to a 25 x 15 cm baking tin lined with parchment.

Press down firmly with a masher or similar then

Place in a fan oven at 160 degrees for 10 – 15 minutes, keeping an eye on them so they don’t get over done.

Now this is the hard part!! 

Allow the mixture to cool for around 3 hours (sorry), but goodness comes to those who wait!!

Once cooled, carefully use a sharp knife to cut the mixture in squares.

Wrap in foil, pop in your back pouch and enjoy on your ride.. remember, on long rides eat something every 45 minutes!!

For more delicious recipes check out  or their page on Facebook.