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As promised in my previous post I am writing today with details of my home made energy drink.

A couple of years ago I was researching on the internet about the qualities, contents and effectiveness of commercially available energy drinks for cycling.  Among the results I came across an article by a sports scientist and he was saying that the basic, working ingredients of the commercially available drinks was just salt and sugar.  There maybe other ingredients of fairly dubious origin and effect but these basics are the working part and all you need.  Otherwise you are just producing very expensive pee!  You don’t have to spend a fortune stocking up with energy drinks as all the ingredients you need are easily available from the kitchen.

Following his ‘menu’ my drinks consist of just sugar and salt and some fruit cordial of choice just for taste:-

For a 500ml bottle I use just two tablespoons of sugar and a level teaspoon of salt.  I usually add a small amount orange or blackcurrant cordial just for flavour, top the bottle up with water and give it a good shake and off you go.

For a 750ml bottle I use three tablespoons of sugar and a heaped teaspoon of salt the rest of the procedure is as above.

When its really hot and or the climbs are long, such as are to be found in French Alps I usually take a bottle of energy drink and a bottle of plain water. The water not only comes in useful just to quench your thirst but can also be a useful aid to pour over inner tubes to locate hard to find punctures.  Its better than spitting on the tyre in a suspect area or rubbing it with a wet finger I find.  Up to 35-40 mile long rides in the UK I usually only take water with me anyway.

You can always stick a couple of energy gels in your pocket in case of emergency but I never eat anything when on my solo rides up to about 50 miles.  Over that distance I might put in some fig rolls or cereal bars.  Mrs G’ goes have a recipe for a homemade version of cereal bars that I gleaned from a cycling magazine which are very tasty and nourishing but I don’t have that to hand right now.  About every 5 miles I take a couple of mouthfuls of drink just to keep  the levels topped up rather than wait until I feel I need it.  Fortunately my Garmin pops up with a ‘lap time’ every 5 miles so this acts as a useful reminder providing I don’t miss it.

The drink and cereal bars are what got me up Mont Ventoux and all the other mountains I have ridden over recent years and I wholeheartedly recommend them.

Today marked the occasion of the third ride over 40 miles in five days as I have managed to get a ride in on alternate days so far in this latest run.  Each ride has been marginally longer than the previous.  Todays ride was a southern loop around the perimeter of Milton Keynes, giving it quite a wide berth.  It was a shade over 46 miles and contained several climbs amounting to a total altitude gain of over 2200 feet.  A couple of the climbs around the Brickhill’s area at around the 30 mile mark had gradients of around 14-15%.

I was riding the Colnago today with newly fitted tyres, Schwalbe Ultremo’s with a couple of nice red stripes and a complete lack of tread.  The maximum recommended pressure is 145psi but I didn’t go that far, just up to 120psi.  I usually run my tyres at about 10psi less than the maximum advised pressure so they are usually around the 100 – 110psi mark.  As it was it was quite a ‘firm’ ride today especially given the state of a lot of our roads at the moment.  I was however pleased to note that one previously notoriously rough stretch of road between Whaddon and Mursley has been resurfaced and was now beautifully smooth.  There is plenty of room for improvement on a lot of the other roads I was on today though.

On another note I see that yesterday someone was finally arrested for the murders that took place at Annecy in France when I was there last September.  This is a link to the Murder At Lake Annecy’ post from last year.  Here is a link to the BBC Website article about the arrest