Category Archives: Food

Skedaddle Twaddle about Food!!

Our Top 10 Cycling Cafés In The UK

With the nation’s love for cycling growing every day, today there’s plenty of brilliant cycling cafés around! But we wanted to highlight some of the stops we think go above and beyond and offer something extra for cyclists and cycling community. It can be a handy workshop, or a great location with loads of cycling routes around or regular events that bring the local cycling community together. In no particular order, here’s our top picks you should check out and why…

Dales Bike Centre

Best known for: Dales Bike Centre in Swaledale (Yorkshire Dales) with its ‘Café and Cakery’ has to be up there on your cycling café radar…  En route of the 2014 Tour de France Yorkshire Grand Depart, it certainly takes its coffee and cake seriously!  Nestled in the tiny village of Fremington, a ride in the stunning Yorkshire Dales isn’t complete without a coffee stop at Dales Bike Centre. Decked out in Tour de Yorkshire colours, the cafe is warm and relaxing and when the sun’s shining there’s plenty of outside seating in stunning landscape.

Dales Bike Centre, Fremington, Richmond, North Yorkshire, DL11 6AW
01748 884 908


Best known for: Great service, charm and custom made vintage bikes! Here the moto is “not only cycle, recycle”. Auguste offer a personalised service to all customers, from general services, to a complete custom built, or bespoke bicycles, letting you choose the parts from the ground up. They have vintage frames, parts and tools, but it doesn’t mean you cannot have the latest technologies on your bike. Mixing the best of both worlds (old and new) is the way they go here. Word on the street is they do the best coffee in the area too!

Auguste Handmade, 187 Hoxton Street, London, N1 6RA
02034 895 490

The Hub Portreath

Best known for: Electric bike hire, great coffee, locally made cake and amazing trails in the area! The menu boasts ‘healthy eating’ that also includes gluten free and vegan options, all made from locally sourced fresh ingredients. It is located right at the beginning of the fabulous Coast to Coast Trail, which runs 12 miles one way to Devoran on the far side of the coast. And this is only one of the trails you can take, as the entire Mineral Tramway Network is designated for cyclists and walkers, and all trails can be accessed from The Hub’s location here in Portreath.

The Hub Portreath, The Seafront, Portreath, Cornwall, TR16 4NN
01209 844 666

Escape Route

Photo by Escape Route

Bets known for: Established 17 years ago, Escape Route’s workshop offers a professional and friendly bike repair services. And just like in any great bike shop, it is essential to not only have a professional workshop, but also good coffee! And this place excels in both. It is also located very close to the start of a range of trails that will take you along the rivers and amongst the hills and forests of Highland Perthshire.

Escape Route, 3 Atholl Road, Pitlochry, Perthshire, PH16 5BX
Phone: 0179 647 3859

Ronde Bicycle Outfitters

Photo by Ronde Bicycle Outfitters

Best known for:  Ronde is not just a workshop, shop and a cafe. Ronde is also a community of enthusiastic riders who share their love for the sport! The unique Ronde philosophy was inspired by the desire to combine the camaraderie of a cycling club with a first class workshop and outfitters – and this is really what the place is all about.

Ronde Bicycle Outfitters, 66-68 Hamilton Place, Stockbridge, Edinburgh, EH3 5AZ
Phone: 0131 260 9888


Photo by Machine

Best known for: Machine is an independent family business established in 2011 and the first of its kind in the SE1 area in London. They describe themselves as ‘a place for cyclists to catch up, talk about their small and big achievements in sportives, worldwide trips, weekend plans while drinking their favourite Monmouth coffee and nibbling that lovely piece of cake’. All bread and coffee is locally sourced and is even delivered to the kitchen by bike. Also, if you need advice on which bike to get or in need of a fully equipped workshop, this  is your one stop shop in London!

Machine, 97 Tower Bridge Road, London, SE1 4TW
Phone: 020 7407 4287

Photo by Machine

Prologue Cycling

Photo by Prologue Cycling

Best known for: High-performance road bike shop, workshop, café, treatment room and bike-fit centre! There’s literally nothing these guys can’t help you with to meet all your road cycling needs. In-store, Prologue regularly hosts workshops, talks and social evenings for cyclists.  They also organise rides that bring together riders for weekly tours of the stunning cycling routes around North Yorkshire. And they don’t stop there. There’s also a treatment room for cycle-specific therapies, as well as bespoke coaching and scientific fitness testing from professionals currently working with Olympic gold medallists!

Prologue Cycling, 3/4 Wellington House, Cold Bath Road, Harrogate, HG2 0NA
 01423 503 000

Photo by Prologue Cycling

Velo Domestique

Photo by Velo Domestique

Best known for: Great coffee, regular cycling events and Breakfast Burritos! Think of Velo Domestique as a huge family, made up of everyone who has ever come and joined them for a coffee, had them take care of their bike or enjoyed one of their legendary specials. Their mission here is to ‘engage more members of their local community into cycling so they too can see the many benefits of a bike filled lifestyle‘.

Velo Domestique, 176-180 Seabourne Road, Southbourne, Bournemouth, BH5 2JB
01202 432 265

Photo by Velo Domestique

The Handle Bar

Best known for: Exceptional coffee and a delicious all-day menu! Located right above a bike shop, this hidden gem is a lovely place for a meal  at any time of the day, with friendly staff and great atmosphere. Here you can have a range of dishes and smaller plates to choose from, which are varied from menu to menu and specials, all plated as only the wonderful cooks at The Handle Bar can do – it is as good to eat as it looks!

The Handle Bar, 28-32 St Michael Street, Oxford, OX1 2EB
Phone: 01865 251 315

The Cycle Hub

Best known for: With arguably the best view in Toon and located slap bang on the Sustrans Coast to Coast (C2C) and Hadrian’s Cycleway route, this is the perfect pit stop for those in need of re-fuelling before the last few miles. The Cycle Hub is a bike friendly café offering bike hire with a fully equipped workshop for bike services and repairs. It also is the home of Saddle Skedaddle, so pop in for a lovingly crafted cuppa and some delicious homemade food when you are around and don’t forget to say hi!

The Cycle Hub, Quayside, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE6 1BU
01912 767 250

China: 5 Fast Facts

Chopsticks at the ready! With Chinese New Year celebrations about to kick off for another year, we thought we’d take a closer look at this enthralling country and its fascinating customs.

Most of you at some point will have gorged on a lip-smacking Chinese takeaway and been left baffled by the trademark fortune cookie saying at the end of your meal. Some of our favourite ‘wise words’ over the years include, ‘a very attractive person has a message for you’ (oo-aa) as well as ‘a good way to keep healthy, is to eat more Chinese food’ (oh fortune cookie, why can’t you be true?!) Little did we all know that this novel end to our Asian feast was but a cheap rip-off, conjured up on shores far from China (America to be precise) and never to be actually seen or served in a traditional Chinese restaurant. Well, we knew it was wishful thinking to believe that good-looking individual existed anyway!

Casting aside your newfound doubts as to the foundations of one of your favourite take-out options, it’s safe to say China has so much more to offer us than their endless buffet dishes. Oh yes, alongside Babylon, India and Egypt, China is considered one of the four ancient civilisations of the world, according to the scholar Liang Qichao. Whilst we can’t back up this claim outright, this is certainly a land where ancient history still radiates in everyday life. So, for those interested in learning more about the home of chopstick dining, here’s our fast facts to get you up-to-speed with all things Chinese…

New Year Celebrations last for 15 days…
If you thought one night of celebrations was enough, the Chinese put us to shame by spending over two weeks rejoicing this special time of year. For westerners the classic Chinese New Year see’s the streets bursting with noise and colour, and legend has it that this way of celebration was to keep the monster Nian, who would return at this time of year, at bay. With close ties to ancient tradition, many still like to honour their ancestors during this time too.

Red is the national colour of China
Their flag may give this away a little, but red is also considered the countries luckiest colour! From lovely lanterns hanging in the streets to the top colour of choice for Chinese brides (there’s no white frocks here!), you’ll be greeted with a splash of red wherever you go in China. Believed to represent happiness, beauty, success and good fortune, we can see why the streets are literally bursting with this shade.

China has 52 national heritage landscapes…
The UNESCO World Heritage Site has awarded the country many worldwide treasures and comes second only to Italy. Sites of note include the impressive Great Wall of China, Protected Panda sanctuaries and the ethereal peaks and caves of the Bajiaozhai National Park (also explored during our cycling adventure to Guilin and Guangxi). With so many stunning gems to explore, this really is a photographers dream destination.


For the love of tea…
China is one of the biggest tea producers in the world and is considered one of the first countries to start drinking this now classic beverage. Chinese legend has it that Emperor Shennong (said to have lived 5,000 years ago) discovered this pick-me-up when leaves from a tea bush fell into the water his servants had been brewing for him. At first considered a purifying tonic, used for medicinal purposes only, it has since grown into one of the world’s most favoured thirst quenchers.

The Great Firewall of China…
Don’t panic, the iconic Great Wall of China hasn’t gone up in flames! This fantastic pun plays on China’s internet ban on the wests popular digital feeds. Blocked by the government since 2009, travellers here will have to manage without their daily newsfeed updates. Oh well, sounds like a fab reason to really disconnect from your everyday lives and get connected with the people and places that matter on your adventure.

Want to find out more fascinating Chinese facts? What better way to put your new found knowledge to the test than by heading to China for yourself. Our cycling adventure here takes place in Guilin and Guangxi and explores some of the countries most beautiful natural landscapes, including the stunning Li river and the rural communities that call this part of the world their home.

Top 5 foods for cyclists (and why)

Food glorious food! On a cycling holiday you will be spending a good amount of time pedalling, so it is important to think about your fuelling strategy. Our guide and cycling journalist Hannah Reynolds gives hers top five food options to get you going and explains why you should reach for them before, during and after your ride…

1. Beetroot
Often found on the Skedaddle picnic table beetroots are great for more than just turning your wee pink. Regular beetroot juice has been shown to have a remarkable effect on cyclists, it enhances blood flow, increases muscle efficiency and extends your endurance. Drinking beetroot juice can make you faster in a 10km time trial, it may only be by 12 seconds but that is enough to win a medal instead of being a runner-up. Pretty impressive for a root vegetable.

To get the effect you need half a litre of beetroot juice a day, more than most of us would normally choose to consume, so for performance benefits professional athletes have concentrated shots. If you aren’t gunning for an Olympic medal just having beetroot in your salad still has many health benefits including reducing blood pressure and strengthening your gut health.

2. Bananas
Nature’s own energy bars. High in carbohydrate, easy to eat and digest, plus they come in their own handy packaging that doesn’t create waste or damage the environment. Bananas are the number one cycling food. They are perfectly balanced to replace the electrolytes lost through sweat, particularly potassium as well as providing 25g-30g of carbohydrate to supply energy to our cycling muscles.

Bananas are interesting in many ways, their GI (how quickly the sugar in the food absorbs into our blood stream) changes as they ripen. A green banana is more fibrous and has a lower GI, a brown banana has a much higher GI so releases its energy faster. Bananas are good for long rides and eating before a ride as other than the very brown ones they reduce energy steadily over time.

Don’t just eat bananas on your bike, the fibre in bananas called pectin helps to moderate your blood sugar levels and can reduce your appetite, making them a good snack between meals. They also make a great recovery food for after a ride, add them to a smoothie or eat one with a glass of milk.

3. Coffee
Not strictly a food but we can’t ignore the huge benefits, and pleasures, of a pre ride espresso. We all know a coffee helps us get going in the morning and keeps us awake when we are nodding off but when it comes to riding bikes it does even more. It increases alertness, as we know, but it also reduces perception of fatigue and discomfort. We feel less tired and cycling feels easier when we have had a coffee!

Over time our bodies can get used to the amount of caffeine we are using so to get a more effective coffee hit while cycling keeps your espresso habit for pre-ride treats and the café stop.

4. Dates
Dates are the natural fruit equivalent of scoffing Haribo or eating gels. They are incredibly sweet as they are 80% sugar so they fill your mouth with the sweet sticky sensation we sometimes crave and provide the carbohydrates you need for cycling. But unlike eating sugary sweets they also pack a high number of nutrients for good health. As with bananas they are high in potassium, also magnesium and copper which help to maintain a healthy nervous system and blood pressure.

The sugar in dates is usually glucose, fructose and traces of sucrose and maltose providing you get a quick burst of energy and also a slow release over an extended period of time. They are great for satisfying a sweet tooth when not cycling as the fibre in Medjool dates slows the rate at which the carbs can be digested, so you avoid spikes in blood sugar levels and energy remains more constant. You only need one or two dates at a time as they are so intensely sweet and energy dense.

5. Ice-cream (yes really)
After cycling, particularly if you are on a long trip and need to cycle again the next day, you need the right foods to help your body recover. The two priorities are carbohydrate and protein. There has been a lot of noise about why chocolate milk is the ultimate recovery drink, it contains a three-to-one ratio of carbohydrate grams to protein grams which appears to quickly replenish your body’s energy stores, as well as potassium, calcium and vitamin D. Chocolate milk is easy to digest ( for those who normally eat dairy) and it contains exactly the right balance of fast-absorbing proteins from the milk, such as whey protein for muscle growth and repair, and slow-absorbing proteins such as casein which gives your body protein building blocks to keep repairing over time.

However, these facts also apply to that holiday favourite – ice-cream – and what better way to round off a day in the saddle than licking a lovely big cone of your favourite flavour. Ice-cream slips down easily, even if you are feeling hot and tired at the end of the day, and helps give your body the fuel it needs without making you feel uncomfortably full.