Winter riding: tipples and tonics

Regular readers of this blog will recall its author’s fondness for what might be called tipples and tonics. Previous posts have claimed secret powers from l’elixir du grimpeur as well as the importance of a good recovery drink. Indeed, a proper winter training schedule – such as the one recommended here – gives a certain priority to tipples and tonics.

In the interests of science, your author has eschewed all conventional energy drinks (and other quack remedies, such as those pictured in this post below) to concoct what may indeed be the perfect tonic for winter riding. The winter riding tonic should be fortifying against the cold, and restorative of both morale and energy.

For this tonic, take one bidon and fill it three-quarters full of hot tea (English Breakfast is particularly suitable, but don’t be too picky), add milk – and lemon, if you prefer – to taste. To keep increase the restorative function, add some brown sugar and a healthy tipple of Drambuie (or similar) – the latter ingredient also having the advantage of helping to reduce the chances of your tonic freezing in its bottle, or the rider freezing on the inside. It won’t stay hot for your entire ride, but will do for the first few miles until you get warmed up; and the little tipple will keep you warm on the inside for the entire ride.

Naturally, having an iron constitution will also help the function of this tonic. Also, remember to wash your bottle thoroughly. Your author is currently testing the Clean Bottle which makes the process of cleaning out the residue a very straightforward process. Finally, as your training gets more serious, substitute orange juice for the milk (or add some more sugar) to give it more of a readily-accessible calorie count.

If such a tonic is not to your liking, feel free to submit your own winter riding recipe below. And remember that having ‘a little something’ in your bottle is not always necessary – the cafĂ© raid has a long and venerable tradition in cycling. Feel free to uphold it.

2 thoughts on “Winter riding: tipples and tonics

  1. I wouldn’t write off the oxygen tipple just yet. Next time you go swimming you should see how long you can hold your breath underwater. After you’ve given it your best shot, hyperventilate for 30 seconds just before going underwater, and I bet that you’ll double your time. Now inhaling oxygen is not the same, there may be something to it.

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