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Cycling is one of the fastest growing sports and for every cyclist you see there is a chance it is one less car.

Are you set up to promote yourself to Cyclists and increase your bookings?

As we start to get in to the summer season I am seeing more and more bikes on the road. It is the best way to explore an area, it’s green and it enables you to eat more cake without feeling guilty! Cyclists are renowned for being great guests as they are out all day and generally eat out. But what makes a great place to stay for cyclists?


Essential for cyclists. This means an enclosed secure are with a locking door. It encourages guests to keep their bikes here and not with them in the room too.


Ideal when it has been wet to wash the bikes down after a ride. Great if you can also supply some brushes / sponges and cleaning agents.


Cyclists going out on long rides generally check the pressure of their tyres before they head off. Great if they have a track pump and gauge to get them inflated to the right pressure.


Ideal for getting their routes planned … and uploading them to Strava!


Might be worth considering a coat and shoe rack in the cycle store or just inside the door. Most keen cyclists will have cleats which are not only tricky to walk in but can mark some floors. If kit is wet it is best left near the door or out in the cycle store!


Cyclists and coffee goes hand in hand and they love waking up to a few hits of coffee before heading out on the road!

Get yourself advertised on a cycle accommodation website to pull in the cyclists. You can advertise on Cycle Tonic for £75 for the year and bookings are directly with you. We are looking to expand our cycling accommodation network … sign up and watch this space to increase your bookings.

Cycle tour of Slovenia. A hidden gem for road cyclists

Not Slovakia or Sardinia but Slovenia! It might not have been around for long but it does exist and is worth exploring…

As counties go Slovenia is a newbie. If you do anything before 2019 book to visit here next year, it is wonderful.

…ideally book on our next Cycle Tonic Tour!


Our Tour of Slovenia started in Murska Sobota, in the North East. Originally Yugoslavia's northernmost city, and throughout history it has shifted across borders between Slovenia, Yugoslavia, and Hungary.

The riders were all met by our driver in the City of Ljubljana and transported by mini bus up to Murska Sobota.

With 68 miles to get behind us on day one it was a relief to wake up to a dry day with the sun trying to burn through. Reunited with the bikes we set off at just gone 9am to began the 7-day, 500 mile ride to the coast.

Leaving the city behind we began to get a hint that Slovenia had a great deal to offer us as we cycled through villages, forests and vineyards on quiet, well maintained ‘rolling’ roads.

Cycle touring quickly creates a real bond between the riders (and support). You soon develop a real team feel to the adventure and our two support drivers (Fletch and Rach) did a sterling job of keeping us fueled up each day.


I’ve had a desire to own a van for decades and love our T5 which has been purpose built with the help of Bruce at Suffolk Campers , Eric and my own handy work. It’s been built to carry the bikes securely and offer catering during the tours. As the week went on it was obvious everyone had fallen in love with the van (Stan) which stopped to refuel us every 25 miles with Munchy Seeds, BeetIT bars and Veloforte Bars to name a few - I’m sure it wasn’t just the tasty contents which sparked the love affair with Stan!

Amazingly, as small as Slovenia is it offers the keen cyclist a bit of everything with varying, breathtaking landscapes everyday. Aside form the rural roads we enjoyed turquoise lakes, immaculate vineyards, spectacular mountain climbs (and descents), fast flowing rivers, bustling cities and quaint villages... I could go on…

After testing our quads as we climbed the highest mountain pass in the Eastern Julian Alps at 1,611m (Vrsic Pass) we enjoyed a long descent in to the Soca Valley where the day finished.

With the knowledge of a shorter day on the road to follow we enjoyed some local beers and wine at the hotel. The following morning some recovered with a massage while others took to the water for some white water adventures!


Accommodation was excellent with a range of hotel and local guest houses. Hospitality was always wonderful and welcoming, it really is a super friendly country.

In general roads are in good condition but we did have to cross some unsealed sections of road. They were short sections but my cyclo-cross past certainly came in to its own!

We finished on the coast after 7 wonderful days of cycling with a meal together sharing our stories of the week. A week of making new memories, friends and falling more in love with exploring a country by bike (and Stan the Van!)

If you are planning a Cycle Tour next year make this the one. You will not be disappointed. Book before the 1st December 2018 to take advantage of our discounted rate of £995.

We are limited to 8 bikes in the van on a first come, first served option. We can arrange for bike box storage or bike hire.

Please check out our other tours and get in touch if you would like a bespoke one arranged for you and follow us on social media using the links below :

We look forward to exploring some amazing places with you…


Munching on munchy seeds

Have you tried Munchy seeds? We think every athlete needs these little packets of seeds in their life!

With excellent nutritional value and a great range of flavours you are sure to be able to fit these treats in to your diet whether it be a snack on it's own or added to your favorite dish. 


Crammed full of protein, iron, fibre, vitamins and minerals these seeds are super high in nutritional value.  Ideal for those leading an active lifestyle and also great for those with special diets such as gluten free, vegetarian and many of the flavours are suitable for a vegan diet too.

Great for energy, healthy hair and skin, muscles and bones.  They can also help to maintain a healthy heart and boost your immune system.  Whats stopping you from adding these delicious little seeds to your diet?


Start the day with some power in your porridge


I head out for a run first thing, whatever the weather.  Something that helps me get round is knowing I am coming back to a big bowl porridge to fuel me through till lunch whatever I am doing. 

  • Heat your oats with Almond milk and a drop of water - I add cinnamon too
  • blueberries, strawberries and a banana
  • Honey
  • Natural set yogurt
  • Munchy seeds honey seeds topping


Spinach and smashed avo with poached eggs on a good sour dough is a flavour sensation! With the right combination you'll be wanting this as your daily intake!  I've tried this meal with the omega sprinkles, savory crunch and the sesame seeds, they are all excellent with this dish!


  • Sour dough (I'm a huge fan of the Cake Shop Ale Bread/sour dough - it is to die for!)
  • Steamed spinach
  • Smashed Avocado
  • Fresh tomatoes
  • Free range eggs
  • MUNCHY SEEDS, salt and pepper




Munchy seeds make salad taste amazing - honestly! I've never been a big salad fan but munchy seeds make the dullest of lettuce leaves taste great! This dish is a great dish to finish your day, it's super quick for busy people too. I added a ready seasoned pork chop from Swiss Farm

  • Kale, spinach, mizuna and ruby red chard
  • Fresh tomatoes
  • Caesar dressing
  • Your choice of seeds, again I loved the omega sprinkles, savory crunch and the




I couldn't close this blog off without mentioning my favorite munchy seeds snack, I have a sweet tooth and the chocolate options are just amazing! Make sure you add some Choccy Ginger  and Choccy Apricot to your order for a real treat! 

Brevet de Randonneir / Audax cycling


If you love the challenge of long distance cycling, the Audax is a must for you.

The concept has been on my radar since I really got interested in long distance cycling a few years ago. 

With the rise in Sportive popularity and the growth in people entering them to race I have been reluctant to enter them in more recent years.  I wanted to tap in to something less commercial and more about time on the bike not speed on the bike, I want to explore and just enjoy my day out on two wheels and that's excactly what the Audax offers.

The addition of a new titanium bike which is super comfy to ride and the suggestion from a fellow Dunwich Dynamo rider the week before prompted me to go online and not only enter a 200km ride in Essex but join AudaxUK.

I entered and within minutes had the route sent to me with a welcome email.   I downloaded the GPX on to my garmin and packed up some snacks for the ride.


The Essex R&R certainly doesn't stand for rest and relaxation. However, following on from years of racing it was a result to turn up to a cycle event and not only be relaxed but offered free breakfast before I set off; even though I was a good half hour later than planned!

The first 'control' was a post office about 20miles in from the start, we had to get a receipt to prove we had been. I purchased a cereal bar but was so excited by the receipt I ended up leaving my purchase in the shop!

The route was stunning with quiet country roads and a list of recommendations about good places to stop to refuel it was just like riding with a local. 

The format of Audax means you are not having to keep up with the group and there's not strict start and finish time, you just hop on your bike and ride the route. The style of this Audax is known as  Randonneuring, instead of riding together you cycle at your own pace, stop/sleep when you need, fuel yourself between 'controls' and finish within an agreed time limit.


Finished off with free teas and cake at the end, with a friendly bunch of cycling fanatics!

What more could a cyclist want?!

The power of a challenge

We asked Dr Katherine Bond, a world renowned sport and performance psychologist, who’s supported athletes at 5 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and is a keen cyclist, to write us a blog on the power of a challenge. We think taking on a challenge is just the tonic, but we thought we’d hear from an expert on just why that is!

Challenges… everywhere we look, we’re encouraged or enticed to take on a challenge – whether it’s at work, at home or at play! It seems we humans can’t quite resist taking on a challenge; we probably all know people who are ‘challenge junkies’ – those who seem to think life isn’t worth living unless they’re packing stuff in and planning their next crazy mission (maybe you’re one of them!). Even for the less compulsive achievers amongst us, we seem to gravitate towards taking on a new and fresh challenge every now and again.

So why are we so taken by pushing ourselves, having a focus or doing something ‘extra’-ordinary? Well, it’s pretty simple. We’re driven to grow, explore, improve and try new things. It’s a fundamental human tendency – we want and need to push our boundaries and get outside our comfort zone – and we’re curious about what we’re capable of. Going outside our comfort zone – for a specific purpose – enables us to learn about ourselves and what we’re capable of, gain a great sense of achievement, and do something with real focus and that has meaning.

Think about it – chances are that those times in your life and job when you’ve been most stretched, under pressure, or challenged have been the times of most learning and growth (and often the times of most hardship and stress too). Growing and expanding feels good – it makes us feel alive, human; it feeds our soul; it fuels our confidence; it helps us shape and evolve our identity and it adds to our sense of worth as people. Staying static and in our comfort zone is not in our DNA – and times when we feel like we’re treading water, have little meaning or purpose, or have been too long in our comfort zone are deeply demotivational, and sometimes psychologically damaging periods in our life.

So there you have it. Challenges really are good for the soul. And the best challenge to take on? Well, there’s no ‘right’ answer here, because it’s a deeply personal thing. But here’s 5 typical key ingredients – 1) a challenge with real social purpose – a benefit for others; 2) one that pushes you physically; 3) a challenge that’s done with other people (a shared experience or endeavour); 4) something that’s new and different for you and 5) results in a real, genuine sense of achievement.

An end to end tour, with other people, in aid of a charity, that pushes your boundaries – and is something you’ve never done before? Sounds like just the tonic!


Stay motivated to train

Winter and even on wet summer days it's not always easy to get motivated to train.  There can be a whole host of excuses about why not to train but without training you're not gaining.

If you are sleeping well, eating well and have the time between other commitments there is no excuse not to train.  Bad weather is no excuse - that's what turbos and rollers are for!

The following tips will help you stay motivated to train :

Be focused and positive

Just telling yourself you're going to smash a session when you walk out the door lacking motivation will put your mind in to training mode.  Remember,  if you skip a session you'll kick yourself, if you smash it you'll self-motivate yourself!

Ride with others

It's great to train with friends or a club/group.  They will motivate you to get out and ride,  you will motivate them too!

Commit to a race, sportive or an event. 

This will encourage you to get on and train even when it's tough to get your kit on and get on the bike.  Tell yourself every session will make the goal achievable and more enjoyable - it will! Cyclo-cross and mountain biking are a fun way to stay on the bike in the winter time, go and get muddy and enjoy it!

Commit to a charity ride.

Knowing you are raising money for a good cause, a cause those less fortune will benefit from will make you push boundaries further and commit to training more.  The motivation of having people backing you will make your training commitment stronger and encourage them to support and motivate you. Generally people will take on a charity challenge far greater than a race or sportive as they want it to be attractive to sponsors.  Raise the physical demand and really raise some money for a good cause.


Without pain there is no gain!

How to descend on a road bike

Riding down a hill on a bike is an exhilarating experience.  It's one that can easily go wrong.  Riding on just millimeters of rubber and with only a bit of lycra to protect you we advise you to not only wear a helmet but to take the following tips on board.

1.  Body position.  Ideally you want to ride on the drops not the hoods.  This way you will get more leverage on the brake levers and be more aerodynamic. Make sure you don't grip on to the bars too tight.  Keep your arms slightly flexed to allow you to absorb any bumps.

2. Braking. Don't be tempted to brake drag (keeping your brakes on slightly) on long descents brakes can overheat and become less effective. You can use your upper body to help slow you down if needed by sitting slightly more upright. A more upright position will create a constant, slower speed.

3. Pedals.  You want to ride with your cranks in the horizontal position, so at 3 and 9 o'clock.  Be aware on the corners to drop the outside pedal to the 6'o'clock position to avoid catching the pedal on a sharp corner and catching the front wheel.  Bike geometry varies between manufacturers.  Some are less forgiving and can cause you to catch your foot with the front wheel.

4.Focus ahead. You need to spot potential hazards early.  Looking well ahead will help you to anticipate any potential obstacles. Look out for changes in the road surface, painted lines, drains, fallen leaves and any obstructions.

Be aware of other road users, cyclists are quiet and faster than people anticipate.  Be ready to react quickly.

Aim to leave at least three or four bike lengths between you and the other rider(s).  Call out any potential hazards in good time either verbally or by pointing them out.

Always wear a helmet #noexcuses and enjoy the ride!

Best cycling kit to survive winter training

Having the wrong kit can really ruin a good ride, especially when the weather turns.  When you're training and putting some serious miles in you want reliable kit.  Tyres are the key thing to get right. The last thing you want to be doing is stopping for a puncture, especially when its cold and/or wet. I always recommend the following tyres to give you the best chance of avoiding punctures...

Continental Gatorskin Tyres

Having good tires is essential.  They need to grip well, ride well and have a reduced risk of punctures, the Gatorskins offer all of the above. All but one of the 14 riders used these tyres for a 1500 mile ride and there was only one puncture, it wasn’t a Gatorskin tyre.

I tend to buy the folding tyres for two reasons; You can easily ride with them in your jersey if you need to and you can test your thumbs by changing without leavers.

I usually buy 23mm in the summer and 25mm in the winter or if I am likely to be riding slightly rougher roads.

Continental Gatorskin Tyres

The next thing to get right is your kit.  Warm kit that wears well is essential on the bike to help you enjoy your ride.  I'm a huge fan of the following kit :

Gore cycling Kit

Great kit to keep you warm and comfortable.  I've used the power jacket on seriously cold and wet days this winter,  it fits well, keeps the cold and rain out and looks great too! I wouldn't leave the house without mine when I'm putting in a winter road ride!

GORE Cycling Apparel

2XU base layers

I love this kit!  I've used 2XU kit for rugby, running and cycling,  it does the job, wears well and puts up with the strains of all three sports I've tested it with. 

2XU base and compression layers

SIDI Shoes

Rated more for the way these wear,  I've been riding in mine for 5 years, raced Cyclocross and they visit muddy mountain biking trails weekly.  They are still going strong!  Great design and hard wearing.

SIDI Cycling Shoes

I'll always recommend that you try to get the best deal with your local cycle shop, support them and they will support you when you need it.

'With the right kit, there is no such thing as bad weather'.  The feeling of getting a good ride in and coming in to the warm for cake afterwards is the best reward for your dedication!

Get out and ride!