Winter Warmers

Six of our ambassadors from Asia, Europe and America share their experiences of winter riding. Download their favourite local routes, read the recipes that fuel their rides and get a view of women’s cycling from around the world.

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Karen Yung, USA

Above images: Donalrey Nieva

@kareny123

I live in Greenpoint, Brooklyn and originally got into riding to get around the city - the public transportation in this part of New York City is circuitous and inefficient, at best. Now I ride almost every day – for the pure love of it, for the physical challenge and because it allows me to go on adventures just beyond my doorstep.

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My ride

George Washington Bridge is the closest route out of the city for me. The road takes you over the Hudson River and to the Palisades, a line of steep cliffs that stretch north alongside the river. River Road follows the rolling hills alongside the cliffs and provides impressive views and a usually car-light roadway.

A 41-mile (65km) roundtrip from my apartment in Brooklyn, it’s the shortest and most scenic way to get a good few hours in the saddle without riding around in circles doing laps of Central Park. In the winter, especially after a fresh snow, it’s really picturesque and offers a chance to ride alongside pristine snow, which is a rare sight in the city.

Download the route »

My recipe

Rice bowl with sweet potato, avocado and soy sauce eggs.

The key to this recipe is that it’s not really a recipe: it is held together by a few staple ingredients with the rest made up of what you have to hand.

I like to make much of it in advance, so when I’m back from a cold ride and looking for some quick calories, there’s just a few minutes of assembly required. If you haven’t made the eggs in advance, just omit the soy sauce soak and you can make them in under 10 minutes.

Make the dish »

Above images: Donalrey Nieva

@kareny123

I live in Greenpoint, Brooklyn and originally got into riding to get around the city - the public transportation in this part of New York City is circuitous and inefficient, at best. Now I ride almost every day – for the pure love of it, for the physical challenge and because it allows me to go on adventures just beyond my doorstep.

My ride

George Washington Bridge is the closest route out of the city for me. The road takes you over the Hudson River and to the Palisades, a line of steep cliffs that stretch north alongside the river. River Road follows the rolling hills alongside the cliffs and provides impressive views and a usually car-light roadway.

A 41-mile (65km) roundtrip from my apartment in Brooklyn, it’s the shortest and most scenic way to get a good few hours in the saddle without riding around in circles doing laps of Central Park. In the winter, especially after a fresh snow, it’s really picturesque and offers a chance to ride alongside pristine snow, which is a rare sight in the city.

Download the route »

My recipe

Rice bowl with sweet potato, avocado and soy sauce eggs.

The key to this recipe is that it’s not really a recipe: it is held together by a few staple ingredients with the rest made up of what you have to hand.

I like to make much of it in advance, so when I’m back from a cold ride and looking for some quick calories, there’s just a few minutes of assembly required. If you haven’t made the eggs in advance, just omit the soy sauce soak and you can make them in under 10 minutes.

Make the dish »

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Jasmine Dotti, Italy

@jasmine_dotti

I was born in Garbagnate Milanese, a town in Lombardy close to Milan. I grew up riding bikes and raced cyclocross, track and on the road from a young age but, in 2016, I did something new and started racing fixed gear bikes. Last June I won the Rad Race Fixed42 in Berlin, the (unofficial) Fixed Gear World Championships.

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My ride

The city of Bergamo is split into two parts - the upper town and the lower town - by the Venetian Walls, defences built in the 1500s to keep enemies out. My favourite winter ride is the one that leads me from my house up to Città Alta, the upper town, through the San Vigilio climb. I love this route because it takes me through the ancient town of Ponte San Pietro with its typical Italian architecture. Then, as you start the climb, you’re suddenly winding up through a mountain landscape. It’s incredible, you feel like you are climbing an Alpine pass.

Download the route »

My recipe

Buckwheat pasta with avocado pesto (gluten and lactose free).

This an incredibly simple but satisfying meal and given that it takes less than 10 minutes to prepare it’s perfect for when you’re hungry after a ride. Buckwheat is naturally gluten-free.

Make the dish »

@jasmine_dotti

I was born in Garbagnate Milanese, a town in Lombardy close to Milan. I grew up riding bikes and raced cyclocross, track and on the road from a young age but, in 2016, I did something new and started racing fixed gear bikes. Last June I won the Rad Race Fixed42 in Berlin, the (unofficial) Fixed Gear World Championships.

My ride

The city of Bergamo is split into two parts - the upper town and the lower town - by the Venetian Walls, defences built in the 1500s to keep enemies out. My favourite winter ride is the one that leads me from my house up to Città Alta, the upper town, through the San Vigilio climb. I love this route because it takes me through the ancient town of Ponte San Pietro with its typical Italian architecture. Then, as you start the climb, you’re suddenly winding up through a mountain landscape. It’s incredible, you feel like you are climbing an Alpine pass.

Download the route »

My recipe

Buckwheat pasta with avocado pesto (gluten and lactose free).

This an incredibly simple but satisfying meal and given that it takes less than 10 minutes to prepare it’s perfect for when you’re hungry after a ride. Buckwheat is naturally gluten-free.

Make the dish »

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Ailin Hsiang, Taiwan

@ailin_hsiang

I'm a full-time mum living in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan. I live close to Yangmingshan National Park which is incredibly within the city limits and is home to Qixing Mountain, the highest peak in Taipei. If time permits I'll ride every day, and I love climbing, so it’s amazing to have the mountain so close. Even if it is cold outside in the winter I still ride my bike.

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My ride

Taiwan is a very mountainous island. It has the largest number and density of high mountains in the world. This 30km route takes me out of the city and straight into the Yangmingshan National Park. As soon as I leave my house, I start to climb and I don’t stop until I reach my turning point high in the mountains at Houshanqi which stands at 750 metres above sea level. As the road goes up I pass three mountains Mt. Hu, Mt. Shamao, Mt. Jian and Mt. Qixing main peak, which is a dormant volcano. When you reach the top of the climb you can smell the sulfur and the view of the volcano will leap into your eyes. You also can see large amounts of blooming oriental cherry which decorates the mountain making it beautiful, even in winter.

Download the route »

My recipe

Baked avocado eggs.

This recipe offers a source of healthy fats and is rich in Vitamin B-6, folic acid (Vitamin B-9) and Vitamin C. Eggs are also a high-quality protein for recovery after exercise. What’s more, it only takes 15 -20 minutes to prepare.

Make the dish »

@ailin_hsiang

I'm a full-time mum living in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan. I live close to Yangmingshan National Park which is incredibly within the city limits and is home to Qixing Mountain, the highest peak in Taipei. If time permits I'll ride every day, and I love climbing, so it’s amazing to have the mountain so close. Even if it is cold outside in the winter I still ride my bike.

My ride

Taiwan is a very mountainous island. It has the largest number and density of high mountains in the world. This 30km route takes me out of the city and straight into the Yangmingshan National Park. As soon as I leave my house, I start to climb and I don’t stop until I reach my turning point high in the mountains at Houshanqi which stands at 750 metres above sea level. As the road goes up I pass three mountains Mt. Hu, Mt. Shamao, Mt. Jian and Mt. Qixing main peak, which is a dormant volcano. When you reach the top of the climb you can smell the sulfur and the view of the volcano will leap into your eyes. You also can see large amounts of blooming oriental cherry which decorates the mountain making it beautiful, even in winter.

Download the route »

My recipe

Baked avocado eggs.

This recipe offers a source of healthy fats and is rich in Vitamin B-6, folic acid (Vitamin B-9) and Vitamin C. Eggs are also a high-quality protein for recovery after exercise. What’s more, it only takes 15 -20 minutes to prepare.

Make the dish »

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Marjan Peters, Netherlands

@marjan_peters

I’m a graphic designer living in Amsterdam and I ride my bike as often as my work allows me to. My yearly average is about 10,000 km, ridden all year round, either alone, as a ride leader for the Rapha Clubhouse Amsterdam, or with a bunch of friends. No matter the company, the weather, the distance or the speed, riding my bike makes me happy. Always.

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My ride

One of my most favourite winter rides takes me along the Amstel River, starting at the corner of my street. Following the river creates a nice loop - it’s a ride that never disappoints me. If the weather’s good I add in some of the gravel paths that cut through the moor east of Amsterdam. It’s an area both rural and tranquil in equal measure.

Download the route »

My recipe

Four seed granola breakfast bowl with fresh fruit and soy milk.

Seeds are packed with vitamins, minerals and fibre. The granola alone in this recipe contains a source of calcium, magnesium, iron and Vitamin C. Unlike many shop bought granolas this one is not high in sugar but it’s still really moreish, especially with the fresh fruit.

Make the dish »

@marjan_peters

I’m a graphic designer living in Amsterdam and I ride my bike as often as my work allows me to. My yearly average is about 10,000 km, ridden all year round, either alone, as a ride leader for the Rapha Clubhouse Amsterdam, or with a bunch of friends. No matter the company, the weather, the distance or the speed, riding my bike makes me happy. Always.

My ride

One of my most favourite winter rides takes me along the Amstel River, starting at the corner of my street. Following the river creates a nice loop - it’s a ride that never disappoints me. If the weather’s good I add in some of the gravel paths that cut through the moor east of Amsterdam. It’s an area both rural and tranquil in equal measure.

Download the route »

My recipe

Four seed granola breakfast bowl with fresh fruit and soy milk.

Seeds are packed with vitamins, minerals and fibre. The granola alone in this recipe contains a source of calcium, magnesium, iron and Vitamin C. Unlike many shop bought granolas this one is not high in sugar but it’s still really moreish, especially with the fresh fruit.

Make the dish »

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Cath Litherland, UK

@sliths

I’m Cath, a Yorkshire lass now living and working in Manchester, on the wrong side of the Pennines. In recent years I’ve swapped my fell running shoes for a bike (or, several bikes) and I enjoy nothing more than a good climb. I’m looking forward to putting my lovely new Roubaix through its paces at Flanders and Paris-Roubaix in April.

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My ride

My ride of choice involves hills and in the winter any combination of wind, rain, sun and snow. Heading out it still surprises me how quickly I’m onto quiet roads and rolling towards my comfort zone - the hills in the northernmost part of the Peak District. I pass Uppermill, Delph and I’m soon climbing past reservoirs and into the Pennines proper. A bleak, wild landscape exposed and unforgiving, I love it. Next it’s down into Slaithwaite (pronounced ‘Slawit’ – important information if you find yourself out this way) then up and over to Meltham. The big dipper ride continues with another up then down to Holmfirth where the Longley Farm café awaits.

I grew up in Holmfirth in the shadow of Holme Moss, host to many a Milk Race and more recently the Grand Depart. This hill has hurt the good and the great, which only makes me love it more and relish the challenge it relentlessly imposes. I take a hilly route to the bottom of the Moss, choosing to climb above the main road up the valley.

Before long I’m on the steeper lower slopes, out of the saddle and grinding upwards. A brief respite through Holme village and then it’s into the climb proper. What goes up must come down and the descent towards Woodhead slingshots me onwards towards Glossop and my final climb over to Stalybridge. Winter riding at its chilly, hilly best – not a bad back yard.

Download the route »

My recipe

Easy peas and pesto pasta.

This pasta is my meal of choice after an evening ride - it’s full of flavour and can be made in minutes. Perfect for refuelling post-effort.

Make the dish »

@sliths

I’m Cath, a Yorkshire lass now living and working in Manchester, on the wrong side of the Pennines. In recent years I’ve swapped my fell running shoes for a bike (or, several bikes) and I enjoy nothing more than a good climb. I’m looking forward to putting my lovely new Roubaix through its paces at Flanders and Paris-Roubaix in April.

My ride

My ride of choice involves hills and in the winter any combination of wind, rain, sun and snow. Heading out it still surprises me how quickly I’m onto quiet roads and rolling towards my comfort zone - the hills in the northernmost part of the Peak District. I pass Uppermill, Delph and I’m soon climbing past reservoirs and into the Pennines proper. A bleak, wild landscape exposed and unforgiving, I love it. Next it’s down into Slaithwaite (pronounced ‘Slawit’ – important information if you find yourself out this way) then up and over to Meltham. The big dipper ride continues with another up then down to Holmfirth where the Longley Farm café awaits.

I grew up in Holmfirth in the shadow of Holme Moss, host to many a Milk Race and more recently the Grand Depart. This hill has hurt the good and the great, which only makes me love it more and relish the challenge it relentlessly imposes. I take a hilly route to the bottom of the Moss, choosing to climb above the main road up the valley.

Before long I’m on the steeper lower slopes, out of the saddle and grinding upwards. A brief respite through Holme village and then it’s into the climb proper. What goes up must come down and the descent towards Woodhead slingshots me onwards towards Glossop and my final climb over to Stalybridge. Winter riding at its chilly, hilly best – not a bad back yard.

Download the route »

My recipe

Easy peas and pesto pasta.

This pasta is my meal of choice after an evening ride - it’s full of flavour and can be made in minutes. Perfect for refuelling post-effort.

Make the dish »

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Sylvie Uyttendaele, Belgium

@cosette73

Being in motion has always been an important part of my life. Growing up I loved roller skating, skiing, running and mountain biking. Today I live in the urban jungle of Antwerp and my road bike is now my most frequent partner in crime. I love to have my eyes locked on the horizon and feel the fresh air on my face.

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My ride

I’m blessed to have the port of Antwerp within easy reach and although it may sound like a busy place to ride, it’s actually the area with the best maintained, fully lit and safe bike lanes. Out and back this ride is a decent 75km all along the banks of the river Scheldt and right into Antwerp. I’ll do a small city loop before heading back up the estuary towards the mouth of the river. The river looks beautiful in the moonlight and because Antwerp is such a busy port there’s always something happening on the water.

Ride the route »

My recipe

French onion soup with garlic croutons.

This traditional French soup is one of my favourite things to eat after a ride. It’s full of flavour and the croutons make it a bit of a treat.

Make the dish »

@cosette73

Being in motion has always been an important part of my life. Growing up I loved roller skating, skiing, running and mountain biking. Today I live in the urban jungle of Antwerp and my road bike is now my most frequent partner in crime. I love to have my eyes locked on the horizon and feel the fresh air on my face.

My ride

I’m blessed to have the port of Antwerp within easy reach and although it may sound like a busy place to ride, it’s actually the area with the best maintained, fully lit and safe bike lanes. Out and back this ride is a decent 75km all along the banks of the river Scheldt and right into Antwerp. I’ll do a small city loop before heading back up the estuary towards the mouth of the river. The river looks beautiful in the moonlight and because Antwerp is such a busy port there’s always something happening on the water.

Ride the route »

My recipe

French onion soup with garlic croutons.

This traditional French soup is one of my favourite things to eat after a ride. It’s full of flavour and the croutons make it a bit of a treat.

Make the dish »

Rapha Core Collection

Ideal for everyday base miles, the Rapha Core collection is designed and constructed with simple quality for every road rider.

Fresh onion soup

The recipes

Rice bowl with sweet potato, avocado and soy sauce eggs

The key to this recipe is that it’s not really a recipe: it is held together by a few staple ingredients with the rest made up of what you have to hand.

I like to make much of it in advance, so when I’m back from a cold ride and looking for some quick calories, there’s just a few minutes of assembly required. If you haven’t made the eggs in advance, just omit the soy sauce soak and you can make them in under 10 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup/ 185g rice (or other grain – I prefer Japanese short grain rice)
  • 2 cups/ 235ml water (or chicken/vegetable stock)
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 1 avocado, cored and cut into slices
  • Handful salad leaves (such as arugula)
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 2 scallions or spring onions sliced (including green tips)
  • Squeeze of maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, for drizzling
  • Salt and pepper, for seasoning

For the soy sauce eggs:

  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 6 tbsp warm water
  • ¾ cup/ 180ml soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 1 large egg (I like to do batches of 6 at a time)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Method

Rice: Add two parts liquid (water, chicken or vegetable stock) to one part grain and boil until tender. If you have a rice cooker, this can be popped in right before your ride and kept warm until you’re ready to eat.

Roasted sweet potatoes: Preheat oven to 425F / 220C. Cut the cleaned sweet potatoes into small cubes and place on large baking tray with the garlic. Drizzle with olive oil, add salt and pepper and toss to coat. Roast for 30 to 35 minutes until soft and golden, turning and stirring occasionally. Once cooled slightly, squeeze over the maple syrup and add the scallions/ spring onions.

Soy sauce eggs (a la Momofuku): Whisk together the water and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Add the sherry vinegar and soy sauce and stir together. Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Carefully place the eggs into the boiling water and set a timer for exactly six minutes (for a perfectly runny yolk). Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath on the side. When the eggs are done, quickly submerge them in the ice bath. Once cooled, peel the eggs and place them into the soy sauce mixture to marinate in the fridge for at least two hours.

To assemble the bowl:
Scoop rice into bowl and top with a scoop of roasted sweet potatoes, sliced avocado, and a soy sauce egg, sliced in half. Add the fresh salad leaves and anything else you fancy (sometimes I add nuts, pickled veggies, or kimchi).

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Buckwheat pasta with avocado pesto (gluten and lactose free)

This an incredibly simple but satisfying meal and given that it takes less than 10 minutes to prepare it’s perfect for when you’re hungry after a ride. Buckwheat is naturally gluten-free.

Ingredients

  • Buckwheat pasta (allow 80g per person)
  • 1/2 large, ripe avocado
  • tbsp hot water
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Method

For the avocado pesto:
Peel chop and dice the avocado, add the salt, pepper and olive oil and blend until you have the consistency of pesto.

Boil the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and let it finish cooking in the pan. Stir in the pesto and serve.

Serve with a mixed green salad using the other half of the avocado.

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Baked avocado eggs

This recipe offers a source of healthy fats and is rich in Vitamin B-6, folic acid (Vitamin B-9) and Vitamin C. Eggs are also a high-quality protein for recovery after exercise. What’s more, it only takes 15 -20 minutes to prepare.

Ingredients

  • 2 avocados, halved, stones removed
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh chives
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Preheat oven to 390F / 200C. Using a spoon, scoop out about two tablespoons of avocado flesh to create a small well in the center of each avocado. Crack one egg, and slide it into the well, keeping the yolk intact. Repeat with remaining eggs; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Place into oven and bake until the egg whites have set but the yolks are still runny, about 15-18 minutes.

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Four seed granola breakfast bowl with fresh fruit and soy milk

Seeds are packed with vitamins, minerals and fibre. The granola alone in this recipe contains a source of calcium, magnesium, iron and Vitamin C. Unlike many shop bought granolas this one is not high in sugar but it’s still really moreish, especially with the fresh fruit.

Ingredients

Makes approx 500g granola:

  • 180g oats
  • 60g sunflower seeds
  • 60g pumpkin seeds
  • 30g flax seed
  • 30g sesame seed
  • 100g raw assorted nuts
  • 1 tbsp cacao
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 3tbsp water

For 1 large breakfast bowl:

  • ¼ mango
  • ½ pear
  • ½ orange
  • ½ banana
  • Soymilk
  • Baking parchment

Method

Preheat your oven to 180C / 350F. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add the water and maple syrup and mix well. Spread the mixture out a on a baking tray and cover with baking parchment. Place into the oven and bake for around 20 minutes. Stir the mixture and return to the oven for another 10 minutes. Cool the mixture on the tray and transfer to an airtight container.

Cut the fruit into small pieces and place in a bowl. Add about 4 tbsp of the granola. Pour over soy milk.

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Easy peas and pesto pasta

This pasta is my meal of choice after an evening ride – it’s full of flavor and can be made in minutes. Perfect for refuelling post-effort.

Ingredients

Serves 2

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 75g chorizo
  • 1 large courgette
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 200g penne pasta
  • 2 tbsp pesto
  • 50g parmesan

Method

Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized saucepan. Chop the courgettes, chorizo and pepper and add to the pan to soften and warm through. Add the peas (this can be done from frozen) and cook together on a medium heat.

Meanwhile cook the pasta. Five minutes before the pasta is ready add 2 tbsp pesto to the chorizo and veg.

Drain the pasta and add to the pan of pesto, chorizo and veg. Stir well, season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle over the parmesan cheese add serve.

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French onion soup with garlic croutons

This traditional French soup is one of my favourite things to eat after a ride. It’s full of flavour and the croutons make it a bit of a treat.

Ingredients

  • 5 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 medium onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 6 cups beef broth or stock
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 1 fresh baguette
  • 1 garlic clove, cut in half lengthwise
  • 2 tsp sherry
  • 4 oz/ 28g Gruyere cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
  • Salt and pepper

Method

In a large pan melt half the butter over medium heat. Add the oil and onions and cook onions until soft, stirring occasionally – this should take about 15 minutes. Add the salt, pepper and sugar and continue to cook until the onions are deep golden brown and caramelized.

Add the white wine and increase the heat to high. Cook for 8-10 minutes until all the liquid has evaporated.

Add the broth or stock and bring to boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until the sauce is thickened and flavourful. Remove from heat and whisk in the remaining butter. Taste and adjust seasoning.

For the croutons:

Heat the grill on high. Cut two baguette slices for every serving of soup. Place the sliced baguette on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until crisp and dry but not browned (about 1 minute per side). Rub one side with the garlic clove and top with cheese. Return to the grill under the grill and cook for 3-4 minutes, until the melted cheese is bubbling.

Divide the soup between soup bowls. Top each with two croutons and serve.

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