Cyclists have a strong affinity with coffee and have long congregated at coffee shops and cafes before, after and even during rides. The ‘coffee shop stop’ is an integral part of the journey for both recreational and sporting cyclists, fuelling the tank. Since the 90’s, the UK has seen a huge rise in bike cafes, which bring the two worlds even closer together and create the perfect fusion of cycling and coffee.
Cycling and coffee go together like salt and pepper, fish and chips, Morecambe and Wise, they simply go hand in hand. Coffee is 100% natural and contains one of the few legal performance-enhancing drugs: caffeine. As a result many of today’s pro cyclists are coffee connoisseurs.
Sir Chris Hoy, who became Britain’s most successful ever Olympian at the London 2012 games said his barista skills helped him stay on track to medal success. Prior to the games, athletes were advised to travel light for their stay in the Olympic Village. Chris however, couldn’t live without his espresso machine and coffee grinder, taking them with him for his stay. Chris favours double ristretto when competing, selecting his favourite beans and grinding them, before measuring the exact amount of water for his perfect shot. In a 2012 interview he said: “I take my coffee machine from home with me whenever I can. I managed to take it in the equipment van to the World Championships in Holland last year. If we are travelling farther, I’ll still take a hand grinder and some decent beans.” In fact, the only time the extraordinary athlete has been without his coffee machine was at the World Championships in Melbourne, April 2012 where he experienced mixed results.
After taking a barista course in Perth, Chris’ passion with coffee was born. He said “I really got into it. Before long, I was watching coffee-making videos on YouTube and realised I’d become obsessed. I couldn’t go to a high-street coffee chain anymore because it just wasn’t up to the same standard. Once you’ve opened Pandora’s Box, you can’t go back.” Sir Chris is a true coffee lover, regularly tweeting pictures of the creations from his espresso machine and he’s quite the latte artist too! He also tweets about the blends of coffee he likes and the background image of his Twitter account is a photo of a cappuccino.
Not only the most successful British olympian of all time, coffee enthusiast and trained barista, Chris also has a degree in applied sports science. Many experts believe coffee acts as a stimulus for mind and muscles before competitive events and it appears Sir Chris is an ambassador for this theory. Caffeine has also been proven to be an effective way of restoring glycogen after extreme exercise, speeding up recovery time.
rijo42 coffee beans are available to buy online at www.rijo42shop.co.uk