There’s nothing finer than getting up at 05:00 on a Sunday morning, amassing on Clapham Common with 27,000 other Lycra-clad humans, and pedalling off on a six-hour ride to Brighton. To help us reach our destination we packed the traditional sausage and Branston sandwiches, a bunch of bananas, 2 gallons of Lucozade and, for the first time this year, these homemade ‘energy’ bars. Tradition also dictates a 99 on top of Ditchling Beacon, followed by a Sunday roast at The George upon arrival.
For several years now the privatised train companies have contributed to this great charity event by banning all bikes on their precious trains back to London, thus inconveniencing everyone into taking the environmentally unfriendly option of stashing their bikes in the back of lorries and following them up the congested A23 by coach.
To avoid this annual palava we prefer to spend the night in a B&B and travel back the following day when the Fat Controller reluctantly condescends to allow cyclists on board. This year we stayed at a haven in Kemp Town called ‘Home‘, run by the very friendly duo of Marcus and John, and renowned for its magnificent breakfasts. No Tesco Blue Stripe sausages or Happy Shopper orange juice here, but a choice of several delicious and perfectly presented options including smoked salmon and scrambled egg sur muffin and croque monsieur.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Skill level: Easy
Makes: 10 bars
- clear honey – 115g
- butter – 110g
- dark brown sugar – 50g
- light brown sugar – 50g
- rolled oats – 50g
- muesli – 200g
- almonds – crushed – 100g
- raisins – 60g
- dried apricots – chopped – 120g
Preheat oven to 180C (gas mark 4)
Gently melt the honey, butter and sugars in a largish pan.
Stir in all the other ingredients.
Spoon out onto a greased baking sheet and mould into a square about 20mm thick.
Bake for 25 minutes.
Leave to cool for a few minutes and cut into bars.
Allow to cool thoroughly before removing from the baking sheet.
Store in an airtight container.
Verdict: Sweet, chewy, crunchy and packed full of ‘energy’.
Drink: 1 gallon of water, 2 gallons of Lucozade.
Entertainment: The pain of cycling up hill, the joy of free-wheeling down, and a 99 on Ditchling Beacon.