Kitty Pemberton-Platt and Fi Buchanan: Eat Bike Cook

Read an excerpt of Eat Bike Cook, food stories and recipes from female cyclists, by Kitty Pemberton-Platt and Fi Buchanan, with a forward by Lizzy Banks

My road cycling journey began when I bought a second-hand bike at the age of 24. I mistakenly wore shorts over bib tights and regularly fell out of my clipped in pedals at traffic lights, but I was enchanted.

The bike, and its surrounding culture, quickly became the lens through which I navigated my day-to-day life, as I found myself moving from a novice to club rider to amateur racer. All the adventures I had and lessons I learned on the bike supported my personal growth off the bike.

While the health and fitness benefits were rewarding, it was the relationships, conversations and experiences that were truly addictive. Sharing moments of heightened emotion and vulnerability with others kept me consistently returning to this community.

One of those experiences was the joy of eating and talking about food with other cyclists – from perfecting my morning oats recipe and researching new cafés, to developing a pre-race routine and finish-line reward. The food we enjoy around the bike is much more than fuel; it’s raw and honest human connection, baked-in effort followed by fulfilment.

Communal meals and good conversation after a ride – whether on a petrol station forecourt or in a café – can instantly silence our internal chatter and steady our minds to focus on the present.

This charming culinary world led me to design the first Food for Sport illustrations. It started as a small project I shared on social media, visualising the menu choices of female cyclists. People seemed to connect with the honesty and simplicity of the diaries and responded to seeing the food we enjoy around the bike illustrated in such detail.

When I received a message from a female cyclist saying, “I now feel so much better about eating on the bike, and will allow myself to fuel properly,” I realised that even though they appeared light-hearted, these illustrated food diaries could be a valuable way of offering guidance and support with our often complicated relationship with food.

The book is a playful celebration of the food we enjoy around cycling – an insight into the preferences, rituals and tastes of women around the world. It champions a positive attitude and holistic kindness to our minds and bodies.

I’m so passionate about showing how women’s sport and its surrounding culture can create a rewarding and desirable way of life. Thank you to all the women who have supported me and shared their rides, stories and, quite often, back pocket food with me.

I truly hope this book encourages more moments of joy and connection and you find yourself surrounded by good people, beautifully baked pastries and perfectly poured coffee. Or a pot of soup and a Hobnob, if that’s your thing.

See you at a café soon (black filter and an almond croissant, please).

Kitty Pemberton-Platt

Nutty chocolate energy balls recipe

Wrap these like bonbons so they’re ready to grab and go when you know you’re going to need a bit of an energy grenade. Maca is a powdered root that is rich in iron, calcium, amino acids and vitamins and minerals, so it’s bringing a lot to the party.

Makes 12 balls.

For the balls:

  • 250g pitted Medjool dates
  • 180g almond or peanut butter
  • 45g rolled oats
  • 3 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 2 tbsp maca powder

For the toppings, if using (each covers 5-6 balls):

  • 10g unsalted pistachios, finely ground in a pestle and mortar or food processor
  • 10g freeze dried raspberries, crushed in a pestle and mortar or blitzed in a food processor
  • 10g raw cacao powder

Put the dates, almond or peanut butter, oats, cacao and maca powders in a food processor and blitz until well incorporated. The mixture should come together quite quickly and form a ball. If not, add about 25ml water a splash at a time and blitz until the mixture is sticky but not pasty.

Now tip the mixture onto a surface with edges, such as a tray or large plate, and use clean hands to roll it into balls just smaller than ping pong balls. If rolling the balls in toppings, pour the topping of choice onto a tray or plate and roll the balls into it.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

More information on Eat Bike Cook

You can order Eat Bike Cook direct from Kitchen Press for £10, or buy the paperback from Amazon, Blackwell’s or Waterstones.

Kitty Pemberton-Platt is strategy director at The Midnight Club and founder of après sport

ISBN: 9781916316546