Charline Joiner's Pedal for Scotland on-the-day advice

5th September 2018    

Commonwealth Games silver medalist Charline Joiner gives us some cycling hints and tips for Pedal for Scotland.

Born and raised in Dunfermline, Chaline Joiner is a Scottish Commonwealth Games silver medalist. Since winning her medal in sprint cycling, she has made a change in her cycling career and has taken up endurance cycling. Having done thousands of miles on the bike competitively, Charline offers some advice to our riders to help them through Pedal for Scotland.

Protein power. I’ve seen a lot of people making their own protein balls for energy, there are so many recipes online which can be tailored for almost any dietary requirement. My personal favourite is one made with figs, cashew nuts and lime. These healthy fats will be essential for getting you through any of the Pedal for Scotland challenges, and are a tasty way of getting the protein you need. There is no right or wrong recipe, just give it a go and experiment!

Get used to eating and drinking on the bike too, keeping your calories topped up will be vital for seeing you through to the end.

Pre-ride fuel. Make sure you carb up the night before the ride eating plenty of pasta, or even pizza! As long as you are getting the slow releasing carbs in the evening, then follow it up with a hearty bowl of porridge in the morning to keep you on the right track. You can add any toppings you like from banana and honey to a big dollop of jam!

Fuel on the road. Keeping a continuous flow of energy will be key to getting you to the end of your challenge whatever the distance, so make sure you have plenty of slow releasing energy foods in your back pocket. You want foods which are easy to chew and digest on the move such as bananas and fig bars (stay away from things like crackers – they are nightmare to eat and too dry to give you the energy you’ll need). The more you can chew, the quicker it goes into your system

What to wear. This a common question, and one which is really important! Being comfortable on the bike is essential, as many of you will be riding for a long period of time. Padded shorts and overshoes are a must

Warming up. For a long-distance event, I wouldn’t warm up on the bike specifically. Instead do some dynamic stretches including squats and lunges to get the glutes warmed up, save the static stretches for after the ride

Getting going. It’ll be a great atmosphere on the day, but you can listen to a few upbeat tunes to get you pumped up and in the mood for a long ride! Always works for me

Staying motivated. Long distances aren’t just about the physical challenge, it’s important to prepare for the ride mentally as well. Exercise releases positive endorphins, but ensure you set yourself mini targets along the way and break the route down so it doesn’t seem such a big hurdle. Have things to look forward to such as snack breaks (and those delicious protein balls!), but most importantly, enjoy the ride! 

Riding all weathers. “It’s forecast a dry day for Pedal for Scotland this year (let’s hope it stays that way!) but ensure you’ve got the right kit with you if the weather takes a turn. Getting caught out in the rain when you’re cycling can be a shock to the system (as ridiculous as it sounds) so have a pack a mack at the ready to slip on if the heavens open


For more information about the event and how to prepare for it, check out our Help and Advice page.