Oatopia Boxpark Bike Ride
— 10 Nov 2017
On Sunday 19 November, you’re invited to hit the pedals and take part in the Oatopia Boxpark Bike Ride! This unique event will be led by expert cyclists Jennifer George and Sophie Coleman. We sat them down to find out more…
Tell us who you are and what you do.
Jennifer: I'm Jen George and I'm a cyclist! In 2016, I rode for Drops Cycling Team, Storey Racing 2017 and NCC Group-Kuota-Torelli 2018. When I'm not riding my bike, I'm a Freelance Personal Trainer, and I also work with Elite Cycling in Crystal Palace, as their strength coach for cycling.
Sophie: I’m Sophie, one of the founders and directors of Oatopia and I'm also an ex rider for Drops Cycling Team, where I met and raced with Jen.
How did you get into road cycling?
J: I was originally into horse riding, in Scotland, but found I was unable to do that to the same degree in London. I found that horse riding shared many similarities with road cycling. The fresh air, freedom, speed, adrenaline rush and fitness that came with it was very similar, and so I started to ride constantly. It then became apparent that I was pretty fast and always rode more consistently with a goal. My first goal was to ride the Etape de Tour 2013, and I had just 7 months to prepare.
S: I entered a ride called the Mallorca 312 which involved cycling 312km around the island of Majorca. I trained hard for it and completed the ride in record time, finishing as the first lady rider and inside the top 100 overall. Having achieved this, I decided to have a go at some proper bike racing in the UK. At the end of my first season racing domestically, I was offered a contract with Drops for the 2016 season. Before this I competed for GB in triathlon and duathlon as a junior and U23.
What inspired the Oatopia x Boxpark bike ride?
J: Sophie and I raced together on Drops Cycling Team in 2016 and became good friends, roommates and essentially a bit like family. A month ago, I asked if Oatopia would be interested in supporting me as a rider through 2018, as Sophie had already suggested it in 2017, and her response was very positive. My way of giving back and helping to raise awareness of the wonderful products is to lead a bike ride from Oatopia, Boxpark Croydon. I hope by doing this we inspire more people to ride bikes and eat healthily whilst doing so. Oatopia products are nutritious, filling and taste great whether its a snack or as a meal there is always that moreish appeal!
S: Oatopia's roots are in sport and healthy living so one of our core aims is enabling people to eat healthily, whilst on the go. Porridge and coffee is a cyclists perfect fuel so it made sense to set up a bike event starting from Boxpark Croydon! There is a strong cycling culture in the area, so in hosting the ride, we hope to connect with the local cycling community too.
How do people sign up?
S: Simply email [email protected] with your name!
What can riders expect on the day?
J: The best porridge and coffee, as well as a scenic social bike ride, with a few hills! Then more coffee and a scrumptious flapjack! I don't think Sundays get any better than this!
For those who have yet to visit, what makes Oatopia so unique?
J: Freshly made, gluten-free and vegan products made with homemade recipes . Some very healthy options and some treats to get you through a tough day. They serve coffee with a variety of milk options - the oat milk is divine! - and bagels with a choice of fillings. Then there is the porridge with toppings like you’ve never imagined!
S: Just what Jen said! We have over 30 different flavours of artisan flapjack and energy bombs, all kinds of different porridges and, to compliment our oat menu, we have a range of delicious toasted bagels! There's something for everyone.
Finally, what was the last song you listened to?
J: Ha-ha-ha! Random cheese; ELO- Mr. Blue Sky - It's played in Guardians of the Galaxy 2. It makes me smile a lot. Those that have seen this movie will understand what I mean.
S: I’m a big dubstep fan. Mad Night by Joker. Bit of a contrast to Mr Blue Sky!
The ride will begin outside Oatopia (unit 71), at Boxpark Croydon, at 8am Sunday 19th November. The ride will be on the road so anyone wanting to take part must have a road bike - no mountain bikes!
The distance is just over 50km and there will be two pace groups - group 1 led by Jen at approx 21-23km/ph, and group 2 led by Sophie at approx 18-20km/ph. The route is scenic and undulating, on good road, with a few bits on small country lanes that will require due care. Click here to view the cycle route.
The ride will finish back at Oatopia for some delicious post-ride snacks and drinks.
It is a completely free event! To sign up and receive your kit list for the ride just email your name to [email protected]