Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Chloe Likes To Eat

When I looked into my fridge at the beginning of this week, I noticed a distinct side effect of T's unplanned absence- quite a lot of vegetables reaching the point of *needing* to be eaten. I like vegetables, I do, but there's only so many one girl can eat when she's home alone for just one meal each day. So I inflicted my food upon some friends for an evening and decided I fancied something a bit inspired by the Vietnamese noodle soup dish Pho.

I can't really call this Pho, as I'm pretty sure anyone Vietnamese would swing for me. It's the lazy version of something a bit like Pho, I thought it was yummy.

Chloe Likes To Eat Pho prawns with lemon ginger and sesame oil

I wanted to use prawns in mine- these are frozen prawns which come peeled but raw- perfect for shoving in a pan with sesame oil, lemon juice, fresh ginger and crushed garlic, until only just cooked.

Chloe Likes To Eat Pho Vegetables

Leeks, broccoli, peppers, mushrooms and green beans- all lurking in the fridge, threatening to go over. I'm sure Spring Onions are usually in oriental dishes, but I had leeks. I'm sure broccoli might seem and odd choice, but I promise it was in bite size pieces, and it needed using.

Technically, noodle soups like Pho are supposed to be made up with a broth that is a bit of a labour of love to make yourself. Don't get me wrong- the depth of flavour and all the different combinations taste amazing, but I got home 40 mins before I needed to cook, and I was soaked to the skin from cycling in the rain and needed to jump through the shower too.


Make up 4l of vegetable stock in a large pan, bring to boil and whack in:
Chilli flakes, fish sauce, soy sauce, a splash of rice wine vinegar and a small clove of crush garlic

Whilst that's gently bubbling away, prep up your vegetables- make them bite sized so people can use chop sticks or cutlery, ditch them all in a bowl to one side, and add to the 'broth' 10 mins or so before serving.

I added prawns to mine- I marinated them in sesame oil, lemon juice, crushed garlic and fresh ginger whilst doing everything else, then turned the heat on them for 3-4 mins just to cook them through. I like my prawns to be on the 'rare' side... You could use cooked chicken- this could be great using leftovers from a roast chicken, I think beef is traditional, salmon would be awesome- especially a teriyaki version (something I've been eyeing up making recently) or anything else you fancy using up.

Making something inspired by Pho this evening. #useuptime

Kitchen mayhem.... Prawns marinating, vegetables prepped, broth cooking, noodles soaking.

Rather than cook my noodles, I just sat them in boiled water for 5 mins, then chucked them, the prawns and all my veg into the pan with broth, mixed, and served.

A pretty easy use up, this makes LOADS- 3 portions for dinner and another 4 left in the pan. Next time I'll be attempting to down scale a little. On the plus side.... lunch time is sorted!


Sunday, January 26, 2014

My Week on 2 Wheels

I really enjoy blogging about fitness and cycling. I'm no expert and this is not a blog for pigeon holes, so I don't fancy starting another blog, but I did want to create a particular corner for this element of my life, so I'm hoping this will become a regular weekend post.

Cream bike problems ...
Cream bike problems- it's been wet in the East End alright...

And what a week btw. The penultimate one of January, and therefore the second to last for me to make it count on my 300km challenge. And girl done good. I'm ending the week at 256KM, which I don't think is too shabby, and leaves me not all that far from target going into next week.

Not a bad way to spend Sunday. Huge thanks Lorena from @velovixensuk for making it work out. London Cycling Women Richmond Strava
Pretty cool Sunday ride last weekend- Pushing myself just a bit harder

But slightly more exciting, I also managed a few personal records. Um... 40 actually. For anyone that uses the app Strava to keep track of their cycling or running, you might know that your rides or runs are sectioned out into segments, and you can compare your times to other people who have completed the same segment even if they didn't complete the same full route, and Strava records your records for all these segments. I managed 40 personal records across all the segments I cycled this week. You might say I'm feeling a little pleased with myself. Because there's more...

As well as my 40 personal records on segments, I almost managed to beat my overall journey time to work. 4 times. I shaved over 1 minute off my journey time this week, and consistently out performed myself 4 days running this week.

Really enjoyable ride this morning, wind isn't too horrific and the sky was a beautiful pre sunrise red. #fixiegirl #london #cycling

All of this is pretty big achievements for me, so as I edge towards the end of my 300KM challenge, I'm starting to think about what I want to aim for next. I wouldn't usually consider myself to be the kind of person who is consistently goal driven, but just lately, the fitness bug has bitten my via the cycling I'm doing. I've stepped my training up a gear, so over the next week, I'll be trying to think up something to keep me on my toes through February.


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Reflections on Home

When we did this back in August, I really really hoped it would be the last time for a little while. 10 times in 6 years is enough for anyone!

10 moves in 6 years means I have packing down to an art.

Presently I find myself in home limbo, not really knowing what's going to happen come mid-February with the flat I share with not just T, but another couple in the East End. It isn't a perfect flat by a long stretch, but I like it. I like where it is, and hope very much I won't have to do a house move again until 2015.

But amidst the uncertainty currently hanging above our home, I have found myself reflecting heavily on the sense of home, and what home can mean- something I did cover loosely back in November (read all about that HERE) and in some respects, not that much has changed.

I believe strongly that home is where you make it- for me that's been everywhere from dingy flat shares in Toulouse to sprawling properties in Leipzig to Victorian town houses in the Lake District. Houses for me, are not emotional. They are flawed in so many ways, and whilst they can be wonderful, ultimately they are boxes I put my stuff in. But we all have to have a roof over our head, and my biggest lesson this year (so far...) is:

You don't know how important something is until someone starts threatening to take it from you.

True that! Having had the threat looming of being forced to move from a place that T & I picked, that we like living in and where we based our plans for the coming 12 months on, well first it made me upset and emotional. Then it made me sad. Then it made me rage-y. How dare someone threaten the security that we have worked so hard for, that we place some much importance upon?

And it wouldn't have mattered if it had been a multi-million pound mansion in Chelsea or some of the pokier places I've occupied in the less salubrious bits of the East End, if it's your home that you choose to live in, that's the security and the faith we place upon the word home. Home is a value worth protecting, and worth fighting for.

And, of course, home is where the pretty shoes and dresses live....

#todayimwearing Vila dress, Geox flats and my cat scarf. Pushing the dress code boundaries with a pattern AND colour.
Dress- Vila via ASOS sale, scarf- Topshop (old), black flat shoes, Geox via Spartoo

Shiny new dress alert. If I manage to leave my office at any point in daylight, I'd quite like to do an outfit post, but mostly, I'm arriving and leaving in at the very least semi darkness. I'm also cycling more than ever and using a gym at present, and loving it, but it does mean I seem to spend most of my down time like this:

Really enjoyable ride this morning, wind isn't too horrific and the sky was a beautiful pre sunrise red. #fixiegirl #london #cycling

And I'm now thinking that since I wear them so much, it's definitely the time to think about expanding my collection of trainers beyond my sole pair of Nike Frees and sole pair of converse.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Halfway There

I can't quite believe that it's Monday again already. The weekends seem to slip by so quickly when you have things to do! this weekend I embarked on my first ride with the female oriented (ie guys can ride but it's girls rules) VeloVixens. I've never ridden with other people aside the occasional trip out with T so I knew it would be a challenge, and the ride length itself was set to be further than I've ever done before.

Despite a little bit of route chaos, I had a lot of fun, didn't even notice that I almost tripled my furthest distance cycled and met a few stand out people who were great fun. Not a bad way to spend a sunny Sunday...

Not a bad way to spend Sunday. Huge thanks Lorena from @velovixensuk for making it work out.

The other awesome thing about my little jaunt through Richmond Park and beyond is that it pushed me over the half way mark for my 300KM challenge! I am beginning to feel this is more achievable after all the setbacks thanks to the high winds in the East End.

Over the half way point.

OH YEAH! That leaves me around 130 to do before the end of the month, 10 of those days being work days and I worked out that of those 10, I need to cycle 8 of them to guarantee hitting the target, without any other rides of my own.

Here's to another week folks, I'm hoping for a less turbulent one than last, and coffee helps!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Map The World

I didn't need a new handbag. I definitely wasn't in the market for one. But you know when something beautiful pops up out of the blue and it haunts you. It speaks to you and it won't leave you be until you take a closer look. The closer look for me inevitably landed with a parcel coming a week later and here's the contents....

Chloe Map Atlas Print Handbag

Chloe Atlas Map Print Handbag

Atlas print handbag, £8.36 eBay

Yeah, ok, so it did hep that this bag was less than £10. It was one of those things I saw and I just couldn't forget that about it. And I'm glad, because it's a beauty and I love it. It turns out that the print is actually the same as a Kindle case I have for my Paperwhite (you can see it HERE) which explains my love for the print on sight.

Chloe Atlas Map Print Handbag close up print

It's a pretty roomy bag as it has no inside compartments- that's a bonus for me as I use one of these bag organisers- I got a bit fed up of losing or forgetting things whenever I change my handbags. My only slight disappointment is that there is no shoulder strap or link for one, but it's not the end of the world either.

Not a bad little January treat to myself. If you follow me on Twitter, you might know that it's been a stressful couple of weeks trying to negotiate a new tenancy on our flat, along with my flatmates who have had their own issues. Having had them almost pull out at the 11th hour, it's fair to say I feel glad to have survived the first two thirds of January.

On a brighter note- tomorrow I'm off on my first cycle with a 'club'. VeloVixens are a female focussed group who ask riders to leave their egos at the start and aim to bring women together who love cycling and want to cycle with others who share the love, and who also love a coffee and a piece of cake too. I've chickened out of the last couple of rides, worrying I'll be too slow or that I'll be a hindrance because I'm relatively inexperienced and have never done a group ride. But organisers and other riders have made it clear I've no reason to worry, and so I'm off for a 50KM ride out of SW London- wish me luck.

It has the added benefit of topping up my 300KM challenge a little. If nothing else, it buys me a couple of days off when it's pouring rain or super windy over the final 2 weeks of January.

Happy Weekend all. I'm off to take the bread out of the over, pour a glass of wine, and finish painting my nails.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Chloe Likes To Eat

The keen eyed amongst you might notice as you read this post that it looks a little different around here- that is thanks to the rather wonderful Gillian of Elevator Musik. Hasn't she done the most amazing job at making Chloe Likes To Talk amazing?

The redesign was long overdue, and goes with the shiny new domain name- and I've even set up a Facebook page for the blog if you're that way inclined.

My blog is almost certainly never going to be my full time job, and I've never pretended to be a professional blogger or journalist, Chloe Likes To Talk has been my hobby for a few years, it's a tiny bit my baby and it's been amazing to interact with other awesome people and have so many cool opportunities, all that said, I really wanted everything to look a bit more sleek, shiny and professional. It's in my nature to want something to be as good as it possible can be, and having a more cohesive 'brand' for the blog has made me a very happy little bunny. I'd love to hear what you think of it- if I can improve anything or if you think there are additions I could make.

Now, onto the important bit. FOOD! Speaking of opportunities, by a long shot the best one I've had of late was to 'Mystery Shop' for the MEAT brand who have MEATLiquor off Regents Street and MEATMarket at Covent Garden. Basically, they wanted me to go forth, eat, enjoy, and then report back. What a shame. It was SUCH a hardship.

I have eaten at MEATMarket before, and going back this time was no change from the usual awesome.

Meat Market Ripper Dog
T's Ripper Dog (Hotdog, wrapped in bacon, served with onions, Danish sauce and all sorts of goodies)

A burger. With cheese. And pickles. And mustard. #love
My Black Palace Burger (Beef burger (2 in fact) with cheese, pickles, mustard and onions)

Go on, have a drool, you know you want to. 

I've had the Ripper Dog that T chose before, it is perfection although I'm still not sure what Danish sauce is. My burger was new to me, but holy ground down cow, it was amazing. As a serial pickle lover I was in heaven. 

MEATMarket is known for it's 'basic' approach to service- you order at the counter, grab a seat at any bench you can find a space at, no plates, no glasses, plastic cups and paper towels. I am continually in awe that as Londoners we have bought into it so heavily that we'll queue for it, what a cracking business model. I do love the easy atmosphere of it, and it always brings a smile to my face to see people like I was last night, in their work suits/clothes, stuffing messy burgers into their faces. 

One thing that isn't basic about MEATMarket is the service from staff themselves though. Just because they don't bring the food to your table doesn't mean they're not helpful, friendly and generally good fun. Every time I've been to MEATMarket, I've always had a bit of a laugh and a short conversation with the staff at the counter and because we ordered Black Cow drinks (vanilla ice cream with Coke- childhood in a glass) which took a couple of minutes to make, rather than make us stand around waiting, George was happy to come find us with them. They didn't have to, and that's the nice thing. 


The other thing to say about MEATMarket is about value. When I first clocked the prices, I was a bit dubious, it seemed.... pricey. £8.50 for a hotdog? £3 for a plastic cup of soft drink? But.... here's the clincher- the portions are pretty substantial. I think it would be fair to say you get your £8.5 worth of hotdog when it's fatter than my wrist and bulging at the seams. My burger had 2 patties of beef in it as well as everything else, and you are free to refill your soft drink (including the coke element of the Black Cow drinks we ordered) as much as you like. T & I also shared some Bingo Wings (hot sauce that I could taste- bonus) and some fries- the wings portion had 10-12 pieces in it, the fries were not finished between the 2 of us. Despite initial reservations, I felt that we got pretty good value for money based on portion sizes and refill bonuses.

I think as Londoners we love a bit of hype. I did once queue for Patty & Bun, and I walked past Five Guys the other day- the queue should really have had it's own postcode, and MEATMarket is a bit the same- at busy times you may have to queue and it's certainly been a 'Blogger' cliché, but where they win is by providing something that is actually awesome, doing it well, and keeping with it.

And now- training, as after all that fried food yesterday, I'm a touch on the sluggish side- even with my cycle to/from work today. All this eating, it's tough you know.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Finer Things

I can not infrequently be heard proclaiming that being a grown-up is rubbish. This is usually when I am trying to remember what is on the day's meal plan, when I need to be at home to meet with the landlord, or making the choice between different drain cleaners. But with age, there also comes a penchant for new things and over the last couple of years my newest love is rather nice underwear. Silk being my preference and this particular set is rather beautiful. Wouldn't you agree?

Rosie for Autograph Marks and Spencer green silk bra lace

Rosie For Autograph Marks and Spencer green silk underwear

They are Rosie for Autograph at Marks and Spencer, I've bought from this range before with great success, and this is no exception, the fit and day to day wearability (machine washable silk, hella yes) are all plus points. There's also the fifties styling of a high waist and beautiful combination of lace on silk. Smitten? Much?!

And not the Rosie for Autograph range, but a set with this print... well it might have sneaked into my basket and through the check out as well.

Marks and Spencer silk underwear snake skin print with lace

Oops. My bad.

Enjoyinig some smaller pleasures in finer things is one of the small joys of growing up, so hot me with yours- cooking from scratch? Making your own clothes? Saving money? I would love to know I'm not the only one who takes more pleasure in these things since they all seemed dull, pointless or irrelevant in my teens.

Chloe Likes To Talk is now on Facebook- check me out if you fancy a different platform!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Slow Start

Remember I posted about my 300km month challenge for January? You can read about it HERE if not.

Well here's an update for you. 300km is going to be hard. Really. Really. Hard.

Initially, I thought 300km would be a good challenge, on my average last year, I was clocking between 200 and 250km per month and I'm cool with that, but I wanted to push myself a bit harder and I had a few months of fairweather attitude to my bike as well, so the averages are a tiny bit skewed by quieter points in the year.

Really enjoyable ride this morning, wind isn't too horrific and the sky was a beautiful pre sunrise red. #fixiegirl #london #cycling

Things I forgot- wind. I don't mind can handle getting soaked through, but cycling in the wind is miserable unless it's directly behind you. Also these crazy high winds are probably a bit dangerous for cycling in. So the first 10 days of Jan, here's the total.

Not all that impressed with my debt in my 300km challenge this week. High winds can so do one.

Yeah, we're a third of the way through the month. I'm a bit disappointed.

I did do some number crunching yesterday though, and worked out that if I cycled to work every single work day for the rest of the month, I will hit the target by a whisper. It doesn't allow much margin for error- days that I need to be elsewhere after work and such like, but I'm still feeling determined that I want to hit the 300km mark.

I'm intrigued to see how people find the numerous goals they have set themselves in the New Year period- whether they still feel they're golas are achievable or relevant, if you're already on a downer about 2014.

It's not been the easiest of starts here at HQ. between re-negotiating our tenancy and having 3 new members of staff start work in 10 days has been a challenge. That said, there's a certain sense of deserving that accompanies my glass of wine tonight.

Happy Friday all.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Chloe Likes To Eat

Well, it's been a little while hasn't it! I've eaten a lot of yummy things in 2013 (and that was just the Christmas goodies...) and I haven't had a bad start to 2014 either- T made my Thai Fish Curry at the weekend and it was a perfect Saturday night treat.

Today's offering is one of my favourite slow cooker recipes, and it's a blessing for days like every single one of the last 2 months at work the last couple where I've been flat out at work, training hard (although don't even ask how the high winds are ruining my 300km challenge) and I want quick and easy, filling and nutritionally sound dinner for two.

Looks good right? I've made this so many times and with so many variations and tweaks, that I'm struggling to remember what it was originally called- I've a suspicion it might have a Mexican Bean Stew.... In any case this is all standard cupboard/fridge fare in our house, and it's a pretty cheap dish too.


1 tin of chickpeas
1 tine of chopped tomatoes
2 red onions
1 yellow pepper
smoked paprika
chilli powder
tomato purée

Rough chop the onions and pepper, brown them off in a pan, crush in the garlic and dump in the chickpeas.

Add in the smoked paprika- I'm generous with mine because I love the flavour- but you're the one eating it, not me, now's a good time to shove in a generous dolop of tomato puree, the chilli powder and any other seasoning such as salt and pepper to taste. Give it all a bloody good stir.

Dump in the tinned tomatoes, stir, and turn the heat down to medium-low for 10 mins so every has the chance to simmer and reduce a little.

Serve over a baked potato, with rice, as it comes or with some fresh bread. The more observant among you will notice I mentioned the slow cooker earlier, and so obviously, there's a few variations... I tend to leave peppers or any other vegetables except for the onions out whilst I follow the above, and add them when I shove the whole lot, along with half a carton of pasata into my slow cooker- so everything keeps a little crunch. Cook on low for approximately 5-6 hours.

Mexican Inspired Chickpea Bean Stew Paprika Cheap HEalthy Food

The other great thing about this- it's quite easy to find alternative ingredients or change it up to suit what's lurking in the cupboard- tinned three bean mix works quite well apparently (I'm not a fan), kidney beans, butter beans or sweet potato would all work in this, and veg wise- that handful of French beans, a few mushrooms, and in the slow cooker- carrots are personal favourites. You could also add quorn, chicken, lamb or sausages (don't knock it until you've tried it) to bulk this out and/or build some more protein in.

Would love to know if you give the a whirl, or if you have any great variations. This version is served over a half baked potato with leftover cabbage that has been thrown through a pan with a half pack of leftover lardons. Stir on high heat until the lardons crisp, FYI.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Life Goes On

Now we're well and truly into 2014, and I am only now really starting to feel reflective on 2013 the year that was. I can say honestly that 2013 was a mixed bag- as life so often is. It wasn't any more bad than good, and I'm no more pleased to shut the door on 2013 than I am to be opening 2014's shiny polished one.

There two stand out things that I wanted to talk about form 2013- for me it was the year of the bicycle, and the year of growing up.

Having moved to a new city, started a new job and struggled to run much, I wasn't really doing much exercise, and it sucked. After an off-hand joke from T about cycling, last year became the year I bought not one, but two bikes and rode a bike for the first time in well over a decade.

The Crimson Beast Red Vintage Raleigh Chiltern Bicycle Women's Bike

The Crimson Beast first appeared on the scene at the back end of January. It was an eBay purchase, a Dutch style bike that was older than me, it was a great place to start when I wasn't sure if I could get to grips with cycling. 

And get to grips I did. I cycled almost 1500km in 2013 and found exercise I both loved and that fit perfectly with my lifestyle since it replaced taking the train to work roughly 3 days of 5 each week. When the company I work for announced they were rolling out the Cycle to Work Scheme, I jumped at the idea of a newer bike that would enable a little progression with my cycling. I picked up my Foffa Grazia in October- a single speed beauty that weighed in at 9.5KG, almost half my Crimson Beast which went back onto eBay and hopefully is helping someone else enjoy a start on cycling in London.

Foffa Grazia Fixie Single Speed Bike Women's Bicycle #fixiegirl

Finding exercise that fits has been important to me for a long time, and finding cycling has been a joy. I was never a natural runner, and without my Air Force dreams to sustain a purpose it was really hard to get any of the joy that I get in riding my bike. 2014, I'm coming for my 300km month challenge (read more HERE)

Things I never thought I'd get excited about- Sports kit, cycle maps and trainers.

Sportswear, Cycle Maps and Nike Free Trainers
And 2013- a year of maturity and growing up...

Chloe Likes To Talk My Year 2013

1. T went to and passed out at Sandhurst, in the top third of the cohort no less 2. We went to the Lord Mayor's Banquet and had the chance to mix with the great and good of The City of London 3. I got a little freaked out and had to remember not to offend anyone

4. Resolving to take better care of myself and reduce our food bills, 2013 was the year we wanted to eat better  5. I decided after years and years of beating myself up about how I looked and only exercising to lose weight, that I was pretty proud of my healthy body and kept up making it stronger  6. We moved house, and finally found a home that wasn't falling apart, desperately stressful or overcrowded

7.Making time for friends and taking a trip to see Ayden in Glasgow (not forgetting the beautiful Dexter) - 8. Getting promoted to management 9. Taking a holiday to recharge and remember why we keep on keeping on thanks to generous time share donation from my Grandmother

In 2013 I feel like I found my own voice and started focussing making the best of my life. I was fortunate enough to have some fantastic experiences throughout the year and enjoy some brilliant bonuses, but it's also been a year where tough decisions had to be made and I had my metal tested in finding new ways to make things work as well as having to focus on what I want next. My lessons in highlights:

Moving, although it was my 11th in 6 years was both highly stressful and the best thing T and I did this year. For the sake of our sanity, we couldn't continue to live in a flat where the agent and landlord thing 6 weeks in winter with no heating is acceptable and sharing a bathroom with 6 other people when there's water leaking through the light fitting. The lesson learned- sometimes you just have to stop asking how and just get on with it. Flat hunting and moving whilst/off the back T being at Sandhurst was not ideal, but we made it work. And our new home suits us well. 

I talked about it being the year of the bicycle for me and finding an exercise I loved, but the biggest lesson that cycling gave me this year was to love my body back. Like a lot of women, I've been chronically mean to my body over the years and criticised it every which way. The back end of this year, I decided to let go and look after my body for everything it does for me. I've never been happier for it.

After being in my full time 'proper' job for less than a year, I earned myself a promotion to a management position. It was the affirmation I needed that I'm making progress, albeit a little slower than I'd like and it has spurred me on in considering the next career steps I'd like to take. After inexplicably feeling like I needed to be apologetic, I had a stern word with myself, conclusions included that pride in one's own achievement is just fine and that it was time to be honest about the things I think are important, rather than apologise or pussy foot around too much my own opinions.

Moving wasn't the only thing that made me asses what was important in life. Taking a holiday was the best possible thing T & I could have done in 2013. It gave us the chance to regroup, plan forward and keep at the front of our minds what we like about each other, not just why we love each other. I made a conscious effort to make friends in 2013 but also to kindle the relationships that are important to me. Visiting friends, writing emails and initiating contact even when it's been a while.

The start of 2014 thus far is proving to be.... hectic. I'm having to exercise that steel and my new position has really fallen into place with me needing to step up. But however mixed and balanced 2013 was, life goes on, and so 2014 has begun- not shiny and sparkly and new, but as life is, with a heavy dose of reality, decision making and finding the positives, and on that note, I leave you with my favourite picture from 2013...

At The Lord Mayor's Banquet Guildhall Nov 11th 2013

Friday, January 3, 2014

300km Month, I'm Ready For You

So it's January, I think it would be fair to say that some indulgence was had this Christmas and with thanks to some nasty weather and a lot of being required to zip across London to assist some family, not all that much cycling got done.

But I'm back in the game, after a breath of fresh air cycle yesterday and some strength training to ease the way of a day inducting new staff, it seems a good time to tell you about my 300km challenge.

300km month, I'm coming for you. #beprettyonrestdays

Bangs and a Bun set me thinking about this (who else) when she set herself a goal of running 80 miles in month of December. There was no prize, and egos, please stay home, but a challenge to oneself to keep training through the rougher weather months.

Not being a runner, this was never going to be for me, but typically January is the most difficult time of year for me to be active- bad weather, poor light and a break from good exercise habits over the Christmas and New Year period are all big contributors. So here's the challenge:

300km. One month. Me, myself and my fixie against the world!

No prizes, no ego, just a fitness boost and habit forming.

And even better for me, the app I use to track my cycling have launched a challenge called 'Prove It January' which gives a running total of all Kilometres cycled in the month of January asking you to prove to yourself what you can achieve. I'm all signed up!

So 300km Month, I'm ready for you. Bring it!