Fuelled By Beans Talk Series - Mike and Kate Stringer
For the final part of our Fuelled By Beans Talk Series, we've got an extra special interview for you. We chatted to Mike and Kate Stringer, who are not only very keen cyclists, but also grow fava beans!
Mike and Kate are neighboring farmers and introduced us to fava beans back when we were starting out, searching for an alternative to chickpeas.
As well as their farming business, they have their very own flour mill and sell a variety of organic products including porridge oats, rapeseed oil and flour. You can read more about them here.
First things first, Mike and Kate, what got you into cycling?
I have just always done it but Kate just likes to look around. I only got into cycle touring after cycling round Ireland one summer while at university.
Where are your favourite spots to cycle?
At home around the farm yard, Dalby forest and the outer hebrides.
What do you most enjoy about cycling?
Kate and myself don't relax doing nothing on holiday very well but we do find cycle touring gives us something to do with a bit of direction. As long as you take your time you experience all the sights, sounds and smells around you as well as meeting all of the people along the way. It sounds a bit corny but it's about the journey not the destination. It is also very mentally relaxing.
What has been your most memorable experience? Our most memorable experiences cycling would be Tanzania and the road from Leverburgh to Tarbet on Harris.
What is your favourite flavour of our fava beans?
Sea Salt and Cider Vinegar and Chilli and Lemon.
What do you like best about our fava beans?
When cycling the beans were great for a bit of a snack when you feel a bit tired between major stops. It turns out most of the local people who came to see us when we stopped liked them as well. We often eat nuts and stuff but beans seem just as good.
Let’s talk gear, where should we shop and what do we need to get started?
You need a bike. It doesn't matter what it is as long as it roughly fits and is maintained well. Kate says a comfortable saddle is very important and after last week on hire bikes I have to agree (Kate took her own saddle I did not). Kate also likes her handlebar bag for her camera (Ortlieb compact bar bag). Bike shops are great so they need supporting. Online is fine and cheap but so confusing, no advice and chances are you end up with something that is just not quite right if you didn't know exactly what you needed to start with.
Do you have any tips for anyone wanting to get into cycling?
Have a go and don't worry about how far or how fast you are going. Stop if you aren't enjoying yourself but remember the enjoyment may come after you have stopped for the day. A journey that you may do in a car or public transport can be an adventure on a bike (it is more likely to be anyway).
What is next for you and your journey?
India at some point but we need to save up, Cape Wrath Scotland and the Isles of Scilly (and Thixendale pub again one day).
Thanks so much to Mike and Kate for taking the time out of their very busy schedule to answer our questions. Here's to more cycling adventures with beans!