On a weekday in May, Leah Kirchmann steered her Liv Envie down Highway 8 past Webster Falls toward the centre of Dundas, Ont. She was in the drops, looking completely at ease. Totally pro. Near the bottom of the descent, a car pulled out without checking or signalling and forced one of the country’s top cyclists to brake hard. Kirchmann shook her head. A rider who’s faced the cobbles of northern Europe and its narrow roads has to be careful in her own town.
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Kirchmann, who is originally from Winnipeg, has called Dundas, which is just west of Hamilton, home for two years. Her partner Dan Peters works not far from Dundas in Milton for the national track team as a mechanic. Kirchmann enjoys the quiet, twisty, tree-covered roads just outside of Dundas. Early most weekday mornings, there’s a club ride that she only joins every once in awhile, if she needs a really hard workout.
Not long after dodging the bad driver, Kirchmann discussed her interest in cooking over a cappuccino. “It comes from my family. My mom and grandma are really accomplished cooks,” Kirchmann said. “Growing up, I was alway trying new things, so I think that’s where my love of cooking started. Now I’m passionate about trying new recipes or inventing my own.”
As an athlete, Kirchmann also focuses on nutrition as it relates to performance and health. She keeps her diet well-rounded and balanced. Nothing fancy, just fruits, grains, vegetables and other essentials. “I think people can make it more complicated than it needs to be,” she said.
Kirchmann’s recipe, banana oat pancakes, is perfect for a simple and delicious breakfast. If you have leftovers, she recommends wrapping them up and putting them in a jersey pocket for a treat while you’re out on your ride.
½ cup almond milk (or other milk alternative)
½ cup rolled oats
½ tsp cinnamon
⅛ tsp salt
Butter or oil
1. Place the first six ingredients in a blender and combine. Let the batter thicken for a few minutes.
2. Add butter or oil to a pan and bring to medium heat.
3. Pour circles of batter into the pan. Grill both sides until golden brown.
4. Top pancakes with Greek yogurt, berries and maple syrup.
For one serving
Saturated Fat 13.9 g
Carbs 31.3 g
Fibre 5.2 g
Protein 7.5 g