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Sunday, 19 May 2013

Giro blues

So why does Sir Brad not winning mean he's lost

Yes, I know second place is firth loser, but if the press coverage is to be believed, Brad is having a 'mare in the Giro. I'm not sure what is wrong with us Brits, but it's like if Mo Farrah "only" got a silver at the Worlds, he'd be over the hill, on the way down.

For riders, this is no problem, we understand that descending can go to pot at the drop of a hat and that a three week race is about who is in the front after three weeks, not one. But for the average punter, it must be more confusing. And does the average sports fan really take notice of the hype and journalistic exaggeration or can they see past to the "truth"?

I guess footie is to "blame". As footie got more about cash and share options and less about representing your town or city so the writers moved from the features pages to the "sports" page. and as there was more cash, bling sold copy.

Its happened in rugby, in the "good old days" "dwarf-gate" would never have been reports. "Rugby player pissed" was hardly a revelation, least not when I played. Indeed, the headline might have had more impact if it had said "rugby player drinks shandy - shock". That young men, on a day off like a beer is not news, is it?

As it turned out SBW had a nasty chest infection - staying near the top of a Grand Tour with a nasty infection really does show how good he is!

Cycling events

Do you like cycling events? I've just registered for "Bristol's Biggest Bike Ride" and I like the idea that a route has been set, lots of people will be doing the same route and for once, the cyclists are the king of the road. Yet, part of me thinks it a bit infra dig. Its like cyclists need a special day to ride safely on the roads, that in reality are a public utility. Now I'm sure that such events are great for encouraging the less confident. Perhaps that outweighs any doubts I have? I don't know. I'd prefer people to think that however nervous they might be, the roads are not supposed to be like some lottery with your life and limb. 

Bristol is by no means the worst city to cycle in. Indeed I am constantly amazed by the way pedestrians and cyclists share, usually without conflict, the paths and ways around town. Drivers are good at giving way and the right of way enjoyed by cyclists on many crossings makes cycling look more fun that sitting in a jam in your car.

Cooking

I love Indian food - or at least what passes for "Indian" food at my local curry emporium. I used to know an owner of  4 restaurants in the Bracknell area and two things were a surprise. Firstly, that most the chefs were from Bangladesh and secondly, that chefs got transfers like a premiership football centre forward (Is that a position these days?)

Anyway - real home Indian cooking is usually more subtle and better tasting. My "go to" curry is an adaptation of a prawn Goan curry from Rick (mmmm, that nice) Stein. A good business man but annoying presenter. That curry only has four spices and can be done from scratch in half an hour. That's for another time, but I was recently impressed with Anjam Anand's recently repeated, "Indian food made easy"

Now "easy" for TV chefs can be different from what you or I might think of as easy (an omelette say)  but this recipe for chicken curry with spinach is fairly easy and really does take under an hour

Chicken with Spinach is really tasty. Give it a go. I would change one aspect. Its probably better not to use pieces of chicken on the bone, its easier to make the sauce without adding the chicken and then when the sauce is looking near finished, add pieces of boneless, skinless chicken thigh. Thigh is my fave chicken - better than breast and cheaper. Simmer in the sauce until cooked and you're ready to go. You will need a 600gm pack of chicken for two good portions. I can't see how the recipe as quoted serves 6. It might if you didn't eat much, but that's not me!

In the news

Many cyclists are filming their rides. Video your ride It got me wondering - its this some sort of London problem. Here in the "Greater Bristol" area, it seems that people in cars are much more aware of cyclists. I rarely get any hassle and TBH, I feel pretty safe cycling even into the middle of Bristol. I guess, Bristol almost has a critical mass of cyclists and we all share the space?

And as the anti cycling lobby get desparate - here's a tongue in cheek "helping hand" pedalling-myths-antibike-lobby

My favourite was this

2. If you support gun control, you should support bike control.Milquetoast liberals are always objecting to the argument that "guns don't kill people, people kill people", because the widespread availability of guns makes it more likely they'll be used for nefarious purposes. Well, just follow the logic. Bikes can be used for nefarious purposes, too: consider scenario 1 above, or the popularity of bikes among drug-dealers. It's a no-brainer, therefore, that bicycles should be subject to the same kind of ban currently proposed, in the US, for semi-automatic weapons.
Can't argue with that.....









1 comment:

  1. Sorry Mike-for some reason I'm no longer receiving alerts when you blog so I've only just seen your May edition. I do still enjoy reading them though so please keep up the good work !

    My son is a student in Bristol and he would very much agree with you about it being a good place to cycle (much better than Exeter where he stays with the rest of us during the holidays, incidentally).

    Any thoughts on Sir Brad's apparent failure to congratulate Chris on the latter's superb Tour victory BTW ?

    Best wishes,

    Andrew

    PS Small beer for some I know but at the tender age of 58 I've just completed my first charity ride which for me was a "marathon" 59 miles.

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