Archive for August, 2020

The Roasting Tin

Tuesday, August 18th, 2020 | Books, Food

The Roasting Tin is a cookbook by Rukmini Iyer. It promises “simple one-dish dinners” and it delivers. I like it. Stick a bunch of ingredients in a roasting tin, stick it in the oven and in an hour or two you will have nice food. Not much messing around and nice results.

There is optimum roasting time. The short roasts were a bit dull, and I didn’t get great results from the really long roasts which I think come out better if you slow cook them. But the range of an hour or so seems to be the sweet spot for this book. I recommend the five-spice pork chops and smokey sausage supper, both of which make excellent and easy to prepare meals.

Mindful Running

Monday, August 17th, 2020 | Books

Mindful Running: How Meditative Running can Improve Performance and Make you a Happier, More Fulfilled Person is a book by Mackenzie L. Havey.

It’s a nice read. Nothing suer-new or much I did not know, but if you don’t practice mindfulness already or use it in your running, this would be a recommended read.

It was also a good reminder of what Havey calls our “True North Goal”. The thing that keeps us going regardless of what races are coming up. For many of us, it will be to stay on top of our physical and mental health, to challenge ourselves, to show ourselves we are stronger than we thought. A timely reminder given almost all of the races in 2020 are cancelled.

The Prison Doctor

Sunday, August 16th, 2020 | Books

The Prison Doctor is a book by Dr Amanda Brown. It is an autobiography (or maybe a biography given there is a co-author, although it is written in the first person) that discusses her times working in prisons.

After a spat over the new GP contract, she leaves per practice and goes to work in a young offenders prison, Wormwood Scrubs and later a women’s prison. It’s an okay read. Well written.

Quicksilver

Saturday, August 15th, 2020 | Books

Quicksilver is a historical novel by Neal Stephenson. It is part of the The Baroque Cycle, although I don’t really know what that is.

It jumps around which kept things interesting. The pace differs. Lots of details about the ships, not much about the plague or the fire. Overall, it was enjoyable, and I will probably end up reading more of the series.

Tyres and brake discs

Friday, August 14th, 2020 | Sport

A few weeks ago, I was cycling with Bramhope when something shredded my rear tyre. I’m not sure what it was, but it left a gash so big that the liquid sealant inside the tyre couldn’t seal it. Worse still, I couldn’t get the tyre off the rim, so I couldn’t even stick an inner tube in it.

I was planning to get a bike shop to fix it, but with shops closing and everyone being busy, I decided to give it a go myself.

Getting the tyres off is a nightmare. I specifically bought Mavic UST because it was supposed to be super-easy to get the tyres on and off the rims. It is not. I spend literally an hour trying to get my new tyre onto the rim. In the end, I gave up and used tyre levers. Once I had done that I got it on within five minutes, but I needed two of the things and I snapped one of them.

Once I got the things on they were at least easy to inflate. I managed it with the track pump. I’m using the Muc Off tyre sealant that, as the reviews promised, really did smell lovely. The advantage of re-doing my tyres was that I could get the tyre and rim logo lined up.

The next thing I wanted to do was to put some brake discs on my old wheels so I could easily swap to the old wheels if I needed so. So, I brought a shiny new Ultegra brake disc to try it. Turns out it is so easy that I could have just swapped the discs over every time I wanted to switch wheels. But now I have shiny new discs.

And here is the snapped tyre lever…

I’ve switched to Bontrager tyre levers now as they look slightly more sturdy (although I have not tested this) and carry three of them in my saddle bag now.

Gotta Get Theroux This

Thursday, August 13th, 2020 | Books

Gotta Get Theroux This is an autobiography by Louis Theroux. It was always going to be a half-decent read as Louis is such a good storyteller. Although, he would probably be one of the first to admit that his documentaries are the result of a team of people that he happens to be the face of.

I didn’t know much about Theroux’s persona life. For example, I did not realise that he started by working with Michael Moore. I knew he had a family, but to hear his dreary tales about domestic life was a nice reminder that even rockstars have to do some chores.

Some documentaries get a lot of time. Others don’t get any. As may be expected, there is a lot about Jimmy Savile in the book. The audiobook includes a whole bonus chapter about “Jimmy Savile deniers” have some have dubbed them.

Overall, a good read.

ISM PR 3.0

Wednesday, August 12th, 2020 | Reviews, Sport

I’ve been trying out the ISM PR 3.0 saddle. It is a split-nosed saddle designed to help blood flow, especially in the time trial position.

To its credit, it does feel pretty good. However, as other reviews have noted, I did get some discomfort on my inner thighs. The seat itself, which is supposed to be ISM’s most comfortable, felt rock hard to me. There was nowhere near as much give as my Fabric.

Ultimately, it wasn’t for me. Maybe if I was in the TT position the whole time it would be an option. But I’m not, so it isn’t the saddle for me.

Out of Orange

Tuesday, August 11th, 2020 | Books

Out of Orange is an autobiography by Cleary Wolters, the real-life inspiration for Orange is the New Black‘s Alex Vause.

Although the book makes reference to prison, there is very little about prison in it. It’s mostly about the international drug trade and her involvement in it. Nor does Piper feature much in the story. It probably won’t surprise too many people that the TV show doesn’t draw much from reality.

The book is a slow start and I wondered whether to continue. But I thought I would give it one last chance on a long training session and it picked up as it got into the details. It was an okay read; not one of my favourites.

Kirkstall Valley Nature Reserve

Monday, August 10th, 2020 | Life

The official map of Kirkstall Valley Nature Reserve has about two paths on it and there are way more. So, I did my best to run most of them.

You can see a proper map on Strava.

Wicked Healthy Cookbook

Sunday, August 9th, 2020 | Books, Food

The Wicked Healthy Cookbook is a cookbook by Chad Sarno, Derek Sarno and David Joachim. It’s nice in that it talks a little bit about the theory of making vegan food. But everything felt quite involved and hard to make, or easy to make but with hard-to-find ingredients. None of the recipes has made it into our regular rotation.