London

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£2.50!!

Admittedly the high price didn’t stop me partaking after several hours baking in Hyde Park this afternoon.

It was only last week that I was complaining about psychic house-hunters.

This week I am one.

I managed to get through the door before any other potential buyers, and close it out with an asking price offer before the hordes descended over the weekend.

I might get chance to write a blog post now and again now.

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I lined up on the start line just before 6.30am for the 2013 (and my second) BHF London to Brighton Bike Ride.

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I don’t feel my fitness is quite where it was last year, and with the absence of someone to compete against I took a slightly more relaxed approach from the start.

As well as the BHF ride, I also did this as a day trip one weekend last autumn so I am quite familiar with the route by now.

It helps a lot when you know what to expect.

In fact the only surprise was how much easier the first set of hills seemed compared to my memory of them.

I think Devon and Cornwall may have something to do with that.

I still wasn’t pushing especially hard, but when I reached the half way point I looked at my watch to see it had only taken me 2h 6m.

I could still do a decent time.

It took me around 4hrs last year, so that became the target. I still had Ditchling Beacon to overcome a few miles before the end so I needed to put a few quick miles in to achieve it.

In 2012 I was struggling with a thigh strain by the time I reached the Beacon (the same one that flared up between Bath and Tiverton) and I had to get off and push the bike for half of it.

I won’t say I enjoyed it this year, but I felt pretty good when I reached the foot of the hill and I can’t remember anyone overtaking me on the way up.

I think this constitutes progress.

From top the remaining 7 miles were very quick indeed, and I briefly touched 43.5mph on the way down.

Its just a shame they covered up the speed camera at the bottom of the hill.

I crossed the finish line with a little under four hours on the clock, which I was more than happy with.

The main thing about this ride is that it is in aid of a very good cause.

The BHF fund vital research into heart problems, including the causes of SADS and I was proud to take part in an event that raises over £3.5m every year.

They can always do with a little extra help, so if you’d like to sponsor me please click this link to donate.

Bike computer stats:

Ride time: 3h 58m
Distance: 53.55 miles
Max Speed: 43.5 mph
Ave Speed: 13.4 mph

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I missed an opportunity.

The Curious Incident of the Rice Pudding in the Flight Line would have been a far better title for my blog post earlier this week.

Ah well.

For an ice-cream fan in Camden, it was only ever going to be a matter of time before this blog post arrived.

There are two ways of experiencing the finest ice-cream in London.

You could pay an arm and a leg for Dinner by Heston at the Mandarin Oriental in Belgravia, or come to Camden and pay less than a fiver for the same thing.

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On entering the Chin Chin Labs you are confronted by something that looks like a scene from a Heston Blumenthal show – technicians shrouded in clouds of liquid nitrogen busily preparing ice-cream to order.

The nitrogen means a super-creamy ice-cream that is free of ice-crystals. The texture is so different it’s borderline weird, and that is before they let loose on the flavours.

At the time of writing they are advertising flavours like Mango Alphonso Brûlée and Raspberry Waffle Cone.

Chin Chin Labs Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream with Popping Candy_7863145672_o

On my visit I opted for the sour cherry with home-made popping candy, which was so sour it was like eating the sourest sweets – only times 100.

I do like sour sweets, and although I liked this I have to admit there was also a palpable sense of relief in finishing it.

There’s no doubt that Chin Chin is worthy of inclusion on a list of top things to do in Camden, but after a long bike ride I think I still prefer the sort of ice-cream I can take on board a bit more rapidly.

 

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Banksy in Camden

April 20, 2013

  In the few years that I’ve lived here Banksy has been quite prolific in Camden Town. Above is the most recent of his works I have spotted (Oval Rd, near where it crosses  Regents canal). Graffiti is transient by nature. Usually it ends up being removed by the property owner or council, but sometimes […]

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Made in Camden | Sunday brunch

April 15, 2013

I really like Made in Camden at the Roundhouse. I’ve eaten here in the evening several times, but Sunday was my first MiC brunch. MiC Baked eggs shakshuka (top), and MiC Fry-up (bottom). Perfect after a couple of hours cycling round North London on my bike.  

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My favourite lunch in Camden

April 14, 2013

From Thann Binh, the Vietnamese Restaurant on Chalk Farm Road. Bon Tom Xao Sa is cold fresh noodles and salad, with the fiery smokiness of hot stir fried king prawns with onion, chilli and garlic. To top it off you spoon over cold fish sauce. The contrast between the temperatures and flavours is incredible. Thann […]

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