This month’s issue:…
- What’s in Season at the Allotment
- Easy Seasonal Recipe: Roast cauliflower soup
- Fad or Fab: FitSip
- Article: Highlights of the first Edinburgh Festival of Cycling
- And Finally… Sport as Art
Hello healthy people,
We’re past halfway through the year, and it seems summer has finally come to Scotland. Here at Griffen HQ we spent June busy helping to roll out the inaugural Festival of Cycling; you can read about what happened in the article below. Fitnesswise, I currently have off peak PT availability (weekday daytime) if you or a loved one would like to kickstart your fitness…
What’s in Season at the Allotment
It’s been bloomin’ marvelous doon the plot, with leafy veg and herbs aplenty. This year seems a much better growing year than last, and we ate our first ever strawberries last week. Radishes, rocket and lettuce have been making their way to our salad plate. At mid-summer we finished harvesting the rhubarb, but not before making rhubarb and ginger chutney and rhubarb and orange jam. We have also recently discovered the joy of fresh sage leaf tea. Very refreshing and good for the system.
Easy Seasonal Recipe: Roast Cauliflower Soup
We had our first glut of cauliflower last month, and enjoyed it with pretty much everything. I discovered that cauliflower is delicious roasted, just cook it in a 200 degree oven for 20 minutes until tender and slightly browned. Roast cauliflower forms the base of this amazing soup.
1 large cauliflower
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
pinch ground cumin
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
750 ml vegetable stock
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
– Preheat oven to 200C.
– Wash and cut cauliflower into florets, and spread in an large baking tray.
– Drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil and a pinch of ground cumin.
– Bake for 35 – 45, tossing and checking every ten minutes, until florets are cooked and slightly browned. Remove and cool.
– Saute onion and garlic in 1 tbsp olive oil for about 5 minutes, to soften.
– Add stock, thyme and vinegar and warm through.
– Add cooled cauliflower to the broth and cook slightly.
– You can zizz the soup a bit, or use a masher to get the consistency you like (creamy with some chunks is ideal).
– Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and ground black pepper to serve. It tastes delicious with a good quality sour dough bread.
Fad or Fab: FitSip
I get excited when I hear about a local fitness innovation, and FitSip is certainly innovative. It’s a handy wrist cuff which holds a small bladder of water (250ml) for a sip of water as you run. It was devised in the Pentland Hills when keen runner Christine Manson wished her handy wrist cuff could contain not only her keys, but a also sip of water. Teamed up with Belinda Goldsmith and fast forward a year or two, with some research and design, the Fitsip is now available to public at www.fitsip.com.
Fitsip kindly sent Griffen Fitness a tester – imagine a Camelbak hydration pack for the arm and you get the idea. I usually carry an ergonomic water bottle and enjoyed having a spare hand free. On the downside, I christened it my ‘cyborg arm’ as the design is a bit chunky. It’s a brilliant idea, and good work to FitSip for bringing it to market. I assume with time that the design may streamline, however by the nature that FitSip is designed to carry water, it needs to have some bulk in the design. A fab innovation, and I look forward to seeing the future of the product. Also appealing to ultra-runners who need to travel light, but with supplies…
Article: Highlights of the first Edinburgh Festival of Cycling
The Edinburgh Festival of Cycling was launched on Friday June 14 in the plush surrounds of the City Chambers, with a brief speech from Council Leader Andrew Burns and the launch of the 24 Hour Spin for Charity from local Indoor Cycling studio Lifescycle. Here’s some highlights from the 40+ ‘EdFoC’ events…
Saturday 15 June was the official first day, with Extreme Unicycling and Bike Polo demonstrations and ‘come and try’ events at the Jack Kane Centre. Many people learned how to unicycle,and a few even dared the bike polo. Home and a quick change before heading to the grandiose venue of the Assembly Hall on the Mound for ‘Mr Copenhagize’ urban planner Mikael Colville-Andersen’s talk on how to help make a city flow. It was a very interesting talk, not simply because head of Edinburgh’s transport Lesley Hinds was there, and even said she learned a lot from the experience (I hear Mrs Hind’s is now looking to Dublin’s post-tram transport solution, so we could be onto a good thing for Edinburgh).
A rest day on Sunday 16, as Mikael Colville-Andersen’s photography exhibition of Copenhagen cyclists of all kinds was hung in The Hub and appreciated by those who passed through.
Monday evening saw Scotland’s (and perhaps the world’s) first ever ‘Bike Poetry Slam’ hosted by Inky Fingers at the Forest Cafe. Present were oodles of riding rhymes and wheely words with poet J.A. Sutherland winning the yellow jersey.
Tuesday I ran a booked-out workshop on Nutrition for Long Bike Rides in the Commonwealth Pool meeting room. It’s a subject close to my heart, as fueling for the day of cycling requires planning and a little bit of nutritional knowledge. There were lots of excellent questions and punters taking notes, and I’ll definitely be rolling it again next festival.
On Wednesday, Mark Beaumont, the Scottish lad who cycled the world filming it for a BBC documentary was the highlight for many. It was wonderful to hear him speak at the Queens Hall on his adventures, and his ‘can do’ attitude is truly inspiring.
Thursday was the second and final of my fitness dates, another full house, on Strength Training for Cycling. The moral of the workshop; do lots of cross-training and ‘bulletproof’ your body by strengthening joints and practicing balance. Another successful workshop that we’ll run again in 2014.
No rest for the wicked, as they say, and last Friday saw Edinburgh’s first Night Ride, which took place on the evening of summer solstice, the longest day (shortest night). Over 55 riders set off from Griffen Fitness HQ down to Gullane to enjoy an early morning snack, and then back to a church hall in Leith for a slap-up breakfast.
A few hours later we headed to the Meadows for Heels on Wheels, a tongue-in-cheek ‘ladies day’ of cycling. Officially launched by Alison Johnstone MSP, the day aimed to make cycling more accessible to women and families. There were various bikes to try, including a recumbent bike and a tandem, as well as hula hooping, an adult space-hopper race, free mechanical checks from Edinburgh Bike Coop, excellent coffee from Steampunk and gorgeous homemade food from Knight’s Kitchen. A playful fun day with something for everyone. Juliana Buhring, the fastest woman to cycle the world, also gave a brief speech, to be followed by a feature-length presentation in the evening at the George Square Lecture theatre.
On the last day of the festival, it was a fairly pooped personal trainer who joined the Greener Leith family bike ride from Victoria Park to Portobello. Thankfully the pace was set by a cute wee 4 year-old, whose family came all the way from Bonnyrigg to join in. Crepes and coffee on the beach were enjoyed by all, then we returned Leithside for the Bamboo Bicycle Building BBQ. As the token antipodean in the EdFoC team, it was my final duty of the festival to supervise the BBQ held to celebrate the finished bamboo bike frames that had being built at the Old Ambulance Depot over the course of the weekend. The Bamboo Bike guys promote bamboo as ‘the original carbon fibre’ and the bikes looked pretty cool too!
We’re starting to plan the festival for 2014, so please do email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you know anyone organisation interested in running and event / sponsoring us.
© Copyright all material Tracy Griffen 2013