I flew from Oslo to Dublin last Friday to meet an old BMX friend from 1995. We hang out almost every other year. Like many of my old BMX friends, Woody has picked up road riding and brought his 'big bike' with him to Ireland. Unlike the rest of us though, he still rips on the BMX. The photo below is from the South Coast BMX blog. In Brighton yesterday we rolled to the skatepark and he stuck some barspin transfers, tail whips and tech peg tricks. All brakeless. Actually, 7 out of the 8 BMXers were brakeless. And this is no 'just use the cranks to stop' fixed gear brakeless. This is straight up no way to stop brakeless. Like a skateboard. Which answers the 'why' question. I got on someones bike and stuck some manuals. Dope. Woody actually just signed up for his first 100 mile ride, which is next weekend. In true BMX fashion Woody 1) Refuses to wear spandex 2)Pedals super hard at all times in too big of a gear 3) Doesn't understand limitations the way a normal person would.Anyway, back to Dublin. There were two football matches while we were there which was some great insight into that culture. We spent a day doing the urban thing and then on Sunday did a 45-mile road ride south through Wicklow County. Beautiful, rolling hills and old farms on tiny back roads. Of course it rained on us, but cleared as we got back in.
Monday we took a ferry to Whales then a train into London. A surprisingly fantastic journey. Any California resident has a great appreciation for lush, green summers. We arrived in London at 930pm and hammered 7 miles to get to his girlfriend's place. It's always fun to be on the wrong side of the road in a new city, carrying all your stuff (remember I've got my damn wet suit with me from Norway), in the dark, going really fast (see note above about Woody's riding style).
Now what everyone wants to hear: what I've been eating.
Norway: When I was staying near Hamar I cooked, mostly. My host was happy to have me search out Asian markets and let me cook up some stir-fry and other things. Found some breaded cutlet things that I made an open-faced sandwich with, topped with grilled onions and tomato sauce. The four-pack cost close to $8. Norway was like, 'I'm in your wallet, killing your funds.'
Dublin: It's popular in Ireland for a 'traditional Irish' breakfast to come with your accommodations. I was positive that this would include some sort of potato, but unfortunately it never did. Baked beans and toast. Blah. We did find a nice vegetarian restaurant called Cornucopia (thanks Megan) that had very homely meals. Bangers and mash being one. I'll leave you to sort out what that is. Otherwise we ate veggie burgers and chips from some tiny take-away spots.
London: Vegan Thai buffet! There are now 3 different ones in Soho, but I wanted to eat at the same one as five years ago. Lots of options, including rolling your own spring rolls. We also cooked up some nice breakfasts; they seem obsessed with vegan sausage here. They are everywhere. Not as plentiful as hotdogs in Norway, but nothing can compare to that.
Brighton: Holy vegetarianism. Ate at a vegetarian pub. Yeah, you read that correctly. There are so many veg restaurants here I lost count. Plus Indian, Lebanese, Chinese, etc all happily exclaiming their veggie options. And of course vegan sausages everywhere.