Saturday, November 28, 2009

On the Association between Riding and Cooking!

Another gorgeous day in DFW. The weather was just perfect. It was a bit windy but I will take that gladly. The skies were azure and if only I knew how to translate some of those sounds I make when I am immensely enjoying a fine thing such as today's weather, I would put'em down here :)

The children were running around the backyard, barking at passersby. The birds were chirping. I could not have asked for a better day.

I went for a short ride to REI Dallas to check out their new bikes. REI was NOT crowded today. I was told that they started their seasonal sale last week and hence the crowds were somewhat equally distributed across the days and hence there were no big peaks of customers to tackle. They were playing Christmas music at REI. I guess the joyous season is here. It is time to be merry and jolly and share our happiness with others. I love it.

At REI, I saw this nice commuter bike with Shimano Alfine 8-speed hub and a Shimano Generator hub (front), front and rear lights, rear pannier rack, mudguards/fenders, disc brakes, etc. The whole works!
The bike is called Novara Fusion and is pictured below:

I did not test ride this bike. But I was quite impressed that the bike came with the basic things essential for a commuting and for a reasonable price. Having added many of these essentials to my bikes, one piece at a time, I can definitely appreciate a bike that came with it all, at least the basics, until you can upgrade to whatever your heart desired. The front light seemed pretty good. The rear light was not powered by the generator, for some unknown reason, but was powered by batteries. The taillight was controlled by a sensor. While there are some negative reviews of this bike based on its performance in winter, I was still impressed that REI could put together a reasonable commuter bike at a reasonable price point.

This bike prompted me to daydream about my ultimate bike setup. One of the things I would like to have some day is a front wheel with a hub dynamo. I understand there are two popular choices: 1) Shimano Hub Dynamo and 2) Schmidt Hub Dynamo. I have read some reviews about both of these and I think I will get the Schmidt dynamo hub, if I get one. Lots of reviewers say it has less drag. I think the Schmidt is a bit more than the Shimano dynamo hub.

Christmas lighting, Texas style?

By now, I hope at least some of you are wondering, why this post is entitled "On the Association between Riding and Cooking". There is definitely a reason for it and I have attempted to explain it below.

I have observed that riding puts me in good mood, even if I am sore. The fresh air, hours of not sitting in front of a computer and programming, the burning of the calories and the whole concept of "out with the bad and in with the good", etc., put me in a fantastic mood.

After riding for a while, I am usually dying to satisfy my stomach's curiosities. Please note that the brain's curiosities were satisfied first :)

So, when I come back, on many days, I have noticed that I cook. While it may not be a cause and effect relationship, as some Statisticians might argue, nevertheless, I have a feeling that there might be a itsy bitsy degree of association between the two.

Even if there isn't one between my going out to ride my bike for a long time and me cooking a nice meal, there seems to be a strong correlation between, shall we say, my disappearance for a long time on the bike and a really sumptuous meal on the table when I return?

Well, today was one such a day :)

Pictured below are Caramelized Plantains cooked in coconut oil and spiced with Jerk Spice. Thanks to my lovely wife!

Pictured next is a great mouth-watering bowl of Trinidadian Vegetarian Callalou*. Again, thanks to my beloved wife!

Pictured lastly is my version of South Indian Egg Curry! This dish, the way I prepare it, is not meant for the faint at heart!! Please note that the green chillies are garnish and not be consumed (unless you are a daredevil!).

So, my dear reader, what types of events in your life, in your opinion, are highly associated with your riding?

Peace :)

* My wife's recipe is slightly different!


  1. Two comments for the price of one:

    How do you think the bike compared with the Gary Fisher, which for $400 more, lacks the generator hub? Does it use Presta drillings on the rims? You know, as in "Presta is besta."

    There's a Schmidt SON wheel on eBay right now and bidding ends tomorrow at 7:40PST. It's at $192.50 at the moment. Sounds like the guy has the lights to go with it. Those Schmidt wheels are a LOT more than their Shimano equivalvents. Myself, I'm cheap and Shimano works pretty good.

  2. @Steve: I will shamelessly admit I don't know the answer to the first question. I used the electronic magnifier on the picture (at and I think those are the fatter value stems (Schrader).

    I haven't compared the Fusion to the Gary Fisher bike that you are referring to.

    My fixation/objective was to look at bikes with a generator and an internally geared hub and this bike fit the bill. Gary Fisher has a good reputation though.

    Good to know you believe Shimano dynamo hubs work pretty good. Something to consider again, when it comes time to think serious about paying for one.

    I value your input/suggestions and so, thank you for these comments!

    Peace :)

  3. hey chandra!! iwant that boot here in cali, pretty pleaseeeee he hee ;-)

    awesome food +bikes post. I could almost smell the pics!

  4. I meant that the Fisher is $100 more. Typo! The Novara also has disk brakes while the Fisher doesn't.

  5. When I get the dough, I'm springing for the Schmidt hub myself.

    As for thinking while I ride, I think about all kinds of stuff. But after looking at what you had for supper, I'm going to be thinking about that food you ate. Looks DE-licious!

  6. Love the bike/food post!

    I find both cooking and bicycling to be spiritual, life-affirming activities.

    Indian cuisine is one of my favorites. In fact... if your beloved wife has a good recipe for Palak Kofta, I would be ever so interested :-)

  7. So, um,.....

    When do you want us over for dinner?

    Yum, that stuff looks good!


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