Salted Mackerel is a digest, published with sporadic regularity, which concerns itself with the truly important things in life. In case of any confusion or received misinformation, the subjects in question are of course bicycles, design, style, photography, food and drink (18.1.2012 – And climbing too!)
Tenuously related ephemera might crop up from time to time, but rest assured that my intention is to avoid straying very far at all from those core topics. And why would I wish to anyway?
I ride bicycles. I have raced them, on roads, up hills, down hills, and in a spectacularly unexceptional fashion. I have toured Europe, Africa, Asia and South America by bicycle. I have bought bikes, sold bikes, broken bikes, mended bikes, built bikes, crashed bikes, thrashed bikes, hated bikes and loved bikes. There are so many great quotations concerning cycling that anyone looking for a philosophical snippet to back up their assertions is really spoilt for choice. As such, I defer to the wisdom of one of the greatest minds in contemporary America.
“It’s one of the worse things in the world to wake up and not see your bike where you left it.”
I used to write about food and drink, and here I am again. Food and cycling are of course inseparable, in both the causative sense and also in a wider recognition of the relationship between the two that comes about especially from spending prolonged passages of time seemingly unable to think about anything else.
There is also the phenomenon of ritualised behaviour – the bowl of porridge, the espresso (or in my case, the heavily sweetened americano), the pocketful of fig rolls, or shortbread, or GO Bars, the sluicing of powder-charged bidons, the banana poked unceremoniously between pump and rain jacket.
The food writing on Salted Mackerel might not always appear to relate diectly to cycling, but to me the relationship is very real. Jonathan Meades claimed that he put on an average of 5lb a year as a result of his position as The Times’ restaurant critic. If Jonathan had spent his Sundays mornings astride a bicycle then perhaps he would’ve avoided becoming such a piggy.
(In support of that argument, I vaguely remember an interview that involved David Millar, Jeremy Hunt, a big pile of cake, an inquisitive American, and a retort about “riding my bike 5 hours a day”. Alas, recollection of any detail beyond that is beyond me.)
As far as the other subjects go. Well, I like hats, Helmut Newton, and I run a furniture design business (www.sfor.com). I also have a Tumblr site documenting the (slow) progress of the renovation of my house.