Chikashi Miyamoto

Attracting, Cycling, Drinking, Eating, Giving, Persuading and Travelling

The Last Bond (?)

Spectre, Daniel Craig’s last stint as 007.

Possibly the last edition of the James Bond franchise.

Bond is being dressed by a dress designer. His boss and a muscular adversary are being dressed by a Savile Row tailor, Timothy Everest.

I am so happy about spring arriving, but I cannot wait for autumn.

Daily Bread

San JuanBasic things can be extremely difficult to find, particularly in this age of mass production and mass distribution. Small businesses such as independent bakeries are slowly disappearing. Consequently, the good bakeries are increasing difficult to find. The ‘famous’ ones tend to disappoint or leave you underwhelmed.

San Juan in the Berchem district of Antwerp is owned and operated by a Spanish family, and their main business is supplying restaurants and hotels. We learned of them after asking Bar(t)-à-Vin who supplies their excellent bread. Despite being at the opposite end of Antwerp, we get our bread from San Juan.

Their shop is very basic. Not much to look at, to be honest. If you are walking by, you might not even notice it. Their assortment is quite limited. However, what they do have is very good. Furthermore, if you have something specific in mind, such as a loaf of 50% rye / 50% white wheat, you can order it a couple of days in advance.

Mamà is always relaxed and cheerful. The teenage daughter, who sometimes helps out at the front of house, is always nice. Padre is usually stressed whenever the daughter is around — coincidence? The bread is always good. It’s artisanal, but it’s not mentioned; it just is. And, they’re open 7 days a week.

Hard to beat.

Hitler Loses All His Strava KOMs

Clip spotted by my buddy Jonah.

If you understand German, I suggest you mute the sound as it will probably be too distracting.

I Know I Shouldn’t 

But I always crack a smile at the sight of a certain Spanish bicycle brand. I wonder what portion of their sales are in German-speaking markets. 

My Eyes…

image via

That kit, with that bike… It’s a shame the sponsors didn’t discuss colours amongst themselves although I have some doubts that the parties would have had any flexibility on the matter. 

A shocker. 

If I Can’t Be in Sicily, Then…

Pasticceria Savia, CataniaSicily is the capital of gelato. I wrote about Pasticceria Russo previously, but they are a true destination since there is probably no other reason to visit Santa Venerina. On the other hand, if you happen to be in the city of Catania, then you must visit Pasticceria Savia even if you do not have a sweet tooth. Unlike Russo, an unassuming presence in a little town, Savia has an imposing presence in the second largest city in Sicily.

To be honest, I was a bit sceptical when I saw the palazzo of dolcezze. In a funny way, a large structure like that seemed counterintuitive when imagining an artisanal establishment. However, my scepticism was entirely misplaced.

Gelato cake at Pasticceria Savia, vintage Oliver GoldsmithWild strawberries. I am not a big fan of fruits, but I cannot get enough of wild strawberries, probably because they are virtually impossible to get in Belgium. So, wild strawberry gelato cake…

Gelato con brioche at Pasticceria SaviaAnd wild strawberry brioche con gelato, aka gelato sandwich. I seem to recall reading somewhere that this is had for breakfast. Speaking of starting the day on the right foot… and abandoning any thoughts of staying slim.

It has to be said that I have had some really underwhelming gelato at random places even in Sicily. You have to know where you’re going, but they’re not exactly a well guarded secret: Savia in Catania, Russo in Santa Venerina, Caffé Sicilia in Noto…

So, what do we do if we can’t be in Sicily? Bring Sicily to us. Well, sort of. We got an ice cream maker, namely, Cuisinart Pure Indulgence. It’s the basic model, but it does the business. A most excellent fatty maker, indeed. It’s also very educational because you learn the practical nuances, such as the difference between an ice cream and a gelato, as well as the range of textures in-between those two, the amount of sugar to suit your palate, the variety of secondary ingredients to corrupt the Italian notion of a gelato, such as adding a wee bit of Skippy peanut butter or matcha green tea in a vanilla receipt… whilst watching your girth expand like you have a mini-me growing inside you.

No wild strawberries, but absolutely delightful.

A Chain Revelation 

When I bought the Campagnolo groupset, I did not install the chain. I was annoyed by the connector pin that requires a proprietary tool. So I installed a “Campagnolo compatible” KMC chain instead. When it broke, I replaced it with the same model of KMC chain, partly because I forgot I had a Campagnolo chain at home, partly out of laziness. The daft thing is that all this time (and distance of more than 10,000 km), I had been wondering about compatibility issues arising from mixing products from different makers. 

I just found out the answer: Don’t mix. 

It’s a rather embarrassing tale, but here it is. When I first installed the group set, with the KMC chain, I noticed that shifting from the third smallest sprocket to the second smallest sprocket tends to be lazy. Furthermore, shifting from the second smallest to the smallest was often very difficult. The latter takes the fun out of the moment where you want to bomb down a descent just after cresting the summit. Annoying, to say the least. 

Shortly after the initial installation, I went to consult Michel, who is a Campagnolo certified mechanic working at the shop where I bought the group set. He checked to see if I had installed everything correctly. Indexing and everything else was just fine. He said that KMC make good chains, but mixing can cause problems sometimes. 

At this point, most people would get the idea. Not me. Instead, I devised shifting tricks to make the chain get to the smallest sprockets. Too embarrassing  to get into details…

I recently had to reassemble the bike after I got the frame back from a makeover, so I took the occasion to install the Campagnolo chain I had sitting on a shelf. 

There are several mentions on the Interwebz about the difference in the width of the links amongst various makers of 11 speed chains. According to my digital caliper, my Campagnolo Chorus chain measures 5.48 mm whilst the KMC chain measures 5.53 mm. Does a delta of 5/100th of a millimetre make a difference in performance? I don’t know.

I also note that the way the outer links are bevelled around the edges is completely different between the two. Is that the reason? I can’t be certain, but it seems a bit more than plausible. 

Smooth shifting all the way up and all the way down. No tricks required. There seems to be improvement also in the way it goes from the smaller chain ring to the larger chain ring. 

Lesson learned. 


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