‘Outstanding Services to Bacon’: Cyclist earns award for reviewing bacon sandwiches at cafe stops

The man knows what he wants from a bacon sandwich

A cyclist from Shropshire was received a rather unusual award after his ‘Outstanding Services to Bacon’ were recognised by pork marketing body Love Pork.

As you might guess, Steve Grice’s award comes as a result of his work off the bike, with the Newport Shropshire CC member building up a small but dedicated following through his reviews of bacon sandwiches at various cafe stops.

“We’d like to share our heartfelt thanks to Steve who really is putting pork on the map in Shropshire and the wider West Midlands area,” Kirsty Walker, head of pork marketing at Love Pork, told Pig World. “

>>> Great British cycling cafes: where to refuel on your ride

“His outstanding standards and discerning taste buds have inspired many of his fellow cyclists to fuel their trips with a tasty meal, to give them energy for the rest of their journey.”

Grice has so far managed to review 31 bacon sandwiches in 2017 – creating a special album on Facebook – including ones that he’s sampled himself, as well as accepting reviews from other contributors.


Watch: Top three nutrition mistakes that every amateur makes


So far the highest rated bacon sarnie has been from Lychgate Coffee in Pattingham, which Grice gave 9.5 out of 10 and praised for as having “loads of bacon, really well cooked with crispy fat, and good bread”, while the lowest mark has been a damning 3 out of 10 for the sandwich from a cafe in Sambrook, which he slammed for its “criminal” use of brown bread.

Grice received his award at the Newport Shropshire CC club dinner, with club chair Nick Jeggo on hand to hand out the prize, which consisted of a squeezy pig and some limited edition boxer shorts.

>>> Fuel on the go: How to choose the best fast food nutrition (video)

“Over the past two years Steve Grice has built up a network of faithful followers who pedal to test his top-rated bacon sandwiches at cafes across Shropshire and the West Midlands area,” Jeggo said.

“Now I know that most people love bacon and cyclists are some of its biggest advocates, but Steve really has gone above and beyond. His attention to detail is spot on, sandwiches can be marked down for not being crispy enough, adding butter without asking first, sauce being added first and any form of greenery on the plate earns a whole two point deduction.

“We were delighted to present him with the award from Love Pork, which is both in good humour and in even better taste.”


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Nadal to start ATP Finals against Goffin, Federer faces Sock

Rafael Nadal

ATP World Tour Finals
Venue: The 02 Arena, London Dates: 12-19 November
Coverage: Watch live on BBC Two, Red Button, BBC Sport website and mobile app, listen on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and follow text updates online.

World number one Rafael Nadal will play David Goffin in his opening ATP Finals match on Monday.

Spaniard Nadal has been grouped with Belgium’s Goffin, Dominic Thiem of Austria and Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov.

The first group begins on Sunday, with six-time Swiss winner Roger Federer playing Jack Sock of the USA, and Germany’s Alexander Zverev against Czech Wimbledon finalist Marin Cilic.

The event will be broadcast live on BBC television, radio and online.

ATP World Tour Finals singles draw
Pete Sampras group Boris Becker group
Rafael Nadal [1] Roger Federer [2]
Dominic Thiem [4] Alexander Zverev [3]
Grigor Dimitrov [6] Marin Cilic [5]
David Goffin [7] Jack Sock [8]

The best eight qualified singles players and doubles teams from the tour go head-to-head for the prestigious end-of-season titles.

Each player competes in three group matches, playing for a spot in the semi-finals.

Britain’s defending champion Andy Murray misses out after ending his season early through injury.

Nadal, who has won six titles this year including the French and US Open, has already guaranteed top spot in the world rankings this season.

He pulled out of the Paris Masters earlier this month with a knee injury and said he would “do his best” to return for the Finals.

In the doubles draw, Britain’s Jamie Murray and his partner Bruno Soares will start their quest for the trophy against the American Bryan brothers.

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Schedule

Sunday (All times GMT)

  • 12:00: Kontinen/Peers v Harrison/Venus
  • Not before 14:00: Federer v Sock
  • Not before 18:00: Rojer/Tecau v Herbert/Mahut
  • Not before 20:00: Zverev v Cilic

Monday

  • 12:00: Murray/Soares v Bryan/Bryan
  • Not before 14:00: Thiem v Dimitrov
  • Not before 18:00: Kubot/Melo v Dodig/Granollers
  • Not before 20:00: Nadal v Goffin
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Big Ten Weekly Preview: Indiana Faces Notre Dame, Cincinnati in Tri

Lilly King Photo Courtesy: SIPA USA

By Dan D’Addona.

The Big Ten will have a relatively light week after having some powerhouse conference meets the past couple of weeks.

On Thursday, Indiana will host Notre Dame and Cincinnati in a marquee tri meet.

The Hoosiers are ranked No. 1 in the men’s poll, while Notre Dame is No. 17.

In the women’s poll, the Hoosiers, led by Lilly King, are No. 8 and the Fighting Irish are No. 10 after a strong start to the season.

This will be a meet of pride in the state of Indiana and should be exciting for both the men and women.

On Saturday, Northwestern will host Wisconsin in the only all-Big Ten dual of the week.

On Friday, Michigan State will host Bowling Green in a non-conference meet. The Spartans have been swimming and diving well so far this season and could use this as another building block.

Michigan State will then host another Mid-American Conference opponent on Saturday, facing Miami (Ohio).

Also on Friday, Wisconsin will compete at Green Bay in an intrastate battle.

Meanwhile, Minnesota will host a diving invite this weekend with Iowa, Michigan, Ohio State and Nebraska competing.

So while it is a mostly light and low-key week for the Big Ten, it just means we are gearing up for some great racing soon.

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Cyclist who was seriously injured in collision with taxi being sued for damages by cab firm

Minicab firm is claiming up to £5000 in damages after collision with cyclist, who suffered significant injuries

A cyclist who was left with a range of significant injuries after colliding with a minicab has found that the taxi firm is suing him for damages.

Sasha Evans was involved in a collision with a Ford Galaxy in Nunhead, London, on January 18, 2015 as he was cycling to a friend’s house at around 3am.

Evans’s head shattered the windscreen of the vehicle and the 28-year-old suffered severe facial lacerations, a broken leg and broken cheekbone among his injuries. He subsequently spent six days in hospital.

As a result of his injuries, Evans had to take four months off work, reports the Evening Standard.

>>> Plans to ban bikes from Oxford Street criticised by former London cycling commissioner

Evans did not attempt to pursue a legal claim against the driver of the vehicle due to witnesses declining to provide statements to police, but later found that minicab firm The Keen Group was suing him for damages. He only found out about the claim when he attempted to apply for a loan to cover his loss of earnings, and says that a summons had been sent to an old address.

With the original claim now set aside, Evans is now counter-claiming for around £10,000 to cover his injuries and loss of earnings against The Keen Group, and will appear in Central London County Court on Thursday. He is attempting to cover the cost of a medical report for the case via crowd-funding.

>>> Eight-year prison sentence for hit-and-run driver who killed ‘innocent’ cyclist

“I didn’t know it was a taxi firm at the time,” Evans told the Evening Standard. “I just thought it was a motorist. A claim was the last thing I wanted to get involved in. I was just so happy to be alive.

“I thought there was an ‘unwritten contract’ that we would both just leave it. Once I found out what they had done, I wanted to counter-claim.”


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Is “Balance” Holding Your Performances Back?

Balance: it’s something you’ll hear experts urge you to find in every area of your life. But is balance holding you back?
Christine Ultra Running

To address this topic, I’ve invited my Content Editor (and rockstar runner) Christine to share her thoughts on what it takes to accomplish big goals.

Take it away Christine…

***

We all know that you can’t go non-stop all the time. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy

But when it comes to running goals, sometimes it’s better to set balance aside to see what you’re able to accomplish. Rarely can we achieve lofty goals without going all in, and that may mean committing to some unbalanced time in our lives.

I came to running later in life, after years as a competitive horseback rider. By the age of 13, I…

  • rode almost every day after school
  • spent long weekend days at horse shows
  • arrived at the barn before sunrise to prepare my horse and load up my equipment
  • would go home well after dark

For years riding was an integral part of my life and I thought of little else. Having a horse and competing regularly often meant passing up opportunities with friends on the weekends. And then (like now), I was rarely able to keep my eyes open much beyond 9 or 10 pm.

So it’s no surprise that once I started running in my late-20s I went all in. I slowly but steadily worked my way up from 5k to 10k races, then to a half marathon, and finally to a full marathon in 2007. I gradually went from running three days a week to six, with races scheduled frequently throughout the year.

In 2013 I started running ultras and recently finished the Boulder Field 100k last September. While I have always committed myself to training plans for any race distance, ultras have helped me push this to a new level. Committing to long miles on the trails and pushing myself to get stronger at climbing and descending hills was a significant commitment.

In the midst of training, some things I just didn’t have time for anymore. I didn’t have the time or energy for that extra yoga class each week. Running strong for 100k was my priority – trying to “balance” too many things just wasn’t going to work.

Balance, in some forms, does have a place. To avoid burnout and overtraining we all need days off (or even seasons off). It helps to have interests outside of running so that it doesn’t become your entire identity. We need variety in our training, including strength and mobility workouts to stay healthy.

But when you want to achieve something big your sense of balance needs to shift.

We usually think of the definition of “balance” in terms of this Merriam-Webster definition:

Stability produced by an even distribution of weight

This means that we spread our time evenly among the things we care about, essentially dividing our attention.

But in many ways this is much like multitasking which (despite its initial appeal) we’ve come to learn is far less productive than focusing deeply on a specific task.

What if we thought about balance more like this definition (also Merriam-Webster):

An aesthetically pleasing integration of elements

This would allow for an ebb and flow of what we do, meaning that sometimes we have to allow more time and space for the things that are currently most important to us.

Let’s think about where balance helps your training (and when it may hold you back).

The Benefits of Balance

1. Rest is necessary

This may sound overly simplistic, but it’s true. No matter how much time and energy you want to devote to your training, you also need to rest.

Rest comes in many forms:

  • a day off from running each week
  • 1-2 weeks off after a goal race
  • adequate sleep and recovery each day to bounce back from your hard training

Don’t underestimate rest – this is where growth happens as your body adapts to your training!

2. Interests outside of running

In the midst of pursuing a big running goal, you may have little time to devote to interests beyond your running. And that’s ok!

But that doesn’t mean those other interests can’t or don’t exist. Having other things you want to pursue can make your time away from running more fulfilling and productive.

If you’re injured and forced to take time off, having other passions can make that time less frustrating. You also may be less susceptible to runner problems like “taper tantrums” when you aren’t sure what to do with yourself without a schedule loaded with challenging training runs.

It’s always a little bit dangerous to have your entire identity wrapped up in just one thing.

3. Balance as variety in your training

Where balance is always appropriate is when it comes in the form of variety in your training.

Devoting yourself to a training goal doesn’t mean you run and that’s it. It means you do all the things necessary to support your running, including dynamic warm-up and strength routines, and varying your workouts between hard and easy efforts.

Without this kind of balance in your training, you’re probably headed down the road to injury and forced time off. Nobody wants that!

When Balance Holds You Back

50k Training Run

Christine having fun during a 50k training run

1. You’re not setting a lofty enough goal

The path to reaching your running goals starts with goal setting. And if you’re not setting big enough goals, it may hold you back.

After all, lackluster goals produce lackluster motivation to go after them. [Click here to tweet this quote!]

Goal setting starts with dreaming big about what you hope to achieve even though it may take years to get there.

Start with a long-term vision, but then break it down into more manageable chunks for the weeks and months ahead of you. What will it take to reach your ultimate goal, whether that means running a half marathon in under 2 hours, qualifying for Boston, or finishing a mountainous ultra?

When you’re pushing just beyond what seems possible, trying to maintain balance can hold you back. A big goal requires more than just dreaming – it requires putting in the daily work.

And that means that some other things in your life may get put on hold. Don’t quit your job, but you may attend fewer social events or have less time for other hobbies.

2. You’re trying to juggle too much

When you make the decision to pursue a big dream it means that some things will have to give. Most of us try to cram too much into our day – there’s so much we want to do, and it feels like we’re missing out by not doing it all.

But this is exactly where a self-imposed sense of balance holds us back. As with any form of multitasking, trying to spread our energy between too many things means we never really devote it to the thing that needs it most.

Maybe you can’t squeeze in that extra yoga class because you need to rest and recover from your long run.

Or maybe you need to put that new project on hold temporarily.

That doesn’t mean you’ll never be able to do these things! We need to look at balance in the bigger picture – months or years rather than hours and days.

By letting go of the idea that we need to do everything, right now, we can focus on what’s most essential and reach our goals more quickly.

3. You haven’t surrounded yourself with like-minded people

When you make the decision to achieve something big with your running, you’ll learn that it’s nearly impossible to do it alone.

Surrounding yourself with people who support what you’re trying to accomplish can make all the difference (and we have just such a group for you!).

Your family or friends may think you’re nuts to start a running program or train for a race of any distance – and that’s ok! It simply means you need to find a community, either locally or online, that can help support you in your endeavors.

Over the last year, I’ve been fortunate to find a group of like-minded ultra running friends who made it seem as if running a 100-mile race is a fairly “normal” thing to do. Yes – it sounds nuts. But it’s amazing how surrounding yourself with others that go all in can shift your mindset.

The more time I spent with these friends, the more doable my 62-mile race felt. While these people are accomplishing some remarkable things, they’re not elites – they have jobs, families, and other commitments.

But they made training and running long distances a priority in their lives, and their accomplishments speak for themselves.

4. You have too many running goals

Even if you have gone all in with your running, it’s still possible to have too many conflicting training or racing goals that keep you from your ultimate accomplishment.

Are you the type of runner who wants to qualify for Boston, but also wants to race a 5k every weekend? It’s not efficient (or sustainable) to spread yourself that thin. At best you won’t get in any effective marathon training, and at worst you’ll end up injured.

A coach can be the perfect resource to look at the big picture of your training and help you weed out the non-essentials. If you have a 5k goal, focus on race-specific training with that in mind. If you want to PR in the marathon, your training is going to look very different.

“Balance” isn’t effective when it means running a 10k one week, a 5k the next, and a marathon right after that. Singular focus is a much more useful training tool.

5. You need daily focus to reach long-term goals

On Zen Habits, Leo Babauta describes the importance of focusing on an MIT – the “most important task” of the day. This is the heart and soul of single-tasking and avoiding the misconception of “balance” by juggling a never-ending to-do list.

While most of us would be hard-pressed to narrow our daily to-do list down to one thing, it’s a worthy goal. And when you’re trying to work toward a long-term accomplishment, the daily steps you take are the backbone of your effort.

Nothing big can happen without the daily work, whether that means fitting in a long run or strength session, or making a rest day truly restful.

Honoring your big goal means taking some time each day to push the non-essentials out of the way.

“Don’t worry if a few things slip when riding fast; they will!”

Growing up, one of my favorite riding  books was by George Morris (in the equestrian world his books and teachings are widely considered equestrian bible).

In one of his books, he has a picture of a rider taking a huge jump at a gallop, and comments on his form: “Don’t worry if a few things slip when riding fast; they will!”

I think the image has stuck with me all these years because this picture is the essence of someone going all in.

He’s flying around the ring at breakneck speed while steering his horse over a six-foot fence in an all-out effort to beat the clock and his competitors. Even the best riders in the world don’t have perfect form while doing this, but their heart and soul and focus are clearly evident in that breathtaking moment.

Yes, you can let some things slip.

You might not make every yoga class or spend hours in the gym on top of your training, but that’s ok.

Let go of the ideal of “balance” and do what matters most to get you where you want to be.

Additional Resources:

This post was written by Christine Sandvik.

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British Cycling chair to step down after less than 10 months in role

Jonathan Browning says he is also withdrawing his candidacy for new role of independent chair

Jonathan Browning, the chair of British Cycling, will step down on December 1 after less than 10 months in the role as the national governing body adapts to comply with the new Code for Sports Governance introduced by UK Sport.

Browning took over as chair from Bob Howden in February, but told a British Cycling board meeting on Wednesday that he will be stepping down from the role to enable a new independent chair to be appointed.

Browning said that he wouldn’t be putting himself forward for the new independent chair role, and that his time as chair had seen the organisation move away from being in “the depths of a crisis” to being in a more stable state of health.

>>> Women’s version of Team Sky could be created by British Cycling for top female riders

“When I look back over the period that I have been chair, I am immensely proud of what has been achieved and feel confident about the position that British Cycling is now in. Despite coming a long way, there is still more to do,” Browning said.

“I remain as committed as ever to ensuring that British Cycling continues to move in the right direction and at a pace faster than any other national governing body. The new chair can be assured of my continuing support in this endeavour.”

Julie Harrington, who was appointed as British Cycling CEO in March, paid tribute to Browning’s work during a difficult time at the headquarters in Manchester.

>>> British Cycling avoids loss of millions in public funding after voting through governance changes

“I would like to place on record my personal thanks to Jonathan who has given me strong support and great advice through the first few months of my time as chief executive,” Harrington said.

“Under his leadership, British Cycling defined and has begun rapid changes to adapt and grow into the role it has earned in the public life of this country and that is a process I am committed to continuing.”

During Browning’s time as chair, British Cycling has continued to be subject to negative headlines, with staff members speaking of a “culture of fear”a in the organisation in a much-delayed independent report released in June, and questions continuing to be raised over the medical records kept by former British Cycling doctor Richard Freeman, who resigned last month.

However the same period has also seen steps taken to deal with the problems inherited by Browning in August, with the appointment of Nigel Jones as head of medical services and the publishing of plans to deal with the problems raised in the report over sexism and discrimination.

The British Cycling Nominations Committee is currently recruiting for the new independent chair, with Browning returning to his previous role of non-executive director on the board.


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NCISAA 3A Champion Grace Bergstrom Verbally Commits to Sacred Heart University

Photo Courtesy: Grace Bergstrom

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NEW COMMIT: Grace Bergstrom of Raleigh, North Carolina, has verbally committed to swim for Sacred Heart University. Bergstrom is a senior at Ravenscroft School where she swims for Greg Warren. She does her year round swimming for YMCA of the Triangle Area.

Bergstrom is a member of Ravenscroft’s team record holding 400 freestyle relay. That quartet also broke a 13 year old NCISAA 3A state record last winter. At last year’s high school state championships she also anchored the team’s winning 200 medley relay. As a sophomore in 2016 Bergstrom led off the team’s winning 200 freeestyle relay and finished third in the 200 IM (2:13.84). She also swam on the second place 400 freestyle relay.

Her best times are:

  • 50 Free 24.91
  • 100 Free 53.62
  • 200 Free 1:56.13
  • 200 IM 2:13.53
  • 200 Breast 2:34.08

At last year’s NEC Championships Bergstrom would have been just three places and three tenths shy of finaling in the 50 freestyle. She would have been a 100 freestyle C finalist. Her top finish would have come in the 200 freestyle, where Bergstrom would have touched 16th.

Bergstrom shared,

“I’m beyond excited to announce my verbal commitment to study and swim at Sacred Heart University! Thank you to all my friends, family, and coaches! Go Pioneers!!”

High school teammate Mary Pruden and club teammates Lauren Soleo and Hannah Aspden have also made verbal commitments to college programs.

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Jason Palmer: Leicestershire golfer under pressure to play competitively again

Jason Palmer made his name on tour by playing the majority of his chip shots one handed

Injured golfer Jason Palmer says that he is on a deadline to start playing competitively on the European Tour again – or he will lose his card.

Palmer, 33, has been sidelined by an ongoing wrist problem since June 2015.

Although he has a three-year European Tour medical exemption, it runs out in 2018 and he must play at least five tournaments by the end of the year.

“No matter which avenue I turn down I can’t seem to choose the right path,” he told BBC Radio Leicester.

“I have put my faith in the doctors’ hands and so far none of the specialists I’ve seen has come up with the answer.

“I still have a medical exemption for the European Tour. I get to play five starts and then work out my new category based on how I perform in those five starts. But I’m told that, if I don’t take them this year, I will no longer have any category on the European Tour.

“I’d be back to where I started and have no status to play on any tour. That puts me under pressure to get myself back to fitness.”

The Leicestershire golfer has not played since missing the cut in Munich at the BMW International Open in June 2015 – a week after his career highlight, playing in the US Open at Chambers Bay.

But it is now exactly three years on from the two most successful weeks of his career. He won the Foshan Open