Cycling summary

Here’s all the cyclemeter maps from our recent holiday. A few of them show ferry and train journeys – I’m obsessive like that! Over the next few days I’ll upload the rest of my photos to ‘Bruce and Elly get passed by Dutchies on the left-hand side …

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Day 11: Neumünster to Kiel

23·2 undulating miles: (cumulative cycling 212·5 miles)

I spoke too soon in the last entry about getting into my stride. (Would cadence have been more appropriate?) The way from Neumünster to Kiel was mostly on tarmac cyclepaths (with occasional ‘drempels’ due to tree roots) but it undulated by a few meters quite often, and that was taxing. I’m also pretty sure I’m pedalling against some friction, despite Lev having been serviced not long before we left. (I blame the crap UK trains – no way were Lev’s handlebars squint before we left.) There were some patches of gravel en route, which had me singing something like Deutschland Deutschland ohne Wegdek mainly because Deutschland Deutschland ohne Straßenbeläge doesn’t scan.

We had a drinks-break at a lakeside café on the east of the Bordesholmer See. It night have been possible to swim in the lake (and the temperature made this tempting) but there was nowhere to change – there was a sign on the café door saying very strictly ‘this is not a changing room’ and I really didn’t fancy doing the last 10 miles in squelchy padding.

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First ‘together’ ride of the year

My much better half and I are really missing continental cycling holidays! However, over the past year, my legs have been suffering. My right calf is painful most of the time, my feet cramp when I try to sleep, and walking a quarter-mile to the nearby Caffe Nero can be quite unpleasant. On the rare occasions I spin, I have to stop every 15 minute to apply Deep Heat and stretch out the pain. A physiotherapist thinks I must have torn a muscle at some point, but I can’t remember doing this. I think I’ve cycled to campus once this year – lockdown has removed both the need and the desire, while Napier and Community Council work has kept me chained to my home-desk. 

However, this weekend is mostly free of such work. (I need to post something on behalf of NTBCC today.) So the MBH and I decided to take a wee ride to see how well we and our bikes are. The bikes are in good condition, despite being outside and unloved most of the time. Us? Well, we managed 9 miles from home to Cafe Milk in Leith and back. There was some swearing, and I’m terribly slow, but we kept going. The MBH was buzzing by the time we got home. Next time, I’ll try doing this route with Live Davidovitch fully laden. Break out your earplugs!

If you’re interested, here our our European rides. (Scotland was in the EU in 2014!) 

Out and about to celebrate almost-Dr Cruickshank!

My brilliant colleague Peter Cruickshank has finished all the work for his PhD by published works. He has submitted his thesis, defended it in an oral exam, made the very few and very minor corrections emerging from the exam, and submitted the final version. So there’s only a bit of bureaucracy between him and being doctored.

To celebrate this, our prof (Hazel Hall) and her husband (Tim) invited Peter, his wife (Sam), me and my wife (Elly) to lunch last Sunday. Here are the happy people:

Peter, Sam, Hazel, Tim, Elly (photo by Bruce)

Peter and Sam (photo by Hazel)

Bruce and Elly (photo by Hazel)

I can’t do justice to Peter’s thesis here. However, writing from it may appear in future papers, and the actual thesis may appear in Napier’s repository.

But I do want to publicly thank Peter for his massive support for my career as a researcher. In September 2011 I started a part-time MSc in ‘information systems development’ at Napier, after illness put an end to my publishing career. (My progress through the MSc is documented in my original blog, Just another bipedal sack of DNA and neuroses, because that’s what humans are.)

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Getting older!

So this month I reached a semi-significant age-milestone. I’m not sure how I feel about this, except that the next fully significant milestone hints at potential retirement. How did I get to be this old? Actually, scrap the ‘retirement’ idea. I enjoy my Napier, community council and LeithChooses work, so I want to carry on with all of it. (But maybe I can reduce it a bit so I have more time for the much better half and me.)

Anyway, celebrations consisted of the first cycle this year with the much better half and not one but two ‘birthday-burgers’.

Here’s  a screenshot of the inevitable cyclemeter map. (The actual map states when my birthday was, so I’m not linking to it.)

screenshot of cycle-route around Edinburgh