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Entries in transport (3)


New Game

I changed jobs in the new year, and that includes a whole new commute. I'm now working in Oxford, so I have to get the train (driving would be madness). That gives me two options for the journeys to and from the stations: bike or run. Each section of the run is around 1.5 miles - the Didcot end is slightly shorter and the Oxford end slightly longer. If I did it every day, this would give me more miles per week than I've ever done before, but I'm mixing it with cycling. 

So, what's the game?

Well, the Oxford end of the run is right through the middle of town at some busy times of day. Some people say they hate urban running, but I've discovered I quite enjoy it. There are a number of rules:

  • Don't hit anyone.
  • Don't get hit by anyone/thing.
  • Don't get trapped and have to walk.
  • Don't break an ankle on the potholes in the pavement.

There may be others, but those are the core. It takes quite a lot of concentration. Tactics employed so far: 

  • Make myself big (well, ish) so people coming at me move when there's space.
  • Make myself small so I can overtake people who are walking abreast and filling the pavement.
  • Change speed to time getting through gaps - slower if one is about to appear, faster if one is closing.
  • Last resort - check the traffic and run on the road. This one needs a lot of care about bikes.

I got it down under 15 minutes this morning. The game went well. Still got trapped a couple of times though, so room for improvement!


Busy busy busy

Quick update, it's been a bit full on again. Surprise!

We went to our biannual golf extravaganza with the WCAGS. For the end of October we had three fabulous days of weather, even if one of my rounds was completed by the light of the moon! My golf is improving, but still needs a little work.

It was in Abbotsley, near St Neots in Cambridgeshire. I didn't know there were any hills in Cambridgeshire and I lived there for 28 years, but they did all seem to have been herded to Abbotsley. 

The weather changed just after that, and the route I cycle to work on got a bit muddy and slippery - not helped by some work being done on it. The end result will be fab, but for now it's a mud slide. So I put the tractor tyres back on Clara the Long Haul Trucker. 

Mud tyres

That helped a lot. Slowed me down a little, but the wind's picked up too so speed isn't exactly of the essence, and since I'm bombing down that path in the dark now being sure of my footing (as it were) is more important. 

And then I got these:


That is three copies of my corrected and accepted thesis. I have to send one off to the university, and one is for my supervisor, and I will keep the final one. I had to get them printed and bound, and it ain't cheap, but I think it was worth it. Just the graduation ceremony to go, and 5.5 years after I started the PhD adventure will be completely over. 

It was fun while it lasted...


It had to happen

I missed the bus.

Not A bus, THE bus. There is one-and-only-one bus per day from the universities to Woodingdean. THE bus takes 20 minutes, if I miss it I have to take two buses that combined take an hour.

And I watched it pull away from the stop, when I was too far away. Then I watched it pull away from the next stop too. And I cursed, for THE bus is never on time when it's raining and cold and I've got there early. Never.

Fortunately there is a quirk in the route at Brighton University that has two stops opposite each other before a loop. I caught the next bus (number unimportant, all buses go that way), and managed to catch THE bus on the way back out. Just. Combined with trying to stop by the doctor's this morning, that has made it a 5 bus day (all different numbers).

It's a 7 mile round trip.

This is what I get for being too lazy to run into town like I was supposed to and get any of the frequent, bountiful buses from there.

I think I'll work from home tomorrow!