A record of my cycling trips in Britain and abroad


4.2 K run

Just a short race I did in Scotland last week, at a conference in Glasgow. It was the morning after a whisky tasting session… I wonder how much effect that had on participant numbers! (Not whiskey, as I was reminded - maybe that’s because I’ve spent too much time in Ireland!)

In case you’re wondering why this race was 4.2 km (it’s an obscure reason, so you might well be): 4.2 Kelvin (4.2 K) is the boiling point of liquid helium. Until recently, almost all superconductors have used liquid helium as the coolant, in order to reach the temperatures at which they operate. Having a 4.2 km race is, apparently, a tradition at this applied superconductivity conference. That’s definitely a geeky physicists in-joke… Still, it was fitting I suppose in Glasgow, seeing as we ran the race in Kelvin park, not far from the statue of William Thomson (aka Lord Kelvin).
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Thames Path

Oo, 6 m elevation gain, apparently, on this morning’s run - I think that’s still an overestimate! It was a lovely morning for it - a perfect temperature, completely still, with the morning sun poking above the trees, and the water vapour rising from the river. The only blot on the horizon was the towers of Didcot Power Station, rising like Blake’s Dark Satanic Mills and visible from all around.

I wonder how far along the river the path goes - quite a way I imagine. I’ve cycled along it, but the cycle path takes a different route at that point, on the other side of the river. As I was wondering how far it goes, I was reminded of a tale from a few years ago, of a man called Robert Young, who set out to break the record for running across America; except he spent half of it travelling in his support vehicle. I wonder why someone would do that… for money, I suppose. The current record (by Pete Kostelnick) stands at 43 days. I doubt I’ll ever run that far, but It’ll be fun to explore this footpath some more!


Another Parkrun

This seems to be becoming almost a running blog rather than a cycling one - I suppose that’s my focus for racing at the moment, what little racing I’m doing. My racing at the moment is restricted to Parkruns; and with my third attempt at the Abingdon one I seemed to be getting into my metaphorical and literal stride. A time of 18:33 puts me back on course for where I’d like to be this year, especially given how comfortable it felt - smooth and controlled the whole way round, and when I finished I felt like I had something left, despite getting a course pb by 10 s.


Parkrun, and two swims

It was my 2nd time at Abngdon Parkrun today, and it was another gloriously sunny day for it, with a cloudless blue sky, and already warm by the time I set out. I had decided to run this one a bit more slowly today, as a training run; but I didn’t mean to take it quite as slowly as I did! I set my watch and tried to use that to stay on pace, and I was close, but a whole load of people shot off far too fast at the start, and clogged up the path just as we were coming to the lock, at the narrow section. In the end I finished about 20 s behind by target (which was to aim for the same time as last time, but with a steadier pace). Oh well - there’s next time!
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I just went for a little jog along the River Ock (yes, that’s what it’s called round here, although it’s barely a stream). It’s 294 K (21 C in old-fashioned units), and it feels like 100% humidity. Not very pleasant for running in, I can tell you; bring me the clear air of the Peak District! I’m going to investigate Strava and Maymyrun and things like that, so in future I might be able to upload my running routes from my watch and do fancy high-tech things like that. Watch this space…