Start the Week, cycling and 20 mile run

Out on my bike (see below), I like to listen to downloaded podcasts from BBC Radio. I do this safely i.e. I have the volume set so that I can hear the podcasts, but not too loud as I need to hear traffic coming up behind me. One of my favourite listens is Start the Week in which Andrew Marr discusses topics with 4 guests. This week it was digital futures and the panel discussed how technology might change our lives even further in the future e.g. how games may be seen as more acceptable by a wider range of people, and not be seen just as an opportunity to kill people on screen. One particular issue discussed was augmented reality which has been around for a few years but may be taking new directions. One of the guests was Anab Jain who talked about designing augmented reality tools which might enable some blind people to have some vision, as well as other concepts. I remember teaching a course on IT and Society in the early 1990s and talking with students about the possibility of watching a play or a football (soccer) match on your coffee table. It appears that this may not be that far away.

So, back on the bike and up the hills. The only way to do hills more easily is to do hills more often. Hills are the cyclist’s challenges and, while there is obviously a physical effort and fitness aspect to hills, much is psychological. Yesterday, I did well to get up a very steep climb in the Lammermuir Hills at Elmscleugh where there’s a 174 metre rise to the top. At certain points, I thought that I had done well and should maybe just turn around and enjoy the thrill of the downhill. At times like these, you need to switch off your head and let your legs take over.

The 20 mile run – not me of course but my older son and 180 others, including some from Dunbar Running Club ran from Edinburgh to the seaside town of North Berwick, which is about 12 miles (19.3k) from my home. The photos below show firstly, my son Jonathan finishing at the edge of the beach, and secondly, the view along the beach towards the harbour. This being Scotland, it wasn’t as warm as it looks.

20 mile race finish at North Berwick

North Berwick Beach

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