Sonntag, 6. November 2011

An alphorn doesn't make a hill the Swiss alps

Autumn is not summer. Even if the weather pretends to be summer, the late October just isn't. Unfortunately.
Doing a cycling trip in late October is still nice though, but it is a pity that some summeresque behaviours are void now. So for my ice cream break in Hiddesen. The ice café Daniele offers a world class cappucino ice cream and is in fact one of the real reasons I quite frequently chose to cycle to the Hermannsdenkmal. What a disappointment that this ice café is in its winter break already! All the way out to the Hermannsdenkmal I was happily anticipating a sunny summer like break with this gorgeous cappucino ice cream (with crispy white chocolate and a strong, but balanced taste of coffee) and then - nothing. No ice cream at all, the ice café gone and disappeared - bugger!
Anyway, I decided to go on to Bielefeld for an alternative ice café where they offer rhubarb and sweet chestnut icecream which both are pretty nice. Arriving there sun was almost gone and no rhubarb, no chestnut flavour - bugger again! Only the limited winter standard flavours. And the cognition a sunny and mild late October day just isn't summer. It's the details not fitting and betraying the issue. Just like the alphorn blower I met recently at the Stromberg hill (155m) dosen't make that hill the Swiss alps.

Nevertheless it was atmospheric and funny. The straciatella ice cream was delicious, too. And I got a nice partial reminder about summer and serious mountains and am anticipating the real thing again - and I really hope the ice café Daniele will open its doors again next summer. Would be a loss if it didn't.

Mittwoch, 19. Oktober 2011

Promotion video for Bielefeld sports my experimental setup

I just discoverd that the promotion video for Bielefeld sports my experimental setup from my doctoral work. It's a while back, but once I did a pseudo experiment for filming purpose which made it to a promo video of the university. And as I just discovered also to a promotion video for the city of Bielefeld at about 1:30.

Looks of course nice. But I will find it even nicer if more folks will read my findings and cite it in their work. Especially the DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2009.02.045 Precise timing in fly motion vision is mediated by fast components of combined graded and spike signals is worth a read. It was a rather good article, nice general coverage of the issues and pretty neat findings. Unfortunately not wide spread.

Freitag, 7. Oktober 2011

A summer farewell at the Köterberg

Summer 2011 was kind of strange. Spring started brilliantly. But the summer was wet and rather cold to a far extend - all in all pretty disappointing. But on time with the starting autumn the weather became great again. Since time for cycling is currently rather short, I took opportunity for a few hours ride to enjoy this warm and sunny autumn and went to the highest peak of OWL - the Köterberg (actually parts of it don't belong to OWL, but to Lower Saxony). The precise hight differs according to various sources. Up on the peak there is the Köterberghaus and at its wall there is a plate stating it would be 500m above sea level (other sources claim heights between 496m and 502m). Anyway, it is the highest hill around, has a serious ramp up to the peak (average ascent from the Köterberg village to the peak is 14%, maximum is about 20%) and offers brilliant views. Hence, good for a cycling tour. The views from the peak are reaching over the Werserbergland, to the Teutoburger Wald/Eggegebirge, Solling and the Habichtswald. It is said, that on some days even the Brocken is to see, too. But I haven't spotted it yet on any of my visits there.

As almost every hill, river or village in the Weserbergland the Köterberg is also known from a Grimm's fairytale, "Die drei Vögelchen" which seems rather confused to me. But the hill is not playing aparticular role within that fairytale anyway.t
The Köterberg is also a famous meeting point for motor cyclists (I guess there were about 200 motor cycles on the parking lot). They just drive up there, drink a coffee, enjoy the views and have a chat with other motor cyclists. Sometimes even a chat with non motor cyclists...
The hour I kept being there I just enjoyed the sun, the views and the last impression of how summer actually feels. It was a nice tour to say the summer a friendly farewell. Come back soon.

Dienstag, 27. September 2011

Making jam of wild berries

Well, the wild berries harvest for this year is rather complete. I collected quite a few blueberries and many blackberries, but also a fair share of raspberries. It was a good year for berries.
All in all my efforts to collect berries yielded to about 50 glasses of jam.

The very first blueberries I found on the 30th of May at the Lippischer Velmerstot's peak, the last time I collected blueberries this year was on August the 1st on a lower hillside. There were still plenty of berries, but collecting them was much harder already compared to end of June/early July. Hence I didn't collect more blueberries later again. While I combined the first blueberries with some raspberries, the last harvest I combined with blackberries. Those blackberries were the first of this year and I collected them until September the 15th. There are still many blackberries to find, but the later the year, the more difficult it is to get a good quality of blackberries.
I traded a few glasses of my jam for some self made strawberry jam that was pretty delicious, too. But all in all I like blueberry and blackberry jam more. And these jams are even more healthy, too. Blackberries and Blueberries both contain Vitamin C, some Flavonoids and minerals, blueberries are famous for their health supporting abilities since ages, Hildegard von Bingen praised them particularly
I am still considering to collect a few fruits of the mountain ash and try to make jam of that, too. Never tried that before, but it is said to be delicious, too

Dienstag, 5. Juli 2011


On May the 30th I collected my first blueberries of this year. That was pretty early and done ona nice trip up the Velmerstot, which definitely is one of my very favorite locations. Up on the peak there is heathland with a few nice sandstone rocks. That place is just lovely and the highest peak around here (at least about 400m above the surrounding flatlands in western direction). Unfortunately the way up to that peak is not too easy with the bike and quite a distance (out and return about 100km), too. Hence I don't go there too often.

The nearer heights are a good place for blueberries, too. There is a very good place to collect blueberries rather close and much lower (about 200m lower than the Velmerstot). This year blueberries are really plenty and rather big, but harvesting is still pretty time consuming (this is Vaccinium myrtillus, not some cultivated form or V. corymbosum). Also there are many ticks waiting to secretly crawl on you. While getting biten isn't too amusing itself, the threat of deseases is really a serious issue. But the delicious blueberry jam is worth the effort. I made 11 glasses already (blueberry with a minor part of (wild) raspberry) and am considering to do a few more glasses.
Next month I hope for a good blackberry time. Need a few more empty jam glasses.

Donnerstag, 9. Juni 2011

Faith hope and charity

Within my last post I wrote about a piece I was watching at the theatre in London. It was great - and probably a fair share of the success of that piecs was due to the resident director. Now she's conducting a new piece: "Faith hope and charity" by Ödön von Horváth - a piece about a kind of female Woyczeck.
I think theatre plays like that are pretty important, especially these days. Unfortunately funding in the UK is weak. So if you have a spare coin or note to spend you may consider to help funding that piece by donating that via And if you are in the London region betwen June the 22nd and July the 16th, don't miss the opportunity to watch this piece.

Dienstag, 5. April 2011

An evening at the theatre by bike

March was a pretty kilometer intensive month that accounted a total of 1175 km. Well, that's mostly due to a trip to London at the end of that month. The weather was rather good and I took the opportunity to just go to London to visit a good friend's big west end theatre production "The Children Hour" starring some famous actors. Since I was so impressed that my friend got that success I thought my way of bowing to her is to go all the way to the theatre by bike.
The way out to London took me two and a half days. On first I was thinking of going the distance from Bielefeld to Rotterdam/Hoek von Holland in one day, but eventually decided to split it into two parts. That was a good decision, March is still early in year (daylight, temperature, my physical condition), the luggage had some weight, too.
When I reached Kleve after 10 hours of pedaling on the first day I felt I had enough kilometers for that day (a bit more than 200km). The pension Röhrhoff/Kleve provided me a nice room and a good breakfast for 38 EUR. On next morning I started again at 8:30. The weather was misty and rather cold and the mist cleared not completely before noon.
A bit after Nijmegen I lost track and had to use my gps phone for the first time intensively. It worked well.
Twice I rode a few kilometers with some Dutch cyclists who hada nice pace and on late afternoon I reached Hook van Holland. I got my ferry tickets, bought a bit Dutch food at an Albert Heijn (the city of Hook van Holland is rather boring) and entered the ferry.
I was pretty surprised to regognize that this ferry would not go to Ramsgate as I thought, but to Harwich. Well, I needed to consult google maps to make a new route.
The ferry was a very nice one, my cabin pretty neat and silent. For out and return the fare was 168 EUR (bike and cabin) - I'd say not a bargain literally, but a fair price though.
On next morning I repeated my mantra of the day (drive left! drive left!) rode a few kilometers on a rather big road (A120) and then switched to smaller roads and crossed the beautiful sceneries of East Anglia. On early afternoon I eventually reached the city of London and directly drove to the Comedy Theatre where I locked my bike and entered the theatre backstage and was warmly welcomed.
I saw the piece the next day - it was really brilliant, my seat pretty good and I was pretty impressed. Hats (helmet) off for that!
Of course I enjoyed London, too: Buckingham palace, national gallery, sandwiches, Indian food and stuff like that. The protests against social cuts were interesting to see (it seemed a bit different to protesting in Germany).
For the way back I took a train to the ferry, cycled from Hoek van Holland to Emmerich (200 km against a steady wind) where I eventually took a train to Ostwestfalen. All in all that trip was good 750 km in one week (4 days of cycling). Nice one!
A bonus is that the 12 months kilometer count reached 10507 km now. Impressive number, but I guess April will yield to way less kilometers.

Visit the Children's hour at the Comedy theatre while it is still running and check out leap productions for coming productions by my friend Leonie.

Montag, 28. Februar 2011

Finally: 10.000 km within the last 12 months

January and February have been almost w/o any snow. Hence, I was able to collect a few kilometers (1003km). And while I was a bit disappointed that I failed to reach the 10.000km mark last calendaric year, I am now in the lucky position to have caught it up eventually. Within the last 12 month I rode 10.126 km. I think that is the fist time since ages that I got this mark, but I don't have precise data from the time before 2007.

Sonntag, 2. Januar 2011

Jahresbilanz 2010

Es ist Zeit für eine kurze Bilanz des Jahres 2010 - aus radfahrerischer Sicht. Die Gesamtkilometerleistung 2010 beträgt 9519 km.

Das Jahr war sehr schneereich, dadurch wurden in den ersten 10 Wochen des Jahres recht wenig Kilometer gesammelt. Der Sommer entsprach etwa den letztjährigen Kilometerleistungen. Der Herbst mit dem Oktober und November brachte ordentliche Leistungen: im Oktober wurde nicht nur die 1000km-Marke übersprungen, dieser Monat war auch von den zahlreichen Höhenmetern des Schwarzwaldes geprägt.
Der Dezember mit den größeren Schneemengen vermasselte letztendlich das Erreichen der 10.000km-Marke für das Gesamtjahr. 2011 vielleicht...

Vor allem durch die Aufenthalte in Freiburg war 2010 erneut das Jahr des Bergamont Beluga. Der Gesamtanteil der Kilometerleistung betrug 72,6% für das Bergamont-Rad, das Specialized Sirrus wurde im Oktober (Freiburg) und Dezember (Schnee!) sogar überhaupt nicht genutzt.

Als besonders herauszustellende Höhepunkte des Jahres sind vor allem die Tour von Freiburg nach Köln, die Pyrenäenüberquerung und ebenso der 300km-Brevet durch den Schwarzwald und das Jura anzusehen. Den Schwarzwald und das Breisgau habe ich im Frühling und Spätsommer sehr zu schätzen gelernt - eine wunderbare Gegend.