Freitag, 6. Dezember 2013

Me against the storm "Xaver"

Today I was fighting with my bike against the storm "Xaver". Oh dear, that was massive! Had to go only 20km, but it was actually a good piece of work. The risk was rather low as the storm was blowing pretty constant, not at its maximum strength (but really strong already) and straight from the front. But 20km can feel like quite a distance. Anyway, was a cool ride.

Dienstag, 26. November 2013

Making jam of wild berries - part II

One cannot deny it - summer's over and also the harvesting time is at its final stage. But I collected quite some fruit and berries this year and a few may still come. From most of the fruit I cooked jam in particular this was:
  • gooseberry
  • blueberry
  • black cherry
  • cornel cherry
  • sallow thorn
  • mountain ash
  • It's the first time in years I haven't made blackberry jam. But there's still some left from last years and I ran out of glasses, hence I skipped blackberry in favour of new recipes.

    Sonntag, 30. Juni 2013

    Midsummer - the midnight tour

    Days became long recently. And eventually midsummer came. And I liked to do a tour. A rather small one, but a little mystic one. It's not like the famous St. Petersburg's white nights or Scandinavian Midsommar, but if skies are clear light lasts really long on midsummer in Westphalia. Well, skies were not really clear, but I wanted to cycle anyway. Midsummer has some magic and there are some mystic places here. I thought of giving them a visit this night. I started at about a bit after 20:00 and passed the Senne. A lovely heath yard. Met a shepard there who was preparing her herd for the night, nodded my head for greetings and rode on.
    View down to the Senne from the way up the Teutoburger Wald at 21:45
    Then I reached the Teutoburger Wald and rode up to my first destination the Velmerstot twin peak (P&L). It was lightly raining, I passed a firebrigade's party at the village of Veldrom and was steering my bike then into the wilderness up the hills. Up at the slightly higher peak (P) there's an observation tower. A few younger folks were there, drinking, smoking, talking. They offered me a beer and we had a bit of a talk. Nice.
    View from the Velmerstot (P) to the Barnaken and Hermansdenkmal - about 22:15
    At about 22:20 I left that place, rain was gone again, but clouds remained and made it pretty dark already. I switched on my lights and drove across the forrest to the other peak which is one of the rather mystic places. Sandstone rocks on the peak, heath around it, lovely views and silence. Nobody's there. In early times that place is said to have been probably a site of an "Irminsul" (a holy column that carries the world). It's also likely that it was a "Thingplatz" - a kind of a tribal court. The place has atmosphere at least and the idea (sic!) it has been an important an mystic place is pretty obvious.
    about 22:30 on the Velmerstot (L) peak, pretty dark already
    22:40, still at Velmerstot (L) peak, but more in the forrests it was really dark already, light rain started again, too
    Since it became darker and hence quite difficult to find the right way through the hilly, wet forrest I decided to return to the village of Veldrom. From there I took direction to the Externsteine. A great ride through the deep forrest, luckily the rain had stopped again. The Externsteine are really famous and a mystic place. On dates like midsummer many folks come there. Cyclists are rather a minority among them. It's more people who see themselves as witches or druids and have a faible for spiritualism. And a passion for mystic music - percussion, guitars, flutes and singing and candles (and probably some magic mushrooms or smokeable herbs). But I must admit that while this rather not my usual style it was pretty atmospheric (especially when coming out of the lonely, hilly, dark forrests) and I stayed there for probably a good half hour and listened to their singing and drumming.
    Having a few kilometers done I thought a midnight meal would be nice, hence I steered back to civilization, in particular to the city of Detmold. Unfortunately I din'd find a food source there (too late, all closed already) and had to go on - hungry with another crossing of the hills and a few kilometers to go. Meanwhile it was about midnight and really dark. But skies cleared now and at the north west the sky was still not entirely dark. Plus, the moon came out. The full moon, pretty bright. I took direction back home. About 20km before home I crossed Schloss Holte where a markmen's fair was going on. I got myself some chips and enjoyed watching the very different scene than before - loud, crowded, many drinks, party chit-chat going on, boys approaching girls (and vice versa) and me coming out of the dark from mystic places not belonging there, eating chips. What a contrast and a gorgeous final for that tour.
    At 1:30 I came aross a markmen's fair and enjoyed some chips and the very different scene than before
    When I returned home at 2:45 I had a kilometer count of about 140 and dawn was progressing already. What a brilliant midsummer!

    Donnerstag, 17. Januar 2013

    2012 - die Bilanz

    Nun ist 2012 vorbei und der Kilometersack wurde zugezogen. Das Ziel war, 10.000km zu erreichen. Dieses Ziel wurde letztendlich doch ganz knapp verfehlt. Auf dem Zähler für 2012 stehen verbriefte 9962km.
    Dabei sah für das Erreichen der Marke alles ganz gut aus, der Dezember aber lief etwas anders als geplant, klar die Feiertage zeichnen sich immer durch geringe Fahraktivität aus, aber die starke Kälte zu Beginn des Monats und zweimaliges Erkranken waren nicht unbedingt einkalkuliert. Am 31. Dezember drehte ich ein Ründchen und überlegte noch da die fehlenden 38km dranzuhängen, entschied mich aber dagegen. Es wäre doch arg gekünstelt, nur um der Zahl willen. Natürlich klingt 10.000 gut und die Zahl ist auch nicht völlig aussagelos, aber man sollte den Inhalt der Zahl auch nicht überbewerten. Ein gefahrerner Kilometer gleicht nicht immer einem anderen gefahrenen Kilometer wie ein sprichwörtliches Ei dem anderen. Da gibt es das Offensichtliche wie unterschiedliche Höhenprofile (2012 war ein vergleichsweise flacheres Jahr) oder aber die Wahl des Fahrrades oder der Kleidung (schnittig im Trikot oder mit Wintermantel) oder auch ob mit Anhänger oder ohne (2012 zählte einige Hundert km mit Anhänger). Die Größenordnung 10.000km als Jahresziel bleibt. Die exakten Werte sind nur Spielerei - zugegeben eine ganz netter Spielerei.
    Kilometerleistung 2012 aufgelistet nach Monaten. Blau bezeichnet mit dem Specialized gefahrene Kilometer, grün mit dem Bergamont gefahrene.

    Insgesamt bin ich mit dem Ergebnis zufrieden, einzig der Juni war etwas schwach, das lag zu einem großen Teil am Wetter (Regen!, kühl!) und am Urlaub (ohne Rad).

    Lange Touren waren selten, die "heiße 220km-Runde" zum kahlen Asten war die längste Tour des Jahres, ein paar weitere Runden in der Größenordnung 150-180km waren aber immerhin noch dabei. Eine große Sommerradreise fand nicht statt. Auch wenn ich keine Durchschnittsgeschwindigkeit gemessen habe, so war 2012 ein eher schnelles Jahr.

    Für 2013 habe ich mir vorgenommen wieder ein paar Brevets (vielleicht keinen 600er aber wenigstens einmal wieder mehr als 200) zu fahren und evtl. auch ein paar RTFs. Wie aber schon letzes Jahr gilt: nichts muss, alles kann.