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30 April 2014

Ride report: Mountains and sunset at Orko

Endurance ... or really just a fun ride
Sunset on the road to Orko

Despite having plans to do some recovery days, I went out for an endurance ride. First, because I was just feeling like doing a nice, slow ride to drive out the cold, then because I want to beat my high score for km/month. I dressed up warm with long sleeves, thermal base layer, and took leg warmers, rain jacket, and long gloves with me. As I went out, starting really slowly, I noticed that I'm feeling just fine and enjoying things a lot.

So in Halki I turned for the "longer choice", to go up Apeirantho. It was a bit cloudy, but nice. Rounded the mountain to get to Stavro, then up again to Moni, where I turned towards Kinidaro. There I put on all the clothes I had brought for the long downhill. I even extended the downhill going towards Eggares. There I dressed down again and turned towards Hora.

In Hora I visited Giannis (at the bikeshop), then went on towards Agia Anna. Here again I turned for the longer and much more scenic route towards Agios Prokopios, the road next to the sea below the airport. In Ag. Prok. I was faced with the choice of going up towards home again... but what the heck, I went on the new road towards M. Vigla, there is a road that connects up from the end of it, a bit steep. But even there I didn't have enough, instead I turned right on the dirt road towards Orko and Mikri Vigla, right by the sea, right at sunset time. This reminded me of some very special days with friends there, on that particular road.

By the time I had arrived at the road up from M. Vigla, it had gotten dark. With a bit of tailwind I went up from there, towards home. Big smile on my face for almost all the ride.

71km, 1166m altitude gain, 3:06 riding time, 4 hours with all the stops.

Posted by betabug at 10:45 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)

10 Jahre in Griechenland

Tja, so läuft die Zeit

Anfang April kam ein Jubiläum vorbei, eines das ich zwar nicht vergessen habe, aber das ich auch nicht gross feiere. Vor 10 Jahren kam ich (wieder einmal) in Griechenland an und ich lebe seither all diese Jahre hier. In der Zwischenzeit hat sich viel verändert, sowohl bei mir (denke ich) als auch in Griechenland.

Trotzdem bin ich immer noch hier und es gefällt mir auch immer noch hier. Ich bin nicht mehr ganz so gerne in Athen, momentan gefällt es mir in der Provinz besser. Hautsächlich liegt es daran, dass mir die Grosstadt auf die Nerfen geht. Zuviel Lärm, zuviel Nervosität. Naja, es geht auch anders, auf dem Land ist es auch schön.

Posted by betabug at 10:22 | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
01 March 2014

Get me the Book... Now.

Doesn't take long

As I'm slowly getting around to setup more and more of the server's stuff again, I remembered that I had wanted to get me the book Absolute OpenBSD when it came out. Well, it came out some while ago. I hopped over to the publisher and got me the ebook.

At which point I remembered how much longer it would have taken some years ago. I either would have ordered the book online, waiting some days for delivery. Or even ordered through a bookshop, hoping that they would get me the right one. Or I'd go to a bookshop with lots of tech books, hoping that I wouldn't end up with an outdated, older version by mistake.

Now I got the ebook, and if I had wanted it, I could have still gotten the paper version along for a few dollars more. What's more, there is no "DRM" or "copy protection" on the book, so no hassle. I even get the PDF along with the epub,

Posted by betabug at 11:25 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
27 February 2014

Crash, there Goes the Server

Yes, a lot of stuff doesn't work yet

So, there was a few days of outage here in On Monday morning, the venerable, old G4 crashed hard (as in: hardware). It didn't come back up again. One disk is truncated, one disk spins up, but the controller doesn't "reply". Some data exists in backups, some data exists in backups that consist of a tarball that is damaged.

I would say life is like that, but like is way more than that. I'm also way too busy to say much. I'm working to restore services (a lot already works again, some stuff is still missing). More will come piece by piece. Some stuff seems to be lost, gone. In any case, if there was something you can't find now, I'm sorry.

Posted by betabug at 16:08 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
01 February 2014

200km Brevet Elefsina-Nemea-Elefsina

There and back
At the start in Elefsina, waiting in line to have my card stamped

Last Saturday, January 25, I was out to ride a Brevet, a cycling event that would take riders on a course of 200km. The course on this day was from Elefsina (a bit out of Athens), over the Canal of Korinth, into the hills near Nemea, and back to Elefsina. It was the first time for me to do such a distance or that type of event. So far I had done 147km on my own. As I was planning and preparing for this right, I also thought about how long it had been that I had subjected myself to any similar "test", with set rules and a protocol to follow. The preparations started with a lot of unknowns...

Continue reading "200km Brevet Elefsina-Nemea-Elefsina"
Posted by betabug at 16:08 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
23 January 2014

Sonntäglicher Mittags-Tisch

Mit Freunden und Familie

Mittags gehe ich gerne mal essen, auch wenn ich alleine zuhause am arbeiten bin. Unter der Woche hat sich da das Angebot stark verkleinert, viele Restaurants in meiner Nähe haben nur noch am Abend offen. Die Krise hat da so einiges geändert und Personal für ein leeres Lokal mögen die Wirte auch nicht zahlen.

An einem der letzten Sonntage war ich zufällig auch wieder alleine zuhause und bin essen gegangen. Da sah es dann aber anders aus, alle offen und alles voll, alle Tische besetzt. Grosse Gruppen von Leuten, mit Freunden und Familie. Das Geld um unter der Woche Mittagessen zu gehen mag nicht mehr da sein, aber an speziellen Tagen mit guter Gesellschaft reicht es dann doch noch und dann darf der Tisch auch ordentlich voll werden.

Da einen Tisch zu finden ist nicht immer so einfach, vor allem, wenn man an so einem Tag alleine ankommt. Aber da ich bei einem der Lokale Stammgast bin (dort, wo ich auch unter der Woche zu Mittag esse), fand sich noch ein kleiner Tisch in der Ecke. Um mein Buch zu lesen war es zu duster und so richtig lange bleiben wollte ich auch nicht, aber es gab was gutes zu essen und darum gings mir ja.

Posted by betabug at 16:21 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
20 January 2014

Trading Pulls

Having fun in the wind

Last week my friend George messaged me with the proposition to go for a ride on Monday morning. Now I'm more free with my working hours since I'm a freelancer, but it's not like I throw all my hours around. Still, I couldn't refuse. This January is unusually warm, the weather report promised partly cloudy 17c, but with a strong wind of 5 Beaufort from the South.

When I got up and looked out the report seemed to have missed a few facts. It was dark with stormy clouds and looked like it could rain. I dressed up accordingly and went out to our meeting place. Soon I stopped and removed the rain jacket and leg warmers - it was warmer than it looked - and soon after the sun was out. As George arrived, we exchanged remarks about "that bit of wind".

The "bit of wind" on the coast road was enough to make riding work. So what can a cyclist do? When you're alone, all you can do is make yourself small and put on a stoic face. But when there are two (or more) of you, it's time to trade pulls. Get into a line, one rider 0.3 to 1m behind the other's wheel and the behind rider is sheltered from the wind by the front rider. The front rider does all the work, while the rear one feels as if he was pulled along. When you're tired, it's a huge relief.

Too long at the front though, and your energy saps out fast. So the stronger the wind, the shorter the "pulls" at the front. In our case, we went for roughly 2 minute turns. After a few tries we had the exchange procedure clean and efficient. Work a bit in the wind, exchange to get a bit of rest.

After a while we spotted another cyclist ahead. He seemed to move funny. At first we thought he was sprinting, standing on the pedals, moving his bike wildly from side to side. But that didn't make sense, not in this weather. Getting closer, he almost looked like being drunk. George suggested that he must be tired.

When we passed him, we exchanged greetings and I offered him to "stick to our wheel" to get a bit of a rest. At the next "changing of the engine ahead", he looked a bit confused. He wasn't used to our drill, so I had to signal to him to keep on.. George and me kept on doing the locomotive, not expecting him to take part in the work. He kept on sitting in our slipstream and got a good rest from the wind, later turning off to wherever he went. As he was off, we laughed, talking about this guy who got a looky break and a free ride.

Turning back at the agreed place, we had it easier, with the wind mostly from the back (mostly, because coastal roads tend to twist and turn). Still we kept on trading pulls, because it just felt good to go this fast. We didn't get so much to chat like this, but we sure had a good time working together for a common good.

Posted by betabug at 16:36 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
08 January 2014

Griechische EU-Präsidentschaft: Erstmal ein Versammlungs- und Demonstrationsverbot

So fängt man das richtig an

Heute fängt die griechische EU-Präsidentschaft an. Damit man gleich merkt, wessen Geist da weht, gibt es zuerst einmal ein Versammlungs- und Demonstrationsverbot. Wo kämen wir denn da auch hin, wenn die Leute auf die Strasse gehen würden? Natürlich tun sie es doch, denn ob die Demonstration bewilligt ist oder nicht, wen die Polizei erwischt, der landet in der Kiste - da findet sich dann schon immer ein Grund. Die zentralen Athener Metro-Stationen sind natürlich am Nachmittag auch wieder auf Anordung der Polizei geschlossen gewesen, wie immer wenn erwartet wird, dass mehr al 20 Demonstranten zusammenkommen.

Posted by betabug at 18:45 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
01 January 2014

...and 2014 - Happy New Year! Guet's Neus! Καλή χρονιά!

Breaking of a Tradition: No Stats

On this weblog I've had it as a tradition to start the new year with a nice little post combining New Years wishes with a little overview of what happened on the blog in the last year. Well, somewhere in 2013 I broke the stats of my blog and didn't bother to fix them. I still have the access logs, but no fancy numbers to show off.

On the other hand I had to adjust the number of months displayed in the "archive" sidebar box: This weblog now being 9 years old, and the limit set to 99 months, there just wasn't enough space.

So what was happening in betabug's blog land? Not much it seems, there were 3 months, with one post each only (March, August, October), and in generally I was slacking on my writing. I guess it's going to stay that way for a while, but I'm not intending to close the weblog.

Looking through the year, some points stuck out:

  • The wood smog is back in Athens (I wrote about it in last January, it's even been in the news in Switzerland)
  • January also saw me starting to go to work by bike... the bike then went on to rule this year pretty much.
  • My vacation in July certainly was a highlight of blog productivity (and in my personal year too, it's been a while since I had a true vacation)

As a big example of my shift in priorities, instead of writing my new years post first thing today, I went out for a two hour bike ride. In the rain and cold. Well, cold for our parts here, nothing compared to northern Europe of course. Despite having frozen toes for 1.5 hours (I gotta work on the hardware side for that part), I had tremendous fun. Thinking about this ride I still start smiling.

Posted by betabug at 23:55 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
28 December 2013

Warm Winter Weather Cycling

There you go

On the 26th, there was a spot of sunshine coming out, so time for half of Athens' sport cyclists to take their "Fred Sleds" out. I'm no exception there. Now, such days aren't so exceptional here, having sunny days with 20 degrees Celsius is quiet common in December.

As I was dressing up in my fancy cycling clothes, I made the mistake of putting on long tights, which are made for colder temperatures and rain. Even as I went out the door, I thought: "This is too warm", but didn't make the effort to go back inside to change again. As I start with a long downhill, I usually wear a rain jacket too, until I warm up when I hit the first few meters of uphill roads.

Now I reached that point very fast, off goes the rain jacket. Arriving down at the coastal road there were lots of cyclists, as expected. Now, Athenian cyclists don't like the cold. Many times I've been out with shorts (and sometimes with a short sleeve jersey) when I see them wearing long pants and jackets, gloves, even shawls over the face, not to forget thick caps under the helmet. I can't believe they are not boiling over in all that stuff - while they probably look at me as that madman who runs around in shorts in winter.

This obviously is because temperature is to some part a psychological thing, partly because probably my metabolism runs warmer and I just like to run faster on the bike if I'm feeling too cold. This time I was really uncomfortably warm. So after having passed a couple of guys, I stopped to take off at least my baselayer undershirt, giving me some relieve. As I was changing, they passed me again.

I went back on the bike to go after them, passing them on the long, easy uphill after Agia Marina. After going through the little "holes of Karamanlis" tunnels, I said hello to the one that was in front, mentioning how nice the weather was and that I was too warm. He said he had noticed, and that he himself was happy for it to be so warm and to even then be dressed warm enough, as he's more of a "κρυουλιάρης" (kryouliaris), someone who gets easily cold.

I said "that's nice" and put the hammer down, speeding away, since they were travelling at an obviously slower pace than me.

Posted by betabug at 13:37 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)

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