2016 in numbers

With the new year upon use, time for my annual analysis of the year just past. I’ve continued logging my physical activity and travel, with a few more categories. In 2016 I took approximately 4.5 million steps, covering over 3 000 km, and I cycled a further 1 300 km. Continuing the trend from my previous comparison, this is slightly more walking but less cycling than the previous year, possibly as I have started running this year.

Continue reading “2016 in numbers”

2015 in numbers

Over the past year I have again been logging my activity and travel, and thought it would be interesting (for me if no-one else) to post an update on here. In 2015 I walked approximately 4.4 million steps, covering 2 900 km, and I cycled a further 2 050 km. This is slightly more walking than 2014, but about a third less cycling.

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Is ‘Climate Change’ too nice?

An interesting letter in New Scientist, suggesting that one of the the reasons we as a society have not done enough about climate change is the name ‘global warming’—it makes it sound quite nice, especially for us in northern latitudes. And some thoughts following the COP21 agreement in Paris.

There was a really interesting letter in New Scientist a few weeks ago, suggesting that one of the the reasons we as a society have not done enough about climate change is the name ‘global warming’—it makes it sound quite nice, especially for us in northern latitudes. I include the whole letter below, Continue reading “Is ‘Climate Change’ too nice?”

Book Review: “News from…” trilogy

This is a somewhat overdue review of the sci-fi “News from…” trilogy by Robert Llewellyn.

news-from-trilogyThis is a somewhat overdue review of the sci-fi News from… trilogy by Robert Llewellyn (probably most famous for Red Dwarf and Scrapheap Challenge). I have been meaning to write about these great books for a several months now, but haven’t got round to it for one reason or another. Continue reading “Book Review: “News from…” trilogy”

2014 in numbers

Over the past year I have walked approximately 4.15 million steps, covering 2 600 km, and I cycled a further 2 750 km. In between, I have taken over 6 000 photos and I’m not sure how many hours of video. It is quite interesting to look back on the year past with some data, although I don’t have much from previous years to compare it to. Continue reading “2014 in numbers”

20mph limits in towns

As someone who walks and cycles a lot, I support plans for more widespread implementation of 20mph zones in our towns and cities. These should primarily be a place for people, and not dominated by motor vehicles. Illustration of reduction in survival rate for pedestrians/cyclists hit by motor vehicles at increasing speed

Pedal on Parliament recently put together a piece to mark World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, which I volunteered a graphic to illustrate. I am delighted to say this was widely re-shared on social media, but that is not the point of this post.

These depressing statistics illustrate that there is an increasing likelihood of serious injury or death for pedestrians and cyclists who are unfortunate enough to be hit by fast moving vehicles. In addition to (hopefully rare) crashes, it is also rather unpleasant to have vehicles constantly speeding past you when on a bike, on foot, and presumably when in a wheelchair.

Do we really need so many cars, vans, and lorries thundering through town centres? Especially when these are then parked (either legally or illegally) on narrow roads blocking access for bikes, pedestrians, wheelchairs, pushchairs, etc.

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Long nights and bright days

One thing about the long dark winter nights that we get in higher latitudes, is that they rally make you appreciate the bright sunny days. Most of the past few weekends have had periods of brilliant sunshine (even if it was cold) in which I have been out on my bike.

Panorama looking south over the Gore Water, towards Borthwick and Middleton
Panorama looking south over the Gore Water, towards Borthwick and Middleton

There is something almost magical when you are speeding along on your bicycle without too much effort, especially on a bright sunny day. And that enjoyment is definitely increased when you don’t have to worry about motor vehicles speeding past or crashing into you. We are lucky to have quite a few great off-road cycle tracks around Edinburgh, mainly along old railway lines. The problem is, to connect them up, you often end up on pretty horrible fast roads, which are unpleasant to cycle on at the best of times, and downright scary at the worst.

Best not to dwell on that for now, and enjoy the sunshine while it lasts.