“This could be Rotterdam or anywhere, Liverpool or Rome”*… (but it is actually Rotterdam)


Rotterdam – site of my next madness

After a very social weekend with an excellent supper on Saturday night with friends and a drinks party on Sunday, it was back to earth on Monday – and back to the turbo for 45.6km (28.3miles) in an hour.

Strangely, I really enjoyed it – but the fact I can still (appear to) go so fast on it must mean the magnetic resistance is waning. I should be thinking about a replacement (but I quite like the ‘vanity speed’ of the current one).

Tuesday was up to London to help a son with workmen who needed daytime access to his flat on Wednesday. Early on Wednesday I ran the 2.6miles (4km) from where I’d stayed and then back in the afternoon – which was lovely. Even with the junctions and pedestrians I managed just a few seconds outside the 4 hour marathon pace.

In the evening our sons took me on a late birthday trip on the river by the Thames Rib – a boat like the coastguard and life boat services use for inshore rescues.

From Embankment Pier we went upriver to the Houses of Parliament and then back downstream, under London Bridge and Tower Bridge, to Canary Wharf. There the normal river speed restrictions don’t apply and the driver really opened the taps and gave us a ride more like a rollercoaster with the James Bond theme playing loudly (a homage, I guess, to the film ‘The world is not enough’ which features a chase on the same stretch of the river).

A really exciting trip – followed by drinks and a brilliant falafal flatbread wrap at Gaby’s Deli between Soho and Covent Garden.

Things like that make it worth having birthdays.

I’m rather torn about London life. I get tired of the continual noise and the way everything seems to move faster (when I was working and had to go to London, I always noticed that I even walked faster as soon as I got off the train). On the other hand, I do like the convenience of being a short walk from so many amenities, the ease of transport and the chance to run or cycle around a variety of parks or along the Thames.

Like most big cities, you need money to be able to enjoy all the things that people list as the big benefits of city life. On balance, I think I’m a country boy who enjoys the quieter life but can appreciate the occasional trip to the bright lights.

Returning on Thursday I did another hour on the turbo for 43.3km (c.27miles). At the end I thought I was getting stronger – it just turns out to be (yet) another rear wheel puncture.

Entries for the Rotterdam marathon were supposed to open early next month – but actually opened on 27 September. Both my younger son (26) and I (63) have entered!

Exciting, scary, daft (for me at least).

Two great things about it:

  • running it with one of my sons (and possibly both if the older son’s continues to improve quickly enough after his car crash in July)
  • I have a challenge to aim for (without breaking my promise to Mrs O that there would be no stupid solo challenges in 2019).

PS *Sorry if the band ‘The Beautiful South’ are not known outside the UK. If they aren’t, the title will make even less sense than normal but they do have a song ‘Rotterdam’.

2 thoughts on ““This could be Rotterdam or anywhere, Liverpool or Rome”*… (but it is actually Rotterdam)

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