Try-A-Tri

It’s the Cardiff Triathletes’ Try-a-Tri this Sunday!
Don’t worry, I’m not competing. I’ll be taking photos for the cardifftri.net website and/or marshalling. It’s the busiest time of year for that website, as everyone gets their results and photos from it after the race, so I’ll be busy with it all day on Sunday.
Let’s check the weather forecast – looks pretty good for a triathlon: warm but not hot, with some rain in the air and almost no wind.

Train/Bike Hassle

Train/bike hassle today = high
I had a puncture on my way to catch the train this morning. I replaced the tube and that one deflated too. Great. So I missed the 7.54 train and had to catch the 9.02. Of course this train is one of the newer ones that you can’t get access to the bike compartment without the train manager so he charged me an extra £3. I had the same problem last night and almost didn’t get my bike off the train. It nearly disappeared off to London without me.
I swear that they’re actively discouraging people from taking their bikes on trains. If so then they must realise that those people will just stop taking the train and go back to their cars. Considering that I spend over £2000 a year on rail travel, and that I am not alone in being a regular commuter with a bike, shouldn’t they be making life easier for us, not harder?

Rainy Days

Traffic in Cardiff hasn’t been too bad at 7.30 in the morning over the last 2 weeks that I’ve been cycling. So why after a bit of rain (and it IS only lightly drizzly, if that) does the amount of early morning traffic increase so much? Is it because people drive more slowly in poor conditions? (Fat chance round here). Is it because people have been walking and cycling instead and are now put off by the weather? If so you really would have thought the people of South Wales would have some decent waterproof kit as we’re renowned for our rain.
I don’t know. It’s a regular phenomenon though. I’m glad I still cycle when it’s wet. If I drove I’d be stuck in the same traffic as everyone else.

Open Day

Today was Open Day for the graduate entry medicine course that I’m teaching the anatomy for. We’re holding three (April, June, July), and this was the first, and it was for people looking to apply for the academic year starting September 2005. It was also the first time we’ve used the brand new Anatomy Suite for real.
The Anatomy Suite held up well. We’ve received the best part of all our models, skeletons, bones, joints, posters, etc that we’ve ordered and it all looked pretty good. I demonstrated some 3D anatomical layered models running on my iBook and the layout of the online teaching aids, and switched (at the flick of a switch) to a DVD cued to a video of a rotating brain. We had a couple of groups talking, and neither interfered, which was part of the reason for the design of the layout of the room. We’ll be teaching anatomy in small groups, so this should work fine.
The Suite is still not finished, and we’ve ordered some more technical kit (laptops, projectors) and have yet to order a bunch of PCs for the medical students’ use within the Suite. We’re getting there though, and it all works so far.
Curiously, one of the attendees was a friend from my first degree days – he was doing biochemistry while I was learning anatomy. Wierd, eh? He’s planning to apply.
Oh, and I got my license from the Home Office today too. I am now a licensed anatomist!

Sunny Cycling

Now today is a day I’d rather be cycling. Probably. It is a glorious sunny morning.
The Cardiff side of my commute has been gradually modified to cut out as much road as possible, and I do consider myself to be lucky to be living in a city that has some lovely off road routes into the centre. I take the main road as far as the A48 (Western Ave) and then get off onto the wide tree lined terrace beside Pontcanna fields and cut across to the river behind Glamorgan’s cricket ground (Sophia Gardens) and the Welsh Institute of Sport. This path goes through Bute Park and brings you out on the animal bridge beside Cardiff Castle and opposite the Millenium Stadium. Not bad, eh? I’ll add to this the path between the stadium and the river when I’ve scoped it out. I’d have done it this morning but my train was already in the station before I was. Oops.
I suppose I should blog some photos of the Cardiff leg of my cycle to work? Rain is promised later.