Archive for bicycle

a chance (?) encounter

Posted in Kids, pictures, Travel with tags , , , , , on July 16, 2019 by xi'an

As I was cycling to Paris Dauphine, a few days ago, I spotted someone sitting on a bench and working on a laptop who suspiciously looked like… Andrew Gelman! As I knew Andrew was in Paris that week, and as we were reasonably close to Dauphine, this did not sound like a zero probability event. I thus stopped to check that indeed this was the real Andrew, who happened to be in the vicinity and had decided to run this double blind experiment as to whether or not we could spot one another. While I am reasonably aware of my surroundings when cycling (as a matter of mere survival), my radar rarely extends to people sitting on benches, especially when I am riding the middle white line on the boulevard. As I was further a wee bit late that day, I should have been in my office by the time Andrew sat there. A chance encounter, hence, or a super subjective inference from the author of BDA!

the new building!

Posted in pictures, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , on October 22, 2018 by xi'an

The Department of Statistics at Warwick has moved to a new MSB building, next to the Zeeman building, with a lot of light and open space, including a sort of atrium in the centre. It remains to be seen how comfortable this new glassy structure will prove, in hot and cold weather, and how it will stand the test of years (months?!). It seems the place was not designed purposely for mathematicians and statisticians, as many are complaining of the lack of blackboards (and even of whiteboards!) versus an overwhelming number of voracious screens. (Funny enough, the early video selling the building included these blackboards!) And it is unclear how so many glass panes can be contributing to the carbon neutral goal. Still, so far, I enjoyed the light and luminosity of my office, but this may change in the rare event of a grey day… (And no indoor place to store bicycles! But I did recover my bike where I had left it last time.)

 

clothespin and bike woes

Posted in pictures, Running, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , , , on September 30, 2018 by xi'an

The past week at Warwick was a pleasant (pre)start of semester (with hardly any student around), pleasant except from a biking perspective, as I was essentially three days without a bike, from having to recover it at a friend’s at the end of my first morning run, where it had been kindly stored over the summer break, to facing once again a flat tyre, to running after a safe and dry storage location as my Department is about to move to a new and smaller building. Where bikes are not allowed indoor, apparently. (Sometimes, it feels like the University of Carwick!) And the new bike hub at Coventry train station had no free fob. Nothing major as I am living once again in the maths houses, quite a quick walk to the Department, but mildly annoying and disrupting my routine. As it happened, the flat tyre was the result of my riding over the spring of a clothes peg (or clothespin, as in the above sculpture in Phillie), lying the wrong way on the ground, which acted as a perfect caltrop! (My friend and bike wizzard Nick fixed the tyre and changed the tube as soon as I reached the  Department with the wheel, but annoying it was.)

ouille…!!!

Posted in pictures, Running with tags , , , , on July 11, 2017 by xi'an

lesson, test, and results

Posted in Running, Travel with tags , , , , , , on June 7, 2017 by xi'an

Two weeks ago, I got stopped by the traffic police in Paris for crossing a red light with my bike. Or more exactly two red lights in a row (the third one having turned green seconds before I went through). The surprise is that it only happened then, given my almost daily ride to Dauphine and my illegal if cautious management of the numerous red lights on my usual route. The policeman was quite polite, given the obvious break of the law, and asked me if he should fine me for the two red lights, at €135 each! Question to which I replied that he was The Law and I could not argue the facts. In the end, he gave me a lecture on the (real) dangers of crossing red lights—which in my opinion and experience are lesser than those of parked cars and scooters pulling out or opening doors without checking first—and warned me that I would get a fine if our paths crossed again at a red light. Which is just fair (even though I should have gotten the fines, in all fairness).

On the way back that evening I decided to count the exact number of lights and the extra-time it would take me when stopping at all red lights. Surprisingly, it only added six minutes to the 30mn± trip (not accounting for the variability on other days, my best time ever being 26:59 two weeks ago, on ±13km), despite the 60-ish lights on my way home. The experiment did not convince me to keep stopping at all red lights, since I find restarting from static always a major pain, but I now pay more attention to my surroundings when doing so. Until I find the technique to run by foot through the lights (which is legit!)…

art brut

Posted in Kids, pictures, Travel with tags , , , , on October 18, 2014 by xi'an

barbacycle