01 November 2010

Autumn leaves winter

After spending a busy week on a job fair in Gelsenkirchen, pearl of the Rhine/Ruhr area where I tried to entice students to start their academic career at your institution, I came home to find my kids in urgent need of assistance for home works, tests and the like. I was able to escape finally on Sunday afternoon after the rain has stopped for a short autumn ride.

During the night before the clocks have been turned back one hour: winter time has officially started in Germany and the weather was wet, grey and generally miserable. Autumn is special in Germany and perhaps even more special in the North of Germany. Although the annual precipitation of 750l/m2 is half than in Tokyo, the number of drizzling, light rain days must be much more. This is in particular apparent during the autumn and winter seasons which are dry and favourable for rides in Japan whereas one would prefer to stay at home in Bremen.

Spring is a season of pleasant anticipation of the things the year will bring. One thinks of the rides and races ahead in the year and considers to fall in love again or to get a divorce just in case. In autumn we are glad that we are still married and instead conversations focus on the more relevant topics in life. And death. In Gelsenkirchen I had a very interesting dinner conversation about the alternatives to commit suicide under special consideration of not providing too much hassle to the beloved and the environment in general. This, I believe, describes the feeling of autumn here well.

The surface was wet and there were many leaves on the road but temperatures had risen higher in the last few days to around 10 degrees C. I could not sport my new orange Assos airjacket but at least I could wear my new Cervelo cap. Now that the Cervelo test team has raced its last race I found it appropriate to buy some discounted team stuff and wear it outside. But I have left the Cervelo in the stable and opted for the Gazelle which is much more suited to wet conditions. In addition, as I didn't had too much time on hand for the ride, I thought it might have a better training effect to get on the "slower" bike. One doesn't need to drag tires behind the bike necessarily.

The air was foggy and I explored some more farm roads in the area of Borgfeld, Lilienthal and Fischerhude.

After a while my body warmed up, long finger gloves and shoe covers hold it warm and it was very pleasant to ride. The Gazelle offers only 2 x 6 gears but I hardly noticed a difference to the Cervelo in the flats. On the contrary, over the rather rough farm roads the combination of steel frame and wider saddle was much more comfortable than the very stiff Cervelo setup. I hardly used more than one gear anyway.
When I came back into the area of the university I noticed for the first time the newly built minaret. No I was joking, this is the beacon of my orientation and can be seen from almost everywhere in the flat landscape.

I came home in much better mood. That mood was immediately spoiled when I (Spain) lost 9:1 against my son (England) in world cup soccer on the Sony PS2 playstation.


David L. said...


Thank you for the report and the photo of the famed "drop tower" of the University of Bremen, which provides scientists and their experiments with "9.3 seconds of weightlessness in an earthbound laboratory".


.... followed by a big crash. I hope that they do not lose too many graduate students who try to monitor the experiment "real time".

Perhaps you could suggest bungee jumping as a way to raise some extra money for the University?

mob said...


correct, the tower doesn' serve as a minaret but as a "drop tower". I didn't elaborate on that topic too much as the report was already filled to the brim with suicidial tendencies and the drop tower subject could have conveniently provided another aspect.

In Bremen the tower is called minaret by the non-academics.

Rain is forecasted for the rest of the week so I will concentrate on
scientific achievements.

Good luck for your rides in Japan, (k)night rider.