Random things of the week - brexit and the pretzel

Posted on June 26, 2016 with tags life, sports, cycling.

In no particular order (mostly).

Coming back from the US, it was easier dealing with the jet-lag this time; doing sports in the morning or at noon and eating light on the evening helps a lot.

The big thing of the week, that has everybody talking, is of course brexit. My thoughts, as written before on a facebook comment: Direct democracy doesn’t really work if it’s done once in a blue moon. Wikipedia says there have been thirteen referendums in UK since 1975, but most of them (10) on devolution issues in individual countries, and only three were UK-wide referendums (quoting from the above page): the first on membership of the European Economic Community in 1975, the second on adopting the Alternative vote system in parliamentary elections in 2011, and the third one is the current one. Which means that a referendum is done every 13 years or so.

At this frequency, people are not a) used to inform themselves on the actual issues, b) believing that your vote actually will change things, and most likely c) not taking the “direct-democracy” aspect seriously (thinking beyond the issue at hand and how will it play together with all the rest of the political decisions). The result is what we’ve seen, leave politicians already backpedalling on issues, and confusion that yes, leave votes actually counted.

My prognosis for what’s going to happen:

  • one option, this gets magically undone, and there will be rejoicing at the barely avoided big damage (small damage already done).
  • otherwise, UK will lose significantly from the economy point of view, enough that they’ll try being out of the EU officially but “in” the EU from the point of view of trade.
  • in any case, large external companies will be very wary of investing in production in UK (e.g. Japanese car manufacturers), and some will leave.
  • most of the 52% who voted leave will realise that this was a bad outcome, in around 5 years.
  • hopefully, politicians (both in the EU and in the UK) will try to pay more attention to inequality (here I’m optimistic).

We’ll see what happens though. Reading comments on various websites still make me cringe at how small some people think: “independence” from the EU when the real issue is EU versus the other big blocks—US, China, in the future India; and “versus” not necessarily in a conflict sense, but simply as negotiating power, economic treaties, etc.

Back to more down-to-earth things: this week was quite a good week for me. Including commutes, my calendar turned out quite nice:

Week calendar
Week calendar

The downside was that most of those were short runs or bike sessions. My runs are now usually 6.5K, and I’ll try to keep to that for a few weeks, in order to be sure that bone and ligaments have adjusted, and hopefully keep injuries away.

On the bike front, the only significant thing was that I did as well the Zwift Canyon Ultimate Pretzel Mission, on the last day of the contest (today): 73.5Km in total, 3h:27m. I’ve done 60K rides on Zwift before, so the first 60K were OK, but the last ~5K were really hard. Legs felt like logs of wood, I was only pushing very weak output by the end although I did hydrate and fuel up during the ride. But, I was proud of the fact that on the last sprint (about 2K before the end of the ride), I had ~34s, compared to my all-time best of 29.2s. Was not bad after ~3h20m of riding and 1300 virtual meters of ascent. Strava also tells me I got 31 PRs on various segments, but that’s because I rode on some parts of Watopia that I never rode before (mostly the reverse ones).

Overall, stats for this week: ~160Km in total (virtual and real, biking and running), ~9 hours spent doing sports. Still much lower than the amount of time I was playing computer games, so it’s a net win ☺

Have a nice start of the week everyone, and keep doing what moves you forward!