podcasts and big hills.

Last week I decided to ride up (on my bicycle) a big hill in Austria called grossglockner. It is good training for a race I'm doing in August, and for the blogger charity ride up mont Ventoux in late September. It is popular with the motorbike crowd, as the road is well tarred, and quite wide for an alpine high road. Luckily, it is the world cup, so most of  the leather types were in front of the TV.

I started at Fusch. (Edelweisspitze is another 150 metres up from the Fuscher Tor the last bit is cobbled and rather steep)

I dont normally ride with music, as it distracts me from concentrating on the traffic, however as I was planning to climb the best part of 2000 metres, with lots of it at 12% I figured some distraction was not a bad idea.

All the music on my MP3 player  is stuff I've bought over time on CD and transferred to my laptop. I've not copied music since the days of cassettes. I figure I make enough money to pay for music.

Anyway, my ride up the hill playlist included Davie Bowie, The Killers, the Strokes, Toten Hosen, Nesse Dorma, Libertines, Talking Heads (road to nowhere), Jack Johnson, Elvis Costello, Wir Sind Helden, chumbawumba(tubthumping), Juluka, Freshly Ground and Kaiser Chiefs (i predict a riot)

About 15 minutes from the top I started to hear strange, yet familar voices talking to me about  open source. Perhaps I was more tired than I thought. Actually, I'd managed to add a redmonk podcast to my playlist. Cote and James joined me on the mountain. It was too steep to take my hands of the handlebars to turn them off, and if I'd stopped I never have got back on again. James talked about how he was like a hosted service in the sky. This was hard to follow with a heart rate of over 170.  I think I ought to listen to it without the endorphins or cannabinoids.

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Mont Ventoux, the echo chamber, web 2.0 and a good cause

There is a hill in France called Mont Ventoux, and some of us are going to ride up it for charity at the end of September. 

some stats from wikipedia

South from Bédoin: 22 km over 1610 m. This is the most famous and difficult ascent. The road to the summit has an average gradient of 7.6%. Until Saint-Estève, the climb is easy, but the 16 remaining kilometres have an average gradient of 10%. The last kilometres have strong, violent winds. The ride takes 2-3 hours for trained amateur individuals, and professionals can ride it in 1-1.5 hours. The fastest time so far recorded has been that of Iban Mayo in the individual climbing time trial of the 2004 Dauphiné Libéré: 55' 51". The time was measured from Bédoin for the first time in the 1958 Tour de France, in which Charly Gaul was the fastest at 1h 2' 9".

Sig of thingamy  is game, as is Hamish of the Cardboard Spaceship, we are working on some others, and we welcome any other bloggers (and non-bloggers) to join us. I'm hoping to do sub 2 hours, but I will be happy just to get to the top.

We thought it would be great to see how blogging etc can help a good cause, and we are using a Wiki (thehughpage), the web and so on to help organise things.  No doubt Sig and Hamish will tap Hugh for a cartoon or two. (update Cartoon has arrived)

  Good old fashioned bug friends, family and colleagues  techniques will be deployed too. 

So we are looking for some fellow mad people for the ride, and of course, your cash.

War is a wicked thing.

Read hugh's post quoting W.H Auden, and then image it with children.

We have registered  at http://www.justgiving.com/averybighill, raising money for warchild. But feel free to set up your own if you want, and link it to the wiki.

..( I learnt about the justgiving site from a colleague at SAP UK who ran the london marathon, it is a simple and safe way to donate.

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