Alex's Alliterative Adventures

Thoughts on Programming, Life, and Travel

576 km

You could easily bike along the Romantic Road and cover less than 500 km, but we got lost a bunch and added a few days of needless biking in circles. When we were done, we got in a paddle boat and biked across the lake.

You can check out the whole set, but here are some of the highlights:

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It begins tomorrow

428 kilometers.
Biking 50-70km a day for 6 days.
Back on June 7th.

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Dear Diary

Yesterday a bat flew into my head.

Fortunately, I was wearing a helmet.

I think the bat wasn’t.


Dear Diary

Today I tore down a house.

There were bees.

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Wesabe: The bank account

In addition to tracking my cash spending, I also feed Wesabe my bank transactions to get even more detailed spending reports. If your bank lets you download statements in OFX, Microsoft Money, or Quicken format, then you might be able to make use of Wesabe’s automatic account updating. If Wesabe won’t automatically update your bank account, or if their excellent privacy policy hasn’t won you over, you can also manually upload your account information. My bank only offers PDF and CSV statement downloads, so I need to do a bit of work to make things Wesabe-friendly.

Wesabe’s support team introduced me to XL2QIF, an excel macro that converts CSV files (or any excel spreadsheet) to QIF format. Once you open the CSV containing your transaction list in excel1, select the interesting fields in your statement: Read more

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Critical Polo

When searching for a good bike ride on the weekend, I surfed my way to Critical Mass, an event that brings hundreds of cyclists together to bike around the major cities once a month. It took almost three hours for the parade of colourful characters to cover around thirty kilometers of Frankfurt.

Lifting our bikes may have slowed us down a little (not actually a weekend photo): Read more


Wesabe: The Cash Account

I have two accounts registered with Wesabe: a cash account, and a chequing account. In this post I’ll show you how to track your spending in a cash account.

To start a new cash account, click “Add an Account” on the left side of the site, and then find the tiny “Create a Cash Account” link on the right. Once you’ve chosen an account name and currency, click Create to finish making your new account. Read more


Saved from the jaws of shame

From the mouth of a fool:

Hell, I even wrote a blog post to create LIMITLESS SHAME if I don’t sign up for a bank account by the end of the month. Now, I don’t have to read those webpages, but I’ll sure feel pretty dumb if I don’t.

Last week I submitted an application for a DKB account after reading the last of the poorly-translated pdf’s, and gave myself a pat on the back for meeting my deadline of March 31st. For bonus points, my roommate delivered the mail with an hour left in the day: Read more

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With a little help from my friends

A bike trip can be strengthened or destoyed by your relationship with your friends. You’re all in this together, so when they suffer, you suffer. You’ll never be able to block out their whining for an entire week. That’s why I need to make sure that my friends ride in comfort.

This is why it’s critical to invest in a few good pairs of bike shorts. They let your friends breathe, and keep friendly friction to an absolute minimum. If the internet is to be believed, quality shorts are one of a cyclist’s most important pieces of gear.

That’s not all the internet has to say about the matter. I’ve been doing a lot of questionable googling recently, and apparently it’s very important to let your friends have an intimate, trusting relationship with your shorts. No barriers, no judgement, and most importantly, no underwear.

I’m not the jealous type, so that’s fine with me. I know that my friends need room to breathe. But like a protective mother, I’m worried about my friends. A speed dating session in a sports-store changing room seems like a great place to meet interesting shorts, but what about safety? Those sports store shorts get around. I don’t like thinking about how many other men have pulled this very pair of shorts over their sweaty, hairy friends.

I guess meeting new shorts always comes with risks. I just have to let my friends run free, and live life on the wild side.

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More potential for public humiliation

A Canadian has promised to pay me a visit in June, and we’re currently smoothing out a plan to bike around Germany. I’ve always wanted to do a proper bike trip, I can safely file this in the Pretty Damn Awesome category. We have our sights on Germany’s Romantic Road, a chain of cities that ends at the castle that inspired Cinderella. We’ll cover around 350 km (dreihundertfünfzig) in 10 days. We’ll cover around 50 km on the longest day, with racks loaded with enough equipment to survive ten nights in hostels.

I have no idea of how to properly plan a bike trip, but my gut is telling me that if I want to pedal a weighted bike for 10 straight days, I’m already behind in my non-existant training schedule. My legs enthusiastically agree. The internet tells me that my ass should be screaming in terror, but it’s currently passed out, beaten and bruised, from the first day of real biking in months.

To prove (or disprove) the motivating power of public humiliation, I’m going to let the entire internet judge my training. I’ll log my workouts in a public google spreadsheet. You can use it for drinking games, you can forward it to all of your friends (you’ll have good luck if you send it to at least five people!), or you can just feel sorry for how badly I’ll embarass myself when I fail. Or maybe, just maybe, you could even give me some advice. Who knows, maybe I’ll even listen.

Oh, and to make it interesting, my bike is in Canada.

Until May.

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