Hi, I’m Manu.

I used to have a blog a couple of years ago. I have to admit that I missed it a little, so I decided to go back at it in 2014. I write about a bunch of different topics.

Why “plothole.net”? As defined on wikipedia,

a plot hole, or plothole is a gap or inconsistency in a storyline that goes against the flow of logic established by the story’s plot, or constitutes a blatant omission of relevant information regarding the plot, sometimes even contradicting itself. These include such things as unlikely behaviour or actions of characters, illogical or impossible events, events happening for no apparent reason, or, statements or events that contradict earlier events in the storyline.

This definition suits my life pretty well.

Here are a couple of links if you want to know more about me:

And last but not least, here is my resume.

Thanks for reading.

N.B. this site has been tested on the most recent versions of Safari and Chrome on Mac OS X, as well as Safari on iOS. If something seems broken on one of those browsers, shoot me an email. If you’re using another browser, I’m sorry. I don’t find fixing browser quirks very interesting, I do enough of it professionnally.

Strava

I think I first heard of Strava through my messenger friends. I’ve wanted to track my shifts, but I was afraid that it would drain the battery of my phone too quickly. You would not want this to happen, considering that the messenger’s cell phone is the essential fallback in case the walkie-talkie reception fails — due to range limitations, or when you’re inside a building. The first rides I tracked were therefore DH sessions at St. Cergue with Damien. Not very interesting. After I moved to Zürich, I got back into “normal” mountain biking, and got hooked to Strava for real. I like stats and maps, so I’m the perfect audience for that kind of fitness tracker. It has the somewhat negative effect that I can’t ride chill while tracking. I will always try to beat my times, which is admittedly a bit dumb. I’m not using the Premium version1, so I’m not exactly sure of the features that it would unlock. It seems however that there is such a thing as heatmaps. The Strava Labs also have a pretty experiment called Global Heatmap.

Heatmap of all my local rides

There’s this tool that connects to your Strava account and draws a heatmap of your rides. Pretty neat! What you can see next are all my rides around Zürich, from October 2014 to December 2016.

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I do not plan my rides, I like to improvise, which resulted in me being stuck in the middle of nowhere more than once, always hoping to find a fun little trail. Of course I could actually have found all the interesting trails just by browsing maps and Strava, but I feel like that’s cheating, and the tiny feeling of adventure would get lost in the process.

Coldmap

I obviously also ride my bike elsewhere. For example, some of the locations not included on the heatmap are:

Ride titles

I spend an abnormal proportion of time during my rides trying to come up with a title for Strava. The rest of time is either spent on figuring out where the hell I am or why my body hurts. Either I’m out of breath, my legs burn or my back aches. All with no particular reason I can think of. I eat equally bad every day, I never drink anything during the effort… so all the conditions should be equally bad each time. Yet somehow sometimes I feel like shit and break PRs2, while other times I feel awesome and ride incredibly bad.

Here are some of the titles. Yes, some are borderline Dad joke level word plays:

Stats so far

Year Distance Time Elevation Gain Rides
2014 (3 months) 345.6 km 18 h 58 m 7’357 m 15
2015 1’437.2 km 90 h 55 m 44’252 m 52
2016 2’047.7 km 128 h 6 m 73’746 m 69

There’s a steady increase. It would be nice if in 2017 I could get to 2’500 or even 3’000 km. But I’m not sure my right knee will agree.

Keep in mind that this is mostly mountain biking. A road biker’s stats would look a bit different, e.g. more distance. Note also that the distance and the elevation gain are not 100% accurate because on some DH sessions I let the tracking run the whole day, i.e. including lift rides.

  1. their pricing scheme is fun. CHF 60 for a year, ok. Or CHF 8 for a month, which amounts to CHF 96 per year. 60% more expensive than the monthly plan!

  2. = personal records