Monday, June 29, 2009

Swiss Nationals Road Race + Bern

Saturday Shannon and I departed for the Swiss Nationals Road Race in Nyon at 7:40am. An early morning compared to recently. The drive was quite uneventful as I slept through the entire thing. Once we got there, there was a bit confusion. Eventually things were sorted out and we found that we had arrived at the race just under four hours early. Shannon and I opted to fit in our ride before the race so that we could attend the race. The countryside there was very nice with the lake on one side and the mountains on the other. Lots of sonnebloomen (sunflowers) were in bloom as well!
I love Sonnebloomen

The beautiful lake

I love the whole requirement the Swiss have that all races must have showers because I definitely enjoyed being clean for the rest of the day. We got dropped off in the feed zone and waited. The thirty women at nationals were mostly Team Bike-Import, Cevelo, Bigla, and this Giant team that wasn’t pro. Their race was only 98k for their nationals! They did 6 laps that were half uphill and half downhill. It seemed like an odd course to me, more of a circuit race than anything else. Anyways, the group stayed together until the end. Bike-Import ended up getting third through fifth, so not too shabby results. They were bested only by two Bigla gals.

The field

Andrea Wolfer, right, on the podium

Shannon went home with Fabienne after the race and is staying there for the week and I went back to Zollbruck. It was only on this ride home, that I fully realized the language thing. I didn’t understand one word of what was said on the ride home in the car even though people were talking the whole way. It was kinda lonely! Of course I did what I did best though, and went to sleep.

Sunday my day started with a 10am ride with Marco who helps out the team. I looked up the word “thirty” and “minute” and tried to find up or uphill or something like that but couldn’t find it. I ended up getting my thirty minutes of climbing up some nice mountain a whole ten minutes from here (we passed quite a few other options, but he preferred this one). The few from the top was astonishing as always. On the way down, my tire started making these weird thumping noises. I thought I had a flat but I didn’t. At the bottom I got off and found my sidewall was busted. Crap. We sorted fixed it and went on our way. The ride ended up being faster than I was expecting, averaging just under 30K an hour which included a total of 40 minutes of climbing. It was good to go fast again though- seems like I haven’t done a lot of racing lately, but I guess that is about to change.

In the afternoon, the parents, Susanna, Abigail, and I left for Bern to take this train up to the top of a mountain. There, there was a park with hiking, grass, a really cool playground for kids, a restaurant, and an amazing view of Bern. You won’t believe me, but I forgot my camera in the car! No pictures. After walking around for what felt like ages, we stopped at the restaurant for a coffee. They had these cool machines that made cappuccinos with the proper ratios of everything- foam, milk, and espresso. It was neat. There cappuccinos are served in bowls- weird huh?

Today was my first ride all by myself here. It was actually kinda nice to change it up. I realized I haven’t ridden by myself since I was in Austin almost two months ago. Later this afternoon, I’m going with the mother to the strawberry fields to pick some of the last strawberries of the season and to get some strawberry wine. Plans have changed again and I'll be staying here all week and then Shannon will be returning here and Peter will visit!

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