Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Catching up

Well the past week has flown by pretty quick and without much internet access. Tuesday Marco took me to Zurich to meet with Shannon and Marco’s friend. Shannon and I left Marco and his friend for awhile and went up Bahnofstrasse, which, until a couple years ago, was the most expensive street of shops in Europe. It was pretty sad going in some of the shops that had 50% off sales and having their jeans still be hundreds of dollars. After stollinig up and down the street for a bit, we headed back and walked along the Lake of Zurich and through the park there. It looked really pretty…too bad it was probably too cold to swim in!

Wednesday evening I raced the Kriterium in Bruegg. The women race with the older juniors and there is a sprint every lap. The race was only 30 minutes long but sprinting the boys every 1k lap was pretty tiring. I attacked a few times, realizing I had nothing on them in the sprint and had to rely on a break-away. I got third in one sprint trying to bridge up to two up the road (one of who was Shannon!) and then got caught at the line in another. It was really fun though. I’ll get to do the race again next week which I’m really looking forward too. I think I do at least part of the men’s race as well and just hang on in the back. We brought Peter back with us Wedensday to Zollbruck.

Thursday morning Peter and I went to the Backerei in town for a breakfast spread they offer which was amazing. After we were able to do a little shopping for presents for home ;-) In the afternoon we went for a three-hour ride with teammate Jessica and her twin brother Christian in the Thun area. Unfortunately, it was pouring rain for most of it and even started hailing huge hail for twenty minutes. We had to hide under a porch for awhile. It was very nice to be warm and dry again later J

Friday morning Peter and I went for a nice and short warmup ride and shortly after we left, I to Fabienne’s in Remigen and Peter back to Weiach. The day at Fabienne’s was good and consisted of vodka-spiked pasta sauce with pasta of course, and trying on a wedding dress Fabienne bought for fun.

Saturday we left pretty early for the race called the Lightweight Uphill Challenge in Germany. It was sponsored by obviously, Lightweight. The winner of each category was given a set of $5k Lightweight wheels. The course was only 8.3k and was a time-trial. I didn’t feel so hot but Shannon won by 1/7 of a second and won herself a brand new pair of wheels. Sweet! After the race we headed to Verduz, Lietchtenstein, where we stayed in a hotel near Stephanie’s flat.

Sunday morning was the death ride with Stephanie, Shannon, Fabienne, Philipp, and Ernst. Three (killer by Texas standards) mountains with my nice cassette meant for flat, Texas roads ;-) The climbs were pretty hard mostly because my cadence was well below 50 but it was good to practice descending. I realized that I really haven’t had much good practice at descending like that but that would be because I really have only been up maybe 6 legit mountains in my cycling career. I think I figured out how to go through a switchback though so that’s exciting! The ride ended up being 4.5 hours which is a lot longer than I normally train right now, but it was good nevertheless and I was happy for the good company. We pretty much vegged for awhile on the couch after and ate some pasta and watched the finish of the Tour. I started not feeling well shortly after the ride, but shrugged it off as the ride. That evening I went to Peter’s house in Weiach and met Benji’s parents. Benji’s mom made us this really good ice cream dessert sundae with espresso and coconut liquor. His parents are very nice.

Baby cows

Monday I woke up pretty sick, but nevertheless, Peter and I left on the train to Freiburg, Germany where we’ll be staying for the week at Christian’s girlfriend’s condo. The trip went by pretty smoothly all things considered and we even ended up paying a lot less for our train ticket by buying it in Germany instead of Switzerland. We walked around a bit along the main shopping street here which is ridiculously close by. Lots of interesting things to look at for sure! Peter and I are all about saving money, so we stopped at a neat Trader Joe’s-like grocery store we found and cooked some dinner at home and just chilled. I went to bed at 8pm and woke up at 7:30am.

The view outside the porch

Tuesday we walked around town a bit more looking for free internet (hahaha). We had no luck for free internet, but we did find a neat little shop that was only $0.03/minute. I think we’ll be going back a bit more this week. We just walked around town a bit more today and had lunch at a bakery and found a Migros to get stuff to cook dinner. It’s really good to have a few days with Peter to explore this city but mostly just veg. I’m really good at stressing myself out and Peter is really good at making realize I don’t have to be, so it’s good he is here.

Peter with gelato "spaghetti"

Wednesday morning we walked to the big cathedral that is maybe a ten-minute walk from the condo. There was a huuuge farmer's market all around the cathedral with tons of produce, breads, olives, meats, flowers, woodwork, toys, and other handicrafts. It was all really inexpensive too. The rest of the day is pretty much chill and go ride. Peter is out riding for three hours now and will come back to pick me up for the last two along the river. We'll make a pitstop on the way back to soak our feet in the icy water. Sounds lovely, huh?

St. Mary's Cathedral


Peter insisted on taking my picture

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