Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Brighter Week Ahead!

Well my past week had a few bumps in the road, but I think things are getting back on track. Being sick all week was not the ideal for getting to spend time with Peter, but he did a great job taking care of me J The last couple days we didn’t do much besides ride, take care of little things we needed to get done, and go to the farmer’s market to gorge on fresh blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries. One day, Peter got a whole kilogram of plums for $1.50 and ate the whole thing that day. I don’t know how he did it. It must have been well over twenty plums.

Friday morning I walked Peter to the train station and said my sad goodbye. His race was in Austria that weekend and mine was in a neighboring town near Freiburg so Bike-Import was just picking me up on the way. Being sick and hacking and coughing all week, my training load had been pretty light, but I was looking forward to a solid two hour ride that afternoon. I was about 20k outside of town when I shifted down like normal and the derailleur went into my spokes and self-combusted. I had no cell phone and not enough money to get me home so I got to walking. I was surprised that no one (not even one of the 4 dozen riders that passed me) stopped to see if I was okay. I was walking in my cleats with my bike- that’s just not normal. Finally, 8k later, a guy stopped with his car to see if I was okay and to see if he could repair the bike (haha). He gave me a ride home. Luckily, I’ve learned enough German to figure out how to give directions to where I needed to go. Yeah, my two hour ride didn’t even make an hour.

The next day, I knew I had to find a bike shop that could repair the bike. The problem is, I am riding Campy and not many shops carry it. The closest shop I found was 5k away so I got to walking. When I finally got there, they said they didn’t have Campy. I was crestfallen. But, luckily, his friend and his son who were in the shop offered me a ride to a shop outside of town that carried Campy. Once we got there, the mechanic looked at the bike and pointed out the fact that the derailleur hanger was in two pieces and there wasn’t a BH dealer in the city at all. I had an extra derailleur hanger, except I gave it to Peter on Friday for his which was bent. No repairs for me. The two guys were nice enough to give me a ride home. They were mountain bike racers and apparently Freiburg is the place to be for that because there is no snow year round so you can train all year! All the German MTB pros live there I guess. It ended up being a very walk-intensive day once again.

Sunday, Stephanie and Philipp picked me up early in the morning (after I locked myself out of course) and we headed to the course. Philipp let me use his bike for the race. It was like a 56’ or so it was so big. Trying to turn the thing was really hard! My race didn’t go as planned, but maybe that was to be expected with the no-riding, no-bike, sick week. I was dropped not far into the race. It was pretty much the most miserable time I had on the bike. To top it off, I ran into a corn field while cornering too hot on the monster bike. I finished, of course. During the cool down, with my luck, I flatted Philipp’s wheel and had to ride it the two miles back to the car.

In the evening, I went back to Ernst’s house so he could fix the derailleur once the parts got in from Bruno. It’s been a pretty chill time here. I’ve gotten a lot done that I need to before I get back. Yesterday I went on a nice 2.5 hour loop that Ernst wrote down for me. In the evening, I went with him, Peter, and Shannon to the track to watch the tracking racing. It was pretty neat sitting in the stands. They did this race where each rider has his own motorcycle pacing him for 150 laps and they tell the motorcycle to go faster or slower. It was pretty cool to watch, but I would never want to race a race like that!

This evening, Shannon and I are being taken to Stephanie’s in Liechtenstein again for the rest of the week. That is always very enjoyable, so I'm looking forward to that. Sunday’s race in Basel will be pretty hard. It’s an 80K circuit race with lots of climbs and sharp turns. I guess all of Bigla and Cervelo shows up and it’s supposed to be tough. I’m guessing it’ll be a lot like the Sunset Road Race at Redlands. One way to find out…

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