// This year the winter arrived early and hard. The streets are unpredictably black iced and dangerous. Nothing to sweep along on road bike wheels. But the forrest grips well as always with it’s atmosphere, it’s just too cold after 2 hours. So I found a pretty nice and brand new old school mountain bike. It got spike tires for rolling on predictable ice and returning home in time. The levels of noise and colors fade into subtleties senses enjoy with old instincts that come to life in time lapse with every tree they pass ..
// To connect my broken leg with my body again I joined a Taiji course .. well, in short, it works, better than I could imagine! Why & how is something to find words for it, I concede it is worth it for my mind to benefit from the movings in my body and the world around .. just give me some time to make the poems of energy understandable with clear thoughts, puzzled letters & simple words ..
The picture of a bottle with dirty water getting clear by time because of respose & gravity helps to recognize all the actions in your body & your self and set them all together to a move, now .. welcome !!
Interestingly with being in time even the housing & environment I’m living in & moving trough gets clearer & wider on the spot ..
// Even if it is not a race, race speed is great >> if there is a man in front to follow it’s great, too >> with some strong head winds he got calm in between and I could lead some miles >> but not too long >> a good promise for the next season >> THANX MAN!!
It took one year longer for recovery from a femur fracture to hear that beautiful noise with the wind again, but therefore I found the fastest set up I ever had (I post it here because my buddies won’t find & read it) .. #1 Connex chain // improved shifting, durability, less resistance .. #2 AbsovuteBlack 36T inner chain ring // easy to spin up gears up hill, conserved reserves for the big circle .. #3 5mm saddle rise // with the inner chain ring even increase in cadence, less stress and faster recovery for the hard working muscles & tendons .. #4 Course helmet // better cooling, less resistance .. #5 cutted Prolight SLX velcros // better looking, less resistance .. #6 F119 120mm stem // 1cm longer, lighter, more stable, preciser handling, slightly stretched body & deeper back >> #7 LeXXi Team trikot set // skin fit, favorite colors, more speed ore less watt .. again enjoying “the fastest road bike in the galaxy” on my wish list .. oSo >>
// One thing stands out of training peaks riding Luzié for over two years now. There are some people out there who really know what engineering accomplishes, they create machines scoring like instruments that excite to „listen & sing a long“ .. oSo >>
// Yes, my Luzié it is the fastest road bike of the galaxy (de_de: das schnellste Rennrad der Galaxis). The proof? Just 10 weeks after the revision of my broken femur I was riding it smooth on the beautiful Kurpfalz-Roads (the region riding on 2 wheels was invented 200 years before by this man) and watched the Odenwald waves again (.. the surf board of the Kurpfalz is the road bike // de_de: das Surbrett der Kurpfalz ist das Rennrad). My bones are carrying me softly again and I can leave my shoes on .. oSo >>
.. p.s. all with the assumption, aliens in our galaxy build non!
.. the titan nail to stabilize my femur fracture from july last year broke, but my broken bone stayed in place somehow. To complete the healing of the fracture they had to replace the titan nail last week. After this successful operation another 4 months more for recovery to surf the Kurpfalz again. They asked me how this could happen, I answered, I train with a power meter and feel what I do with my // bones ..
.. is the ride. Everything that comes to the start gets it’s destiny by being along with the way to go. Legs moving, hands steering and the brain thinking, physics ruling, chemics providing and the bio breathing. Riders like to discuss a lot about the happenings that are in mind and that can be managed by their will, even braking .. oSo >>
// To make this long rainy day short a combination of early skills named playing with toy blocks and making drawings catched some moments of inspiration after looking at real bikes made by professionals ..
// It is fresh in this morning hours. Sunlight shines over the mountains and the ways in front are well known. Both wheels and both legs are turning in steady rhythms. Breathing is easy and the road bike phenomenal as always. For me there is no better alternative to listen. Everything is alright and also it is with me again, reading in thoughts drops deeper.
In 484 days with Luzié we rode more than 40.000km. That is that much as once around the world. For me this is nearly unbelievable, but undoubtedly I did it. The good thing with that is that with 10kg more of mass my body is healthy, the metabolism is running, senses are sharper, contrasts are crisper and the muscles to move the bones have the same power as ten years before. At that time I was not slow on my Storck Scenario Pro power coat Campagnolo Record equipped road bike with 60.000km in the cranks.
// The basics are to have a rest at night, to stand up in the morning and to cook coffee. With the sun rise I start to connect my bones and to stretch their muscles. Some early birds disturb the silence of the day time. Later some engines, too. Thin fog over the ground makes it easier to feel the fresh air. Rhythms start to occur aware and control tries to match with. For 2 to 3 hours I breath deep and feel warm, listen confident to my senses and phantasy. But I’m not what I see, I’m the one who sees. At 9 a.m. my bike takes me back home for a shower to be prepared for going to work. A kind of active recreation.
// Wald-Michelbach, it was part of the most chosen sunday route of the Willi Altig trainings group since the 70ties for over 30 years. Mannheim based former national and active road racers came together and had fun. Guests from other cities joined them and
me, too. Oktober 1988 we rode with Christian Henn (bronze road race Seoul) in a group of four a average of 36 km/h to Kreidacher Höhe. Now 35 km/h is measured with powering out an average of 337watts for 29min 37sec after 6hours of pre load before a break for the moderate 17.3 km uphill turn from Hirschhorn to Waldmichelbach .. oSo >>
Shattering my best time on an epic Rhine Valley ride that climbs the Kandel mountain.
I’ve been riding road bikes since the 1980s, when cycling cleats were nailed to leather soles and local locksmiths made my extra gears. But I’m not slowing down. Quite the opposite. In 2009, I rode my Cervélo Soloist Carbon from my hometown of Heidelberg, Germany, to the top of the 1,241-metre Kandel mountain in the Black Forest. The 420-kilometre round-trip took 14 hours. This year, I did the ride again, but this time on my new S5. I was six years older — but 1.5 hours faster!
The ride along the Rhine Valley passes through many picturesque villages. The verdant hills lining the route steadily increase in height, until I find myself facing the infamous 11-km climb from the town of Waldkirch to the Kandel’s summit. Many famous bike racers have tested their mettle on the 902-metre elevation gain. As I near the summit, my breathing steady and relaxed, the fog closes in. The views are obscured, but lunch at the Kandelhof House is a fair trade-off.
When I climb off my S5 my body is tired but not sore. It’s the longest day of the year — the summer solstice — so I have some time to prepare for the return trip. For hours I ride at a good pace with tailwinds at my back. The S5 is a joy, and my MTN-Qhubeka outfit turns some heads. A few Africans cheer when they recognize it.
I’m tempted to stop and chat with my admirers, but I’m having too much fun going so fast.
// In 2009 I got a new bike not for the first time. This one was special in many aspects, it was not only the most surprising and fastest machine I took out for a try and wanted to own after that, it was the best .. kind of a medicine I could imagine and make working at the same time. In the shop I bought the chain needed for my current bike and a week later that bike. With the current I rode about 60.000km (≈37.000mls) in 6 years but the last 3 years close to zero. All I forgot after a spin around the shop with that new one. In the next 6 months 15.000km (≈9000mls) rubber each from two wheels where lost on the streets . In 6 weeks I reached a train level of 100km a day and met all my friends from earlier years for riding through the Odenwald, Black Forrest and the Alps. The longest ride was 420km (262mls) in 14 hours and the next day I went to work happy. All my newer friends thought I’m getting crazy, but they saw I’m doing well with that and I really did.
In 2013 I met the senior engineer for an evolution model of my bike. It was not a surprise for me, it was my plan. A surprise was that he had the time to talk with me and I could tell him some things that could be improved for the next evolution without any drawbacks. He didn’t laugh at me for that, he smiled to me and answered that exactly on that I told him they were working. The only thing I had to do was having patience for the new bike they were developing out of the current. I was very happy to met him in time.
In late August 2014 I read about the release of the new model, saw pictures and collected the specs in the net. None of my wishes are left behind, the new bike is a next level rocket in every aspect with a beautiful shaped frame and in a nice color, black with white decals. Fortunately I’m working in the bike industry since one and a half year and managed to place a order in a few days, months before they are shipped. For these months my patience needs now some management. To remind me on some stories which brought me to this point of life I’m now and write them down out of good memories is part of a bigger task. I feel curious and thankful.
In this case the ride started with a very simple calculation in mind. One way from Heidelberg to Freiburg is something around 200km (125mls) and in very, very good conditions about 6 hours to ride. The return is the same, if the wind direction changes correctly during the day and the top of the Kandel Mountain close to Freiburg would be a pinnacle add.
Visiting Klaus at the end of his holidays is always fun. The ride from Heidelberg to Stegen, behind Freibug, is easy on the B3 federal street, flat and straight ahead with just one climb at the end. Being once too early for lunch because of strong wind from behind I did an extra climb. The Kandel from Waldkirch is a legendary uphill in the Black Forest for racers of all levels but after 200km on the road I went for Glotter Tal, the soft side. It worked out and I made a notice in my training book: Heidelberg -Kandel – visiting Klaus for some training in the Black Forest. The next days this training was always good preparation for the Ötztal Marathon in the Alps. But what about doing the return at the same day?
It took some years and a thrilling new bike to make it. At 6 a.m. the working day started short after sunrise. The first one and a half hours I set up my mind, no time attacks today. In the morning traffic some car drivers where overwhelmed by one cyclist, what a insoluble problem in this age. Setting up a good cadence and going ahead with only two mistakes in direction, just one of them because of less blood in the brain, plus two short refills of my bottles the entrance of the Kandel Mountain in Waldkirch was reached at about 12:30. At 13:30 I ordered my well earned lunch at the top of the Kandel. There is a Restaurant, an amazing view down the Rhein River Valley and a start ramp for kite sailors. These thoughts where hardly needed to keep climbing at the step 1000Hm uphill climb with 39/25 on board. Keeping the receipt for lunch as an evidence I started the return with confidence and a smiling downhill.
Supported by enthusiasm a wrong turn behind Waldkirch brought me on a highway. As departure I took the next one in driving direction for safety. People waving at me out of cars did maybe not think about that option on a oneway street. Back on the B3 everything was usual. This afternoon the sun was very strong without any shade for the next 100km and made me drinking another 9 litres out of 1,5 litres capacity refilled in 6 mega short stops at fuel stations. Maybe some more had helped not to follow of a cyclist in speed modus riding in his own direction after overtaking me without any friendly notice from his side. It took me just 5 minutes to find my way again, the distributed adrenalin lasted longer. At afternoon some brain power came back with shades of clouds and beauty of the landscape I call home.
One hour to Heidelberg I did the last stop to eat some salty sausage and drink some coke. At sunset in Heidelberg a Espresso at my favorite coffee bar the 16 hour working day with 14 hours on the bike was over. Some nice conversations are a good reward after 420km (262mls) of turning the wheels. Oh, did I tell you the story with the police car next to me on a beltway at 50km/h (30mph)? They looked at me and I looked at them, keeping my speed in the wind shadow of the massiv traffic. An impressive moment of recognitions and decisions when they drove by. And here is the receipt of my lunch & the view from the Kandel 1241 m.H.ü.NN (4070ft) I had on this day.
Rockenhausen is a small village close to the Donnersberg Mountain, with 686m.ü.NN (2250ft) the highest mountain in the Pfälzer Wald. Mosel River is 150km (90mls) in the north of Rockenhausen generating a beautiful wine region with a lot of river bends, sunny valleys and very old yards. We had to stand up very early, Angelika drove the car to Rockenhausen save in time and said she would visit the local public swimming pool during the day. I told her that it will take really the hole day to finish the ride and maybe I will not be able to finish it with my own power. “That’s o.k. for me, let us see what will happen!” she answered without that I could believe her relaxed feeling. I was wrong.
When I arrived back after 13 hours for the 380km (238mls) long ride she was between all the other ladies offering steak & beer, coffee & cake. I told her that it was a very well organized tour today having enough food stations at the right sections with some nice salty sausage, too. She told me that after swimming and finishing her book she went back to the cycle event location where she dropped this morning and talked to the ladies, seeing them organizing a lot of stuff for the riders and offering her help.
Because I couldn’t find a partner for that ride I did it alone. In my brain some time it was fun, but some time it was boring because there where no group to join all day long. Fortunately I like riding bike with appropriate speed that I could keep and enjoy the noises of the forest while listening to the stories of old stones. My highlight of the ride was this salty sausage, surprising me at a exhausted moment at a feed station and refueling my soul for the circumnavigation of the Donnersberg I climbed early in the morning with 5000Hm (16400ft) in summary for this tour.
The event was a 20 years cycling marathon anniversary for the local bicycle sport club. I guess the success over all this years was driven by all the ladies, supporting men’s sport.
// 2001 was the last year the Ötztalmarathon started & finished in Steinach. It was my second participation in this greatest event a hobby rider like me can enter, together with 2500 others. The complete route I knew from the year before, every meter but with a different rhythm. The start was in Sölden like always since then with the Timmelsjoch Pass at least. 1800 meters (5900 feet) climbing in altitude after 170km (105 miles) of riding. How tired you are on its peak at 2500 meters (8200 feet) sets the euphoria you feel behind the finish line. Riding the Brenner Pass to the objective was fun, with another rider we paced uphill and lost a big group behind us. He was older than me and sprinted me down before the finish line. I won the confidence under 8 hours is possible for me, but not under 7:30. The time of the official stop watch I wrote under my stone, a gift from the valley for every finisher .. 8:13:18 .. four years later I got very close to the 8 hours, strong fog and low temperatures kept the 8 in place for ever.
Andreas is a long term trainings partner of the Willi Altig group, a group grown out of racers from the 60ties. Willi’s biggest success in his career was winning the final stage of the 1964 Giro Italia . This trainings group contained some national road and track champions, world and olympic gold medalists, some hopeful amateurs and time by time even actual professionals out of the region like Christian Henn, Roland Günther and Volker Dhiel. On Sundays and Wednesdays all met for some speed. There I learned riding a road race bike preferably fast without loosing too much grains from 1984 and met Andreas. To have 5000km (3000mls) in the legs at end of spring was always just enough. In spring 1999 Andreas and I rode home after training on a lane. He told me about his 40th birthday at the end of this year and that he looks for a rider to do something special. He asked me, if I would join in to ride from San Francisco to New York across the U.S.A. this summer! After 3 seconds of thinking about the chances for a great adventure I agreed. Phoning back the next days for conformation we made some plans to make it happen.
Tobi & Jochen became world champions, alleycat race world champions in Zürich at the bicycle messenger world championships 1999. They partied all night long and spent all their price money. At 6 am the next morning I woke them up to ride home with me by bike ore choose the others later by car. They managed surprisingly to find all the stuff they need and we started our ride home. 340km (212mls) back to Heidelberg, crossing the Black Forest with 2 steep uphills and 180km (112mls) headwinds from Freiburg to north. They were tired, they were not sober, they didn’t say much. It took 14 hours including some brakes to drink, eat & rest the seat bones. The next day I went to work as usual, but a little up set and tired. My uphill racing raking in Zürich was not as good as I hoped before. Tobi & Jochen couldn’t come to work for a week, they were both ill because of the big effort they pushed into their messenger road bikes. After Zürich Tobi became the first fixie rider in Heidelberg inspired by the swedish and north american competitors and Jochen joint partner at our bicycle messenger company Per Bike that transferred it’s businesses to VeloXpress some years later.
A doctor told me not to make breaks too long at the end of a long ride. The body won’t start the engine twice a day when he is already tired and will tend to build up pain. With this advice I started my ride to Zürich 340km (212mls) in the south. Easy going along the old B3 state road following the Rhine River Valley next to the Black Forest. Behind Freiburg two mountains to pass to the Switzerland border, after the first called Notschrei I had a nice lunch in Bärental. With that break I was lucky because I missed the rain later and it was early enough to fully refill for the second mountain. Behind the border the way to Zürich got harder to find by road bike and never trust a bike line you don’t know. Arriving in time after 12 hours my out fit turned some heads in the city, it was the Kelme tricot & bib shorts matching the green & blue of my classic Somec Antares road bike. The Camp of the bicycle messenger world championships was in an industrial area behind the main station. There I met my colleagues building up tents. They arrived earlier by car and already partied hard. The next day the races began with the uphill race I had hopes for at the second day. Two of us qualified for the final in the messenger race, it is hard because only with the shortest route through the manifest there is a chance to reach it and a mistake made by the brain into the wrong direction can hardly be saved by pure power.
For our planed Cross Continental Ride from San Francisco to New York that year we wanted to do a test ride. What will the next day feel like and would we move on. From Heidelberg to Straßbourg along the Rhine River and back through the Pfälzer Whine Yards was a route Andreas had in his book but still left out. We started early in a beautiful morning to find the bike way on the Rhine River Dam starting from Germersheim through the Old Rhine River Arms and nature reserves. Close to Straßbourg the Marne Chanel showed us the route back to the Pfälzer Whine Yards. We crossed national country borders two times and didn’t even notice without passing some empty seldom buildings and useless lists. Heading to Speyer for the Rhine River Bridge Andreas needed a long break because his feet were like burning in his shoes. After the restart my left knee produced pain and the right leg had to do the whole work for the last 100km (62mls). We arrived at our homes 14 hours after our start 400km (250mls) before with 13 hours of riding and were both tired.
But the next day counts. I visited a sports doctor to check my left knee going wrong with the other doing right. The sports doctor asked for the ride we did and got the answer “from Heidelberg to Straßbourg and back”. He advised to do shorter distances a day, 50km instead of 100. At the evening I called Andreas, he was fine with his feet. I decided to visit Dr. Hofman, a former National Team Track Racer to help me. Searching for a reason why one knee failed and the other worked we analyzed the ride and when it came to the break for Dr. Hofmann as a very experienced rider the reason was clear. He explained to me my body will not restart a second time a day when he thinks & hopes it is over now. The break Andreas needed was important but too late and we should have going ahead a lot faster without sitting down. The left knee just stayed in rest modus.
After finishing school my wish was to reach Florence in the Tuscany by bike. With the first Etappe I reached the south of the Black Forrest and found a nice bed & breakfast in a small village. Coffee at 7a.m. was no problem for the house lady. The next day an old salt station in Switzerland housed me and before the Gotthard Pass I got a second breakfast at a regional outdoor pool made by the pool attendant, curry wurst with fries at the veranda with a gorgeous view at the Vierwaldstätter Lake next to a big mountain wall. On the way to the Gotthard Pass a stop at a local bike shop could solve the problem I realized to face. It was early in the year, the pass street maybe closed and the gears were not proper at all for the Alpes. The shop owner helped me out with both immediately, he changed the cassette and called the pass station. I could go ahead to cross the Alpes. At the top the snow were milled off the road. Downhill strong head winds made me even more tired than the climb and stopped me at Hotel Cato Verde in Airolo. Further to Lago Maggiore again strong headwinds ruined my nerves and bad weather settled me in Bellinzona. Having lunch in the restaurant I asked the waiter about a dish called “vitello filet”. He showed me a size of a big dog with his hand over the ground and made a helpful sound like “muuäähh”. Ok, vitello filet. With training clothes only in my handlebar bag it felt not very comfortable in Italy but on the road it is always like on a fan mile there and my Koga Miyata Road Winner is in the colors green • white • red. Reaching Piacenza the next day I decided to return home again tomorrow. Bad weather lied down over the Apenin Mountains. Back in Bellinzona I tried to catch a train for the return but I couldn’t take my road bike with me. A good friend helped me out after some days of waiting for a chance to cross the Alpes again. He picked me up by car. That was really, really nice of him!
This was the pre-ride for the very first marathon century go off in german license free amateur road cycling sports. From Hockenheim (a small town with a famous Formula 1 circuit Hockenheimring) in the Kurpfalz via Kraichgau and Zabergäu to Hardheim (in “Badisch Sibiria”) and back a route through the Odenwald Forest. Our group was about 20 riders and with 14 years I was the youngest. The organizer was a friend of my older friend and trainings partner Dieter. We saw many small old villages at winding streets along creek runs. A big bridge at the Jagst river close to Jagsthausen (were the Knight Götz von Berlichingen to his Lord shouted “he can lick him in his a . . h . . .” yet some hundreds years before and Goethe wrote a play about him some hundred years later) gave an impressive add on to the lovely scenery with a lot of apple trees. The marathon century route was 270km (168mls) plus our ride to Hockenheim and back home that took about 40min. At the finish the others where noticeable more tired than me, I talked all the time it was possible in the traffic and there. The event I left out. Dieter was in holidays with his wife and the others didn’t really enjoy my pace.
The second century I rode started and ended in Dossenheim, Kurpfalz. We arrived from Wiesloch by bike and my friend Christian and me joined a group from our home town. There was a long moderate uphill from Hirschhorn over Rothenberg to Beerfelden where a view back shows a wide turn of the street through the beautiful Odenwald forest with some other groups. This view reached me deep and is still an inspiration for what I’m doing on a road bike // hunting impressions. Back home we had more than 2ookm (125mls). I was 13 years old and riding my brand new sky blue Koga Miyata Flyer. More than 30 years later, can you imagine that picture?