A stone's throw to Wittenberg (checkpoint 8) The alarm rang, and this time I pushed the snooze button. I got up at 6am - what a luxury. After all, I only had 170km to ride today to Berlin and all by 4pm at the latest. 10 hours. Plenty of time. Time for breakfast. I took... Continue Reading →
Running on empty The alarm rings at 4.30. I've slept pretty well, although that's not too surprising given the comfy bed. It's certainly better than a bench in a shower room. The first thing I notice when I get up is my back wheel, which is lying against the radiator under the window. It seems... Continue Reading →
The breakaway The alarm rang. Again. 4.30. This is getting tiring. The first challenge of the morning, get up off an inflatable mattress without being able to put my feet on the floor or making the damn thing squeak excessively. Back roll? Flip over and crawl? Easier said than done. The next 30 minutes are... Continue Reading →
Team time trial (checkpoint 4) The alarm rings at 3.40. I tried to count how many of my vertebrae have been displaced over the last few hours of sleep. Not too many on reflection, oddly enough I slept as well as I did on the first night, in a proper bed. Keen to keep our... Continue Reading →
The briefing Let's wind it back a little. Wednesday 10 August (day -1) at the Amstel House Hostel in central Berlin. After a tour of the city on my bike that day, I arrived at the hotel for the evening pre-race briefing. I was a bit early, but eventually a small queue formed behind some... Continue Reading →
I'm climbing up the steps onto the start ramp. The crowd surrounds me, the loudspeakers pumping out dance music. Thankfully I'm not alone. My team mates Thomas, Valentin and Attila are beside me, also mounting their bikes. A man stands behind me, takes my saddle, and offers to hold me up as I clip in. The announcer calls our names, but all I can think of is not falling off. I am now suspended in mid air, nervously watching the digital clock in front as it counts down the last 15 seconds.
BMB, three little letters. For the last few months however, to me they have meant both promise and dread in equal measure. For those of you dear readers who have been following my blog, this may ring a bell. Berlin - Munich - Berlin. What is it? 1500 kilometers of unassisted cycling starting from and... Continue Reading →
My plans for 2022 have taken a bit of a knock. Despite all my precautions and care, a few weeks ago I tested positive for COVID-19. I am triple vaccinated, and I suspect this is why I didn't suffer the full intensity of symptoms. Nevertheless, I was quarantined for two weeks and during this time... Continue Reading →
The keen eyed readers among you may find something strange in my recent posts. It started so ambitiously with my first post talking about my registration for Berlin-Munich. My first audax! My preparations started well, and this led to my second post talking about routing and strategy. Given that the audax was at the end... Continue Reading →
Why not running? Or swimming? Or croquet? I suppose anything really. I do have a day job and a fairly intense one at that - it's not quite your average 9 to 5. On top, I do try to have some form of a private life. This means my free time is fairly limited. Why do I spend this limited free time (a) cycling, and (b) writing a blog about cycling? To be honest, I really don't know. I suspect it's because it has changed my life.
It started off a surprisingly cold October morning. Things kicked off with a carbohydrate rich breakfast at my hotel in Mörbisch am See in Burgenland, Austria, where for some reason the breakfast tables were outside. After kitting up, I had a quick warm-up on the bike and then headed down to the start line, full... Continue Reading →
Thunder and lightning, very very frightening. That pretty much summarised the week running up to the promisingly named "Raiffeisen Power Radmarathon". Austria was catching the tail end of the storms which had only recently caused major flooding in Belgium and Germany. The weather forecast for the Saturday and Sunday was heavy rain with just a... Continue Reading →