third place for Tanja in her age class….
So our new members Tanja&Jens are starting with the first report for 2015…..
I just post for them in German (if anybody dont understand plz use an translator ;))
I just wanted to post to the website and give a quick update of what has been happening in Dortmund. Basically, I moved to Dortmund from Essen in early 2014 and immediately began a whirlwind of work, finishing a National Science Foundation grant with Kansas State University studying the effects of political fragmentation, land cover changes, and water quality and quantity across the USA in February; Spent several months preparing methods and work assignments for an intern from University of Toronto I hosted at TU Dortmund to collect data for my PhD project via the DAAD RISE scholarship; My wife and I had a baby, Jason Philip; and I prepared and delivered a curriculum for Landscape Ecology and Urban Planning as well as am advising a course on sound pollution in the landscape here at TU Dortmund. In between all of this, I am still charging ahead on my PhD project and hope to complete it by end of the summer semester 2015…because I really need to get a job and make some money now that the funding is dried up!
I did get the chance to do some great rides, because it is the only way to say sane with such a schedule and often occurred in the middle of the day on my city-bike in normal clothes when the weather gave a nice window, but the frequency simply wasn’t there to be in any kind of racing condition this season. My sports-tracker account I use for recording pleasure/training rides says I rode 790 kms in 2014, but I use that app infrequently, so I did maybe 3x that amount. I also don’t have a car and use bike as my only transport with my school and back trip right at 10 kms per day (50km per week), and I estimate I rode 70% of possible work weeks last year. So I would put a crude estimate on last year’s riding at 4100km. Not enough to race and be competitive, but enough to keep me skinny and fit enough to do the 3-5 hour rides when I had time and to keep the pilot light on so that I can get back to it in 2015. I have planned a 2 week base-training block in Greece this March, which by then I hope the weather here will turn and I can go back to real training rides and make a competitive showing at SIS. I am really hoping to travel down there this year with my wife and (will-be) 1-year old and have our first family camp out.
Here are a few photos of my favorite rides this past year..It really is great riding in Germany, as I’m sure all the folks living in Germany already know!
This years highlight for me and probably Michael was a trip across the Alps with our bike. Starting point was in Oberstdorf, Germany and destination Torbole, Italy on the shores of Lake Garda.
Stats for the tour are; 464,1 km and 10705 meters of climbing.
My bike for the adventure was a Niner One 9, equipped with a Rohloff Speed Hub, SLX brakes with 180mm rotors front and rear. Rock Shox Reba 100mm fork. I also had a Supernova Infinity Dyno hub up front powering a Supernova E-3 Tripple light. I had normal Alp-X gear except for my camping gear; Six Moons Designs one man tent, Big Agnes Pitch Pine 40 sleeping bag, Big Agnes Clear View pad. Vargo Ti stove and Alpkit Ti mug.
This was also a rigorous test for our new Pactimo kits, I had our new shorts, Jersey, Arm warmers, Vest and hat. Except for a little grease stain on the shorts, there are no visible signs of wear and tear!
Michael’s kit was almost the same except that he had his new Edel Bikes 29+ He received a lot of attention with that orange beauty! He was also running a Supernova Plug to keep all of his electronic gadgets charged.
We deviated from the original route due to bad weather, took paved alternatives instead of braving the muddy trails and dirt/gravel roads. In the end it was hard enough going up the steep asphalt passes of Italy.
we choose to do it bike packing style, meaning we had camping gear along to sleep out under the stars and cook our own meals. This turned out to be very challenging right off the bat. Shortly after starting in Oberstdorf we had to climb up and over the Schrofen Pass, it’s not long or terribly steep but really narrow and there are a couple spots where you have to carry your bike. When all of your gear is on the bike this can be really hard. At one point Michael’s bike almost went over the edge. I couldn’t do anything but watch. Luckily he was able to wrestle it back on the trail and we could continue.
Another hard section was the hike-a-bike above the Silbertal, according to the description in a Alpencross book it says it’s an hour of HAB. Haha!! It was more like two and a half! That’s when I realised that whats good for one route doesn’t always means it good for another. It’s great to have most or all of your gear on the bike but for serious HAB’s where you have to pick up the bike and carry it over big rocks or ledges it can make things rough.
On the third day we met a guy named Marcus from the Allgäu region of southern Germany. He was doing a trip alone. So our duo turned into a trio! Marcus really knows the Alps well and he told us about the different places and passes that we were riding through.
We only camped out one night due to the crappy weather. One place I would have loved to camp was in Val Mora, right on the border to Switzerland and Italy. Maybe next time.
We met some great people along the way like Marcus. Had great food, if only the weather would have cooperated.
Here are some pictures of our trip.
We’re back from SiS and I guess all of us agree we had a fantastic time again. In Weidenthal we feel kind of home and in the last years we have written quite a lot about SiS on this blog, so I won’t go into detail to much. Hanging out with the gang in the BWR-camp at the middle of the festival area was great fun and so was the riding.
Some of us joined the singlespeed race a couple of hours before the actual nightride/nightrace. This time, the SSP-fun took place on a really flowy singletrack course up in the woods where we had to ride laps and drin Pfälzer Schorle.
At the nightrace afterwards I felt we lived the right spirit, somewhere between fun and racing. Our crazy soloists Ausilia, Mandi, Kalle, René and André did impressive distances with up to 160Ks. Ausilia won her category and Mandi, Kalle and René podiumed (the latter being punished with non-alcoholic beer). The Fatbike-team with Michael, Phil, Rick and Sheldon seemed to have a lot of fun and “the slow bastards” consisting of Mat, Jelle, David and me fucked it up at three in the morning – which acutally was really funny and at least brought Mat and me some Malteni beer during the race. Rüdiger also seemed happy after his ride in a one-person-2er.
Guys, that was great – see you soon!
Wales, UK is normally wet, muddy and mountainous the 2014 Dyfi Enduro was all of those except it didn’t rain! The Howies Dyfi Endurois a 60km (including the ride out and back from the campsite) off road enduro that’s got around 1600m of climbing on fire road and some techy singletrack climbs, the descending is tough on slate, rocky outcrops and some very slippery muddy sections. There’s a bar serving free beer with a disco near the end too which always a welcome sight. It’s a non competitive (cough) event but the red mist normally takes over and we have to let rip once in a while. This year Mandi chose to ride her Independent Fabrication 29er and I thought my Salsa Mukluk FatBike would be perfect :-) Enjoy the video!