The First Sunday in Advent is racing day: Every year the Külsheim Cycling Club sets up its traditional Weißwurst Race, a Cross Country Race over the fields and forests around town and down a steep singletrack besides the Külsheim Castle. This year five Singlespeed riders, among them Wedigo and me, had made the way to the north-eastern corner of Baden-Württemberg. Dry 22 kilometers of grass and singletrack, clear pre-winter weather and a little surprise awaited us: What had been the steep downhill next to the castle in the last years was an uphill this year. For a singlespeeder it was a run-up of course.
As the SSP-race started together with the main race for the geared folks, I catched Wedigo’s backwheel, followed him for some hundred meters, overtook him and soon enough realized that this was too much. As he made the pace again, I had to let him go. Around 2 k later Lomo, another member of the SSP-family, overtook me. I was on third position now and felt really bad and demotivated. As I saw the guys on position four and five behind me I pretty much gave up and decided to ride my own pace to an unspectacular finish.
However, during my second lap I started to feel a little bit better. As I looked over my shoulder a few minutes into the lap I couldn’t see number four behind me, so I thought place three could be mine. Not bad at least. So I rode on into my last lap and after the first climb I suddenly spotted Lomo a couple of hundred meters in front. It was around 4k left. I rode, I rode, I rode as fast as I could and tried not to listen to my screaming legs and lungs. When we hit the town of Külsheim again I was able to catch him. Two by two we rolled down a short singletrack and then hit the final steep run-up back to start and finish.
On top of the castle wall Petra, Wedigo (who had finished as SSP-winner a couple of minutes earlier) and some other friends had gathered to scream us up the singletrack. As I saw them standing there and yelling I decided that this was the moment to really give all I have. I rode up a bit, jumped off the bike at around half of the climb and run as fast as I could. I heard the spectators screaming, I thought of place two and somehow I was able to switch my brain of. Must have been because of the lack of oxygen. With 30 seconds ahead I made place two and stood on a podium for the first time in my glorious racing career. After a Schnaps with the other Singlespeeders and two Weißbiers I was fully wasted. What a day! For sure I will remember this little race forever.
Here’s a pick of the Singlespeed-Gang. From left to right: Zahnfee, Lomo, me, Wedigo, Rolf
Congratulations to Wedigo who really dominated the day – and to Lomo from whom I could learn how to ride a constant pace (as if I would be able to adapt basic strategic skills). Thanks to all the nice people in Külsheim that make the race there not just a race but a cool day among friends as well. And thanks to Petra for driving home her drunken husband.