[06.05.2013 22:09:20] Jelle @ SinglespeedNL: what uebersetzung will you use?
[06.05.2013 22:09:30] Christian Förster: 32×18
[06.05.2013 22:09:34] Jelle @ SinglespeedNL: pffff
[06.05.2013 22:09:40] Jelle @ SinglespeedNL: ok, then mine will do 🙂
[06.05.2013 22:09:49] Christian Förster: What do you take?
[06.05.2013 22:09:54] Jelle @ SinglespeedNL: 32×21 on krampus
Jelle was so damn right.
Finally the Gäsbock – after it somehow never worked out for me I miraculously had both time and a spot this year. Epic trails, little culinary treasures at the aid stations and quite a unique atmosphere – that’s what Gäsbock stands for. Besides, it was really time to go back to one of my favourite riding areas and do some Pfalz trails again.
It was really cool that BWR was represented quite strong: Rüdiger and Mathias, our two locals, came over – and I was especially happy about the fact that Jelle came over from Holland, who is not exactly a local but got Petra’s spot. No race time this year for the mum to be. We packed the camping car on Friday and made the well-known drive up to Lambrecht, just a few villages before Weidenthal, Germany’s legendary Singlespeed Hall of Fame. It was a cozy evening, cooking and eating tons of pasta and chilling in the camping car, before things got busy on the next morning. While Petra helped selling Gäsbock-jerseys I met Jelle, Rüdiger and Mathias for a quick BWR-photo before the neutralized start of the field which led the 555 starters up to the village’s church where the proper race start was to take place.
With a little trick we worked ourselves through the whole field (right around a large building instead of left) to celebrate a Gäsbock-tradition: The singlespeeder’s LeMans-start in the first row. 5-4-3-2-1-0 and off we went. We ran to our bikes, thereby almost produced the first crash, and sprinted up the hill through the valley.
Strange feeling to suddenly ride in front of more than 500 people – at least we made it around one k until we entered the forest and started the first climb on gravel. And now it suddenly dawned to me that Jelle might have been right in choosing his gearing. Together with him and Reiner, another member of the SSP-family, I worked myself up the hill and didn’t feel too well. I knew that pace was much too fast for a day with 74 km and 1.900 metres of climbing, so I let the two head off. The first great but rough downhill trail led us to aid one: An old local station where a historic steam train just had rolled in to greet the riders, following the day’s motto: Gäsbock und die Wilde 13 – who’s into German kid’s book will know the story only too well. And of course it was not just bananas and power bars: They served us delicious Dampfnudeln with Vanilla sauce. First some really hard singletracks and then a steam train and Dampfnudeln? Welcome to Gäsbock.
After a Dampfnudel I went off and started my way back into the forest. I didn’t count all those singletracks, but my hands and wrists knew that it was just the right amount! In a moment where I didn’t think about the pain in my hands, I discovered that I was really hungry. Luckily they had prepared the Palatine speciality Saumagen at aid station two. After two of them the hunger was gone. I grabbed my bike and rode the remaining k to the course switch between middle and long distance. And who was there to wait for me? The Petra-wife. And even more: the volunteer (who had dressed up as Poseidon – “Die Wilde 13” again), had just opened a fresh Tannenzäpfle-beer. I thought that might be a perfect combination with Saumagen and talked him into sharing it with me. Thanks Wolfgang!
From that point onwards I simply felt great. The legs were spinning and the lungs worked just as I had whished for, it was a dream. Uphill I was riding like the steam train accompanying the race down in the valley and downhill I was flying like a young god. The course took us to aid three. Being right in the flow I quickly felt a water bottle and raced onwards.
After four hours and something we came to the last, never-ending climb. Now it was pay-day for little Christian with his 32×18-bike. The steam train had run out of power and the young god had turned into a devil, sitting in my neck and laughing at me. Our buddy Dirk passed me and said: “Come on, only 4 k, and then you can have a beer!” Well it was a bit more than 4 k and I had a power gel before the beer, but finally even I arrived at the little beer garden which had been set up on the top of the last climb. We had climbed 1.900 metres now and there we got the reward: Kölsch-beer and Curry-Wurst!
But at some point it was time to leave again and say hello to the last singletrack downhill of the day: Rocks, roots, steps, many 180-degree-turns, then there was the finish. I was tired, but I have to admit, I was even sad that this great marathon was over when I reached the finish after 5.5 hours. Jelle and Reiner where already there and had already showered … of course.
That was the Gäsbock. My race season was short and intensive, but due to the wonderful changes upcoming in our little family in just a couple of weeks, I decided to concentrate on even better things for a couple of month and go out for some uncomplicated fun rides only. Ride on guys, stay strong, have some fun and a beer,