Author Archives: layerlogic

About layerlogic

Geographer and Landscape Architect working in water/wastewater and natural resources planning fields. Active gigging and recording musician. Active cyclist and mountain bike racer. Multilingual Eng-Span-German.

2015 Midseason

Just wanted to drop in and share some rides and race results from this season so far.

In March-April I returned to the States for 5 weeks where I took a needed break from Europe and rode like crazy, an estimated 60-70 hours in 5 weeks, which set me up with some fitness In May, which I parlayed into a month of climbing mtb rides around Dortmund alone or with my Spanish riding partner Alfredo and a handfull of subsequent 100+km rides by June, one down the Rhine after buying another used mtb in Andernach and riding it back as far as I could.  These rides were looking good, so I decided to race.



Since I am technically a college student I was able to compete as a collegiate athlete again for the first time this year since 2000, in the Deutsche Hochschulemeisterschaften.  The DHM was at Haltern-am-see, a ~150m high rocky uplift in the lippe/emsher geologic complex NRW covered in tall dark forest, with a fat boy time trial on Saturday and a cross country on Sunday.  We did it as a family vacation weekend and took the train out to Haltern Saturday and I pulled Jason in the trailor and Annika rode along side to Flaesheim (a dorf) where we spent the race weekend at an old Inn just 500m from the race start.  Long story short, I had terrible flat luck all weekend, but stuck it out and took home a result.  I double flatted before the start and at the line of the time trial but ultimately raced on a borrowed wheel and had a mediocre TT but which placed me in the top 40 of the 200+ field start the next day.  In the CC, I got a rock stuck in my shoe at the start and had to get off and pry it out, loosing lots of that place advantage, then flatted on the first lap at the top of the big climb, Fuck!  But I fixed my third flat for the weekend and fought back over the remaining 80 minutes and ended as the top TU Dortmund finisher and 10th overall in Germany in the student category, with 1000vm’s over 21km’s.  As is often the case, the top student winners were also factory pros who won our race (lapped me – reality check), and then also won the pro race later in the day.  Oh to be 20 again.  Its was also Jason’s first race and he was so excited from Saturday’s events that he didn’t sleep on Sat night, so Sunday I was tired…as were a few other racers who stayed in the same Inn, oops!  The organizers also miscategorized my number and placed me in Senor 1 in Fun results, not Collegiate, so Im not on the collegiate finishers list but if you look at Senior 1 I am listed as TU Dortmund and a comparison of my time to the collegiates shows I got 10th.




After the DHM I wet to Greece for 2 weeks and did a couple notable rides, one with over 2000vm’s over 4 hours on a mountain bike…the so called “Monopigado” ride.  The first photo is dropping into the valley before the big climb up to Monopigiado on the left showing the undulating Greek terrain it takes to get there, then the second one from above Monopigado looking across the other side to Mt. Chortiatis, a 1200 m non-active volcano I climbed on a trip in early 2014.



Upon return to Germany I did a tour around the Ijsselmeer in the Netherlands over 2 days with a buddy of mine.  What a blast, with the best being in Edam sitting on the canal eating a cheese sandwich and drinking an IPA…like we stepped back 700 years.  Here is an image from about half way across the 20km causeway riding out of a thunderstorm which came across the Ijsselmeer and just knicked us.



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2014 Recap

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!

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Berlin Velothon

On June 9th I finally put my 2000+km’s training to the test at the 120km Berlin Velothon.  The Velothon is a beloved road biking event in Berlin attracting over 2000 competitors for a Berlin-Brandenburg Rundfhart.  The Jedermann event occurs at 9:30 in the morning and is followed by a pro race in the afternoon, from which I snagged a few nice bottles after riders jettisoned them on the last lap.

This year had great weather and a huge crowd in the city and in every Dorf we passed, along with motorcycles, helicopters, the odd notartzwagon, cobblestones, lake views, forests, fields, tree allez avenues, fast pavement, autobahn, and above all a whole heck of a lot of people who love to ride road bikes.  I even saw some blood on the road…  This year I did the 120km’s in 2:52:58 placing 988th (out of at least 2200 riders based on my start number) and a split time of 41.6km/h, with the Jedermann winner finishing in 2:38.  Ten minutes faster than my time last year and beating my goal of under 3 hours.  I had a blast, working with a group of about 10 guys including a tandem team for much of the race.  There are so many competitors that the race is staged from starting block A through E and I started in C and ended solidly in block B finishing time, moving up through the field until the last 30kms where I got caught in a failed bridge attempt with 2 lone riders between groups on a 15km windy autobhan stretch of the course.  After that I was gassed and just settled into the next grupetto that caught us after the autobahn and then rode the wave in.  2:33 of the 2:52 was in my HR zone 4 or 5, so pretty much a suffer-fest.  I was VERY relieved to cross the finish line in one piece and see my sub 3 hour time.

I know its not mountain biking, but hey, the wheels are still big (technically) and the distance is big-ish, so it fits the theme.  I look forward to rolling this fitness into some nice training over the next two months in Berlin and Dortmund in prep for SiS.  Here are two pics from the event.


Here I am on the left of the frame about 5kms into the start, moving up the field on the outside


Here you can see my jersey as I came by Annika at 45km’s/h…Big Wheel!


Start of the Jedermann courtesey of Berlin Velothon 2013 Website..I’m waaaaaaay back there!

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Be Merry and Ride, Like the Teutonic Knights Did

Be Merry and Ride, Like the Teutonic Knights Did

This year has been good and I logged many of the rides here (but not all):

More to come next week after the Berlin Velothon

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by | 5.06.2013 · 22:06

Early Season in Berlin

Early Season in Berlin

And then here I am back to riding with Cafe Egal in Berlin. Chris, here in the front, has a sweet little cafe/bike shop with a name that roughly translates into Cafe “Who Gives a Shit.” Anyways, the Sunday group rides have started back up again now that I am back after Greek training camp, which will lead up to racing the Berlin Velothon in June with Cafe Egal.


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by | 19.03.2013 · 0:38

2013 Training Camp Continued

2013 Training Camp Continued

And here is the view from 1100 meters over Thessaloniki after a 2.5 hour gnarly off road climb. Macadonia is like a poor man’s Catalunya!


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by | 19.03.2013 · 0:29

2013 Training Camp Continued

2013 Training Camp Continued

Just a quick pic in my quickly fading 2012 BWRE Gear with the Macadonian mountains (playground?) in the background. Looking forward to some new gear this year!

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by | 19.03.2013 · 0:25