28 juni 2009

Spiezathlon 2009













For the last planned time of the season we went to a triathlon, this of olympic format in Spiez south of Bern, only few kilometers from Interlagen and the Italian border.
The scenery was idyllic with the mountains and the lake Thunersee. The race was saturday at 1400 hours and because Anja had caught the cold during the week, I was the only one representing Team Mil Sonrisas on this cloudy afternoon.













As always setting up the bike, preparing the transition zone was taken care of in careful manner, my goal was to try and improve the transition times from the Schloss-Triathlon two weeks ago. I did not imagine making the overall time faster, since we would be swimming for longer without the nice current of the Rhine to bring us closer to the finish line. Also I was hoping to improve the run a bit, but my total elapsed time would be similar to the 2 hours and 19 minuttes of Schloss-triathlon.













Getting the wetsuit on takes quite some time since you need to be very carefull not to tear it or leave marks in the flexible neoprene. Once it was on, it was time to head to the water start.













Ready, set ...













Off we go!













Coming out of the water in 22nd position and my first chance to make a quick transition. Anja was so kind to film the the whole thing, you ccan judge for yourself:

video

Back from 40 K of nice riding with 325 height meters and a fair pace.













Going out for the run inside top 30...













And crossing the finish line after 2 hours and 21 minutes of racing in position 53.













I am still very slow on the run, but did manage to cut off 30 seconds of my running time. The course was very similar to the one in Rheinfelden, at least when it comes to height meters, so it is possible to compare the time more or less with the last event.













All we had left of saturday was to enjoy dinner and a good nights sleep at Turtle-Inn.

Next morning the weather was much more tourist-friendly.













Anja went for an early morning run while I sat by the lake side reading my book.













We were driving the van home, but many of our Velo Club friends took the bike for the 150 kilometers back to Basel. Before that we however enjoyed a sunny morning breakfast by the lakeside.













Instead of riding, we went for a nice walk along the lake shore after breakfast.













Thunersee is very beautiful in the bright summer light.













This post is cut short unfortunately, we both need to get up early in the morning and sunday is running out, but we would like to thank Matthias for organizing everything and the rest of the VCA group for great company.
Have a nice monday!

24 juni 2009

Koldfront

Vejret udarter sig ikke fantastisk for tiden her nord for Alperne. Skyer og regn blander sig med solen og temperaturen er kun lige over 20 grader. Det er ikke ideelt når man i forvejen ikke føler sig særligt motiveret for at træne. Jeg ved ikke hvad der sker for tiden, men jeg føler mig ikke specielt oplagt og benene er konstant tunge. Fruen i huset er ikke ramt af samme energimæssige lavtryk som jeg, så mens hun tog to intensive timer i fitness, fandt jeg en cykel frem fra demo-krogen på arbejdet og kørte en tur med vores lille mtb-gruppe på Gempen. Det foregår heldigvis i et tempo hvor selv jeg kan være med men på mærkværdig vishurtigt nok til jeg ikke kunne tage et skarpt billede.

22 juni 2009

VCA Klubmesterskab

Velo Club Allschwil som vi begge er medlemmer af afholder klubmesterskab hen over året fordelt på seks forskellige afdelinger.
Anja er ikke så interesseret i at køre race, så søndag kørte jeg ud til tredje afdeling alene. Løbet var en par-enkeltstart på 40 km på en flad strækning nord for Basel. Indtil søndag var det gået lidt op og ned, første afdeling blev jeg nr. 2 og anden afdeling nummer 6. På en almindelig dag med friske ben er jeg realistisk den næstbedste i klubben, men der er et stykke op til Daniel, sidste års mester både i klubben og i hele Basel-området. Godt nok har han rundet 40, men han kan mere end at træde en bule i en blød hat, så allerede der er jeg distanceret.













Klubmesterskabet er en række små løb kørt i god ånd og med et træk på skulderen. I går blev Daniel, jeg selv og en tredje sorteret fra som "de hurtige" og så skulle resten af forsamlingen pares ved lodtrækning. Det gav en lidt skæv fordeling, men da jeg alligevel ikke kan deltage i alle afdelinger og således er afskrevet i det samlede resultat, så gjorde det ikke så meget.













Min team-mate Erik og jeg tilbagelagde de 40 km på lige over 59 minutter, inklusiv en lille omvej da vi tog et forkert højresving i en rundkørsel. Det lille sidespring kostede os godt nok 2. pladsen, men realistisk set havde vi alligevel ikke vundet, vi var desværre ikke homogene nok til at kunne udfordre det vindende par, der sluttede 40 sekunder foran os.

20 juni 2009

Working 9 to 5 ...

Eller nærmere 9 til 9 denne uge for Mortens vedkommende. Salgsmøder med præsentation af 2010-produkter og Eurobike er lige om døren, og så er der en masse, der skal færdiggøres og organiseres. Arbejdsugen i Schweiz er normeret til 42 timer, men denne uge har det været tættere på 52. Når vi så skal træne lidt oveni, så bliver bloggen ladt lidt i stikken. Jeg er ikke så god til at prioritere vores digitale dagbog når klokken nærmer sig 22 om aftenen og jeg ved vækkeuret ringer klokken 06. Computeren er tændt næsten hver dag, men mest for at Skype med familien, tjekke mail eller opdatere træningsdagbogen.













Igår eftermiddag fik vi endeligt lidt luft ved Rhinens bred efter en lang uge. Morten fik afløb for frustrationerne med en løbetur i skoven og så mødtes vi ellers med kolleger og venner til en øl (og sodavand for vores vedkommende).













Næste uge ser forhåbentligt mere rolig ud, selvom jeg har på fornemmelsen at Morten kommer sent hjem mindst et par dage. Så må vi bare sørge for at få det bedste ud af weekenden så længe den varer.

15 juni 2009

Schloss-Triathlon Rheinfelden 2

Having prepared everything on saturday evening, we were ready to give the olympic distance a go. Sunday morning we rolled the borrowed car into the parking lot of Beuggen Castle together with 500 others athletes looking forward to take part in the first ever Schloss-Triathlon of Rheinfelden.
The sun was shining after a week of rain and clouds, so we were excited to start at 9 for Anja and 30 minutes later for me. We were both in the unlicensed category, Anja competing against 27 other women and I was one amongst 179 male athletes.













We unfortunately do not have any pictures from the courses at this point, but hopefully we can find some from the race-organized photographers over the next days so we do not have to re-use images from Alicante as the above.

The swim was exciting, jumping in the water just next to a damm and a power plant, the current was quite strong at the beginning. I took at chance and took of in a high paste, trying to make sure I could swim out in the strong current, that was helping us on the way.
In the beginning of the swim I was amongst the first 20, but after having crossed the half-way mark I started feeling more relaxed and finding the rhythm, so I was able to pull away from the guys around me. Unfortunately I passed the entrance to the river bank on the wrong side, so instead of swimming directly to the shore, I had to swim the last 25-30 meters against the strong current, dropping me from a 3rd position to a 8th out of the water.

So much for swimming, the wet-suit came off and I went on the bike. My luck did unfortunately not change, so after having pulled back 4 positions on the bike getting me in top 5 again, I dropped the chain in one of the last corners of the 40 K and five guys that I had just pulled away from went around me on the inside. Damn!




















The transitions are definitely not my favorit part of the race. Although I had planned everything, I still spent 2 minutes changing from the bike to running, something my closest competitors get done in less than 45 seconds. My joints are still not used to the load of running, so on top of getting shoes on, I have special neoprene straps to support my knees.
In the end it does not matter much, because my running time is 49 minutes, 9 minutes slower than the guys on the podium, so instead of coming in in top-10 as the swimming and biking results in, I drop down 25 positions to cross the finish line as 35th. Not a bad result, but it's still frustrating to see one guy after the other pass you on the running.

The result overview showed just 16 minutes for the swim, 1 hour and 8 minutes for the biking and 49 minutes for the run. Satisfying results, that could have been even better with a bit of more luck and faster transitions. On the other hand, had I competed in the licensed category, my total time of 2 hours and 19 minutes would have brought me to an overall 33rd position, so it seems like the amateur category is not too slow after-all.













Anja did just as well, covering the entire race in 2 hours and 44 minutes, finishing 20th. She is still a bit more conservative and cautious with the power outlet and descents on the bike course after her crash in Alicante. The total ascent of the bike ride was 450 height meters, and more than 100 for the running, so it was definitely a course with some good climbs.













After such a race, the best thing besides water and fruit is a good sports-massage. luckily the organizers also have that covered, so we lined up for a 10 minut treat from the nice massage therapists.













In general it was a great race that we will look forward to doing again next year. Thanks to all the people who encouraged us along the course and thanks to the organizers for a great day!













Back home on the balcony we enjoyed the rest of the day with some energy-rich food and electrolyte drinks.
We hope pictures taken from the side of the roads will be available soon.

14 juni 2009

Schloss-Triathlon Rheinfelden 1

Der er foregået mange spændende sportsbegivenheder i weekenden: Le Mans, Nordic24, Dauphiné Libéré og for vores vedkommende Schloss-Triathlon. Lørdag aften tog vi til slottet i den lille by Rheinfelden for at sætte cykler op og gøre klar til løbet.













Sceneriet var ret unik med et slot ved Rhinens bred som start og mål for tri-stævnet.













I går aften fik vi afleveret cyklerne og tjekket forholdene, så vi havde mindre at skulle se til i morgen-mylderet.













Startporten var slået op og gjort klar og efter en omgang pasta og intro-møde var vi klar til at køre hjem igen og restiturere. Hvordan det gik må du vente til mandag aften med at finde ud af, for vi har ingen billeder fra løbet og klokken er ved at nærme sig midnat her i Basel.

12 juni 2009

Fra Miami til vores baghave













Basel Art er over os igen denne weekend. Byen er travlt beskæftiget med at huse folk fra hele verden, der er kommet for at beskæftige sig med kunst i alle afskygninger.













Onsdag var celebs'ne forbi med Brad Pitt og Karl Lagerfeld i spidsen, og igår blev der åbnet for menigmand. Gallerier, freelance kunstnere, opkøbere, multimediefolk, alt hvad der kan kravle og gå med et kunstnerisk islæt er i byen for at deltage i den anden del af årets vigtigste kunst-event. Første del foregår i Miami og med næsten Miami'ske 28-30 grader i weekenden er det godt der er så mange cool'e folk i byen til at holde gennemsnitstemperaturen nede.

11 juni 2009

På søndag går det løs igen ...

Schloss-triathlon i Rheinfelden, 15 km øst for vores bopæl. Svømningen foregår i Rhinen med strømmen ved at vi hopper i vandet på den Schweiziske side og kravler på land på den tyske side, hvor de 45 km cykling og 10 km løb skal foregår.













Terrænnet er kuperet, så vi har været ude og teste cyklernes setup her til aften. Det ville være lidt ærgeligt at løbe tør for gear på bakkerne, men heldigvis er procenterne ikke værre, end at de kan køres på 39/23 kombination.













Vejrudsigten lover 25-28 grader og sol i weekenden, så det tegner godt for en god oplevelse.

09 juni 2009

7...9...13

Selvom vi har faaet nyt modem ind ad brevspraekken, saa er der stadig knas med internetforbindelsen. Vi hopper af og paa, dog mest af, saa vi er noget digitalt utilgaengelige for tiden.
Hvad goer man saa naar der ikke er hul igennem? Well, Morten har altid et par cykelbilleder liggende, saa kan I faa dem at kigge paa saa laenge.













Efter naesten et aars lagringstid i en papkasse er hans blaa Chris King nav kommet i centrum af et par hjul til Taurinen. Han forsoegte ellers at saelge cyklen, men da interessen ikke var saa stor, saa blev forgaflen skiftet til en Fatty og hjulsaettet endeligt strikket sammen.













Forrige weekend fik turen saa debut paa vores Jura udflugt, og den karakteristiske lyd af CK-navene fik da ogsaa vendt en del hoveder. Hvis ikke man har hoert det foer, saa kan det vidst bedst beskrives med lyden af en arrig bi, frem for den klassiske metalliske klink-lyd et cykelnav ofte udsender.













Vi knokler videre med vores digitale inter-highway imorgen, indtil da er det godnat.

07 juni 2009

Lidt af ingenting ...

Der har vaeret tavst her paa vores digitale dagbog den seneste tid. Det er ikke i mangel af beskaeftigelse - tvaert imod, men manglende internetforbindelse og travlhed i hverdagen har taget luften af ballonnen denne uge.
Vi har stadig ikke faaet vores nye modem, men blogge kan man heldigvis fra altanen, naar bygningen overfor ikke har beskyttet deres traedloese netvaerk. Desvaerre er den eneste maskine der kan tilgaa netvaerket Mortens arbejds-Dell, saa ingen danske bogstaver i denne ombaering, apropos.













Hvad har vi saa lavet denne uge? Tjaa Morten har vaeret i Holland i nogle af dagene og jeg har tilbragt tid herhjemme alene med arbejde og traening. Om en uge staar menuen paa olympisk triathlon, saa selvom motivationen ikke rigtigt er til traening for tiden, skal der alligevel nogle kilometer under cyklen og loebeskoene.
Weekenden har vi heldigvis tilbragt sammen, igaar deltog Morten i en afdeling af cykelklubbens klubmesterskab og idag har vi cyklet 70 km sammen. Vejret er meget omskifteligt, fra vand til varme paa faa minutter.













Jeg afventer stadig resultatet af min fitnessinstruktoer-eksamen, der er nu gaaet to uger og vi venter i spaending, forhaabentligt klarer jeg cuttet paa 75% rigtige besvarelser for at blive certificeret instruktoer.













Det er ikke nogen let eksamen, isaer ikke naar det foregaar paa tysk med Schweizisk dialekt, men vi krydser hvad vi har for at der kommer et positivt resultat den kommende uge.













Ligeledes skal vi ogsaa paa posthuset efter modem imorgen, saa burde der vaere hul igennem til bloggen for resten af ugen.

01 juni 2009

Jura Bike Tour

Saturday
This weekend we joined the Bikecombo-group of Basel for a great mtb-trip to the Jura area. We got up early to meet at the Basel SBB train station at 08.15 saturday morning in time to buy tickets, get some cash and find the right platform. We were 14 riders in a pretty even male/female split. Some with a lot of experience and a few novices like us.













From one train station to another, we arrived in Argau, where we started our actual ride. Before setting out, our guide Francesco introduced the tour.













First part of the ride was on paved roads untill it started going up and into the forests.













After having climbed 500 meters we were on the first hill top of the day, still on relatively wide trails, but great weather and beautiful scenery.















Just before lunch we reached the 1000m altitude for the first time of the weekend after a tough climb which broke out both a sweat and a grin.













The reward however was as good as the weather, we had lunch at a classic Swiss "Alpe-Restaurant", even though the Alps were far away. Nothing beats a steak and fries after two hours in the saddle.













In the afternoon the trails narrowed leaving room for only one rider at a time. We did lift the bikes over a couple of fences and dragged them up a couple of rocky paths, but for most of the time we were on great trails through both forrest and field.













After every climb we gathered at the top for a quick break and a regroup so no-one were left behind and we had time to enjoy the great views of the Jura area.













At four in the afternoon we were close to our final destination of the day. Before going to the cabbin we stopped at the lookout just shy of the 1200 height meter mark.















A couple of times we went through grassing livestock and in this case horses, who like us were enjoying the sun on the top of the hills. Looks like Anja just made a new friend.













All along the trekking routes in Switzerland there is great signs and directions to follow. In this case a few hundred meters to the cabin and a little farther to the Passwang summit in 1200 meters height above sea level.













Five o'clock and we were arriving the cabbin where we would spend the night. A good 40 k and more than 1500 height meters were covered throughout the day.













The mandatory couple-shot. Tired and happy.













Sleeping quarters for the two-legged...













... And for the two-wheeled.













Sunday
Getting up at 7 meant plenty of time for a great day of riding.













Starting out with sweet singletrails alongside the ridge of the hill-top.















The day also offering plenty of steep climbing.













And downhills.













We also literally bumped into another animal friend.













Sunday afternoon we broke away from the pack to go back to Basel. We unfortunately ad to end the trip after two days because of work, so we went on the paved road down to Moutier to take the train to Basel.













Coming home there was just a little bit of cleaning to do. Not the most exciting thing in the world, but guess it has to be done ;-)













Spotless!













Carbon fiber hardtails equipped for XC-racing might not be the ideal bikes for this kind of touring, but when it comes to carrying the bikes over electric fences and up steep climbs, nothing beats a 8 kg race-machine. We probably opt for full-suspension bikes next time, but doing it on hardtails is definately possible.
Thanks to the Bikecombo group for a great trip, thanks to Francesco for organizing everything. See you soon on the Gempen.