Immer in den Kühlschrank Trainieren

by NAA

The temperature read -2 C when Thomas and I headed out for our ride today. Minus two may sound cold, but with sun shining across blue skies, we didn’t give the temperature a second thought.

Thomas is a great training partner. First of all, he’s strong, and it’s important to train with people who can really put the hurt on you. Second, he is a policeman. When we ride two abreast and I ask if this is okay, he says, “I am the policeman around here.” And, when drivers honk and gesture rudely at us, he says, “Now I have his license plate number.” I love this! Lastly, he knows all of the good training routes in Styria, which is very helpful, because most of the time I have no idea where we are. Usually I navigate well, but when so many towns share the same name (e.g. Neudorf, Neudorf, Neudorf – yes, three of them – and Neudorf ob. Wildon; or Thal, Thal-Eben, Thal-Eck, Thal-Unterbichl, Thal-Oberbichl, Thal-Winkel, Thal-Kirchberg-Linak, and Thal-Waldsdorf-Schuesselhof), I get a little confused.

For example, last week we did a long ride in heavy fog, with visibility at about 100 meters. There would be no way to use landmarks (or signs for that matter) to navigate the route, so I was glad Thomas knew where to go. I told him so, and he said, “So this would be a perfect time to attack you!” Which was true, and doubly so because he’d only need to get 100 meters up the road to be out of sight.

The fog made for a fun ride, because I could only anticipate the next 100 meters of terrain. Climbing? No, just kidding – it’s a 2k descent. Descent? Wrong again! 8% climb! The fog also combined with the cold to coat every branch in a sheath of delicate ice crystals, which created a beautiful winter wonderland effect. In fact, the fog was heavy enough that little droplets accumulated on my eyelashes and froze in a similar fashion, coating my lashes in ice crystals, which stuck together every time I blinked.

Today, however, we had sunny skies and clear panoramas of the snowy mountains in all directions, which all in all made for a fantastic day on the bike, freezing or not.