31 May, 2006

no race

due to the weather earlier today, and that two of the four who were going to race are sick. and those two happen to be the ones with cars. i did not go to the race today.
so after class which was nothing interesting at all thus a waste of space on the internet to write about was over. i had an email frenzy with the other guy that was going to race. we decided to go for a nice hardish ride starting at 5.
so i suited up in lots of clothes again, but no hat! and met him at the appointed place. this was half hour into my ride, and i was warm so i even took off my shoe covers. we continued to the local mountain and did once hard. i felt like crap. i ate to much after lunch. didnt drink enough water. throat was blocking air intake and making legs tired. and all that kind of fun stuff. so i guess it was good i did not race. but anyway. he was not feeling great either so we did it one more time med easy except the very top. then down the other side of the hill. back towards konstanz doing short sprints up the small hills we came across. those did not make me feel quite so crappy. but my legs were tired. in one of the bigger towns along the way we came across one of his friends. they talked for a bit and i was noticing issues on my bike. the guy worked in the bike shop in town and noticed what i was doing and came and looked. my bottom bracket is really quite loose and wiggly, and then i would guess the mystery sound of something seemingly skipping is from this, but it might not be. but i am going to his shop to get it looked at tomorrow. hopefully they can fix it. if not i need to take a train to fix it. i cant race on it cause it make a bad sound/feel when i accel hard. and that is what a race is. after this we continued on aways and after 3 hours and 40 minutes of biking i was home.
and that was pretty much my day.

30 May, 2006

hats, cramps, and shoe covers

unlike those of you at home (at least in the cities) i have not been broiled by the sun for the past few days, but have enjoyed on occasion hail and being able to see my breath.
so the above things were all included on my bike today, but the only thing that was plural were shoe covers. it just did not sound right for the other two to be singular.
i decided to go for my bike this morning since it was mostly dry and was supposed to rain this afternoon. with the high temp today of 10. it did not really matter when i went. id be cold the whole day. so i dressed up in basically my winter bike clothes i brought here and was off. i judged right and my body was the perfect temp. the roads were mostly dry and the sun even started coming out. the first 3 or four minutes were cramp free, then from then to about 15 minutes a cramp in my right quad was prominent. i have been consuming electrolytes so that rules out that for the reason. dads theory of lactic acid build up seems to be the only one left. that could very well be the reason today, for sunday my legs cramped up when the guy in front of me crashed at the finish and i unclipped and stopped to avoid him. then almost no cool down, and nothing yesterday...
the cramp was not as bad as usual though and i easily rode through it. about 20 mintues into the ride it had faded quite a bit, not totally, in fact i can tense my leg now and still feel it.
anyhow, i did my sprints to prepare for tomorrows race, those felt pretty good. after i got to the high point of my ride i did a 180 and came back a little ways before continuing the usual loop. i heard a loud crunch and saw something fly off into the grass by the bike trail. i still had air in the tires and all so i thought nothing of it. got home 40 mintues later, and found out what it was...

mmmmm...snail guts. how they got to here i dont know, but they sure were there.

after a shower and stretching it was off to soc. good discussion about how internet can be both social and anti-social. how it can cause depersonalization, lead people to express or surpress their opinion more, and other things along those lines. pretty interesting.
then came home. it started to rain, or hail, or both. i was happy i biked earlier. somehow blew 4 hours doing a whole lot of nothing. then went to talk to the witch hunting prof. about an alternative thing to do. i explained to him that i was having trouble understanding thus could not write and present a protokoll which is kinda like a summary of the last class. i asked if i could do something in english, he said then what is the point of studying in germany (good observation) and i am going to do an essay on a book. but thats a good prof. telling me i should write in german cause thats what i am here for. i think most would just go yeah ok. and id do it in english.
and thats my day in fairly good detail

29 May, 2006

simple pleasures

compared to yesterday it was a late morning, but normally it is early. 7:30 the day began. had my usual ceral and 3 kiwis. they were good. off into the cold air and rain to grammar to be talked at by more student teachers. once that was over i tried to read a bit of witch hunting, but it was in the old fashioned german, making it impossible for me to understand. i gave up soon after and found 2 witch hunting books in english. tomorrow i am going to talk to the prof. to see if i can use those instead.
back through the even colder rain to the dorm where i contimplated (sp) going biking. my legs feel great and all, but my throat was a little soar. so i decided to not go get hypothermia and took a day off.
i then went to the grocery store, got food which i think i will easily be able to last the week on. then came home. read a bit of a book.
it was then dinner time, i was having trouble deciding between tacos (hardshell) and frech fries with pork. in the end i went with tacos and my oh my. what a good choice. my first hard shell tacos in over 3 months. how i have missed them. i also opened the bag of tostidos dad brough. again been 3 months. good stuff...i also made up some spanish rice to see what would happen, and it turned out really good. only needed a bit of corn and taco sauce to do the trick.

mom sent me this link the other day. i tested it on some people here and a few of them cant hear it. i can turn the volume down pretty low and still hear it. others cant when i do so. that makes me happy.
now it is off to battle on the chess board.
tomorrow forcast is for snow above 1000 meters. luckily im under. but it is still going to be cold.

a few things about yesterday. i saw the results, i was 39th out of at least 99. so middle. but nothing special.
also the other day i asked one guy if he was going to go watch the tour. he said what a good idea, so now i think there a few of us going to Straßbourg for the start. then the next day is a Team Time Trial somewhere up there for us. we are staying over somewhere and then doing that. should be a fun weekend!

28 May, 2006

this one was a bit faster.

waking up at 4 A.M. was not as bad as i thought it would be. as the sun was starting to bring light to the sky i finished up my oatmeal and went outside into the surprsingly warm dawn, i mounted the bike for the ride through the early morning konstanz. it was not deserted like i thought. music was still loudly playing as i left my dorm, the hard-core partiers still going strong. the birds unlike partiers were just starting their day, every tree seemed to contain a bird waking up happily from slumber. as i rode briskly by the "dance palace" (which as the name suggests is a dance hall) there were people staggering out the door and along the sidewalk. soon i was smashed in the middle of the back seat of the team car whizzing through the new rain down the autobahn. two and a half hours later we all unfolded and picked up our race numbers. quickly pinned them to the jerseys and off to the start. 5 minutes after the U-19 boys went off. the announcer said "los" and with cold engines my first road race in europe had begun. with wet roads and a short tricky desecent it was pretty catious throughout the peleton. around a few corners, though a road not wide enough for 3 bikers side by side and out onto the open road. a full road totally free of cars, a road where bikers ruled. the pace had picked up now, nearly at 50 km/h flying toward a totally unknown course. an easy left and it was up a few kilometers of easy hill. a corner and a steep short incline greeted us next, a few riders on the inside slipped their tires on the painted road and caused a backup, luckily i was on the outside. the top came soon and the road leveled off. now came a long decent with the speed not going below 65 for a while. then a traffic circle came up and the peleton split like water around a rock, then quickly became one again. two more corners and the steep 400 meter starting hill was attacked by all. 12.4 km were done. 6 more times. this lap the trafic cirlce had some fun and a crash developed to the right of me. and then it was on to lap 3 then 4. the pace was starting to take its toll on some, on the starting hill some gaps opened up and at a bunch of small groups formed. i was stuck in the third on the downhill, the small road and then on the open road i had some energy, the guys up front pulling my group were tiring. i put the pedal to the metal and the power and speed the i jumped forward with surprised me. in 20 seconds i was in the second group. a corner and i was in the first group. which had now slowed as the riders up front were looking for their teammates. the peleton was big again. up the hill flowing around the round-about on the now dry roads. an uneventful 6th lap. the final lap the pace picked up and as i sat in the front 1/4 of the group down the fast hill the roar of wind and bikes was nearly defening. one more time around the round-about. and the sprinting for the finish began. being in the middle of the group i could not make any move, not that i had enough strenght left to do anything that would result in anything spectacular so i sat. and sprinted up the last hill like everyone around me. i came across in the now smaller first group in the 30s. after two hours and 18 minutes and 87 km, the guy in front of me collapsed after the line and went down, as did some others. some quick manuvering and i was safe. a quick cool down and it was off to the showers where it looked like a bunch of guys were getting into the shower with clothes on. and back into the car. 2 and a half hours later back at home. now with tired legs i am trying to motivate myself to go make some food.

5 bikes and cookies...

27 May, 2006

early bed

last night there must have been a big party somewhere, not only cause i could hear it through ear plugs when trying to fall asleep, but also because there were only a few chairs left in the kitchen this morning. people got tired of standing i guess!
i tried out my oatmeal this morning. it worked out pretty well. the only problem was that i had to use the biggest pot i know of here. all the small pots were missing. i dont know if that was related to the party or what, and now most of them are back. hmmm...
after my oatmeal i went out for my bike. i wanted to get it done before the rain that looked like it was coming. so just over and hour. with some sprints. everything feels pretty good. so hopefully tomorrow i will feel even better.
next to the uni to read my sociology, partly cause i had nothing better to do. and then also to get it out of the way. we are finally getting into the actual use of the internet in terms of sociology so it was pretty interesting.
came home got the bike all ready. saw some big, cool clouds.

the biggest i saw, unfoutunatley it grew to fast an i did not get my camera out in time to get it at its coolest point.

next in line
then made my usually pre race meal of speghetti and green beans (not mixed, seperated).
and pretty soon it is time for bed here. i hope to be asleep by at least 9:30. 4 is going to come early!

26 May, 2006

searching for the right thing

the other day i wanted to put new cleats on my bike shoes. my old ones were really worn down, thus loose in the pedals. for some reason i had to twist my left foot really far to get it out. not fun. i had brought some new cleats along figuring i would need them. when i took them out of the bag i had them in i discovered i was missing 2 screws and a washer. and the washers from the old cleats were to big for the new ones.
so today my plan was to get my shoes updated and tighten a washer on my back wheel. also i wanted to get another part checked out too. so first i went to the second nearest bike shop cause i read they are a trek dealer. thus if needed to be fixed i could figure out someway to get it for free. i got there and there were a few other people in the shop. who i assume the owner is was helping another so i waited, then he finished and asked what i needed. i asked if he was a trek dealer. he said it did not matter and what the problem was (which actually it does matter), i told him. he said something i did not understand. the guy next to him said something too. then he said to the other guy. he does not understand, then turned away from me. just like that. it was my first real experience with what could be considered some kinda of racism i guess. i have heard some germans strongly dislike outsiders, i am one. and i would bet that this guy is one of those who dislikes us...
so after about 20 seconds i realized what had happened and promptly left. and i am planning on not returning.
i then went to the bike shop which i consider to be the best in this town. tightened my back wheel up. and asked if they had any washers/screws for my shoes. they did not have them individually, only with cleats. so i came home and switched bikes (so i could go to the grocery store).
after changing bikes i went to the nearest bike store, which i thought would for sure have some washers near what i needed because it is kinda like a hardwear store. they didnt. i went to the next shop. no luck. then went way out to the industrial zone to a shop i did not know about, no luck. then back downtown to a shop about a block from where i started. they had what i needed. so my 6th shop of the day ended my search.
on the way home i stopped at the grocery to get some meat and milk. saw one of many people like the lady below..

both the nearest carts are hers...
changed my pedals. went for an easy bike. nearly was blown over by the wind multiple times. an hour and a half later i was back here.
i then found out we are leaving at 5 a.m. sunday morning. the race is at 8 30 or something crazy like that. my usual 2 hours of prep time will not be available. thus no french toast. also that is a bit close to race time in order to properly digest it all. i decided i would find some oatmeal. so it was back to the grocery store. i was armed with the translate word this time and found it right away. 2 kinds. i was not sure which i should get so i got both. no biggy. 24 cents for one and 29 for the other. both 500 gram packs. i found out one is ground the other is not. i want to make sure i feel ok after eating it so thats why i got it today.
got home. made chicken, green beans, and mashed potatoes. was quite good. then played chess. lost the first two games on dumb mistakes and won the third on a good move.
now it is bed time.

25 May, 2006

Tübingen (updated)

i woke up this morning with kinda tired legs. that is never a good thing on a race day...but i did not let it deter me and went and made my french toast. got all my stuff ready. and was off to catch my ride to the race.
Tübingen is about an hour or so away i think, so not to bad at all. i was hoping the weather would be different there then here (which is cold and windy) but it was the same, actually now that i think about it, even windier. luckily the race today was another criterium (laps with sprints basically) so it was sheltered by buildings and such for a little bit.
during the warm up we (the other two konstanz guys and i) took a wrong turn and ended up biking on the autobahn for a bit. so that was interesting. the we were finally able to ride the course, and did so. it had 6 corners. an uphill! which was nothing big, maybe 300 meters long at 6%, but it was the first hill i have raced on here. haha. the rest of the corse was flat. oh the hill was into the wind as well. so that made it a bit harder. the start/finish was in the middle of the hill.
soon the 71 riders were off. i was having a lot of trouble the first 12 or so (out of 30, 45 km race. do the math) laps, just working my butt off to hang on and that kinda thing. it seems to be a recent theme. at one point when i was in the middle of the group near the start going around a corner my front wheel hit a little rock and i nearly went down taking some others with me. but i managed to pull in together and stay up thankfully. eventually i got my legs under me and decided to see what i could do. i attacked a little and got a little bit away, but no attacks at all were getting away today. so i lasted about 3/4 of a lap and was back in the pack. a little bit later one of the other konstanz guys got in a small breakaway and i did a bit of blocking. but others got fed up with that and pulled them back. which caused a counter attack. which i pulled back without feeling to tired after. by this time the race had 3 or so laps to go so i moved back a bit and rested up. on the last lap with about 3/4 to go i attacked and got a little gap. i just have to try every race! cant let the sprinters just have it. and i made it quite a ways i got caught probably 30 meters from the finish and crossed the line in 6th i think. unfourtunatley since it was a crit. i did not get 6th place. i did not get enough points. sad. oh well.
after the race i froze. then we took off back to konstanz. now i am off for a beer with the other bikers. hopefully i can find the place.

i rode in the team car today.

i forgot about a few things i was going to say.
first, one the second lap some guy blew a tire or broke a rim which in turn blew the tire. at home both times a tired has blown near me massive crashes have resulted. this time not a single person went down. not even the guy with the tire. this proves to me that races here are not only faster and harder. but also much safer.
the other thing was that my max HR was only up to 195 today. i am getting in better shape!
also the cookies dad made yesterday, well i brought a bunch along. and they were a huge, i mean huge hit. both the other guys asked for the reciepe and were still talking about them tonight! haha

24 May, 2006


just a quickie on dads departure. i lost track of the time and just realized its late and i race tomorrow! (another crit)
anyways. dad migrated to frankfurt today because of an early flight tomorrow. it was nice having him here to do some cooking and just to take up my time. today he was bored while i was at class so he made cookies. i ate to many and felt sick. legs got really tired to. made me worry about tomorrow. but after my stomach cleared up i felt much better. i decided to go only an hour with sprints today instead of the usual 90 minutes. i will see tomorrow how i feel and if it helps or not.
now it is bed time.

auf wiedersehen!

23 May, 2006

dad went biking.

yup thats right. without my encouragement either. he decided he wanted to, so that is what we did.
but first i got my race license this morning. very nice. credit card size with my picture and all on it. kinda cool. then i went to soc. and there was lots of talk about blogs today, so i was finally able to contribute a little bit. the prof. even liked what i had to say. then after that i got back and dad wanted to go to Reichnau (an island about 10km away) i said why go there when we could go to switzerland and have a good view of the lake and so he could see my biking valley. so i won and off we went. he got tired going up. which i guess is understandable and then had to go slow on the downhills as to not hurt himself by crashing on my crappy bike. but no worries he made it...it was in the end a perfect workout for me too. really really easy (avg. HR of 89) and close to two hours long. resting up for the race on thursday! wahoo.
now he is tired and wants to go to bed.
on the way home from the bike we stopped at the best buy type store and i got a case for the ipod so i wont crush it again.
this evening we went into town. got him some chocolate to bring home, went out to eat. we had fish and chips and beer and an irish pub. not bad at all. then ice cream at the little shop i go to.

one for mom


22 May, 2006

a windy weekend at the Bühlers

the title just about says it all. this weekend was windy. definatley the strongest wind i have ever experienced while in europe. and for 3 days! even for most of today, so i guess that is 4 days of wind.
anyways. dad and i went up to the Bühlers this weekend. he got some nice walking in, i got some hard biking in. and we both got good food in, although not nearly as much as usual which was a good thing. i dont think i gained weight going there this time! on saturday i managed to convince dad to get me some new tires, because my old ones were not round any longer. they were not fun to ride on. i was very close to getting pink ones, but he was buying and he liked the red... saturday night we went to Da Vinci code. i got some good popcorn so i was very pleased. the movie was pretty good, from what i understood. i want to see it in english now. as well as read the book (no i have not read it yet). sunday the clouds finally broke and the sun came out again. when we got back to konstanz the air was very clear and the alps very very visable. so that was cool.

one of my favorite mtns. with one of the harbors.

a view from the uni with my "dorm" out front

approaching rain

swiss traffic

18 May, 2006

people from duluth bring rain.

ive thought about it, thats the only explaination. whenever someone from home is here it rains. hopefully it wont last long. but today it rained all day. not just sprinkling either. a full fledged rainy day.
so after class. i took dad to the grocery store to get food for today and tomorrow, just enough until we go to bühlers. and i finally found taco shells. i think they just put them out. cause ive walked that isle a million times. and they were right there in the open today.
so after that we came home. made tacos. ate them. played some chess (dad one this one somehow). then a bit of sitting around. actually a lot of sitting around. then more chess. which i won. then a bit more sitting. at this time i caught up with what was happening in the Giro d'italia (bike race) and at the end found out good ol' jan won the 50km Time Trial by nearly 30 seconds. go jan.
then somehow it was dinner time already. so while that was cooking we started another game of chess. ate. then finished. i won again! wahoo. jake 2 dad 1.
and now it is nearly time to get to bed.
hopefully he wont snore tonight and the weather will be nice tomorrow!

17 May, 2006


two classes to lead of the day. speaking, was first, in which we did absoultley nothing of worth. one girl mentioned she played saxaphone, so the next 30 minutes were all about saxaphones. oh boy!
then it was witch hunting which was the first day of "real" class. in which students present the information on what we read each followed by a short discussion led by the prof. i understood a bit more today. but not enough...
then lunch
then dad got here on the train. which the original was apparently canceled, but there was a smaller train shortly after. so he was all of 22 minutes late.
then he got a little bit of time to relax and it was off to the races!

today as usual i had trouble getting started. i was at the back for quite some time. i think i need to warm up more...the back was dangerous today. one kid on a 7000 dollar bike was all over the place. forced me onto the shoulder once even. that was a little before half way. i also kept getting cut off from others as well. so i said screw it and attacked to get out of there. it did not last very long. but it sped the group up enough to drop the kid in the yellow which was the plan. hehehe. revenge. then some more laps, i got antsy so i attacked again. which lasted nearly two laps. and on a sprint lap one of the VMC konstanz guys used me as a launch pad (i was caught by this time anyways), and he got the sprint points. then i was in the front of the group the rest of the race keeping it mildly fast (i think) and then on the last lap i tried attacking again because there was a lull for the sprinters. i got cut off just enough to slow me down right as i was making my move. so ill blame not succeding on that, even though i think i might have been caught anyhow. oh well. i tried!
now it is bed time.
happy birthday ingrid, and happy norwegian indepdence day as well.


16 May, 2006

dang rain.

For some reason while being here in germany sleeping in has been hard work. today i did not have class until noon, but was going to get up at 9 30 as to get some reading for tomorrow done. last night i went to bed at around 12 and woke up this morning at 7. and had a very very hard time falling back asleep only to wake up for good an hour and a half later. and now i am tired. what the heck!
anyways...after eating breakfast i went up to the uni, and read my witch hunting stuff for tomorrow. it took me an hour to read 7 pages. thats kinda slow...after that i went to sociology where we have finally finished talking about the theroetical (sp?) stuff and next week we get to move onto the actually internet studying. so that should be good. this morning it was nice. and i was excited to get a nice bike ride in to prepare for racing tomorrow again (hopefully it does not rain). but as i was getting out of class the wind was picking up quite rapidly, and by the time i was in my dorm it was really windy. and 30 minutes later it started to rain. i really did not want to bike in the rain today. i even considered going running because i did not want to clean the bike. after 2 hours of self debate and even a little homework, i decided it would be a good idea to test the new chain, make sure it was on solid as not to break during the race. so i went out to dodge the worms, snails, and slugs (which i did quite successfully). the bike was actually not to bad, did some short sprints again, and saw a really cool cloud that looked like a mini hurricane. really cool...
soon i got back showered the bike cleaned it up nicely (again) and got hungry for dinner. more speghetti!
tomorrow dad gets here, so that should start a fun just over a week.
and my birthday package from my mom still has not arrived. even though she paid a lot to have it get here on time. i think the german customs have something against stuff for me. dads test package took 3 weeks! and all it was was two paperback books...

since writing even this much requires thinking i simply look up and out the window at the clouds whizzing by, and i realized that i am looking at clouds whizzing by at 9:30 p.m. summer is definatley on its way!

15 May, 2006

this is good.

for the next bunch on mondays my grammar class will be taught by future "german as a foreign language" student teachers, thus having no homework because they switch every week. this could be good. less worrying about my grammar, but that means worse grammar. oh well!
after class as i was walking back to get to my commute bike the view of the alps was amazing. best thus far. i was hoping that it would stay clear until after my bike, but lunch and reading my sociology got in the way. so by the time i did get going on my ride it had become a bit hazy, just enough to make the mountains not show up on camera.

another cow however did show up.
todays ride was nice and easy. for recovery from yesterday and resting for wednesday. the other day i bought some magnesium and calcium tablets at the store (50 cents for 20 tablets) since those were suggested to help stop the cramping. i decided to try something new and threw one of each in my waterbottle and made my own sports drink. surprisingly it was good. anyways at first i was a bit stiff from yesterday but that wore off soon enough and i felt great. i felt like i could sprint up all the hills around and just keep going. this is good. very good, for obvious reasons. my sports drink kept me hydrated well enough for my hour and 30 min or so ride.
i also noticed that my speedometer is at 3223.7 km which is just over 2000 miles (this is without the 10 or 15 hours of trainer time too. i had not yet changed my chain out, so i stopped by the bike shop that i have found to be the one catering to racers and got my self a nice new (expensive even with my small discount) chain. this is very good because old chains make me work harder. plus they dont look as pretty! after getting home i really really cleaned my bike. and changed the chain. now the bike is really ready for racing action.
after that i made homade chicken strips with french fries

yes i made those without have them prebattered and frozen. they were good.

14 May, 2006

now i am tired.

i began my day with some french toast. a good way to start any day i guess. then i sat around drinking water (i think i bit too much) until noon when i went down to the start area. on the way down my right quad cramped up a bit, and i think it might have been because i drank so much water yesterday and today, flushing all good and bad things out of my system! oops! lesson learned. after sitting around down at the start for a bit i did a short early warmup, then got back and a few of the others from the team were starting theirs so i joined them. we went to switzerland (all of 2 min away) and did some sprints. lucky they were not checking passes today!!! while we were doing these, the nice dry (partly cloudy) weather changed. it began to rain. no pour. for a good solid 20 minutes. soaking everything, we just stood under the border roof until it let up a bit. i would not have cared much had this rain been early this morning, but it was 15 min. before the start of my race. so it changed from a dry race, to a very wet start.
nonetheless, everyone lined up at the start line (80ish people). I was approched by Thomas, the guy who is in charge of the konstanz bike club, and who i registered for my license with, and he told me: first dont crash, that would be very bad cause you dont have you license making things difficult. then he told me i could not get better than 11th or go for the premiums (prizes) cause again without a license things would get sketchy...
then the race was off! the rain had stopped by this time. but still very wet. the course had two 180 degree corners so those were taken slow. then after exploding. when i had the chance to look we went from 45km/h to 25 then up to 45 or 50 right away. very taxing on the legs. for the first 15 laps or so (out of 50) i kept getting popped off the back of the group on each corner then work hard to get back on, just to do it all over again. there was a 2 man crash somewhere in these laps, but noone hurt. just a broken bike. so by lap 35 i was finally starting to feel decent. i was able to stay with the group on the corners and all. by lap 25 i was feeling quite good. by this time the peleton was probably about 50 or so, people who were far behind were being pulled out to make it stay safe. about this time there was a bigger crash in the front of the group that took out 6 or 7. i was luckily far enough back to easily avoid it. i was unfourtunatley at the very back at this time, so little groups of 2 or 3 guys would drop of the back. slowing up because they were dead, so i would have to bridge up to the group again and again. then with 15 or so laps to go it was down to i suppose the 25 that finished. i had managed to stay in there quite nicely after 20 laps to go. i was feeling quite good now. after a few more laps there was a 7 or 8 man breakaway that had been out for a bit, i attacked to see if i could get up, but everyone stuck on me. which i guess was ok cause my group then caught this breakaway (however 2 guys were way out front). then the race quickly came to a close after that. after the race my legs felt pretty dang good (tired now), but my arms were toast. partly from being the the drops for an hour 30, and from the bumpy road...
i am not sure exactly when during the race, but the sun did come out and started to dry things out, to late to matter for my race of course, but thats ok.
today out of the 10 or so guys from konstanz that started, only i and one other finished. he finished 15th and me 16th. so thats fun to know that i am up there with the best in the city. or at least those in the club.
after the race and showering and such i went back down to help clean up, knowing there was left over drinks and food. i got a loaf of bread, which is good cause i am nearly out. some buns. 2 things of apple juice. and shared a mug of beer with the others. all for free!
and now after all that i am tired

breaking up and getting strung out.

along the way. im there on the far side

happy mothers day mum...

13 May, 2006

something to do

a cloudy morning with wet roads told of a night time shower. so i decided to wait until the roads dried out a bit before going for my bike ride. they dried out really quite quickly so at around 11 i took off. an hour and a half, with a bit of short sprints.

along the way

came home. cleaned up. ate some lunch, then went down to help set up the race course.
i helped out first with setting up metal barriers that are on every corner and a quite a bit of straigh too (its a loop). i got to ride around on the back of the truck while driving from place to place. quite entertaining, and those of us on the back got really weird looks whenever going by someone. after this we set up the drink and food area. i even got to carry tables just like the past summers...oh boy!
standing around waiting for the first race to start i found out i had been registered for todays race! i declined racing flat out cause i was in no racing shape tonight. not much eaten and i had already ridden. i am also registered for tomorrow so dont worry!
after that little bit of confusion the womans race started. i watched that for a bit, then watched the first bit of the mens race, but i was hungry and really had to pee so i came home.
after peeing i made and ate a whole lot of speghetti. hopefully i am going to be charged up for tomorrow! althought the race starts at 2:15 so ive got some time.

part of the course

12 May, 2006

yesterday and today

yesterday was nothing special. a very uneventful class that was an hour 15 long instead of the schedueled two hours, so that was nice. that class seems to do that every time. oh darn. then an easy bike in which i ended up on a gravel road in the forest. it was really nice. i think it was the longest time i had gone without seeing another person (with the exception of sleep and doing things on my computer), and it was only about 20 minutes of soloness. and of course as soon as i thought that i came over a small rise and there was a guy walking some dogs. soon i noticed what kinda dogs they were and then saw the face of one (of three) it looked so much like tess it was amazing. i mean if tess had a exact copy in which the only difference was that it was male (i think) that dog was it. it even had the greying of the face hair! made me miss the two dogs.

party time (beer in the trailer)

today another bright and sunny day, but unlike everyone suggested i didnt want to do a long ride today for i am racing on sunday! need to save my energy. wahoooo! so i did an hour on a nice loop in germany. its a good one partly cause its fairly easy making it good for resting, and then there are not many people on it. ive decided that if i am going to crash while here it will be because of commuter bikers. but only when on my good bike. i think they see someone and think oh i will go catch and pass that person, then i will be a good biker. its really annoying. yesterday i was on my way to the border and i passed a kid with a bike about 4 times to big for him. i was going easy and so on the downhill area he caught up and looked about to pass out. then he passed me on a corner, cutting me off and swerving to miss a car which then in turn nearly hit me. then the next corner he took to sharp and ran into a fence. luckily i was away from this. but all kinds of people do stupid things like that to me when i am coming home or pass them here in germany (so far not in switzerland). another thing that often happens is when i pass someone i hear a click click and the person is soon wobbling near my back wheel. i wouldnt mind if they knew what they were doing, but oxygen deprived people who are just inflating their ego dont make the best decisions...i brought this up cause someone got behind me today and was really annoying.
also when i got back into the city i got behind this guy.

anyway after my really easy bike i ate some lunch then cleaned my room really well. vacuumed and moped! the floor is nice now. no dirt! then i went to the grocery store. ran up the highest food bill thus far at 19€, i bought some things i dont need like special edition milcha bar that has little soccerballs on it. hahaha. then came back, realized i forgot two of the three things i actually went for, so went back and spent a few more €. now i am not doing a whole lot, and my plan for tonight is to spend some quality time with my bike and make it nice and clean.
so its been a low key birthday.
also happy birthday to hilly, and ana jeronimus, and the gazillion other of you!

10 May, 2006

let it begin.

speaking class, not much happened. then witch hunting i did not understand a thing. hopefully reading the stuff next time will help...
then it was off to lunch. did my floor duty of the week by taking the compost out. then sat aroud and drank water until 4:50 when it was off to race!
i rode with another guy from the team. and there were 3 others from here there too.
the course was flat as a pancake. four corners all of 90 degrees, and two of which had rail road tracks that i thought were going to be a problem. the race was 25 laps and if the total distance was just about exactly 37 km figure it out.
during the warm up my legs cramped a bit, but near the end they were feeling decent. then we lined up. id say around 30 or 40ish. and it was off! my first European race.
for the first 7 or 8 laps the group stayed together, although strung out in pretty much double or single file lines. i was in the back of the pack for this as i was getting used to racing again. its been awhile. i could see up ahead people trying to get away, but just unable. eventually some people did get away and the pack began to break up. i had to chase quite a bit to get up to a good draft. so by lap 11 or 12 there were probably about 20 left in the front and i was in the middle. now there were three of my team and i left, there was a group of two that had been away for 2 laps or so. so i went up front to see if i could do some pulling and get working hard. i did so and the team mates put me up there and then did some blocking and sent me off. i did not get to far before counter attacks occured one of which i latched onto and held on. eventually everyone was back in the group. then on the 7th lap to go or so lap there was nothing but fast biking happening, and i think a sprint for points was coming up so i decided to see what i could do. so i attacked and stayed out front for the next lap and a quater. i think i may have gotten the sprint points with this move. but eventually i was caught and then moved back a bit to rest. some more laps with failed attacks. keeping the pace nice and high. and it was the final lap. since the sprinters seemed to be all looking for their lead outs i knew i could do nothing against that so i tried my luck a bit early. out of the first corner on the lap i attacked again to see if i could hold the others off, but i made it to the final corner before being caught and passed by around 10 people or so. but thats ok cause i tried.
so my first racing experience here has been great. my legs after starting and a few laps felt great. thus i was able to attack 3 or 4 times. solo for two. my cardio and air systems also felt great. i think i did somehow by chance, the right training. once i find the results online i can put a link up.
and even though this was just a trainging race. it was great.

sunday i might be able to race here in konstanz in a real race, but if not next wednesday, after that i will get my license.

total race time. 52:45
total distance:37.08 km
max speed. 57.0 km/h (i think my first solo attack)
avg speed. 42.1 km/h (but one of the others said 46 so i dunno)
avg. HR. 157
max. 198 (highest recorded!)

09 May, 2006

rainy day.

waking up to rain, cold, and wind is never fun when you need to have it be nice outside. especially when in germany...
after a slow breakfast and quite a bit of sitting around (woke up 9 30, class 12 15) i went to class. the lecture was not very good. but the discussion about metahpors and the internet was good. there was a lot being said and it would require me to type way to much. so ill leave it at how it is now.
after that i came home made some lunch then again sat around. hoping the rain would stop and i could go racing. the germans, at least in my experiences, are weather wusses. they will wear pants unitl its 85, jackets up to 70. and if its raining, well it might as well be raining acid cause they sure dont go out to check. thus racing did not happen. and in most ways i guess thats good.
first its rainy windy cold. i dont really want to race in this kinda weather either. no fun. second and more importantly my damn legs.
yesterday i took the day off from biking, except for going to the uni and to the movie (which was decent by the way). so all together around 30 min of easyish riding. and i dont know weather the four hours on sunday counts for much either. so we will just count it as a half day rest. so after 1.5 days of rest this morning biking to the uni i got a small cramp in my leg. this was a bad sign. this is definatley not the first time such a thing has happened, but just from that i knew biking today was gonna hurt.
my legs do this weird thing, which i truly truly hate, that if i dont bike for a day or two after doing a lot of biking, cramp up like crazy. and it hurts like heck. so much it is hard to continue. why i dont know. but i want it to not happen. and its not from not drinking water, cause i watch that pretty carefully because of my problem. also its not lack of steching either, cause i did that yesterday too. so if anyone knows what is wrong with me please let me know. and as you can guess the cramping happened today. it was pretty bad too. i wanted to do short sprints today, but for the first hour my legs hurt to much to do anything but move then round and round. at just about an hour the pain began to subside and i did some short sprints, actually quite a few. at first my legs were very sluggish, but eventually i got a little bit of snap back into them.
30 min later i was home. took my bike in the shower, cleaned the dead worms off. then did a bunch of stretching and found that today the problem muscel(s) can be stretched if you lie on your back, one leg straight out, then bring the other up like doing a cannonball, one there push it towards the center of the body.
anyways. that is why it is good i did not race today. i would have not had a good time. hopefully i wont be cramping tomorrow.

oh, i got some photos today...

08 May, 2006

racing sooner

good news. i am for sure racing this wednesday. also i am racing tomorrow. i dont think tomorrow is as big as wednesday, and whatever kinda race it is it is close. we are biking to it! ahahahaha. im so excited.
anyways. today was not a whole lot of action. grammer class that we went over the prepositions again (very important in german). then at 10 i was done. so i read my sociology for tomorrow and then came home very hungry and ate my left overs from yesterday. i decided to take the day off from biking just to get my legs packed full of energy. they are about to explode. wahooo. that makes me happy.
anyway i decided to do my laudry cause i was outta socks. there are 4 washing machines down in the wash room. one is really new and i like using it, mostly cause its new, but also cause it is a bit bigger. someones stuff was done and the other were full, so i waited nearly 30 min and then took their stuff out. somehow the machine still thought more needed to be washed soo i got a free load! wahooo.


after laudry i got a flurry of emails about the bike races this week, and i a bit here ill make dinner. tonight i am planning on going to Mission Impossible III, but dont know if the others will make it back in time to go. i hope so. i could use some popcorn right about now.

also for those of you have not seen fathers arm...

07 May, 2006

the waiting game (a novel)

is something i dont want to play for along time. but more on that later.

today was the first "exkursion" for us oles. there are 3 of us, two girls and me. Herr Eichler, our counsler type guy here (he is old, retiring after we leave), set it up with us last week. i figured it would not be all that bad seeing we were not going to far and all. but....

9 o'clock A.M. rolled around this morning and i went down to meet him thinking id be getting in a car. i got down there and he (Eichler) said go get a bike (and a rain jacket, he was convinced it was going to rain), so i got my crap bike and went back down. the other two eventually made it and he told us we were meeting him down by one of the bridges, he had to pick his bike up. so with the other two in tow i led them (slowly) to the meeting place. there we waited for 15 minutes (so much for german punctualitly) and eventually he showed up, with his wife. right at that moment i knew it was going to be a long day. i thought we were just going to take the bikes on the train and use them in the cities. wrong. we were biking most of the way. our first destination was Stein am Rhein, that village with painted buildings i have a picture of a while ago. at my or others like me, this takes about an hour. only 28 km or so. not bad. but with two senior citizens and two girls who dont bike more than to the town center i got scared. so we got going, instead of taking a nice direct route right to the bike path Eichler wanted to go through the woods because it was prettier. yeah ok i can do that, change is not bad. this was not all that bad. just really slow. eventually we got to the bike path and luckily started looking at train scheduels to Stein am Rhein. about 30 min later we got on a train and were soon in the village. that was not so bad. then we took a break. and slowly walked through the village, thank the lord it is tiny.
then to my dismay we started biking in the direction of Schaffhausen (20 km), i thought maybe we will just go to the next village. i was wrong. for the next nearly 3 hours i was basically sitting on a really really uncomfortable chair swinging my legs in a pedal motion. at one point along came a small incline, id say 4-6% grad for a km or so. we passed some hikers at the bottom. at the top i waited for 15 mintues, watching the hikers go by. i nearly died. luckily this was a gravel trail through a wooded area so there were mesquitos (sp?) to entertain me. it was awful. eventually the others showed up, walking their bikes (no other tourer was walking) and i resumed swinging my legs. 15 min later after a downhill/totally flat section i (and one of the other girls) had to wait 5 or so min again. how? no idea. the other got there stopped at a fountain nearby filled water. and then 3 min later a 10 min break was suggested and enacted. honestly we just stopped for 10 min!!!!!!! AHHHHH. eventually we got going again and made it to schaffhausen. but kept right on going (or waiting) until we got to the Rheinfall. which is 3 km past schaffhausen and basically a smallish waterfall that is wide. here is a picture

the "amazing" Rheinfall. thats it folks, nothin more.

it was packed with people. getting a "nature" experience or something. it even cost money to see the falls. sure if it was like Niagra i might be amused, but Jay Cooke State Park is i think more entertaining.
we were forced onto a little boat to go see the falls from there. i thought it might be fun. but like everything else today. it was slow. for little kids and old people!

a few hours later we started back. we were (luckily) asked if we wanted to take the train back from schaffhause or ride back to Stein. without pause you can guess my answer. luckily the others were tired.
then one of the highpoints of my day came along when i decided to get some swiss francs. since i could only get 50 or more. i got 50 and then bought some swiss chocolate to get smaller bills. which are really really cool. i really like the bills. i wish the $ was this cool.

pretty. i think i will get a swiss bank account next time im bored.
then on the train. blew the Eichlers minds by telling them it is possible to go around the Untersee in under 3 hours. and then we got back to right near the border. i knew how to get home from here so i turned to go the fast way and was told no we are going to go the pretty way. which is not all that pretty. finally we got back to konstanz and it was over. i took off, liberated at last!!! but not for long. at the train tracks the gaurds were down. for 1 train, 2 trains, long long pause, 3rd train. gates still down. it had now been 15 min. the pizza moped went around the barrier, a few bikers. i said screw it the train is nowhere near (neither see or hear) and went. going across the tracks like that i am sure is an exectutable offense. but i did not get caught. so no worries.
so that is the waiting game. and i hope it is obvious that i am sick of waiting because i did it for 7 hours today. if i have to wait for anything but food for the next week something is going to die.

by the way, my internet is making me wait right now. i want to burn the network center..
and it was nothing but bright sun today

oh on a good note that chocolate i got, wow.

06 May, 2006

fresh ice cream.

i decided to finish off my loaf of bread this morning by making french toast again. a very good way to start the morning. after a bit i went out for a bike. i wore my new shorts. they are quite comfortable. and i decided to do some short intervals to get ready for racing. so i did those which were mildly painful. and after 2 hours and 20 minutes of headwind i was back home.
today there was supposedly a bike trade type thing down town, so after my ride i went to check it out. i got there and there was nothing. either it was already gone or there was never anything. oh well. didnt really matter anyway. then i went to search a different grocery store for tortilla shells. but couldnt find them. i know they are here somewhere. ive had them before! after that failure i went to get some ice cream just because i had not had it since ingrid was here. i lucked out and they were putting out a freshly made batch of what i wanted. it was soooo freakin good. ahhh. then it started raining. its amazing how the area went from crowded to empty in about 5 mintues, everyone just dissappeared. into shops i suppose. and there were some also crowded under balconies. it was pretty entertaining. i also noticed that in the very center by the fountains there was a movie being filmed. no idea which though.
then i bike back up to my grocery store. got some supplies and headed along the empty roads (these became deserted as well) back home.
now the sun is back out and the birds singing while i sit at an open window eating chips and salsa. the salsa i got for free cause one of the other oles didnt like the taste. haha! i think its pretty decent. wahoo! but unfourtunatley my chip supply is rapidly diminishing...
speaking of olaf, today is "lutefest" where bands play and all. last year was nickle creek this year is rooney, which from what i have heard from them are decent. so if your in the area and its nice out. go its outside, which means its free. or at least it was last year.
and that so far has been my day.

hiding from the rain.

05 May, 2006

making money.

well yesterday not a whole lot happened. had one class and then the weekend started. went for a bike. hit the hills nice and hard, felt pretty good. and then came home and that was pretty much may 4th.

my entertainment. watching kid throw water ballons at cars.
today i woke up to thunder. no rain. just thunder, sat around a bit. tried calling someone about an advertisement in the paper that said they needed garden(yard) help once a week. perfect. but no one was home. ill try again tomorrow. then i went for a bike, had no idea where i was going to go, but ended up starting to go around the Untersee (lower part of the lake), made it aways then instead of following the flat bike trail around one part i took the over land route. up a hill down a hill. quite nice actually. both bigish hills. then got to switzerland and instead of following the lake went up into the hills again. got a bit lost, eventually got going in the right direction had a wonderful decent and was back at the lake. thus making my way home very easy to find. oh it also got sunny about 20 minutes after i started.
then after my shower i was just about to go to the store to get some food for weekend, not that i needed it tonight (luckily) but so i wouldnt have to go tomorrow. but as i was getting ready to go i found a note next to my door. translated in short it said. "i need you come to this place." i went and it was a guy who needed bike fixing help. i then remember last week i put up a peice of paper that said "bike repairs, cheap, jake room 417." and so i helped him with what should have been an hour job, but was closer to 2:15 or 20. because of a stupid shifter, but eventually i got it working and collected 15€. wahhooo. i feel rich! haha.

a few observations on the germans:
i have found out how to tell who is a really fast biker and who isnt. it requires a few quick observations. just judging by speed here does not work. people go super hard for a while then just die, so you never can be sure about that. but anyways. first you look at their clothes, do they match? are they for a team. if yes continue, if no quick check the bike, then continue or stop. second check the bike. is it nice? if yes, then continue. how much clothes are they wearing? this is the biggy. the day i rode with bert it was nearly 75 and he had long sleeve jersey and leg warmers on. and others who seem to be fast also wear lots. i dunno why they wear so much but it seems to be such as mentioned above.

german drivers (and some swiss) piss me off. they drive insanely fast, and when you are biking they love to rev the engine as they pass. pretty much everyone does it. why i do not know. they also often decide turning the wheel a lot is too much work so they come pretty close. i have decided if it is worse then american drivers or not. i think that just the speedlimitless roads are what does it. with a limit (in a small village) its never too bad, but on the open road. watch out! but i never get honked at here. well i guess not never, last week was the first time since coming south.

many young teenagers. (guys) all seem to want to be gangsterish. they wear baggy clothes and all, and walk around playing rap or techno on their cell phones (which act as speakers). put their hair in mohawks, or dye it. and of course if they are id say around 16 smoke. maybe it is the same at home? but i have not seen it there. i dont know why so many act this way, but they do.

cross walks. something i will never understand. there i am biking along an empty road. not a car around and ahead is a stop light, with a cross walk. in all but a few cases someone is standing at the light, waiting. why? for the walk sign to come on...the germans are obsessed with the cross walk, and not going across till it says too. they will wait through 2 or 3 rounds of cars before even thinking about going during the red. even when no cars they wait. sure your supposed to, but noone at home or in other countries seems to wait. when its open they go. weird...

03 May, 2006

fitting right in.

another nice breakfast shared with my choco rice perls and it was off to speaking class. didnt do to much in there, just talking i guess. ha. then it was the first day of my "witch hunting in the middle ages" class. it was packed full. so full that the prof. created a second class time. i stayed in the one i was in. since it is a proseminar i was unsure if i was going to stay. those are the most work here. but then a girl asked what to do if she just needed the course credit not the proseminar credit and if i heard right we just have to do a protokoll which i think is basically a book report kinda thing, but on only one chapter. sweet. so i think that class should be pretty fun. hopefully get my GE for history out of the way. then i went to the elusive mtn bike class again. and even though the scheduel says it was happening today. nope next week. so i went for a 2 hour bike. the view of the alps was even better today. i saw some mtns i had not seen before.
then at 5:30 was the "team presentation" for the bike club here. it was actually a photo shoot. so i went there just to talk to the people and see when they would be riding and all. after a while the guy who i talked to already came and introduced me. so that was nice. then it was photo time for the club. i was give shorts and a jersey and told to put it on, and come in the photo. so i fit right into the new clothes. and then went and got my picture taken. haha. they even have a team car. pretty cool. im excited. then i was told i need the at least the jersey to race. and i can barrow it if i want, or i could buy it for 42€ or i could get the shorts for 30€ or both for 50€. how that works i have no idea...
so tomorrow i am gonna pay the guy and ill have some new bike clothes. neato. then a guy from the news paper came. took some pictures and all. then i was called over to him and the leader guy of the club and i found out he lived for a bit (newspaper guy) in fairbault. that was interesting. i had just ridden my crappy bike over, so i could not go with most of the others who went to go take "action" shots. but i stayed and talked with the organizers of the team and found out that even though i cant race in germany this weekend because i have no license yet there is a race in switzerland about 40 km away that you dont need a license and it is only 3 € to enter. so if i can get to it ill do that one. someone might be going to it from the club and i can ride with them. if not maybe ill take the train. dunno. and its a training race kinda like the opus crits i think. (its a crit) and an hour long. it would be a good first race. so my late afternoon was quite good. i am thinking the team picture will be available some how eventually to me. so when i get it i will put it up.

i figured id just throw in a picture of one of my hills to show how green it is...

02 May, 2006


a busy day it has been. this morning after waking up from a nice sleep i went up to the uni and got my copy card (which is needed to copy anything), and copied a bit of reading for sociology. however i screwed up once, wasted 45 cents (5 cents per copy) and then got it right. Then i went down to the stamp shop, because thats where the guy works i needed to talk to about my license. so i finally got that all figured out. the only cost for the license is a 10€ processing fee. but i also had to pay the membership for the club. so it was 65€ total. and the only stupid thing is that it takes usually 3-4 weeks to get, and there is no temporary license, so i wont be able to race till i get it. but the good news is i will be able to race after that. wahooo!
then i went to class, figured out that i only had half the pages of what i needed, luckily it was not my fault someone took the original. class was basically a lecture on the different types of sociology for looking at technology. but basically the point was user make technology better. coulda said that and been done for the day.
after class i went for a bike. ever since yesterday as i was getting back from my bike i have had the incredible urge to take pictures of cows. why, i have no idea...so today on my bike i went to a few places that i was sure had the kinda cow i was looking for.


mooo again.

badass or fatass?

after looking at cows. i came home then eventually made some dinner.

success for under a €uro.

01 May, 2006

may day!

another day off...i really dont know how the education is decent over here with how little we go to class! but somehow it is.
after waking up i went for a nice bike. easy. today was the clearest day yet i think, and it wasnt to clear. on my ride i tried taking pictures of the alps which i could see perfectly, however the camera doesnt show them very well. oh well. one of these days. i got a few ok pictures...

just look closely

my valley

i did a bit of exploring to get the first picture, so my ride was a bit longer than i had planned. i was gonna do 2 hours, but it ended up nearly 2.5. oh well, i went easy. eventually i got home. right when i got home i quick ate some lunch and then headed down to the "beach" to meet some people from my floor. the beach is nothing like a beach i think of. (i already knew this though) because of the lack of sand here it is mostly grassy with trees. and the grass goes right down to some smallish rocks right on the shore. the ones that are to big to go straight over, but to small to walk comfortably on top. so to solve this there are ramps leading into the water. weird, but i guess it works. i prefer the beaches on lake superior more, but at least its water. as well as the ramps there is badmiton courts, volley ball courts, locker rooms, ping pong tables, a snack bar, mini golf...pretty developed, not a place that i can truly relax at just because it is so dang crowded. kinda like everything else here. oh well, itll be nice to have in the summer when it get hot.
and no i did not go swimming, it was not that warm out and the water is still pretty cold. next time maybe. i just played ping pong.
then we came home. i cleaned my room (its amazing how dirty it gets, at olaf i never clean my room and its just fine. weird...)
then i made some alfreado, finally with the right sauce. and soon its bed. tomorrow class and hopefully a racing license.
the only problem i am having right now is that i have been really hungry lightly. thus needing to eat a lot, thus spending more money. grrrr....