The last time I was in Basel was for the TriCMC in 2009. This is a great event in which they find the best courier from Switzerland, France and Germany. I’d come along with some friends from Karlsruhe to play in the polo tourney and joined the race for fun. I do not recall doing well and dropped out after loosing a delivery.
I came a day early so I could catch up with the infamous Ström, who is to be away for the weekend. Thankfully he’s letting me stay at his apartment while on a…. Ahem, strategic planning retreat? Ah the things you do when in charge. He’s now the owner and CEO of KurierZentrale, for which he’s work for nearly 20 years. A huge accomplishment. Congrats buddy.
Plan for today is to mostly relax. I’ve a couple last minute supplies to get. If it gets hot today I will go for a swim in the Rhein, otherwise tomorrow should due. I will take many pictures of fountains I expect.
After a night of anxiety driven shit-show-y-ness I managed to meet up with Thomas, Oli and some other friends outside the small town Irhingen. Not only did I get to catch up with some old friend this vantage point offered my first glimpse of the Backpacking Trans Germany course. These profiles cover about the first 130km.
On the right, 73.6 km 4.76% elevation gain vs. distance. Nice!
And on the left, 53.0 km with 22.47% elevation gain vs. distance. Oof. 3rd steepest segment… on day one. I couldn’t bring myself to taking anymore pictures as my head turned left. Just more mountains.
After some chit-chat, snacks and brekky beers we departed at the crack of noon. The cycling infrastructure in this area is impressive. Even the smallest of towns seemed to be marked with on path signage, making it really easy to keep rolling along without paying so much attention to the route.
A lot of the days riding looked fairly similar to this with nice forest paths dotted through out as we headed towards Offenburg. We had some elevation gains through the day but nothing major until headed east after getting supplies in Offenburg. Right away we found ourself in vineyard country again but this time heading up some fairly steep climbs. Our destination was one of several lookout towers in the mountains east of Offenburg. Originally we’d planned to stay near an old brick tower but a mistake in the route planning led us to a more modern steel structure. While less visually appealing this did mean we could climb it for sure, offering some spectacular views.
And being that it’s World Cup season, we happily cracked some German themed cans as we watched the match. There was a MASSIVE party down the hill who’s cheering prompted us to pay attention to the match and thanks the substantial delay on the phone we didn’t miss any excitement.
And that pretty much wraps up day one. We hung out around the fire until late drinking wine, eating bread and cheese and telling tales of our recent adventures. Really good catching up with old friends.
Down to the race. I was in Mens Bs which races last of the day when it was nice and warm. Since its the first race of the series they did call-ups in registration order. As I registered only a couple hours before the start I was 60 of 75. Putting me in the eighth row. So the race tactic was: I have no hole shot, so I have to kill myself to get to the front on the first lap. This worked pretty well, I was probably around 20-25th when I crossed the start/finish line and I can only recall a single racer passing me after we dooked it out for a couple of laps. Then I progressively reeled in around 10 other races. I felt good through most of the race with relatively few mistakes. Next race I will have a better rear brake that will hopefully help with my cornering at speed. Biggest mistake was not pushing hard/soon enough on the final lap, I finished with 2 racers within about 10 meters. Overall I finished 13th.
Heckle Hill as usual. Here is a shot from the bottom. In the past I have manged to ride this. This year it actually (I’m not joking) looks like someone took a shovel to it.
That’s about a wrap. Big ol’ ups to Jortz for taking 1st, 2nd, 5th and 6th places. Kell WOB for killing our field. Started one position in front of me and charged up to 4th place. Nice work. Got some great Team Moustache, Spoke Cyclery and Rev Weezy support, thanks for the hand ups. (and everyone I stole pictures from ;)
I found out about it just a couple of days ago and decided to jump on. Tonight is Sydney to Newcastle Overnight. 160km starting at 900pm. We are about 30 minutes off and everyone is quite excited. Should be a great ride, its hot as and quite humid. The dip in the pacific at sun up will be very rewarding. Hopefully I manage to record the entire route.
Being that it rained all this week, getting stuff done before leaving has been a bit difficult. I had a lot of shuffling thing around going on. Waiting on people to pick stuff up from me, making sure the touring bike was in proper working order. When I came off the mountain Thursday morning my head was filled with concerns of these things and getting final work on my touring bike done and packing it. Sadly in the rain and the cold what was not thinking about was the poison oak I saw outside my tent Wednesday night. I am really allergic to poison oak. More than once in my life I’ve been swollen and oozing head to toe. In recent years I’ve been good about keeping it in check but only when addressing it right away. That was not done this time.
To make matters worse I didn’t get the touring bike pack Thursday night and had to do it Friday morning, but not before pinching a nerve in my back. Growing old before my time. In the end we where only an hour behind getting on the road but my mood was none too good.
A grumpy couple of days later I had mostly resolved to not ‘race’ the crash race but just roll it. But the magic of skeeball, air hockey and several beers finally righted my mood.
The race was great as usual but my gear ratio (46×17) was far too small. Oh well. Thanks a ton to Wolfpack for the years of great races.
Hopefully I can now check in 8.5 hours early and get a cocktail.