A new family member has arrived

By Spinning Mum:

Remember my last post about naming a bike? Well, it is now time to find yet another name for our newest family member and motivation for 2013: My brand spanking new BMC racemachine RM01.

To be honest, I wasn’t really sure, whether it makes sense to invest in a new ride while not knowing if I will be able to free enough time to hit the roads with two kids on my lap and all the chores that come with the package but Cycling Dad was of another opinion. In order to encourage me to accompany him on at least some of his marathon endeavours (and probably to make up for taking over my gym membership once my baby bump prevents me from seeing my feet), he was determined to put me on a lighter and faster bike.

While he was presumably talking about renting a top-notch model, I took him at his word before he could change his mind justifying the expenses by telling myself that whereas other women are dreaming of receiving diamonds as a birth gift, I might as well wish for something made of carbon but in a slightly different appearance.

Good for me that the year was slowly coming to an end and a lot of dealers were trying to meet their bonus targets by granting generous offers. Thus, I started to look around a bit, defined my budget, made a list of specs and features I wanted my new bike to have (full carbon frame equipped with an Ultegra Di2 compact groupset and not exceeding 7.3 kgs) and screened through a gazillion of reviews about the 10 different models which would meet my idea of a sweet ride. At the end it took me two weeks and a pregnancy-related nervous breakdown to finally come to a conclusion and only two of the bikes I was interested in actually withstood my criticism.

Unbelievable that some manufacturers tried to convince me that they put an Ultegra or even Dura Ace group set on their bikes whilst at a closer look they simultaneously install Tiagra or Sora parts. Yes, I am talking about you Specialized and Trek! When I am prepared to spend an incredible amount of money on a decent bike, please do not fool me into thinking, I am buying a top-level groupset when some of its parts have been replaced by cheaper and heavier components. Thank god, that some reliable online retailers accurately depict every single screw mounted.

So, the Madone and S-Works models I had in mind failed my examination like a couple of other rides which were either too heavy, received only mediocore test scores or were already no longer available in their 2012 dresses. However, eventually I managed to downsize my list to three bikes:

1. The Merida Scultura Pro 907-E
2. The Scott Foil 15 / Contessa Foil
3. The BMC racemachine RM01 I eventually took home

Though I am usually a very brand loyal consumer and the Merida frame is one of the lightest available, I decided against it. Partly because I wanted to try another brand and partly because the price of the 907-E was still a tiny bit too high.

The Scott Contessa Foil as well as its male twin the Foil 15 were my favourites for an entire week. The 2012 Contessa looked sexy, received killer test results and had all the right specs. Unfortunately, it was already sold out at the beginning of December so that I had a closer look at its brother the Foil 15. To be honest, it did not turn me on much in the beginning as I did not like the black and silver paintwork (Well, what to say… I am still a girl…) but small details such as the Dura Ace bottom bracket, the beautifully integrated Shimano Di2 and the tremendous discount I was able to negotiate convinced me so far, that after a quick test ride I was ready to order it from Bernhard Kohl – my dealer of trust (http://www.bernhardkohl.at).

I was literally just about to submit my downpayment online, when I ran a final research on the Foil (http://www.roadbike.de/rennraeder/test-scott-foil-15.621495.9.htm) only to find out that it did not receive the same good grades as its twin sister (http://www.roadbike.de/rennraeder/test-scott-contessa-foil.685112.9.htm). Totally devastated I could not quite understand why the test results were differing in such a vast way, though the frame and composites were actually the same.

Thus, I once again turned to Bernhard for his professional advice and an offer for the last model on my list. A couple of days before I had the chance to test different BMC models at his shop and really liked their stiffness and responsiveness. (At this point feel free to take a minute to picture pregnant me cruising around the bike shop on some first class race material – surely a sight for the godsl^^) Having a close relationship to BMC and riding this brand as well Bernhard of course wanted to convince me of the RM01 and actually made the decision for me by offering the 2013(!) model at a price I could not resist :)

And so it came that my sparkling new ride is now standing in the hallway waiting for me to get back into the saddle. Right now I am 30 weeks along and unfortunately no longer able to take my latest attainment out for a real spin, so please stay tuned for my review coming up some time in spring!

 

 

 

 

Why Spinning Mum’s bike has a name

By Spinning Mum:

You might have been wondering why I always refer to my bike as ‘Julie’ though normally I  do not belong to those people who refer to their dish washers as Harry or their cactuses as Emanuela.

Not that I do not like how some of my friends personify their cars, computers and vacuum cleaners, but my creative powers simply always ceased after finding witty names for our hamsters, so that the only non-living items in our household carrying names are probably the infamous Billy book cases available at a Swedish furniture store.

Okay, I am wandering off the point… So here is the story why my ride got a name:

I decided to get my own bike after only three times out on different rental racers I borrowed from Riders Pro Bike Shop in Tung Chung. When I returned my last ride – a well used but oh so smooth running black and yellow GIANT roadie which reminded me of the most likeable Transformer ‘Bumblebee’ – our dear bestower and co-rider Andy had the perfect entry level road bike on offer: a MERIDA ROAD RACE HFS 904-COM. I could score a good deal because it was a previous year model and could save some extra cash by changing the original wheels to Kais old set of Gipiemme rims.

 

Shortly after I took my precious new birthday gift home for some further adjustments the curious rookie rider in me wanted to check what I actually invested in. I tortured google and found out that MERIDA’s girly versions all carry the epithet “Juliet” to distinguish them from their brothers. Though I actually got the Romeo-version, somehow this info got stuck in my brain and when I took a first test ride around the airport later on that rainy day, I unconsciously started to call my new ride ‘Julie’.

This was the beginning of a beautiful friendship and I took Julie out to the streets around Hong Kong Disney Land almost every day. Given the fact that I spent at least one hour a day in the saddle, this quirky behaviour became a habit soon. Partly because I absolutely treasure my bike and partly because I think that we are a good team speeding around and pushing up steep hills. You won’t believe how often I catch myself thinking: “We will make it up there, Julie” – true to the motto a sorrow shared is a sorrow halved :)

That’s it – plain and simple and maybe a bit loco, too.
How about you? Has your bike a name?

 

140k Weekend

By Cycling Dad:

It has been a good weekend, and a good training week overall. I hope. Tuesday and Wednesday saw one hour on the trainer each (despite Monday’s haiku rant on static trainers). Thursday I spent one hour freestyle in the pool for improving torso strength. I planned to do another hour on the trainer on Friday but got stuck at work and then met friends in the evening.

Saturday brought an nice 70k training ride with the local bike club. I will introduce the folks in one of my next posts. There was a stiff wind on our way out to Pannonia, but we were rewarded with a swift return in the 45 km/h range on the way back from Ebreichsdorf. We rounded it all off with a short but intense 120m climb to Siegenfeld before returning to Moedling.

The routes appear shorter as I start tracking from the club meeting point and am having a few extra km to get there.

Sunday I joined the club again on another 70k ride, this time through the Vienna Woods, which will likely become one of my favourite rides in preparation of the Big O. We covered 880m in altitude on this loop, which features a steady, but gentle climb up Hochroterd in the beginning, followed by another short climb up to Klausen-Leopoldsdorf. It is a beautiful loop, which also requires a decent amount of work on the way.

So, the weekly statistics: 140k on the road with a little over 1,000m in altitude gain, two hours static training, one hour swimming. 8 1/2 hours of training. Not bad for the beginning.. or is it? Please let me know your thoughts.

Combining my endeavour with my family and job still seems manageable at this point. Alex is giving me tons of support and is having a happy pregnancy. Konstantin is developing splendidly and will soon start crawling. My colleagues and boss know what I am up to and probably think that I have gone bonkers. However, as I have not and am not planning to cut back on my professional targets, they are are generally cool with the idea.

I still did not manage to work out my training plan, but I suppose that I should focus more on building basic endurance and improving fat metabolism at this time of the year, rather than hammering speed and climbing sessions on the weekends. So I went online this afternoon and shopped around for some gear. Soon I will once more be able to claim to be over-equipped and under skilled :) .

What will Santa bring early this year? Stay tuned; I will let you know shortly.

Food for Champions

By Cycling Dad:

The team and I spent the weekend loading up on cheese and chocolate. That pretty much sums it up. The fact that we spent three days in Zurich is a mere side note, which nonetheless deserves a mention. Standing at the sunny banks of lake Zurich, I briefly found myself looking at the beautiful mountain panorama, wondering what it would be like to ride my bike. But alas, back to the culinary delights this beautiful little country in the heart of Europe has to offer.

They sell delicious chocolates by the kilo, and they sell them dearly. Body of proof is this snapshot we took at Läderach, purveyor of chocolaty goodness. 215 Swiss Franc corresponds to 178 EUR, 228 USD, 142 GBP in today’s exchange rate, just to give you a reference. But hey – you get three kilos, which would last for about one week at the rate that we have been tucking into the merchandise.

And then there is cheese fondue and raclette. I can particularly recommend the Raclette Stuebli on Zähringerstrasse 16. Paparazzi photos which were leaked to press Saturday night show the scribe and Konstantin as his perpetual photo stalker with no less than two pots of hip gold to be. Flush it all down with cherry schnapps, and you are good to go.

It was a fun weekend, and we have deposited the cholesterol cheese and all the love for this wonderful place deeply in our hearts.

The attentive reader may already have noticed the problem. My current nutrition and workout regiment (I did two hours worth this last week) must only be the tip of an iceberg, figuratively speaking.

Stay tuned.