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.
This afternoon I went on a low intensity 35k loop through the Vienna Woods with 265m altitude gain.
While the figures may not be very impressive, the ride was noteworthy for two reasons: For one, check out the snapshots I took along the way. The colors of the woods were simply amazing. I have never been to New England during the famous Indian Summer, but this is how I imagine it to be. This is cycling at its best. Imagine fresh (very fresh), crisp air, colors exploding all around you and pristine tarmac under your wheels…
Secondly, and more importantly… did you notice the white powdery substance in the picture above? This is snow (for our friends in Hong Kong). It will be a common phase condition for water in the wild this winter and usually coincides with low temperatures. Sometimes even extremely cold temperatures. I thought quite a bit about this during the ride and worked through a mental shopping list of essential equipment, needed if I am serious about cycling outside and surviving winter. At the moment, temperature are still around zero degrees celsius, but last winter they stayed around minus ten for weeks. I am having mixed feelings about my current gear and am planning to write about it in one of the upcoming posts. I also have mixed feelings about road conditions during this time of the year as there is quite a bit of foliage on the road. It may be a good idea to monitor speed on descends.
Back home my body shifted immediately into fat bunkering mode (or rather shifted one gear further up). I reckon this is the logical consequence to parts of my clothing giving up on the cold weather conditions. The tuna pizza was excellent, as usually is the case after taking the bike for a ride. There still may be some work to be done on the nutrition side of the master plan. And on the training plan. Any suggestions ?
The past week kept me incredibly busy with work, but I managed to do some conceptual work on the entire venture and work out a master plan. My well reflected master plan includes two core elements: One, I may need to do some sort of physical training in order to get fit for the challenge. Cycling seems a sensible choice to start off with. Two, I may have to work on my nutrition. While the scribe is spending a (thoroughly non-sportive) weekend with the family in Budapest, Hungary, it came to his attention that his general food choices at the hotel buffet do not seem to support his aspirations to climb an awful lot of meters in altitude in little over 300 days from the present date. Unfortunately (for the master plan), the next week will also likely keep me very busy at work and see a long-planned leisure trip to Zurich, Switzerland… so something has to change… soon enough. The master plan also contains a few other positions, but it clearly is too early to talk about these yet.
I hereby solemnly announce the official start of the preparation program for the Big O for November 5, 2012. In the meantime, my objectives will be to work out suitable training and nutrition plans. Any support in doing so will be highly appreciated, be it in the form of personal reference, expert advice from British Cycling (thanks to our friend Axel from the UK), cooking recipes or other forms of motivation. Also, I shall work on improving the online visibility of the Cycling Parents blog in order to increase the moral obligation towards our esteemed readers. Oh and maybe I will even succeed in getting in the saddle…