How to get access to the Ferry Dusika Cycling Stadium

Dusika Stadion Vienna
Photo: Florian Ertl

There may be quite a few cyclists out there who are wondering how to get access to the Ferry Dusika Cycling Stadium. I am not just talking about residents of Vienna and its suburbs, but also those of you living close to the Austrian border in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. For all of us, I have assembled the following step by step guide – so you don’t have to go through the research or struggle with translating the available resources, which are mostly in German.

The address of the stadium is Engerthstraße 267-269, 1020 Wien, Österreich.
Here you can find it on google maps.

Getting to the Ferry Dusika velodrome is quite easy. I you are already in Vienna, you can get there with metro line U2, the station is called ‘Stadion’. The much larger Ernst Happel stadium is right next to the velodrome, so look out for the Ferry Dusika Stadium. If you come by car, please note that you can’t park directly at the stadium. However, there are paid parking lots available at the Stadion Center shopping mall, just across the street.

In order to get access to the track, you have to hold a valid UCI racing (or track training) license, which can be obtained from most amateur cycling clubs. With the license, you can apply for an access card to the velodrome, which costs around EUR 50, and gives you access to the track for a full calendar year (Jan-Dec). Contact persons can be found on the website of the ÖRV – Österreichischer Radsportverband. Hedwig Weisz or Christian Langhammer are the right persons to contact. They will also be happy to help you with any English inquiries.

You will need to bring a track bike as there are no rentals available at the stadium, which is a shame and on my list of topics to discuss with ÖRV. Track cycling is a lot of fun, and it would be nice to give more cyclists a chance to give it a try. Shop around for used track bikes on bikeboard.at or other cycling forums. There are also great track bikes available from Dolan, but spending EUR 600 for equipment that you may only want to use from time to time is a tough call. Bikes can be stored at the velodrome, but you will be asked to remove it prior to major events, which take place every couple of months. One last thing, make sure to check out the track schedule before heading out.

Looking forward to seeing you on the track, or on any of the Cycle Marathons in my event schedule (top of the page).

Keep in touch!

We love to hear from you!

By Cycling Dad:

Today’s post will be a bit different from what you have read previously on cyclingparents.com, but I wanted to share this story with you.

In a nutshell Joachim, a cycling parent from Canada, has found our blog on the net and sent us valuable feedback and input for our further training. His message matters a lot to Alex and me, because Joachim is a person whom we have never met first hand, who still felt inspired by our blog to share his experiences on the Oetztaler Cycle Marathon with us. It is part of the true spirit of cycling and we immediately felt connected with Joachim. With Joachim’s consent, I have attached the first two emails of our conversation.

We love to hear from our readers. Who are you? Please leave a short comment below.

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Here’s Joachim’s first email:

Hi Cycling Parents,

Just wanted to wish you good luck with the Oeztaler plan! I am a cycling parent in Canada now, but I lived in Vienna for a few years and did that event 3 times. I just wanted to share 3 things with you, just to add to your arsenal of information, and help you prepare:

1- you really need a powermeter (you can get second hand wired Power Taps on ebay, www.bikeboard.at‘s sale forum, etc etc). This will let you monitor your progress accurately so you aren’t just riding around, or thrown off by low pulse from undertraining or overtraining, etc. It shows you whether your training is actually working, so you can adjust it as you go, and aren’t just following a plan that works for somebody else’s bodytype but not yours. It will teach you a ton as you progress towards your goal (which will be good information to know for the future too). And it is fun watching your efforts for certain climbs and rides, especially on the indoor trainer (3, 5 or 20 minute efforts become like a video game). I can’t recommend this investment enough! (more helpful than light wheels, fancy carbon parts).

2- I had the sense that most people in Austria were a bit behind in training theory: I did better each year at the Oeztaler by riding less and less, and then moved to Belgium and raced for 2 years on even less riding, while stronger than ever. You can train your “Functional Threshold” by going out for 6 hour rides, doing shorter intervals (like your 5minute ones, or even mild intervals that train your cardio, like 14x 1 minute at tempo pace), or 2x 20 minute time trial intervals, or just 2-3 hours at a brisk tempo pace. Much more fun, and doesn’t eat up all of your time. This is all explained here http://www.biketechreview.com/performance/supply/47-base-a-new-definition. (Comment Cycling Dad: The link to Bike Tech Review seems to have a problem… I can recommend Chris Carmichael’s book on interval training instead: http://www.amazon.de/The-Time-Crunched-Cyclist-Powerful-Athlete/dp/193403083X)
My best Oeztaler happened while doing no rides longer than 3 hours, aside from one other Radmarathon (Deutschlandsberg) the week before Oeztaler, just to get some practice sitting on the bike for many hours. Because you used to race, I think this would work for you too.

3- Having knowledge/experience really helps at Oeztaler, so talking to others and learning from them is great (Jurgen Pansey’s blog, bikeboard forums, www.jimmisteiner.com/?q=node/269, my first attempt www.joachim.ca/test/?p=38, my last www.mountainbiker.at/de/mlr_racers/show_report?id=598). It doesn’t matter if others are a bit faster or a bit slower, as the goal is the same (to finish strong, safe and healthy).

Sorry for the long email- this is stuff I learned through trial-and-error and from a coach that I wish I knew when I was 19 years old. I’m now living in Canada, and have a 2-year old, so no more Oeztalers, but I look back on that as the highlight of my cycling career!

So good luck in your preparation- I’m looking forward to seeing how it goes. Reading about your training rides around Wien and Moedling in the snow bring back great memories.

All the best, Joachim

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and my reply:

Hi Joachim,

Thank you so much for your email. Alex and I were very surprised to receive feedback from someone whom we did not drag onto our mailing list in the first place ;) .

You are the first ‘outside’ visitor of our page whom we get to know. Nice to meet you!
Your message gives us motivation to keep training and blogging. Both has become a bit harder lately, with Alex’ pregnancy going into the third trimester, work keeping me extremely busy with the final sprint to the end of the calendar year, and Konstantin starting to crawl all over the place, wanting to be looked after.

Thank you also for your advice in preparing for the Oetztaler Cycle Marathon. The recommendation regarding the powermeter meets my open interest and I have been looking around a bit already, especially as the Garmin is ANT+ enabled. The link to Bike Tech Review that you sent along sums up the main benefits of threshold training quite well. As cycling parents, all of us are very time crunched. So getting most out of the limited time we can spend on the bikes is crucial.

And last, but not least I enjoy any personal story about the Oetztaler that I can find. Kudos for your 277th place in 2006 and especially the 50th in 2008!! I have visited all the blog links you sent along and have been to Juergen Pansy’s blog a couple times before. I also love Cervelover’s blog for all the detail he provides about his personal experience on the Oetztaler. If you can read German, here’s the link: http://cervelover.blogspot.co.at/2012/08/climax-beim-otztaler-radmarathon-2012.html. His placement most likely is closer to my own performance to be, if I can manage to finish the distance and altitude gain at all, which of course is my prime objective.

I have two questions that I would like to send back to you. The first: Are you still cycling these days? What is your experience today, trying to combine family, job and cycling? The second: Would you mind if I post this conversation in the blog? I really enjoyed your message, and would love to receive more feedback, also from other readers, in the future. Please do keep in touch.

Will keep you posted.

All the best,

Kai

Winter blues…

By Cycling Dad:

Winter has arrived for good and is interfering with my training. The result: one hour on the static trainer on Tuesday and Friday, each with three six minute HR Z3-4 intervals, one and a half hours on the road on Saturday with freezing rain (literally) and another one and a half hours on the static trainer on Sunday, again with intervals… all in all six hours on the bike this week. Better than nothing…

Here are some impressions from Saturday’s expedition of death, along with a new interactive feature…

Stay tuned.

I love my Garmin Edge 500

By Cycling Dad:

I could not wait for the weekend to arrive so I could take my brand new Garmin Edge 500 out for a ride. Today’s tour was 110k and my verdict is that this is the best bike computer I have ever owned…  it surely is also by far the most expensive cycle computer I have ever owned.

So far the Garmin has cost me a bit more than EUR 2 per km and it is clear that I need to work on these figures to justify the purchase. I’ll leave the maths to you. But look at the wealth of data this contraption provides about today’s ride (click on ‘view details’ on the bottom right corner to see the full pony show):

This is what you get: at 48x69x22mm, the Edge 500 is not exactly the smallest bike computer on the market, but at 65g including mount, it sure is still not too heavy. In fact is snugs right in the space between your handlebars and fork top screw. Included in the kit is a heart rate chest strap, a wireless cadence and speed sensor as well as two base mounts so you can use the Edge 500 on a second bike. In fact you don’t need the sensor on the second bike as the 500 will compute the speed from the GPS data, but it is essential for the cadence and I understand from the manual that the sensor will increase the accuracy of the speed readings. Setting up the system is super easy and I was done within 10 minutes. Here’s a size reference:

The Garmin Edge 500 is charged and data synchronised via a USB cable that comes with the box. It has a built-in lithium-ion rechargeable battery that lasts for around 15 to 18 hours on a full charge. Before going for the first ride, all you have to do is set up the custom screens you want to use. You can have up to five screens to cycle through and each screen can be loaded with up to eight data fields which can be configured freely to display a range of information about your ride. From the usual speed, distance, time, to more sophisticated heart rate, cadence to useful bonus features incline and alt difference there’s nothing left to wish for. All information is available as per actual, average and lap. You can even connect the Garmin Edge 500 to ANT+ enabled equipment such as static trainers and power measurement cranks and hubs, but I will leave that for next season. One key feature that I have not tested so far is the option to display a pre-set course by GPS coordinates. While the 500 will not display the surrounding environment on a neat map (you have to get the bigger brother Garmin Edge 800 for that), it is supposed to display the route in a breadcrumb trail and tell you when to make turns to find the way. I am curious to find out just how well that works, but it may become a key asset for the longer exploration rides with Alex in the summer.

Also included in the package is software to enable synchronisation of your Garmin with Garmin Connect, an online portal to store and share all your cycling tracks. This is cool because it gives you a complete overview of your training performance over time. Transferring data between Garmin Connect and the device is fast and very easy.

Both thumbs up for the Garmin Edge 500.

I ordered my Edge 500 at Chain Reaction Cycles, my trusted purveyor of cycling goods. CRC is also my recommendation for a wide range of other cycling equipment, so make sure to order your gear from them and please support me by clicking on the link below before making the purchase :D .

www.chainreactioncycles.com

Stay tuned for more product placement ;)

Cycling during pregnancy or “Are childbearing cyclists more prone to accidents?”

By Spinning Mum:

Okay, I have to admit it… The pregnancy fairy magically transformed me into a gym bunny and while I have not been seen on the roads around Lower Austria within the last six weeks or so, I have not entirely given up on cycling, yet. As I am writing this article, I am 24 weeks (6 months) along and though the spinning classes I am usually joining three times a week don’t actually make up for the smooth asphalt, steep hills and scenic views, I am currently feeling much safer on the stationary bike.

However, indoor training is not a good cure for getting green with envy when I see other riders fighting their way through the hilly woods. Not mentioning what happens every time Kai leaves the house with his beloved Cérvelo or when I am flipping through Tour magazine…

That is why I started wondering whether it is really necessary to let Julie collect dust in the garage for the weeks to come and started some research about cycling during pregnancy.

As mentioned in my previous post about exercising during gestation opinions about outdoor cycling differ tremendously and though most medical practitioners and trainers agree that cycling in general is a great way to keep fit whilst easing strain on ankles and knee joints, the biggest concern they share is the risk of falling.

Aha, this is right what I was worrying about when I decided to change my routine in week 17 though nobody actually ever told me to stay off the road. So, let’s dig a bit further here…

According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) biking is a great low-impact sport and usually safe during a low-risk pregnancy – even for novices. Yet the ACOG suggests that beginners should rather stick to stationary cycling in order to minimise the risk of potential injuries to mother and baby.

They also recommend that even experienced riders should rather change their training to a static bike from their 2nd trimester onwards as their growing bellies might influence their balance. Furthermore, they point out that the bony structure around the pelvis does not protect the baby after the 12th week of pregnancy, so that little belly dwellers could be seriously harmed in a crash.

Okay. That makes me feel a lot better about not investing in warm bike wear this winter, but…

On the other hand I tend to believe that going on foot or by car can also bear its hazards when it comes to traffic related casualties and unless childbearing cyclists are more prone to accidents than their non-bumpy co-riders, the benefits I mentioned in my previous post might still outweigh the risks unless you are a Kamikaze rider.

For sure it is common sense that you should avoid bumpy off-road tracks or busy streets and refrain from racing or training in a pack but a moderate defensive training session on dry roads with only little traffic should still be fine, shouldn’t it?

Well now what to do?

It’s not an easy choice, but personally I think, I will stick to the spinning bike and static trainer for the last stretch of my pregnancy. Despite the fact that I came across articles claiming that most falls won’t affect the unborn and (knock on wood) I have not been kissing the asphalt so far, I do not want to push my luck.

Moreover I am simply not cycling as much as some of the pro riders who literally rode their racers to the labour ward and who probably have much more experience when it comes to handling dicey situations.

Thus, my dear Julie, I will see you in March and hope you will not give me sad looks whenever I enter the garage.

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.

Haiku to Static Trainers:

By Cycling Dad:

I promised that I would share my thoughts on static trainers with you one of these days. Upon pondering for a while, I have made the decision to use the Japanese Haiku as a means of expression. You can fill the gaps with your own emotions towards spending time on static trainers, including spinning bikes…

Traditional (5-7-5):

Sweat dripping nimbly.
Tire tormented by steel.
Taking me nowhere.

Punk-rock version:

Sweat dripping nimbly.
Tire tormented by a roll of steel.
Squeezing my tire.
Squeezing my balls.
Taking me nowhere.
Will this be forever?

Thank you.

P.S. Despite all the nagging, I want to let the world know that I managed to do one hour on the trainer last Sunday after returning from Zurich and another one this morning. Trying to get used to the idea that I will have to spend a certain part of my winter training on this contraption.

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.

Indian Summer?

By Cycling Dad

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 :) ?

 

Time to get down to business… eventually…

By Cycling Dad

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…