Thursday, March 15, 2007

Training 8

Route: Münster-Everwinkel-Telgte
Time: 2:30
Distance: 50 km
Average km/h: 19,8
Top km/h: appr. 35
Total training: 330 km
Conditions: Sunny, windy

This entire weekend presented beautiful weather, and I had the opportunity to go bicycling both Saturday and Sunday. Saturday I went by myself on a nice ride to Everswinkel, further east of Münster then ever before. By now I barely use the map. I have become familiar with the streets signs and I am good at finding good bicycle roads on my own. Nevertheless, the surroundings are still the same; scattered farms, open plains, occasional clusters of trees, small winding roads of tarmac, and the usual stink of dung. Therefore, by Training 8 I have unfortunately not so much interesting information to share. I can only conclude that I have definitely become stronger and can pedal faster for a longer period of time. In spite of tough winds in the open areas, I still pushed the average speed up to 19,8 km/h for 50 kilometers without any rest but for two short stops to take a picture.

Sunday was not about training, or averaging a high speed. (The above numbers only refer to Saturday’s tour.) It was all about enjoying the ride, cruising down the road, smelling the air of spring and absorbing the sun that has been hiding for the last few months. For the first time my girlfriend, Sandra, and me went out for a long tour together around her hometown, Hessen/Hamm. Sandra enjoys taking a walk once a while and does not share my interest in bicycling. Since I started training I have been pushing her to go with me on a short ride with no success until this day. We did not plan to pedal very far, but eventually we must have covered around 35 km. Sandra impressed me. Not only did she keep a good pace, but not once did she complain about sour muscles or an aching back. On the contrary, I think I was suffering more than she was due to the tough 50 km ride the previous day.

We brought some salad, sandwiches, drinks, coffee and a freshly baked cake. After about 20 km we deserved it all as we settle down next to a field. The sky was bright blue, but for the sun brightly painted over it. Spring had arrived. There is nothing more refreshing like the first feeling of the warmth of the sun on your skin or the first smell of fresh grass. You can only understand this feeling coming from a region where you must withstand more than 6 months of cold and rain, or snow, and spring arrives slowly only with a few days of sun.

After the last zip of coffee we continued on our excursion. Only after a few kilometer, after reaching a castle nearby, we surrendered to the sun once more and laid out flat to soak up the remaining warming rays of the sun. But as time passes, the sun sets and the cold air returns. It is still March and you cannot get too comfortable yet. We decided we have had enough fresh air for one day and pedaled straight home a few more kilometers. It had been a beautiful day. Sandra certainly impressed me with her bicycling skills and endurance. Now she was laying exhausted, motionless on the sofa, unable to speak, only to mumble yes or no to my question.

This could have been the last training before my departure. I am not sure I will be able to make it out on a longer ride before I face the real thing in Vietnam. You can view all Training posts here, and check out the slideshow from the training sessions here.


  1. A secret fan from aboveMarch 16, 2007

    Thanks for a really good site. I am looking forward following your experiences here! I want to share some of my experiences with you too.

    Yesterday I was biking around the promenade and the Aasee. It was a tour of almost 10 km and I think I averaged around 13-14 km/h. The weather conditions were ok, around 14 degress and a bit cloudy. I was very tired when I came back home after this exhausting event!

    I will keep you updated on my next biking trips!

  2. Thanks, Magnus. Looking forward. Maybe you can get your own URL, though. I saw that was available...