We’re Riding Up What?

14 May

I have barely moved today – I had good intentions of going to the gym and trying to push my legs a little further but after our 90km bike ride yesterday I’ve had trouble simply motivating myself to get off the chair as to not wet my pants. TMI…I know, so sorry.

After my jaunt in Sydney I am now right back into regular routine, and I can’t believe it’s coming up to 2 weeks since I’ve been back in Munich, it’s crazy. Huge big congrats to D&M for the birth of their gorgeous baby girl since my last post as well. If she turns out anything like D Man, then you guys have got it made! On a sad note, however, we received news on Tuesday morning that Mark’s grandmother had passed away so it was a bitter-sweet awakening. It wasn’t really a complete shock as she was 90 years old and not in the greatest of health but it’s still hard no matter what the situation. I think Markie had a bit of a rough time getting through work that day.

This past week was really not very eventful. I was lucky enough to be able to get to the gardens and lie in the sun a little on a couple of sensational days that we’ve had here. This week it’s back to being a bit chilly though but hopefully it doesn’t last too long before my glorious sun and heat returns. Markie seemed to get home later and later each day throughout the week, apart from the usual early-ish Friday. We spent the evening together walking around Munich and checking out Kulturstrand – a man made beach and bar with live DJ near the Isar River that lasts from mid-May to Mid-August. Pretty cool. Think Ivy Pool club…but not. That night we rode to a funky area called Schwabing and went out to a Spanish tapas restaurant for our date night. OMG – Chorizo…sooooo good. I think that has to be one of my favourite things to eat. It was really the first decent stint of time we’ve gotten since I got back to sit down and take a breath and enjoy one another’s company without being too tired, so it was a lovely night.

With the Raid Pyreneen looming upon us just 5 weeks away, Mark and Tunza had planned to ride both days of the weekend but because of inclement weather forecasted for Saturday, that didn’t happen. So on Saturday Markie and I had a TV marathon and got through several re-runs of How I Met Your Mother, as well as started and got most of the way through Revenge. We stayed in for dinner and had a quiet night as Sunday’s ride was still going ahead.

We decided to all go for a cycle on Sunday afternoon since it was meant to be ok weather all day and it allowed us to have another much desired sleep in. In the morning we just tried to prep our energy levels to survive the ride ahead – toast, pasta etc and I had finally decided to bite the bullet and join the boys. My longest ever ride has been 100km and the next longest was 85km. I hadn’t gone for a proper ride (over 20km off the bike trainer in the living room) since February last year so I had to give myself a bit of a talking to and psych myself up for it – physically and mentally because quite frankly I am still a bit scared about riding a bike since my accident. The profile of the ride that Markie had mapped out for us was 90km, had 4 climbs, a total vertical climb of 1380m, average grade on most of the climb of roughly 4% (so do-able) and on roads with traffic. Mentally prepared…check!

Until… we got there and started riding. The first 10km were as they should have been and then we got to the first climb and we passed a warning sign on the side of the road indicating that the steepness of the upcoming hill was in fact 18% – I’m sorry WTF?! It was meant to be 4%!  I was totally not ready for this, and neither were the guys, but we just put it up another gear and chugged up very snail-pacingly slowly for a few kms until it flattened out and then we hit another 10km or so of a similar steepness. Holy hell – welcome back to cycling Al. Anyway the rest of the ride in comparison didn’t seem too bad and we finished the ride at around 7:30pm in just over 3.5hrs. All proud of ourselves we cramped all the way of our 45 min trip back to Munich…then Markie and I seriously smashed some chow before collapsing into bed.

So that was our week! I didn’t get to make my ice cream because there wasn’t enough room in the freezer with everything in there currently, so it’s on the agenda for this week. Also in the next week or two we should have more of an idea of what’s going to happen to us in terms of Markie’s work and where we’ll be placed and for how long etc etc as there are a few things on the burner and up in the air at the moment so we just have to wait and see the next move made to determine the next chapter of our European adventures.

There are a couple of social activities planned for this week with a few catchups with friends, and then on Saturday the massive soccer/football Champions League Final being held in Munich with our local team, Bayern, competing against Chelsea.  It is going to get pretty crazy here this weekend with lots of German songs and chants, and beer consumed. C’mon Bayern!

Till next time…..xx

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