Saturday, June 4, 2011

New Skills

Thursday morning started out with attempting to do wheelies in the grass. It was fun, I am not very good at doing wheelies but I got up a couple of times and fell shortly after that. When the boys arrived we headed out for a relay ride. After we got warmed up we started the relays, it was a fun way to do interval training. Then we rode around the Black Forest on some cool trails. We headed to the bike park again and played on the obstacles for a while. I have learned how to do so much new stuff this trip. I learned how to ride over logs, teeter-totters and how to jump off of drops. It would have been nice to know how to do this stuff before the Offenburg World Cup but at least I know how to do it now. I still have a lot to learn but hopefully some of my new skills will come in handy on my ride tomorrow. The bike park is fun and by the end of our time there we were pushing our skill levels. Shortly before we left and on our way out we had a couple of crashes. I saw Wesley go off a drop almost had it and her bike jut toppled over her; she got up a little shaken and beaten up and rode down the hill. At the bottom of the hill Alisha and I both fell in the same spot, I rolled out of it but she scraped her knee up. It was hard to stop there with all of the people standing in the way. We took a break ate lunch and then headed out for a second ride in the afternoon. It was a nice easy ride into Freiburg on the bike path and then we turned around. It is crazy here you have watch out for cars on the bike path because they drive on it. They have little roads everywhere; you can just ride up the mountain on the road and then find a super sweet down hill on the way down.

Yesterday we went up a mountain road for about an hour and then found a hut and a field. The hut was closed this time of year but I bet it is packed in the summer. We rode up the field a little ways and found a really cool down hill. My hands started to cramp towards the bottom. The very bottom of the trail had crazy tight switchbacks. We came back changed and headed in to Freiberg. We walked around the city for a while. It was absolutely packed in there because it is a holiday weekend. We went in this really big old church. It was really big and had some cool paintings in it. Out side of the Church was a crape stand. We stopped and got some delicious crapes! We walked back to our meeting spot and then we left some of the girls in Freiberg to get their haircut and take the train back. They said it was a unique experience getting their haircut in a foreign country.

Today we went for a little pre-race ride. Rode some on the single track and then did some short efforts on the road. We rode to the boys house and practiced wheel changes. After that we changed out of our bike clothes we went to the Waffle house and got delicious waffles. Mine had applesauce on it and it was delicious. Most of the others got wild berries and ice cream, it looked really good and I might have to try it tomorrow if we go back. I chopped some potatoes with flimsy knives, seems like my designated job.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Post Race

The race was the hardest mountain bike race I have ever raced in as expected. These girls are so fast. I raced hard, but had some difficulty. My start was not very good, I could not get my foot in my pedal for a couple hundred meters and I had to avoid a pileup at the first corner. So I was pretty far off the back at the hill and I had some catching up to do if I wanted to stay in the race. I passed a girl on the climb and was pretty close to another right before the down hill. I made it over the drops no problem, jut take it at a comfortable speed. I was pushing the speed on some of the other stuff and crashed quite a few times (not to hard, just slow). I got passed back when I was running down one of the technical spots after I crashed. I kept crashing and lost a lot of time, I raced hard but got pulled at 80% on my second lap. I was bummed that I could not finish all of the laps, but also happy that I did not have to run down the technical spots any more. I think that I learned a lot from the race, about how to ride technical stuff and that I race better at the end of the summer when I am in better shape. It was really cool to watch the pro men race and see how fast they were and how they handled the technical stuff.
The next day we went for a nice ride up in the Black Forest (Schwartzwald) we found some fun single track to ride down, it was dry and loose. The down hill was fun and I defiantly think that riding the Offenburg course helped my technical skills and I feel like I am improving each day. We found a little practice park in the forest with some logs, drops and other boards to practice on. It was fun to go there and just practice on that equipment and learn how to handel the stuff in a controlled environment. I think that it helps to be able to practice skill where you feel comfortable. It was nice we also had Heather there to give us some pointers too.
We went out for a pretty long ride with the boys yesterday and got to ride an awesome section of single track up past St. Petersburg along a ridge and by some giant windmills. They may not look that big from far a way and like they are moving slow but they are huge and generating a lot of power. The down hill was loose, turny and dropy. It felt like I was riding stuff similar to the rides in Colorado. I definitely have gotten a lot beter at riding sine I have gotten to Europe and ridden one of the toughest mountain biking courses in the world. I would not have wanted to ride that section if it was in Colorado before I came here. I only fell once on it and it was a silly little mistake. This trip has made me better at riding my bike. We also got to see the skills of Wayne the mechanic when Wesley broke her brake and he fixed it with a camera cord and electrical tape. Very Cool! After the ride it started to rain, which was nice because it has given me some relief from my allergies which have just been killing me this trip. We took some short naps, I stretched and we went to dinner at a pizzeria to celebrate Heathers birthday. I love European pizza!
Today we went for a rainy ride! It is fun to ride in the rain. It looked so cool up in the mountains with all of the mist and the green trees. The trails are not dry any more. On the way up the mountain we saw a black and yellow salamander just standing in the same spot, we rode by and took pictures and it did not move. Our whole group saw it in the same spot just chilling in the middle of the fire road. We also saw lots of huge slugs on the trail, they were really grows if you accidentally rode over them, they exploded and left slug guts all over your wheel. There were also some really big snails on the road too. On the sides of the roads are the cows, sheep, goats, and horses of corse. After our nice rainy ride I hopped in the shower and warned up a bit. We wanted to do some laundry so we drove in the town and tried to find a Laundromat. Apparently the everyone that does not have a washer and drier must do their laundry on Friday from 12-2 because the lady told us that that was the only time they were open for laundry. I walked around in the town after that and tried to find the playground that I had my 3rd birthday at, I had no luck. It was a while ago so some things may have changed. I guess that I cannot rely on my memory from when I was 3 to help me find the playground. I walked around the town a bit more then headed home to stretch and have some dinner.
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