Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Auf Wiedersehen Sigmaringen

We have moved on from Sigmaringen and are now sifting around the Loire Valley in France.
Our last week in Sigmaringen ended with the last LBS-Liga race in Schluchsee.  I was again relegated to the bench due to my inability to swim which is a shame because it was a pretty hilly course which would have suited me.  J-Rad started for the men’s 2nd team and had a bit of a shocker on the bike due to a sudden inability to ride downhills properly but had a good swim and run.  
Good laufren J-Rad
His team did well winning the teams division for the race and coming 2nd for the season.  The race was held in a very scenic alpine town which unfortunately had some nasty alpine weather.  It was about 12 degrees with squally rain and gusty wind when we arrived, the rain moved on but it was still cold and windy for the rest of the time.
Nice venue for a race
A pool on a lake
 The rest of week was the usual schwim, rad and lauf.  I lost my schwim mojo a bit after a slightly arctic experience in the outdoor pool which had dropped a couple of degrees and then only managed one short schwim after that.
Radfahren went well doing a couple of rides with our Aussie mates plus a solo 100km to get ready for l’Alpe d’Huez.  Sadly our last ride in Simaringen finished with a downpour in some icy German rain but we were riding on a new route with a local German which was a nice change.  The weather is quite up and down with a couple of hot weeks then dropping down at least 5 degrees in the sun but more rain and cloud and no thunderstorms.  Crazy.
Laufen has also gone well with a bit over 50km laufed (?) for the week and a long lauf of 20km.  I am really going to miss running on the soft forest tracks, we obviously do have trails to run on at home but they mostly require driving to the bush and then avoiding tree roots, rocks, etc.  The trails are gravel not mud/dirt and wide and smooth so you can still run at your usual pace and also do uptempo/efforts, the trails at home are usually technical so a muppet like me has to watch her feet and my pace increases by about one minute per km at the best of times.  That being said there is nothing like running along Auckland’s waterfront on a sunny day so we do have something that the German’s don’t.

So we packed up all our gear and headed out of Sigmaringen on the train to Paris via Stuttgart.  The train ride to Stuttgart was full of interesting customers the most interesting being a couple of men in their 50/60’s sitting opposite us – one spent about 20 minutes giving the other man a vigorous arm massage while the recipient slowly ate a banana.  It was weird.
Guarding the Sigmaringen Castle before we go

Then it was onto Paris on the TGV, 1st class of course.  It was very comfortable and we even got a meal which was a surprise.  Not quite the high culinary standard of Emirates but was well received nonetheless.  I was a bit disappointed that we only seemed to be averaging around 150kph but after about an hour we cranked it up to a bit over 300kph – how do I know this you may ask, I wouldn’t be a nerdy triathlon if I didn’t use my Garmin for purposes other than bike riding.
Smashing it
 We finally arrived at Paris and the train dropped us off about 500m away from the main part of the station.  Lucky for me some of the train station staff took pity on me struggling with my bike box and luggage and put my bike on a cart and took it to the station for me.  We then took another 30 minutes to find where the car rental was located (in the basement of course) and then zoomed out into the streets of Paris in our Renault Clio with gay abandon.
We are now situated in Blois for the next few days then onto Chartres to see the Tour de France penultimate stage before TGV’ing down to the Alps for a little race in the hills.
Au revoir.

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