Sunday, November 22, 2009

Are We Not Men?

I dared to go back.

I rode up by the Klinikum again today, the same area I rode when I first got my bike back from the shop. No tree-smashed bikes to contend with this time, just my lack of hydration, endurance, and skill. Oh yeah, and the mud. I could count the number of times I went down a hill sideways due to the amount of mud on one of those two-pronged forks made for the grill. Despite the over abundance of mud, it was a fun, challenging ride that got me out of the apartment on a day that was overcast, but ended in a very spectacular sunset.

Last weekend was the first weekend since September where I was able to get out and ride both days. I took my road bike off the trainer and hit the actual rode for a change. My initial excitement and joy at riding un-tethered would come back to haunt me. I felt so good because I had the wind in my face and every pedal stroke moved my bike forward, I immediately jumped to the big chain ring. After a couple miles of hammering it, I hit a wall that I never really recovered from. In the end I covered a mere 30 miles in two days of riding - less than what I would cover in one ride when the weather was nicer and work wasn't so time consuming.

I know after this weekend I'll want to ride every day. Penny and I are traveling to Italy to purchase a new bike. Penny isn't, she is just going to see more of Italy (neither of us have been to Florence so we'll probably spend a couple days there).

Enjoy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I Don't Know, I Don't Know What the Blog is About

Christmas - the only reason Rothenberg ob der Tauber - "above the Tauber River" (from here forward referred to simply as odT) exists. Seriously. For those of you in the know, the original K├Ąthe Wohlfahrt store resides in odT. For those of you not in the know, check out this in-depth Wikipedia page. The reason I bring that up is Penny and I visited there last Friday. It was a nice little day trip. The following day we went south (odT is southwest of Bamberg) to Ingolstadt, the town I spent a month in through a school program during the summer of 2002. Again, a nice day trip though it was much colder on Saturday than Friday. I remember eating some goulasch soup at a restaurant called The Post Wagen during my time there. To this day I claim it is the best goulasch soup I've ever had. I'm not sure if it is because it was the first time I had real goulasch soup or not, but trying it again was one of my reasons for wanting to visit Ingolstadt. Unfortunately The Post Wagen is only open for dinner during the weekends and with an hour and a half drive awaiting us on the return trip to Bamberg we didn't want to stay that long. Oh well, maybe I'll be lucky enough to swing through one time this winter on my way back from snowboarding.

Remember when athletes first signed $10 million dollar-a-year contracts? Now it is pretty common to see salaries in the teens or twenty-million dollar range for baseball, basketball, and even football players. Heck, even golf now has the FedEx Cup which awards $10 million to the winner. Anyway, it appears as though Alberto Contador, this year's Tour de France winner (also winner of the Giro d'Italia, Vuelta Espana, and the 2007 TdF) has a contract offer from Astana for roughly 8 million Euros - or about $2,928,474 billion US dollars with the current exchange rate! Ok, maybe it's more like $12 million, but still, who would have thought that a cyclist would have a contract that big? Crazy. (Just on a side note that I placed in parenthesis to highlight the fact that it is a side note, here [scroll about halfway down and read the section called Keep 'Em in College] is an interesting article about college athletes and money.)