King of the Mountain

RAD ROSS does Oktoberfest

Bavaria

After a tough 3.5 month lay-off from the bike, and with the prospect of a healthy knee, I decided it was a good idea to explore Europe by bike. Luckily,the new cross bike arrived just in time for the journey. Equipped with fenders and a plastic milk crate zip-tied to the rack, we set off on our 3 wk adventure. 
The plan was simple, start things off right and hit up Oktoberfest in Munich and then head south for the warm weather. As it turns out, the plan worked out perfectly as we "carbo-loaded" in Germany to kick things off. Once Oktoberfest was played out, we started our journey south through Bavaria and into the Alps.  The roads in Bavaria were amazing, nothing but rolling green hills dotted with small villages, and little to no traffic.  In fact, the majority of "traffic" consisted of old farmers on tractors and fellow cyclists enjoying the nice autumn weather.  Once we hit the Alps it was all business, tackling big climbs and even bigger mtns.  We stopped in Innsbruck, Austria for several days to rest (or I mean wreck) our already tired legs. On the "rest day" we decided it was a good idea to hike/run up to the top of the nearest mountain.  After a 12,000 (6k-up, 6k-down) vertical foot jaunt, our legs were toast. The next few days were spent hobbling around and wincing in pain.  After riding through the alps and into Italy, we reached the Mediterranean Coastline. The temperatures during the day hovered in the 80's, and we camped along the beach as we headed west toward the French Riviera.The roads in Italy are spectacular, and by spectacular I mean really hard.  We found out that a 100 kilometer day of riding somehow consists of 80k uphill! The roads are either straight-up, or straight-down as they meander along the coast.  Once we reached Nice, France, we started to head north toward Paris where I have family. After a quick layover in Paris, we continued on to Belgium where we got utterly destroyed by the local talent (ie old Belgium guys wearing day-glow 80's team kits).  I made the mistake of asking for directions to an old-timer who was more than happy to show us the route.Turns out, old Belgian guys can hammer on a bike and basically sleigh it for at least 35k. One of the highlights of the trip was watching a Superprestige Cyclocross Race in Rudervoorde, Belgium.  I've never seen such a spectacle at a race; old people, young people, women in high heels, kids wearing their favorite team jersey, people smoking cigarettes, and EVERYONE drinking beer! I've never seen so many people at a race before, and so much excitement in the air.  We knew we'd arrived when we saw helicoptors circling (all cross races are broadcast live on Eurosport) and giant jumbo-tron screens showing the race action.  What a great way to end the trip!  Makes me want to get in shape and race cross... Next up for me is the Iceman Cometh Mtb race in Northern Michigan. I've got a few weeks to somehow magically whip myself into race shape. Wish me luck!

Alps

Comments

coDy REEcE

Ross,
You really should slow down, you're making the rest of us look bad. No more world tours no more racing. Just slow down and drink 3-14 beers a day and you will be just splendtacular.
XOXO CCR33C3

Bells Brewery/ Quiring Cycles

Ross nice to have you at the Iceman....Next year bring marsh-mellows cause it's ON !

Flo

Why didn't you tell me that you come to Bavaria? I could show the most beautiful trips in the Alps, because as a mountain bike rider I know them like the back of my hand;-)

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