By cycling what I really mean is mountain biking. Once, while on holiday in England, I cycled from the East Coast to the Lleyn Peninsula in Wales but I really got seriously in to cycling in 2000 when I joined a group of colleagues who were cycling across the Alps.
Take a look at the cartoon here and you will understand why it is all such fun.
In 2004 I started cycling with the TV Nesselwang Fitness Group whenever time allows and now cycle at least twice a week when possible. Once again, living at the foot of the Alps is a huge advantage and allows us to cycle straight from the doorstep into some fantastic scenery.
I bought my bike third hand from my brother to use when we cycled across the Alps. It has a steel frame and no springs. The front wheel is one rescued from the rubbish skip after the old one nearly wore through from too much braking. The brakes are V brakes and get very hot after only 500 meters of descent. On two occasions streams of sparks scared the person following during a night descent. It has little spots of rust and is missing some paint. Most of it has been rebuilt by
This week my bike was stolen from my place of work :-) I am therefore currently without a bike until the police find it, some one else finds it or I buy a new one.
The following is an excerpt from the local paper reporting it stolen and asking for any one with any information to contact the police.
My new bike is bright orange and has my email address set in to the metallic paint. If some one wants to steal this one they are going to have to scrape all the paint off before they can resell it. My friend, Jon, has recently set up in business and sells custom bikes so it was obvious that the bike should come from him. Because they are custom built you can specify exactly what you want. The two most important "upgrades" are springs and disc brakes.
Hopefully this bike survives as long and as well as my old one did.
So what is so special about cycling to Sportheim Böck? I do it most weeks on a Wednesday evening to visit the restaurant near the top of the mountain. But this week I did it on my "new bike" After my old bike was stolen it has been a few months since I have cycled further than to work and back, so the 600 vertical meters was something of a challenge.
The weather was clouded over and even at the top I didn''t quite break out of the clouds but luckily the restaurant was open (the last day this year) so at least I got a hot drink to warm the extremities.
On the way down I really appreciated the new springs but the brakes weren''t yet bedded in so I missed one curve and ran out in to a field.
Back in town I tried locking my back brake, which worked superbly and then the front brake. Locking the front brake at speed turned out to be not such a good idea and I was thrown off doing so. Luckily I had a helmet on but still lost some skin on my arm and had neck ache for two days afterwards.