Headed out to Mosbach, Germany last weekend in hopes of finally being able to race in an LBS Cup MTB race. It’s basically a somewhat local series that focuses on development which I’m in dire need of for MTB. So I jumped on the train with some spare wheels and a bag in tow, to make sure I had all the bases covered in case the 40% chance of rain on Sunday actually appeared. Well as my luck would have it, Mother Nature did decide to show up. Not just overnight with a bit of a dousing, but right when I decided to change my wheels to the Mud tires, she opened up a drenching once again, and she wasn’t taking it easy on us. So I headed to the nearest spot where I wouldn’t get soaked which was as close to the building as possible. A nearby parent of one of the junior racers invited me over to the back of his van (ok, ok, it’s starting to sound weird, but just read on) and under the tailgate where it’s dry. As I didn’t speak much German I was just waiting for the opportunity to shoot him my main liner to open all my discussions with people, “Entschuldigung, Ich verstehe nur ein bischen Deutsch!” (Sorry, I only speak a little bit of German!) After sitting there for what must have been 5-10 mins while we waited for the rain to settle down without speaking a word to each other and both of us trying not to, the man speaks up to his son who’s just come back from his pre-ride and in a very English accent says, “Hurry up and get inside so you don’t catch a cold.” I turned to him and said, “Are you English?” Yes, and that is how I met my new friends Christopher, Lomas (son) and family. Who knew we were both non-German speakers sitting there in a small space trying not to speak German to each other!
Onto the pre-ride and this is when the conditions started to really get bad. I tried to keep the pre-riding down to a minimum as I knew I’d have some work to do on the bike before the big show and the weather was starting to make me behind schedule, so I just opted to scope out a couple of the lines a few different times and try them a few times to see what was fastest. Obviously, I was trying not to crash, but on one of the corners I slipped out and banged up my hanger really bad. I Headed over to the van and borrowed a wrench to try and straighten it out, while having the derailleur come apart on me and slicing my finger open, after some jigging, and a half stripped hanger later, I managed to get it all fixed up, or at least ridable. The Germans here call me “ein Beschtler” which is not a German word, but a Schwäbische word that basically means ‘one who makes things not by design or the way it was intended to be made, but jerry rigged into a functional state. Kinda like a fabricator who doesn’t follow a design. At least that’s my interpretation of it anyways. I tried looking it up in a dictionary, but got no where, it’s like I live on mars… Anyways, got it all fixed up just in time for them to cancel the race because of all the rain and the very close proximity of some crackling knarly thunder and lightning. So Lomas and I went out riding anyways to get some good training done in some conditions i’m normally used to, but not on the MTB!!
And many thanks to Lomas for pushing me on the uphills! I have some work to do in that area…
But here’s the fun part!
Testing the limits of traction!
Photo credits from the LBS MTB Cup website!
Next up, XCO Baden-Württemberg Champs in Freiburg!