New Country, New language, and a very exciting season ahead.

Posted: 16 March 2014 in School of Cross European Adventure p/b FSA

I finally made it to Germany and had a very relaxing off season.  The few times that I was required to go for a bike ride just blew my mind.  My backyard is basically the Schönbuch Forest. Which is a large forested area similar to the Black Forest, and large enough that I can do a 4 hr ride in the forest and not have to deal with any car traffic, it’s great!  It’s mostly all double track gravel roads, so I’ve been spending a whole lot of time on my cyclocross bike.  One of the major differences in terms of training out here that is different from Edmonton is all the climbing.  Switchback gravel climbs up the ying yang!  I’ve been doing my best to learn and speak as much German as possible, but the overwhelming new words and phrases are sometimes hard to manage with.  Lucky, but not good for my German language progression, is the fact that when I try to speak German to locals, they sense the bad accent and immediately switch to English.  My incredibly talented wife is having the other issue because when she picks up languages, she picks them up with a flawless accent, so locals look at her funny when she asks them if they understand English in near perfect German.  But we have been attending German classes twice a week which is what I need and it’s a bit too slow for Emily but it was important that we would be able to do them together.  On the other hand, my role here aside from training like a professional cyclist is to do all the shopping, cooking, and cleaning around the house, or the house-husband.

A typical weekday of shopping with the new German Steed.

A typical weekday of shopping with the new German Steed.

I’ve been getting pretty good at it and am getting really good at sourcing really cheap things that we need around the house and for my training needs.  For example, last week I found a lady on E-bay-Kleinanzeigen (which is basically the Germany Kijiji) for a weigh scale I needed who was in Stuttgart (40km’s away) so I made one of my training days go long and headed up to see if I could find her house.  Thankfully I have a GPS directions app on my phone that tells me where to go otherwise I would have definitely been lost in the forest and small towns.  It’s pretty hard to navigate around here over long distances because of all the hills and all the small towns look so similar.  Anyways, all that and the weight scale only cost me 2 Euro.  Totally worth the trip.

Sunday is a fun day to head out adventuring because it’s the one day per week that people have nothing to do.  Literally all the food shops are closed and most family’s head out doing family things, so I see a lot of smiling family’s out on the trails.  Today I figured I’d head out in the other direction on my ride and head towards the Schwabische Alb.  I found the coolest looking tower thing on the top of the nearest mountain and headed straight for it.  With a few detours, I eventually found it (along with some very rare single track)…

Threshold View of Schwabische Alb

Schwabische Alb View back to Tübingen.

The riding here has been phenomenal, and I can’t wait until my rides get up to 4 hrs in length because it would open my reach to some very cool options in the distance.  For right now I’ve been keeping most of my rides close by Tübingen in order to keep the expenses to a minimum, but on the rare occasion I’ve head out on a bit of a travelling adventure.  A few weeks ago Emily and I headed out in search of snow and found Davos.  Very cool place to be skiing that’s for sure!  I can’t imagine what the downhill skiing must be like there!

Emily and I skiing (Langlaufen) in Davos-Klosters.

Emily and I skiing (Langlaufen) in Davos-Klosters.

Speaking of that photo, I’m definitely going to have trouble regulating my chocolate intake in Germany here.  Emily took me to the Ritter Sport factory in Waldenbuch (about an hr ride away) last weekend and we rode away with probably 4 kg’s of chocolate in our bag.  In order to keep the intake to a minimum, we have implemented a 4 square per day rule for me and Emily hid the chocolate somewhere in the apartment so I can’t find it and randomly chow down on a whole bar… or two…

In team news, I have been able to hook up with a local MTB team for the summer so I’ll be doing a mix of marathon races with some Olympic races thrown in for good measure as I try to do my best job at transitioning from roadie-CXer to MTB-CXer.  Check out the website!  Haider’s shop is very cool.  I have a feeling I’ll enjoy this summer!


  1. Aaron says:

    Gotten used to people pronouncing your last name the proper way?

  2. Aaron says:

    Apologies, I thought it was from the Schüler.

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