Monday, 28 May 2007

Matt und James's Deutch Fahrt - Route Map

Finally managed a 100-mile ride today - from Birmingham to Stoke-on-Trent and back. It's not the distance that's been the problem, more the time involved: I left home at 11.00am and got back at 7.00pm. And I remembered how hard it is to eat and drink enough without making the conscious effort.

But despite having a cold coming on, and a persistent drizzle, it went very well and I didn't have any real fatigue or soreness. Sadly my cycling shoes won't be coming with me to Germany, as they have finally given up the ghost after 5 years and about 10,000 miles. I suppose it's better that they expire now rather than in the Czech Republic.

Ordered replacements, plus new tyres and shorts, and just hope they arrive in time for the trip, or I'm in trouble.

And here's a map of the route, to give you an idea of where we're heading. Admittedly it doesn't look the straightest route, but we had a few places we wanted to cycle via...

Thursday, 24 May 2007

Thursday, May 24th - D-Day minus 22 days

Preparations continue, with James finalising the route and beginning to book hotels. Both of us are keeping up the training intensity.

James took the bike (with fully-loaded panniers) on the train to Lausanne (on the lake of Geneva) and cycled back over 2 days (90 miles Saturday, 100 miles Sunday). It was his first experience of the full-scale distance and, apart from having the obligatory sore arse and wobbly legs, held up remarkably well for someone who hasn't cycled regularly since he was a teenager.

Here he is in all his glory on his 'Old Lady Special'!

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Matt und James's Deutch Fahrt - Introduction

Me in front of the Millau bridge last year.

It's a calendar month to go until the start of this year's ride. The plan is for me to fly over to Switzerland, travel up by train to Hamburg in Germany overnight with James and set out from there - first to Berlin, then Dresden, Prague, Munich and eventually finish in Zurich after about 10 days. Easy-peasy!

It's all a little hazy as James is in charge of the route; by this time on my last ride I'd probably printed my maps and booked hotels, but that's just the seat-of-the-pants craziness that James is known for.

Both of us are pretty much as fit as we need to be - we've been training since January and James has managed a 100-mile ride, whilst I've only got up to 75-miles so far, plus regular 20-30 mile rides (I don't want to peak too soon). Both bikes are serviced and ready and kit is in order.

Flights and train are booked too. All we need is the route, maps, overnight stops worked out, hotel shortlist done and key nights booked. James, over to you...