A week in Hochsauerland

Veloviewer Activity WheelLate last year, we booked a ‘mid week’ in a Center Parcs bungalow in Medebach, a town in the Hochsauerland district (or Kreis in German).

Thanks to grocery store Albert Heijn, we had a nice discount on the (usually steep) price, but with a catch: we had to book for a week no later than the last week of March.

The district covers the largest part of the Sauerland mountains, with elevations up to just over 800 meters, which is why I thought it to be a nice (first) training stage for the expedition to the French Alps later this year.

However, as the area is better known for the ski resort Winterberg, I expected temperatures well below comfortable this time of year – I was not disappointed…

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Maintenance Week

Due to exceptionally good weather this week, I’ve been able to ride outside, which beats riding the Tacx trainer by a million miles, albeit that the latter is much safer.

Last year around this time, things were still covered in snow, pro races were cancelled and I was on my turbo trainer like a hamster in a wheel.

Two years ago, the weather was also very nice, I was riding outside – I had even done a Gran Fondo or two already – but ended up in the hospital after a bad crash, which left me with several broken ribs, a fractured shoulder and a badly bruised hip.

Needles to say that this time of year is causing mixed emotions and we haven’t even reached May yet, where last year I ended up in the hospital again after another crash

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Warming up for the Alps

We just had the warmest 8th of March ever Рthe temperature rose to a staggering 16 degrees (Celcius), which would not be bad for an average day in July.

Tomorrow, a new record will be set, as the expected high is around 20 degrees…

Much better compared to last week(end), which not surprisingly left me with a cold. Added to the back issues I had, the sneezing did not help over the past couple of days.

Still, I got on my bike Thursday, when the temperature was well over “normal” also. Because that (short) ride went well, I decided I was getting better and went out for some more yesterday.

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Flanders Blue(s)

This past weekend, we went to Temse for the Belgian Open (Mahjong, MCR rules) – Paula was playing, I was planning on riding my own “Tour of Flanders”, because the Flemish Ardennes are just around the corner.

It had been a long time since I cycled there. The area has many Pro Tour races and most of them are famous for their vicious cobblestone roads and climbs.

In general, the roads are treacherous in the area and many of the pro riders have scars to prove that.

I visited the Center for the Tour of Flanders in Oudenaarde during last year’s trip to Temse and we planned a cycling trip for May then, but I decided to take a leisure week in the hospital instead…

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