Planning Short Trips

Although I stopped meticulously planning my season after everything got messed up in 2012 and 2013, due to unplanned short holidays in the hospital, I still do plan short cycling outings abroad.

These are typically aimed at humiliating myself in ‘mountainous areas’, or at least anything that involves something more challenging than what the south of my country has to offer.

For this year, I have not planned anything as spectacular as a ‘Tour de France’ or ‘Giro d’Italia’, but both the Vosges and Hochsauerland offer (more than) enough challenges…

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Sensa Giulia G2 – First Impressions

The Batbike

Update: the Batbike has since been fitted with a 3T Vola Team Stealth – read about it here.

As I obviously did not want to get my brand new Sensa Giulia G2 dirty – God forbid! – I continued cycling indoors on my demoted Element all through January and February.

Well, I did get out on the Bulls a couple of times, but other than that, I was honing my skills on the various indoor cycling platforms (mostly Zwift and CVT though).

Not such a bad way to spend time on zee baik, and I totally disagree with those ‘bad ass’ riders who argue that indoor rides amount to next to nothing, but I do agree that a real outdoor ride has it’s own unique merits.

Between those indoor rides, I was ‘finetuning’ my Batbike, with clip-on aerobars, an ‘all black’ saddle* and a Stages PM, waiting for the weather to change.

And one week after my frosty tour of Flanders, it finally did and I took the Sensa Giulia G2 for a spin.

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Cols of the Swiss Stage

Tour de Suisse logo smallIn June last year, at the end of my Giro d’Italia 2015, I rode an entirely ‘Swiss Stage’ including the Gotthard (Tremola road), the Furka and the Grimsel.

You can read a report on that stage here – it offered some of the most stunning views I have encountered so far and I am determined to get back there for more, during a longer stay.

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Frosty Flanders

Hard earnedOne short cycling trip that’s becoming sort of a tradition, is my “Tour of Flanders”.

For the third year in a row, I cycled around the city of Oudenaarde, location of the Center for the Tour of Flanders.

As Paula is participating in the Belgian Open (Mahjong Tournament), these trips are “solo” and since my first attempt on the road bike,

I now ride them on my 29er.

I’ve learned the hard way that during the type of weather that is common this early in the year, the cobblestones – and especially during uphill sections – require a skill I have yet to master.

While not impossible, it’s a lot harder to crash on these when on bike with fat profile tires and suspension.

The additional weight, some 10 kilograms, obviously matter during uphills, but I’ll take that over painfully crashing any day…

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