Thursday, March 22, 2007

Still snowing....

Another day of playing in the snow.....a sad looking snow man and a broken little wooden sled....after a good life of 20 years, today we managed to break the poor thing with a crash down one of the hills....whoops!

We finished the afternoon off with JagerTee in a warm, very cosy bar in Oberhof.

And then there was snow....

It all started on Tuesday when we went riding and were snowed on....we got home and then the snow really started, a bit of a treat for this little Aussie who hasn't seen much snow falling in her years so it was a little bit of a thrill. The snow continued through the night and we awoke to more big snowflakes falling so we decided to drive up to the closest ski-resort town of Oberhof which is 30km away. I started taking photos half-way through the drive when I saw all the snow on the big pine trees.....funny when I look at them now, because there was so much more snow up in Oberhof. It is amazing to think we rode up there last Friday and the sun was shining down on us......We had a snow-ball fight, ran around in the snow a bit and then recovered with coffee and apple-strudel in a 'traditional' style German Schaenke (like a restaurant/bar kind of place), very old-school with old German music adding atmosphere.
This morning we woke to the village being white, this bottom photo is the view from Gunnar's window....I think it is another day for the ergo and then some sledding is on the cards up in the mountains...

Monday, March 19, 2007

A wee bit chilly...

I have been here a week now, and although still dropping off at 8:30pm I am rather settled. After a first few days of glorious sunshine the weather got a little bit colder and the thermal pants, jacket, hat, gloves and booties were all pulled out. On Friday we went riding in the mountains...the second picture is me riding up to Oberhof next to the big ski-jumping...'jump' is amazing how big it looks in real life. There was snow up in the mountains and it was lovely riding up there with some sunshine and blue sky overhead. Over the weekend it was a lot less pleasant, with wind to well and truly rival Holland to be found....I managed to get in some good training while my team-mates raced in the rain near Frankfurt...unfortunately they didn't the best of luck with a few falls. I will be joining them next weekend for my first race, but until then some more training for me :)
Happy Birthday to Miesi for today :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Sunshine in Germany

I was both sad and excited to get on the plane to come to Germany last Saturday. It was sad to leave behind friends and family after such an enjoyable summer in Sydney, and such a good life that I have at home. I am excited about my upcoming year, joining a new team and being based in Germany but I was a little worried about leaving beautiful weather in Sydney to go into the European spring.
I touched down in Frankfurt early on Sunday morning, it was -1 degree but clear blue skies greeted me. It was so good to see Gunnar again after such a long time, and we were grinning at each other like idiots for quite awhile. Yesterday we drove to Berlin to the team house which is very impressive, and I picked up my bike and my gear. This morning I ventured out on the bike, it felt great...I have never ridden a compact frame before so it was a little different to start with, but it handles beautifully and it is always a treat to ride on a new bike with new running almost feels as though you don't need to pedal.
Hopefully this weather holds for the next weeks (actually until October would be nice) first race is a German race on 25th I have some weeks to settle in and get some good training in before the racing season really kicks off.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Exploring Sydney

We had one last day in Sydney before Gela left to go back home to Germany and we wanted to make the most of it. With a busy schedule of training in the weeks before, we'd managed to only do a few touristy things....Bronte and Freshwater Beach, a ferry ride under the Harbour Bridge and drinks at the Opera Bar were all we had managed.
We awoke to a hot, muggy but cloudy Sydney day, we headed down to The Spit for my first ever kayaking experience. With friends, Sam and Heather we jumped into our single kayaks and headed off to explore the Harbour. My little arms haven't had a workout like this for awhile, I was buggered after 5mins! I am so lucky to live in such a beautiful city and this is a great way to explore it....down on the water, gliding along...we paddled over to Balmoral Beach, contemplated the beach and a coffee but realised we would probably take out a few too many small children trying to make our way turned back and beached ourselves on a small harbour beach half-way back. We all jumped in to cool off and after a refreshing swim paddled our way back...a well spent 2 hours :)
Gela and I changed our very wet clothes and headed up the hill to Taronga Zoo. Gela was keen to see some local wildlife (her experience before this had consisted solely of a dead kangaroo on the side of the road). She was impressed by the location of the zoo and the enclosures that are a lot more than cages. We saw the koalas, kangaroos, platypus, chimpanzees, giraffes, zebras, elephants and the turtles getting some late Sunday afternoon action....
From there we headed to Bondi, drank beer at Icebergs while appreciating the gorgeous zoo and the many surfers. The sun set, the moon started to rise and we headed home after what had been a great Sydney day.

Season 2007 begins...

Last Monday Angela (my little German team-mate) and I headed down to Geelong to begin our first days of international racing. Unfortunately our team didn't come out and so I raced with the NSWIS team and she raced with the German National team. As it was pouring rain in Sydney, the sun shone down south and we had a week of sunshine (most of the time) and some good racing. This is the first international racing on the calendar and it is always a bit of a shock to get the legs and lungs firing again.
I had a chance to race with a new group of girls, I had a good week with Toirease Gallagher, Rennski, Peta Mullens, Tiff Cromwell, Skye-Lee Armstrong and Helen Kelly. After 3 days of racing the Geelong Tour, getting into the swing of attacking, chasing, crashing (not all of us luckily!) and sprinting we were feeling a bit more in race mode.
We had a day off and then on Saturday lined up for the opening round of the Womens World Cup series in downtown Geelong. I had a good day, was out the front all day in a break and wasn't too surprised when it came back together with a lap to go but that set the race up for Angela to sprint in for 5th....a good result so early in the season.