12 November 2010

Zeven: City Limits

Feeling an urgent need to remove Barfy McBarfington from the top page of this blog and to put in some more cycling kilometers before the winter starts for earnest, I decided to make a longer trip on the weekend ... and to blog about it.

I checked out the weather and it was raining hard. Great, I thought, finally I could test my full rain equipment with the Gazelle and ride an hour or so until I am wet. However, after having a leisurely consumed breakfast, rain clouds had moved on and the sun was shining again. Forcing me to conduct a longer ride.

I didn't trusted the weather though, and that's why I choose the dirt guard equipped Gazelle over the Cervelo. Temperatures had dropped to 5 degrees C average so I chose the Assos air jacket 851with color-matched cap. So many things one has to think of before finally start riding.....

The roads were still wet from the rain and the Gazelle is a wonderful bike. Thanks to the well dimensioned mud guards one doesn't need to worry about dirt and spray. And the bike is old so it doesn't matter if it gets dirty. Cleaning is so easy, no worries about scratches and so... just wonderful. The drawback is, that the Gazelle is actually not
a very fast bike. Well it is fast enough to take me back and forth to work, which is about 4 km from my house regardless of the weather, but it's about 30 years old, heavy, it has 2 by 6 gears and the shifters sit on the downtube. For lazy riders like me, who never learned to move their hands away from the handle, it is essentially a single speed bike and that's how I use it.
It needs time and effort to accelerate. Once it is running one can keep the speed with approximately the same effort as riding with the Cervelo, but it takes much more effort to reach, say 30 km/hr. And frequent braking and accelerating can be quite power-consuming. All in all I was about 10 - 15% slower than on the Cervelo. But it is winter and riding on a more power-consuming bike can be a very good training - one doesn't need to drag tires begin the bike always.

I decided to ride up to Zeven, which is a town I passed in May when I did the Bremen bike marathon - and got lost. Zeven is just in the middle of the SOS landscape area surrounding Lower Saxony.
So far so good. I made a very short break at a gas stand in Tarmstedt to buy some croissant and when I was home the attendant called me to tell me that I have left my Blackberry there. So I had to make another trip to Tarmstedt, this time by car to retrieve the phone one day later. Need to know something about Tarmstedt - feel free to ask.

Generally there were a lot of wet leaves on the roads and on the cycling lanes. A lot of the roads have trees planted on both sides and there is not much effort done to clean teh surface. I had to go slower than I wanted to go as I was afraid of a crash. 

After Zeven I made the usual Turn to Worpswede and climbed the gruesome "Weyerberg" hill; the legend says that this is a sand dune that got lost in the vastness of the SOS landscape. On the slopes down I reached even 55 km/hr, an unheard speed in 2D Bremen. Within no time I was back on the main cycle highway along the river Wümme between Dammsiel and Kuhsiel, when I noted that another cyclist tried to draft behind me. I let him do that, until we came to a T-section where I faked a left turn, he went right and then I was in his back. This road was leading to the second climbing challenge of the day: The bridge over federal highway 27. So I let him go in front and as he knew that I was behind him he worked hard and then accelerated when the slope began. I would have loved to write that I then boldly overtook him on the Gazelle (and I still wonder what prevented me to write just that), but as a matter of fact, I didn't stand a chance to accelerate with the Gazelle and with 100 km plus distance in my legs so I watched him move away. "Wait for the Transalp, sucker!" I shouted behind him, but he was too far anyway to hear me, so I negatively impressed some old ladies taking a walk only.

122 km after I have started I was back at home. Not such an impressive distance, but I could ride all of this in 4:30 hrs, including all breaks. It was much harder than on the Cervelo. It was also only the second time after taking bad boy out for a spin in Chichibu last year, that I made a 100 km plus trip on another bike than the Cervelo.

Yes, the Gazelle will be the bike that I will ride between now and April next year.

By the way, opposed to Barfy McBarfington, who is a nobody, David Hasselhoff is a national German hero and one of the main responsibles for German unification in 1990 (the other responsible being his car). Therefore the inclusion of David Hasselhoff pictures in posts on this blog is expressively encouraged.


Dominic H said...

Thanks for the photo of the chainring, but no photo of your bike leaning on a fence?? Standards must be maintained. It is written....

David L. said...

Thank you for putting Hasselhoff at the bottom instead of the top of your post.

TOM said...

Mob...sometimes I don't know about you.