Winterpokal 2016/17

Winterpokal 2016/17

Winterpokal is long gone but I wanted to hand in the final chart for this last Winterpokal. I already noted that this will be my best ever Winterpokal so far. I achieved 391 points and became 1166th in the user ranking. In fact at the end I got three times as much points as in my best Winterpokal before. That result is hard to beat in future winters. 🙂

Nevertheless my goal for next winter is to achieve 450 points and get under the first thousand users.

Die Trainingsbibel für Radsportler

Training knowledge

I have a bit of time at hand right now, so I decided to put my knowledge about training on a more solid scientific foundation. Since I started my training again last autumn I felt that I should individualise my training more. Until now I used a simple training plan scheme I found on the website of a german mountainbike magazine. Put it always felt like this was rather suboptimal.

The plan I used consisted of five different weeks. Each week hat a different goal: endurance, strength, intensity, race and recovery. I just mixed those weeks like I thought it could be useful. But there was no adjustment to my performance level. I think that can be critical.

One guy in the IBC recommended The Cyclist’s Training Bible1 by Joe Friel. It seems to be a standard work of training theory. I will read it in the next days and try to generate a training plan for the rest of my year with it.

Tom Dumoulin in Maglia Rosa

Unwritten rules in sports

Today was the queen’s stage of the 100th Giro d’Italia. Just before the last climb, after almost 200 kilometres of riding, the leading man – Tom Dumoulin – had to follow nature’s call and stop next to the street. The other favourites which whom he was riding together in a group before didn’t stop and wait for him. At first they seemed a bit surprised but shortly kept going on with their race. Tom Dumoulin was on his own from there on. When he finished his business he was about a minute behind.

Many people say that the other favourites should have waited for the Maglia Rosa.1 But I think in this case it is perfectly fine that they continued racing and even attacked each other.

  1. Tom Dumoulin didn’t suffer from any disadvantage like a crash with a motorbike or a careless fan. He either anticipated his metabolism wrong or he simply had very bad luck.
  2. It is a competition after all. In mountainbike racing flats, broken chains and crashes happen all the time. No one thinks about waiting on each other. Those things are part of the sport. It happens. Mechanicals disturb the competition but waiting for each other does too.

Before today Tom Dumoulin had an advantage on Nairo Quintana of 2:41 minutes. Now he has just 31 seconds. This promises very interesting last days of this years Giro d’Italia.

 

 

This doesn’t have anything to do with respect. Bad luck can happen to everybody. Not to mention bad planning. I think this “unwritten rule of cycling” is one to abandon. It feels like the rule to not put your elbows on the table while eating.

Unwritten rules in amateur sports

While we’re at it… there is this rule in amateur running competitions that it is bad form to overtake a woman right before the finish line as a man. What sexist rule is that? First women compete in a different category as men. So it doesn’t affect any result. Second not everyone crosses the start line at the same time. Maybe I overtake that woman just before the finish line, but it is still possible that I was slower in the whole race. Third why do I have to compromise my result for someone who doesn’t have anything to do with me at all. And last why does this rule only apply to women? Who not also to older men or children which also compete in those races.

Seems I don’t like unwritten rules (that don’t make any sense).

 

Photo by brassynn. License: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.


  1. That what the leaders jersey at the Giro d’Italia is called.

X-ray image of my broken collar bone.

No KOM or race win is worth an injury lay-off

One year ago today I broke my right collar bone in the first race of the season.1  It was also my last so far. I suppose almost every ambitious athlete suffers an injury during his life. I will describe my experience with the collar bone and what I learned from it.

Operation

In most of the cases an operation is needed. In the operation there will be a plate applied which connects the two parts of the broken collarbone again. But I managed to shred the outer three centimeters of the bone completely. It was not possible to screw a plate on top of it. My doctor decided to do a tight rope fixation. They drilled a hole through the intact part of my collar bone and another one through the bone below and pulled a rope through to move the collarbone down. That way the collarbone was in the right place again and could merge again with those fragments at the outer side.

Recovery

The problem with this is that it takes much more time than a fixation with plate would have. And you can’t move your arm properly for weeks. Because of that I had to wear a shoulder immobilizer for ten weeks. Thats a massive sling around the neck that looks like a sofa for small children. My recovery went pretty well, I think. I had regular physiotherapy in which I always could perform every exercise my trainer wanted to do. 52 days later I sat on my bike again. But only at home on the bike trainer. Outside the concussions would still have been too much. Over two months after the accident I did my first jog. My first time on the bike outside was 74 days after the accident – thats two and a half months without proper biking. That was a long time.

Motivation kicks in

When I had time to ride my bike again it was already autumn. But my motivation was higher than ever. I bought very good winter clothes and rode through the whole winter. When the temperatures got friendlier again my ride became even longer. This march was the month with the longest distance I ever had. I never was fitter. I further optimised my bike, adjusted the suspension and rethought my position on the bike. My feeling on the bike was so good.

Second injury

Two weeks ago I managed to crash again. One second after I went down I knew my collar bone was broken. Again. I roared into the woods. Frustration. Twenty seconds later I picked up my bike and rode home. This time I did a better job breaking the collar bone. Same bone, different position. This time I got a titan plate on the bone. It feels like a steel beam inside my shoulder.
It was my second bike accident since I ride mountainbike more serious. I hope in the future not every accident results in a bone injury. I would also be easily satisfied with some small scratches…

Recovering from a déjà vu

In the first days while I waited for my operation I felt pretty devastated. Everything felt like a big déjà-vu. It was difficult to accept that my season is falling apart yet again. But some days after the operation – today is day 8 – I felt that thanks to that plate I’m much more able to do things than last time. I already move around without the arm sling most of the time. I mean I’m stille pretty slow with everything that has to do with that arm. But at least I can move it at all. I plan to be on the bike trainer as early as next week. My physiotherapist even advised me to do so. Because encourage my metabolism will help with the healing.

Lessons learned

Because the same accident happened again so fast I spent a good amount of time thinking about what I can do to prevent this kind of accidents in the future. Both accidents didn’t have much in common. But I came up with a (still a bit undefined) list of things I plan to do:

  • Participate in a technique training to improve my bike handling skills.2
  • Don’t ride at the limit when I don’t have perfect vision.
  • Fast descending is not what makes a fast race.
  • Only ride fast when I have inspected the trail just moments ago.

Some of those points are common sense but sometimes when you have fun on the trail you ignore some of these rules. I try to keep them in mind in the future every time I have the impulse to hit the pedals hard. It is always good in life to reflect your own actions – so it is on the bike.


  1. In minute 18 it gets “interesting”.

  2. I’m looking for bike training schools in south Germany right now. If someone has any tips. I would prefer someone who has actual experience in Cross Country racing and such things as curve technique, rock gardens, small jumps …

My workshop is a mess

 

Right now …

My workshop is a mess. Some days ago I was cleaning it up. “My workshop” is a big exaggeration. There was a time when below those bike parts, cleaning equipment, clothes and tools was a sofa. Yes I mean that piece of furniture where normaly at least two people can sit on.
When I started to work on my bike myself I didn’t like the idea to stand for hours  in the cold and lonely basement so I kept all the parts in the flat. But the parts and tools became more and more until the sofa was no longer free to sit on.

Now I structured all the things laying on top of it. Old bike parts will be sold. Parts I will maybe use again are stored below the sofa together with all the tools which fit nicely in a surprisingly small cardboard box. There are two boxes still on the sofa. In one I store all the fluids, oils, greases and lubricants. The other contains tubeless sealant and some parts to apply it.

But in the future …

This is not optimal but I now I’m able to sit again in the office/workshop below my montainbike and do things or sleep. In case of the latter I dream of kind of a garage beneath the house I live in where I don’t park my car (because I won’t own one) but instead store my bikes and have a workshop with all the tools nicely ordered at the wall. There’s a big workbench like table with drawers for parts and other materials. The heart of the workshop is a very robust workstand where I can put my bikes on.

I wonder if the day will come I won’t wake up and realise it was just a dream.

Brake Uncertainty

Not long ago I maybe have discovered what caused my accident last may. Back then I rode with an almost new Shimano XTR Race M-9000 brake. I just made one tour with the new brake. The accident happened on a steep downhill section on a wide forest path. I constantly had to break a little. Suddenly I braked a bit harder end everything went south. Until now I thought the slippery chalk gravel caused my wheel to swing off. But after I read a review of the Shimano XTR at MTB-News I figured that maybe the brake itself was the problem. This version of the XTR brake (and also its XT version) can have a changing pressure point. Means that if you press the brake lever once, release it almost(!) completely and press the lever again, the pressure point moves more far away from the handle bar. So the point where the wheel locks happens earlier. I rode with this brake since August when I was allowed to bike again. I didn’t have any real problems. But I was extremely careful because I didn’t very confident on difficult sections after my spill. After I read the review I tried it and I could reproduce it immediately.

When I first bought the XTR I almost chose the Magura MT8 instead. Maybe I’ll have a look at some secondhand MT8s now…

Tempelhofer Feld

Zum ersten Mal hab ich hier in Berlin auch mein eigenes Fahrrad dabei. Gestern bin ich aufs Gelände des ehemaligen Flughafens Tempelhof gefahren um ein paar Runden zu drehen.

Die kompletten Startbahnen und Zufahrtsstraßen der Flugzeuge sind mittlerweile als Park freigegeben. Die Wiesen dazwischen sind als Grillplätze, eingezäunte Hundelaufflächen oder Gemüsegärten gekennzeichnet. Dadurch, dass die Betonierten Flächen so extrem breit sind hat man immer sehr viel Platz, egal wie viele Menschen noch unterwegs sind. Ich habe dann verschiedene Runden gedreht. Wenn man den nördlichen Weg und die südliche Startbahn als Rundkurs nimmt kommt man auf ca. 4,5 km pro Runde. Eine Acht mit der nördlichen Starbahn als mittlerem Weg sind ca. 8,5 km. Vermutlich sind es ganz außen rum, auf dem schönen Radweg, locker 10 Kilometer. Insgesamt hab ich gestern dort gute 30 Kilometer zurückgelegt. Perfekt zum trainieren, zum Beispiel für Intervalltraining.

Beachvolleyballgold

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Ich hätte ja nicht gedacht, dass ich Beachvolleyball so interessant finden würde. Volleyball als Spieler finde ich so ziemlich die beschissenste Ballsportart. Aber dieses Finale gerade war ja echt extrem spannend. Und den Spielern bei ihren unglaublichen Reaktionen zuzugucken macht schon extrem Spaß. Toll dass die Deutschen am Ende auch tatsächlich gewonnen haben. 🙂

Popcorn

Heute mal ein Popcorn-Video:

Topfboden mit einer Schicht Popcorn-Mais bedecken. Ordentlich Zucker dazu. Grade Sonnenblumenöl dazu, dass das ganze mehr Brei als flüssig ist. Dann Herd einschalten. Bei unserem Induktionsherd von Miele hat sich Stufe 7 von 9 bewährt. Also auf jeden Fall nicht voll aufdrehen. Dauert dann zwar länger (ca. fünf Minuten insgesamt), aber die Wahrscheinlichkeit, dass was anbrennt ist viel geringer.
Irgendwann fängts dann an zu ploppen. Wenn das Ploppen so gut wie aufgehört hat Topf vom Feuer nehmen und Popcorn in Schüssel(n) füllen. Falls man am Anfang ausversehen nen Tick zuviel Mais genommen hat ist es ratsam während der Plopperei den Topf immer mal wieder zu rütteln, damit alle Körner zu Popcorn werden und nichts anbrennt.