I have to keep up with Andy Schleck! His Cyclingnews diary is the one I read regularly. Every time one is posted, I know it is about time for me to get behind my keyboard.
We are in the middle of the racing season, and so far Mr. or Mrs. Luck has not been on my side. I am sure it will come around soon. The next World Cup round is in Offenburg, Germany - one of the best racing venues to visit.
In recent weeks, Iceland's volcano Eyjafjalläeülnà+*, or whatever it's name is (note: I would erupt as well with that name), affected our travel plans like those of many thousands others.
It took us 40 hours to travel from San Francisco after the Sea Otter Classic to the World Cup opener in Dalby Forest, England. The flight over the ocean was a piece of cake, but then the kak began. In Frankfurt, we got stuck and had to make plans. It took us six hours to figure out what is the best - or the least worst way - to keep on with our travel. We ended up hiring a VW transporter and a Citroen Picasso and drove all the way to England including going via the Calais-Dover ferry.
For me, the worst moment of the whole trip was getting into that Picasso at the airport and heading out into rush hour, knowing I was going to sit in it for the whole night. We ended up having lot of fun though. In the morning, when we finally arrived at our hotel, the car could have told a lot of stories with all the rubbish, magazines and left-over food, etc, which were spread all around in the car.
Talking about food, all of us at Specialized Factory Racing has our own eating habits or traditions. We come from eight different countries on three continents. Each of us is brings something to the table, but at the end of the day, we are all "carved out of the same wood", all bike racers or in the case of the staff, ex-bike racers.
Our Mechanic "Dirty Dog" (meant in good way) Sandy (Gilchrist) and our soigneur Claire (Rushworth) drink black tea whenever they can. Both are English. Oh sorry, Sandy is actually Scottish! Tea is their national drink, and it definitely makes them happy. But I have also seen Sandy traveling with a bottle of whiskey, although he tries to keep that a secret.
Dylan (van der Merwe), our South African mechanic, regularly has days when he eats everything sweet he can find. I mean you could leave one kilogram of plain sugar at the truck, and it would be gone before noon time.
Benno (Willeit), our German, who is originally Italian with Austrian blood, does not really know where he is from, but can make the best looking hotel salad buffet look even better in his plate. I am always jealous when he comes back from the buffet. My plate is a mess from the beginning, and after a meal, the mess around my plate is even worse.
Lene Byberg loves her oats with fruits and yoghurt for breakfast. Most of the time she travels all over the world with her Norwegian oats.
Chocolate drink is Burry Stander's favorite. I think he has tasted every single chocolate drink from all around the world, and he loves all of them. I would guess his intake is more then one liter a day. If the packet says milk and chocolate on it, there it's empty pretty quickly!
I would not be Swiss if I didn't have a chocolate craving to satisfy. I always travel with a container of 100 percent dark chocolate powder. My favorite is Green & Black‘s, which is not available in Switzerland. Claire is my dealer. It's strange that English are making the best chocolate powder, but they don't know what's good to do with it.
My hot chocolate is so thick that the spoon stands in it. Most of the time I fine-tune it with some pieces of Swiss chocolate and a double espresso. I could die for it.
Todd (Wells) gets credit the award for my favorite, most unusual food habit. There is no evening where he does not order four hard boiled eggs and bring them up to his room. What a midnight snack!
Last but not least, we have Bobby Behan our Irishman, who is a real gourmet... not. He wants his steaks well done, 110 percent dead, yet he does not eat seafood on principal. What the potato farmer does not know, he does not eat. Bobby is a three-in-one ingredient type of eater. One piece of meat, some potatos and a little bit of vegetable are pre-loaded on the fork, and it all goes goodbye into his mouth at once.
I have just finished a big training week. The weather forecast has been so negative lately. Luckily, it has been wrong most of the time, so I have been riding in beautiful sunshine, always adding a little bit of extra training time because I fear the next day's weather truly will be bad and then I can cut the extra time. But now I might have to take off for the next three days to compensate with recovery.
Thanks for reading!