My Choice? Agony!


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Bicycle club Ratisbona e. V.

By Ralf Neukirch

Ralf Neukirch

More articles by Ralf Neukirch

Saturday, 11.08.2018
At 14:25

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Burning thighs, aching wrists, and hardly blow – long distance trips are for our author, Ralf Neukirch, the most beautiful type of Cycling – not in spite of, but precisely because of the cruelty.

This year, I had by chance the opportunity, to the fulfillment of an old desire: My holiday in Bavaria coincided with the Arber bike marathon. So I found myself on a Sunday in July at 6 o’clock in the morning in Regensburg, Germany to drive to the Great Arber round.

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  • Hanna Becker

    First of all, little pointed to a continuing love affair. The first encounter with a bike, in the Ralf Neukirch remembered, ended with a fall. But at some point, the Cycling of the need for passion was for the LEVEL editor. Since then, he holds it with John F. Kennedy: “Nothing compares with the simple pleasure to ride a bike.”

    From the beautiful moments, but also the sporting, technical and personal challenges of Cycling Ralf Neukirch told regularly in this Blog.

You can’t say that I’d be optimally prepared. I had returned the day before from a four-day hut trek in the Alps. I had to get up at half four in the morning to be in time in Regensburg. I had forgotten my water bottles and had to organize on-site hectic and new.

As the field continued right on time at six in the direction of the Bavarian forest in motion, I felt, nevertheless, no fatigue, only a certain amount of nervousness. Nearly 250 kilometers at a stretch are much more, but that was not the main problem. It is 3700 meters of altitude layers in addition to in front of me. I wasn’t sure whether I would make it.

15 km long, we rolled relaxed in the Flat then

I love long-distance driving. You are to me of all the possibilities, with the wheel on the move, to the loved one. So I’m not alone. In recent years, such tours have become increasingly popular.

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Long distance trips:
Almost 250 km on the bike

As I was about to enroll this year in Berlin for a 200-Kilometer Brevet, were awarded the starting positions shortly after the Opening of registration, all. Brevets long trips are about 200 or more kilometers, for which there is a time limit. For the 200-Kilometer route around it is 13.5 hours. For catering you need to ensure that organisational support is, at least for the shorter trips to a minimum.

At the Arber-marathon is different. The route was well signposted, there was plenty to eat and to Drink, and ambulance stood at the ready, the police locked at dangerous intersections, the street.

15 km long, we rolled relaxed in the Flat, then the first of many climbs began. I felt good and overtook a number of other drivers. I found all the more astonishing, as many of the club wore jerseys or the names of famous races such as the Öztalmarathons or the Maratona dles Dolomites on her back were a pair. I was obviously in better shape than feared.

What saved me were the food stations

The Illusion lasted until around Kilometer 80. Then the first big increase, from 450 to 1050 meters began. The men and women I had overtaken, caught up with me again. They had weaker legs. They had divided the travel smarter.

Long distance trips are at least as a matter of the head as the legs. I gasped in the high street on the Arber, the highest mountain of the Bavarian forest, up and tried to push the thoughts that I had about 160 kilometers, and several such climbs in front of me. The most Important thing is that the route will divide into small portions: 50 kilometres – a fifth is over; 125 kilometers – half the job is done. The works in the Flat well. On the mountain, where I need for five kilometres, a half-hour, came the method to its limit.

What saved me were the food stations. They showed up when I needed it most. Before the second climb after 120 kilometers, about or after 170 kilometres, a huge steep ramp waited. It was at these stations, many volunteers, the buns smeared, cake, or tomato slices and Apple juice or isotonic drinks ausschenkten. A long-distance travel causes thirst, and extreme Hunger. You can’t fight only with energy bars. As well as here, I tasted a cheese bun rarely.

The Arber-Marathon is not a race. Many drivers chatting to each other and like to stay a few minutes longer at the aid stations. It’s not the most in the best times. A nice gentleman spoke to me on my bike. We chatted a bit, then he moved away. In the finish area I met him for a chat.

The Suffering is part of road Cycling, such as the pearls for the champagne

At some point you must leave the aid stations unfortunately. My legs were heavy. I started to recite in my head the “cranes of Ibykus” by Friedrich Schiller. I was able to recite at school, our English teacher was awarded a plaque “Ritter Sport full milk-nut”. I only came to the third verse.

The obvious question would have been: Why do I put myself through the Whole thing? This is a question that may not be as long-distance lovers. Such tours can be done not in spite of, but because of the cruelty. Who drives long distances and wants to test their own limits. The Suffering is part of road Cycling, such as the pearls for the champagne.

That is not to say that there are a lot of beautiful moments. The descents were spectacular, we passed scenery and villages like from a picture book. But the high feeling that comes when driving a long distance, has little to do with the pleasure aspects. It comes from an attitude that has described the cyclist Theo de Roy’s arrival, even after his goal at the race Paris-Roubaix, one of the most difficult of its kind, so: “It’s bollocks, this race. You’re working like an animal (….), you’re going in this mud, you will slip. It’s a bunch of shit.” On the question of whether he would once again compete, he replied: “Oh sure, it is the most beautiful race in the world!”

At the finish I’m having trouble getting off your bike

I must admit that I had to scare away nevertheless while driving one or the other doubt as to the meaning of my actions. After 180 miles I wasn’t sure I would make it. The legs burned, my butt hurt the wrists, too. Thank God I went on my road bike, my gravel bike, I otherwise, especially on Trails. It has a 47 mm wide tyres, because of me, some of the passengers expressed regret, but on such a long-haul tremendously comfortable. And it has.on the rear wheel of a large bike-and-pinion, with the climbs easier to deal with than a road bike translation

As I still had 40 kilometers in front of me, I was finally sure that I would finish the journey successfully. It was now flat along the Danube to Regensburg.

At the finish I had to descend effort from the wheel. No matter, it was a wonderful feeling to have the track done. The physical symptoms disappeared significantly faster than the euphoria.

Long Distance Trips – Dates In 2018

Date
Place
Length

25.08.2018
Coin Night Ride. Koblenz
300 km

25.08.2018
Alpen Brevet. Andermatt (Switzerland)
264 km, 6831 meters in height

26.08.2018
Leineweber tour. Laichingen (Baden-Württemberg)
202 Km, 2548 Meters Altitude

26.08.2018
Büren Monastery Marathon. Büren (North Rhine-Westphalia)
205 Km, 2800 Meters Of Altitude

01.09.2018
Bodensee-marathon. Altenrhein (Switzerland)
220 km

01.09.2018
Great Weser Round. Rinteln (Lower Saxony)
300 km

02.09.2018
The Black Forest Is Super! Road bike marathon. Münstertal
260 km, 6500 meters of altitude

02.09.2018
Öztaler Marathon. Sölden (Austria)
238 km, 5500 meters of altitude

02.09.2018
GFNY Germany. Hameln
167 Kilometers, 2200 Meters Of Altitude

02.09.2018
Marathon to Hell. Hamburg
219 km

09.09.2018
Rostock Marathon. Rostock
210 Km, 550 Meters Of Altitude

15.09.2018
From Britz to Berlin. Berlin
202 km

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