Day04

Getting to know the steepest climbs of the black forrest.

Germany-Austria

As we got off and stuffed everything back into our bags, we headed further down, south. In one of the early next villages we found a nice bakery. Unfortunately, the sales person was still asleep and it took ages until our order was through but we managed to get everything we have ordered outside so we could see how this small place was slowly waking up, together with us. It looked as if this day would get warm, very warm. It was the first food, I actually enjoyed during the past days. A very reassuring thing for me, for us. We started to check whether any other tcr rider was in reachable distance but we were so much behind, there was nobody close around us. As we digged deeper into Schwarzwald we faced the first proper climb. It was really steep and the sun was just shining on it when we started to face it. After a good while, shortly before the top, Nico decided to walk. During this day I realized that her cadence was lower than nice in her first gear, so I was thinking about what went wrong when I changed her rear cassette, as I  thought that I had changed her cassette to 11-32,but obviously I did not. She did not realize yet, but I started to check which bike shops on the way had a 11-32 cassette available. There was no shop that could meet this simple requirement, by chance we passed a zeg shop (big German bike dealer cooperation), of course during lunch time. One of the guys was having his coffee in front of the shops, so I tried to get some info to decided if it was worth to wait until they open again. As they checked their stock we could/ had to continue as there was nothing suitable in stock.

NICO: Many ways to waste time during a race! Eating at slow places/ looking for bike parts in areas where they have lunch breaks… That is why TCR riders mostly eat crap food from gas stations, I got it (finally). I am a beginner in this and I can read and hear stories about this, but only when I do it, I get convinced by experience. Seems to be no other way for me.

The two worst climbs of the day were over and we headed further south for reaching Bodensee/ lake constance during the early evening. Stopping by at a rather big supermarket, collected some stuff for having dinner at the lakeside. I went for a short but refreshing swim and also Nico refreshed her feet, we had a little rest and continued to make it into Austria during this night. Our idea was to get as close as possible to CP1. Cycling paths along the lake had been a bad choice as they were all crowded and interrupted by pedestrian precincts and we had to slow down too often, definitely another lessons learned. One of my early planning target was not to make all the progress on fast roads as we were cycling together and these roads were the least fun to ride on. Of course we could not avoid them but we were trying to minimize our presence on such roads.

After we had a short power nap in Bregenz while waiting for crossing the rail tracks, we moved on into the mountains. Leaving Bregenz we had two young riders on our tailwind, which always gives me a little extra push. It took some miles until they let us go. We did some smaller but good climbs during this night until we decided we will not continue until reaching CP1 during this night ride. Still we planned to make it to CP1 during the morning and making it over to Ischgl before noon. Reaching Bludenz, we scanned the village where to have a short rest. We took some roads but found a shelter in front of an office building, so we decided to be up before 0600 as possibly some highly motivated people may get through this door to work around 0600. Just after we jumped into our sleeping gear the newspaper guy showed up but left the scene as quick as he appeared.

Now it was a short time after a good and long leg back into the race as we realized that some riders were spending the night in the hotel at CP1.

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