May 2 , 2007
Full Swing

Things have been busy these past few months. Over the winter, when I wasn’t training, working at Local Ride or for Pedal, I was road tripping in California, learning to XC skate ski or preparing for my upcoming stint in Europe… which leads us to now.

I’ve been in Europe since the beginning of March. The day after arriving in Switzerland, I hopped on a 12-hour bus to Giverola, Spain. The following day, I picked Leah up from the Barcelona airport and so began our Spain training camp. It was a fabulous two weeks of long bike tours, sunshine, napping, eating and exploring Tossa de Mar and Barcelona. We were totally focused on training and recovery. It was a perfect preparation for the upcoming season. Jeanine joined us in the second week with her road bike, which she used to explore the beautiful countryside. She also set off on her own, to be a bit of a tourist.

Jeanine and I took the bus back to Switzerland after dropping Leah off at the airport. I wanted to show Jeanine as much of the country as possible in the two weeks that she had, so our Swiss program began right away.

Day 1
- Typical breakfast of fresh bread, jam, cheese and coffee
- watched traditional Swiss game of Hornuss – sort of along the lines of baseball, but not really
- Visited a farm in the foothills of the Swiss Alps and were greeted by five children, who immediately began telling us about their cats and rabbits and cows and the concert for their grandfather’s 85 th birthday – which we were presently invited to
- Traditional raclette dinner

Day 2
- walking tour and shopping trip in Bern, Switzerland’s capital city

Day 3
- Birthday lunch and photo shoot atop the Schilthorn in the Alps
- “Coupes” (sundaes) by Lake Thun
- Birthday dinner of thin crust pizza followed by a delicious chocolate mousse torte made by Daniela

Day 4
- Tour of the Emmental cheese factory including tastings
- Weekly visit to my grandparents’ for “Zvieri” (afternoon snack) and “Jassen” (Swiss national card game)

Day 5
- Scenic road bike ride through the Seeland region

Day 6
- Drive to Feuerthalen – the Felt HQ in Switzerland, where I got to pick up my new bike
- Tour of the Rheinfall
- Drive to Appenzell, tour of the Appenzeller cheese factory
- Scenic road ride through the Appenzeller countryside
- Walk through the town of Appenzell with a stop for coffee and “Biberli” (Appenzeller specialty – gingerbread-type cookie filled with marzipan)
- Drive to Schaan, Lichtenstein, where Jeanine had a traditional meal of “Chaaeschnoepfli” (homemade noodles with cheese – lots and lots of cheese!)

Day 7
- Pre-ride of Swisspower Cup course
- Jeanine checked out the Schloss Vaduz – the Lichtenstein royal family’s castle
- Mid-afternoon cappuccino

Day 8
- Got to meet my new teammates!
- Swisspower Cup #1 and my first race of the season – 9 th place!

Day 9
- Scenic train ride to the city of Lucerne
- Checked out the city’s old covered bridges, city wall
- Walk along the lakeside

Day 10
- Jeanine checks out Bern and the Paul Klee Zentrum – art museum while I do intervals on the CompuTrainer

Day 11
- “Zvieri” and “Jassen” with my grandparents
- Gourmet dinner in Biel at Daniela and Stefan’s – two friends that are trained Swiss chefs

Day 12
- Breakfast in the bakery/tea room where Daniela and Stefan work
- City tour of Biel
- Picnic lunch by Lake Biel
- Lake cruise to St. Peter’s Island
- Bike ride from St. Peter’s Island to home, with a coffee and strudel stop on the way

Day 13
- Beautiful 80-kilometre road ride from Meikirch to Gruyeres
- Late lunch of Gruyere fondue on the terrace

Day 14
- Easter egg painting with six kids
- Competitive game of UNO

Day 15
- Easter brunch
- MTB ride around Lake Biel with Emilie

After Jeanine left, I thought I’d finally have time to update my web site, but somehow it never happened. The weather has been so fantastic, long training rides and afternoon shopping trips with my Mom (my parents arrived the day Jeanine left) have been on my daytime program, while evenings consist of cooking dinner followed by a few hours of web work for Pedal. Weekends, of course, consist of racing!

My second Swisspower Cup took place in Winterthur on April 14, where I placed 4 th! The following week, my Mom and I drove to Belgium for the first World Cup of the season. The weather continued to be fabulous and we stayed in a great old hotel near Houffalize. Wendy and Kris were staying next door, which was cool. We hung out and had dinner together a few times. My race was awesome! I had a great start and managed to finish 26 th!

Last weekend I raced Swisspower Cup #3 in Perrefitte. My Mom and I drove up on Friday to pre-ride. The course was totally dry until a sudden thunder/hail/rain-storm turned the ground super slick. The next day for the race, however, the course was dry again. I was still feeling a little lackluster from Houffalize, but I still managed to finish 6 th.

And yesterday, I won a regional race in Schleitheim. May 1 st is Labour Day here, so it was a holiday. I won the race and then went to Stefan – my team director’s – house for a BBQ dinner. Now I’m sitting in bed with my laptop (after sleeping in till 8:00 a.m. – gasp!) and finally writing an update, since today is the beginning of a well-deserved rest week! In a couple of hours, I’m gonna hop on my road bike for the 20-minute ride to my grandparents’ as it’s Wednesday – Jass day!