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Europe by Tandem

From Castellon (Spain) to Northern Cape (Norway) by Tandem supporting the fight against cancer.

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Day 25. Aschaffenburg- Bruchsal

Posted by admin On Agosto - 5 - 2010

128 kilometers. 6 hours and 44 minutes.

JL: I’m going to open today’s blog post by giving my regards to all the wonderful bunch of people who work in Record Go. I know full well that they keep track of us, that they take interest and show concern, and that they avidly read our posts. We are also doing this for you, guys: “impossible is nothing.” Regarding customer queues building up at airport (which, as you know, are rather short in summer peak season), go get’m!

Well, hope nobody gets scared but the truth is that this is getting harder and harder. It isn’t just physical tiredness. Our constant effort and our steely determination to reach our goal are beginning to stress us out, mentally. Because of this, Iván and I decided, this morning, to do the following exercise: whenever a negative thought struck us, we had to brush it away by saying it aloud in a “positive” way. I’ll give you some real examples:

“Getting wet first thing in the morning, that’s great! Hey! we don’t need to get used to it afterwards” or “a head wind makes my face cooler and my ideas clearer”, take this one, “luckily, it’s raining again because the slicker was getting creased” or “thanks to the torment of biblical proportions that the bicycle saddle inflicts on my butt, my soul gets purified” or “I thank our lucky star that we took the wrong road; otherwise, we would have missed this mountain pass”… Does it work? Well, when thinking about how to make another person smile, you don’t think about the misfortunes that befall you.

After so many good soaks, we’re looking forward to coming back and seeing the sun,  but there are many stages to go. We spent today’s stage cycling the Naturpark Bergstrasse – Odenwald along the road that winds by the Neckar river. It’s a nice valley, not very deep, with thick woody walls of humid bright deep green. This made the road more pleasant; every step along the way we wanted to stop to take some shots, the gray sky marred the scenery, though.

The region was full of charming towns teeming with local visitors. Loads of places you’ll never find in a travel brochure. Places which would please those who don’t want to be just tourists but fit it and pass unnoticed. The heart of Germany is highly recommended.

Tomorrow is our last day in Germany. The day after tomorrow we will be in France, at last! We feel closer to home.

Effort test

Posted by admin On Mayo - 6 - 2010

Last Friday and as a mandatory complement to our solidarity-sportive challenge, we carried out an effort test for cyclists. The effort test’s objective was twofold:

1.- To control our body’s reaction when submitted to a maximum effort (to be sure that, physically, there are no obstacles preventing us from carrying out our challenge)

2.- Determine the aerobic and anaerobic fringes (to prepare a more accurate training)

For those who don’t know what such a test consists of, we tell them it’s like going to the slaughterhouse, going to suffer and finally die :) .  It consists in riding a static bike and pedalling with the intention of never stopping.  Of course the machine has been designed to handle you,  so, forget about winning this round.  There will come a moment when you will not be able to continue and half dead you will succumb.

Specifically, the process that we are testing follows these steps:

1.- Rigor test related to diseases, injuries, training habits and daily, sleeping hours, etc..

2.- Measuring and weight.

3.- Auscultation

3.- Forced spirometry (they make you inspire and expire many times and with different intensities)

4.- Measuring the tension  while at rest.

5.- Riding a bike  (or the torture machine). In our case, they covered up our nose, tube in the mouth, electrodes on the chest and regular control of the tension at every 50W accumulated.

6.- Injection  in the ear and blood analysis.

7.- Last auscultation and tension control (after you are halfway recovered from the effort)

The images clearly show that it wasn’t a good moment, here are the videos.

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