What an adventure this whole trip has been. Starting with spending 30+ min to find Colby when I first got to Amsterdam, to a 6 day in a small town, to another train ride with 2 minutes to run 500+ meters with luggage to the next train.
Staying in Mettmann Germany for 10 days was fun except the weather. Being at an actual apartment instead of a hotel was really nice, it gave Colby and I a chance to have some time to ourselves which everyone needs on such a long trip. ( Thanks Ina Tutenberg for the pad) With such crappy weather Colby and I only got out on 3 good rides outside, 2 of those were pretty cold. We got to do a local track race in Buttgen (pronounced boot-gen) which was nice to open up the system before we headed to Zurich. We rented a car for a few days to have some mobility and take the time to check out Dusseldorf a bit. With no euro card for the Garmin, we had to go back a few years and use maps to get around; that was a blast.
We drove down to Zurich with Andy Beikirch who is a veteran on the circuit. He has been super nice to Colby and I, helping us learn the circuit and the ins and outs of the secret circus. Once out of the ruckus of the citys Andy wanted to rest so I took over the driving. Autobahn here I come!! Unfortunately there was some light rain, bad drivers, and the van has winter tires on it so I wasn't able to take it over 200 kph. Cruising at 180 got us there in good time anyways. Gotta love the open road!
It was awesome for me to see all the snow covered trees and buildings, it was like some of the pictures. Coming from Cali I don't get to see such beautiful views. Arriving on the first night of racing, it was important to stretch the legs, get a massage and get some solid food in me before the racing began. The first few laps of the night were rough, but the legs came around and I felt pretty good considering all. The night went smooth, just relaxed, kept my head up and learned the jerseys and who is with who. Every six day has different sponsors and different jerseys, so it's a bit tricky the first night. But there is a bunch of the same riders from the first 2 sixes, so I have picked up some of the guys riding styles, bikes, hair styles and what not to help distinguish teams while Im cross eyed.
We (as in Colby and I, and most of the other teams) don't have control of what sponsor we ride for. It's all picked out before we get there. In our case this wee, we got "special" stars and bars jersey's to rock, and the Italians got the red white and green for them.
So far after four nights I have won 2 races, the Team Derny (which was a whole different story in itself) and the Ballastrad sprint. I have also been designated the new ballastrad leader. ( the guy who pumps the crowd up with different gestures and starting the wave) a big honor considering the last guy who did it had the job for 10 years. The guy who was doing it here had to leave because his wife went in to labour. It seems that people are okay with a few americans on the circuit so far, so I'll do my best not to screw it up.
Here are a few pics of racing and what not.