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Winter, winter and winter again…

About three weeks ago I came bake home from the camp at sands beach resort on the island of Lanzarote. Normally the 2nd or 3rd week of March is perfect to end the first training camp and do some training here in northern Germany. Sun is shining more regularly, temperatures are rising above 10°C and the nature is flowering and getting green after the winter. I love this time of the year at home!

6th of March when I came back home from Camp was a perfect day: 13°, Sun and almost no Wind. I thought everything is going to plan.

But just three days later it began to snow again, which is not unusual in northern Germany until the end of March. What is really unusual is the fact that masses of snow came and just don’t want to melt again and that the temperatures dropped as low as -15°C some nights ago! It’s the 29th of March today and we still have complete snow cover outside! At least it is official since some day´s that it was the coldest and snow rich March ever since the beginning of weather monitoring, which actually is some time… But now I can tell my grandchildren in the far far future about the nasty winter 2013 like mine used to tell me some 100 times about the winter in 1962/63 and 1987 ;-) .

Since more than a week I desperately try to get a flight back to Lanzerote, but it seems like I am not the only one with that idea. Not even last minute flights are affordable right now and mostly the flights are just fully booked.

Therefore I just have to make the best out of my situation. I had some weeks of great training on the canarian islands that not even the snow can take away from me ;-) . In the first week back home I simply did some hard sessions on the turbo trainer, which can be a lot of fun with the right programs just to keep the fitness. But after all this is the time of the year where it is essential to get some longer bike rides into the legs and when the roads are clear of snow I try to ride outside. My personal outside record concerning the temperature is -6°C ;-) . I took a picture of the mass of clothes I need to keep myself warm. My first layer is a merino-wool tight and a long-sleeved merino-wool shirt and two pairs of merino-wool socks. Merino-wool keeps you warm even when you are sweating. I did multiple week back country ski-tours in Norway at -30°C some years ago. Not from hut to hut, we slept in a tent ;-) . Therefore I have learned what is essential to keep my body warm. Next layer is a short bike pant and bike jersey. Final layer is a long bike pant with wind breaker membrane and a warm bike jacket. At least two buff scarf’s to keep the head warm (the helmet should be big enough to fit over the scarf´s ;-) and very warm neoprene overshoes. Last but not least some very warm mitt´s because hands and feet are always critical…

After just 15-20 minutes I am dressed to ride my bike under Siberian conditions.

Running on snow is normally no problem. Just if I do fast stuff I either use the indoor track or a bike path nearby which is clear of snow within short time after it was snowing. Swimming is the least problem ;-) .

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