Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Pre Race Prep

Before the race, the usual antics abound as I try to play tourist and take in the appropriate amount of calories for the race. I do have some great photos of Vienna which I'll share in upcoming posts.

First off, we are picked up from the airport in a 50 person coach. Luxury considering there are only 9 of us. :o)

Jo throws open the windows of the hotel room and we get some air. Why did we have to throw open the windows? No air conditioning in our room. Amazing! Not only are we back in the land of twin beds, no air conditioning! Even I was hot so you know it must have been warm.

Early on we went in search of the one of our favorite pre-race activities: cake! Yumm.... if you didn't know, Vienna is known for it's coffee houses and cakes. Gotta love a city that encourages you to sit around and relax. Tom, Gemma and Paul make me feel better by also ordering some pre-race calories.

Time to exercise the cake out.... interesting location for a pool. Right in the middle of the river.

After much walking, I needed to refuel. (If you haven't noticed by now when I really enjoy my food I have to take pictures of it) This is probably my new favorite sandwich shop. Tons of variety and each for under 2 euros. This round saw me choosing Camembert, roast beef and caviar. Really? Isn't this on everyone's pre-race diet?

After surveying the city on foot, we spent the next day getting the bikes together and touring about to ensure that they weren't going to fall apart on race day. We ended up in front of the Palace but the mean guards wouldn't let us in with our bikes.

Across from the Palace. Half lion, half lady. I say it again, why don't they build statues like this anymore? Isn't this more fun than modern art??

The Palace grounds.

Of course, no visit to a Bavarian country would be complete without a few steins of beer. I had to put my camera in their for reference. Yes, those are litres of beer. Hooray! (And yes, I'm well aware this is still pre-race. What can I say? It is my version of carbo loading)

Tom shows off his super human strength by holding up 3 litres of beer for almost as long as it took to take the picture.

Trying to get a decent Facebook profile shot. Notice how the beer is bigger than my head? My poor chicken arms can barely hold it up.

Ahh... a favorite dish. I had to have schnitzel while in Austria. Accompanied with bread stuffing and my litre. Sadly, I couldn't finish it all. I was close, but I'm afraid I need child size schnitzel portions next time.

Once properly fueled on the day before the day before the race, we now have to head off to the race site to rack our bikes. As the race was located about 50 km outside of Vienna, we decided to stay in Vienna rather than the tiny town. In the end, a good call. Here we are getting ready to ride our bikes from the train station to the race venue. Michael and Jo are looking very chic with their streetwear and expensive bikes.

Tom is sporting the aero helmet look. I think the people at the train station thought he was a space man.

Fancy bikes and other people with fancy bikes. Sarah did most of the hotel and transportation coordination so big thanks to her!

Lastly, the group sits down for a pre-race Italian feast. I must say, it's fun to travel to races in foreign countries with other people. At least people that help you put your bike back together (and celebrate birthdays) after you take it apart. Somehow I always end up with extra pieces......

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