Happy New Year to all my readers!
Well, the first month of 2017 is now over, and it’s been a somewhat quieter month than usual. This is partly because of some very cold weather that meant I didn’t do much cycling, and also because my riding partner Klaus had the man-flu and was also out of action for three weeks. So my usual 1000km per month on the bike was dramatically curtailed! I hope to do better next month.
Cycling this month
Cycling statistics this month
Here is the Wheel image from Veloviewer of all the places I cycled this month. As you can see, not very many varied trips – the majority of my riding was my regular work commute.
And here is the list of individual rides from my software. My work commute is 8.61km…
But I did do a couple of rides, including an evening trip to Zur Fluchtburg near Grefrath for a cuppa whilst Millie waited outside.
As usual each month we had the Fahrrad Stammtisch on a Thursday evening in Kempen.
I also decided to re-fit the Durano Plus tyres on Millie after having yet another front puncture on a cold day. Which isn’t very much fun.
Knowing how hard the Schwalbe Plus tyres are to get on the rims, and the difficulties I had had just before Oliebollentocht when trying to fit them, I prepared sensibly – keeping the tyres on a hot radiator for a day!
In the end they went on OK and – cross fingers! – I haven’t yet had a puncture with them. They aren’t too much slower either – but the cold weather really slows me down anyway, whatever tyres I have.
Life in Germany
As I said above, it’s been a very quiet month. I have been at work of course – it’s interesting having to get up at 6:30am and to cycle to work in the dark (I start at 08:00), but as the month wore on the mornings were lighter and lighter. I experienced some beautiful scenes on my journeys to work.
And for a few days we had snow on the ground, although it was still fine to ride in Penelope.
A couple of days running I rode in with temperatures of -7 Celsius but was always warm enough with just a fleece over my work shirt, as long as I had a hat and buff on to keep my head (which is rather exposed) warm.
One day at work my boss had left a book on my desk for me to read. It’s very interesting, but possibly also a veiled swipe at me for only working 5 hours a day and going home at 13:00 whereas the rest of them toil on much longer. But life’s too short to work full-time!
I have joined a Gospel Choir that is based in Wachtendonk so very convenient. They are a very friendly group and we meet on Tuesday evenings for a two hour practice. Most of the songs are at least vaguely familiar to me and they have a Dropbox link with all the music scores so I am able to have them on my iPad and sing along.
We also had a guest for a week who was definitely not to Poppy’s taste. Maila the Bernese Mountain Dog (8 months old) came to stay and that put Poppy’s nose out of joint rather badly. By the end of the week Poppy was tolerating her and it was mostly OK, but Poppy definitely prefers to be the only dog!
Friend and neighbour Christine invited me to come to a concert in Kevelaer on one icy night. Her husband drove us there and we ended up sitting in the front row because it was so full! It was theatre music and done extremely well – they had a real range of singing talent for solo pieces, as well as some very short acting pieces to link the songs. It was great fun.
Cakes this month
Yes, your eyes are not deceiving you – this was the only slice of cake I had this month.
Well, I decided to try eating low carb for the first three months of this year to see if it improved my stamina when cycling (I tend to lose energy and have to stop for cake) and so unfortunately low carb means no cake.
I did decide to try to bake a low-carb cheesecake and followed a recipe. I invited Jochen round to sample some (he is also doing Low Carb at the moment) so he came round in Endeavour.
Although the cake looked good it tasted a bit strange and Jochen and I only had one slice each. However Lara who lives here liked it and ended up polishing off the whole lot for me over a couple of days.
My normal lunch is a salad like this:
Evening meal will be a stir-fry with cauliflower rice, or something similar. Here is a curry I cooked which was rather tasty.
Dessert tends to be joghurt or a Mascarpone Mousse Creme thingie that I make out of mascarpone and whipping cream with blueberries on top.
Anyway, over the month of January I stuck very well to the diet and managed to shed 7kg so it is a good start. We will see how it pans out over the next two months, as I have committed to doing this diet for that time at least. Afterwards I will see how it goes – but may return to a few cakes here and there when on long rides!
So a very short report for January, but I have some plans in place for the year including some cycle tours, maybe to Berlin. I’m looking forward to the better weather and doing some longer rides in Millie with Klaus, and am also looking forward to a visit from my sister and her children around Easter time.