HOME TO SNOW
[Translation: Crispen T.P. de Lange]
We actually ended up having several more cold days during our exercise-camp on Majorca, but coming home to Stavanger was an even greater shock to the system. On our first morning back at home we woke up to 20 cm of snow and a couple of degrees below zero. But when the sun is shining and the sky is blue, one canít really complain.
Itís always the same when weíre out travelling the world with our two-wheelers. Whether weíve been away for 2 days or 7 days, we always end up longing for home like crazy for the last 2-3 days of our stay. Weíre sort-of allowed to long for home when the date of our return draws near. And it was, as always, lovely to get home again and be welcomed by our four-legged children. I have to admit that our first night at home in our extremely comfortable bed, tucked under the worldís best duvet (not to be taken for granted in Spain where one usually has to fight all night to stay covered by a sheet and blanket), was actually spent wrapped up in woollen socks and a warm jersey.
Kenneth and I can look back on a well executed exercise-camp. We completed our training programme according to plan, including long-distance trips, power-pedalling and intervals. We also had a lot of fun together with the rest of our pro-team, Multivan Merida Biking Team, with 8 riders and the support group (5 persons) present. Last time we were together was during the World Cup finals in Levinjo in Italy on September 19 last year. They say itís healthy to feel that you miss someone every so often!
First we had a week on our own before the rest of the team joined us. During this time we enjoyed the company of Lene Byberg, who we also train together with at home in Stavanger. Sheís riding for Merida Norway this year, so it was natural that she should be with us on Majorca to exercise. We also had several other Merida cyclists from Merida Norway and Stians Sport living at the same hotel as us. In other words, we had enjoyable company from others at all times of the day.
The first 5 days after the rest of Multivan Merida Biking Team joined us were used for press-meetings and team photographs. Merida had organized the meeting with the press very well, so we accomplished a lot and were effective during the designated time for this work. We also had a very good team photographer for this particular occasion, and got to make a range of show-off pictures which will be used for the press and for promotion of the team during the 2005 season.
We had lots of fun together during these three weeks that Kenneth and I spent on Majorca. I could have picked out many high points from the stay and told about them all in detail, but weíll have to wait with that. I can at least mention my birthday celebration on February 10, the snowy bike-ride on our long distance trip, stretching-sessions on the beach at sun-rise with a Spanish biking magazine, enjoyment together with the Merida king, Einar Steen Olsen, and gruelling battles with Kenneth during our interval training. The most exciting part of all this was my first encounter with my 2 new Merida bikes for the season of 2005.
Iíve had a specially designed carbon framed bike made for me, with flames in gold, which fits very well with my new golden biking-suit. The other steed, designed in white with the rainbow-stripes (I dare to claim it as the most beautiful World Champ bike in the world), looks absolutely sizzling. Within a few days weíll display pictures of these bikes on our web-side (www.gunnrita.com). It was also quite an experience to put on my new rainbow jersey, which Iím to wear as my permanent uniform until the World Championships this year, which will take place in Levinjo in Italy on September 4. Itíll be a great experience competing for that great honour once again when the time comes!
I guess Iíd better not make my short report too long and detailed. The days spent here at home have been exciting and very giving, as always. 24 hours here at home pass extremely quickly, and I donít quite know whether itís because of a high level of activity, or plain enjoyment. Maybe itís a combination of the two! On Saturday Iím leaving for Italy to start up with some on-road competition together with my road-team, Safi Ė Pasta Zara Manhattan. Iíve been an asphalt-cowboy together with them for the past 3 seasons. Iím really looking forward to starting competing again. Iím neither fit nor in shape, but itíll be good to get going again anyway.
I hope you all find time for everything you wish to do, and that you all manage to do all the physical activity youíve thought of doing in the next couple of days. Take a little break right now and go through your program for the week, and tell yourself that ďI can manage to reach my goals.Ē
Good luck with everything thatís coming up. Youíll hear from me again at Easter.Bicycle greetings from Gunn-Rita.