Andre Watt, Adam Swank, Nikolai Anikin, and non-racing friend Jason Wall have completed our month long bike trip around Europe. It was a great trip. Road biking around Europe is the best. You have a virtually unlimited selection of bike friendly roads to choose from. You can climb all the mountains you want on low traffic roads. The cars don't drive very fast and are considerate of bikers. Additionally, all the cars are tiny. They have to be small to get through the supper narrow old town roads designed for horse and buggy. I could just imagine two hummers meeting up on one of these old narrow city streets. That would be funny to see. Even the semi trucks are smaller so its not very difficult for them to go around a cyclist.
We started our tour in Strasbourg, France. I have to say, there is an inordinately large percentage of beautiful women in that city, and France in general. We met an American named James who gave us a private showing of the city, including the European Parliament, and the start of the 2006 Tour De France. Thank you, James.
It took two weeks to get to the Mediterranean and we appreciated the heat. Along the way we found good cheese in Parma, and some tasty bubbly wine in Asti.
Heading north out of gelato country, we put down a kilo of gelato, knowing we may never have such a delicacy again. We had a few days of beautiful weather until it started raining. This time it dropped to 3 degrees Celsius (40F). Unfortunately, my rain jacket had fallen off my bike so now I was styling in my full body garbage bag outfit. We spent a few days in Innsbruck, Austria. I have to say if I ever leave Duluth, I'd live in Innsbruck. The city is at less than 2000 ft of elevation surrounded by snow covered mountains. One day while the boys climbed a mountain, I went to the Atomic ski factory, a 3hr train ride away to see the race room and select some skis.
We finished our trip in Stuttgart, Germany where there happened to be a football game between Germany and Ireland. We watched a little bit of the game on a big screen TV in the city center along with probably 10,000 people. Some were not so interested in the game.