Merten, Friday, May 22. 2009
Café opening times: Tues, Weds and Thurs 13-19 hrs, Fri, Sat and Sun 10-19 hrs.
Please check below for the route. It is possible to start closer to Central Hamburg if you add another loop around Billwerder Bay: http://www.inlinemap.net/route/110282
Merten, Friday, May 15. 2009
Yes still here. Many things happened in my skating world. In short: Spring started, tried my newer 195 boots again, did not get them to work. Now back on the 165 ones, with a pretty cool 100-90-100-100 Subzero hybrid frame. The need for sets made me put out and sort all the wheels we have to get an overview...
Well guess I'll eBay off a few of the older 90mm stuff now, altough some are pretty used, still better than throwing them away.
Training - is ongoing, whenever possible and job / weather permit. Back on the track for technique, with some (indoor and commuting) cycling and a bit of gym work on top. I discovered the need for more stretching, this really also helps to relax and fight stiff back muscles from sports and office chairs...
Racing - It will be an easy year as far as races are concerned. First warmup is next Sunday, we'll be in Le Mans, probably do one or more around the Hamburg area, plus Berlin Marathon of course, and I will attend the odd run / cycle event. That's about it. I think. Hmm.
Merten, Sunday, March 1. 2009
Merten, Friday, January 30. 2009
Just found this while surfing around. It is a video report of Le Mans 2008, which will hopefully help us overcome the frustration of having to cancel and rebook flights for the 3rd time now that the date is changed again *grrr*.
Btw. I am in the video 10 seconds in, directly in the intro... enjoy!
Merten, Monday, January 26. 2009
Dear all, just a quick post to announce that the site has moved providers. I am busy rebuilding the structure, pictures etc. Please bear with me for some time until full restore is completed. Thanks!
Update: Most of the pictures and configuration are back. Now if my old provider accepts the termination message - which he should do after already releasing my domain into transit ... - blogging can go on.
Merten, Sunday, January 11. 2009
Happy new year everybody! I hope you enjoyed the festive days, I certainly did. Anyway, not much has beeon going on in my skating world in the last months. I still need to share the pictures of the annual London Santa Skate 2008, that deserves a post of its own, but has yet to be written. But today my post features new pictures we took today. With the deep frost we had last week, the first lakes are being opened to the public. So today Michi and me drove south to the "Steinhuder Meer" near Hannover, which is a huge but very shallow lake that freezes quickly. Not for a walk, but to go ice-skating! It was a great adventure, I had never skated on a big lake before, and never on natural ice since childhood.
We skated around for about two hours, until the cold wind finally crept into gloves and shoes. The ice was of very good quality, mostly perfectly smooth, and you could go and go and go with no corners... great.
Let us hope the weather remains cold, so we can maybe return next weekend! If not, there is still the ice rink session we attend on Wednesdays, to get an idea of ice technique, which definitely was not great today. But fun we had, and that is what counts most for me.
Merten, Thursday, November 20. 2008
The olympic dream - will it become true for inline skaters? Currently federations are bidding for their inclusion in the 2016 games. FIRS (highest governing body of inlineskating) has released the videos that were shown to the IOC committee as demonstration.
I think they are really well done - worth checking them out!
Merten, Thursday, October 2. 2008
Question to you - have you ever skated a brand new highway? If not, this is something to be tried some time. It is great fun to go where skaters will probably never venture again after the opening. Super hard tarmac, maybe not the smoothest, but a 15+ meter wide road with neatly painted bright white markings that glitter in sunlight... very close to skater paradise
It was a great afternoon skate, luckily I remembered to take the camera, so we were able to take some superb shots.
Merten, Monday, September 8. 2008
...in a time of 1:47:58h, that's what I ended up with in this weekend's "Hamburg Cyclassics" cycling event. Which is about in the middle of the results, 4900 men finished in the same distance. End average was 31.67 km per hour, which is what I can also skate over a marathon, but I have to admit it was a lot easier on the bike.
Mareike and I had both signed up for the shortest (55km) distance, since we did not really know what to expect and I only fielded my "normal" street crossbike, no racing material. From the start I was really amazed of the surge that such big groups of cyclists can generate. Shouldn't be really, since I know the benefits of drafting from skating, but still cruising along at 30 km/h with little effort is a great feeling and comparable to what I get from speedskating in pacelines. But this is even easier, the skating pacelines tend to shift speeds much more.
Just after the start of the race, rolling up to the line.
I'm wearing the white jersey in the middle of the picture.
I stayed with Mareike for the full distance and allowed her to draft, also waited a little in the uphill section around km 35. A faster time would definitely have been possible, but it was really enjoyable to just cruise. Since we started a good bit back in block F, we overtook a lot of people, but also were overtaken frequently. Sometimes in very rough manner that indicates that certain people take this event maybe a little too serious. One more reason to stay in the comfort zone Guess the "lead packs" of such a big race will be no fun.
For me, it is certain that I'll not convert to cycling now. I mean - I've always enjoyed cycling and will continue to use it as cross training, but "my" sport remains speedskating. Which allows me to enter the Cyclassics again next year, maybe the 100k this time, and just cycle it - for fun.
Merten, Friday, September 5. 2008
Returned from London on Monday evening - once again we had a very nice trip, with the usual mixture of meeting friends, sight-seeing, shopping and skating. The official event - London Inline Marathon, our "other club" race - took place on Sunday, with full and half marathon being run. Since walking around all day and many beers in the pub is not proper race preparation we all opted for the half, also to show the club colors in this race, when most British skaters skated the full marathon championship race.
After last weekend, it was another "rain race", although we were very lucky. The track dried almost completely while we were skating, and the tropical storm that was forecast hit us two hours into the race when most people had finished. Which was good, since it was a real downpour that left the track flooded! Still that made two of our group not start.
I am happy with a 3rd spot in the half marathon again. It is nice to have the occasional race where you are part of the lead pack, which makes the rules of the game a lot different, and where you can learn a lot. In the end I initiated a breakaway, but then was not able to follow the later winner. The attack left the first three skaters each on their own, trying to maintain their position with four laps to go. At least I caught up with 2nd on the last lap and in the end lost the sprint with only 0.025 seconds gap. Could have been better, but also a lot worse because the people were dropped had jumped on the marathon pack that was just getting in to lap us, 4th guy sprinted from this pack and finished 0.2 seconds behind me.
Michi was not so lucky and stopped before the finish. And the two of us caught us a "nice" cold Anyway, as I am writing this the next weekend is already here, and will see two events, first we are finishing the Northern League with a team time trial in Flensburg tomorrow, then I am participating in my first ever cycle race *ooooooh* on Sunday. That is going to be interesting.
Some London pictures are in my gallery, many more in the LSST website gallery (check out the rain pictures there!).
Merten, Tuesday, August 26. 2008
Rainy race in Stade: As mentioned, last Saturday we had another stage of the Northern league in a small town called Stade. 10km - and as the forecast threatened, it rained all afternoon. Well once you are wet it is not much of a problem anymore, so I still did enjoy the race. Happy with my performance, except the start (general problem), chose the wrong side and then got caught between people. But after that caught back up several skaters, had a nice escape, finally got third in the group's sprint, 33rd overall. Here's a picture of me during my breakaway...
In the northern league, our team is now 6th out of 13 teams. This will probably also be our final position, since there's only one stage left.
Mirror bus returns to Hamburg: Yesterday we one again hosted a workshop with Sebastian Baumgartner of Experts in Speed, where he used his famous mirror bus to help people improve on their skating. It was a nice and long session, finally we got kicked off the track by security (joke, he was a very nice guy!). Thanks to all who participated and helped during this day, great one!
RollerEnLigne interview: The french site has posted an interview about our recent Le Mans experience, feel free to check it out.
Next up on the calendar is our annual trip to London, to take part in the marathon and enjoy the beautiful city. Next update afterwards.
Merten, Thursday, August 21. 2008
Today I experienced my so far "shortest" track training session ever in Halstenbek... put my skates on, did 5 warmup laps, then two laps of the first push drill, then ran off for shelter to escape a heavy rain shower...
Anyway - so tonight I had some time left to play around with Le Mans lap data. Here is a chart that shows the lap advantage / disadvantage for the top 10 duos, compared to a fictitious "reference team" doing 9:23 per lap (which will give the same laps as the winners did).
This chart gives some interesting insights - it seems that some of the top 10 duos stopped skating for longer times during the 24 hours, while others clearly planned their strategy well and skated very constant lap times... I might look into this further some time
Finally, an update on fitness - I'm slowly improving again, this week's interval training felt OK for the first time since Le Mans. I'm racing a 10k this weekend, we'll see how that goes.
Merten, Tuesday, July 29. 2008
It seems my little adventure in France has really cost me a lot of energy, even more than I expected. So if I ever think about signing up for an 84km race three weeks after a Duo, stop me
However, I discovered a very nice picture on the web, courtesy of Frank Räcker - I guess this was taken during the first hours of the race, Andy just takes off again after a relay...
Check out all the other great Le Mans pictures by Frank on the Frankfurt T-N-S pages
So yeah, the race in Prezelle was not in line with expectations. After the massive rain last year, we had nearly dry streets and nice temperatures. Doesn't help if you are still exhausted though. My batteries were pretty much OK for the first 20k, then it became harder and harder. So I visited my share of pacelines that day, in the end finished in 3:07h, 15 minutes behind my time of last year. Anyway, I will take some more time off hard skating, and then see what I do about this season. There's only a few important events left anyway, where I will need my full strengh.
Speaking about fun - this weekend, Michi and I will go on our first streetskate of the year, part of the Hannover InlineGames, which also hosts contests in almost all kinds of rollersports. Crossing fingers for the weather
Merten, Tuesday, July 15. 2008
Hi all, as I promised, I put together a full report on the events of this year's Le Mans race. I have finally completed the story, here we go...
Friday morning - 7am. The alarm sounds as usual, even a little earlier. First task of the day - brew coffee, as I do every morning. But something is different. Today is the day I have been awaiting for so many months after a phonecall with The Netherlands back in February. We are leaving for the famous Le Mans racing track - as we have done several times, but this year, only one teammate - Andreas from Holland - will wait for me. As team "LondonSkaters 2.0" we are planning to compete in the new Duo category, where teams of only two skaters seek to complete as many laps as possible.
Continue reading "Le Mans 2008 Race Report"
Merten, Tuesday, July 1. 2008
Short update - to let everybody know that we are back from Le Mans, still in one piece, and that we scored 2nd place in the duo category!!! Wohooooo! It was a very hard race, and in the end it got even harder for me, having to finish about 7 hours on my own after my teammate Greazers's knee failed. Got a very nice trophy for it though Full report will be posted soon I hope, currently I am too tired to write it.