What happened to the Good Old Sundays?

Back in the days, Sundays used to be my favorite days of the week. It felt like Mondays to Saturdays were just there to prepare yourself for Sunday. Because on Sunday I knew, I’m going to be outside for a ride … and it would be great. It would be great to meet up and chat with other cyclists at my favorite cycling spots as the km counter went from low single digits to high double digits ( yeah, I know … no triple digits for me yet!). It would also be great to ride in a silent environment, because on Sundays, you didn’t hear the highway, the train and the traffic jam during rush hour.

These days seem to be gone. I know, it’s only March and the (fingers crossed) great and awesome main cycling season is only about to start (but when???). However, there have already been like two or three nice sundays, double digit temperatures and a handful of sunrays, where I took the chance and went out for a roadbike ride across town … and absolutely disliked every minute of it.

And here’s why:

Phoenix West, the former coal factory / current recreation centre (including a decent brewery, of course…) and cycling hot spot in Dortmund looked like an anthill from the first minute I showed up. There were cars wherever I looked. Some just drove around like normal cars do, other cars blocked the roads, while looking for a parking space just to hit the gas pedal out of nowhere and drive off and some other cars did seem to care more about the sound of their car horn than about actual traffic rules…

Talking about anthills … where do all the people come from? Most outdoor places, roads and shared pathways look like an indoor cycling fair on a weekend before lunch. Crowded … this word might not be enough anymore to describe the current situation at reacreation areas on a weekend. Back in the days, Sundays used to be great to aim for strava segments you couldn’t aim for midweek (it’s better for everyone’s safety, you know…). Current Sundays are just great for practicing your slalom abilities and reaction skills (also great for everyone’s safety…).

However, I’m not quite sure, if this is the exact truth and harsh reality around here … I think my perception of reality suffered a bit too much through the last weeks and maybe I just want spring to show up already. All of this might affect this description of the current cycling situation in Dortmund a little bit.

In other news …

In case this season is going to start eventually, I’m going to show up on the streets in top condition and super ready thanks to the indoor cycling I did the last couple of weeks. I recently discovered the workout part of Zwift and it’s actually pretty cool to get an inside look at how to raise the personal fitness level the professional way.
Plus … I already ordered some decent brand new tires, that’ll hopefully fit on my Fuji Roubaix so it’s going to look fresh and ready for the outside season, too!
On top of it all, I’m starting a new topic on this website soon. It is going to add more depth in here, but I don’t want to spoil too bad right now…(evil laughing)

Let’s hope the next couple of weeks are going to be as exciting as they sound!

And what about you? Were you able to go out for a decent bicycle ride during the last couple of weeks? Or are you still preparing for the summer season? Tell me all about it in the comments below!

-Dennis

p.s: Did you know I’m on YouTube? Here’s the link to my channel :


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What’s so special about winter? What are people looking forward to when winter time is around the door? Are they excited about the scenic mountain views, they see in the movies? Spending the evening in front of a cozy chimney, drinking hot chocolates and watching some of those scenic mountain view movies?

Being a Dortmund native, I mostly consider winter as the cold, dark, wet and grey time of year. Winter is dirty and ugly. The closest scenic mountain view is 750km away (42hrs on a bicycle and a horrific climb to the finish line, I checked that…). The coziest chimney feeling comes up, whenever someone in the neighborhood decides to burn rotten wood outside in a fire bowl and last but not least, there’s no such thing as snow in Dortmund. There’s just grey and yellow mud. Winter is a nightmare in Dortmund, trust me!

However, I still needed to take some nice winter pictures for the seasonal content page on this website. So, when the weather forecast predicted snowfall in Dortmund a few days ago, I knew I had to come up with a plan to make the most of it. It was supposed to snow in the middle of the night, so the plan was pretty simple. Get…out…of…bed…early. That was it!

And guess what, it worked! I found myself outside, slipping through real, brand new snow in my not so brand new sneakers at around 9 am. It didn’t get any earlier on a sunday morning, but it was early enough. I was pretty much the only person outside. It was just me, my camera and the vehicles of the city road service, dashing through the snow in a hurry.

I knew where I wanted to go, so I fought my way through tons of snow, covering the sidewalks and finally arrived at my destination for the day, the campus of the university. I was lucky to discover some nice spots, took a few shots on my camera and got back home at around twelve. Two hours later everything was gone. Five hours of snow, that is all the winter wonderland Dortmund has to offer. But I still had the pictures on my camera as a prove, that there really was actual snow in Dortmund…

-Dennis

Visit the seasonal content page on my website for more winter pictures from that day:

Seasonal Content on DennisTheCyclist

Hey, everyone! Just wanted to quickly wish all of you a merry christmas!

I know, these are challenging times and we’re all having a lot of troubles this year more than ever. However, I hope everyone can enjoy the holidays as best as possible, find some peace and refuel their batteries for the times ahead!

A safe and happy merry christmas for all!

-Dennis The Cyclist

Yes, you heard right! After thinking about it almost the whole year, followed by searching for an indoor trainer for weeks and weeks, I finally managed to get one of these items. And let me tell you this, indoor trainers are rare these days, like really really rare.

Luckily for once, I had the right timing, when I found a trainer online back in stock at the manufacturer’s site. Two long days were spend with cleaning the roadbike outside at 3°C (sorry, hands!) and preparing the future “indoor cycling corner” / “the last bit of space I got left at my place”, until the package arrived and I could officially call me an owner of an indoor cycling trainer.

Since then, signing up for Zwift, was one of the best decisions, that I recently made. And of the sweatiest, hahaha! Honestly, I did never sweat this much before! Also, I would’ve never thought, that riding on Zwift could be a real alternative to riding outside … in the winter … and the rain … and freezing cold temperatures, alright … lesson learned. I like it, it really feels like a video game and there are so many people online everytime, it’s awesome, even on the super small screen of my smartphone!

Of course, there are still a lot of things, that I have to figure out. For example, I’m wondering what devices are best for riding on Zwift? The smartphone is doing a good job, but the screen really is a bit too small, I think.

So, if you got any advices for a noob on zwift, which I absolutely am, feel free to tell me in the comments below. If you’d like to connect with me on Zwift, you should be able to find me under “Dennis The Cyclist”! Alright then …Can’t wait to see you in Watopia!

Dennis!

The clothes are covered in mud and dirt after and before every ride, the roadbike looks like a worn out mountainbike and makes noises I never heard before and the tires gain cuts faster than me trying to sew together some old bike clothes…

All this can only mean one thing: The offseason arrived!

While the last couple of years usually consisted of me stumbling my way through the darkest time of year and keeping my head down low until the return of the first sunlight, it’s finally time for a new strategy … or any strategy at all.

So, here are my Top 5 advices for surviving the offseason:

1. Nightrides !

Finally something to look up to in that specific time of year. The days are short, the nights are long, which means you don’t have to stay up until midnight for a nightride. Also, there’s no such thing as bad weather conditions, if you can’t see it, right? … right?

2. Bike Wash !?

An advice, only for the toughest time of the offseason. When there’s snow, ice and a total white out on the other side of the window, this might be the perfect moment to make good use of some spare time. This might also be the only bike related activity that’s left, so you know … there’s nothing else to do anyway.

3. Use the weight bench more often …

Time to get rid of all the dust on the weight bench. I’m not the fastest rider in town, but I’ll be the strongest one next spring for sure! Let’s go…

4. Follow more blogs and channels from the opposite half of the planet !

Right here, in europe, the cycling season is pretty much over. Autumn arrived and soon it will get really cold with snow and all that stuff … however, this is not the case everywhere on this planet. The whole south half of planet earth awaits the arrival of summer in a few months, so I’m definitely going to make sure to follow some blogs and channels from this part of the world to get a decent amount of sunshine content.

( please make sure to drop your favorite blogs and channels from the summer side of the globe in the comments. Can’t wait for new content to follow!)

5. Keep on pedaling …

No one likes to start all over again next year. If you want to keep your endurance and stay in top shape, you need to ride your bike. It’s okay if you only ride half the distance, half the time, half intensity and half outside (is that possible? anyway…). Stay active and you’ll recognize the difference in spring!

Alright,what do you think? Looks like a decent strategy for the next few months. Can’t wait to try it out!

Feel free to tell me about your strategies for the offseason in the comments below!

-Dennis