Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Fitter, happier, more productive

...comfortable, not drinking too much, regular exercise at the gym (3 days a week)... Well, only one day a week, but the lyrics don't go like that. I haven't reached the stage of being a pig in a cage on antibiotics yet, but I'm sure that will come.

Last week was noteworthy in its greyness and wetness, and I was forced to spend more time indoors. My heart rate monitor ran out of batteries and I could not for the life of me find a replacement. Some guy at a photo shop is going to order one in for me. Easier than sending it back to Polar, I suppoge. Did another spinning class and took it easier on myself, although it's hard when you've got Rammstein's Links...2, 3, 4 to sprint to.

I ventured out on the road again on the weekend, and was mildly shocked that there was a bunch of 15 on Saturday. Roads were wet and it snowed for the last 15 km as we fought our way back into the northerly wind. I think there were only three of us left then. Col de la Trap Op: 5'43 on Saturday, 5'37 on Sunday, which is OK for this time of year. Once it warms up and people get fit, it gets down to 4'50 for that mighty ascent.

Saw Philippe and Jo on Sunday, and was also mildly shocked that they had done 130 and 170 km on that fairly ordinary Saturday. Oh well, the wielertoerist Ronde van Vlaanderen is in three weeks, so Jo will be flying for that. I think I'll choose the 150km option again.

Also saw Filip Vereecke and his other half Debbie on the Sunday ride, and they filled me in on the winter mountainbiking shenanigans. I didn't realise there was so much gameswomanship in a beach race! Debbie won her last race and finished second in the series, but for most of the races, her rival Joyce had a bit of help from a few guys, because men and women start together in those races. I don't know what the rules are in such a situation, but Debbie got her own back in the last race :-)

Drinking was kept to a bare minimum this week, although Reinhard and I did manage to get to two more cafes on Saturday. The plan is to visit all the cafes in Gent, hospital being optional. I could only stomach one beer, and that was all I had all week.

Speaking of beer, I have just read that there's a big kerfuffle going on between the suppliers of Jupiler glasses (InBev) and cafe owners. As some kind of a marketing stunt, InBev is distributing new Jupiler glasses that are 10 percent bigger than the normal ones. While this may be good for patrons, the cafe owners are annoyed, because it means they'll end up buying and serving more beer for (in theory) the same selling price, so it'll cost them an extra 9000 euros a year, roughly.

InBev reckons that they just have to put more foam on top and keep the volume of beer the same, but that's going to be difficult to teach the beer pourers. Also, they claim that more foam will protect against bacteria! That's the biggest load of bollocks I've heard. The cafe owners are not amused at all.

I must find some new lodgings.

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