Early Tuesday morning, we set out from Freiburg to Zurich. Most of the
group was travelling light, with all thier crap being carried by our
fine Freiburian hosts. Bike Ranch Queen and I had our trailers and camping
gear with us, as the notion of some camping in the black forest seemed appealing.
The other 20 or so were armed with only their kryptoLock and a banana. Naturally
we lost them, but only after getting a good 10km out of town before 8:00am. Weird.
From what I heard of their adventure, UberChick led them all fast and hard through
the black forest, which involves a lot of climing and descending. At some point
someone realized that there could be a passport check at the border of Switzerland,
and that neither a banana or a kryptoLock counts as a passport.
So they phoned
ahead and had their passports delivered back into Germany. Of course they were
never checked at the border.
Bike Ranch Queen and I camped the first night at a lake over 900m elevation.
This was the "High Black Forest", a beautiful forest, I gotta say, but there
isn't really anything black about it. The campsite was overrun by car-driving
tourist types, and the ground was nice hard gravel. The next day involved
an unrealistically long downhill, and was really a blast. I decided to camp
for a night on the Rheine, but Bike Ranch Queen had bags to attend to and
continued right on to Zurich, with the aid of a Directions Fairy she met just
after striking out on her own. The rest of my ride to Zurich was peaceful,
scenic, and relatively uneventful.
The first place I went in Zurich was to the train station to get a map of the
town. Not 30 seconds after I purchased it, I encountered a guy who just had to
be an international courier. Sure enough, he showed me on my map where I was
supposed to be - at the sprint competion. This happened to be in a huge space
in a building right near the Lucky 7 bar, the local hang-out for bike messengers.
This sprint was unlike any I had seen before. Two bicycles were mounted on
rollers, and the rollers were attached to a big dial.
The dial had two hands,
each of which measured out how far one of the bikes had "ridden". The
competition involved two riders trying to get the needle to the 500m mark first,
and the winner would advance to the next round. Rumour had it that the red
bike was considerably better than the blue bike, and that the red bike rider
was much more likely to win. No one ever proved this theory, though.
The Gold Sprint, as it is known, is a local tradition, sponsored by a beer
company. The beer that was consumed at the event (and throughout the weekend)
even said "Gold Sprint" on the label. A cheesy MC talked competent english
throughout the event. Then we consumed a great many Gold Sprint beers.
I should also mention that somehow the organizers of the CMWC managed to find
couch surfing for everyone in attendance, and that I slept like a king in the
heart of downtown, free of charge. The Green Team and the Blue Team did not
couch surf, preferring rather to stay in two of the finest 4-star hotels in
Zurich. This was designed to hone their competitive edges, but unfortunately
resulted in some harmless furniture tossing when it was discovered that the
two hotels were right across the street from eachother. None of the racers was
injured or charged.
Continue: More CMWC in Zurich!
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