Wednesday, December 27, 2006


There was a weirdo Euro across the aisle from me on the plane who couldn't stop sneezing. Which wouldn't have been a big deal if he would have just covered his mouth instead of rocketing forward and letting it all fly between his knees. Gross. And now, I'm sick. I have been for the last few days. Nothing major, just a cold, but with fatigue from travel it hit hard and fast. Sucky.

We took a couple of rides around here, a little over an hour each time. Both kicked my ass. It was the cold which did me in. It's been ~28F or so, low clouds and some fog, the kind that makes the air secretly saturated with freezing particles that get right down to your bones. It's hard to keep extremities warm. All the regular tricks of layering still let the freeze in. The terrain around here is all gently rolling hills, with the option of climbing up into the Jura mountains any time. Basically, the Jura run parallel to lake Geneva like one long wrinkle, for something like 40 miles. Maybe more. So there's a gradual rise from the lake up to the base of the mountains, so it's like one huge off camber stretch, 10 miles wide and 40 long or more. And within that, all the little rolling hills and wrinkled terrain you expect at the base of a mountain. So, no matter where you head, its up and down. The roads wind around and point you down towards the lake, then you have to eventually head uphill to get back to the same level you were on. And if you are lucky enough to ride parallel to the mountains and the lake for a mile or two, you still ride up and down. So it's pedal up, pedal down, coast, pedal down, pedal up... lots of pace changes, and lots of chances to pedal hard and get up a sweat, then be going downhill and freezing in the fog, slow down and go up again but not long or hard enough to warm up, go down again... it's a killer. It would be wild to hold a road race out here. It would be something like the Banana Belts, but tougher.

Alright, gratuitous gory shot time. Butcher's window in Geneva. Three different kinds of chickens, and rabbits, pidgeon, quail. There's a much greater variety of meats available in stores here. It's nothing to go buy a goose, duck, quail, or piece of boar, mutton, lamb, or whatever. Not the same old three or four flavors. And they keep the heads on special chicken varieties so you can tell what you're buying.

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