Tannheimer Tal Radmarathon 2014

Sadly the 130 km short course of the Tannheimer Tal Radmarathon has been demoted to an RTF thanks to some poor cycling from the participants in previous years…

But that was the only sad thing.

The “race” was good fun and unlike the Saentis Classic they still had timing. So at 6:40 am Leonie, Markus, and I cycled down to the start line from our campsite at Haldensee. They had changed the course somewhat this year and we headed off on a small winding road joining the main road later for the normal descent to Pfronten. I rode up the front in the first bunch and unlike previous years the start was far less hectic. I expect what happened is that the letters RTF scared off the speedy people.

Unusually, I spent time at the front on the descent and then again on the flat after the descent. At the right hand turn onto the small bike path after 40 km or so I was well placed with the first few people and didn’t have problems like previous years with slow pokes creating gaps to the front. Instead I attacked on one of the climbs and rode off the front and bridged the gap with the help of another guy to another rider who was already off the front.

It wasn’t long until we were hauled in though. This was the second break that I had been in that didn’t get away for long.

After the turn around there, were in the space of a few minutes, three very close calls involving riders near me in the bunch. I stayed at the front though and when we joined the main road I powered along with the first few riders down the valley. We ended up with a large bunch that road together to the last climb back into Tannheimer Tal.

I emptied my second drink bottle before the climb and started climbing in what I counted as 8 th position. Unlike previous years my legs didn’t feel like dead weights or feel like they would cramp as the climb began. I was surprised to see that I was holding my position and the rest of the bunch was falling off somewhere behind. I slowly caught up to a rider in front of me and we worked hard to close the gap to another to in front of us.

On the slight descent before the last section of the climb I towed the rider behind me along before I motioned for him to pass me and he started pulling. Unfortunately my calf muscles began to cramp up so that I had to slow down and ride with a dropped heel. The other rider passed me and rode off towards the two in front. I managed to ride through the cramping and just managed to get on the back before the climb finished.

We then rode up the valley at a reasonable pace all taking turns at the front. In the last 3 km we could see another rider in front of us and one of the guys began to get excited that we might catch him. Disappointed that we didn’t share his idea (I certainly wasn’t going to sit at the front and pull longer than expected) he rode off the front. I got on his wheel with another guy and he towed us towards the turn off to the finishing chute. At the turn I wasn’t far behind and at the straight to the finish line I dug in and passed the enthusiastic rider. Unfortunately a few seconds behind the guy we had been trying to catch.

A good “race”. I’m not really sure how the maths worked out but somehow I ended up in 8th place after coming in at the front of the group I had ridden with up the valley. I met Angela at the finish line after vanishing back to the camp site for a bit and Markus crossed the finish line half an hour later. About 20 minutes after that Leonie crossed the finish line. Both with very respectable times.

The weather had been very good. Quite hot but not so hot that it affected the ride, I thought. We packed up at the camp site and the rain came shortly after as we drove home, arriving back in sunshine in Lindau.

As it was only an RTF the results were only published in alphabetical order. Boo.


Cris being chased by men (Tannheimer Tal Radmarathon July 2014)

Above: We set off at 7am in sunny weather on a slightly changed 130 km course. Unfortunately the event had also been degraded to RTF. No, not Rich Text Format, something like a fun ride rather than a race. I’m lurking in orange in the picture. Above right: I started near the front and worked up into the front bunch before being chased by older men.

Leonie near the start 3 (Tannheimer Tal Radmarathon July 2014)Cris ascends to Tannheimer Tal (Tannheimer Tal Radmarathon July 2014)

Above left: They had altered the start so that it began with a narrow road through nice meadows. Good job. Above right: The “race” went well, as you can see I’m still grinning on the climb back into Tannheimer Tal… This was just before my legs cramped horribly…

Cris crosses the finish line (Tannheimer Tal Radmarathon July 2014)Leonie with tired men (Tannheimer Tal Radmarathon July 2014)

Above left: The more you grit your teeth the faster you go. Plus it allows you to pip other riders on the line (mysterious shadow behind me). Above right: By the look of it Leonie ground the men around her into dust as she stomped her way up the hill. But then again, perhaps I’m mistaken, my eyes aren’t what they used to be.

Leonie concentrating on the race (Tannheimer Tal Radmarathon July 2014)

Above: Leonie was all concentrated determination… or something.

Leonie and dubious man (Tannheimer Tal Radmarathon July 2014)Leonie crossing the finish line (Tannheimer Tal Radmarathon July 2014)

Above left: Apparently she attracted a fan club of men, well a man, eager to ride behind her and admire the view. Myess… bottom. Above right: Leonie looked far too fresh as she crossed the line. Not a lot of teeth gritting going on there.

Cris and Markus at the finish line (Tannheimer Tal Radmarathon 2014)Cris and Leonie at the finish line (Tannheimer Tal Radmarathon 2014)

Above left: There was time to look pleased with ourselves after the race. Above right: And some time to do some posing with Leonie.

Our bikes after the race (Tannheimer Tal Radmarathon 2014)Relaxing with some well earned kaiserschmarrn (Tannheimer Tal Radmarathon 2014)Back at camp after the race (Tannheimer Radmarathon July 2014)

Above left: Our bikes needed a rest after the race. Above middle: And we were definitely in need of some kaiserschmarrn, which isn’t really surprising because it’s always a good time to eat kaiserschmarrn. Above right: We headed back to the campsite later, packed everything into the cars, and left as it began to pour with rain catching a good portion of the competitors who had entered the long course. Muhahaha.


Tannheimer Tal Radmarathon 2014 – 130 km / 930 m 3:22:42 Avg 38.45 km/h 8th place

Splits 1:29:52 2:01:49 2:25:52 Transponder 03:22:42 | Gun time 03:22:52

Tannheimer Tal Short Distance – 130km /930hm RTF Results

Corsica 2014 Day 9

To keep up with our trend of leaving late we headed off from our camp in Corte at 11 am on bikes. We rode up the Restonica valley as far as the rode went which meant about 800 m of climbing next to a nice river. At the end of the road we left the bikes and continued on foot stopping at the river for a refreshing splash and some food. We headed up to Lake Melo, took a few photos, then headed back down for a fun descent back into the heat of Corte.

We did a small tour of the town in the evening stopping for extremely oily pizza at a restaurant followed by an icecream.

Leonie in the morning (Corsica 2014)Heading off (Corsica 2014)Leonie riding upwards (Corsica 2014)Leonie walking up (Corsica 2014)At the lake (Corsica 2014)Mountains behind the lake (Corsica 2014)Us in the evening (Corsica 2014)Leonie adventuring (Corsica 2014)Having a scout around (Corsica 2014)

1) Leonie at our camp.

2) We headed off in the heat.

3) Riding up the hill in the heat.

4) Leonie walks up the path to Lake Mélo.

5) Us at the lake.

6) The peaks behind the lake Mélo were jagged.

7) We had a look around the town in the evening.

8) Narrow places.

9) Old town style.

Corsica Day 8

We headed off from our camp site in Vivario in the morning at the lazy hour of 10. The plan was to do a loop that involved a variant route of the GR20 and walk part of the GR20 too. We wombled slowly up the track towards Mt D  Oro. It was another mostly sunny day but a bit cool further up. As usual the sides of the track were inhabited by lizards but today we were also treated to chives. Lots of them growing in patches, and what seemed to be thyme.

We left the forest ascending above the tree line and carried on until we were confronted with snow. Snowwww. Snow in Corsica. What? We picked our way through the snow and up a steep crumbly section to a grassy patch where we hungrily consumed our cous cous snacks. Then it was onwards to the summit. It was reasonably cold and quite foggy which made me a little apprehensive about navigation but there were plenty of yellow markers painted onto the rocks.

We spent some hours descending from the summit and heading the rest of the way around our loop. The descent was partially next to a nice river with rock pools. By this time it was already evening so we skipped swimming and hurried back to the car.

We then drove to Corte and camped the night there.

Breakfast time (Corsica)Walking (Corsica 2014)Leonie walking with mist behind (Corsica 2014)On the summit of Monte d'Oru (Corsica 2014)Cris (Corsica 2014)Rocks (Corsica 2014)

1) A make shift table made a good place for breakfast.

2) The sun was out to begin with.

3) The sun was gone and we found ourselves in patches of mist.

4) It was a bit scrambly in parts but we made it to the summit. The mist swirled around in parts and then vanished again.

5) On the way down.

6) We walked back down. On the way we met a Norwegian family who were visiting and chatted to them for a while.