Anyone who likes to go for a gravel ride at the Dortmund-Ems-Kanal should absolutely not do it on a weekend. The path along the water is just too narrow to share it with pedestrians, dog walker, fishermen, runners, other cyclists and still have fun while riding bicycles.
So it was just a logical decision to go for a ride on a wednesday noon and it paid off.
I almost got the entire path for myself and was able to ride flat out for miles and miles. The temperatures were lower than I thought, lower than the thermometer at home indicated, but once I showed up at the channel, it was too late to turn back anyway.

There was almost no wind at all on that day, which delivered an incredible view all along the channel. When there’s no wind, and no ships or boats cross your way, the water gets so quiet, that it works just like a mirror.
Everything at the side of the channel is shown upside down on the surface of the water. That was absolutely incredible.
I even came across a rather large group of geese, that couldn’t believe their eyes either…

The path along the channel is made for an easy gravel ride, but there are always things to be seen or discovered. It connects the harbor in Dortmund to the larger rivers and water higways in this area, so there’s a lot of industry along the channel, new and old ones, most of them rusted, some of them abandoned. This makes the path along the channel to a perfect place to get some decent pictures with a great setting.

I already planned a longer ride from Dortmund to the old floodgate in Henrichenburg and back along other rivers, which should be a cool ride. However, I’m definitely going to wait for temperatures above 5°C for sure …

-Dennis

A few days ago I did a gravel ride across the university of Dortmund and further on to the harbour and the channel.
The bright colors of Autumn Wonderland have already past and what remains are tons of dead fallen leaves on the ground. The entire world seems to be covered by them, it’s crazy!
And it’s even more crazy to ride bicycles right through them. The wet leaves are so slippery on a descent and so gripless on an ascent, that it’s hard to find some fun on an autumn ride like I did some days ago.
The cold temperatures at night and the short days predict that winter ain’t too far away, so I aim to do as much outside rides on the bicycle as possible before the temperatures drop below zero.

And of course, I’d also like to get as much new footage for the YouTube Channel and this website as I can get!

I did a video of the Autumn Gravel Ride I just wrote about and I’m going to drop it right below this blogpost.
Fallen Leaves, a Gravel Descent and a super narrow dirt trail through the fields are absolutely part of this video:

Tell me what you think about this video in the comments below and make sure to keep on riding bicycles outside whenever you can!
In case you’re located on the southern part of this globe, make sure to send some sunshine over!

-Dennis

The grand
re-opening of Autumn Wonderland has finally arrived!

The world’s most famous open air exhibition has already started…

…and it’s back
greater than ever!

Experience everyday places like
never before
!

Colorful,
bright and
absolutely
incredible!

Watch Out!
Autumn Wonderland has
only returned
for a limited
time!

So make sure to visit
today!


Visit Autumn Wonderland and/or other seasonal limited experiences right here:

Seasonal Content

-Dennis

Anyone, who thinks a gigantic climb up to a legendary summit is absolutely necessary for a thrilling stage and there’s no other possible way to create drama has been proven totally wrong with the 2021 edition of Paris – Roubaix.
You know this race is a monument of the sport, when you take a look at the numbers already:
Total distance: 257 km!
Including: 30 sectors with a total distance of 50kms of pavet!
Nickname: The hell of the north!

This race is a spring classic with cold but dry conditions for dozens of years straight. Due to the pandemic it has been moved to early octobre and how could it have been any other way:
Rain showed up in the night before the race and wouldn’t stop until late in the race!

Usually, I prefer being outside riding roadbikes to sitting in front of the TV watching races the whole day. However, for the most prestige classic monument race in the world, I decided to make a super rare exception and of course I didn’t just sit on the couch staring at the TV for six hours straight … I studied the race in detail, which led to pages and pages of hand written race notes, which I would like to share right here:


Paris Roubaix 2021

257km
start conditions -> cold and wet
rider impression -> focused, not happy,
noone is laughing except of
Tim Declerx -> already at the front on the Depàrt fictif

TV legend expert Jens Voigt is already hyped, compares the riders with gladiators. Voigt rode in the same conditions about 20 years ago

first crash after 800 metres

first breakaway at 247 km to go
Trentin, Theuns, Kanter -> caught after about 25km

next breakaway (huge) at 209km to go (20-25 riders)
most teams are represented in the breakaway
Voigt calls it a race deciding situation

10km’s before Sector 30, the first segment of pavet in the race, tension is rising in the whole field, everyone wants to enter this sector at front. First time Mathieu v.d Poel shows up on the screen

5km’s before Sector 30 -> Stefan Küng and FDJ are again part of it (wrong tire pressure?)

Sector 30 -> peloton is torn into pieces, needs to regroup before the next sector -> 2min. away from the breakaway

150km to go -> Luke Rowe + Gianni Moscon (both Team Ineos) make a good impression in the breakaway

140km to go -> Sagan and Pollitt at the back of the peloton, Oss can’t stay in the breakaway. Bad day for Team Bora Hans Grohe.
Peloton once again torn apart, many riders lose contact to the peloton

Sagan crashes, looks shaken up

133km -> what’s up with Team FDJ? 3rd crash for Stefan Küng, front wheel slips away on the pavet out of nowhere

126km -> John Degenkolb crashes in the peloton, front slips away similar to Küng

115km -> Mathieu v.d.Poel attacks in the peloton with 2:30min behind the breakaway

Crashes and technical issues are still present everywhere in the race:
Laporte (Team Cofidis) lost rear brake, uses his right foot to slow down the rear tire before turns

100km -> Jens Voigt says, the riders look like riding bikes “on wet leaves and oily ice”!

The Forest of Arenberg

Eckhoff and Vermeersch are in front
Van Aert escapes crash soooooo close
Mathieu v.d. Poel attacks with Sonny Colbrelli at his wheel

The forest looks super rough, many ugly crashes

85km to go -> SONNY COLBRELLI attacks!!!

The field is close together after all, just one minute between breakaway, chase and peloton

75km to go -> Colbrelli is on a mission!

Side note: I need a coffee, it’s the 5th hour of sitting in front of the TV screen

70km to go -> Mathieu v.d. Poel attacks again and again,
van Aert can’t follow

52km to go -> Gianni Moscon is alone at the front after
all other riders in the breakaway crash
behind Walscheid

50km to go -> v.d.Poel, Colbrelli and Canadian Champ
Boivin are on a mission to catch Moscon
van Aert is nowhere!

Side note: Riders and Bicycles look like mine workers.
This isn’t a road race…

37km to go -> v.d.Poel attacks with 1:15min between him
and Moscon

Seems like noone can follow him -> wrong, Colbrelli, Boivin
and the rest of the chase are able to catch up to him

30km to go -> Moscon with a technical issue, has to change
bike and loses 30 seconds

Side note: Team Ineos has Moscon’s alternative bike installed
on the left position on the roof of the teamcar,
which costs time and proves, that Moscon has not
been their number one choice for the day…

Jens Voigt calls this a “noob mistake” by Team Ineos, because
they had enough time to prepare everything for their only rider left in the race

26km to go -> Moscon crashes on his new bike
wrong/different tire pressure than before?
however, he doesn’t stop fighting for the win
with 15sec left between him and the chase!

Carrefour de’l arbre

Colbrelli, v.d.Poel and Vermeersch catch up to Moscon

Colbrelli looks strong

Moscon loses contact to the group and is gone

10km to go -> The race is going to be decided between
v.d.Poel, Colbrelli and Vermeersch

Watch out for Colbrelli!

Sonny Colbrelli, the european champ, wins in a thrilling finish sprint in front of Vermeersch and v.d.Poel!!!

Vermeersch tried everything and started the sprint early but Colbrelli did the smartest sprint and probably had the most left in the tank!

<- where else, right?

<- Trentin was gone after that

<- horrible day for FDJ, it’s a shame, because Küng looked super fresh and motivated

<- what happened to Luke Rowe after this? one moment he’s in the breakaway looking super fresh, next moment he’s gone…

<- nasty crash, which ended Sagan’s race, even though he continued

<- only one week after his crash at the world champs! Big streak of bad luck for Degenkolb…

<- The “road” through the forest looked so narrow! If a single rider crashes in front, everyone behind him needs to have superpowers to escape a crash

<- That day, I finally understood the meaning of being tired of doing nothing!

<- Legends do legendary things! Jens Voigt -> best TV expert ever!


This race is just incredible! Anyone who has never seen it, won’t understand this.
It’s incredible, that the riders are actually finishing this race at all and it’s incredible, that the bikes are actually surviving this race.
It’s incredible, that the pavet sectors are all listed and protected as a historical monument and it’s incredible to see, how the people in northern france are celebrating the race and the sport like this.

I am already hyped for next year’s edition of Paris – Roubaix!

-Dennis

Dear, International Olympic Committee!

The Olympic Games in Tokio 2020 were awesome. As I wrote in my last blogpost (right here!), it were specifically the cycling events, that blew my mind. Of course, that won’t surprise anyone, considering that I’m a cyclist and that cycling is basically what I’m living for. However, even I have to say, that I really enjoyed the competition and the show of this year’s edition.

It’s also great to see, that you try to leave room for innovation by adding new sports to the olympic games (just like you did with skateboarding and BMX Park for example).
What got me excited once more, was the idea of adding the sport of Karate as a once in a lifetime olympic event to the games in Tokio.
In my opinion, that really was a sign of great respect to japanese traditions, the history of the country and gave the hosting nation an opportunity to represent itself. I really think, that is something that the olympic games should establish for upcoming events.

Now, I’d like to share my thoughts about what I’m thinking about for the upcoming summer games in Paris, France 2024:

Tell me, what’s the first sport, that comes to your mind, when you think about France?

Soccer? yeah, that might be true … however, soccer might have gotten bigger than the olypmic games itself and furthermore, in which country isn’t it huge, right?

Rugby? well, I think this sport has a great tradition in some areas of France, but I’m not sure, if the people in every province share that passion

Cycling? YES! That’s what I’m thinking about!

Cycling is HUGE in France! Le Tour De France is the biggest of the three Grand Tours in Europe.
Paris – Roubaix is a classic monument race of cycling and climbs as the Mont Ventoux or Alpe d’Huez are legendary in the sport and beyond!
In my opinion, there’s no sport in France, that has a bigger tradition than cycling.
Cycling is of the same importance to France as Karate is in Japan. And that’s why I think, that cycling deserves something great in 2024!

What could that be?

Well, there are a lot of opportunities. First of all, I think it’s about time to give MTB Downhill an olympic chance. There’s an UCI Downhill WorldCup in Les Gets every year, so there’s already an infrastructure and knowledge in France. No need to find a track and build a track, because it’s already there. I know, Les Gets isn’t quite close to Paris, but that wasn’t a problem in Tokio, so why should it be one in France, right?

If you like to see something more exotic, well, what about an ultramarathon bicycle race?
It would be great to do something like a 1000km + x race from Le Havre at the channel to Nizza at the Cotè d’Azur for example. You could stream that online and follow the riders location per GPS tracker, that would be something super cool and innovative!

Of course, you could create something brand new as well! What about a multi – discipline bicycle race for example: The modern bicycle tri -/ pentathlon!
This competition could easily be hosted in Paris, so the athletes could even stay in the olympic village.
The details of this event still need to be finished, but I’ll let you know soon!

Well, I really hope, that I was able to underline my intention in this brief blogpost. Make sure to tell me, what you think about it and I’ll make sure to respond to it as fast as I can.
Hey, IOC! Let’s just do something great for cycling in Paris, France 2024!

-Dennis


Check out more content of DennisTheCyclist: