In a world that is ruled by schedules, intervals, speed and efficiency, sunday is the only day of the week to do whatever, whenever and however. Some people like to relax all day and only switch between bed and couch, some people are finally able to do their favorite outdoor activity.
Whatever it is … Sunday is the day, that everyone can rely on!

Since this website is all about cycling, I’d like to write about the reasons, that make sunday the perfect day for cycling:

Sunday is the most quiet day of the week …

… perfect time to aim for a relaxed ride around town, take a timeout on places that are crowded and noisy all week long and start seeing the city from an unknown side. Noone is going to make a huge fitness progress from a ride like this, but if you take this day as your recovery day, you can discover your city from a totally new side and prepare your body for next week’s interval training hell.

Early Birds will get the trophy!

On sunday mornings, cities are absolutely deserted. The traffic is super low, roads are empty and if the wind is on your side, this is the perfect moment to smash the strava segments, that you’ve aimed for a dozen times at least. Most of the time, you won’t have to break for pedestrians or dogs and there are just a handful of cars, that’ll try to do an insane cutting move or whatever.
So, what you’re waiting for? Let’s go and get that trophy!

Endless Time on an unscheduled day!

Thinking about sundays always feels like standing on a rooftop, looking at an wide open area of free space. There are cities, but the roads are empty, there are forests and offroad areas, that I don’t know yet and far in the distance, there are huge mountains covered in fog, so there’s no possibility to see the summit from where I’m standing.
There are dozens of possible rides on a sunday and sometimes it’s hard to decide on where I want to go, however, sunday is the only day of the week to scout some new roads, paths and trails, so make sure to take this chance every single week of the year!

Personally I think, sunday’s the perfect day to do a huge ride around Dortmund and districts, that are just too busy during the week. It’s so cool to do a ride across the harbor or even the city centre, because there’s just a super low amount of cars and not a single truck around.

However, what about you? Why do you think sunday is the best day of the week to do a ride on your bicycle?
If you’d like to write about that, feel free to share your thoughts in a comment below this blogpost!

-Dennis

The other day, the free coaster on my everyday bicycle, the Creme Cycles Vinyl Solo, broke. I had to run some errands and the weather was okay, so I really wanted to take the bike for that. The only quick fix for that problem was to flip the rear wheel and start riding on the fixed gear and that’s how I got into riding fixed gear bicycles within five minutes.

So far, my entire knowledge about riding fixed gear consisted of watching other people riding fixed gear bikes in YouTube videos and they make it look so easy … well, of course it’s not that easy:

The first problem hit me, when I tried to jump on the bike to start riding. The bike stopped immediately and nothing happened: I jumped on the bike when the pedal had just passed its lowest point, which is basically the perfect way to hit the rear brake.

Once I had that figured out, I still looked like a noob on a bicycle whenever I had to stop or start again (which is definitely the reason, why so many fixed gear riders try to avoid getting stopped in traffic – including myself…) However, at least I was able to get the bike going after all, although it didn’t take long until the next problem showed up:

Usually I like to let the bike roll whenever there’s a slight downhill or there’s not much going on and I’m not in a hurry. Stop to pedal and enjoy the view, that’s how simple it is. Did you know how hard it is to get rid of such behaviour?
Stop pedaling is not a great idea on a fixed gear bicycle, because the pedals won’t stop spinning unless the rider kicks and pushes the pedals back into the opposite direction with an unreal power and strength effort. I learned that the hard way when the pedals almost knocked me out of the saddle…

However, right now I’ve already spend a few hours on the fixed gear and sometimes these problems still bother me during the ride. Nevertheless, I already feel way more comfortable riding fixed gear, than I did in the beginning. Actually I think, that this is possibly the coolest and most chill way to ride bicycles in a city or on a commute to work.
I left the rear brake and the rear brake lever on the bike, just in case I didn’t like the fixed gear at all. Right now, I don’t see a reason why I should keep it on the bike any longer, because I’m absolutely hyped about riding fixed gear.

-Dennis

In the beginning of December I began to ride bicycles indoors once more. The temperatures dropped below 5°C for a handful of days and that was the official end to my outdoor cycling season. It always takes some time for me to get used to riding indoors, however a few weeks later I’m absolutely and a 100% focused on riding on Zwift in my second season.

The workout always runs like the same pattern. I always start with stretching for a few minutes as a short warmup, legs and back mainly. When I’m done with stretching cycling starts.

This year I’m basically using the same setup as last year. The Fuji roadbike spends the winter inside, installed on a Wahoo Kickr Snap. As I explained in the last post, there’s just one thing I changed about the setup. The smartphone, which is the Zwift device of my choice, is now mounted to the bicycle rack in front of the roadbike. This improves looking at the screen while riding a lot and it makes riding on Zwift way more fun than last year, when I had the smartphone mounted on the bars.

I guess my average riding session on Zwift lasts about an hour, depending on how much time I got left pre or post work, but it definitely lasts longer than 30min or all the preparation just wasn’t worth it. Besides, warming uo on a bike always takes about 15 to 20 min until I feel like being ready for a bit more intense ride.

Do you like climbing on Zwift? I definitely don’t like climbing more than 7%-roads. Everything above is just pure agony in my opinion. The rear tire slips with every pedal stroke and pedaling just feels so mechanic. I’ll never forget the one ride I did up to Alpes d’Zwift …

Since I don’t like climbing too much, I prefer Zwift routes that are rather flat. I think, my average route is about 20km’s long, with not more than a hundred meter altitude. Add up to three or four sprints, but no KoM, and I’m happy. I also like to choose a short lap with up to 10km and then do a few laps on it. This improves my knowledge of the track and I’m able to raise my time in the sprints, simply because I know where the sprint starts and finishes!
On the other hand, time goes by a lot faster, when I’m riding a longer route and just one lap.
I guess the choice depends on how hard I like to push myself on every specific day.

When a Zwift session ends, preparation for the next ride begins. And this means cleaning the bicycle after every single session. This makes a huge difference on the status of your bicycle in spring and of course, a clean bike is a fast bike!

That’s pretty much it about how I workout and ride bicycles on Zwift in 2022. Make sure to share your thoughts in the comments!

-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

May has already started and I just realized, that I haven’t wrote a single word about the start of the official outdoor cycling season yet.

So, here we go … What are the most remarkable things about Spring 2021?

Let’s start with the #1 small talk topic of the galaxy:

The Weather – March and April had just a handful of overall nice days in stock and I tried to take advantage of every single second of them. Time flies and the nice times are like a lightning bolt – before you recognize them, they’re gone. That’s why it was important for me to be outside cycling as long as the weather was great.
However, the standard average March and April day went something like this:

Sunshine and no wind when I woke up.
Grey clouds and a light breeze after breakfast.
Rain, hailstorm and a decent headwind, while I had lunch.
Sunshine and no wind before coffeebreak in the afternoon, that made me dressup and get ready for cycling.
Rain, hailstorm and a decent sidewind as soon as I hit the streets on the roadbike.
Sunshine and just a few clouds, that designed a pretty nice sunset, but it’s just a trap, because the sun’s just laughing about the joke that the average spring day in March and April was!

– Dennis The Cyclist, Spring 2021

Let’s move on to the next remarkable thing:

Construction Sites – Phoenix West – the #1 roadbike spot in Dortmund – is officially dead!
The city decided to make this place a shiny flagship project by planning a modern tech centre right there. Currently, there are three or four huge construction sites, which would not be a problem, if they wouldn’t cause the roads to be closed, torn apart and covered with dirt and gravel. Now it’s a problem and it’s absolutely no fun to ride roadbikes there and it probably might never be fun again.
The only cool thing they ever build at Phoenix West is the brewery, which is only opened for take away right now.
So, whenever I do my casual one lap at Phoenix West to make sure noone’s forgetting that this is still a roadbike spot – I also consider on whether or not I should get some beers, so I could have some delicious ice cold after ride beverages … alone in my room, because that’s what you do in spring 2021, you know?

Finally, the most remarkable and greatest thing about spring 2021:

Cherry Blossoms – Not everything was all grey and cloudy in March and April!
Luckily, it’s the cherry blossom time of year, so it was almost too easy to get some great shots of all the colorful trees outside. Taking all these pictures, which I think turned out really cool, made up a lot for all the downsides of 2021 so far!

If you’d like to see more pictures like the header, here’s the link to the seasonal content on this website:

-Dennis

P.S.: There’s a brand new video on my YouTube channel! If you got four and a half spare minutes left, you might just give it a try? It’s right here: