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Sporty Saturday Vol.4 – autumn ride(s) .

I have some news, I have recently rediscovered the beauty of cycling. I know the page is called runningarchitect.com but I have spent the first seven months this year in running shoes and have been looking for a little twist lately. Living in Brandenburg you do not get very far by foot, so everybody rides a bike here..

After finishing the cycling adventure [1]  last September with my dad, I needed a little distance from my mountainbike – it is acctually just a hardtail, so some of you might not consider it to be a proper MTB 🙂 Anyway, spending the winter time in Slovakia and my behind needed some rest, I have focused on skiing and hiking, which has turned into occasional running and I did not miss it until the summer started and I have realised I have no means to get to the beach! I wanted to expand my playground and despite my trips to Saxon Switzerland [2], I felt like missing something.

Therefore, I have bought myself a new bike. After a heated discusion with my closest, we agreed a cyclo cross will be the right choice for me on these flats. It is basically a robust road bike with bigger tires, so you have no problem on gravel roads and can still be fast on proper roads as well. I would have never believed, how much extra speed can you gain by a good bike. Before, I would have rarely finished a ride with a faster average speed than 20 km/h, suddenly I could get up to 24 km/h without any further training.. Nevertheless, I have improved a bit and on good days, I can go 26 km/h – it is still working progress but it feels completely different. On that thought, I might do a separate post on the experience of riding a CX soon as I am quite enthuiastic about it these days. Till then, I have collect at least some pics from my latestest expeditions. The variety of landscape is so impressive here, I have only seen a fraction of the surrounding but there are such huge differences – you can check out the little gallery I have put together for you below. I think that is the main point I love about cycling – everything around you is constantly changing and it gives me a feeling of freedom.

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[1] Long ride: Cottbus-Brezno link for unfinished article here. And I promise, I will try to finish it in the near future 🙂 Anyway, pictures are already uploaded, so you can skim though..

[2] Two older posts and these are actually finished, enjoy reading.. link 1, link 2

Enjoying the springtime.

I have a little confession to make, I been very lazy lately – if you are in a similiar mood, you might want to check out my favourite song for these days: Couch potato by Shortstraw [link here]. So, I have decided to at least grab a camera today and go for a short walk in the fields. Afterall, I do not want to miss out the most colourful time of year, plus I have bought myself a real camera. I have got lucky and the sun was out so I hope you will get at least an essence of my little adventure today.

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Lovely lookout points in Brandenburg

Growing up in the mountains, Nizke Tatry (Slovakia), it has been a hard transition for me to get used to living on plain. If you have ever visited Brandenburg or you happen to live here, you would know, how flat this area is. I was used to climb up a hill and be able to see things from above – to gain a certain distance from the rush in the town. It was always easy to find a piece of quiet up there, even though I have gained that perspective only recently. As they say, you become aware of good things only after you lose them. Nevertheless, I am not the first nor the last person longing for opportunity to stuck my head into the clouds. So it should not come as a surprise, there are plenty of lokout points in Brandenburg. Today, I would like to present my two favourites to you – they oth have been built as a part of IBA 2000-2010. Both objects are very interesting, yet not in the same way. If you fancy interesting architecture, you would love Rostiger Nagel. You can take plenty of nice shots there. However, if you are planing on seing magnificent nature and find some peace, you should visit the one at Felixsee.

 

1) Tower at Felixsee, Bohrsdorf.  N 51.616487, E 14.547338

If there is a one sport I have fallen in love with living in Germany, it would be swimming in the pond. I have to admit, I used to be quite scared  to swim in open water, I was horryfied I will get tangled in waterplants and drawn. Yet, going to the beach with my friends and swiming in Groups helped me overcome this fear. So, I cannot imagine spending a sunny Saturday anywhere else than somewhere close to water. It is safe to say, there are so many ponds and lakes in Brandenburg (..and also in Mecklenburg-Vorpommen, etc.). Some of them are muddies than others and soem of them larger beach attached etc. If I were to pick one lake I like the best, it would be the Felixsee (1). The water is so clear, and the lake is quite deep so there are barely any plants there. It is a perfect place for a daytrip in summertime – I would bike there but you can definitely get there by a car as well.

The tower itself is a ca. 30m high wooden structure and you can enjoy a nice view from the top – the lake, vast forests, some chimneys from the powerplants close by, and of course you can find some wind-wheels on horizont as well. To get some impressions, check out the gallery attached below.

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2) Rostiger Nagel, Senftenberg. N 51.527224, E 14.099115

I have acctually heard about Rostiger Nagel in class. So, we have decided to check it out afterwards, yet it was too far to walk from Senftenberg. Considering the fact, we had no clue in which direction the thing was – it was kind of spare-the-moment-trip-and-jump-on-the-train, we have ended up eating icecream in Senftenberg and returned home. Ever since, it was on my list of things to visit one day. So, last weekend I have finally manage to get there. 🙂

The tower is literally a 30m-tall rusty nail (Rostiger Nagel) placed in the middle of a former strip mine landscape which is currently being flooded. It was built out of corteen steel and has some impressive details as you can see in the gallery below. Waiting four years to see the thing, I was a little bit disappointed by this project. it might be a very impressive object but the landscape around is still transforming and I missed the opportunity to lay down on the beach and swim in the lake.

 

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Sporty Saturday Vol.01 – Running flat and straight forward

I have mentioned in my recent post that I have moved back to Germany, and I happend to live in a small villiage (population of ca. 4.000 people) in Brandenburg. After a half year spent in the beautiful mountains of Slovakia, I am back on plains again. At the beginning, I have been enthusiastic about it as training in altitude for several months contributed to the increase the number of my red blood cells and therefore I found it easier to run down here. When I started running in the mountains (up to 2.000m altitude) in November, I was not able to climb a hill without taking multiple breaks on my way up. So, I have tried, tried and tried. At some point in January, I have noticed the improvement and was quite sad to move back to the flattest area in the Europe. I dare to say, even in Netherlands you would find more hills than here :). However, it has a certain advantages. If you are running flat with the extra strength from hills, it is so much easier. My PRs are stellar comparing to those from back home and I can feel the wind in my hair when running :-). If you are an amateur like I am, you probably know the excitement of discovering speed on your runs.  Unfortunatelly, it can get little boring from time to time. All pictures you take are in landscape mode and there is definitely no need for panorama shots anymore. On the other hand, it is always nice to be a new place – new great trails which need to be explored! So, I have been quite busy these past weeks and I have spent great deal of time on movescount.com planing my next move. I prefer to look at the map, plan ahead and then put my shoes on. It would be irresponsible to run out into woods without having a clue where you are and checking my phone for the curent location every few minutes is annoying. So, I just put the route into my watch and they show you the direction to the next point of interest etc. Very simple, I have grew very fond of this feature lately.

All in all, I have already run some kilometers and can already pick some favourites. I have to say, I used to love to run along the river before, when living in Cottbus. Now, I prefer the woods. I have tried to put in 10k along the river here but I have having hard time finishing them! It was like never ending story. On the other hand, when I run in the forest, the time flies! I have put together a small gallery of impressions, I have collected over past weeks. I have been going for a run mostly in the morning, before work. Yet, there are even some shots taken on the runs after work. Either way, the light was usually very soft :). I hope you will enjoy it!

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