Since we last touched base I've been to
Spain twice testing once at a little track down by Almeria
and the other was Valencia. They were both the most
successful tests we've ever had. We really came away with
better bikes and an exact direction where to keep heading.
The first test in Almeria was a test
with the HRC boys from Britain and the Japanese technicians.
The added support from HRC this year is a big help
particularly with the electronics. The only downside to the
test was the temperature which barely raised above single
figures and if so it was only for an hour or two, oh and we
didn't have any of the new tyres to try, just last years
In the end it turned out for the best,
because there wasn't any decisions to be made about which
tyre to use, there was only one and we just concentrated on
There was about 10 days between Almeria
and Valencia tests so I spent my days at the pool carving
laps, ) wasn't keen at all to go out-side particularly when
the pool temperature is about 28°C. The rest of the time I
spent avoiding the dreaded Cheese Fondue dinner invites,
which are notorious for this time of the year. Don't get me
wrong I don't mind a bit of crusty bread dipped in a pot
full of hot melted cheese, but it's definitely a meal your
gonna wear for a couple of days or longer! You've gotta
wonder when you need to drink copious amount of black tea
and kirsch snaps to help digestion! Mmmmm.
The Valencia test also went well,
concentrating only on the new evolution of forks and shocks
which was more work then the track time allowed. My
mechanics just worked there asses off, there was always at
least one bike with the front end missing. The boys were at
it all day. The boss definitely got his money's worth! The
biggest advantage was getting through all the new stuff just
in time to try out the 06 tyres, the only thing that wasn't
on our side was the time of the day and the temperature.
Well, it was 4.15 pm after all! Never the less we didn't
break the lap record but we for sure broke new ground as far
as the bike is concerned. I really feel we've made some
giant leaps forward this winter, and I'm also feeling the
same way with my health.
I know I keep complaining about the
cold but it's so cold that we went ice skating on one of the
lakes in Zurich the other day. This is no ordinary lake
either; it's about 25 km if you want to walk around the
thing. People even have sailing boats on it, and not just
the dingy kind. It's been so cold down here, the last time
the lake froze was 14 years ago! It's bloody huge! Over the
weekend they had somewhere between 50 to 75 thousand
visitors on the ice, they even set up bars, little cafes &
BBQ stands etc. etc. Nice!
Today I'm heading up into the Alps for
four or five days, we just bought some new snow shoes, there
like small tennis rackets but with teeth. The forecast looks
good, blue skies bit nippy -10ish but it's a perfect
opportunity to test drive my new shoes. The idea is to use
the shoes rather than the ski lift, so hike to the top, then
snow board down. I figured it would be a great way to kill
tow birds with one stone, exercise and fun! I'm not too sure
how many runs) might get in, she's a fair old hike from 1000
meters to 3000 meters. I think I might be lucky too, if I
can get one a day!
I also think I'm gonna regret buying
these things, and wish I spent the money on a lift pass. Who
would have thought a pair of snow shoes would cost an arm
and a leg! Spendy!
By the time I get back from the
mountains I'll have 3 or 4 days to pack my bags, tidy up a
few loose ends and head off to the first two races. Qatar is
once again the first race but this time it's back to back
weekends with Philip Island, so a bit of a road trip and a
lot of air miles! I'll give you the low down from Qatar &
Australia in next month mag.
Be good, if not be good at it!