In His Own Words: Christian Meier on Off Season AdventuresSat 16 Nov 2013
Hopefully some of you were able to follow along last year as I gave a few updates on my off season training in Chiang Mai, Thailand. We are at it again, however this time with a new country, roads and cuisine. I am currently in Bali, Indonesia (more specifically, Ubud)
My off season started after the wrap up of the Tour of Beijing. The stage race was my last team race of the season; however, never the one to pass up an opportunity to pin on a number, I jumped at the chance to travel to Japan and, alongside Simon Gerrans, Simon Clarke and Fumy Beppo, ride the Saitama Criterium in Tokyo. It was an awesome race with amazing fans, and I especially appreciated the opportunity to race with Fumy during his last outing in the Orica GreenEDGE kit.
From there the true vacation began, as my wife, Amber, and I spent the following two weeks snorkeling, rice paddy trekking and enjoying tropical drinks, umbrella included, in Indonesia. It is always so strange to me that at the end of the season I can't wait to get a break- a chance to relax and manually reset- and after that break, how ready I am to get back on the bike and start spinning the legs again. It will start off easy. A week ago today marked my first day on the bike at a very relaxed pace.
Ubud boasts some very big mountains, including Mount Batur, which holds a huge crater in the top from when its top last blew as a volcano. When my training ramps up, I may tackle some of the mountains around here.
We have tried to set up a bit of a camp here in Ubud, renting a small villa with a pool, using the kitchen to cook with exciting local ingredients and getting massages as needed. We are planning on being set up here for just over two weeks. Staying in one spot makes it a lot more "home like" and we have been able to get a nice routine going.
Since it is still the off season, I am on an off season program. At the moment, my training is a few days on followed by a rest day. Amber plans fun adventures for us on the days I am not riding.
It’s been really cool to visit all the temples and feel the strong Balanese, Hindu and Buddihst presence. It seems like we are seeing something new every time we go out. Food here is very cheap, but they use simple and clean ingredients. Gado-Gado has been a lunch time staple for me. The dish consists of boiled eggs and potato with steamed green vegetables and a homemade peanut sauce. They love their peanut satay sauce and it can be found along side everything from chicken skewers to a topping on vanilla ice-cream. No peanut allergy here, thank goodness.
Enjoy a few photos of our time in Japan, our time vacationing and the start of our Ubud training camp. We will check in again with some new adventures soon!