In His Own Words: Christian Meier on Off Season Adventures - Part TwoMon 25 Nov 2013
Having now been on the road for over a month, the off season is starting to wrap up for me here in Bali. I am set to depart for Australia in a couple days, where the Orica GreenEDGE boys and staff will be reunited for the first camp of 2014. Perhaps being around more people will encourage me to shave the scruffy looking beard I have going at the moment.
As for the training, Bali has proven to boast surprisingly great riding. I am always cautious and have to do a bit of research when planning to take my bike and ride somewhere other then Girona. There is a lot to take into consideration: the condition of the roads, the amount and kind of street traffic, whether or not the drivers are bike friendly and what kind of hills can be incorporated into my ride when training days call for elevation.
Bali delivered on all of these fronts with well paved roads, patient drivers and hills that would give many Giro d’Italia climbs a run for their money. Switch backs are a novelty here, so the roads typically run straight up the side of the mountain without the little relief corners can offer.
I am happy to see my legs still remember what to do and my body was happy to ride in the heat and humidity of Bali, making the training quite pleasant for November. With Australia coming up, I will have avoided a couple months of training in the cold, so going back to Girona after training camp will be a slight shock to the system.
Off the bike, my wife and I explored some more temples, did some cool rice paddy treks and were even able to find an English movie theatre, popcorn included. Our food adventures have been plentiful and our tolerance for spicy sambal (an Indonesian condiment made of chill peppers, fish paste, lime, garlic and spices) has increased. While spending time in an exotic location for such a long period of time works very well for my wife and me, we’re both more than happy to return to the second adventurous lifestyle of living in Spain. My coffee machine has been on her own for the past few weeks and seeing as I only got her at the end of Beijing we haven not had a chance to spend any real quality time together. I kid but there are the comforts of home that only going back can fulfil: my brew machine, homemade muesli mix and my comfy full recline couch, to name a few.