March Marches

Ever since my first year in Germany, back in 2004, the month of March has had a little tradition of being particularly hectic. The winter/springtime transition marks a shift from training to racing regimes; the longer days typically motivate a change in the daily schedules; and most importantly, it's somehow the time when all sorts of different trips, conferences and visits take place.

I already noted this phenomenon back in 2009, with "Quase uma tradição" ("Almost a tradition"), which was reinforced in 2010 with "Packing - or the Whiskas Lifestyle, yet again". In 2011 I had Agnes over for her first visit to Erlangen, followed immediately by my trip to Brazil for Benjamin and Ana's wedding, followed straight out of the plane in Frankfurt to Dresden for yet another presentation in the Spring Meeting of the German Physical Society.

And it being 2012, and this being March, another round was indeed on order. The month began in Tuscany, where Team Magnesium Pur was holding its pre-season training camp. A week of long rides with Ivo, Giulio, Maxi and Lorenz served to solidify the necessary endurance base for the first part of the season. Back in Erlangen, my dad, who was in Hannover for CeBit, came to visit the following weekend, before I took off, with Nadja and my bike in the trunk, for my umpf-th time in that dreaded conference. We were hosted in Stuttgart by a friendly Brazilian couple, who somehow tolerated a complete stranger bringing in a bike and home trainer for three days away from home. Barely had I came back, and Agnes found out there was a window for her to get away from Waterloo; two days later I was picking her up in the airport in Nürnberg. Between work, training rides and lazy evenings, it seemed as if she had never left. Springtime bliss, updated for 2012.
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March wouldn't be complete without the season opener in Zusmarshausen, to where I drove with Agnes this past Saturday. Woke up on Sunday feeling tip-top, the team being in high spirits, the equipment and training condition all dialed in - and yet, we plain simply just missed the boat, watching (or better yet, not watching!) Eric Hoffmann and Helmut Trettwer ride away for a Baier 1-2. Duh. Still, out of the pursuit led by Giulio, Philipp managed to score a fine 10th place, which led me to conclude that if, when we screw up, we still manage to put a man inside the top 10, then things can only get better.
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Brought Agnes to the airport earlier this morning, and drove straight to the office, to find, in my desk, the latest version of my paper draft dripping red with Peter's corrections - including correcting the mistakes I made when (supposedly) addressing the previously noted issues (i.e., correcting the correction of the correction). That addressed, I left campus noting that it was over 7pm, and the sun still shone; but, arriving home to an empty apartment, realized it's not Summer just yet.