During this time a couple of other crucial activities needed to be squeezed in. Firstly a game of golf with our great family friend gunther from germany or "the german tiger" as he likes to call himself. Just before i wrapped up my last similar preperation phase before the tour of turkey in april, gunther came over to varese for what was our 3rd grudge match. Like the previous 2 matches both played in australia, the 1st played on lord howe island and the 2nd at my home club royal hobart gunther gave me a hiding and sure enough he did the same to me in varese. Gunther's handicap in golf is 6 so he is a pretty good player so i certainly set myself up for a belting each time. On the return leg this past weekend gunther again made the journey from germany along with his wife stephanie as he feels now such battles are crucial to preparing me for the intensive racing blocks to follow. This time around i was better prepared and although i did again lose it took him until the 18th hole to defeat me so in the same way i micro manage my improvements in my profession i was happy to see some gains in my golf game all be it coming up short again and giving gunther a 4-0 victory rate over me. Gunther figured it was better he win again as last time it preluded perhaps my best performance in a race this season in turkey so in his opinion it was best not to mess with the routine. All in all however although the competition certainly spices up a round, for me i just love playing golf for a couple of other reasons. Firstly i dont have to be any good at it as win or lose on the golf course i am just happy to be on the course, my job requires me to punish myself and stress about making gains that the golf course gives me a great place to simply switch of and enjoy sport. Secondly days of for me a somthing i find very hard to endure. I need to do somthing. Golf thankfully takes alot of time and it is also is sport so i get some form of exercise so for a day off it fits in perfectly into my schedule. I am sure as i get older i will find it easier to take days off.
On the getting older theme this time of the year, well august 3rd to be precise is my birthday and it was time to turn 28 in 2011. To celebrate my birthday i was fortunate to have jess's sister elana and her boyfriend jack living in london and offered to have me over for dinner. Now lanny is one seriously exceptional cook along with all the wade women so i did not need much twisting of the arm accept the invitation. For the meal i knew i had to be prepared so fortunately the week precedeing my birthday was the longest in terms of hrs and intensity i have ever done on my bike so i was certainly going to earn a good wade family meal. So on august the 3rd i got up and headed out for a few hrs with my mate and training buddy ivan basso which was great to see him as i had not seen him since before le tour. Training with one of the best riders in the world is not a bad treat to start with i reakon for your birthday. After training it was of to the airport for a quick flight over to london to catch up with lan and jack. I rocked up conveniently just intime for dinner and as expected lan had wipped up all my favourites of roast crispy potatos, lazagna, bit of fancy salad, a great bottle of plonk and perhaps most importantly for the birthday cake, a toblorone cheese cake. I ate until i felt i had enough energy onboard to sustain me for the final few months of the season when i could indulge in another such fiest and was even sent on my way with a bit of a doggy bag and a box of my faxourite biscuit, the "anzac". Thought i might give them a test drive in some upcoming races. So that was my birthday, another one ticked off and one i wont forget in a hurry and looking forward to having rediculiously large amounts of energy to burn off in the coming months.
So with the training all done, another defeat at the hands of gunther on the golf course and a stomach full of fuel i think i am ready for the final part of the season beginning on saturday in tuscany.
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device