From Diabetes to Duathlon » My personal story

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Koblenz……..my happy place…

This weekend was the PureCycling Festival which is a festival hosted by Canyon the amazing people I harp on about that design and build my bikes in Kobenz Germany.

A few weeks ago after chatting with one of our friends at Canyon Sue and I decided to join the festival for the weekend but little did we know what was in store for us once we landed.  The first thing was our pal looked after us very well it was amazing and quite overwhelming at times too. We arrived in Koblenz at around 6pm on Friday evening and was invited out to dinner with our friend. Little did we now that we would be dining with some of the most influential and famous cyclists in the world it was absolutely awesome and for the first 30 minutes it was like I was catching flies just stood there with my mouth open. I truly did feel like one of the luckiest men alive. I don’t like to name drop BUT I am going too haha, at Dinner we met and chatted to TEAM KATUSHA’s Nils Politt who is my absolute HERO and such a humble giving man this absolutely made my day/week/month lol,  Movistar Team’s Nairo Quintana another friendly chap and Canyon/SRAM team rider Lisa Brennauer again another awesome lady, there was also a huge array of other world class cyclists and “dirt bike riders”  I like that term a LOT.  The world famous Fabien Barel who was just so giving and supporting of Canyon (in a huge way). and so many more. As well of course as my friends from Canyon old and new.

IMG_3668As if Friday night was not enough for me I woke on Saturday even more excited because today was a cycle day 🙂  I went into the Canyon Home which is actually the old canyon factory now offices, showrooms and maintenance areas as well of course as home and was taken to one of their bike storage areas to collect a beautiful Canyon Aeroad SLX 8.0 Di2 which was my steed for the weekend although ultimately I only kept it for the one ride which was a mistake on my part but hey ho! I had already sent my measurements and the bike was set up perfectly, I fitted my pedals and off I went for a test ride, it was just like riding my Aeroad but with clunky heavy old Ultegra instead of Dura 🙂 OK OK I am joking of course, Ultegra is beautiful and I have it on 2 of my bikes too 🙂  Lining up for the “cycling with the pro’s” ride I was speaking once again to Nils Politt for 10 minutes discussing the route today and his next trip to race in Yorkshire before our pre ride brief and we were off…

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The plan was between 45 and 50 miles although the Germans all talk in KM’s 🙂 and stupidly I left my Garmin mount in my hotel room so had no idea how far or fast we were travelling coz mine was in my Jersey pocket.  The root was lovely and started in beautiful sunshine but after about 15 minutes the heavens opened and it rained really hard but only for about 10 minutes, of course I was soaked but who cares I was cycling in Koblenz.  Several things happened during that ride that will stay with me The first was when one of the Canyon crew cycled alongside me and said “you gotta be Jules” now that made me smile a lot and I chatted with Matt for a good few miles as well as most of the other crew too and I also rode with Nils and one of the LOTTO pro’s for a while which was great fun, mostly just behind haha but occasionally in front and of course I rode alongside Lisa and chatted to her too.  I spent the whole 46 miles chatting to all sorts of wonderful people and was made to feel very welcome. After the race we were welcomed back to Canyon home amidst applause but I am guessing that was for the pro’s although I took it was for me and smiled politely as one does.

I handed my bike back and spent a lovely afternoon with Sue and our friend from Canyon who had actually taken Sue around in one of the Team cars to photograph the ride, I know ! it just keeps getting better…

My Ride in Koblenz

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Sunday was more of the same although I never rode, I should have done although this was not a pro ride today expect that the awesome Roman Arnold rode and I like him a lot and would have liked to ride with him, Ahh well next time.

IMG_3688Sunday afternoon we took a trip to the new Canyon Factory a few miles away.  I am very lucky because I was given a guided tour in December just after it opened so it was interesting to go back after a few months in production. Firstly I would say that today the factory felt “lived in” it was heartwarming to see and be a part of despite the fact that for obvious safety reasons it was not in production today. The next big difference was the shelves, they were FULL of bikes and parts and clearly the factory is a fully fledged operating facility and again superb to experience. The actual production facility was awash with beautiful stealth Endurace bikes in various stages of completion so fingers crossed a few are UK bound for my friends waiting over here. On the bus back I was offered a survey which was in German, thankfully google translate helped me and I got a bag full of free stuff 🙂 Icing on an already sweet cake.  Later we shopped before the PCF closed and I managed to bag (excuse the pun) a fab bike sack for my bikes and some great tee shirts including the new “draw the line” sender shirt which I love so we said goodbye to the PCF with a happy heart and heavy shopping bags 🙂

We met lots of friends in Koblenz both from the forums I frequent and from the Canyon. I obviously speak to Canyon a lot both UK and Germany and this weekend was just fantastic putting faces to names and meeting the Canyon Crew was definitely a highlight of my weekend and I cant wait to go back later in the summer and hopefully join a crew ride out, I am sure they wont notice me tagging along coz I am quite discreet 😉

Sunday we went back to our hotel for dinner and to reflect on the weekend and drink wine 🙂  Monday was quiet and again we enjoyed just being there and saying goodbye to our new pals as well as walking along the Mosel river and again drank wine. A great flight home and there you have it done. Best weekend ever.

I cant tell you just how special this whole weekend was and I would urge my fellow Canyon fans to keep an eye out for next year, its a non stop, one shop cycling mecca for roadies and dirt bikes alike with continual displays and events as well as workshops and offers and pretty much something for everyone, great food, bikes, people and fun and a perfect way to kick off spring.

Thank you to my Canyon friends for making my trip so much more than I ever expected.

#purecycling

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