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Frank Simon | MPI for Physics | Germany

View Blog | Read Bio

A bike ride with new equipment

The Muellberg, with the wind turbine on top, in the distance.

The Muellberg, with the wind turbine on top, in the distance.

Today the weather is not really good enough for a longer trip. But, despite all the things I still have to do (preparing my lecture for tomorrow, working on a paper, coming up with clever ideas for the mechanics for the Belle-II pixel detector… the list is seemingly endless!) , sitting in front of my laptop all of Sunday is not all that attractive. So my wife and me went for a bike ride around were we live, in the north of Munich. Just last weekend, we have upgraded our bikes with click-in pedals. Emboldened, we attacked our local version of L’Alpe d’Huez, the “Froettmaninger Muellberg”. Comparing this partially wooded former waste dump with a big wind turbine on top to one of the most famous Tour de France stages is admittedly a bit of a stretch, but to someone who is usually biking on flat land, the 75 m elevation gain over about 1 kilometer can be slightly intimidating. And, when you do the math, the average grade of 7.5% is not that far below the 7.9% of this Tour de France climb. Of course, our private alpine stage here is only a 7% version of the real thing in terms of elevation gain.

It is much steeper from up close: going to the top!

It is much steeper from up close: going to the top!

Once things get steep, these new click-ins really come through: Mechanics at its best! … Physics really is everywhere 😉 . The pedaling is a much smoother affair, since you pull up with one leg and push down with the other. That way, going up steep grades gets much easier. Of course, energy conservation still applies, so it is strenuous as hell, especially with all that technology that tempts you to go faster than you should.

From the top of the “Muellberg”, there is a nice view over the Allianz Arena, the soccer stadium of the local club FC Bayern Muenchen, and location of the opening match of the 2006 world cup, and over Munich (no picture, since the batteries ran out). In good weather, you can also see the Alps.

Well, now that I got some exercise, I can go back to my computer to wrap up my lecture for tomorrow.

The view from the top: The Allianz Arena, Munichs soccer stadium.

The view from the top: The Allianz Arena, Munichs soccer stadium.

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