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Donnerstag, 26. März 2015

Christkindl in summer :-)

by Anka Berger
When I've got the invitation to go for a communication seminar in Steyr, Upper Austria and I've read the information about the accommodation and place of the seminar .... I did not understand it .... Hotel Christkindl on Christkindlweg no. 6 .... "Christkindl"??? What is this??? No, not a lingvistic issue, not at all ... but somehow a strange name ...
Steyr is Austria's 12th most populated town and the 3rd largest town in Upper Austria.
Celts settled the area from about 600 BC, the name of the Stiria River is of Celtic origin. Their kingdom of Noricum became part of the Roman Empire in 15 BC. A settlement named Gesodunum noted by the ancient geographer Claudius Ptolemy (c. 90 – c. 168) was possibly located in the Steyr region. Here the Roman "Iron Road" led from the Erzberg mine along the Enns River to the castra of Lauriacum (at present-day Enns) on the Danube.

 I'm not going now to write about Steyr, but I will go there again and do it in a detailed journey comment, maybe in summer. Austria it is an amazing travel destination, an interesting combination of ancient, old and new and future.
Going back to Christkindl now:
The place is a comunity, a part of the city of Steyr, having a pilgrimage church up on the hill and a famous Special Post Office (!) Austrians have designed their country like a living fairy tale. Steyr ist close to Weyer where I was last summer, so I had an image about the area, here you can see a lot of pictures about the fairy tale idea of this country  :-)
by Anka Berger
You have to spend here at least 4 seasons in order to understand what I mean. To see all the handmade woody figures from stories and fairy tales which are everywhere in the gardens, windows, houses, on the roofs, on the fences, in the trees ... really, no joke, I will do pictures to show you!! It is the world I was grown up and now I see this with my eyes. It is like I am back home.
by Anka Berger
Christkindl became world famous after the Second World War through its post office. Countless of Christmas letters are going through this post office every year. All letters and cards that transit the Christkindl Post Office get a special stamp and I did something I never did in my life, even at that moment - this morning - I had no idea about this story I am telling you right now: I bought a card and I let it to be send on my own address to Vienna!! I am just curious about the stamp I get on it.
I tried to find out about the origin of the Pilgrimage Church from Christkindl on Christkindlweg no. 6.
by Anka Berger
About 300 years ago, lived in Steyr a man sick of epilepsy disease. He used to work as fire guard for the city's towers, but due to his illness he could not work anymore.
One day he got from the nuns from Steyr a little wax Christ child which he placed in a tree trunk of a spruce on the right bank of Steyr.
by Anca Berger
The man visited almost every day his Christian wax child and prayed for his health. After a while the man was completely healthy again. His natural healing spread quickly and the Was Christ Child were attributed to have miraculous powers. The was statue places in the tree under the open sky became the destination of many curing - and people came from all over to ask for help.
In this way was born the name of Christkindl from Under the Sky (Christkindl im Unterhimmel).
After a while, the people built a chapel over the tree where the Wax Christkindl was hidden.
In 1702 the Abbot of the Garsten Steyr Monastery let to be build a baroque church on this spot. The Wax Child remained in his place and before the tree was build a simple altar.
found on internet
A goldsmith from Steyr, who also was healed through the power of the Wax Child surrounded the miraculous wax figure with a golden aureole. The was Christkindl is about 10 cm high.
I woke up at 5 in the morning, I left Vienna at 6 and after 2 hours an 15 minutes and 195 km I reached Steyr. To find the church and the hotel was actually not very complicated due to the gps, otherwise it would have been complicated by car.
found on internet
When I saw the big building I thought it will be an interesting area to be explored. So sorry I had to change plans and left the place after the seminar finish next day. The initial plan was to stay in Steyr 3 days longer and return to Vienna on Sunday evening. But .... we cannot have everything in life at the moment we want.
by Anka Berger 25.03.2015
As the GPS announced: Sie haben Ihr Zeil erreicht (you reached your final destination) I was confused because all I saw it was a big old church and nothing more.
(va urma)

Samstag, 21. März 2015

"Ladies only" - 1st spring cyling group - getting warm

I found on Facebook - or I was found, not remember actually - a meeting for today named "Le Rouleur Lent - Women's Training Raids".
Close to me, in Vienna I mean. About 15 km away from my home actually :-) A good occasion to celebrate my first 1.100 km on bike for this year.
added from internet
It was my first attempt to go for a group since I am here, but they said it will be just a slowly 30 Km ride, so anyone can be part of it. 
Rules - as we cannot exist as group without rules - were defined and communicated, as well as advices:
1. inflate your wheels :-)
2. oil the chain :-)
3. pack a spare tube and pump;
4. bars, enough fluid, maybe a banana, a mobile phone, some small money and a list of your closest contacts in case of accident/emergencies;
Some "bike clinics" will be integrated in the future, for all minor technical things to fix yourself.
5. The helmet is mandatory;
6. Participation is on your own risk;
7. Only racing wheels are allowed and road bike shoes with cleats, pedals with click system.
8. women only.
added from internet
Yesterday I continued my crazy life ... 
Tuesday I drove to work (also, by car) and in the evening I run the 12,5 km back home. 
On Wednesday I rode (also, by bike) to work and back in the evening. 
On Thursday I rode to work again, I returned by bike, I let the bike home, changed the shoes and pants, I took the skates and run again to work, I let the skates in the office and I returned by car home. So 25 km bike, 12,5 km by inline skating.
by Anka
Yesterday, on Friday, I run to work in the morning and after work I took my skates to go home again. I am a very .... how should I say? I am afraid of speed on skates because I learnt too late to go on it and the biggest problems are when I have to go down hill. From this reason 20 years ago I broke the thumb of the right hand and I had a complicated surgery in order not to loose my thumb. 
So, yesterday on a down hill .... I fell ... pretty bad-bad-bad .... but I still continued my 12 km skating back home on the Danube Island. It was painful, this is all I can say.
by Constanze
So .... today back on feet, leaving home 8:45 and riding the 15 km to the meeting point close to the Prater.
10 ladies - we started at ten o'clock for a slowly compact group ride. 
It is pretty different to ride in a cycling group and as I always rode alone I have to say that there are some things to be learnt. The biggest issue for me is the fear. I am afraid to ride too close to the others and this is something I have to exercise.
by Anka
As I learned pretty late in my life to use a bike, this thing remains like a deep footprint on your relationship to your bike ... somehow I did not succeed in the last 4 years - End of July 2011 I bought my first road bike, after finishing my first half ironman distance triathlon with the trekking bike - to 100% control the bike (!) like I see to the others, younger fellows.
Another issue are the cleats .... we are friends since few months, but still not sooooo close friends yet :-(
The rules are respected and the group was pretty organized and disciplined.
by Constanze
I wait for the pictures and then I can write a little bit more.
Very sunny today, a lot of other larger men and mixed groups on the way. We rode back and reached the starting point again after 50 km.
Speed average 23-24 km/h.
Our group "ladies only" did not remained unnoticed and it was really funny to see the reactions of others (men, of course!!).
by Anka
At the end some delicious home made cake and good coffee was available, thank you guys!
by Anka
MEETING POINT for these tours
is Praterstrasse 13. Saturdays - 9.30 a.m.
There is a bike shop ... actually not really a bike shop, but a sort of cycling saloon ... Le Rouleur Lent by its name. American concept, so far I understood.
by Anka
Some technical issues can be solved here and few of trendy specific clothes can be found.
by Anka
It has a different flair as I was used to see in this business. Next time I will know more, for sure.
by Anka
An interesting bike support could be seen, voila:
by Anka
by Anka
by Anka

Samstag, 14. März 2015

Primul tău ironman?

E doar o altă zi de muncă la birou, come on!!!
Te trezești dimineață, te pregătești ... 

Înainte să pleci la muncă faci duș, corect? Deci e simplu: intră în apă ca să simți că te-ai udat și ai grijă cum ieși.

E ca și cum stai la birou și îți iei prânzul în timp ce lucrezi.

Ai terminat ziua de lucru și acum ieși la o alergare de seară.

Orice ai face la primul tău ironman (sau al doilea, al treilea etc.): fii moderat! Nu te forța, căci riști un DNF (did not finished).
Și doar că știi că un ”he did not finished” poate .... cauza dureri :-)

Donnerstag, 12. März 2015

ÖTV - NÖTRV - curs de împrospătarea cunoștințelor :-)

Miercuri seara, de la 17:30, în Cafe Falk pe Wagramer Str. 137, după ce plouase aproape toată ziua, am dat curs invitației la cursul de reîmprospătare a cunoștințelor și discutare a modificărilor Regulamentului Federației Austriece de Triatlon (ÖTR = Österreichischer Triathlonverband, NÖTR = Niederösterreichischer Triathlonverband, adică Federația de Triathlon Austria Inferioară, Austria fiind împărțită în două zone mari: Superioară și Inferioară - geografic adică!! :-)) care au intrat în vigoare de la 17 ianuarie 2015.
Evident că și o bună ocazie de a cunoaște o parte din colegi, ÖTR fiind împărțită în multe filiale pe întreg teritoriul. Ceea ce este o necesitate, având în vedere teritoriul întins și multitudinea de evenimente care încep din 11 aprilie 2015. Calendarul competițional de dua- și triatlonuri este aproape impresionant, la momentul acesta fiind anunțate cam 140 de curse (de exemplu, pe 30 mai a.c. sunt în paralelă desfășurare nu mai puțin de 8 concursuri).
Am fost doar 7 inși adunați. Materialele erau pregătite și fiecare am primit un rezumat cu cele mai importante reglementări (34 de pagini) din întregul Regulament (63 de pagini).
Cu multe exemple, întrebări și răspunsuri, într-o atmosferă relaxată, cu multă seriozitate dar și revărsări de umor, punctele au fost discutate sistematic. Ca orice regulament, există și anumite formulări interpretabile și/sau aparent inutile sau ilogice. De exemplu, unde s-a dat cel mai mult cu părerea a fost la ”alergatul desculț este interzis” - fiind un motiv de descalificare.
Lista motivelor de descalificare este destul de lunguiață, dar se merge pe context, bună vs. rea-voință. Principiul de bază este: ”Hai să nu fim noi mai catolici decât Papa de la Roma!”
Discuțiile cele mai haioase au fost pe baza interdicției de a se alerga ”la bustul gol” :-) și de a te dezbrăca (nuditate) în zona de tranziție.
Aici, de exemplu, arbitrul principal zonal a declarat cu vehemență: ”Da, OK, principial nu se permite, dar întotdeauna trebuie judecat contextul. Ultimii care ajung de regulă nici nu mai au public. Abia se mișcă, abia răsuflă, dacă e și frig afară ... îl las să se dezbrace, că doar nu se uită nimeni la el și nici nu interesează pe nimeni. Dacă singurul lui spectator sunt eu, atunci .... mă uit oricum în altă parte, să fim serioși!”
Nu se permite alergarea cu casca de ciclism. Există totuși o excepție. Dacă afară e foarte frig și concurentul ajunge după proba de bicicletă cu degetele înghețate, atunci se poate întâmpla să nu-și poată deschide cureaua de la cască. Nu-l pot descalifica dacă el alege să alerge cu casca pe cap (cum a fost cazul cursei de Ironman 70.3 din Zell am See, anul trecut, când la aprox. 3 ore de la start a venit iarna!).
Aspectele unde nu se discută sunt legate de 
- aruncarea de gunoaie pe traseu, în afara zonelor strict delimitate (litering);
- comportament nesportiv;
- limbaj neadecvat;
- ignorarea instrucțiunilor unui oficial tehnic;
- deschiderea curelei la casca de bicicletă înainte de a pune bicicleta pe rastel sau plecarea cu/pe bicicletă fără a fi închis cureaua căștii.
Eram în Weyer la Powerman Austria anul trecut în zona de tranzit. Arbitrul șef i-a atras atenția unui sportiv că trebuie să-și pună pantofii de bicicletă în cutie, nu să-i lase afară și să plece pe alergare. Atletul a auzit, a oprit o secundă, s-a uitat la pantofii de bicicletă lăsați în fața cutiei sale, a dat a lehamite din mână, a zis ”las că nu contează!” și a plecat. 
Arbitrul a comunicat abaterea și individul a fost descalificat. Motivele erau clare:
1. nerespectarea regulamentului;
2. persiflarea oficialului tehnic.
Revin după ce pigulesc un pic noile informații de aseară :-)
Unul dintre aspectele cele mai delicate de arbitrat rămâne însă ... statul la plasă, mai ales că aici mulți sportivi au strategii premeditate :-) și ei speră să nu fie descoperiți. Uneori chiar nu sunt, pentru că traseele nu sunt (încă) supravegheate electronic.
Spre surprinderea mea, în Austria nu trebuie să achit nici o taxă anuală de membru al echipei de oficiali.

Montag, 9. März 2015

Triathlon: another money industry

Watching in a proud and admiringly way to this picture - as I belong to this world of fascinating events - and following a lot of public releases during last year I've got a sort of weird feeling. Positive weird and not so positive weird (by the way, why are here only men?!?! Because the men dictate the world, right .... I forgot!!)
I think triathlon has nowaday all over the world the most aggressive and comprehensive advertising campaign.  
The backstage industry is already huge and on the table there are enormous amounts of money.  The industry practically is still virgin in many countries but not for too long time anymore.
So, an aggressively sport is promoted on an aggressive way for the most part of the time, and  somehow is becoming a real magnet for more and more people all around the Planet (I had no idea that also in Nepal there are triathlon events of ETU, to be very honest).
The long distance endurance events increase not only as a simple number, but as complexity. New destinations for endurance distances appear of the sporty geographical map every new season.
The Duathlon and the shorter sisters - sprint and Olympic - seem to be the poor relatives of the family, although they are the logical first step to endurance.
And everything is happening in a crazy spiraled speed and millions of triathletes all over the world are not doing anything more in their lives than 
working hard for paying all the triathlon hobby costs,  
many of them are left by friends, family and relatives because nobody can understand them anymore and they are too busy and concerned about speed, technique, equipments, costs, hydration, gels, Garmin, strategies, Wiggle or Amazon and the list can go on and go on ......
some of them borrow money for the next event ....
and, as I said, or I started to say it, everything is happening just because there is a huge corporation in this industry of the three cumulated sports  which, despite its some questionable rules, has become a trend setter in the field, investing more and attracting at least triple so much
I love sports, but what I do not love is the  monopole, manipulation and lack of scruples (MMLS, if you want an American abbreviation style :-))
If you due to serious problems have to cancel an Ironman event 3 months before (paying 9 month before the start!!), you have 3 options:
1. a refund of 25% (so, about 100+ euro);
2. a transfer to another race (you get a list from them, you cannot go where ever you like, of course);
3. DNA - 0% refund, of course.
If you transfer from a full to a half, even if they deposited your money for 6 months, you still have to pay 39 euro fee for the transfer, despite the fact you paid 450 or 500 euro and now you go for an event half value/half distance which cost about 200 euro. 
This means to be a corporation without any scrupels. You winn from my illness about 200 euro. You charge me extra 39 euro .... three months before the start ... wow!
The entire situation is pretty the biggest disadvantage for the client and nobody in this "free world" is interested to do something. And at the end the client is that who says "Thank you" despite the robbery politic of the corporation!
So much about the respect of the corporations for their clients who make them so big und scrupelles.
It is just a matter of time until the ironman distance will become part of the Olympic Games, if you ask me.
Anyway, excepting the business idea from the background, it is a fabulous world and I hope triathlon will some day mean much more than football means for the Planet. But not in that dirty way, because football is not a sport anymore, but just a business where individuals are bought and sold like any other piece of wood.

Samstag, 7. März 2015

Poveste pentru ..... copiii adulți. Ep. 3

Aici, episodul 2 - Omul Cenușiu la Frizerie

Frizerul a rămas cu gura căscată .... 
Aha .... deci asta e toată viața mea de până acum .... un imens zero ....
Omul era atât de năucit și de hipnotizat de marele ZERO al vieții sale, încât a crezut totul fără alte raționamente.
Omul Cenușiu, conștient și sigur pe puterea pe care o exercitase simpla lui prezență și pălăvrăgitul gălăgios, și-a continuat pledoaria:
Nu crezi că nu mai poți continua în același stil?? Nu crezi că ar trebui să începi să economisești ceva?!
Frizerul, om simplu, se agăță de el ca de o ultimă și unică speranță a vieții lui!!
Sigur! Dar ce trebuie să fac?! Te rog, ajută-mă!!!
Dragul meu, cu siguranță știi cum se poate economisi timp!!! De exemplu, trebuie să începi prin a lucra mai repede. Tot mai repede. Tot ce nu este absolut necesar trebuie eliminat!
Ok, sigur ... pot să fac asta ... dar timpul care îmi rămâne ... ce ar trebui să fac cu el?! Trebuie să-l depun undeva? Și unde sau cum să-l păstrez?? Cum funcționează asta?
Oh, nu-ți face griji!!! Lasă asta în seama noastră! Vei vedea că nici o picătură din timpul economisit de tine nu se pierde. Oricum vei observa că nu-ți rămâne nici un fel de timp în surplus.
OK. Mă bazez pe dumneavoastră atunci ....
Excelent, dragule, așa să faci. Noi ne ocupăm de economiile tale, fii fără grijă. Oricum, nu uita, că tu ai libertatea de a decide cât economisești, noi nu te obligăm la nimic.  
Și Omul Cenușiu și-a luat pălăria și a părăsit prăvălia frizerului, urcându-se în automobilul său de lux și pierzându-se cu viteza luminii, lăsând în urmă doar un nor de pulbere și fum ...
 (va urma)
Citiți printre rânduri. Mai ales cuvintele îngroșate. La cine vă gândiți? La ”măria-sa banca comercială”? La vreun concern prin care vă secătuiți de viață, lucrând pe brânci .... vorba autorului, aveți libertatea de a gândi sau nu.  Cum sună acel ”te rog ajută-mă!”??
Da frate, prostia costă și nu doare. Și nu vorbesc din cărți, din păcate.

I'm WATCHing YOU!! :-)