Training Camp with Coach Anke 

After Berlin we took a little 4-hour train trip west and then north to Kiel, where Anke works and spends much of her time. It’s a maritime town that held two Olympic sailing competitions in 1936 and 1972. It’s beautiful and relaxing while also being a fairly large city. 

Anke had to work for a few days, but also found a lot of time to show us around, introduce us to friends, and also plan out some great training opportunities for us. Incredible! We are feeling exhausted from all the work on our brains, and ready to get back on the bikes after our week-long hiatus.

This was our first ride, just to say hello to our bikes after being gone so long. Just a sweet little spin over Kiel’s sea channel on a glorious summer evening.

Anke in her element:

Kiel has a free ferry that runs over the channel every 15 minutes. We were able to catch a ride rather than ride the bridge again. On such a tiny ferry they have 19 bikes racks!


Did I mention Kiel is beautiful?

Our training has been on older maps from around the Kiel region, including a university campus in town. We have also been working on some mental training with older maps we’ll be using in Vilnius. Twenty minutes of brainwork and concentration turns out to be a drain! I have also ridden twice with a helmet cam so Anke can critique later and watch how I am racing/checking the map/recovering from errors. It’s been helpful and insightful, but also slightly embarrassing. But all really, really good. Sue and I both think it’s brought us both even more of an appreciation for the elite athletes in MTBO.

When we’re not training, we’ve been doing other fun things like:

Going on bike rides along Kiel’s great bike path network


Having a really nice BBQ along the Baltic Sea that included grilling packets of red onion, tomatoes, feta cheese and olive oil. Delicious!

Being inspired by grocery store displays

Having a hard time not buying tons of sausages thanks to aforementioned grocery store displays

Being totally blown away by enormous German crafts (not actually in Kiel, but shh)

Recycling for cash Euros! This things are worth a gold mine! You can even recycle glass yogurt jars. Germany is the BEST.

And most importantly, Anke has been teaching Sue the life skill of opening beer bottles with everyday objects. The first two are the bottom of a lighter and your average butter knife. My favorite part of this process is trying to capture Anke’s discerning face as Sue struggles. 🙂 Evidence follows.


We’ve been having a great time, and it’s all thanks to Anke and her generosity for sharing fun experiences and helping us improve our orienteering skills.  She is a champion at both orienteering and life skills. 🙂

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