When I ran my very first Ironman race in Wisconsin, I was totally worn out coming into the finish. happy for I made it, elated, for…I made it…Full of endorphines, I guess. At the time it was a one-minute-time slot for sign up for such a race. After a minute all starter slots were gone. So may people already signed up for their next year’s endeavor, right when they had finished the prior one.

I was in the status… well… no… not next year… Ever? I don’t know. So I was far from spending 500 bucks onto a race I did not knew I wanted to do this. No sign-up for Wisconsin directly after the race. And for Wisconsin is one of the later ones in the year, I did not plan on something for 2009 .

Until…Three days later the big hole began to gape open. Goal reached, endorphines wearing off, what now? I ended up signing up for the inaugural Ironman Cozumel at the time – but I am writing that because – right now it is a bit similar. Goal reached. Full stop.

Wait. In one of my early blogs I wrote I want to get fit for long distance again. This was when I started out from Paris. I’d revise this, now, I want to stay fit enough to continue touring like this. I am riding way to slow for entering a long distance race, especially in Europe. Not getting younger, I guess. Putting in all that training, plus setting up professionally in quite a time consuming matter. But – right – training, riding is sanity break for me. Being alone with your thoughts in the forest somewhere, nobody wants something from you. There is not a lot time for this at the moment. And for training needs to be continuous if you want to race, I don’t see this happen.

Plus all the pools were closed for so long – I gotta start swimming again.

So what’s next. Very simple, the dream is not over. I had written in that same early post, that I want to ride Europe. There is the whole EuroVelo system to explore. Many km. I am very tempted with the Iron Curtain one – yet, I am not sure I want to enter all the countries involved. But if, then alone – not endangering anyone else. Thinking.

Alternatively there’s one along the Atlantic coast. Up Norway to somewhere Portugal. Logistics with bike should be really interesting.

Or the North Cape to Brindisi… I’ll find something.

The easy solution would be the Rhine tour. Source to North Sea. Maybe I do start here, yet, I have been at a lot of places along this route. Just because I grew up with the Rhine. When we were exploring the Rhine area around here, there were bunkers, again. All over Germany, all over Europe – traces of War, and just now new ones are being produced.

I like Trans-Europe Bike facilities, because cycling connects people. When I enter some Czech place, people were super friendly. Curious about where I come from and why I cycle. And this is what got me into cycling Paneuropa the first place. And this is also the invitation I feel coming from E1.

So my answer to „and now?“ is – I’ll go cycling.And I’ll go ingressing. I’ll go taking pictures. I’ll go hiking. I’ll go…….

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