Sunday, July 27, 2008


A couple of the Ranchers decided rider EasyE needed a visit to his new home for a bit of support. With team captain rider Pitts
 soon to relocate to Hong Kong and EasyE recently moving to Zurich, there's currently a real sense of loss on the team. Riders noShow and Pitts thought a couple days in Zurich might be good for the soul.
It went like this:
NoShow arrives friday night at 10pm, exhausted from a long week of work and only had thoughts of a comfortable bed and counting sheep. EasyE had other thoughts. First stop - Flo
ss club on the lake.
Second stop - St Germain club.
EasyE showing his rhythmic latin side.
Anyway, a little bit of social never hurt anyone.
When all was quiet in Zurich and little swiss kids were dreaming about fondue 
and Zeke and NoShow were settling down to slumber, Team captain riderPitts (laying on top of his covers, clothes on (even flip flops)), bike prepared, was beginning to acknowledge the bzzz bzzz bzzz of his alarm so he could make the 4am Frankfurt train to Zurich. (nice effort) Arriving around 9:30am at chez Zeke.

After a muesli/ham&eggs/coffee breakfast for a mere 70CHF we made the call to other ZurichRanchResident RiderHowe and set off for the boat across the lake.

An 8 minute sprint to the boat, 15 minute crossing and another 10 minute spin down the strasse where riderHowe (canadian Indian) was awaiting our arrival "Where it goes up." And up it went. And went. And went. A good 25 minutes of going up and we were in farmland above the city and lake of Zurich.

In a word - stunning. Hot sun, sweat off noses, breathing hard. Buzz of insects. Views to die for and among friends. Could not have been better.

RiderHowe split off early for a birthday party (and had a nasty cold) while EasyE, Pitts and NoShow continued on to a watering spicket that said the water was potable. (Nevermind the floating debris) Then up a steep climb where NoShow tries to put the hammer down only to be passed and dropped by EasyE flexing his new Zurich legs; and arrive at lunch where riderPitts had the strangely delightful Pasta tubes in cream with onion rings and apple sauce. And Zeke let go the amoeba in his belly from the "potable" water. We seemed briefly threatened from an already top weekend but the strength of the team pulled through and continued on.

A descent into town, a return boat ride across the lake and we were soon back at chez Zeke frollicking in the lake. Pitts and Noshow in borat suits and Zeke with goggles. A sight to be seen. Locals were seen pointing with heads leaning together trying to decipher Pitts dancing on the floating dock. You see, Captain Pitts was so excited he swam in water (the only swimming the fella's ever done was when he was 13 years old he fell through the ice at Pigeon Lake in Edmonton.) that he did the less well known classic, self nipple pull butt slap boogie. Guy has rhythm. Canadian style.

A swim in, a quick round robin at the ping pong table, a drop off of wet clothes in the laundry room, a couple naked guys in the elevator and we were showered up and back to the boat to ease across the lake once again for dinner with Rider Howe. We arrive - send a smoke signal and Howe comes to accompany us back to his teepee. His squaw Natalie had prepared an unbelievable meal for the Ranch tribe and after a few Howe specialty rum and cokes, we dug in with gusto. Ribs, sausage, pasta salad, fresh tomatoes and corn on the cob with a yum spanish red. All washed down with a TdF time trial. Could not have been better. Thanks Rob and Natalie.

After all that (and a nap by some) we rode the midnight express downtown, picked up a few friends and were directed to Zurich eurospecial Valser bar (I believe Valser translates as Cougar)... A mojito, a dance and in a taxi back home exhausted and satisfied from a great day.

Sunday began with a peaceful view on the lake of a 2 person skull gliding past. Another brekky of analyze Zeke and we got on the bikes again to ride. A shocker of a climb out of town to more breathtaking views and pure enjoyment took over the small team of Ranch riders. The hills were alive outside of Zurich that day.

We finish the weekend with another dip in the lake. Noshow very excited does a one and a half flip off the diving board and loses his shorts upon entry. Pitts muttering..cold..cold...Noshow doing flips...I'm not a water guy...not a water guy.... He eases into the lake and dog paddles to the floating dock where 3 ranchers talk about life, love and money. All was peaceful until EasyE and Noshow try to launch the team Captain into the depths. Pitts locked himself onto some guy's girlfriend wailing, "Don't let them take me!" When he finally pulled himself together Zeke locked him in a man hug and with a small push by noShow, off they went. Splash. A dog paddle in to shore with Pitts muttering, "that wasn't cool. I'm not a water guy."

Some ping pong (where Pitts took his revenge on NoShow (2 handed backhand was a strong move)), a burger, a quick pack and there we were on the platform waiting for the train to Zurich Bahnhof and Flughafen. What a weekend.

postscript: Pitts boards the 4hr train to Frankfurt and is told to exit the train as no bicycles are allowed. He can take a 10 hour local. Shocker. Takes the local a few stops out and sneaks onto the express. This time the train leaves the station before they find him (hiding in a stall in the bathroom with his bike standing up inside with him.) But alas they get upset with him when he is discovered and escort him off at the next station. (Mind you there are only this stop and the next one is Frankfurt so he is making good time now.) So he makes like he is walking away down the platform a defeated man moping along with his bike and just before the doors close he launches himself and his bike through. The train officials are apoplectic but they can do nothing as he is on the train again and there is no stopping till ground Zero. Hey train guy - Take a report. This is a great example of a Ranch cycler and why he is team captain. When the chips are down and it seems everything is against him, he buckles down, grits his teeth and gets it done. He is the essence of what we aspire to be. A winner.