My cycling buddy Marta is racing up this tomorrow …

Washburn Gallery

Good luck to Marta on her ride in “Newton’s Revenge” up New Hampshire’s Mount Washington. The photo is by one of my heroes, Brad Washburn, mountain cartographer (he did the definitive maps of the Alps, the Himalayas, and the White Mountains), photographer, and naturalist.

This ride Marta is doing is an adjunct to the famous “Mount Washington Hill Climb” purportedly the toughest cycling climb. Period. This is where Tyler Hamilton made his name, and the new kid on Lance’s team, Tom Danielson made his. 7.2 miles of nothing but grueling uphill. Marta is shooting for a time under an hour and a half.

Update: Marta made it up the hill a little over an hour and half – Said she had the wrong gearing for the ascent and that is was too “easy”

In Berlin

I loaded my phone with a SIM card, so the number for the next few days is +49-151-59062305. I’ve been Skyping back to the States to keep charges on the 10 Euro card to a minimum, but if you need me, ring that number.

Easy flight on Air France, made my connection at Charles DeGaulle with plenty of time to spare, and landed in Berlin around 9 am. Yahoo has taken over the Hotel Concorde on Kurfustendamm and after getting badged and tagged, I hung out in their hospitality lounge and did email off of their wi-fi before finding a T-Mobile store for the SIM. It was too hot to do any serious hiking around the city, so I did a few passes around the immediate vicinity, got a feel for the neighborhood, then turned into a hotel rat and did Skype and email all day while watching the Tour de France with the sound turned off. Even in German (which I can barely understand), the Tour is better covered in Europe than in the States, where OLN seems to believe that no cyclist should be shown for more than eight seconds. Here it is just hours of French scenery and 150 skinny guys pedaling for all they are worth.

Just when I roused myself to get some fresh air and resist the urge to nap off the jet lag, a big thunderstorm rolled through the city. Perhaps after dinner.

Tomorrow I’ll check out Tiergarten and the Schlosspark for a stroll by the River Spree and then see the big tourista sights like the Brandenberg Gate and the former Wall. Very, very weird to be in a city so identified with the horrors of war. Tom Peters points to A Woman In Berlin which I will attempt to track down in English translation tonight after my next conference call.

Yahoo has some Trabants parked out front. Wonder if I can take one for a spin to see if they really are the worst car ever built?