35 weeks per year. That’s the amount of time I spend on the road away from Craftsbury for racing and training with the national biathlon team. A big chunk of that time (the entire winter) is spent in Europe, thousands of miles from family, friends and familiar culture. Luckily our team has a home base that we visit a lot, a place where we feel very comfortable: Ruhpolding in Bavaria, Germany.
Between World Cup racing, winter break and our annual summer European training camp, we usually visit Ruhpolding 3 times a year. Several of our team’s staff live in the surrounding area and we have gotten to know them and their families. After staying at the same hotels over and over again, we have also gotten to know the people who run them. We know where all the grocery stores are in the surrounding villages and the layouts of each one. Bavarian-specific phrases and words like “habe die Ehre!” have become part of the team’s frequently used vocabulary and we are scheming how we might procure a pair of Lederhosen or a Dirndl for everyone on the team.
Sara made some friends as we skied up the Roßfeldstraße. They ran after us along the fence line as we rollerskied away. Some scenes from the Sound of Music were filmed at the top of this mountain road. Unfortunately we skied up on a cloudy day and couldn’t enjoy the view.