Author Archives: Mat

About Mat

I studied Mineralogy at the TU Bergakademie Freiberg / Germany. Now I'm still at the TU BA Freiberg trying to do my PhD in Process Engineering. ... more details may follow, if I find some time ...

Results of agate fossicking

Big agate, found by Denise. Note the bottle for scale!

Same boulder hosting a nearly perfect agate (Königlich Sächsisch!)

A huge quarz/amethyst chunk, found by Thomas D



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Visiting Uri in Israel

Now it’s been a while since Denise and I had visited Uri in Israel – it was in November last year … Uri, thanks again for the superb hosting and tour guiding!

Here just some of our numerous impressions – just contact me for a detailed travelogue!

some temple remains in Caesarea

uncrowded oriental market place

view to the historic part of Jerusalem

again ... Jerusalem

Dom of Rock on top of Jerusalem

dromedary in the jail - Israel-Palestian boarderline near Ariel University

since everybody had a picture riddle in his posts - here is mine!

Tel Aviv Coast/Sky Line

Jaffa flea market - you can buy everything here!

sun set at Tel Aviv's old habour - now a fancy café and night club quarter

desert landscap around Masada (next to the Dead Sea)

fresh water in the middle of the desert!

those pools are good for swimming and refreshing!

male ibex staring at female one

it's true - you can easily float on the Dead Sea!

that's me - mining Dead Sea salt from the beach rocks

sun rise over the Dead Sea seen from top of Masada

again ... the Dead Sea - this time directly from the beach

our travel group with travel vehicle in the back ground ... Uri, Denise and me

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Denise has a new bike!!!

As you could have read in one of the older posts, Denise had crushed her old bike by jumping over a tiny bump. So the logical consequence was to buy a new one! 😉

It’s a Canyon Nerve XC 8.0 – for detailed specifications check the manufacturer home page (!

Here just the hard facts: 120 mm travel at ca. 12 kg total weight – sounds like fun!

Denise's new bike on top of the "Reiche Zeche"

... more detailed

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I am shocked … !

… of my avarage pulse (160 bpm – usually it’s below 120 on an ordinary mtb tour)!

On Sunday the 8th, there will be a mtb race in Seiffen (ebm – erzgebirgs bike marathon) and therefor I was on a test ride this afternoon. Maybe the unusual high pulse is due to a serious cold I had last week or it’s simply because I’m in a really bad shape (or both of it) …

Check the facts:

Distance:               27.25 km
Meters in hight:  762 m
Time:                      01:38:41 h
Av. speed:            16.56 km/h
Max. speed:         45.90 km/h
Av. pulse:             160 bpm
Max. pulse:          181 bpm

For the race I really need to slow down, otherwise I won’t survive two rounds of that!

Chart logged with my Sigma ROX 9.0. The blue line shows the hight above sea-level, the red one indicates the heart frequency. WP1 is a muesli bar stop and WP2 and 3 are the start and end of the steep uphill "Alp de Wettin", respectively. (Sorry, there's only one y-scale possible)


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Karwendel bike trip – Mittenwald

Right after the previously reported bike skill training we made a trip to Mittenwald (Karwendel mountains) – of course for mountain biking! There we tested the before learned techniques and enjoied the beautiful landscape.

For our tours through the mountains we were well prepared since we had downloaded the most promising (and classic) routes on a Garmin GPS device (thanks to Doreen for lending it to us). Regrettably, the part of real single trails was very low and most of the ways were forest or alp roads. So for understandable reasons we searched for every little path (dashed line in the map) close to our route. Sometimes we were successful and in other cases we were crawling down some creeks w/o any trace of a track (except a warning sign for risk of life at the end of the creek).

By using the new technique for stepp descents (propably not in a right way) I had a littly accident with a rollover which caused some scratches and a dent in the bike frame! Thx Tobi 😉 … usually I use to be far behind the seat so that rollovers are impossible!

To go on with bike damages – Denise broke her bike frame by jumping over a tiny bump. Luckily not so far away from our flat … So for the next tour we had to rent a new bike, which was really heavy and therefore a bad example for a full-suspension mtb.

Nice track on the Kranzberg. In the background the Wetterstein mountains

View from Kranzberg to Mittenwald and Karwendel massif

That are my shoes, and lake Wildensee and again the Karwendel mountains

Early morning fog

Typical one-hand portrait when there are no other passersby

Picturesque ensemble of old maple trees at Kleiner Ahornboden

Mountain idyll near Eppzirler Alm

Bizzare rock formations

Technical section on one of the few trails

Deep gorge with a nice track along ... the sign at the start indicated that this path would only be for expert pedestrians, but from above it looks like a nice bike trail!

A little tumble on rocky ground led to those scratches and this dent ...

The above mentioned broken bike frame

Always well equiped - my box of bike tools. We decided to dump the frame directly in Mittenwald, so we removed some of the usefull parts

The result of 10 minutes work

Denise on her rented bike - having fun by crossing a river directly

The map said, there IS a trail ...

... This sign says, there WAS a trail. One of these at the start of the creek would have been useful!

To close this post - here one of the few nice trails


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Bike skill training – Kempten/Allgäu

A few weeks ago Denise made me a great birthday present – a bike skill seminar – a thing I allways wanted to do!

At the first day we had some basic lectures at a parking ground, which means relatively flat area but tricky gravel ground! We got some instructions in basic position on the bike, right braking w/o leaving skid marks, and curve techniques. Advanced skills were lifting the front wheel and back wheel, and combining it to a “bunny hop” as well as handling switchbacks.

At the second day we tested the before learned tricks at real trails in the woods close to Kempten. The day ended with a superb trail along a so called “Tobel” (some kind of gorge).

Tobi, our teacher, was a really good one – allways relaxed and funny and very professional with a good didactical style at the same time! Thx for the great seminar …

Advertisement: (c) Britta

That's Tobi, our "teacher" (c) Britta

Denise, lifting the front wheel - if the back wheel follows, that will be a "bunny hop" (c) Tobi

Me, trying the same ... (c) Tobi

Here we go - the back wheel follows (w/o click pedals)! (c) Britta

The master shows us how it works (c) Britta

Our group at the field trip (c) Tobi

Denise, following the instructions for riding a switchback in steep area (c) Tobi

Here I try to implement the technique for fast curves (c) Tobi

Handle root steps (c) Britta

Tobi showed us directly what we made wrong or well (c) Britta

Denise (c) Britta

A bike in the sunset (c) Britta

A thunder storm is comming close

Of course we took the frisbee with us! Here in lake "Eschacher Weier" (c) Britta

View from our balcony to the Alps


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My lab is my castle

That's "my" high pressure (40 bar) high temperature (1100 °C) thermobalance with magnetic coupling and a mass spectrometer plus gas phase chromatograph system ... long title, isn't it?!

Self-explanatory ... thanx for the birthday present!

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