Archive for 11 January 2014

This one is a little late, but I’ve been… ummm…  busy?

Actually quite the opposite. I’m bored out of my mind, and trying not to eat too much food is proving challenging.  I came down with a throat sickness thinggy after the flight over and the first couple World Cups so I’ve been a bit under the weather.  Good thing is that Emily came over for Christmas which was good to have some sort of visit as it’s been a while.  She went home over a week ago now and I’ve been slowly getting back to some sort of a healthy state and consistent training.  The days are still short, but the longest ride I have been doing is no more than a few hours so it’s easy to get the training in when you don’t have to go to work for 8 hrs a day, but I’ve been spending too much time watching movies on Project Free TV.  When I get to Germany I’m going to have to set a limit to one movie a day or this could get out of hand…

So onto the racing:  Waregem, My first ever Belgian B race.

I was still getting over the sickness and didn’t have the logistics planned out to attend the Rome World Cup so I figured I’d hit up one of the local B races in Belgium instead to see how the health issues have affected me and get some hard riding in the legs.  Why I didn’t just get back in the car and drive home after pre-riding the course is beyond me, maybe I’m stupid, maybe I just like to suffer, maybe I just enjoy the feeling of mud being squished into every part of my body, who knows.  Regardless, I stayed and raced it anyways.  The course was the most insane I’ve ever ridden (nope, not ridden, taken part in), not in a good way, not in a knarly/fun sort of way, only in a ‘this is stupid’/’why am I doing this’ sort of way.  It was about 300m’s of pavement, followed by some zigzags, followed by another 100m’s of pavement followed by what can only be described as shit for the rest of the lap.

The very small amount of ridable pavement on the course.

The very small amount of ridable pavement on the course.

Some of it was ridable, but I was going so slow I might have been better off running, then the other half was so muddy/boggy that you had to run, and the mud was at least 1 ft deep in the good sections.

The expression on my face says it all.

The expression on my face says it all.

Not to mention every time you stepped down your foot got stuck so every step you took was like taking a gigantic leap half way up everest.  Or at least that’s what it felt like anyways.  Oh yeah, and the best part:  The first lap both in training and the race, the first steps that I took in the foot deep mud were after a small step down in gradient so I had some speed going into it and the force of my body weight plus the super deep mud ensured that there was a vacuum that immediately sucked all the remaining air out of my shoes and replaced them with mud.  Yes, this mud went right through the double socks I had on, and filled every remaining void I had left in the shoes.  Try running for half an hour as hard as you can with a bike on your back with feet that weight like 20 lbs each in the sand and let me know how you feel the next day.  Needless to say I was a little bit sore.

All in all, at least the announcer was announcing my name every lap after he found out I was from Canada.  And thanks to the wonderful man who picked up my jacket at the start line and brought it to me at the finish line.  I didn’t have anyone to take my clothes, so that was a nice gesture!  Also a big thanks to Luc, my helper in the pits who did an awesome job of keeping the bikes clean and functioning all race.  After the race he looked worse off than I did in the ‘covered with mud’ department.

I might do another B race in West Flanders, all depends on if I want to ride/run through farmers fields against Belgians who do it on a weekly basis again.  But right now, I’m not sure, maybe I’ll mull it over for a summer first.  But happy at least to come in the top 20.  Wasn’t sure what to expect…  At least I felt good on the riding sections…

Next up, Otegem C2.  Aka (according to me) Belgian Nationals Revenge on Monday!

Side Note:  Best of luck to all my friends racing their respective national championships this weekend.  Lucky me, I don’t even have to race and I get free UCI points this weekend 🙂