Belgian Double Headers, End of a Crazy Season, Watch out for cars.

Posted: 10 February 2014 in Uncategorized

Ok, so first off, thanks to all those who cheered me up after last weekends, lets call it, debacle.  I’m better now, seriously!  My sanity was never in doubt, I just needed some nice words of encouragement and a bit more familiar things going on to straighten my head out.  Well I got it and Belgium didn’t disappoint.

Don’t ever ride your bike into cars.  Just don’t do it.  It sounds like it might be fun, but it’s not.  That’s all I have to say about that.  Luckily my bike is in tacked and the lady driving the car didn’t freak out that much.  6 Euro’s later and it’s settled.  The scrape on my knee will take a few weeks to go away, but my ego and confidence was hardest hit.  It’s really hard to figure out the rules of the road here in Belgium, but that’s what it’s like living in a foreign place, you learn fast!  That was my Tuesday.

Lille C1 – First B Post Series Race

After worlds I wasn’t too keen on sticking around Belgium for another week, but I weighed the pros and cons and I’m glad I chose to stay because even though I’m really burnt out from the long season and in need of a rest, I really had a lot of fun this weekend which is hard to do when your getting your head kicked in by these super fast Euros all the time.

The course in Lille was really cool, lots of open straights where you just need to power so if your not feeling super hot, it’s not the greatest, but we basically rode up and down a sandy beach around a lake.  The bummer about this course is that it’s like racing in heaps of fresh snow, which means single track.  When your basically at the back of the pack to begin with, you just have to kinda wait till the dust settles, then hammer your ass off for as long as you can stay alive and ride a flawless race.  I really liked the course and learned some new things, was also able to bunny hop the barriers every lap which I doubt many guys were doing.  I also came out of it with a new supporters group who were cheering for me near the barriers.  They’ve promised to come next year with a Go Schooler Go Banner!   I’ll hold them to it!

Racing on the Beach

Racing on the Beach

Hoogstraten C1 – Superprestige Series Race

I’m super pumped to have shown up to this one.  It too was a bit of a mud fest but not as bad as the B Race I did in Waregem this year.  At least this course was more riding than it was running. The majority of it was on grass, which understandably turns into mud when cyclocross riders chew it up, but the cool thing about this course was that it wasn’t all deep shitty mud.  Some of it was almost mud mud, some was deep rutted mud, but the reason why I liked the course was because the type of mud changed based on where you were on the course.  They even decided just because the course was too easy that they needed to throw a man made, easily 60m, sandpit in for good measure.  Just because once the bikes come out of the wet mud, they are definitely lacking in the sand department and need to make more grinding noises.  Plus the bikes usually come in around 16 lbs or so and that’s not heavy enough, they need to be like 20 at least before you have to pick it up and run with it again right?   Ok I’ll stop now, Photo break:

MudFest: AKA just another Belgian Race

MudFest: AKA just another Belgian Race

The race got off to a fast start and as we went off the tarmac and onto the first section of deep rutted mud I right away was thrown to the right and ran into this guy beside me.  I hit him, and my momentum pushed him into the fence.  I was amazed that I didn’t go down either, but I really felt bad for the guy as it looked like he crashed hard.  But that’s cyclocross, some dude did that to me at Worlds and sometimes you just can’t avoid it.  There was also a really cool section in the course where the barely ridable mud turned into barely mud then a random ditch a few meters away from some actually quite high barriers.  Normally I try to hop them but as I came up on this in the pre-ride I wasn’t quite sure it would be doable based on the ditch right in front of it.  Anyways, as I was walking back to get another go at it, Rob Peeters goes and straight up bunny hops the ditch (my main concern) so I figured it was all ridable.  I hopped them (somewhat sloppy) and the rest was history.  I like it when I can hop them and no one else does.  Gives me pride in what I do.

Verging on deep-rutted and peanut buttery mud with a bit of sloppy wet mud thrown in for good measure.

Verging on deep-rutted and peanut buttery mud with a bit of sloppy wet mud thrown in for good measure.

Oh well, finished off the season with a couple races a couple laps down, but I had fun this weekend and gives me motivation going into the off season and a year of more unknowns.

Next up, my life starts in Germany!  4 hrs of sleep and a bit of driving on the docket for tomorrow.  Looking forward to seeing Emily again!

  1. Doug Brons says:

    Been following your exploits over in Europe, thanks for blogging about them. Sounds like quite an experience. Would have loved to be there taking photos, but at least the locals are getting good shots of you.
    Doug Brons

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