Thursday, July 12, 2007

I barely missed California until...

I rode in the Ardennes last Saturday! Starting with the 47th pedalstroke, I had a perma-smile for almost five hours straight! (the ride probably would have taken only four hours at a normal pace but I am still building fitness so the speed was piano at best.)
I expected that it would feel good to climb for more than three minutes at a time but i was not prepared for the level of excitement I experienced. Not only was the actual climbing a blast but the scenery blew me away - it reminded me so much of California's North Bay terrain that it was almost eery. If I were dropped from a helicopter anywhere in the middle of the ride, I would have been hard pressed to believe I were somewhere else other than Mt. Tam or West Marin area. Even the weather and scents were a perfect match! We rode through a few microclimates to include a mixture of clouds, warm sun and chilled fog while breathing in varying smells of flowers and manure.

Aside from my stopping periodically to pee or take a photo, the whole ride was spent either climbing or descending. I was in Heaven! After holding in my excitement for almost four hours, i finally screamed out loud and nearly blew Jonas off his bike! It was an adventure I will never forget! The good news is that I may have the opportunity to ride there again for my birthday next week (19 July) - depending on the weather! I will steadily pray to the sun gods from now until then in hopes they grant me my birthday wish.
The horse are is a play on words of the old term for a bike here in the Flemish region of Belgium. The bike used to be called an ijzeren paard, which translates to iron horse.

4 comments:

Big Bad Wolf said...

hah, La Roche.. lots of steep climbing to be had there, whichever direction you take , it's always going UP.. did you ride all the way to Houffalize? I usually do a La Roche - Baraque Fraiture - Houffalize triangle.

PEANUT said...

yes, we rode near houffalize.

Captain B said...

bloody hell that's a lot of spacers on your steerer tube!

drunkinsprinter said...

It does look like northern CA. I get goosebumps every time I ride Alpine dam or four corners knowing that I'm only a few mins from big city.

Hopefully you get your birthday wish...(its nice here in CA, not even too hot like normal July)