Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Just an average cx training day in Belgium...

This afternoon Jonas and i headed over to the nearby woods for some cyclo-cross training. We expected that we'd have to do a little bit of searching and guessing where the trails are since we're in full fall season with everything completely covered in a thick layer of leaves.

But to our pleasant surprise, we found a fully groomed string of trails - complete with wood barriers for jumping. It was a cyclo-cross rider's fantasy. After doing a few loops, about ten more cyclo-cross riders showed up. They were the belgian beloften (under-23) and junior team. As we continued to finish our workout with them, I pulled up to a forced dismount only to realize the legendary 3-time ('98, '99, 02) World Champ Mario De Clercq was watching me. It's not too often that a cross rider has such a prestigious cheering section during a training ride in the local woods. Naturally i took extra care to execute my dismount perfectly. If it wasnt hard enough to pull this feat off, try doing it while having thoughts of how you learned how to ride a cross bike properly by repeatedly watching videos of him. Many years ago, when Coach Elmo first taught me how to ride a cross bike, he supplied me with a stack of cross videos so i could see what it looks like in a race. De Clercq was the winner in most of them. I will always remember the stoic bordering on sad look on his face as he stood atop the podium.

After our workout was done, we ran into Belgian CX National Coach Rudy De Bie, who was in charge of the workout. We found out how the course became groomed - he came early to the woods before work and before the sun came out and manually swept the whole course! What dedication to the kids. I was thrilled that i could benefit from it as well. I am very thankful that he has given me an open invitation to train with the kids any time. Rudy - see you next week!

18 comments:

GCDavid said...

Dismount: right leg behind left or in front of left??

Brakes: rear brake on right or left??

Rickie Rainwater said...

Different post thingy. How positive Christine, and pretty cool to have a talented team to train with. I just bought a velo news mag that had a large section on cyclo cross, with articles on how a couse is suppose to be designed such as regulations, articles on dismount, and cyclo cross bike reviews. Not much on the European scene, but I guess I will now need to sign up for cyclocross mag. Keep up the positive attitude as I know you are going to really shine this year. I believe in you, so keep up the good work!
Rickie

Rickie Rainwater said...

Ok, I suscribed to cyclo cross mag and threw in some extra to help with color pages. Keep us posted, and as always, I really enjoy watching your progress.
rickie

Jonah said...

Peanut!

Thanks for keeping us all stoked on CX!

Thought you might like this cyclocross slideshow:
http://pdxcross.com/2008/10/06/alpenrose-photo-slideshow/

Found it here:
http://www.fyxomatosis.com/news.php?readmore=1292


Hope you enjoy it…

Amy said...

That's one of the things I enjoy about living here, bumping into people you've seen on TV!

PEANUT said...

Too funny amy! true though. Thanks rickie for your subscription! Every bit helps. And those guys (andrew at cx mag) are so cool. their passion for the sport is easily infectious.
Jonah, thanks for you encouraging words. glad i could help. I do try to give american crossers a slightly different perspective on the sport from here since very few of us have the opportunity to be here. I do realize how lucky i am (as a cross fanatic.)
GC: right foot in front of left when you are doing a high speed flat dismount. Your right foot serves as the first step of the run. And the right food steps behind left when you are getting off at slower speed or on an uphill. Hope that helps.

Rickie Rainwater said...

I know I'm getting obsessed when I wondering how you do a fast dismount and wanting to check out cross bikes. Jonah's link to the slide show was great. I'm thinking I might like to try this even though I have a hard time with running. Running is really hard on my body, or I am just not a runner. I can see how having a reasonably light bike would be a big plus.

GCDavid said...

I just can't do the step through thing. Too much coordination. Most of the courses around here do not have high speed barriers, which is too bad. Or, I am just not going fast enough (which is entirely possible as well).

Racing in the 1/2/3 race this weekend. 60 minutes. Ouch.

gewilli said...

yeah GC - I haven't found a good high speed barrier around here yet other than at Dayville. And that one is awesome (but I still did the step back). FWIW with long ass legs you can do the step back dismount at ~20 mph no problem...

But then Peanut does have some supah smooth technique, i'm sure De Clercq could find no fault in your techinque ;)

chr15 tree said...

So I said Belgium is like cycling heaven...

"we found a fully groomed string of trails - complete with wood barriers for jumping"

I have about as much chance of finding dancing fairies in the woods where I live...

PEANUT said...

thanks for the compliment gewilli. Sometimes i do the step back on a fast flat barrier when my timing is off. But with lots and lots of practice, my chances of doing the step-through are higher.
GC - go get em' this weekend! let me know how it goes.
and chr - are you saying you dont have dancing fairies in your woods too?

chr15 tree said...

Have a great race!

chr15 tree said...

Your freind De Clercq won in Tabor in 1997, maybe a good omen? Did he give you any tips???

Cyclocross Magazine said...

good luck peanut! you're due...

Rickie Rainwater said...

I don't know if you have seen the animation movie, "The Incredibles" but one of the children, Flash, is a superfast runner. They have to coach him on how to win, but not make it look easy. Ok peanut, you have permission to win this time, but remember, don't make it look too easy. We don't want to let anyone suspect about your super powers! You will be in my thoughts on Sunday.
rickie

Big Bad Wolf said...

I have mixed feelings about Mario.. sure he was a great rider but there is still that doping ghost looming over his shoulders. But since he is now managing Sunwebs I assume that the charges have been dropped.

Big Bad Wolf said...

I remember him from the podium with Groenendaal winning the Worlds and himself and young Sven Nys on the brink of tears.. How different the times are now. Nys has become a confident pro

PEANUT said...

hey bbw
I do remember Nys in tears on the podium. it is a tough call at that level i'd guess, to choose loyalty with your country or the one who pays your bills.