There is a period of about two weeks during christmas where the racing really picks up here in Belgium. This year is a little slower than normal for the women but still busy enough! I race December 19,21,26,30, January 1, and 4.
I've just done Scheldecross (Antwerp, Belgium) on December 19 and Nommay World Cup in France two days later, and they both left me in optimistic spirits. Although the results are not even close to those reflected by my "normal" fitness I had glimpses of hope during the races where i had decent sensations. I felt like i was racing my bike again, that is...after the first two laps of both races where I pedaled backwards before moving forward. By the next race, my goal is to move forward effectively throughout the whole race which means i will do the first two laps during my pre-ride. It is a plan, anyway.
I may not have many photos from the race, but i was lucky enough to have one from the pre-ride that somehow made it into the local French newspaper. It was taken as I reached the top step of the staircase just after the start line.
A full race report will be on Cyclocross Magazine shortly - including more photos taken by Krist Vanmelle and Nancy Van Peer.
Today Jonas and I went on the old mans ride out of our neighboring town of Kortenberg. Surprisingly, there were twenty guys who showed in the bitterly cold weather. The ride started off easy enough with average speeds of 31kph. But after most of the ride was over, the guys started to play and the speeds jumped considerably. It was so inspiring to see guys up to 80 years old run each other into the ground after three hours of riding. The only real drawback to riding with those guys is that some of them are fully aware of how fragile they are and ride dangerously defensive. On today's ride, I almost ran up the ass of one such guy as he slammed on the brakes when a car appeared around a bend, driving in the opposite direction. Luckily Coach Elmo taught me early on never to place my front wheel directly behind another rider's wheel.
After the cold ride, Jonas' mom met us at the house for a much-appreciated glass of warm spiced wine. I drank it while wearing my warmest, fuzziest largest sweats and my favorite fuzzy hat with pom-pom ears.