Saturday, May 15, 2010

Cheers from Belgium!

As of today, the sun returned to Belgium. Jonas, Ronny and I decided to follow newly painted "figure 8" markings on the ground (one of a million bike-route markings on the streets of Belgium) so we didnt have to think about where to ride. Our plan went brilliantly until we passed a guy holding a spray can in one hand and a "figure 8" in the other. Even though we had to then decide for ourselves where to ride, it was great. I think everything is always better with a bit of sun.

With all my updates on twitter and facebook, I am sorry to admit that my blog has become the red-headed stepchild regarding my time management plan (if i could get around to making one, that is!)

Since Tour of Cyprus, I've been mainly just training and catching up on little projects. The weather hasnt been too good here in Belgium yet so there havent been too many super long "epic" rides.

After Cyprus, Jonas and I did get to go to the Ardennes for a week (courtesy of his parents) of riding and relaxing which was nice. But of all the days there, i think the sun only came out once. We made the best of it, though, by riding many of the famous Liege-Bastogne-Liege climbs with our two friends Angela and Doug from California.

Our next mini trip was to Houffalize World Cup to watch the 4x and Cross Country mountain bike races. We went as "press" for CYCLOCROSS Magazine (click HERE for the story) and also wrote a story for Dirt Rag Magazine - my first published article for them! (click HERE for the story).  (See passes above - The Rabobank pass was courtesy of Jan ten Tusscher - Manager of Rabobank Offroad Team, VIP courtesy of our friend Jo Croonenberghs)  It was super strange to watch a race without participating - especially when there are other girls riding. But i got over it after i witnessed the 30th crash.  But even though i didnt race, i still got a bunch of cheers, gave autographs, and had my picture taken. Clearly cyclocross fans were there to pass the time until cross season gets going.

As for my own racing this season, I've only done Tour of Cyprus (which i was thrilled to win), and three mountain bike races (1 win and 2 DNF's - my bike broke both times. The photo of Jonas above was taken by at the start of the one race i won.)  I think my next mtb races are in late june or early july.  But i surely wont be bored until then.  Jonas and i are currently packing for our training camp in Girona, Spain. We leave in a few days and will be gone for about three weeks.  It helps to have Jonas' mom down the block to collect our mail and check on the house when we go away! She is super woman!

We still have to find rides to do in the Girona area. I think we are also heading a little west from there towards the high mountains for a few days as well.  If anyone has any riding ideas...or even ideas where we can find Garmin tracks... We think we found a co-ed road race that we can do there which could be a lot of fun.

On the way back from Girona, we are planning to go to Bedoin to ride Mt Ventoux a few times. I've only seen it from afar when i was on training rides with my old Pruneaux d'Agen teammates Tiina and Sandrine in the Marsailles and Aix en provence area. They were awesome hosts to me!  I should have internet during part of the trip so I can post some photos and little stories about our trip.

Thanks for reading!!