Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Ranks and Placards

Creative Commons License

Search Page Section
« Za Trip: Saturday January 12th - The low down on the smackdown | Main | Za Trip: Thursday January 10th - What the? »

Za Trip: Friday January 11th - The Americans have landed

Place: Blauberg, Belgium

The Eagle has landed. Even after all of the drama from United the day before, we are here, safe and ready for action.


So, after after the cancellation and ticketing drama previously reported about, Brandon and his beautiful fiance' Heather picked me up Thursday AM in the Boulder Cycle Sport war wagon and we rolled and chatted all the way to DIA.We get to the United Check In and start the whole process. I am prepared to be REAMED for all the bike stuff. The lady says: "Oh you guys are Premier Execs so you get 7o pounds for the bike bike and three pieces. Brandon, like the gangasta street wise Masshole, he is, props his foot under my 70+ pound box to ensure it reads 65 pounds. Genius. All free. We get our tix and we're rolling.

The flight was the best kind: Uneventful and we slept like babies. The big bird landed in Brussels ahead of schedule and Brandon and I got in almost exactly the same time as Kurt via Munich. We all convened at the baggage carousel and waited for or stuff. Everything comes 'cept the bikes. Sweat. Nether regions start to pucker. I go on a hunt and actually see the bike boxes. I make contact with a 'native' and after confirming he speaks (perfect) English, he says "Come vit me, guys." We go into a back room (I think he's going to mug me) and there they are. Our bikes in a TOTALLY different place. All safe and sound. The other boxes I saw, identical to ours...down to the USA Cycling stickers... were of course weren't ours, just the other 7000 people coming to Belgium to ride. In the rain. In January. Chrissakes, we are sickos for this sport.

So the guys says, "Bikes, eh? You mountain bikeeers?"

"No actually, cyclo-cross" I say.

Let the talking begin....

"What?! Veldrijden? I am a HUGE Nijs supporter!" The guy is visibly excited. A bead of foam materializes around his lips along with that spittle in the corner of his know the kind when people get excited and start talking incessantly. We chat, and he sends us on our way saying...

"Don't let the Belgians treat you zat bad, OK? You just race hard, OK?"

The AIRPORT BAGGAGE guy is like the proverbial grim reaper. And a sick 'cross fan.

So with our stuff KP, Dubba and I meandered our gypsy-like caravan of double-bike cases, bags, duffels , etc and we went looking for the van. I separate from the guys, find it, the guy anonymously hands me the keys and I go BACK in search of the boys.

"SON OF A!" Driving to find them, I am spat out of the car rental garage on to the motorway! I loop back (twice) and finally say "F-it". I am parking HERE! I stop the mighty Mercedes Van in the middle of now where and YELL to Dubba an Kurt: "Let's go, let's go!" Within what seems 60 seconds, they run with everything, we chuck it all in the van and with people honking behind, we get the beast moving and we are on our way.

We make it to Blauberg basically uneventfully and find Za House no problems. We come in and are greeted by our hosts, Vicki and Mark who give us a brief tour and introduce us to the other 6 sicklo-crossers here staying for the racing. We go back outside to extract our bikes from the beast, and we see some damage.

SON OF A BEEATCH! Damage to the tail light that either occurred BEFORE we had the car or sometime when we parked to load at the airport. We'll deal with it, but BUMMER.

So we get into the house and make introductions. There are a FEW people here. Oh, we found 'them': The North American 'cross junkie. They are here. 6 of them other than the three of us. All in this house. They come to Belgium. They learn Dutch. The drink good beer. They know how to glue tubulars with precision. Obsessive 'cross fans and racers.

A bit about the house we are at:

It is owned by former Festina rider (yes, pre, '97), Tour de France, Paris Roubaix and Classics rider...oh and British National Champion Tim Harris. The first thing we see:

Podium flowers and trophies from Mark Cavendish, Robbie McEwen and others. PRO. We get the bikes unpacked and all is OK. YEAH! Our new friend Rob suits up with us and we get on our first ride.

In Belgium.

If I could have slowly humped the muddy earth, I would have. Za Mutherland. Bike paths. Rain. 48 degrees. Cross bike parts. Dugasts.


So we finally were so excited to get out...some from being in Belgium, but frankly lots because we were bound of from planes and needed to release. We rolled for an hour to get the legs loose and smiled as the spit from the other guys bikes and rain splattered my face. Perfect. Some digital celluloid.

Form a very tired Blauberg, I'm signing off. Our first race is tomorrow in Schriek Groot Lo. Wish us luck!


Reader Comments (9)


January 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChris

Keller, you have got to have the biggest US boner in belgium right now!!! Dreams realized-thanks for sharing via the M&C blog. race fast and kick some ass with Brandon and Kurt. WB

January 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Yo Keller, don't let any of those Dutch som' bitches take you!!! Just imagine them pedaling in wooden shoes and holding tulips, you will stomp 'em. Bobby

January 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Get 'er DONE!!!

We will wake up tomorrow morning wondering how it all went down. I'll check here if I don't hear from you first!

We love you!


January 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGreg

Feels good to be living a dream, right? You know those streets you are in in the photo won't dry out until April. I look forward to interviewing you for when you get back.

January 11, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterkris

Rock on my friend!!!


January 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

GO Keller GO!

GO Keller GO!

joe s

January 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Nothing can be as hard as those PM sessions...kick ass Greg and then enjoy the real stuff on draft....salivating at the thought. RB

January 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Greg - Please say hi and good luck to my coach/buddy KP on my behalf. Your Blog rocks by the way!


January 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>