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« Za Trip: Friday January 18th - Tick tick tick tick tick.... | Main | The Wed Morning Cross World Championships...No 12 BELGIUM EDITION! »

Za Trip: Thursday January 17th - The calm before the storm

Place: Leuven and Brussels Belgium

I am over the hump of the racing trip. Exactly 3.5 more days remains including 1-2 more races and I will be on the big bird back home to see my beautiful wife and children. I am not going to take up pixels and bytes here to discuss this side of the trip, but it a very real side of the fact holding UP the trip and making it possible. It should be obvious to you, my loyal reader, that I am a husband, father, worker and that order....and truthfully this is the longest I will have been away from my family and my growing boys ever since their birth nearly 6 years ago. 11 days is tough with young boys who need their father more than the father needs the racing but I thank my wife for every second she is manning the home front while I live this out and taste the earth that I have dreamed about for so long.

OK, I will move on now but if any of you have children and a wife you respect as much as I do and try and ride the razor's edge of life balance with your passions (especially those that are by their very nature very self centered) you will know what is going on in my head. I am the single luckiest man in the world (broken rental car tail lights and all).

So, what went on today? Dubba, KP and I went on a light one hour spin to keep the legs open before our training day on the Mol course tomorrow. Riding that sand and the course dialing in bikes and tire pressures will be quite a lot of effort, so we went super chill today on a route that was magical. It was super twisty and back road-y that I tried to get it down on Map My Ride buy it was just a bit too hard to remember. We were literally on big roads, one lane roads, single name it. Again, the weather totally cooperated and it was down right beautiful out, if not a wee bit cold.....

KP and Dubba rolling and chatting..
The reverse...Single track...

We randomly hooked up and rolled with Rachel for a bit today.
Good luck this weekend, girl!

After the ride, we scrambled and threw some clothes on to do a sortie out to the cities of Leuven and Brussels. We drive to Leuven first, parked then immediately grabbed a train to Brussels which is pretty close. Brussels as you can imagine is a major city with all walks of life, French is the predominant language but everyone and their brothers speak perfect English. We tooled around and took in the City walking up and down the narrow streets, grabbing some schwag for the fam and shooting pictures of the City....

That's right, cross fans. Dee-hem from my train window. Dubba absorbing the scenery
Students posing or za Americans
Belgium, baby
This one was Dubbas from his favorite place. We all had the banana and chocolate. I will be fatter leaving here than when I came...
Way too cool for Belgium
Tin Tin...the patron saint of Belgium
The famous Manneken Pis
I'm big here in Belgie
Seamus! Look! Like-A-Bikes!!
Literally in the middle of this cobble stone street was a table set up with this. I suspected like a large rat trap so I only gingerly went around it without touching.
And then, we found it....

The "Wall" of beer.

We found AND purchases exactly 3 Westvleteren Yellow Caps (e.g. their dark Trappist). This beer is INCREDIBLY hard to get and voted the BEST Trappist beer in the world. Yes, 7 Euros a piece....

We finished up our biz in Brussels then jetted back to Leuven. Home to Stella Artois brewery. We could NOT believe how beautiful this city is. 500+ years and everywhere the eye could see, the streets were lined with the most immaculately old buildings. Leuven is a university town so it seemed alive with kids and BIKES. 1000's and 1000's of bikes. Amazing. We did our tourist thing again, grabbed pios and a beer then high tailed it back to Blauberg for some rest before tomorrow.

Tommeke is everywhere....even Leuven.
The architecture in Leuven is stunning.... is its art.

So tomorrow is Mol training. I'm hearing the course is super fun even with its sand. It will ALL be about the start positioning....which means luck as it is a lottery start.

I miss you my beautiful family and every day when I hear this kids playing at the school directly next door to our house in Blauberg, I smile an intense smile to myself.

Living the dream. You will too in exactly 365 days from this post.


Reader Comments (6)

Gregoire- It's really inspiring to hear about all you guys have done. Too have a great family is truely what life is all about right ??? Cycling is pure gravy.. I love Europe as well. All us Americanos are not bad , just the Government.It's only 10 F out right now in Boulder...OUCH !! RSTEVE OUT

January 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRSTEVE

Holy crap... I am there... Cross and that purveyor of fine Belgian ambrosia? What's next, a frites report?

FWIW the commute today was not as bad as the temp might indicate... I think KC gave me some new perspective on that s@*t... WindTex gloves (Vermarc of course - how was the opening?) did the trick...

Awesome... have fun in Mol, you know we'll be glued...


January 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Rasta! Whatup, kid? You know it. Last night was one of those nights where the lack of my children running around me and seeing my wife's beautiful face caught up with me. You've seen our caravan around town PLENTY of times to know us! Stay warm!

Lane, you were MADE for this place man.

January 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGreg

Greg, Lyne and I were in Brussels last night too...Oostmalle Trippel were all I could handle. Is 5 too many a couple day out from a WC? Elizabeth says thanks for the pic in the post from the other day. I kept telling her she's 'celebre' now.
Good luck in Mol and see you on sunday,

January 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTJ

Thanks for sharing the pics. I have GOT to get to Europe!

January 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGary

TJ: Whutup my brutha from another mutha? Great to see you and Lyne! 5? I think that is just the right amount for you to throw some sheeit down Sunday. Go big, Keemoosabee. I love Elizabeth. A mom to the core.

Stop f-ing around. Get your heiny over to Europe. Race your bike. Find glory.

January 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGreg

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