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 trip...in 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 racer....in 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 track....you name it. Again, the weather totally cooperated and it was down right beautiful out, if not a wee bit cold.....
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....
Students posing or za Americans
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....
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.