4 hours of ‘cross today

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I was so thrilled to have a bicycle to ride that I went on on the course and rode for nearly three hours at noon. Then I found out that my bag was being delivered to me at 4. So, I had a quick lunch, went to the reception and there it was. The missing/invisible/mysterious piece of luggage that has caused me so much mental strain was finally in my hands. I was mildly surprised.

I quickly put my Eriksen together and got out at 5pm for another hour. Man, does my bike ride so much different than the BMC. I’m not saying the BMC ‘cross bike is bad, I’m saying my bike is good. At least for me. It was so much easier riding the technical sections.

This course is “heavy” according to the promoter, who is Belgian, and has a lot of ‘cross experience. This is the course that they used for the Tom Boonen Charity Event that Cippo and all the other stars rode back in December. Boonen fell in the sand section coming off the road and finished somewhere in the 20’s. I don’t blame him.

The first sand section is super hard. It’s barely 50 meters, then a right hand corner and then on a beach. The sand is super fine. I sucked this afternoon, cleaning the section less than 50% of the time. But, on my bike tonight, I made it nearly every time, with speed most of the time. Once you twist up you might as well just bag it and run.

There is way more sand than the previous years I’ve been told. They are doing a ton of construction and it just churns up the sand and there it is. Lots of short, 10 meter sections that make it “heavy”.

So, I’m pretty beat. I can’t tell you how good I’m going. I felt like this afternoon, nothing was going right. But, tonight, I was going fast and not making many mistakes. Good for the mind. Tomorrow I’m going to be sore. My back and arms are already beat.

I got a text from AT&T about data usage. I’ve been using my iPhone trying to track my luggage. I’d used 17mb which cost $20 a mb. I signed up for an international data plan and it allows 50mb for $50. And they back date the usage. I hope that works. $20 a megabyte? Shit.

Okay. Going the 6km into Mol to get dessert and a beer. It’s Belgium after all. I wish I had the last 4 days back, but like I’ve said many times before, “it is what it is”. Right now, tonight, it is a lot better.

Once you bog down in this, you are sunk.

Talking to Don Myrah and Johnny Bold. I rode a few laps with each of them, along with Kevin Hines, earlier in the day.

Riding by the lake at dusk. On my bike!

About the shortest starting stretch I've ever seen.

This isn’t a TRP advertisement or anything. (I bought my TRP CX 9 brakes.) But, if you are using cantilever brakes, these are by far the best and most easily adjustable brakes I’ve ever used. It was so simple setting them up last night. They have so many features that are so good, you’d never use another brake after using these. No shit.

Our little neighborhood.

Two bikes and Trudi..

4 thoughts on “4 hours of ‘cross today

  1. h luce

    a little bit of research seems to indicate that the place where you’re staying has a small library with internet access, and they may have wifi… you might want to check that out.

  2. Jeff Unruh

    Reminds me of last year! Glad you got your bike. I run the TRP Eurox brakes and love them. The Bibliotech (library) does internet and they will let you use the computer for free. The keyboard is slightly different than an English speakers’ but youcan make do. They also were supposed to have some Wi-Fi hotspots like at the Showers/Laundry. Good luck on Saturday!

  3. Dave Bartol

    After all that happened its a good thing ya came over a week early. You get a couple of peaceful nights rest, race then start the whole thing over on the return trip! HOPE that goes smoother!

  4. Doug Long

    Steve, all your racing friends in the Midwest are reading your exploits and wishing you the best of luck this Saturday.
    Looks like there is a solid group of masters over representing the USA. Between your blog and Peter Webbers reports on “Mud and Cowbells” it has been quite entertaining and educational. I have to admit, after seeing the reports and video, I think a trip to Belgium may be in the future planning. I like bikes and beer and there doesn’t seem to be a shortage of either over there. HUP HUP


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