Next up is usually a little breakfast. Ham, Egg, & Cheese sandwich(you didn't think I was going to do this whole trip and not eat Ham & Cheese did you?) followed by a bowl of Mueslix and some honey.
On race days we usually make some Ham & Cheese, make some bottles, pack the race bag and head to the race course after breakfast. Gregory, Nele, and Chris our Belgian support crew usually show up 30 minutes before we depart. They have our bikes, hot water, tea, wheels, pretty much everything you need to race and be as comfortable as possible ready to rock for us.
We arrive to the races, somehow figure out inschrijption(registration, which is not always easy), while we do that Gregory and Chris set up our bikes and the tent with trainers, back to the van for a change of clothes, a sandwich, and then a quick inspection of the course. We figure out tire's, tire pressure, and the good lines. Back to the van to make any changes necessary to the equipment and then into the comfort of our folding chairs in the back of the van.
Sometimes its freezing back there, sometimes not so bad. Sometimes the condensation on the roof is dripping like a rain forest sometimes not so bad. We pin on our race numbers, talk about the course and start the mental preparations for the 1 hour of pain(or less). Maybe another Ham & Cheese, a Clif Bar, some Clif Bloks with extra caffeine and with 50 minutes before race start we are back outside for 20 minutes on the trainers. Once again Gregory and Chris have killed it and have our training bikes as clean as the day we got them and set up on the trainer with a slick rear wheel. With 30 minutes to go we are back in the van for a 15 minute superman session.
All wet clothes have to come off and all dry race clothes back on. Its nearly impossible not to get something that is suppose to stay dry soaking wet. You try to stay organized, but you favorite racing sock always goes missing. Just the left sock though. If not your socks, your gloves, your ear band, your left leg warmer....
With 15 minutes to go you eat your last bit of Belgian energy, check the tire pressure in all your wheels 4 more times, and then ride to the start line. Nele is there 3 minutes before they say go to take your jackets and then you are off. After the race she is the first person we see to return our jackets, open up the van, and pour us some hot tea. Once again to the back of the van for warmth, some recovery food, and a little reflection time of what just happend. We change again while Gregory and Chris once again shine our bikes so that we can do it again....all in all a dialed set up for a couple of Americans....
On non race days the mornings are much slower paced....e-mail, faceboook, e-mail facebook, podiuminsight, velonews, e-mail, facebook, cyclingnews, cxmagazine...etc
Laundry is in, shoes are on the Belgian drying rack(which leaves a quite unpleasant aroma in the house)clothes are re-organized. Blogs get updated, photos are downloaded. By 12:00 noon we are usually on our bikes for either a training ride or a recovery ride. Today a recovery ride....
After the ride we will be on the townies and head to the Delhaize for some groceries, the pharmacy for some ibuprofen and tiger balm, and a quick trip to the Chain Stay to visit the Canadians. While we do this Gregory will be dialing in the bikes on which we trained for the day. Usually another Ham & Cheese for lunch is thrown in there for some substenance, and dinner usually around 7:00.
After dinner is Belgian TV which is usually Discovery Channel, Dawsons Creek, or if we are really lucky the Simpsons. It only lasts for 10 minutes then we usually end up checking the e-mail, facebook, blogs, race results, youtube, e-mail, facebook etc...with a Belgain guy singing an old Disco song in Flemish on the TV. TV is on, but we are not watching, just some background noise. To Bed time around 11:00 for some Skype phone calls back home, one last e-mail check and some reading...then lights out.
Next up is the Azencross in Loenhout www.sport.be Thanks for reading and thanks to Joe Mathes and Brian Kingsbury for their donations.