Some days it is so hard to come up with a title for my posts. Hence, the lame title for today’s post. But in a way it is applicable. Today has been pretty smooth. Actually a fairly standard Monday for Belgium.

Work. Ride. Errands. Work. And very soon bed.

Got in an excellent ride with Ed today. We had no fixed plan – just 90 minutes at a good pace. Set off, noodled around Aarschott and Rillaar. Made our way back to the house – a bit gritty but definitely satisfied. Decent riding weather today – light rain and 10 celsius. (No snow for us!)

Not much else to report really. Went into Antwerp to hit up the Decathlon and Saturn. Didn’t buy much of anything of interest. Now just chilling out and doing some more work. About to shut down for the night. Yoga on the agenda and then some quality time with my book.

Watched the women’s race at Nommay while eating supper – thanks to Cycling TV. A pretty exciting race. Impressive riding by Compton and Gould especially. Zolder this Friday. This will be my first World Cup. I have no idea what to expect. I’m approaching it like any other race. Pre-ride. Warm-up. Eat the same as usual. Stay relaxed. Focus on the start. Have fun. Should be good. Pretty decent way to spend Boxing Day.

Okay, I’m out. Have a good one. Don’t know if you’re on Facebook or not but Jos has posted a bunch of photos from Scheldecross. (I’ve yet to look at them all – I will do it later – I promise!) But if you are on FB – go take a look – and leave a comment! Have a good one. Oh, and if you’re close to a Sbucks – have a grande, non-fat, no foam, no water, tazo chai for me…

Sunday on Monday

Actually not so bad to have Sunday all over again. Nice way to perhaps avoid the onslaught that is the craziness before Christmas… Nonetheless, here is the post that should have been written on Sunday – but wasn’t…

So quiet day here at the house. Everyone was out at the races, except me. I’d already raced two days in a row – a third was not appealing or permitted based on UCI rules (I pre-registered for the Nommay World Cup – then decided not to do it – and this prevented me from racing…). No problems for me. I had a relaxing early morning. The usual, breakfast, tea, WWW, and seeing the others off.

Then I was off. Got on the trusty steed for a little “tip-tap” ride. No SRM. No feedback. Just me, the music, and the fine Belgian air. Plan was the canal. Perfect. Relaxing and no cars to deal with. Made it to the canal in a little less than 30 minutes of riding an excellent bike path and then simply pedaled and smiled. I hooked up with another guy – he came by me, I jumped on his wheel, started to feel guilty so rode next to him and chatted. I learned that the canal I was riding along would take me to Antwerp. We rode for a while and then I turned left – to follow another canal. Nice. Much better than riding along the canal in Ottawa. Nice and wide – and no strollers or roller bladers. I just pedaled and enjoyed the view. Came upon a bunch of rowers – their coach was riding a rickety old bike and bellowing at them through an enormous orange megaphone. This was at the town of Emblem. And where I turned around.

Ah, free speed. At the turn around I was gifted with the all-time bike rider’s favorite – the tail wind. I whipped along grooving to OMD, U2, Kaiser Chiefs, and k.d. The cycling traffic along the canal was steady but not overly busy. There were a lot of men set up along the canal with very long fishing poles – most had umbrellas to shield them for the wind and some had little stoves – to cook the day’s catch?

So made it home 2.5 hours later… This always happens, plan on 2 hours – ends up being 2.5. I was hungry and a bit dirty. It wasn’t raining but the paths were gritty and greasy. It was so warm I didn’t wear shoe covers or my Kingsgbridge winter jacket – was able to go with just my long-sleeve Kingsbridge jersey. Nice. So a solid ride. Quick and efficient cleaning of the bike and it was chill time.

Really didn’t do much. Walk to the bakery. More WWW. Lunch. Knitting (I’ll spare you the details…). Marc and Ed got in and told me all about their respective races in Wilrijk. Both were 9th. Both needed to pit – thank goodness Jos was there to help out. Much bike cleaning was done in the garage. Then it was off to Sultan’s for a meal out. Ah, Sultan’s – home of the Turkish kebabs. So good. Different from the Lebanese shwarma.

We closed off the night with the Nommay World Cup. Interesting race. Fast. Muddy. Slippery. Wonder what it was like to race it? Have to wait for the blog posts, I suppose. Massive shout out to Natasha for a fine 13th finish! Cool to see two Americans on the women’s podium.

Okay, I’m out. Got some real world typing to do. On deck for today – a ride. Not sure what – need to check my plan from coach Steve. Have a good one. Try to squeeze a bit of Sunday into Monday – you’ll appreciate the pace and vibe. And yes, indulge at the office Christmas potluck – have some of that marshmallow, mandarin orange, and pineapple, coconut salad thing for me – you know you like it….