The End

We are at the end. The end of our stay here in Belgium. We arrived here on Dec. 10. And now a fast two months later, we’re leaving. This has been a solid trip. It tested my will and desire. It tested my ambitions. In the end, I came out on top. My will and desire are stronger than ever. My ambition is just the same – still there with a big goal for 2009-2010 cyclo-cross season.

The racing and training here are top notch. Can’t beat the quiet country roads and bicycle paths. The best ride was perhaps a three hour jaunt along the canal. The Tues/Thurs group ride can’t be missed. The ‘cross training is the best – choose a spot: Langdorp, Kasterlee, or Averbode – each location gives you something different.

We’ve made some good friends here. At first the other races are a bit “cool” but after a few races, smiles and conversations are exchanged. By the end you’re having a coffee/warm cecemel/coke after the race and telling “race stories”. The fans – well what can I say about the Belgian fans? They cheer you, the jeer you – in the end, we are racing for them. Without the fans we couldn’t do what we do.

Going to miss this place. If we could get Murphy here, we’d stay. But “real life” beckons.

Stopped by a couple bike stores today to say our good-byes. Everyone said the same thing: “Come earlier next year. Do more racing here.” Sigh. Maybe. Hopefully.

We’ve got everything packed up. Picked up the last gifts and souvenirs. The bikes are safely stowed away in their bike boxes. We managed to cram everything into our baggage.

We’ll miss our Belgian friends. We’ve had some great times. Massive thanks to Jos and Tim for their hospitality. They opened their home to us and we’ve been in their way for the past two months. I subjected Tim to some crazy food – quinoa, scrambled eggs with dijon mustard, natural peanut butter, and a few creative chicken and beef dishes. I learned to really appreciate home made hummus – thanks to Jos. We went on some good rides. I learned some new insights from Tim about training and how to become one of the greats. I’m stoked to come back next year and hear more great stories, learn more lessons, have some more delicious meals. And most importantly share some more laughs.

I’ll be back next year – stronger, faster, smarter, and really hungry for it.

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