White

Wow, everywhere I look these days I see white. Pure white snow. Makes me feel like I’m at home! Luckily we don’t have the cold temperatures of home. I think Friday was the coldest with -8. Yes that was cold on the toes. Yep, I decided to ride outside on Friday. Didn’t realize that it was that cold and a massive wind on top of it. Ah well, it was nice to be outside and feel the snow crunching beneath the tires. Besides, I’m a Canadian, I’m used to this weather!

We had planned to race this weekend in some small local races. But I guess with the weather and with every country (except Canada and the U.S.) hosting their National Cyclo-Cross Championships, the races we had planned on where canceled. Such is life. In a way it has been kind of nice not rushing off to races, standing in the pits, racing, driving home, doing laundry, cleaning the bikes, etc. Nice to have a weekend off from this. Don’t get me wrong – I’m still totally hungry to race. Just was nice to have a bit of a change this weekend.

With no racing, I got friendly with the trainer again on Saturday. Another solid two hours with some zippy microburst intervals thrown in for spice. The microburst intervals are a sure fire way of getting some of that coveted ached into your legs. Amazing how long 15 or 20 seconds can feel!

Saturday afternoon we took a little road trip and drove to Ham to check out the newest bike shop on the scene: Chaos. This store is owned and operated by Gino – a friend of ours that we met when I first came to Belgium to race on the road. Marc regularly races with Gino’s brother Bert, and I’ve done some training with him as well. Anyway, the shop is pretty darn cool. Gino sells a lot of brands of bikes but the main feature is his own line of bikes. Very clean lines and many frame options. We had a great time catching up with Gino and his dad. Told lots of stories and shared some laughs. We’ll definitely be back.

It was warmer today so I decided to hit up Averbode for some riding in the woods. I had a blast. Was really feeling the snow and the conditions. Luckily I know the race course quite well now since it was completely snowed in. What a difference it makes for me when I can’t see the ruts and roots beneath the snow. I really felt like I was riding more confidently and smoothly. I focused on looking ahead. This is more than looking up – this is really looking down around the corner and the next tree. Really helps to prepare for whatever is next and eliminates the “surprise” factor. After some playing in the woods I rode over to the Wandelpark that is about 15 minutes away. I rode around there on the trails and had more fun in the woods. All in all, an excellent ride. Super nice to be outside enjoying the sunshine and feeling the air move.

We had planned to go watch the Belgian Champs live in Oostmalle, but decided to stay home and catch the action on the television. An excellent decision. I relaxed with my home brewed decaf cappuccino and watched a stellar performance by Sven Nys. Wow! What an amazing ride. This guy is one super motivated individual. I’m so glad I watched him race. It simply goes to show that anything can happen in a ‘cross race and there is never any sense in mentally checking out and just rolling around when things “go wrong”.

Looking forward to another good week of racing and training. Off to Surhuisterveen, Holland for some racing on Wednesday. Then onto Roubaix, France for the World Cup. Might try to race in Huijbergen, Holland on Saturday but have to do a bit of a logistics dance to make this work.

Only a few more weeks of the season left. Crazy! Seems like it just started. I’m definitely closing off the season with some excellent sensations in my legs, lungs, brain, and soul. Can’t ask for much more.

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