A Day Out in the Mud (Niel, Belgium)

Today was my first race in Belgium of the 2010-2011 season. It was a good one. I really like the course at Niel and it is very close to my place here in Blauberg. Today Luc, Kelly, and Johnny picked me up in the trusty camper and drove me to the race. It was awesome – very relaxing. Great to have people to talk with. I’m sure I talked their ears off since I really haven’t spoken to anyone in two days! Thanks so much. Also Luc has sent some excellent photos, they are posted on Facebook.

The day was very cold and grey. Really cold. Really grey. Really wet. Really muddy. Everything you expect in a Belgian cyclo-cross race. Luckily I had my trusty Sealskins to keep my feet and hands dry. Could have done with a thicker undershirt (summer weight is not so good in such conditions).

Many thanks to Ludwig for the amazing pit support today. Ludwig fixed my bikes before the race. Yelled at me during the race – reminding me when to pit and offering words of encouragement. Luc and Johnny were out there taking photos and cheering me on. Kelly was at the start and finish with my clothes and cheering me on for the entire race. Thanks so very much.

It was an excellent day at the races. I can honestly say that I had a lot of fun today. Others would be disappointed with such a result (somewhere in the 30s) but I wasn’t lapped and I wasn’t last. I learned that I need to work on my mud riding skills and actually practice running in the mud. All in all, a good day.

I’ve written a race report here. When we got back to Blauberg after the race, Karl and Denise were here. Very nice to have them here now. It has been a whirlwind of activity here already. Tomorrow looks like a good day – Karl and I are going out for a ride and then the usual first day in Belgium things: bike store and food.