Good news – I made it to Blauberg, Belgium without incident. Two very easy but crowded flights to get here – first time in a long time that I didn’t have an entire three seats to myself on the long flight. Ah well, at least the middle seat was empty!
The flights were pretty simple. Seemed to be lots of kids and a fellow with a horrible cough on the flight. I lucked into about five hours of sleep… Not too shabby and likely the reason why I’m still awake and feeling good right now.
So one thing has changed in the Brussels airport. It used to be a very long walk from arriving to getting to the baggage pick-up – but now it is a pretty short 5 – 10 minute walk. Sadly this new route no longer takes you by the Starbucks…
I was dreading getting my bikes and luggage to the rental car pick-up location since this involves manipulating big awkward bags down a spiral pathway that features an entrance that is slightly too narrow for bike bags. Last year I kind of cracked and ended up shedding a few tears as I tried to figure out how to get my stuff through the narrow entrance and down the spiral… This year I was ready for it and managed this component of arrival rather expertly. (Phew!)
I settled in very quickly and made a couple of quick stops in at the next door grocery store and nearby health food store. The best part of these two visits was chatting with the folks that work in both stores and feeling very welcomed. Soon enough Jos popped over and I got my bike put together so we could get out for a ride.
I had planned on going to a cyclocross training session but I was feeling a bit wiped and frankly not up to training with a new group in a new location. So I elected for a good ride with Jos – we chatted and zipped along some great roads and the time flew by. I rolled home to Blauberg from Westmeerbeek on some of my favorite paths and roads.
Nice to see my housemate Nikoline here when I arrived. All in all – a good first day. I’m all unpacked and have one more bike to put together. Tomorrow the work starts again with a double day involving a run in the morning and a road ride in the afternoon.
My first race is on Sunday in Hamme-Zogge. Not sure what I’ll do on the 11th – I think I’ll try to find out about a local ceremony for the National Day of Remembrance.
I’m looking forward to getting out on the trails, rolling along my favorite training routes and getting back into the racing groove. I took three days off from training after Nationals – it was just what I needed. It felt good to get out on my bike today and I really enjoyed pushing my legs and lungs a bit.
Alright, I best sign off. I’ll leave you with this photo of the house, my car and one of my Stevens Carbon Team DA bikes: