Making The Most Of It

When I arrived here in Belgium on Nov. 10, I had a return plane ticket booked for Feb. 6, 2012… Instead I’m flying home on Dec. 29. To be blunt: this sucks. Not the most eloquent, but really this is the way I feel right now. I really wish I wasn’t going home. Don’t get me wrong – I’m super excited to see my big grey cat Murphy and to re-connect with friends and family. But I really would rather be here in Belgium racing my bike.

I’ve been doing a good job of staying positive these past few weeks and enjoying my “off-season” – but today is a tough day. I did get out for an easy two hour ride today. My back felt pretty good – some upper back muscle tightness but my lower back (where the vertebrae is fractured) felt fine. It is strange because I feel like I can race – but I know I can’t…

These past few days though have been action-packed with lots of off-the-bike action. On Christmas Eve, Marc, Nikoline, Jacob and I loaded into our trusty Peugeot and drove to Bergen-Op-Zoom, the Netherlands for the day. We had a great poke around in Hoppmans (massive bicycle store), a good lunch and wander around the town. We celebrated Christmas with a hearty and fairly healthy dinner and then the four of us went to the Blauberg church for the Christmas service.

Here are a couple photos from the day:

We had a great Christmas day with Marc racing to a solid 6th place in Balegem. The course had some crazy descents in it and was a tad muddy…

After the race we zipped off to Zolder so I could connect with some good pals. It was great to hang out with Nancy and Andy – I’m very happy that Nancy is getting better and is able to get back to racing. I talked to a bunch of other folks and then it was time to come back to the house here so Marc could get ready for racing on Dec. 26.

Today has been pretty chilled out. Nikoline and I got out for a good ride today. I’m going to miss Nikoline – we’ve become very good friends. We first met in Treviso, Italy at the 2008 World Cup and we’ve been friends ever since. We had a great ride chatting and ruminating about life, bikes, and everything in between. Really, we should be packing but I think we’ll just procrastinate and have a big packing marathon on Wednesday!

Alright, this post has gone on long enough! Time to do a bit of work and then we’re off for dinner out with our good friends. Really going to miss this place…

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