Back in Belgium

Oh geez, it feels so good to be back in Belgium. I missed this place. There is something so special about this country. It’s hard to put my finger on one thing that makes Belgium so special – suffice it to say I really enjoy it here.

I have to extend many many thanks to Nick and Romina for letting me stay at their place. It is super awesome how they have opened their home to Marc for these past two years and now have let me stay as well. We really do appreciate it.

Oh, and did you see this?

23795090_10154884652691244_3859395352264818539_n

Yes – it is a brand new shiny red disc-braked cyclocross bike. I took it out on the Lichtaart course today – wow – what a difference. I was riding corners faster than normal. I didn’t touch my front brake once. It feels super agile. Many thanks to Nick for setting me up with this sweet ride.

The only disappointing aspect of this trip to Belgium is – no racing for me. I haven’t been able to get rid of my joint pain. I can manage riding but any running, sprinting, or standing to accelerate is a problem. This is disappointing since I had been planning to race at Mol at the Masters World Cyclocross Championships – but this is not going to happen.

The good news is the races aren’t going anywhere. The extra good news is I’ll be able to come back next year stronger than I am this year. So a couple of silver linings.

It would have been very easy to get down about the joint pain and flare (and believe me I did for a few days). However, I’ve got a lot of experience with chronic illness and I’ve gone through worse and I know that’s important to keep everything in perspective. There were many months when I couldn’t ride or travel at all – so I’ll take what I can get.

I’m feeling pretty fortunate to be here in Belgium for three weeks. A huge shout out to KNOW Agency for supporting this trip. It really is quite special to work for people who trust that I’ll get my work done and will let me work from where I want on my own hours.

Here are a few more pics from my first few days in Belgium: