Saturday, March 31, 2012

Club race at the Mol

Today we rode to the cycling club at the mol.  Jessica and I raced with the older men on a 1300m track. Its pretty cool - only used for bikes and with a small man made hill in the middle of it.  We both did pretty well too!  I am really trying on working on my sprints because here - everyone is good at it!

Haleigh as Dutch Champion


The club house is pretty cool.  Every cycling club has one too!  They serve beer, coffee tea, tosties and chocolate - whatever you like!  Its filled with trophies and champion jerseys (including Haleighs!).  I'm pretty sure there is a race there almost every day.  Canada really needs to get some of these!

champions jerseys - Haleighs is on the right! look how small!

coffee and tea after racing! yumm :)

Haleigh, Jessica and Me

Tomorrow I race in Oploo.  I am meeting Harrie from the moving ladies team about 30km away to get a ride to the race.  Hopefully this time I don't get lost!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Somebody call 911!

Over the past few days:
2 hour ride turns into 6 because Holland's signage is less then par...or I under estimate the wind.  The police were called because I took so long...oops!!

war memorial in Berger Op Zoom
 Finally caught up on my baking! Energieballs with chocolate-honey spread from the market :)

favorite stand at the market - nice nuts!

how i missed my goji berries

helllllllo energie!


Moto pacing with Willem

Willem fueling up for a few hours of motor pacing

Racing again tomorrow!

Keep your turnover in your pockets!

Funny story of the week!
The other day I had an easy ride and decided to go to Strijen - a small town just outside Zwijndrecht - and go to the bakery.  I was pretty pumped; bakery visits have come few and far between so far this trip...which I guess is a good thing!
So moving along, after finding out nothing is open from 12 till 1:30, I came back to the bakker and picked out and ammmmmazing looking apple turnover.  Normally I would never get this back home, but something about this turnover called to me...and I'm drooling again.
Any ways, got on my bike, bag to turnover in hand, and decided to take it to somewhere nice along the river to eat it.  I took the cobble streets through the town, and about 15 minutes later found the perfect spot.  As I was getting off my bike I realized my turnover bag felt pretty light! Oh no! WHERE IS MY APPLY-GOODNESS!?


There was a hole in the bottom of the bag! The cobbles must have rattled it out!
I immediately get back on my bike and start searching fo rthe turnover!  I rode about 10 minutes and found it sadly laying on the side of the road next to chicken and goat farm...thank gosh none of those little rascals got to it before I did.  I rescued the little goody, brushed it off, and enjoyed every last piece.

If I have food poisoning or died in a couple of days, the turnover may be to blame. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Home Sick

After getting a text from my Aunty and an email from my dad making sure I keep updating my blog I figure I better had.  The race on Sunday did not go very well.  Not only was I not prepared, frustrated I didn't know what was going on, and intimidated to heck by all the pro's team buses -my head was definitely not in the game.  I payed too much attention to not crashing in the pack I forgot about the race at the front.  So after the group I was with got pulled from the race, the 30 or so of us still had to ride the rest of the course to get home.  In the end it was pretty cool - riding up the cobble climbs a few minutes before Boonen would come up them - with all the drunks fans out cheering.  After the 3rd cobbled climb I remember telling a team mate of mine whom I was riding with - "I hate cobbles", and she replied with "Yeah, Belgium is a Shit country".  hahaha.  I wouldn't go so far as saying that, but I definitely knew how she was feeling.  Sunday was one of the hardest days I've ever had on a bike.



 The other surprise highlight was that I got a drive home sitting next to Iris Slappendel.  She wont the sprint for 2nd place and is a professional on Rabobank.  She was so cool and super inspirational.  She told me and Jessica (my team mate for the day on moving ladies) about how it is racing for Marianne Vos - how supportive and calm and nice she is.  So that really made my day.

Iris Slappendel
The thing that was missing however was having someone to vent to after my race.  Normally I have my parents or team mates to sympathies with me or gush about the race to ( I know I'm being a baby), but this time I didn't.  When I got home I called my mom and dad and immediately got super homesick.  That day I must have Skyped with 6 or 7 different people, and I realized how much I miss them, and how awesome my friends are.  But after some wise words, I decided to suck it up remember why I'm here, and take the good with the bad.

Some other good advice was to go exploring - so I took the water bus to Rotterdam the next day, and it was indeed super helpful, and I decided I like Rotterdam after all :)

Clip of Womens Gent Wevelgem

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Gent - Wevelgem

So as I was waiting to start a club race this afternoon I checked my phone to see what time it was.  I had a missed call - and turns out it was from the manager of Moving Ladies asking me to race tomorrow in Gent Wevelgem because one of his riders is sick.  So I am!!  I still need to find a ride to get there and get food and fix my bike and laundry and all that jazz - but I'll make it work!
I am going to need a lot of luck...and dextros!
Gent Wevelgem 2012

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I SAW CAV!

 Today I raced in Wargem - which was a womens race in between the Dwars Doors Vlaanderen pro mens race.  I felt like I was starting a pro race - bleachers, beer tents, flags...so cool!!  I was mainly excited to get to see the pro men - but had to put that out of my mind for my race.  hahaha.  We were supposed to do 5 laps of 16km but ended up getting taken the wrong way so had to stop for 10 minutes about 10km in while they figured it out...then took 1 lap off our race so we would finish in time for the pro men.
  
The race was pretty fast and a lot more consistent then Saturdays race.  I was able to move up a lot more easily and I threw a bunch of elbows - but no F bombs! I managed to get to the front for the final km but the teams with sprinting trains just blew past and I took way too long to figure it all out.  So I ended in the main bunch and finished 29th overall.  121 starters and 93 finishers.  I was pretty happy with this race - made a lot of improvements and  had so much fun :)
 
 
Got a pic of my hero.  He was a bit pissed not making it to the sprint - little does he know he still made my day :)
I also may have an opportunity to race Saturday in Gent- Welvergem with a Dutch team.  I better go pester them to make sure I can!  I'll also try to see if any of the pro photogs took any good pic of me and I'll post them later.
Tomorrow - Coffee ride to meet DJ SPARLZ! wicka wicka whaaaaat

Sunday, March 18, 2012

First Race

Yesterday I had my first race in the Netherlands.  There were only three races all for women.  I raced with the elites without contracts, and there were about 160 of us.  I had to line up half an hour early to get a spot near the front!  I was told they would announce everything in English if they knew someone who spoke English was racing.  Of course that didn't happen, so I failed to hear the "remove your helmets for a one minute of silence" and got punched in the arm by a girl because I was completely oblivious.  It has also been a while since I have raced so I kept getting pushed around and sworn at because I forgot a bit how it works.  We had 5 loops of 17km and I bet we averaged 50 or more.

It's definitely a lot different racing over here then back home...i never saw the front, never climbed a hill...and spent most of the last 3 km on my breaks!  Although I was still sworn at in French! (and German and dutch haha)  I finished 53 and there were only 70 left of the group when we finished.  I was pretty happy with it, but next race I am going to try harder to be in it...rather then just watching it happen from the back. 

Anita gave me a great oil massage before the race too!  Made me feel very euro; and we had traditional Holland food for dinner to finish off a great day :) 
I am itching to race again and fix some of my mistakes! And start using the F-word ;)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Fried egg sandwiches

We took a trip to the market today.  Lots of candy and fresh roasted nuts and stroopwafles and fritz!  It thankfully only comes to this neighbourhood once a week so I'll deem Thursdays my treat days haha :)



Bill also took me on a ride to saturdays race course.  I don't think I've ever been on a course so flat..so I was pretty happy.  Although that means everyone in the race will be super used to and good at that sort of thing.  Annnnd - the roads are pretty much the width of a car - with trenches on either side..so here's hoping I don't get pushed of the edge or I'll have to spend a long time cleaning the bike.


Oop! 30 Rock is on! helllllo laughter!
Day 3 - buy a used Blackberry so I can BBM...life is nothing without it! ;)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Made it!

Hello Netherlands:) so far I have learned that you eat strawberry sandwiches, bikes take priority on the road and Starbucks is gawd awful expensive!  So far I hardly feel like I've left home - most people speak English and I have already watched modern family, House and everybody loves Raymond!

We went for a quick little ride - all on bike paths and never took the same one! Hopefully tomorrow my head will be O.K. and I can go ahead and race on Saturday.  Haleigh and Jessica have been talking about how great the race is so I REALLY hope I'm good to go!
Day 2 : Take pictures!!

Monday, March 12, 2012

All Packed up!

I think I'm ready!  Well packing wise...
A few Fridays ago I crashed in a Friday night track race and found out a few days later I had a concussion.  And of course, I didn't follow doctors orders and made it worse by trying to train again.  So although I havn't been on the bike in a while - and am flying out to the Netherlands demain - I am still pretty optimistic about feeling better and able to ride right when I get there.  Fingers crossed!
A better attitude will make it better!!!

Man - Papa Coney got me a PIKA PACKWORKS bike bag and its absolutely amazing! took me literally 10 minutes to pack my bike and everything else that wouldn't fit in my luggage :) saweeeeet!