January 25, 2013
Belgium: Early Impressions
I have been here (here meaning specifically Westerlo, Belgium) for 5 days now and a lot has happened. I am getting to know the surrounding area a little bit and I am more than settled into my new room. Being relatively OCD all my stuff is organized and I had to reposition my bed but otherwise its a nice pad for me and my homies, a few more squared foots then my other room in Canadia. Not that it's a big deal though. I went to get my first road bike the night I arrived (my other bike is waiting for a shipment of campagnolo) and man do we have some really nice bikes. Thanks Ridley, FFWD, Deda, and Campagnolo! The weather here is mild for me, dawn of the next ice age cold for Belgians, so I was forbidden from riding on the roads my first day so I spent 2 hours on the trainer getting accustomed to my new set up. Day two I went out and set myself up a bank account here (there was some confusion and even accusations of me being an illegal immigrant) making extraction of euro's an easy task, as well as other various team related transactions and such. In the afternoon I did a nice 103km ride with a local WielerSchool (bike school) and it was pretty cold so not many showed up. At a steady 38km/h our group of roughly 70 riders (including pro cross racer Rob Peeters) ticked along around a 14km course. Interestingly we also had a follow van that would stop at all the intersections and stop cars so we were allowed to disregard traffic laws which is always a nice treat. Thursday I rode with a local British contingent of riders and it was really nice, especially since they live just 10km down the road. Of course our 2.5 hour ride included a 1 hour cappuccino stop in classic euro fashion. Friday was the big test day at the super cool modern high tech Energylab. The test was similar to a MAP test start at 100watts and go up 40 every 5 minutes. I made it to 460watts, but only just. We used these super cool cyclus2's, if you have 14,000$ to spend I really recommend them! We did lactate testing, taking blood from the ear and my ear is now really bruised and tough looking. We also did a body composition where they looked at my fat, muscle, bones, etc and with a real proper system too. A massive MRI style looking scanner that took 6 minutes to read me. I have been waiting for a while to know my body fat results as those scales that shock you and skin fold tests are about as accurate as my three pointers 6/30 in "around the world". I scored 7.4% body fat putting me within a kilo of my perfect race weight. They said at this time of the year you must be under 10 (or else!) and when racing 8.5 is the heaviest. So I am in fact not as fat as I have always believed. I also have a really dense, yet light weight skeleton (?), thus negating my once over used "big boned" excuse. After testing I got a wake up call as far as my skills in bowling goes as I lost consecutively to an 80lb girl. Now I am still awake, although it is 2:44am it feels like, I would say, probably, on estimate, 8:44pm. #jetlagproblems. But it's not all bad news as I am "waking up" in 15 minutes to go to the airport, which will take me to a plane, which will take me to Spain! where I will then live and train for 2 weeksish. My bike already left thursday in the team RV so it will be an easy flight with no massive bags to worry about, after a brisk 2 hours at altitude I will land in, Southern Spain, somewhere, essentially no details of our flight where shared with us, just meet at the airport at 5 with your passport. Mid Camp report next week! but until then good luck to my buddies Quinten Hermans (as he goes to Louisville for Worlds with an excellent shot at the podium and outsider for the win) Peter Disera our Canadian Nation Champion, as well as all the canadians going down to race.