are sometimes smooth and silky, and other times tired and tight.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

1,004 words about the Oranjeronde van Amsterdam


Report to follow.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Rub a dub dub

Souvenir from Zaandam.

Easter Monday. A bright and sunny day. Tweede pas. Twee Bruggenronde van Zaandam. My first crit of the year.

Starting on a bridge, with a (thanks to the gates surrounding the course) tight left turn on to a speed bump, followed by a serpentine 200 meter long stretch of bricks leading ‘up’ to the second bridge, into the wind, with a shallow descent, banking left, on to another left, which leads you back to the hill that you started on. If pressed, I’d call it a challenging course.

I could try and regale you with tales of how I spent my 65 laps, circumnavigating the 800 meter long circuit. I won’t. It was a day spent mostly stuck somewhere in the middle of the peloton. The few occasions I found myself on the pointy end of the stick, I opted for caution. Don’t ask me why.

Perhaps it was the fact that this was my first taste of a touchy feely peloton this year: feeling a handlebar against my rump as I lean into a turn, handlebars brushed, tires rubbed, a wheel on my foot, a disgruntled rider subtly swerving into my front wheel. The joys of crit racing.

Next time. Next time.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Return to the Battle of the Bulge

It's that time of year. Yes sir, lucky me. Once again a weekend of haute cusine, fancy wines, and leg breaking climbs were on the cards.

The weather was almost perfect.

The bikes were ready.

The wine was waiting.

But first things first: a warm up ride on day one.

After that, a quick shower, a quick beer, then the cooking commenced.

And the table was set.

Amuse (when in Belgium do as the Belgians do. In this case, eat mussels).

Sting Ray with pineapple sauce and fennel.

Lambs Rack with potato pancakes and red chicory.

After that succulent meal sleep was had by all. The following morning we awoke, had breakfast, and made our way to the ol' standby of the Route Buissoniere.

After that, beer was consumed. Potato Chips as well. We even showered.


Slow cooked Cod, with a smoked cheese sauce and spinach.

The next course was Steak and frites, but sadly I was so hungry I forgot to take pics.

By the time desert arrived, I was ready.

Beet root jelly with red fruits.

The morning after the night before, and everyone prepares for our return to the Wanne and the Stockeu.

Post Stockeu reward.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Books and covers

The Kabouter.

Half the race i was somewhere around him.

He drove me nuts.

When he was ahead of me, he was always a bit too much to the right, or the left.

I could never get past.

When he was next to me, my comfort zone was always breached.

When the peloton broke in half (thanks to Bunny's attack) he was on the wheel of the rider who couldn't hold the pace.

I was behind him.

For once i understood what the WK means when he says that it sucks to ride behind me.

No draft. Or so I told myself, when I was shot backwards.

Turned out he finished 4th.

Turns out he's a European champion in both the the road and time trialing, as well as world champ in the TT.

He's even the father of a pro.

Lesson learned (once again) - never judge a book by its cover.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


Spring is here.

The most beautiful word in the Dutch language - Voorjaarsklassieker - is in full effect.

If I was a smart man, I'd have the beers chilled, the doritos in the bowl, and the TV on tomorrow.

Thing is, I'm smart, but stupid.

No Ronde for me tomorrow.

The choice was simple: observe or participate.

I chose the latter.

In the rain as well.

Yep. Stupid.

Report tomorrow.

Perhaps with something about today.