Monday, June 23, 2014

Belgium...The Mecca of Cycling

     While in Belgium, at "The Chainstay," with fellow teammates from Team Rokform Junior Development, I will be attempting to keep an active blog. However, a majority of this depends on a variety of factors. I am going to take the no excuses, get it done approach while taking in Europe and not leaving my face behind a laptop screen for extended periods of time. I am planning to post short bits of written information with mainly photographs. Enjoy!

Sunday
     Sunday, June 22nd was arrival day in Belgium. Myself and four other teammates landed in Brussels, during the morning. However, our bodies believed it was nine hours earlier because European time is much farther ahead of the time zone in America. After landing in Brussels, we met with Michael Shein, Will Doyle, Jozef, and Gregg, our host at "The Chainstay." After such an inviting welcome, I knew that the trip was going to be well organized and stunning.
     The first day at "The Chainstay" consisted of bike building and some exploring to the east of Oudenaarde, Belgium. I had a blast and it was outstanding to finally be in Belgium with six other teammates (five others from American and one from New Zealand). The ride consisted of cruising around and we tackled the "Koppenberg." Please enjoy these pictures from Sunday.

Viewing a local kermesse.
Riding on the "Koppenberg."
Monday
     Monday began with a late wake-up call. We left the house mid-morning to go grocery shopping. Grocery shopping is difficult when you do not speak the local language. However, we got it done.
     Lunch consisted of a quick sandwich with phenomenal Belgian bread, ham, and mustard.
     After a lazy morning, a few of us went out for a ride. Michael, Mike (another man at "The Chainstay"), Elijah, Tom, and I rode to a kermesse about thirty kilometers from home. Michael and Mike were competing in the race, along with a few friends. Elijah, Tom, and I watched the first lap before cruising home. The ride took us east, about halfway towards Brussels. It consisted of rolling through beautiful countryside, plenty of cobblestones, road furniture, and road construction.
     I am typing this post after a spaghetti and meat sauce dinner prepared by two teammates. Belgian chocolate followed and it proved to be outstanding. It absolutely lived up to the hype. Elijah and I were on dishes duty tonight. The night is ending, in a quiet manner, and I am looking forward to posting again soon.

River crossing.
"Lindor" cycling shop.
Belgian bike shops are serious. 


Watching a few friends at a kermesse.