Friday, December 31, 2010

What's That?

Today was a down day, a good day to relax and take a short break from this bike racing business. I woke up around 10 which was really nice. I grabbed some breakfast and went out for a little cruiser ride to the bike shop to grab some stuff before I head home. I went to the grocery stuff to get those awesome belgian sweets. You have got to have your Speculoos and Honey Waffles. Then I came back and busted out a nice game of Monopoly with some of the junior racers, then relaxed for a while and tried to find out exactly what is going on with my bags that are still in London.
You know, originally I had some hope to get my bags before I left but now that I am leaving in 31 hours from now, I really don't think my bags are going to ever reach Belgium. As of right now I am going to start hoping that I can find them in London while on my 5 hour layover or they just make their way back to the good ole' US of A.
I got one of my bikes packed up into the smallest box I could make it fit into. I stripped the entire bike down and got it into a frame box. Awesomeness!!
The next thing I know I hear the dinner scream and it's time for dinner and there is this interesting looking pan of what looks like beef stew but it looks more like chicken rather than beef... Uhm, What's that?
That would be Rabbit.
Yeah that's Rabbit...
Really, Rabbit??

So we had Rabbit for dinner and I had a nice ham and cheese sandwich.

Common Sight

This is one of the all too common sights the house. An empty jar of nutella and crumbs on a plate, really sums up the down time at the house. Eat this stuff for breakfast, for lunch and even for dessert.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Loenhout Race Report

Oh man, back to one of the classics on the cyclocross calendar. Loenhout is one of those races that is always shown in videos and youtube clips and all the media. All of these races have some sort of landmark that defines the race but none as big as Loenhout. From the long stretches of leg numbing, tractor pull mud to the numerous flyovers and of course the famous washboard. This one is probably the most known race over here.
The race starts with a long, I mean long start stretch with a 90 degree left turn at the end. I got a great start, slightly anticipated the light turning green and was into my pedals quickly, then about 100 yards into the race I pulled out of my right pedal and went for a nice top-tube surf session. I got clipped back in and started charging. At that point I was towards the back, again. And really, the only place I could go from there is forward. So I picked up as many spots as possible and was moving up into top 65. It was a huge start field was easily 80 plus riders. SO I kept moving up as much as possible and we get to the washboard which is set of about 10 mid-thigh high rollers which have zero flow to them. They are straight up and straight down. I start out slow and by the end I can get some pretty good speed going. I end up passing a few more guys here and am now into the top 60. The next group had 3 euros and my American friend, Steve Fisher. I catch that group on the next lap and move past them and onto 1 lap to go. I had a clean final lap and finished in 54th. No too bad but it was a hard fought finish. I felt the best that I have felt so far this trip. So it was a good day in my book. Had fun, no crashes and a respectable result.
More to come, keep following.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Yo So Get This

So Get this.... When my bike bag and wheel bag actually arrived in Brussels last week and were delivered, the baggage carrier service marked that two out of three bags had arrived. They said that my clothing bag and bike arrived rather than the wheel bag and bike.. So for the last week they have been looking for a Zipp Wheel bag in London Heathrow Airport that is nowhere to be found because IT'S IN ANOTHER COUNTRY. Oh man, this has been an awesome experience!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Three "R's"

Today was a off day, no racing and really not too much riding. I went for an easy 30 minute spin on the rollers as I watched the mountain bike movie Follow Me for about the 50th time, yet it always makes me pumped to go for a ride. So I finished up my spin and then chilled until my first massage of the trip. That was super nice. Then had a nice dinner and a relaxing night. The three "r's" relax, recover and, and... okay only two "r's".
Tomorrow is Azencross which is in the town of Loenhout. This is a race that has been around for a long time and always has huge crowds and huge numbers of riders. I am looking forward to it. Thanks for following.

Diegem Race Report

I started out the day by getting an update on my bags... they are on a flight that was supposed to show up last night and I was to be able to pick them up at the airport today. So I leave with Geoff early to go to the airport to get my bags prior to the race. I get to the airport, go through security and get to the baggage reclaim area and talk with the customer service agent at the baggage counter. "I am sorry sir you bags didn't make it onto the flight from London Heathrow last night." You killing me smalls... another day with no bags.
So I go to the race and get ready. The course is a big sheet of ice and hard packed snow. The course in Diegem in basically in downtown Brussels and through this little medieval part of town. It is the most urban race on the calendar and it has a large amount of climbing.
The race was a fast start that files down into a narrow downhill back road that opens up to a sheet of ice. Luckily there were no crashes; For me it was a ton of running from the back to get past as many riders as possible. I just found a rhythm and tried to catch as many riders as possible throughout the race. I was doing great for most of the race until two laps to go I came into a corner a little to hot and down I went. It was a light crash and a pretty quick recovery. I got up quickly and started running through the u-turn and then remounted and caught the group again. I ended up finishing 57th and on the lead lap which is good. That is my goal with all of the races over here. Just gain as much experience as possible.

Here is a link to the last two laps of the Elite Race, it gives you a good sample of the course and how fast these guys go.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Zolder Race Report

This years World Cup in Zolder was indescribable. I honestly don't think I have come across a race that gave some many riders so much trouble. The course was ten times more challenging than the World Championships last year in Tabor, Czech Republic.

I started out by being the second to last call up and chasing all the way down the salted road start. In the first corner there was a big crash and was able to move up about 15 places and then had to run some a good amount of time and moved up a bit more then finally settled on the bike and was moving up. From there I just settled into a rhythm and tried to move up and catch as many guys as possible. I ended up finishing 35th which is respectable consider that I started at the back of about 60 guys. So I am definitely happy with the entire race and glad that I am getting better with riding in the snow. I think the other good part about the race is that I was probably one of the only ones who didn't go down. More to come with the race reports.
Kid Kaiser

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Broken in Belgium

On the pre-ride of the Zolder World Cup course on one of the descents, I went too far into the snowdrift and jumped off my bike, only to look back and see some belgian ass ride over my rear wheel and crash onto it. I heard a nice crunch and some swearing in Flemish and then he just rode off. Brand new tire and basically new wheel. Stay tuned for the race report.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Dinner

Tonight was Christmas Eve Dinner and I think they got the holidays mixed up because we had a full on Thanksgiving feast. It was nice to geteveryone out of the rooms and get to sit inthe living room/dining room. The staff bought everyone sodas so all of the riders were pretty happy. Once we were done having the christmas drink we sat down and had dinner.

The hot topic of discussion on the table was this Christmas Tree that Els had gotten from USA Cycling. Supposedly they received a package this past february and at the top of the box there was this tree sitting there and she thought it was some sort of joke... Ever since, the tree has been in the house and waiting for the Christmas dinner. Merry Christmas to all back home. I really wish I was there with you guys because as far as this house is concerned it is December 26th. We basically just passed right over Christmas Day.

Tomorrow is a race in Beernem and then the World Cup in Zolder so keep watching for more updates.

Friday, December 24, 2010


Finally, Finally my bikes arrived. Today about 5:00 they showed up at the door and it was the perfect gift on Christmas eve. The only that could have been better is if all of my bags showed up. I am still missing my clothing bag but bikes showed up so I am going to race a local race in Beernem as a warm up and opener for the World Cup in Zolder on Sunday. Zolder will be the first time I race the Big Boys over here cross the pond. The U23 race will be a fast one and I am super stoked to be reppin' the USA. The steads are prep'd

Podium Insight EuroCamp IntraSquad Race

Here is the story and some photos from our Wednesday Scrimmage that Lyne from Podium Insight came to. You probably can't recognize me because I am not wearing Cal Giant. Look for the Specialized Factory Race Kit.

Glad To Be Out Of The House

I have been having some complaints of not posting enough on the blog so I figured today is a good day to start. It was the second day that I have been able to get out of the house and go for a ride. Normally I am not super stoked about riding here in Belgium just because every direction you look is a boring road covered in cow stuff/mud. So the ride is cold and at the end of it you are covered in a word that starts with a "s" and ends with a "t". But after being locked in the house I was so glad to get out and exercise. We went to a nice spin to Kortrijk is our usual everyday ride. usually it takes no more than 30 minutes to get there but yesterday we went the most indirect way to get there and we made it about an hour ride. Once we got there we made a stop at the coffee shop and the waffle shop. Oh man, a nice, fresh, hot waffle tasted so good when it was below freezing yesterday. On the way out of town we came across this truck that probably shouldn't have been on this walkway due to it's weight and things didn't turn out so good.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

On The Road Again

Yesterday was an interesting day. The three of us that don't have any bags decided that we would go to Brussels Airport to see if the bags we there and we just hadn't been contacted yet. In order to get there we had to take the vast belgian train system(not sarcastic), this thing is amazing how it all runs smoothly. We started in Izegem and slowly made our way to the airport. We got there and no bags...BUMMER!!!!!!! So we headed back and on the way home we went to the wrong train station and it was not the bestone to stop at... Quick take this train and Izegem is the second stop. So after being slightly worried about where we were everything got back on track.

Today, the Cal Giant / Specialized Rider Support was HOOKING IT UP and got me dialed with a box of goods and finally allowed me to get out and really ride. We had a little intrasquad scrimmage race and man it was fun. I am missing my BG Fit but it's all good. Man I have been super stoked all day. Thanks Again to everyone that made this happen and I am looking forward to getting to race!
Kid Kaiser

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Just Another Day in Paradise

I am living the dream over here in Belgium. HAHA... NOT!!!
I have tried ever which way to contact British Airways and the baggage carrier and still no reply. The airports are closed and causing a complete shutdown of everything.

There is some hope of flights coming out of London Heathrow tomorrow but we shall see. I am getting tired of wearing the same clothes day after day. Maybe tomorrow will be good?


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Oh What A Day(s)

So the travel day started out well and only went downhill from there. So my travel day started in Sacramento with a Southwest flight from Sacramento to Denver. From there I grabbed my bags and boarded a British Airways flight to London Heathrow. That was the easy part. Once I landed in London I got through Security by 9:20 and was supposed to board a flight to Brussels at 12:50. Then it started to snow, the flight was delayed until 1:35, then until 3:00, until 4:45, then until 6:00. We finally boarded the plane at 8:30. Since the plane was delayed so long and the airport was closed for so long that 60 planes had to be de-iced so we sat on the runway for two hours. I finally took off at 9:45 and arrived in Brussels by 11:00.
From there I go to the baggage area to claim my bags and I find out that all three of my bags have been lost somewhere between Denver and Brussels. Great, now the hour and a half drive to Izegem. I finally get to the house by 1:30am on Saturday and started on Thursday. Oh man what a day or two days or three days!

Keep following for some more funny stuff and hopefully good new on my bags.
This was the amount of snow in London Heathrow, Hardly anything.