Saturday, December 25, 2010


We have a spent a little bit over a week at the EurocrossCamp in Belgium. It has been very cold, around freezing the whole time. On the rides the roads are either slushy, getting really wet, or super icy, making it hard to stay upright. We have spent time preparing for racing either at the house or out riding.

The first two races I did in Belgium were last Saturday and Sunday. The first race was a local race on an icy farm field and the second race was the Kalmthout World Cup race near Antwerp. On Saturday’s race most of us from the Eurocross Camp had enough UCI points to be called up to the front row. I had a great start and lead the race in the beginning; then I had a mechanical and dropping back a little to finish in third place. At the World Cup, I was called up in the 3rd row, didn’t have a great start but I had a blast in the race. I finished in 44th place, the first American. It was really fun racing with people from all different countries, an orange Dutch guy there, a small blue, red, white French guy there. Fighting against the best of all the different countries. The course was fast, icy, muddy and hilly.

Today is Christmas Eve, we woke up at 8:30am and went for a ride. I did a prep ride along the canal in town. The canal has a pretty cool bike path, but it’s icy and slippery which, is actually great cyclo-cross training combining handling and power. This afternoon there was a trip to the Tour of Flanders Museum. Today we had a special Christmas Eve dinner with the table set very nicely. Some family of the people who are in charge of the house joined us for food and it was a good time. We had a toast (only an Aquarius orange drink for us; champagne for the staff), dinner, and cake for dessert.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Belgium Update

Today marks the one week anniversary of my adventure here in Belgium. Im going to use this post to list the most interesting things that have stood out from my trip thus far.

1). Raced my first race outside of the U.S.
2). Raced my first World Cup
3). Bumped elbows with a Belgian in a World Cup
4). Crashed in my first world cup
5). Ate Speculoos
6). Had my first Belgian pastry
7). Got completely lost on a training ride
8) Tried white Asparagus.

Everybody on the team has their bikes now, and we were all able to pasticipate in the training race. While none of us won and got of the chores we all had a good time, and it was nice to mix up the training a bit.

I did notice some cool Practices here in Belgium that the US should adopt. The coolest thing is the recycling. The Belgians have really got this down. It really to see how much they care about the recycling, and how much the people here do it. Another thing is grocery bags. at the grocery stores if you want a bag you have to buy a reusable one, and most everybody brings bags to the store to reuse. I know I know "they have this already in the states" you say but the the difference here is that the ALL the Belgians reuse their bags, and its comes naturally to them. Anyways its dinner time now, but I will leave with some pictures.
Screen at the World Cup
World Cup Kalmthout
Riding along trail the canal
My Bed for two weeks
One Of the Team USA vans

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Snowy Daze

The whole team arrived last week safe and sound. Bjorn Zane and Kolben safely navigated the Wold Cup in Kalmthout which is a tall order for the second race in Europe.We are looking forward to a little bike scrimage tomorrow with the whole EuroCross Team tomorrow.

Unfortunately no bikes for me yet, but I will have a CX bike to borrow tomorrow and hopefully trusty steads arrive soon. This is is supposedly the biggest snow event they have seen since WWII, they don't plow road hear and the Belgians don't really know how to handle the snow. Flights keep getting canceled because the planes don't have any de-icer which is being delivered but the trucks are stuck on the roads which aren't plowed.

Wings of airplanes curve a when they don't have any more petrol

New Training Bike, note that side walked is plowed better then the road

One Whole Gallon

Check Back soon

Mitch Hoke

TEAM CLIF BAR is working to fight climate change