Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Back at Home

I’m now back in Bend and back at school. It’s good to finally be home for a while and not be living out of a suitcase.

The race in Croatia didn’t go well for me as I pulled out on the final stage after 5 km after I got another vertigo episode. I also ran into trouble on stage one when I broke my steer tube and had to get a spare bike. Jacob however rode well finishing 16th on GC and top 20 on each stage.

Next up for me is some time off and maybe some cross.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ride with the Lion King and all his Safari friends.

The US womens team is racing here in Italy near the house so we went today to watch them, and it turned out to be one of the best rides of my life. We took the hilly way to the race which was hard but awesome. The riding here is amazing and the climbing is even better. After a technical descent we traversed across the valley and went up another climb to get to the finish. At the finish is where things got magical, while waiting for the race to come we saw the lion king him self (Mario Cipollini) riding up with his friend Jorg Jakshe. After I got my picture with Mario we went down the hill a little to get a better view of the race, there we saw Thomas Dekker and three other riders on team CSC. After watching the finish we headed back to Lucca, but it wasn't any ordinary afternoon ride, we were rolling and talking with Mario and all the other riders listed above, plus the womens team containing Kristian Armstrong who just won a gold in the Olympic time trial. It was by far the strongest group I have ever ridden with and it was sweet.

I will try to post pictures but it hasn't been working.
Living the dream from Italy with the lion king

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Giro di Basilicata

Seven hours south of Lucca just above the boot heel of Italy in Basilicata is
the home to the 3 stage 3 day race we did last weekend. The race started Friday
afternoon with a 107km road race with one good 15km climb in the middle and a
hard 3km finishing climb. I was in the days first big crash but came out
unharmed. Thankfully I was one of the last people in the pile up so i landed on
top of the others. After some hard chasing i got back onto the pack and found
out that both Jacob and A.J. were off the front. A.J.'s group was caught
shortly there after however Jacob was in for the long haul. Jacob survived the
whole day off the front and finished 4th and was winning the K.O.M. Nate was
aggressive later in the race and finished 5th. I came in 19th with the rest of
the team close behind.

Stage 2 was the queen stage with several hard climbs. Everyone made it over the
first climb together and in the lead group. The second and biggest climb of the
day was different, gaps opened and near the top everyone on our team but Jacob
was in the second group on the road. We never caught the leaders but Austin and
I put in a hard chase and finished only a minute behind Jacob. It wasn’t a great
day for the team after our strong showing on stage one, but the heat and lack of
water on stage one really drained us for the second day.

Stage 3 our plan was just to attack, attack, attack, and so we did. It was a
long 119km race and 20minutes in it began to pour rain which was off and on for
the rest of the day. The rain made for some slick roads and lots of crashes. I
was in a lot of different moves off the front but none were a success, going into
the final big climb at 30 I was blown, I got dropped out of the lead group and
soft-pedaled it to the finish in the pouring rain. Jacob continued to show great
form and took second on the stage which made the day a lot more worthwhile for

We arrived back in Lucca last night and will stay here until Thursday when we
will leave for Croatia for a nations cup race which has a much stronger field,
so hopping to rest up this week and try to carry any form I still have this late
in the year.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Well Italy is worlds away from the rough windswept roads of Belgium. My travels here went fine and I met up with Ben and all the other riders Monday morning in Milan. From the airport we had a three hour drive south to the town of Lucca which we will call home base. The house is the headquarters of SRM Italy and the home of the women national team for the US.

The riding here is amazing and you know just how good it is because Mario Cipollini and Bjarne Rijs both live next door. On our first ride we went to Pisa a saw the leaning tower of Pisa, which was one of the more historical things I have ever seen. Even though there is so much history of humanity everywhere it almost takes a back seat to the natural geographical beauty of the area.

The weather is awesome and I’ve changed from riding with leg warmers to riding with sun screen. It’s been a big change of lifestyle as well. Life here is deffently more about looking the look and walking the walk. The drivers are also another big change from Belgium, they aren’t as friendly to cyclist but this is still the best place that I have ever ridden my bike, the climbing is awesome.

Yesterday we did an long ride and we all would have bonked had we not stopped and grabbed a couple cokes, and it worked magic because we all made it home.

Below are some pictures but they don’t even really do justice to the actual beauty of the area, it is really something you must experience yourself.


Sunday, September 7, 2008

Racing bikes and……………Go Karts!

That’s right after spending too many nights around the house we decided to find some Belgian excitement. Wednesday night Ben, John and I drove to a near by town which has a movie theater and saw The Dark Night the new Batman movie. I was skeptical at first about paying 7.50 Euro to watch a movie that I might not enjoy, however it turned out to be one of the best films I have seen in a long time, and it was a nice change up from the standard routine.

The following day was a long and wet one and my motivation was low, so I figured that another rest day wouldn’t hurt. That night we got the erge to do something again, and on the back of our movie tickets from the night before was an advertisement and discount for two euros off go karting in a town just 10 km south of Izegem. Again the three of us got into the van and went out to have some fun. The karting track was home to the Go Kart World Championships earlier this year so we knew it was going to be challenging. The 17 Euro for 12 minutes of driving was a downer at first but once I got the jumpsuit on and went out on the track my heart started pumping ever so quickly. Once in the Kart I was ready to go, when I first hit the gas the kart went zooming away. The first few laps were scary as I got use to sliding and going faster and faster through the turns. Then 4 laps into it Ben who is a great go kart driver (I don’t know about his skills on the road he’s the one who put the van in the ditch) passed me up and then I was really ready to drive. From then on I got the hang of it and was getting faster every lap. Before I knew it the 12 minutes was up but the 17 Euros was well worth it.

Yesterday I did my final Belgian race of the year in Kooigem. A very demanding course with one good hill and a lot of wind. Things started splitting up from the gun, the combination of a strong cross wind section and then the climb made for some big gaps. Groups got away and I was to far back to make the split but got into a good group of five for the last 30 km. I finished 18th which wasn’t great but feel like I have some good form which I hope to carry over to Italy and Croatia.

Now I’m off to the train station where I will take a train to Brussels airport then a plane from there to Milan this evening.

I’ll keep you posted and will also try and keep the CMG junior blog updated as well. The link is at the top of my blog.


Thursday, September 4, 2008

some random photos

Brussels and The Climbs of Flanders

Yesterday I had the chance to go into Brussels and visit some family and friends. I first had lunch with my friend Romain and we caught up on all the racing that we both have done and talked about how the weather in Belgium is rough (he said he has only trained in shorts 4 times this year, every other time is with leg warmers). He is doing very well and getting ready for some big MTB races in France.

After eating I went to the house where I lived for nearly 10 months last year. I saw everyone in the family and it was funny to see how some things never change. We had a nice afternoon and then it was time for me to go back to Izegem. So I got on the train and headed back to the house where its just John, Ben and I because the under 23's left yesterday for the Tour de l’Avenir.

Today John and I went on a very ambitious ride. We rode down to the climbs of Flanders where the Tour of Flanders takes place. It was awesome to be riding the same roads that you see on TV but let my tell you that riding up the cobble climbs is not fun at all. You start every climb thinking your Tom Boonen but once your half way up you want to turn around and stop the painful assault. Anyway we had a good ride and the sun finally decided to shine in Belgium even though I still did the whole ride with leg warmers, a jacket and long fingered gloves.

After todays killer ride a walking around Brussels yesterday I think I'm going to take tomorrow easy before I do an other race on Saturday.

Living the dream

Monday, September 1, 2008

GP Ruebiland

After a seven hour trek through four countries the day prior (Belgium, Luxemburg, France, and Switzerland) we were in Ruebiland and ready to race. The race started and the insanity began. Quickly descending at over 70 km/h, I could tell it was going to be a crazy race. The roads were wide but because the race used such busy roads that there were cars randomly stopped in the left lane so you always had to ride with your head up looking at what was coming.

20km into the race I fallowed a move that went off the front with 5 other riders. We rapidly opened the gap to 20 seconds but didn’t get much more then that. The first sprint point out on the road was coming up at 42km so our group worked hard to keep the gap until there. We held off the pack and I took 3rd in the sprint, but our group was caught shortly there after. When I returned to the field I realized that two of my teammates weren’t there; Max, Evan, and Ian were all caught up in crashes. Ian rejoined the group but Max and Evan rode hard but couldn’t close the gap to the main field. About the time that my little group was caught a large group with 14 riders went clear of the pack with no Americans present. Once the group was gone it was gone, most of the stronger team had riders up the road so they didn’t want to chase.

Going into the finishing circuits which were hilly, the group up front only got more time. As we hit the hill on the final lap I moved to the front to try and get a good finish. I finished 33rd but 3minutes and 38 seconds behind the group that got away, but because I got 3rd on the sprint out on the road I got a 1 second time bonus and moved up to 18th on GC.

Stage 2 was a shorter 70 km race but had one hard switch back climb and a descent that could make you pee your spandex. The race was again fast from the start but there were not so many cars on the course which made it a lot safer. The first time up the climb was hard but the first time down the descent was jaw dropping. Thankfully I started the descent in the top 15 riders, because the first time we went through a hard turn I almost went over the bars. However I made it down safe the first time and before I realized we were on the climb again. This time I started a little further back at the start but by the top was in the top 20, two riders behind my teammate Marshall. When we got to the first switch back on the descent Marshall took it too fast and washed out his front tire in the dirt. I was just behind him so I saw it all. He just lost control and slid across the road. There was a Japanese rider behind Marshall who hit Marsh and went flying. I had just enough time to swing right around Marshalls out laid body and make it clear of the crash. However the scariest part was after I passed Marshall and the Japanese riders bike bounced along side me as I was just waiting for in to fall into me. It didn’t however because I didn’t crash. The final time up the climb I stayed in front and finished 13th on the stage but stayed the same on GC because the riders ahead of me had a lot of time in between.

Stage 3 was that after noon and was a short 7.7km time trial. I got to use a TT bike but it was a little to small. It was a fast course and I finished 5th just 2 seconds out of 3rd.

Stage 4 was Sunday and was another hard hilly stage. Despite all the climbing the group stayed together for the most part and I finished in the lead group in 32nd, and moved up to 17th where I finished on GC.

The race was a leaning experience for everyone. I will be staying around Belgium for another week then driving to Italy to do some more hard stage racing.

Everyone was fine after all the crashes some road rash but no broken bones.

Hope you enjoy Ian

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Return from Swiss

I just got back from Switzerland where we had some hard racing. I will post more tomorrow with some awesome photos. I will also he hanging around Europe for a little longer and joining up with some more juniors in Italy next Monday.


Monday, August 25, 2008

Starting fast

Below are some pictures from our race Saturday(and the ones of me on Sunday) which was the biggest we have done so far. It Started out fast as there were 25 teams of 6 riders. We all started in the back but quickly were able to work our way to the front. Ty was in the early group off the front which stayed away most of the day. On the second lap I got one of my vertigo episodes and had to dropout.

The rest of the team rode great. Everyone was very active and rode well against the strong Belgians. In the end 7 Belgians got away and the rest of the Americans finished in the field just a few seconds behind. Even though the results did show their strength, anyone of the US boys could have finished in the group that was off the front.

Sunday I took part in another race because I didn’t get much of a race in on Saturday, so Ian Moir and Evan Huffman came along and helped me in a smaller race just south of Brugge. Just like any race in Belgium it started off fast. The field wasn’t very big so it was hard to stay out of the wind, but there were enough strong riders who wanted to go to the front and make it fast. Half way into the 80 km race things started to separate and I found myself in the front group. With 3 laps to go a group of 5 got away then another group of 5 including myself broke away. We came close to catching the leading 5 but never did. I jumped out of the second group of 5 with 2km to go because I don’t have a great sprint and was able to hold them off and took 6th.

Out next race is tomorrow then Thursday we leave for Switzerland for GP Ruebliland.


You can tell how hard the races are because the looks on our faces during and after the race.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Crazy First Race

It all started as we were flying down a small back country road at 80 km/h and we saw another car coming straight on. Ben (our coach) swerved to the right to try and make some space so that we wouldn’t have to stop because the road was so narrow. Everything was good until we hit the ditch, it was so deep that the bottom of the van bottomed out and there was no way that we could drive it out. We quickly came to a stop and were leaning way to the right and I was sure that the van was going to tip. Ben tried to gun it but the van was stuck. We then climbed through the window to get out because the door was stuck shut.

After that we tried a lot of different things to get the van out such as; jumping on it, pushing it, and pulling it. When we realized that we were going to need some more horse power we called Els (the woman who runs the cycling house) she called up her neighbor how had a tractor and as fast as he could, drove it out to see if he could help. Meanwhile, we were all thinking about what we were going to do because we were going to miss the race.

Once the tractor arrived we thought we were saved, but the driver didn’t think it was possible for his vehicle to pull us out. Els then took out her phone and made a call to a local towing company who was soon on the way. The man arrived shortly there after and looked like he had seen problems like this a thousand a times before. To make the story short he winched the van out, and now it was time for us to decide if we still wanted to try and make it to the race.

Ben drove like crazy as we rushed to get to the race which started in only 30 minutes. We arrived and all jumped out of the car to get registered. When we went into the building where registration was held they had already taken it down, but when we told them that we were from the US and had the current national champion they opened it up again. But just because we registered didn’t mean we would make the race, we still had to; pin number, pump tire, get water, and get to the start. The race director thankfully delayed the start 5 minutes for us or none of us would have made it. And with out warm up the gun shot and we were off.

The race went well everyone was ridding strong and off the front at one point or another. Marshal flatted on the second lap and had to drop out, but other then that there were no problems. A group got away that none of us were in and stayed away, but Evan (current road national champion) finish 16th, I was 20th, and Max was 23rd. The rest of the racers came in behind and upright which is always good. Our next race is a big race tomorrow which should be very hard.

Stay tuned

Belgium summer in the fields of Flanders

While everyone in Bend enjoys the hot Central Oregon sun, I’m in Belgium riding my bike in the rain and gray skies of Western Flanders. The past two days while riding I’ve been wearing legwarmers, long fingered gloves and a jacket.

We have a strong team and everyone is getting along well. Yesterday we went on another epic Belgium ride however this time we got out of the flats and on a climb. We rode the Kemmelberg which is one of the most famous climbs in Belgium. Little did we realize that the climb wasn’t famous because of its rough cobble stones or its 20% grade but because what came after the climb, and that was the descent. On most of the other cobble stone climbs of the area the descents are paved and smooth, but not the Kemmelberg the downhill is just as hard as the up with its +20% grade and rough cobblestones.

After safely making it both up and down the Kemmelberg we made our way to Ieper to get some lunch. On our way there, we passed though cemeteries which were bedded with thousands of graves from WWI and the soldiers that fought there. In Ieper there was a huge arc which had the names of every allied soldier who died in the war. It was very powerful and humbling at the same time.

I will post again soon,

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Long Time no Update.

Well I'm back in Bend shortly before heading back over the pond to Belgium and Switzerland. The past month has taken me on many adventures and brought me some great results.

It started with the Cascade Cycling Classic right here in Bend. It's a home town race so I wanted to have a good race. I had a good time trial which lead me to eventually finishing 3rd on GC.

After Cascade I was looking forward to having a little down time before putting in one last final push before nationals. However plans always change and I got a last minute invitation to the Tour de L'Abitabi in northern Quebec Canada. I couldn't turn down the offer and quickly packed and got on a plane heading east. I was a long trip as I few into Milwaukee where I met the team and the got in a car and continued to head NW for twenty hours to get to the Small French speaking town of Val d'Or. The Tour de L'Abitabi is the largest junior stage race in North America and if not one of the Biggest in the World. Here there was a very international field of riders coming from countries such as; France, Japan, New Zeeland, Kazakhstan, and many more. The races where fast and dangerous, with large crashes happening all the time. I made the whole length of the race unscathed. I had another good time trial here which carried me to a fourth place GC finish. It was by far my biggest ever result and the most fun race I have ever done.

The time trial was the highlight of the race for everyone as we started 800ft under ground in a gold mine. I was a race that I will always remember just because of its wildness and scale.

Another twenty hour drive the long flight back to Oregon gave me time to rest and recover before my next big adventure, Nationals. This year the national championships were held in Southern California. Four days after I returned from Quebec I was back in a car this time heading south. My first race was the time Trial which was a course that suited me very well. I finished second seven second behind Adam Leibovitz. The next race was the Crit in which I rode at the front a lot trying to help out my other teammates. Jacob had a supper strong ride and finished fifth after being off the front earlier solo.

Then Sunday brought the road race, it went by fast as groups would go up the road and then get brought back. Finally I was off the front and it just happened to be the one that would stay away. It started with just three of us then more people bridged up until we had a group of seven. In the final sprint I died and took sixth, not as good as I believed I could do but there is always next year.

I'm off the Europe next Monday; I will update my blog as much as possible.

Talk to you soon

Monday, June 2, 2008

Back in bend

Well I'm back in Bend after a fun week of riding and racing in Portland. Yesterday I did the Silverton road race and it went well. I was pretty tired after the team time trial in which our CMG junior team took sixth overall. We were expecting to do better, but were happy with our time just the other teams went faster. I finished eight yesterday in Silverton, it was a good race but took me until the last lap to start feeling good. CMG got 1St,4Th,7Th 8Th and 9Th, so it was a good day for the team.

Next my fellow juniors and I will be getting on a plane a heading back to Kentucky for the worlds trials. I have one week here then we leave. Looking forward to racing with the county's best and seeing some friends from around the states.

I'll continue to update as we travel and race

Picture is from after the team time trial

Friday, May 30, 2008


I've been in Portland for the past week training and racing with the team. Its been great riding with the other juniors and getting to know each other. Next on the schedule in the team time trial tomorrow which should be hard and fun. We are doing a junior team and seeing if we can win the overall. You can vote for who you think will win over at the cmg junior blog (

Here are some photos of the race last weekend.

New Blog!

Hey check out the new CMG junior blog.

Its pretty sweet.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Mitchell Ride!!

This past weekend I did one of my favorite rides. We left early Sunday morning and drove to the small town of Mitchell about an hour and a half NE of Bend. There were eleven of us and it was a great group to ride with. The ride is only 66 miles, however you climb over 6,666 feet. It’s the hardest 66 miles that I have ever done. O.B.R.A was going to do a race on this very course earlier in the year however it was cancelled. I think this would be one of the hardest races in Oregon.

It was one of those rides that you will always remember. It was a beautiful day, and the scenery is awesome with the step valleys and canyons. The climbs are long and hard, plus there are few cars out on the roads. Its just a great ride.

Next on the schedule is the rehearsal road race, and following that I will stay the week in P town (Portland) with the Rathe’s and get in so riding with the team.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Good New!

Well I have some good news, my stomach is fine. I have some inflammation in the intestines; however the results for crohn's came back negative. I’m back on a gluten free diet and feeling better.

I did a race a little over a week ago and it went well. Next up is the rehearsal road race up in Woodland Washington. Training has been going good, and I should be riding strong here soon.

My next travel will be back to Kentucky for the world’s trials in mid June. I’ll be heading back with the other juniors on my team Jacob, Marcel, and Austin we are all riding well and should do great. I’m going to be in Portland for a week at the end of this moth to get in some team training and get ready for the team time trial with the other juniors.

I’ll keep you posted

Saturday, April 26, 2008


After lots of tests I found out that I have giardia. I was really surprised because I have already done the test four times and all have come back negative. I have even taken one course of the medication, but that still didn’t get rid of it. At least I know what it is and it’s treatable.

I’ll be going in for an upper and lower colonoscopy on the 5th, so looking forward to that. And earlier this week went in for an MRI because I’ve been having these strange headaches like vertigo and they started after a bike crash I had back in Belgium, so the Doctor wants to make sure that everything is alright.

Just to add to the list of doctor visits I had a problem with my achillies so was off the bike for about the 5 days earlier in the week. Today and yesterday I was able to ride and the weather was nice to everything is good.

I’ll keep you updated


Friday, April 11, 2008


The sun is shining in Bend and I’m loving every minute of it. Today I went out and did intervals on the TT bike and it was awesome to be able to ride in shorts and short sleeves. It was actually the first time all year that I rode in shorts and I even had to search though the closet to find the sunscreen.

The weather should be nice throughout the weekend, so I'll be out riding.

(I didn't see a lot of sun in Belgium)

See you on the road

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The beauty of Oregon

I made it home safe, and it’s good to be back.

Getting on the plane and leaving Belgium was the strangest experience I had felt on my whole exchange. Not only was I leaving behind Belgium, but also a new family and house that I had called home for seven months. It seems so far away now, but yet it is still so close, and I know that I will return someday.

The world is big and beautiful, but Oregon is one of the best places to be. When I got off the plane at PDX and saw Mt.Hood with all the other beauty Oregon has to offer I wondered why anyone would want to live anywhere else. The drive from Portland to Bend was awesome as we passed right next to Mt.Hood then entered the high desert. It was a drive that I have done so many times before and yet the first time I ever appreciated all the natural beauty.

Being home is great and yet mysterious. While I was over in Belgium I changed so much as a person, and so far from what I see, most of my friends haven't changed at all.

All in all it’s good to be back home with all my family and friends.


Sunday, March 16, 2008

24 hour Velo

In Belgium the boy/girl scouts are very popular for all, and this past Saturday over 150 scout groups gathered in Brussels for a twenty four hour bike race. Most of my friends at school and in scouts , so they asked me to come and do a few laps for them and I told them I would.

Saturday Harrison and I eventually found my friends and got ready to do a few laps. It was a great atmosphere surrounding the event. Some teams were going all out with racing bikes and bike clothes, while others slowly peddled their bicycle floats around. This however made the riding that much more dangerous, we saw lots of crashes, as kids would swerve to avoid the slower riders and come into the pit of a rider change.

I did a few laps and had a great time, and didn’t crash.

Last night we where having a BBQ with a fire out on the porch. We live on the top story of an apartment building and have a big balcony in the back. Eric (host father) had a big fire going to heat up some coals and burn some wood he had out on the porch. Harrison and I where sitting upstairs when we heard some sirens in the distance, but moving closer. We made a joke and said that they where probably coming here. As we saw the fire tucks turn the corner onto our street we realized that they were coming here. Shortly after the doorbell rang and two men came running up the stairs with full suits, masks, and airs tanks. Harrison and I were laughing pretty hard, and as we looked out on the street we saw the ladder truck getting ready to send a man up in the basket. The trucks were already hooked up into the fire hydrant, and a large group of curious people watched with anticipation. Soon after the fire men left and the trucks were gone, but not before I got a picture.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Coming Home!!!!

The rumor is true, I will be packing up and coming home. It's not all smiles, because I will be leaving my friends, family, school, and Belgium behind. It was not an easy decision to come to, but as many of you know I've been having digestive problems for the past 10 months. I have taken several test to detect for bacteria and allergies, but as of now all have come back negative.

My dad and step mom will be visiting from the 20th-30th of March, and I will be following them heading back home at the 2nd of April.

I have been in Belgium now for almost seven months and heading home in three weeks. Its hard for me to grasp, but the dates are set and the ticket is booked. Its not been easy telling my friends that I will be leaving so soon, but the memories that we had will be with us forever.

I'll keep you updated on my packing and such,

Its strange to say, but see you soon.


Monday, March 3, 2008

Belgium Road Race Round 1

Words have a hard time explaining the craziness of a Belgium junior road race. With a 147 starters, small roads and strong winds, crazy is expected.

Today’s race was in eastern Belgium north or Liege, in Flanders (Dutch speaking). I went to the race with my friend Romain and his father. It was an hours drive, but time passed fast with anticipation for my first race. We arrived and did the normal routine; register, prepare bikes, get dressed, and do a little warm up. Then they allowed us to start lining up at the start, which is always a nut house over here, everyone trying to get the best position, as though it matters for a 50 mile race.

The course was relatively flat with some very small rollers. A very strong wind was present and the roads were dry. The race started with one large 62km loop, then fallowed by four 5km laps that passed through the start/finish area. Out on course we road several cobblestone sections, but generally in Belgium the road conditions are not very good, and that proved true again today.

147 starters (the largest field I’ve ever started with) waited at the line for the gun to fire, and when it did there was no time to enjoy the view, as everyone was instantly in their 52x14 (going fast). This is where everything just gets crazy. Riders are jumping up on the curbs, pushing each other, cutting the corners through grass fields, is so crazy you have to be there to understand. I saw a kid jump up on the curb, ride through a grass field for 75 meters, the through some gravel, to cut the corner to move up to the front. It sounds crazy and it is, but that’s what it takes to get to the front of the pack.

I started near the front row, but was quickly dropping back as I watch rider after rider jump onto the sidewalk trying to move up. I drifted pretty far back before I realized that I needed to start working my way to the front. Its no easy task working your way to the front in a group of 147, but with time it can be done. I eventually saw the front of the race, and saw a few people try to attack so I went along. We were quickly brought back. I went back into the middle of the field and recovered there for awhile. I went to the front again and tried an attack with an another group, but was pulled back again.

We then were into the smaller loops, and I found myself again near the back. I was very slowly moving up, but the small roads and fast speed made it hard to reach the front. Going into the last loop the group was still altogether so I knew that things would start getting dicey for the finish. On the last lap I swear in almost every corner a rider went down. I had no chance of getting to the front, so I just played it safe and held my position in the back. Before I knew it we were at 200 meters to go, and I was grabbing my brakes. There had been a crash at the front and Romain was involved. I slowly picked my way through the carnage and rolled across the line. I have no idea as to where I finished, but somewhere near the back.

Romain landed hard on his wrist and was in a lot of pain after the race, so we packed up the bikes and headed home. They dropped me off at my house and the went to the hospital to get an x-ray. It turned out that he broke his wrist and will be in a cast for the next six weeks. I really feel sorry for him, he had a knee problem last year that kept him out for two months and this year this. But he’s a warrior and will be back.

I don’t know when my next race will be because I normally go with Romain, but hope it will be soon. My goal for the next race it to stay in the front, and never find myself in the back.

All in all it was a; fast, hard and dangerous race, covering over 50 miles in 2 hours. Our average speed was above 25m.p.h.

Till next time
Keep it real

Monday, February 25, 2008

Another awesome week!

I had another awesome week of riding and Belgium life. The weather was great all week and so was the riding.

Saturday I went on a group ride with Romain, Matt and Romains father. The sun was out and there was around 30-40 riders ready to rock. The first half was just tempo, but then things started heating up. Romain, Matt, Romains father and I started driving it up at the front, putting the hurt on the old guys. We eventually rode off the front and got a good pace line going. I felt great on the flats, I was just flying when I was taking pulls.

At the end of the ride we had a run in with a car. A car slammed on its brakes just in front of us and Romain and Matt both almost ran into it. I rolled on by just knowing that it’s a dangerous sport and we just have to be careful. Romain and the driver exchanged some words, then Romains father turned around to see what going on. The driver then bolted swerving into the other lane nearly hitting Romains father. Romain and his dad quickly turned around to chase the car, I slowly followed, but didn’t want to get involved. I thought that they were just going to get the license plate, but when I finally caught up I saw something I didn’t expect. Romain stopped right in front of the car so its couldn’t drive away, while his father smashed both the side mirrors and then went behind the car and ripped of the windshield wiper.

I was shocked at the steps they took to “get back” at this driver. I’ve been reading stories about other people and their problems with drivers on the road, and found that in the end, peace is the only way to win. If you enrage someone in a one ton car your shit out of luck. It’s a dangerous road out there, but with drivers that don’t like cyclist it’s a death wish.

Everyday but five, I have gone to school by bike. I take a busy street and often have close calls, sometimes people will honk or yell out their window and when they do I just flash the peace sign. I don’t want to fight anyone or make anyone mad, I just want to go to school on my bike without crashing. I love riding my bike and when I’m in the saddle its like heaven. Everything is peaceful and I’m loving every second, so when a car comes speeding by or has road rage I feel sorry for them that they are in such a rush and don’t take time to enjoy the moment.

Anyway, I should be going to my first road race next weekend with Romain. I think I have some alright form, but the level of racing here is high so will see.


Saturday, February 16, 2008

more photos

February in Belgium, Sun and Fun.

I finally had time to go to the electronic store to buy a new adapter. The weather has been so nice that whenever I have free time I’ve been out on the bike.

I have booked my ticket for my return, and will be coming home May 27th. I’ve almost been here six months and only have three left. I really cant believe how fast the time has gone. It’s passed so fast, sometimes I forget all the experiences that I have had here.

I will start racing road in March, and hope to get some good Euro experience and then come home with some fitness for the summer.

Below are some pictures of my recent rides, and me trying to get a Belgian tan.

Keep it real


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Quick one

Sorry that I have not posted in awhile, my adapter for my computer broke.

I have been doing lots of riding and the weather has been awesome. I will post pictures when I get a new adapter.


Saturday, February 2, 2008

Sun is shining, the riding is sweet.

Last night my friend Olivier, sent me an email seeing if I wanted to ride today, and I was planning on it, so I said sure. We met at 9am in a park equally neutral to both our houses and on the way out of town. It was a colder morning, but the sun was shining.

Olivier, had forgotten to take his asthma medicine, so we had to make a quick stop by his house. On the way there a man running asked for directions and as Olivier took his hand off his bars to point out which way, he hit some ice and went down. It was a slow speed crash, but his bike just went out from under him and he landed hard on his wrist. He, being a little shocked and in pain decided to just go home and if his arm felt better ride later.

I carefully turned around and decided that I would just keep on riding. It came across a few icy spots, but once it warmed up and I got out of town the roads were fine. I had maybe my best ride of the year, because I found some awesome new roads. My legs felt alright, but exploring the new area kept me going for 4 ½ hours. I think I may have even gotten a little sunburn, sweet!

Here are some pictures from the ride,
And the last one is Harrison my good Canadian friend and I repn’ our new rugby jerseys.