Friday, August 22, 2008

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,

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