Saturday, 6 April 2013

snapshots from the frozen north

mostly written on trains:

Today has been a bit of a scramble so far. A breakfast which was far too casual and included plenty of speculoos. This was followed by two people trying to adjust two bikes in a room built for 1 person and no bikes. Then A long and fruitless search for wifi to find out where the race was and how to get there, rushed packing of clothes into bags and  a scramble across town in our street clothes to get to the cancelled train. A rapid rijstart before the next train. Then  we got on one train then another train, where we occupied the toilet in order to affect a superma like costme change. At some point during this Jordan affected an un superman like arse-emergency in which his arse fell upon the emergency button triggering an alarm. the alarm triggered a half dressed Jordan to flee the toilet fearing he had caused an emergency stop. he hadn't but he did give the queue for the toilet a surprise. After this we arrived at Aalst where we proceeded to get lost, my flemmish was just good enough to get us directions, from someone who had no business giving them. Fortunately we found a car with a Satnav and make it to the race 15 minutes before the start, breathing a sigh of relief, we signed on took our numbers and realized we had no cash to pay. 

Luckily some kindly dutch bloke covered us and we managed to make it to the line in time to slot into the rear of the 278 (yup that's not a typo) rider field full of shivering skinny boys, bearded hardmen and one nutter in a short sleeved skinsuit who had seemingly bathed in embrocation. And then we sat there for 15 minutes shivering more, and wondering what on earth that nutter was doing in short sleeves. 

After a bit of neutral zone nonesense in which at leas two guys fell over due to the sheer muppetry which is Belgian people negotiating corners on bikes. After this we rode around in cricles for a while, always making sure to slow down to 10kph for the corners. At some point i decided it would be a good idea to use the raised pavement to move up and then sidehop back in, It wasn't and the guy i nearly landed on got a bad case of the "weebles" (he wobbled but he didn't fall down) unfortunately he did leave an enormous crevasse of a gap and it couldn't overcome it with a hipsling. But on the plus side i got to mobilise my Flemmish swearing, it's been a while. After rolling a few ronde in the comedy group i pulled up  in time to watch Jordan's crank fall off with 2 laps to go and ride back to the station where we caught a train filled with an entire troupe of girl guides. Instant novelty status ensued. 

Sadly we're back after all the shops are closed and that means frites for dinner. such are the privations of bike racing. 

more manana, in my little bursts of internet connectivity.