Monday, July 27, 2009


The trip was interesting to say the least, when I got to Brussels Midi/Zuid I found out the europass is not really worth anything so I had to pay full price for a ticket from Brussels to paris, and then agin from paris to Geneve, but the rest of the trip was covered. I am very glad that I decided not to go to the tour de france stage the next day because paris Nord station was enough of a crowd for me I could not imagine what TDF would have been. Paris to Geneve was a good trip however it was all rolling hills and was not that spectacular, but what was about to come was sheer beauty. I would say that the train ride from Geneve to milan was the best train ride that i have ever taken in my life, but it was so much more. It was like I was on a magic carpet, dramatic views all over the place, cool little towns, and passing into italy people started speaking italian and it was a truly an amazing experience.

Milan to Padova was interesting, not much to see because it got dark soon after we left the milan station, upon arriving in Padova our train was late 30 min so I missed the last train to Feltre. I was in for a long night in the Padova station. I fell asleep for a second at about midnight, and then woke up at 1 to a police man kicking my foot, he told me I have to go outside because the station is closing until 4am so I moved outside where there was no possibility of sleep because of the drug dealer and other shady people walking around. In the morning I was going to catch the 6:00 train to Feltre but it was actually the 6:50 train because they decided not to run the 6:00 train. I could hardly enjoy the view on my way there because i was so tired from the night, so I got about 2 hours of sleep on the train. When I arrived at Feltre I was asleep and the guy next to me woke me up, so in a panic I got off the train and forgot the camera. I went to the train station window and asked if the camera could be put on the return train and the guy had to see if the train
conductor could find it, so I went on my first tour
of Feltre.

I knew that my family had been waiting for me last night so I felt really bad when I didn't show up, so I walked up to the shops that they own in Feltre to see if any would be open it was a chance in hell because it was sunday. when none of them where I went back to the train station to see if they had found the camera, when the stationer gave me the thumbs up I was realived because all the picture from my trip where on it. After I got the camera, I started to walk back to the center of town with the intent of taking as much pictures as I could, I only got about 500 meters when a truck pulled up next to me, it was Anna and Christian. I had arrived, and found my family, it was more than I could have asked for.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Journey Continues

Belgium has been good to me over the past two months, I have learned a lot, and raced a lot, but I must continue my journey through Europe. I came here to race my bike, but as Belgium has worn on me I have realized that this season has been long already and its about time to take some time off the bike. I have decided to take a month and travel around europe, I have not seen my family in the northern veneto region of italy in many years and it is about time for a visit, I am leaving from belgium tomorrow morning bright and early. Getting on a train to paris, then on to Geneve then onto Milan and then finally to Feltre, where I will be arriving at midnight, looks like I will be sleeping in the train station for a while.

I will stay in Italy for two or three weeks and then return to belgium for a day then head up to Amsterdam, just to say I went. then back to belgium and by then I will be returning home on the 26th of Aug, this leg of my adventure was a decision to clear my head from cycling for the rest of the season, if you let it build up it can be an overload. since I have made the decisuion not to take the bike and everything that entails, I have been much more excited about the trip and the weight feels like it has been lifted now I can go travel, no rules and have some fun.

I will be leaving tomorrow with a 20lb backpack and a camera bag on the third stage of this trip to Europe, this is my vacation!

Thursday, July 9, 2009


after two weeks of really hard solid racing im going to be taking a very large break for the next two weeks, there will obviously be a few long days and a few races, but for the majority of this time coffee shop rides will be the norm. over the next two months I also plan to stay very focused in my training, this means little chocolate, no snacking and good quality training. The tour will help me over the next three weeks to accomplish this, after that I have asked my girlfriend Alyssa to keep me focused. The reality has hit me in the past few days, this stretch of my career is the most important and if I can take it for all it is worth, and get my head straight then, I will be on a much faster track to the european pro scene.

Things have been starting to look up lately good weather(except the last two days), and good company, TDF is on TV live everyday, all these things have motivated me to be the best i can be. hopefully this attitude will transfer over to when I am racing, im hoping that the better I feel in general the better I will race, which is generally how it works, so we will se if the form starts to come around.

It has really boiled down to a simple truth, Belgium is a HARD ass country to live in, and Im doing the hardest sport in the world, so its not about anything but surviving in this country as a cyclist, when you survive then you make it. It is such a HARD sport mentally an physically that only champions survive, lots of people fail, stick to it and ride till you can't anymore and good things will happen.

Saturday, July 4, 2009


Today I did a race in Melle right by Ghent it was a 1.12A race which means its a little longer than a regular kermis, at just under 140kms it was a very hard race for a kermis but it had all the big teams there so it was ridden like a Interclub. This race differed from a regular kermis because it was a lot smother through the corners and just a constant fast pace, quality of racing. so the race was supposed to start at 230 and then the organizers decided to delay the start for 15min for whatever reason, I don't know. When we finally started I was trying to stay at the front as much as possible but in some of these races it is impossible to start at the front, I lined up at the line and crept up as people kept coming in and we where probably 10 meters in front of the line and still 40 back in the peleton, its is crazy at the start. the race started somewhat tame, about halfway through the first lab the pace started to pick up considerably, but we had yet to get to full throttle. laps 2-6 where however where fast, with the occasional hot lap, or full gas lap. laps 7 & 8 where relatively easy and then the last two laps where full on, good quality racing for a kermis thats for sure. I ended up getting caught behind a crash on the last lap so a young kid and I rode in by ourselves in front of a group of about 40-50, and I ended up about 60th of about 130 finishers so not too bad at all.

That race however is just the beginning of a very long weekend, last weekend we did 4 races in a row and this weekend I will also be doing the same, this weekend however will be harder because of the quality of racing. MELLE was today, tomorrow we go 8ks north to ZOTTEGEM, then Monday we go 8ks east to NINOVE,and those three races are all kermises, then finally we have a race only 2ks away from the house to wrap it all up in LIERDE, and that is a local race. I expect to be so nuckerd after tuesday that I might have to sleep for two days straight, for the next two weeks I will have a lot of rest and coffee shop rides, after that I should be on the best form yet. It is truly amazing how much racing there is in this country and how much racers can develop here, I truly think that Belgium is the worlds cyclist factory.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


I have been doing a lot of races lately, the past weekend I raced all weekend and did about 400 miles in five days, including the races. so my form should be coming around soon, I was feeling very strong in the past few races that I have entered, however im trying to recover from an infection that I got from crashing a few weeks ago. I spread throughout my leg and I broke out with pimples all over my lower leg, with the help of tea tree oil and clay I have managed to clear up about 80% of it in two days however. So I am going to race again today, just for training i have no expectations unless I find myself in the break halfway through the race then I might gain expectations. I know all this racing will benefit me in a few weeks, I should be flying when it comes time for some of the big tours in July and August.

the weather has been unusually nice for Belgium, it has not rained for a few weeks now (knock on wood) and shows no sign of rain on the weather forecast, so lets hope it stays this way it is great for the tan lines. the hardest thing with living in Belgium is watching how much you eat, on the sunny days, after training it feels like you have burned enough to eat a lot, which you have but the sun is up until about 11:00 so you continue to snack until late. and on the rainy days it is hard to stop eating because there is a lack of things to occupy yourself with. it is a deadly cycle, basically all there is to do is eat, sleep and ride which sounds all dandy until about your second week here, then it starts to get really really boring, oh well living the dream.