Thursday, August 24, 2006


It's raining. It has been doing that a lot of late.

Nevertheless, you can still do things when it's wet. Like replace your groupset with the new one you bought while riding out to Balegem to race on Monday, except that it was raining hard so you continued down to Aalst, home of Van Eyck Sport. 'You' can be substituted for 'I' in this case. Don't ask me what case it is.

Anyway, if you (not I) need tips on installing Ergopower levers and the special Campagnolo chain with the link pin that ensures you (I) will bugger it totally when putting it on, then please do not ask me. Or them. It works a treat now though.

Due to weather and other shenanigans, I have done a grand total of three races since Feb. I hope to expand that by a few more, but it ain't easy. Tuesday - a rare dry day - I went to Wippelgem for 14 laps of an 8 km circuit. It looked like we had 29 starters until the Kingsnorth team turned up en masse with 10 mins to go after getting lost, so we ended up with 45 starters.

It was a relatively easy affair, despite the presence of Mssrs Willems, Cocquyt, Goncaras, Strole and Baeyens. They were paying three deep in each prime, but the best I could do was fourth as Willems cleaned up most of the early ones with Baeyens. After a bit, we caught them and I think at about halfway, the five hitters mentioned above cleared out with Matt Smith and a couple of others. We chased them hard for 4 km and they put 30 seconds into us anyway, so there wasn't really much point after that.

Poor old Matt got worked over by the 'mafia' in the break and eventually dropped out with another guy, and we caught them on the last lap. By this stage, we had reduced our group to 13 by means of a lotta attacking with about 4 laps to go. The trick to getting into the break is to go with every single attack, which I did. It's only pain. Unfortunately when it came to the sprint on the last lap, I no longer had the necessary legs. I couldn't even follow the leadout so 19th was the result.

Tip: Do not save one day old energy drink mixed with tea for the next day. There is no point, especially as the energy drink was free. The stomach pain was not worth it and I ended up doing the whole race on one bidon. I had to have several beers with Reinhard and a couple of other mates to settle things down, and also found a good Thai place here.

Other amusements

Speaking of Reinhard and a couple of mates, we went to Amadeus in the Patershol last week, which has all you can eat ribs for about 15 euros. I wasn't hungry enough and only managed two slabs of ribs, but Justin (GumNut), who was staying with Reiny, ate five. That is a lot of pig.

In other other happenings, I managed to squeeze in a trip to Brugge last week (crikey that was a busy week) with Michael, Sarah and Holly from either Belgium or Edinburgh or both. It was fun and I have pics to prove it. It didn't even rain much.

Spot the tourist
© Jeff Jones

Brugge is very pictureskew
© Jeff Jones

A headless horse. These are rare.
© Jeff Jones

One of Brugge's noice squares or rounds
© Jeff Jones

Quo vadis?
© Jeff Jones

Michael, Sarah, Holly
© Jeff Jones

Choosing one/two/many ice cream flavours.
© Jeff Jones

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