With a 2-day stop in Belgium I quickly met with my Belgian team managers and was able to pick up my sweet new kit before flying to Girona, Spain. I’ve been here a little over a week now and have enjoyed some solid training, it’s about time! With school in the fall, holidays and wedding planning, it didn’t leave a lot of time to be had on the bike. The weather wasn’t all that grand to boot, but I’m singing a different tune now.
|Beer and cycling go hand in hand, right?|
It feels good to be back on the bike and preparing for the season. For those of you who don’t know, this year is going to be slightly different. I’m riding for a Belgian team called Sprinters Malderen until June, and then racing for Trek Red Truck for Nationals and our sponsors favorite “ BC Superweek.” This year I’ll have a very full calendar with my first race being Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on February 23rd to start the season. It’s going to be a tough year, but gains will be had!
Unlike BC, where it is perpetually raining, and the roads are always being cleared of oil and gas, in Girona it rarely rains and when it does it’s very minimal, just enough to bring the oil to the surface of the road to create an icy effect. In simpler words, cycling on damp roads in Spain is a lethal combination.I experienced this from a stand still preparing to turn left at an intersection. I went to make the corner from zero to maybe 10ks an hour and my rear wheel slid out as if I were on ice. Lying there in the middle of the intersection I thought, “Wow, I did not see that coming, how did that just happen?”
With 3 hours of my ride still remaining, I got up, brushed myself off and continued on. I was pretty bruised and sore, and so was my ego. No one likes to crash during a training ride, despite how easily it can happen in Girona.
|It's time to train!|
|One of many local climbs|
Sundays in Girona are quiet. All the shops are closed and almost everyone is enjoying a day off. It’s a day for family and food. It is very cultural to escape to the country and have lunch or dinner at a family restaurant. To paint a picture, it is not what a typical North American would expect a restaurant to look like. The restaurants are normally located in a very quite area surrounded by countryside, and are in what looks like a normal house. In most cases it is the families home and work place.This is how many Catalan families spend their Sundays, in the country eating and socializing. That’s just what I did with a group of 12 the other day, my make shift family for the time. We spent close to 5 hours eating and socializing, dish after dish. We enjoyed all of the local treats; snails, shrimp, cured meats, fresh tomatoes and garlic on freshly baked bread. It was a great experience, and so delicious. I can’t say I’ll make it a habit, I probably ate enough for 10 lunches!