Saturday, October 27, 2007

France.

I was invited yesterday to go to France for six days to an island, so I'm off. It's in the middle/south off the coast in the Atlantic, so today will be a long 9 hour car drive, but will be well worth it. I don't know if I'll have Internet, but if I do I will post pictures and let you know whats going on.

Live
Ian

Monday, October 22, 2007

Kalmthout, Cross Crazy!

My trip began at 7 A.M. Saturday morning. I had to catch the 8 o'clock train for Izegem in order to give my papers to Geoff before he left for race registration. I figured I had to leave the house at about 7:30 to have time to ride to the train station and get my ticket. As I grabbed my bike to leave the house I noticed that I had a flat. I didn't have time to fix it so I just pumped it up and hoped that it would hold. I made it to the station with a little air left in the tire. The train went fine and I arrived in Izegem on time.

At the house I meet up with Geoff and Ryan (Geoff Proctor is the USA cycling cyclocross coach and Ryan Trebon is the current US cyclocross champion). Geoff went to Kalmthout to get all the US athletes registered, while Ryan and I just hung around the house and then went for a ride. I cooked some spaghetti for Ryan and myself then it was off to bed for a good nights rest.

Sunday morning I awoke at 6 A.M. then left at 7 for the race with Geoff, two mechanics, and two of their friends. It was an hour and half dive to the course, which is only 10 km from Holland. We were a little rushed for time, so everyone was busy doing their part to help. I got dressed and went out to ride the course.

The course was awesome. here are some pictures.




There was an extra cross bike my size at the Izegem house so they let me use it for a spare. The brakes on my bike don't work so well so I was planning on using the spare, but while in warm up I broke the seat post so I was left to ride my normal bike.

The race was filled with strong riders, the only teams allowed in for the junior race were national teams. The counties represented included: Belgium, France, Great Britain, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, Poland, Italy, Czech Republic, and myself racing for the United Stated. Each country got a front row starting spot and since I was the only American that was me.

From the minute the gun shot it was pure craziness. There was about 100 meters of pavement before a hard left hand turn onto a small trail, so riders were fighting hard for position. I went into the turn in 20Th place, so you can see how crazy it was. The first third of the course was open and fast, so there were spots to pass and move up (for me move back). The course then went into a tight single track section with two different sets of stairs, at the end of the section was a very tight "s" shaped single track (I lost a lot of time here). By the end of the first lap I had gone from the front row to the very back. I rode hard but my legs just didn't have it, and I lack the technical skills needed for cross. I kept riding hoping that my legs would come around but they never did, I passed a few people that had bike problems, and thankfully didn't get lapped. I was the last finisher,in 41st place. After my race I was completely demoralized, I thought I would never do a cross race again.

But, after watching the pro race my perspective changed. It made me want to race cross more then ever, plus I realized that this was only my second cross race, and I was racing against Europe's best. The pro race was by far the best bike race I have every seen live. Those guys race like they're on pavement, they are going 35 kph thought the turns. I had a huge smile on my face during the whole race.

The atmosphere was electrified, it's like a NFL football game in America. there was a jumbo tron (huge TV), food and beer gardens every where and at least 15,000 spectators.





I will keep training and well I might not enter another World Cup for a while I will be out there doing some smaller races.
here are some more pictures for the race.







Hope you enjoy
Ian





this is a video I took. If this doesn't work it is also on you tube, I will add more soon


http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Kalmthout+cyclocross





video

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Kalmthout Report.

didn't have a good race but had a great time. i will do a full report tomorrow. here is a video i took.tomorrow Ian

Friday, October 19, 2007

Off to the World Cup

I'm leaving for Izegem, Belgium to meet up with Geoff Proctor and Ryan Trebon so we can pick up our numbers and info for the race tomorrow (Sunday). I will take pictures and update my blog after.

Talk to you soon
Ian

Monday, October 15, 2007

Root canal!!

That's right, since my bike crash three or four weeks ago my tooth has been changing color. I first noticed the black tooth about two weeks ago, I waited awhile to see if it would heal its self, but it never did. Once I knew that I would need to see a dentist I told my host father, but the problem was that I didn't have any insurance. After contacting some Rotarian's and with the help of my parent, I had a root canal today. It wasn't painful so that was good, but I have another root canal in two weeks to fix the tooth.

Now, I will start to focus on the Cyclocross World Cup race in Belgium this Sunday in which I will participate as part of the US national team. I'll give it my all, and update you on my experience.

Keep it real
Ian






Friday, October 5, 2007

Great weather, Great riding.

The past two days have been spectacular, the weather here is awesome, for the moment.

Today was my first Rotary meeting and it was good. All the Rotarian's are very nice and the food is zesty. I have no big plans for the weekend, I was going to do a race but I don't have my wallet and racing licence. I didn't say this in my last blog because I didn't know yet, but last weekend at the race in De Pinte I forgot my folder which contained my wallet ( 60euro, credit card, and my social security card) and my passport. I left it in the locker room after the race and didn't realize I forgot it till the fallowing morning when I couldn't find my wallet. I had no contacts of the race organization, so I just had to wait to see if someone trustworthy had found it. Thankfully a member of the clean-up crew found the folder and I should get it by Monday. It just goes to show shit happens, but it all turns out ok in the end.

Ian
Some pictures of my ride today.