The count so far
1 Bottom Bracket
3 Rolled Tubulars
6 Tubes Rim Cement
1 Rear Rim
1 Cassette Body
2 Road Tires
3 Prs Brake Pads
Many Brake & Shift Cables
That's all that I can think of right now. I'm going through so much equipment it's unbelievable. And I'm just using cheap stuff. Some guys are using Zipp or FIR wheels, 120 Euro custom tires and Dura Ace 10spd drivetrains. Multiply all that by 3 race bikes and that's a lot of gear.
My normal race day routine involves throwing all my crap in the van, driving 1-2 hrs to the race, changing into riding clothes, freezing my ass off doing some recon laps of the course, freezing my ass off washing my bike, changing into my second set of race clothes and shoes, freezing my ass off eating, freezing my ass off warming up, trying to communicate in Flemish/English/French/whatever to make sure that my spare bike gets to the pits and there's someone to take my clothes at the start, freezing my ass off 15 minutes before the start in the corral, racing for an hour if I'm lucky (or unlucky, depending on the day), freezing my ass off warming down and finding all my crap, sharing a shower with a bunch of other guys, then trying to find out which smoky bar I should pick up my money at. Oh yeah, and trying to find out where doping control is so that I can find out whether I need to test or not. I would think that I's pretty obvious that I don't need to be tested, but rules is rules. Then everything gets chucked back into the van and hopefully I'm not racing the next day, then I don't have to freeze my ass off cleaning my bike at 8.30 in the night. Fun right?
I did a race in the town of Luxembourg this past Sunday; pretty cool town built on some really steep river valleys with lots of old towers and walls and stuff. Unfortunately I was too busy playing at being a bike racer to check much of it out. This was an international A2 cat. race, which means that the competition is supposed to be tops, but the prize money not as good as an A1. Luckily there was a World Cup on in France, so the big guns weren't all there. Don't tell anyone though. This was by far the coldest racing day yet. Lots of frost on everything, and the race course was frozen solid. It was nice of the sun to come out and melt all the fast corners into slippery mud for us, cause I really don't mind breaking my neck. When we raced it was probably -3 or so, but I was tough and raced without legwarmers. True Belgian style. A fairly uneventful race from my perspective, I mean I didn't have any near death experiences and my tires stayed on for once. Either I'm learning how to glue them properly now, or my tire pressure was too high. Hm. Got another great start position, but lost it all in the first 2 corners where the bunch jammed up and everyone got off and started running. I managed to work my way up pretty well over the next couple of laps and got myself into a group of three by mid-race. We played around a bit, none of us wanting to go too hard because none was obviously stronger than the other two. I threw it down on a short stair run-up about a third of the way through the last lap which was good enough to get a gap, but they came back and this Belgian dude attacked on the major uphill section. I tried to go with him and failed but at least that got some distance on the third guy. I tired again to get across on the paved climb right before the finish but didn't have quite enough gas to do it. Live and learn- if I'd waited for that moment to attack I might've ended up one place better. No big deal though- managed to make it home in 17th spot and stayed on the lead lap with plenty of time to spare. The Belgian Elite sans contract champion won the race, so I guess that's not too bad.
So, 2 races on the schedule this weekend- an A1 race in Heerlen, Netherlands, and a World Cup in Hoogerheide, Netherlands. Should be a fun time. Worlds in less than 2 weeks, so hopefully the form keeps going up!
Thanks again for reading.
Hope everyone back home is doing well & I look forward to seeing you all in March.