I have been to Europe three times now and this has been the best, I mean worst, trip yet. Not because of the racing or because of the weather. No, it is because I have been in Belgium without my bags for 11 days now. Thank you so much British Airways.
I still cannot figure out why it has taken this long to get my bags from London Heathrow to Brussels when it is less than an hour by plane and only two hours by train. I have almost thought about getting on the train and going to the airport, getting my bags and then coming back. It has been a bit of a struggle just because they don't really have everything that I am used too.
So, in order for me to combat the situation here in Belgium, I had some support from back home. I had my parents FedEx some clean clothes over to me. They were supposed to be shipped via second day air, which was awesome because they got to Belgium in two days but then they sat in customs at Brussels Airport for a day and then it was too late on a Friday to deliver. So here is the weekend and no clothes, but since it was the weekend they wouldn't get delivered until Monday.
So now Monday rolls around and it's time to go racing, I don't have any of my riding gear or skinsuits from Cal Giant so I have to race in my USA skinsuit which was not a problem other than the fact that it drew attention from all of the spectators at the race today in Diegem.
The race was awesome because it was right downtown and there is a huge crowd base. Fans lined the course three-deep with a few of them yelling "Go Americans" to me in their Belgian way.
It is interesting to me how the fan base works here. In most of the European countries, the fans go crazy for the top riders but when anyone comes by outside of the top 15, you can hear crickets chirping, no excitement. Back home the fans cheer for everyone from first to last and are so enthusiastic, while here they just cheer for the guys that they know.
Moving past all of the disruption of having no bags, I am looking forward to the week of racing ahead of us and learning as much as possible in the process.