Have 'cross bike, will travel

Jerome Townsend opts for a snowy ride to Kortrijk in lieu of the trainer

After finally getting all my stuff from the airlines I was able to get a decent ride in today which is nice since I will be racing at Middelkerke tomorrow. Training/riding in general has been a bit interesting here the past few days. As you may know Belgium has been sent into an uproar with the amount of snow that has fallen.

I am pretty sure that the entire town of Izegem has only one plow and it certainly shows! The roads are a mix of hard-packed snow in the shady areas and 2-4 inches of slush. Soo...rain pants and fenders were the order of the day.

Almost all of the riders and equipment have shown up so this morning was a bit crazy with everyone doing their own type of ride in order to get ready for tomorrow. Many of the riders opted to ride the trainer so that their bikes and clothes would not get trashed but Steve Fisher, David Kessler, Josh Berry, and I braved the slush and frozen canal bank to get an outside ride in, my first since 'cross nationals back in the US.

There is a bike path running parallel to the canal that flows through Izegem, which is usually ideal for an easy recovery ride. Today, however, was a different story because as the path has not had cars drive on it, it is nothing but 3-4 inches of deep, heavy, wet snow.

Kessler and I opted for 'cross tires while the other two were man enough to go for completely slick road tires. However, the snow was so wet that I am not sure having the 'cross tires made all that much difference in making the ride easier.

Our ride consisted of battling the snow/slush/ice and everything else winter can throw at us on our way to Kortrijk where we planned on stopping for coffee and grabbing a true Belgian waffle, but decided not to as we were wet and after stepping into a warm waffle house would never have wanted to continue the ride home.

Upon getting back our "pro" treatment began. The only thing required of the riders when they get back is that they hang their bike on the "dirty" rack and then go grab a recovery drink and whatever else is needed for optimum recovery. The mechanics take care of ALL bike related business.

Within two hours of returning all four of our bikes were sparkling clean, lubed and ready to race the next day. LOVE IT!!! Seriously though, these guys are amazing! They make the rider's life so much easier and less stressful.

Not having to worry about whether our tires are glued on properly or whether the bikes will run or not can make all the difference in the world come race day. So thank you to the mechanics and everyone else who makes this camp possible, Geoff, Els, Noel, Fox and many, many, others.

Till next time,
Jerome

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