The Greatest Show on Earth; the Barb Howe 'Cross Worlds diary

Monday morning. Joscelin once again hired herself out and drove Mike, Greg, and myself to Zeddam. I'm staying with Team Canada until Wednesday when the US team arrives. Canada has two little bungalows in a resort 3km from the course.

The weather has taken changed again; last week was warm and rainy, this week is very cold and clear. The temperature does not go above freezing even in the sun (this is reminiscent of last year at St Wendel minus the snow). Greg and I went for a ride and found the course along with several of his German team-mates. Two laps on the course were enough for me to decide that things will be best if the temperature stays cold. If the weather was to get warm the race will be a death trudge on muddy grass.

Internet and Bowling

This resort has everything including wireless Internet, a swimming pool, air hockey and bowling lanes. Monday night was the first league night of the cross season. In Canada vs USA, Stu Thorne brought home the glory with a winning score of - well I shouldn't mention it because we'll all be embarrassed by own pitiful scores.

On Tuesday I went for a road ride through S' Heerenberg, a quaint little town just south of Zeddam. I rode past the town castle and continued on the large smooth bike path into Germany. There were no signs designating the border, but the street signs had changed from straat to straße and the buttons at stoplights asked kindly - bitte - to be pushed.

Tuesday night was another league night but this time it was men vs. ladies. Lyne Bessette, Wendy Simms, and myself gave the boys Stu, Norm, Ryan, and Mike a sound beating. Wendy was our ringer; she might have been a pro bowler in a previous life. Our underdeveloped cyclist arms could only take a few rounds of bowling before they succumbed to fatigue and we resorted to granny style bowling. Even in that undignified style, Wendy kicked everyone's butt.

Wednesday at lunch I moved south from Canada to USA. The USA team hotel is right in Zeddam and you can ride to the course on a dirt road out the back door. After a few more laps on the course it was time for dinner and clothing distribution. It's really exciting to get the USA clothing, it feels like you just one small step away from finally getting to race. I've been thinking about racing at World's this year since I finished last years race. Thursday morning us ladies planned a shopping excursion to S' Heerenberg for tofu and other essentials. We were a bit early for the outdoor market, they were just setting up in the freezing temperatures and blowing wind. Last week's fever came back for a second visit - why can't it just leave me alone? The morning's short shopping excursion did me in and I didn't get out of bed until dinnertime.

For the rest of Barb Howe's diary from Zeddam, click here.

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