I've been back in Belgium now for a few days. We're still battling the jet lag as Leah and I just managed to drag ourselves out of bed at 11 and 11:30 respectively. The guys have gone off to the Wallonie region of Belgium to find some hills to prep for Tour de l'Avenir, so that left a pretty quiet house. And therefore conducive to 12+ hours of sleep.
The first day the guys were taking it easy so we joined them on a ride to Leuven that involved a brief coffee stop. The centre square there was just packed with people. The people of Tielt-Winge seem to hide so it's nice to actually see other people once and a while. We also enjoyed the Belgian version of the cappuccino; coffee with whipped cream on top. And of course the mandatory cookie. Yesterday the typical Belgian weather hit and we were stuck waiting it out for a bit of clearing. And proceeded to ride through quite a bit of mud and flooded out roads (aka very small farm paths). We're doing our first "race", a kermesse near Ghent, tomorrow so might have to adhere to a bit more of a normal schedule and drink another cup of coffee.
Backtracking, I had a good few lasts days in Canmore. I battled a bit of a cold earlier in the week. That lovely jetlag again, combined with a 26 hour day and exam after that doesn't make the body happy. Last weekend though things came around and I got in a few good training days in very good weather.
Sunday I headed out for a ride, but made an important pit stop at Harvest first for "lunch" and managed to snag their last cinnamon bun of the day. If you're ever in Canmore on a Sunday I highly recommend these. Although maybe not before intervals....
Life got even better with a quick dip in the quarry to cool off after a very hot ride.
Not too shabby eh?
Monday, as my last day in Canada, was time for a long exploration ride. I meant to try and ride from the Banff National Park entrance up to the BC border, but got a little distracted at the turnoff to BC along the 1A and went to Lake Louise instead. Still a very nice ride.
I was distracted because I was looking at the gas station at the turnoff and contemplating the fact that I had forgotten money and was going to have to do a good job of rationing my three bottles and the two Eatmore's in my pocket.
Which got me thinking about why I still always get Eatmore's whenever I hit up a gas station for ride food. Which also probably relates to why I do any sort of sport at all.
My parents, and it seemed most parents in Yellowknife, enjoyed all sorts of outdoors activities. And having a kid was definitely not going to slow them down. Or not too much. I spent my fair share of time in a back pack being hiked around. But I think by the time I was 3 it was time for me to start carrying my own weight. Especially on skis. There's a pretty good picture of me somewhere with my yellow rain boots on, and red wooden skis strapped on to them (hand-me down's from the Dunbars I believe). Anyways, I wasn't always so self-motivated to go out and exercise for hours at a time. But my mom particularly, still wanted to get out and ski for ridiculous amounts of time (that's probably my four year old self coming out). And so she'd bring along Eatmore chocolate bars. And every so often, when my whining got intolerable and I was threatening to curl up in the bushes at the side of the trail, she'd break off a little bit and give it to me and she could probably buy another couple kms of "happy" Denise.
The consistency is a little different in +25 vs. -30.
And Eatmore's still remain my chocolate bar of choice. I think that's something like very well ingrained Pavlovian Conditioning. Except I'm in charge of the Eatmore pieces now and I'm a lot more generous to myself!
Along the 1A - a section of prescribed burn from 1993.
Time to head out and ride now. The sun has finally reappeared so we've gotta make the most of this opportunity. And it's already 1 in the afternoon, sooooo probably time to get the day rolling!