Friday, August 5, 2011

What's up in Europe?

We've been busy over on this side of the ocean for the past week and a bit. Well not really with too much productive. But somehow time still slips away.

First check out my blog for a general update.

Ok, so Sweden was really, really awesome. Glad I got the opportunity to check it out. Definitely different area from the BeNeLux situation over here.

The racing went so-so... I said in my Specialized blog I had some stomach problems in the last few laps of the World Cup. But kind of glazed over some of the details. It really was not pretty. Got bad with 3 to go. I managed to work my way through the next 2 laps with some deep breathing and then just sucking it up for the hard parts but the last time up the main climb, my stomach had had quite enough of my silly determination to stick to that front group. No one really wants to know but for your and my own sake I'll just say I'm down a pair of racing shorts.

Swedish people showed again how generous they are. Jamie went to the grocery store to try and find some Imodium or something of the like (there was a little mix up with our soigneur/management about what supplies we had...) so I could maybe uncurl myself a little bit. A man in the grocery store helped him translate what the limited amount of medication there was, was for. Lacking anything helpful he then found a nurse in the grocery store that recommended sour milk and blueberry soup. Buttermilk was purchased but the blueberry soup wasn't to be found. Jamie came back to the hotel and fed me some buttermilk (not as bad as I remember it being when my mom would pour it on my cereal for April Fool's Day!) and some crackers. A little while later there was a knock on the door and a blueberry probiotic drink mix appeared. Turns out the guy had driven out to his ex-wife's house, who was a nurse, got some blueberry stuff and brought it to the hotel we were staying at. Crazy!
Me looking super well with my blueberry drink.

I think it generally did the trick too. I was feeling a little shaky the next morning but we had "playing tourist" on tap and I'd been hyping up Gothenburg and the ferris wheel for a week, so I managed to pull it together. Although, I did crash pretty hard that night, despite the fact that we were staying in the luxurious Formule 1 (that's an oxymoron).

The Wheel of Gothenburg!
2 for 1 shrimp box

We took advantage of the rental bikes. Only 10 SEK (about 1 euro or 1.40 CAD) for a membership, and that's all as long as you switch bikes every 1/2 hour.

We went on a boat tour as well through the moats and onto the ocean. There was one bridge we had to pass under (the cheese grater) where we literally had to sit on the floor. All we could think was this would never happen at home!

Tuesday we had a little more time to play tourist, which included a visit to the Universeum (for Lex, Jamie and I - apparently the three science nerds), a very very good coffee and a bit more exploring. Then it was back out to the airport to catch our Ryan Air flight home.

Since then we've just been hanging out in Tielt-Winge, Belgium. Training, eating, eating, eating, and sleeping. We have our last race tomorrow, a UCI 1.2 in Belgium, which apparently has 200 girls on the start list. Should be a good end to the trip.

Then two days to get things organized, with maybe a trip into the big city of Leuven, and then back to Canada.

I've decided to tack on a flight to Calgary to my Brussels- Montreal leg to spend a little bit of time in Canmore. Should be a nice Canadian break, and fun to explore on the bike.

Only have about a week there and then it's back here to Belgium for the pre-Worlds block. At this point I think we have a few local kermesse's on tap and then Holland Ladies tour at the beginning of September. I think there's six of us racing with the National team, 2 with Tibco and 2 doing another TT UCI race. After that the team will be selected for World Championships in Copenhagen at the end of September.

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