Saturday, February 03, 2007

CX World Champs

Alta Alpina Junior Team
Here are some pictures of the CycloCross World championships in Hooglede-Gits which is not far from Brugge: the Venice of the north. There were three US Silver medals and it was an unbeleivable Men's elite race to watch. Our compatriot Jonathon Page was in the front group for the last half of the race. It was unbeleivable to be there. It was so exciting and what a great result. I also talked with Ms. Summerhill, the mother of Danny Summerhill (and Met Danny) who had just won the silver medal in the juniors race. She gave me some leads on junior support for grass roots teams. It was soooo great to see all that between working weeks here in Europe.
As it turns out all the places I have been have been big bike riding places: Nantes, France: I rode with my old riding buddy, Rotterdam, Netherlands: it's the Netherlands.... flat land of bikes, Brugge, Belgium: still flat and a huge bike town, Hooglede-Gits: CX holy land for US and Belgium. , and Ferrara, Italy, the biggest bike town in italy.... but more in the style of holland than the Giro d'italy.
I rented a bike for my last days here and I expect to ride my Manny Poppins bike around the city and to the Po River. I have gone on a hunger strike... I have chosen not to eat dinner for a few days to try and lose the 2 or 3 kilos I have gained. I had hoped to be more disciplined about eating and excercising, but the kilos are witness to my lack of self control. We had good food starting from rotterdam ata a spanish resto, then belgium had good food like the french but in larger quantities. Italy has been good... it is well... Italy. I will at least get a good meal the last night in Florence, since I will be with colleagues. Work has kinda sucked, but it was good to work a lot with some people I now have a lot of respect for now that I have been through some sucky stuff with them. (Not that i didn't have respect before.)
Did I mention how unbeleiveable it was to be at the CX world champs?
I went to mass in Brugge. It was pretty nice to go and not understand. It provided time for me to just meditate on me and the Lord in a 100 year old church. It reminded me of a caltholic friend who recently died a tragic death. It was really sad that a fellow follower of Christ could get so sick he decided to take his own life. I wept. I realized the difference between weeping and crying. Crying is feelings, weeping is deeper and spiritual.
I like Italy. I like Italians. This trip has been fun despite the crummy working conditions.
I hope to see you all when I get back.
Coach Mel.
By the way, the CX worlds was unbeleivably exciting.