Monday, January 26, 2009

Rough Riding the Belgian Winter

"Looking back, you get a bit nostalgic, but from a competitive point of view, Flanders was one of the most horrible races to ride but one of the greatest races to win." - Sean Kelly

"There is a patch of field where they removed the cobble stone this winter, and I thought it sad, because when they put pavement it makes for more traffic. But then a few days out later, when Marc and I were out walking, we saw that they remade the cobblestone." - Catharina Berge
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Our good friend Catharina Berge, "the Bumble Bee" who has twice been the women's solo champion at Furnace Creek 508, recently moved to Belgium to be with her fiancé, Marc, a fellow cyclist. Cat is Swedish originally, but lived in California and Washington for ten years while pursuing a Ph.D. and more in veterinary medicine. She recently sent us some photos of winter-time cycling there. Here are a few, plus a video slideshow. Enjoy! I hope they make you feel warm, at least relatively speaking! (You'll see that people really do ride cobblestones - and not just during Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders.)

"Next to Gerardsbergen there are some major cobble stones... but when we go riding, Marc tends to avoid them. We can't avoid the ones on our street... so it is warm-up and cool-down butt massage. " - Cat"A winter landscape outside makes everything looks new and I have been out running and shoveling snow today. I waved goodbye to Marc as he went off to the school in Koekelberg to wake up his students with some new mathematical proofs after two weeks of Christmas vacation. Yesterday was a cold Belgian day with -2C. But Belgian riders are tough, so Marc and I went out and rode 100 km. We came home, warmed up in the Jacuzzi, ate salmon and mashed potatoes." - Cat

Here is Cat's website about her racing career.
Here is Cat's 2008 Furnace Creek 508 report.
Here is the report about Cat's 2001 Furnace Creek 508 (her first bike race).

Below is a short video slideshow of Cat's photos from cycling in the Belgium Winter. But click here to see that same video about twice as big. (It has a soundtrack, so be sure your speakers are turned up.) Enjoy!

video

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