The excitement is building and the idea of riding the same cobbled climbs and farm roads that the pros will ride on Sunday at the Tour of Flanders is starting to sink in. Our Pure Cycles riders Henry, Roland and I will meet up in The Netherlands tomorrow and we head to Oudenaarde, Belgium in the trusty Pure Cycles sprinter van to pick up our race packs for Saturday’s early start. Here’s hoping for good weather!
“Ride as much or as little, or as long or as short as you feel. But ride.” – Eddy Merckx
An appropriate quote not only to motivate us to ride but also because of the location of our team building goal; the Flanders Ronde Van Vlaanderen Cyclo Sportive. We love to ride but it’s not always easy to be motivated with the cold, rain and snow in the winter months. I have the gear to stay warm but long for the days not having to put it all on. I tell myself these winter training rides will help me to appreciate the warm weather just like that cold beer tasting 200% better after a good work out. I can’t complain too much considering now the roads are dry and clear of snow, I even found some sections of cobbles just outside of Prague to simulate in a small way what we will experience in Belgium.
Ever since I started racing back in my teen age years and following the Euro scene in Winning and Velonews pre-internet days I always wanted to ride the roads of Flanders and see the race with my own eyes. THIS is finally the year to do both along with my colleagues Henry and Roland from the Euro Pure Cycles office.
Here is a younger version of me – 1996, Aix-en-Provence, France riding for the Amical Velo Club Aixois
One thing that I want to mention right now before I go into my enthusiasm about riding is that I never imagined being here. On the other hand, I remember people are always saying, it is like riding a bike, just start and you will remember it instantly, so this was somehow imbedded in my essence. So, when thinking about this race, can I ride it, am I fit, or is it more about mentality?
These questions are popping up for quite a while now, however I am happy to say that I am excited to be a part of the cycling culture and all its endeavors. I can admit that I am the most inexperienced in more professional races compared to Rob and Roland, but the good side to this is that Rob motivates me mentally and Roland supports me physically with our extensive cycling.
I feel warm and ready and no cold, rain or anything else could stop me to participate. My next big quest is to get more cycling accessories to get more comfortable during the ride.
Here is me ready for the race 2 days before.
Special shout out to 4CYCLISTS.EU for hooking up with these really cool matching outfits.
Check out the next post to see our amateur pro gear for a race we amateur pros are ready.
Cycling for me is life. Period. I’ve had my bicycle since I was 10 and with every ride I get more into the idea of getting somewhere with my own energy/power.
It has never been a sport for me, just a way to commute around. Until this year, when I had an opportunity to participate in a race and compete in one of the biggest cycling Nation races I pushed my limits further to see what can be done with will to pedal with nothing but the idea of being in the race.
Nothing will stop me to go out and do what I do every day - cycle, to shop, to work, to visit friends or just to wake up or deal with my insecurities. Similarly, like running it helps me to settle my thoughts and prepare me for the next day when I will have higher expectations of myself. Since I am from Latvia and even there, when snow hits hard, I kept going with my bike as I would walk my dog every day, with one thought in my mind- if I can do this today, I can do it any day!!!
Here is me happy before my training:
Wish us luck and for those of you riding in the Flanders Sportive see you out there. Rain, snow, hail, sun or whatever the weather brings we will be smiling being on our bikes on some of the world’s most iconic cycling roads. They don’t call it a ‘monument’ race for nothing.