Feeling unbelivably fatigued last night, I went to bed by 10. It should have been earlier. I slept almost 12 hours! I yanked myself out of bed to experience my first full day here in Blauberg. Today was quite cold, about -3 (C). Everything was coated with white frost and the air was think with fog. The frost looked a bit like snow, but was not, it really was a thick frost. (Check out the pic below of the spider web coated in frost on the backside of a sign.) I rode for 2 hours and found a long bike path that traversed the country side. The bike paths are all labeled with numbered routes, and they have a system that cris-crosses the country and goes into Holland. You can see the signage in some of the below pictures. The albino bunny is for you, Ward, because I know you love bunnies. You would have lifted this one over the fence and taken him home with you.
We visited a bike shop tonight, the Van Eycke shop, and I was blown away. I could not believe the stock they had on the floor! Hundreds of bikes, sometimes every size of each model, with none of the steerer tubes cut, to ensure perfect sizing for the customer. I bought some of those seal skins waterproof socks lined with merino wool, and a craft windproof base layer that I've been looking for in an x-small for ages. I'm ready!
My first race, Scheldecross, is tomorrow. It's really nearby, about an hour away in Antwerp, I think. I'm a little nervous that the conditions might be a lot like Kansas on Sunday, frozen mud ruts and holes with a slick slime on top. I guess the practice would be good for me! I know it is going to be incredibly technical and hard compared to what I'm used to, but I hope it will make me a stronger and better racer.
Okay, I am out of time for blogging! Must get sandwiches ready for tomorrow and make sure I pack the right clothes.