Thursday, April 26, 2012

Wishing for Warm Weather.

Yesterday our soigneur, Michel, was laughing at me during my massage "ton bronzage a disparu eh?". Yup we all arrived in Belgium with nice Californian tans, and after a month in Europe they are completely gone. Not quite back to pasty winter white, but close enough. Every other year anyone has come over for the spring races it's always been shockingly warm weather, with a few nasty days sprinkled in, but not too bad.

This year it has been a little different to say the least (thankfully I packed my down jacket, mitts and toque as well as my shorts and sunglasses). Normally we'd race in a jersey, armwarmers if its cold, a light undershirt (maybe heavy if cold), and possibly a wind vest, legs with just oil. I think Leah and Joelle have set amount of clothing worn in a race - winter jackets, long sleeve jerseys, rain jackets, wind jackets, leg warmers, two pairs of gloves. That was a bit excessive but lots of the peloton was forgoing the normal rule of racing bare legged and wearing knee warmers or even leg warmers. And those that weren't were shaking so much it seemed they might fall off their bikes. Aside from Flanders I haven't raced one day in short-fingered gloves.

Joelle in all her layers, me wearing a little less behind.

This past weekend the weather had fun playing some more games. On Saturday the sun was shining and warming everyone up at the start line. So everyone pulled off all their layers. Short fingered gloves, no vests etc. 5 minutes to the start when the soigneurs have disappeared with all the clothing, black clouds start rolling in. Ten minutes into the race its windy and pouring rain. Of course. Then Sunday, its pouring rain and everyone is huddling in team cars. Go out to the start line and the people from the race the day before are wearing every item of clothing they own. Others not as much but they're shaking and covered in goose bumps. Waiting on the start, after taking off my winter coat I think my teeth were chattering a bit. But of course, underway this time the sun comes out!! Everyone starts overheating (admittedly much better than the alternative) and trying to pull off rain jackets and vests before we hit the first climb of the day, 30 km in.

Here's me having fun on the Kemmelberg, rain jacket safely tucked in back .

One part of bike racing is that it happens outside - pretty much no matter what. Bringing lots of fun. 

We're off this weekend to Luxembourg for the last 3 days of racing of this project. I'd say I hope for nice weather there but apparently it has been pouring. So hopefully the Canadian weather gods will be in a good mood as of Monday! Gotta get some tan back or it won't seem like almost mid-season. 

These races should be good with a nice amount of climbing mixed in to split things up a bit. Looking forward to getting back to Canada though after 3 months away - longest I've ever gone !!

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