Formed in June 09, Here Come the Belgians is a non-elite anti-team celebrating all things cross, cobbled and Belgian.
Seeking a different experience to the traditional cycling club, its aim is to harness the energy of a vibrant internet cycling community with grass roots racing and riding based around Cyclocross and Spring Classics. There is no race programme in the style of a racing team, more a collection of individual experiences through rides and racing, in whatever location a member may be, that all can share in and contribute toward.
The fact it has taken my so long to get around to writing this blog probably speaks for itself; This years 3 Peaks is one I have been trying to put out of my mind, the weather was horrendous and I did my worst ever time! I used to think that I am usually pretty good in bad conditions and I set off in reasonable shape and feeling strong, getting over Ingleborough in reasonable time, despite the high winds wafting my bike around like a sail on Rawnsley's Leap. The ride up to Chapel-le-Dale saw me in good spirits, conned by the tail wind. But as I crested the whaleback of the Whern' it all fell apart. The near-sleet and hail got through my lycra and the cold started to eat into me. I should have wore more clothes. On top of that, my usual confident descending was ruined because I realised my 'new' brake blocks had scrubbed away to metal. Consequently I fell a couple of nasty times - shaken bad - and that combined with the cold, gave me 'the knock'. Glad to see the faithful family support team for some sustenance at Ribblehead, I cycled on towards Horton, but I was really broken at this point, fight over. I have never felt so compelled to miss out Pen y ghent as I have this year, but of course I did not. I stopped off on the way up the lane to have a swim in the new pool that had formed, as well as turn around my brake blocks (in order to eek out the last bits of life, slightly futile...). After an eventless trudge to the top and a hairy ride/run down (I pride myself in previous years riding from the summit to the bottom 'clean', no chance this year, some carrying down hill too!). Made it back. Straight home, bath, beer. Can't say I've looked at my bike since. This year really beat me. Next year?