My time in Belgium

Now that I’ve been home for almost 2 whole weeks, I figure I should write a summary blog post of my time in Belgium. That, and I knew Scott was going to give me a hard time at church this morning if I didn’t write this thing…

My cyclocross season was a really long one! And I am mostly glad that it is over. In 6 months, I managed 42 races covering 2 continents, 6 countries, and 8 states! Some were good. Some were bad. The results sheet doesn’t lie; I had good days and bad days, good results and bad results. But what the results don’t show is how much I learned, how much I improved. It was also pointed out to me that in some of those big races I probably had some of the rides of my life, but when those guys are so much better it can be hard to tell the difference. I also don’t want to simply ramble on about how I didn’t perform as well as I wanted to, but it’s ok because of how much I learned and improved…

I look back to when I was thinking about the opportunity to go to Ottawa, then to go to Boston, and then Belgium; Adam pointed out that I didn’t go away to school like so many people do and may have missed out on that life experience, so to think about this opportunity as life experience not unlike that of going away to school. And the simple truth is I did that. I did what I set out to do, I went to school. I know that every experience I had and every person I met will make me who I am in the future and I hope will make me a better person.

People kept asking me if I would be coming back next year. Yeah, I would like to. I would like to race the World Championships in Koksijde. But I would probably be alright if that’s not where my life took me. The things I’ve seen and done will change me forever. But simply put, I don’t want to come back to Belgium and race again at the same level. I want to do what it takes to improve and to be a much better bike racer. I want to continue to learn and always be striving to be better. I’m not sure how I will know what I’m supposed to do, but I believe it will come.

I got to do many cool things, most of which I didn’t write about on here and probably won’t make it on here now. But I got to see some WWI trenches, I got to see the Tour of Flanders Museum, I got to ride the Koppenberg, I got to see much of Europe and ride my bike on so many different roads. I got to meet so many people and had so much support I couldn’t believe it sometimes! A big thanks goes to my parents, my sponsors Cycle-Smart, Van Dessel, Verge, Lazer, Challenge, Easton, CycleOps. I also owe huge thanks to the advice and emotional support of my friends and family who talked with me, prayed for me, and just kept up with my adventures and the help and support of Adam, Carl, Dennis, Marc and Vicki, Lyne, Gabby, Hans and Jolien and family, Craig, Jeremy, Luc and Johnny, Dan, the Boulder Cycle Sport crew (+KP), Gregg and Holly, Stef, Helen, and Ian, all my other Belgian fans. I am incredibly thankful for everything I learned from you, whether you knew it or not! Thank you! I realize as I’m making this list that I have most certainly forgotten people. I don’t want to leave you out, but I think you know if you made a difference in my adventures and I thank you!

I look forward to what comes next, and no, I don’t really know what the next 5 years hold. It’s scary, but if it’s anything like the last *almost* 25 years have been, then it will be great! Thanks for listening and I hope the adventures continue and you keep reading.

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