Thursday, July 10, 2008
Belgium Trip Day 9
Today was nothing but a fun and enjoyable day. The six of us, along with Tim and Yoghi, woke up at around 8:30 for a quick breakfast before we left the house for a fun filled day. The first place that we stopped at was the Mur. The famous and decisive cobbled climb that is placed around 15 or 20 km from the finish of the Tour of Flanders. Tim drove the USA Cycling van to the top of the hill so that we could jump out and take a few pictures of the chapel that is on top of the hill. We then set off down the 20% grade hill taking some pictures on the way down. After the 1.5 km we walked on the way down we started to make the extremely difficult ascent that was extremely difficult just walking. I couldn't even imagine riding a bike up it. After racing back to the top, where I barely won the sprint only because Yoghi slipped a little before the top, we jumped back into the van to look at another famous cobble section used in a Pro race. After walking about a kilometer down the road we turned around to go drive over to Freddy Maertens famous cycling museum. By the time we got there all of our stomachs were growling so we decided to stop at the little restaurant at the museum. Everything on the menu was related to cycling, with an example being a ham sandwich with Boonen sauce. After having Yoghi translate the menu to us I narrowed my decision down to two choices, pasta with sauce or pasta with brown sugar. Thinking that I wanted to keep my food in my stomach I decided to go with the regular pasta with sauce. When we got our food I decided that I had to give the brown sugar pasta a try. When Joel had finished with his brown sugar pasta I grabbed the rest of his pasta and took a bite. It actually was quite tasty. Yoghi even said it was the "perfect" thing to eat after a hard training ride. When we had all finished with our lunch we bought our tickets and walked down the stairs to the museum part of the place. When we first walked through the door the we were like 5 year olds in a candy shop. They had tons of awesome stuff to do. There were stationary bikes that simulated riding on the cobbles. There were podiums that you could jump up onto and stick your head in the little hole so you could act like you won the Tour of Flanders. They also had videos of about every single Tour of Flanders that had been recorded. And the thing that had attracted all of our attentions was the stationary bike that sat in front of a T.V. that simulated the crucial parts of the Tour of Flanders. After messing around in that room for about an hour and a half we went into the video room to watch a 15 minute movie about the Tour of Flanders. By the time that we had gotten back to the house it was time for dinner and after a shower and teeth brushing we all jumped into our beds and fell asleep immediately.