Wednesday, April 1, 2009
After a day full of traveling, I finally have the chance to sit down and relax. I am currently at the USA National Team House in Izegem, Belgium with the Junior National Team, consisting of Nathan Brown, Jacob Rathe, Adam Leibovitz, Conor O'Leary, Alex Battles-Wood, and myself. With such a huge time difference from Houston to Belgium, I started waking up and going to bed 30 minutes earlier each day for the week before the trip. This/yesterday morning I woke up at 4:00 Houston time and just chilled around the house before heading off to the airport at 7:30 for my flight to Newark at 10:30. My parents and I arrived at the airport on time and they were both able to follow me to my gate to see me off before the two week adventure across the "pond." When the time had gone I said my goodbyes and made my way onto the plane. Thankfully, the plane was full of entertainment with TVs on the back of every seat where you could choose between music, movies, or even games. I spent the three hour flight messing around with the system, and before I knew the plane was touching down on the ground in Newark, New York. I then made my way over to my next gate to meet with Nate Brown to get some food before we seperated for different flights out of there. We found a Chinese place and got some good ol' American Chinese food to chow down on. With my flight leaving a couple of minutes before his, we said our goodbyes for now until we would meet back up at the house. The plane was the same model as the previous one, but I wasn't able to enjoy most of the luxeries because I was in dire need of some sleep. I slept most of the journey to Brussels and was able to get through customs without any problems. My directions for when I got out of Customs was to wait for the remainder of the team excluding Nate, and team director, Benjamin Sharp. Alex found me soon after I sat down and we were later joined by the Jacob, Adam, and Conor. We were then escorted to the house in one of the huge USA Cycling vans where we saw a few pro team vehicles, like Rabobank, Lampre, and Liquigas. One thing that we saw made up for the entire day of traveling was a small kid, around the age of four or five shooting us the middle finger in the back of a car. Of course, we all got a good kick out of this becuase it was one of those things that you would see on the internet. By the time everyone had calmed down, we had made it to the house, and it was time to settle in and unpack. After moving into our rooms we decided it was time to set up our bikes so that we could get out and spin the legs. Their was a slight problem when Adam snapped his unique rear derailleur, and had to wait until one of the mechanics came in to find a new one and fix it. After everyone had finished setting up their bikes, except Adam, we set out on a one hour ride where we ran into two miniture Tom Boonens, Quick-Step kits and all, at about 10 years old, and rode with them for a little bit. Upon finishing an hour, we arrived back at the house to shower up and then eat a wonderful dinner cooked by Els, one of the directors at the house. This pretty much leaves me at now where I am about to hit the hay. One last thing though, with one of the biggest U23 road races of the year, the U23 Tour of Flanders, coming up some of the nations top U23 cyclists here as well, including recently crowned World Pursuit Champion, Taylor Phinney. Anyways, thanks for reading, and I'll try to keep everyone posted as often as possible!