Feeling Belgian

imagining flanders

Beer.  Frites.  Bikes.  I can’t stop thinking about Belgium.

It started last week with the details of the route for this year’s Ronde Van Vlaanderen getting released.  The spring classics seem tangibly close.  Not that I don’t already think about cycling constantly, but the Tour of Qatar has finally given me somewhat real preseason racing to watch, and I’m up to my neck trying to sort out which riders I want on my team for the year long fantasy cycling game I’m playing.  These are not trivial choices.

Last night I went to Brewery Vivant, which recently opened in Grand Rapids, with Jeremy and Brad.  It’s in an old church, and with no TV’s to occupy everyone’s eyes, it’s easy to forget what city you’re actually in.  The microbrew on tap consisted of all Belgian style beers, and the menu was limited to Belgian cuisine.  Naturally, I had to have some frites.  I felt more Euro leaving that place than I did when I entered.

I’m certainly no Flandrien, but this afternoon, I climbed on my trainer in the living for the umpteenth time this winter, and with Van Poppel’s voice (mp3) blasting through my speakers like he’s on my personal race radio, I went full gas and left a layer of rubber on the trainer’s drum.

These daily snow accumulations are starting to wear me down.

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