3 August 2005

Well my jinx continues with anything electrical. Now I have definitely lost all my pictures for the first few weeks... God damn digital gremlins, now all is need is my GPS to stop working and then I am really lost. Where would I be with out that thing. This place is flat, not a hill to be seen for miles. Riding would be hard with out it, plus it's nice to know when you are crossing international borders on your bike. Went to Belgium and back about three times, on a ride the other day, that makes the ride a little bit more interesting.

I only live about 7 km from Belgium, with a great ride through a forest to get there. There is some trails in there, thank god that I brought the cyclocross, might get some mud on my tires and my face, got to be good for me.

I have been trying to catch up with all that has happened up till now with this blog site and all my emails. So there is going to be a change, I'm going to try and head this jinx off into the wild yonder. So no more recovery articles, no more old stories, no old photos, it's all going to be new news and photo's. I will load them when I can get to a wireless port and not before. If you miss some good bits, tough, I'll tell ya later.

JINX begone...........(and some expletives of course, but its a family page).

I feel better now. Right lets get back to business.

Just got back from Amsterdam today, spent a couple of days up there with my good friend Emile. He used to be a bike messenger in Auckland, now working for a cool ad agency here. He's got a way cool apartment right in the middle of town. You can look out the window in the morning and see the sun glistening off the canal and a few of the professionals heading home. What a sight. It's only about an hours drive from where I live which is sweet. Much shorter than the 500 km that I drove to Germany for an hours race and then back 500k the same day. Man I love the Autobarn (not to be confused with Bikebarn, which I don't love).

Emile fully sorted my laptop, which is great cause I can start to have someplace to store my photos till I up load them onto the net, for safe keeping. Went for a great ride out of the Dam (slang the locals use), following the Amstell canal. In fact we were out of town and riding in the countryside with in about ten minutes, thought that it was a bigger city. But no, only 700,000 which is small for Europe. Saw a few windmills, some wicked water barges, awesome canal cruises and some awesome water front homes. Not to mention the bridges and locks that cross the canals at every village.

Found a great cycle shop on the way, had some pretty cool city bikes, but finally some way cool road stuff and some mountainbikes. Did not spend a cent, that was hard. Out for a few hours, must have seen around 500 other people on bikes training. Then about 1000 older people just cruising the countryside and you can see why, no cars, and when you see them they are almost stopped on the side of the road waiting for you to pass. I love this place for riding.

Had a few hours cruising the streets that there were no tourists on, that's every street but four of them. Had a few great coffees, from real machines for a change, almost felt like home. Found a couple of great bike and camping stores with some cool bits in them. But not much fruity stuff, that will come later (heard of a four level shop in Belgium, all euro's know of it). Found a great shop with cruisers and all the parts to die for. I'm going back to get a shot of the bike they had in the window, it rocks, you will see why later.

Righto, time for some sleep, off to a race near Rotterdam tomorrow, that will be cool as I have not been there yet. We are also trying to get to a race that the pro's will be at tomorrow as well. Got a hookup to meet some of the mechanics for the big teams, yea ha, should be some swanky bikes to look at.

Actually the other day meet a few pros, not the ones in Amsterdam, Jan Ulrich, my hero for a start. Popavich, Boogard, Basso and about twenty other top riders, they were not as big as I pictured them. Smoe of the Rabobank guys were huge though. man what an impressive sight some of the trucks and bike setups. All of them had the showpony girls hanging around, team cars loaded with cool bikes, awesome to see them. Did not get an autographs though, sorry way too cool for that just yet, but had a good chat to Jan, he knows one of the Girls in our team really well and she put in a good word for me. I'll get him to sign a shirt later for me, something like 'only one race a year, Lance ya pussy' 'I may wear pink, but you can't call me yellow'

righto more later, benny

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