Wednesday, April 22, 2009
USA is not Belgium...
And that makes me a little sad. As I ride around the Boston area I keep searching for things that are the same between the two. We have the lightly traveled back roads that meander through farmland and orchards. Sometimes as I ride around the city I marvel at how many other people there are riding around, going to work, school or the market. Even occasionally a car will yield for no reason other than to give the confidence that they are not planning on running you down.
I can't seem to find a parallel for the overall atmosphere though. It seems like the whole country of Belgium has grown up riding a bike and there is no way to replicate that. After riding some cobbled path to and from school everyday, to see PRO's flying smoothly along at top speed over those same cobbles makes them super-human. I wonder if some day we will have our own spring classics, not ones that try and be the Belgian classics, but races over our gouged, potholed and patched roads destroyed from winter.
I'm not trying to whine here, I'm really glad to be back home racing and among friends. Before I left though, I did take a deep breath of Belgian air. I've been holding my breath ever since.