93rd Ronde van Vlaanderen

My favorite professional bicycle race was yesterday. The Ronde van Vlaanderen is 93 years old and is an amazing tradition in the cycling rich country of Belgium. I spent the summer of 1994 riding the roads of Belgium in an ill fated attempt at cycling glory. If I had only taken some of the “magic pills” that the Belgians were ingesting prior to races, I might have turned into a half decent cyclist. They special substances they were injecting with “bee sting kits” might have helped too.  

The performance enhancing drug culture in cycling has seriously stained the sport over the past 15 years and I got to see it first hand in the amateur ranks. In the past few years, I have consciously tuned out the professional cycling scene because it isn’t about the athletics or the fitness or the health. Of course, it really has never been about health and wellness in the pro ranks. The drug related problems are as old as the sport itself.

There is still drama in the sport and the Spring Classics are my favorite events. I prefer the Classics over the Grand Tours (Giro d”Italia, Tour de France, Vuelta a Espana) because it suits my style of riding more. The cobblestone covered farm roads of Northeastern France, Belgium, and the Netherlands are home to some amazing race courses.

Wednesday is Gent-Wevelgem and Sunday is Paris Roubaix. After that is Amstel Gold Race, Fleche Wallone, and Liege-Bastogne-Liege. I love all of them, but particularly the Ronde.

I enjoyed reading about yesterday’s edition while sipping a celebratory Grimbergen Double Ale. One of my best ever amateur races in Belgium, was in Grimbergen, and the monks at the abbey in that town brew some fine beer!

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@trailrunningmom led another successful #Yoga at #Sunset for the #boltonlandtrust This year's venue was the #BoltonHeritageFarm It's been a tradition to move to a new spot each time. I got my first #cyclocross ride of the year in too! #yogini #yogi #shavasana Sightseeing on my second favorite road in #Connecticut #grassyhill #cycling #bicycle #sevencycles #horstengineering Camp was swell! @thecubscouts @boyscoutsofamerica #cubscouts #boyscouts #junenorcrosswebster I visited the new HQ of the @appalachianmountainclub that is under construction at 10 City Square in #Charlestown I had to ride by the #BunkerHill Monument at the end of the #FreedomTrail #Boston #sevencycles First time at the People's Forest Trail Race since 2011. This first image is the look of a dejected man who lost 25 minutes with a wrong turn on a big descent. That's costly in an 11 kilometer race. Even worse is that @trailrunningmom is the one who led him (and two other runners) off course! They survived. It was a nice day on the #FarmingtonRiver. #trailrunning #teamhorstsports #shenipsitstriders 🏃🏻⛰🏆 Another great #sunset at #windingtrails Two distant pre-swim thunderclaps turned the race into a #Duathlon which suited me just fine! It's nice to not come into T1 with a two minute deficit. #Triathlon #mountainbiking #trailrunning #teamhorstsports Once again, @trailrunningmom took the cookie prize for winning the special summit competition at the finish line of the #shenipsitstriders #SoapstoneAssault Here is a picture of a picture of myself taking a picture. @cwoodside59 put together a nice piece for the @ctforestandparkassociation quarterly. I'm looking forward to my next #carfreecommute #selfie #bicycle #windingtrails Kid's #Triathlon

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