Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Living the good life of a Top Sporter

"Eat half as much at home, twice as much on the bike"

Personal bodem and my wicked mug. Don't let it fool you, I use it for tea too.

The man himself. With his cafe.

A top sporter in Belgium is a professional sports person. In cycling's case, a pro or amateur racer. But the key is, you must live the life and race strongly. So far, my results are not top sporter, but I am improving by leaps and bounds, but my life is becoming increasingly top sporter. I do all I can with my lifestyle to improve my cycling. Much of the lifestyle revolves around Euro/Belgian logic here. I should mention that top sporter is not just another term developed by our house of cyclists, it is an actual official term here. We just use it a lot, to describe many things, some more humorous than others. For example, eating peanut butter or Nutella while not on a ride: not top sporter. To ride in the morning or when the weather is cool (below 23 or so) with out leg warmers or long sleeve jersey: not top sporter. Exceptions are made for this if you are racing, or doing a real hard workout (though you should wear them for warm-up/cool-down). Legs are either top sporter, or not before a race. Nutrition here is key, and doing it on the cheap even more so. Example, I go go to the bakery and buy smokin' sweet crepes for breakfast for like 5 Euro, OR I could spend an extra 30 minutes and make my own for about 50 cents. Plus mine are made with cane sugar, whole wheat flour and there for more top sporter. I figure you folks are getting the idea. Its funny, if I rode all the time back home with leg warmers and long sleeve jerseys like I do here (especially in some of the warmer weather) I would get some weird looks, and have many questions to be answered. Here, people just see me as a top sporter. Tourists, old man riders, and juniors ride without warm clothes. Weekend warriors out for their weekend leg tearing ride don't, they don't care about being sick. A top sporter in always sweating or on the verge of. We must always be wearing a hat and socks in the house, and long sleeve shirt and pants are the norm. Even while riding the rollers, we can be seen with at least a long sleeve undershirt on. Its all about minimizing the energy your body has to expend to help it recover. With sun out today again and pretty warm temperatures, look likes I may be able to remove the arm warmers and leg warmers after my body heats up. Nice. The A team is off and gone now, 5 day UCI Tour of Liege, leaving the house oddly quiet and the rest of us preparing for Kermis races. I will be racing Saturday at a U23 Kermis with a few of the other younger guys. Should be good, pumped to go out and race again. Learn some more, work hard and perhaps get paid again... Our kitchen crew swooped a smokin' sweet little french press last evening from another of the kitchens. This little mini bodum makes one mug of coffee, basically a personal bodem. Nice for a mid morning coffee while typing on this blog...
Nothing too exciting in le Tour today, so I have pushed my ride back a bit into the afternoon to take more advantage of this sun. Basically it leads to a nice relaxing morning here, sitting in the sun room with my personal bodem, writing my thoughts down for you folks to read - and help learn from some of my Euro experiences. I'll finish this post with a few more pictures for your entertainment. Ciao

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