I trained. I studied the route. I kept my eye on the Belgian weather forecast. I had enough a stash of energy bars. Extra arm warmers, leg warmers, gloves, and jacket. I was prepared.
Well, I thought I was prepared. I soon found out I didn’t know what was coming next. During registration and packet pickup I learned there were 20,000 other riders just like me signed up to ride the cyclo.
In the early hours on a chilly Saturday morning in April, I was about to ride the epic bucket-list ride of my life. But not alone. There were hundreds of dark, shadowy figures surrounding me.
Each of us sporting our number plate in the front of our bikes. I’m ready to start, in the cool, dreary, dark Belgian sky. It still was not light out yet.
I checked my tires one last time. I think I’m ready to attempt the cobbles, the climbs, the crisp, spring weather. It must be time for Flanders!
I sat on the saddle and turned the first pedals over. Here I go…