Homeboy In Belgium: The Vacation Diary

– By Gregg Germer In Belgium –
I’m back and the vacation is over – hope ya didn’t miss me. This year has to be the longest and most intense racing of my career. Throw in the recovery from my broken collarbone and I’d had a lot of hard times and a vacation was just what I needed.

In a nutshell I didn’t do anything halfway productive and loved every second of it. To quote the movie Office Space:

“I did nothing and it was everything I thought it could be!”

I think in the total of 10 days of vacation I rode twice. The last time I took more than two days off the bike in a row was back in December for Christmas week and that was only after a killer 26 hour week.

The second time I rode during my vacation from the bike was actually a race only 3 kilometers from the Cycling Center. In fact the course passed within about 500 meters of the house! I couldn’t pass up the chance to race so close to the house even though I was on holiday.

The race was as always fast, but the field was smaller because of the race being on a weekday. That didn’t stop Kam Po Wong (Hong Kong National Team) and two other guys who were pros last year from showing up to the race. I knew we were in for some good racing.

The race ended up going well for me. I make it over an hour in the main field before trying to bridge a gap to the front group and I ended up using all my energy. I finished in the money with 38th place and I am happy to have survived a hard Belgian Kermesse with absolutely no preparation!

The rest of the week was great. I visited Gent over the weekend with my girlfriend. We saw all the beautiful cathedrals, old castles and some wonderful artwork. The city is very cool with lots of awesome shops and places to go.

The highlight of it all was the Mexican food restaurant Pablos. I’ve been gone from Texas now for over 9 months and most of all I miss the Mexican food. I tried two other Mexican restaurants already here in Belgium, but it’s not the same taste. Pablo’s on the other hand was as good or even better than the Mexican food I can get back home. It was absolute heaven for me. I even was able to top off the dinner with a real Mexican beer.

So now the fun and my vacation is over. It’s back to the bike. I say the fun’s over, but it‚’ just different fun. As much as I liked going out late, eating bad foods and going to the beach, I missed my bike. It’s become such a part of my life it feels weird when I don’t ride. I’m now really hungry to race hard and go for a win. The drive is back! Which is a good thing as I have 14 UCI races to do in the next 7 weeks!