lunes, 23 de febrero de 2015

BRM 200 Morkhoven

I find myself in a blue boat, alone, I need to row , useless but I try to keep the direction, but which one? , the big stream wraps me and confuses me, right and left hundreds of tributaries as wide as the river, I am alone in the world , the noise keep me alert, my throat is  dry , no need to drink, my belly is empty, no need to eat, how many days ahead ? no idea , I can only follow the river’s will , the name of this one is the river of no return , I wish I find the right way and reach the end soon, the past is lost , I fight the stream , right , left , ahead , deep in my soul I  feel I loose , the unknown  future waits me down there somewhere , I fight the will , I cry ,I wake up , six in the morning, dark , coffee , I head to Morkhoven.


This first BRM 2015 is a beauty, designed and planned perfectly by Jan ,204 km all in
peace, no cars whatsoever,  all flat but long for the first big  ride since last year, the
scenery is superb , a wonderful track to enjoy and  discover the Flemish region in Belgium, almost all  the way passes  near the small and big canals plenty of birds and water , water everywhere,  it has been raining since three days and the small roads are a bit slippery. What a relief to feel le fresh air in my face to talk to the mates to travel along the big line which leads to the satisfaction. All pleasure but the pain in my knees this time at the en of the day , hard , but happy after all.

As usual we are ready to start the same people  again , Antonio, Marc ,Guy, Alain, Patrice, Stephan, we will be together most of the way.There are some Duchts, German and French people too.
 Eight sharp, we start the first long distance this year. Everything wet, cloudy, a bit cold, 3º C, friendly west humid wind , we face it towards the Albert canal until Anvers , the small cycling paths are worderful.
For almost until Anvers we are a solid group which leads Guy in a very nice speed that I can follow , we talk and we enjoy this strech with nice weather and no wind.
After this long time without cycling I feel a bit weak but happy to start again.
We cross Anvers and the river Schelde  by the tunnel Sainte Anne, 572 meter long and a diameter of 4,3 .

Once on the other side we follow the way until the first control in Beveren , 55km , and all we do is drink and eat a bit. Once again on the road for the next 55 km, after lunch I feel cold, it stars raining, the roads are completely wet and mud in good amount in some stretches , my rear fender breaks and my back got wet. I will need to by another one , compulsory in Belgium.

Now Marc takes the responsibility of the leader and goes strong for some more kilometers , the sun is with us, we see the blue sky for the first time today , very nice moment .

There are some pretty little cycling roads to enjoy , good job Jan, thanks for this track.

Now we are heading to schellebelle where Geert waits us in a place called" Plan B " to put the second stamp in the control km 110.
But first we need to cross the Schelde again , now a bit narrower, in a yellow small boat but to me it seems a lot bigger than in my dream last night.We have a rest of two minutes , better than nothing I guess !

It is 14:00h , and we are in the middle of the ride, we stop for 15 minutes to drink something in Schellebelle, it is raining , not much but it soaks.We need  two more hours through the very straight  cycling lines and passing Aalst  to get to the third control in  Tisselt.Until here I have managed to keep in with the others , Alain , Marc, Antonio and Stephan but after the rest in this last control km 155 I feel my legs like wet wood, and the fact that soon will be dark gives me a moment to come to reality , i tell the other that if they dont see me behind to continue and not to wait for me.
Waiting for the bridge to come down to its place to cross again the river.
Marc and Alain dissapear in the distance  , they go fast now.
Both , Antonio and me follow the very nice way towards the east at the side of the Ruppel , very nice way , all quiet , it rains a little bit ,we follow now at slow speed but enjoy each kilometre, it is getting dark , soon the bike´s lights will give the answer and the solution to reach the end of this majestic BRM in Morkhoven where we arrive at 19:40 in the middle of the darkness and the rain.
Thaks to Antonio, Marc , Alain and Stephan for the good company for almost all the way.And to Jan for this wonderful BRM.
I took the decision of coming to ride this first BRM in 2015  late last friday, indeed it took me some time to decide and one hour later I started to prepare the bike , it means that I went to bed late but now I think I did it right. I was afraid of my legs ,now they hurt a bit but it will be ok then, not bad for this beginning.
Now the worst is to come , to clean the bike  !!  it deserves it anyway.
As I´m alone at home now I did not prepare a meal, I just had one good Belgium beer, this is what I ate on sunday after 2 hours cooking.
 Last night before I dreamed I heard this song. Melody Gardot.

 "The Rain"
The rain the rain
Rain came down in sheets that night
And you and I stared out to the left and to the right
Rain came down in gusts seemed to laugh at us till daylight
The clouds the clouds
Clouds raced out across the autumn sky
And you and I fumbled for a way to say goodbye
Strangers weren't we scared to look into each other's eyes