I now have all my stuff packed and ready for the trip. Clothing, including waterproofs for the famous liquid sunshine - check. Energy powders/gel - check. Basic tools - check. Glad rags for when I get out to celebrate on the Saturday night - check. Oh, and of course the bicycle. I wasn't sure which one to use, but I finally decided on my cyclo cross bike. I've put on 28mm Continental Gatorskins, provided to me care of Him Indoors. I've been told that gel bar tape is not necessary for this ride, as the cobbles are still tame compared to Paris-Roubaix. I've checked that the brakes are in order, the bottle cage doesn't rattle, and most importantly, that the granny ring works. There's no point in wearing racing shoes as it's guaranteed I'll have to walk at some point - at least on the Kapelmuur. So I'm using Shimano SPD's.
I can't say It's going to be a competitive ride for me. I haven't done any specific training for this. Just a few long rides - in fact it'll be the first time I'm riding 85 miles this year ! I've only been doing 60mile rides ! Hope my legs don't protest too much. I will be relying on the road racing training I've done and a winter of cyclo cross racing to get me through !
Anyway I'm sure it'll be a good craic. Mixing with cyclists from far and wide, having a beer. A number of people I know from London are going - some doing the mammoth 260km (160mile) epic. I'll spare them a thought as I wake up at 6am on Saturday morning, knowing that they've already been up more than 2 hours and are just starting their ride !
It is still possible to enter - they are taking entries right up to tomorrow. Check out
Of course there will also be various interesting sights in that part of the world. The bustling activity of Brussels, the quaintness of Ghent, and the beauty of Bruges.
The story continues on the 2.13 from Waterloo.