Saturday, October 15, 2011

It wouldn't be proper to start "field driving" season without a field to drive in so an early wake up pointed us in the direction of Serskamp, Belgium to race around the orchard. I can't say much exciting for my race; a decent start but missed the split in the Master's B and spent the day in the midst of the Master's C race. They are a pretty fast bunch as well. 15th and not lapped which counts as a win for me. €5 prize money on the day!

What makes racing in Belgium stand out is everything surrounding the race. Local races are not what you might think-the SuperPrestige and GVA races are festivals with a bike race. Local racing has some of the same; the fast riders arrive by camper, some in what I'd call rolling condos. Traffic jams as a motorhome tries to turn down a tiny village street. Everyone walking to the end of the lane to pay €4 to watch the race. Yes, they charge spectators at the local races and everyone comes out of watch. But what always strikes me is the hospitality of the people. The pride everyone takes in making sure the signs and banners are just right. The senior at sign in handing out numbers double checking you have the right one. Someone always comes out of their house with a pitcher of water or an offer of somewhere warm and dry to change after the race. That's what makes racing in Belgium special.

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