Here are some shots of the Eerde-Veghel race in the Netherlands. Afterwards, as I was undressing, a bunch of older Belgian guys crowded around me and wanted to get some of my fan cards. I had the tiny little pictures cards I got made and handed a few to each of them. They were pretty stoked and started looking to see which ones each other had gotten. These guys are like 50 years old. It was amazing. One of them recognized me from the Beginjidrik ride too! “Vanilla! Oh ho ho! Ya ya ya.”
Fidea really was out in force, They had lines of truck and trailers all up in front of where Brian and I had parked. Peter Dlask and Bart Wellens each had their own RV trailer. But, Erwin Vervecken has a fucking semi. With a huge photo of himself posing on the ground next to a hottub or something on the top. Sweet! I wondered why Barry and Ryan don’t have Fatson drive them around in a big ass RV with posed photos of themselves all over. Then I remembered that Ryan spent all of his money registering for nationals this year. Ouch.
It is like US Nascar racing. Or maybe more like horse racing. The Belgian people just go out and smoke and drink and pay to watch professional racing. Joachim was saying that compared to professional tennis or football, it is pretty cheap for them to pay 6-8euros to go and watch top level cyclocross racing. Makes sense.
I think it says something that I got recognized from a ride I have done twice. There were at least 100+ people on the ride and I was hiding out in the back the entire time. They are tuned in to cycling. I even heard “ CAMERON MOLLY HO!” shouted from people I totally did not know. Not that I am a ho or anything. I mean, how would the Belgians know that already?
I always try really hard not to be the loud American. I like to try and speak the language, learn the proper names of the towns and such. But everyone here speaks perfect English. Perfect. It is silly and we are spoiled. I started out trying my poor, poor Flemish. But after two words they know I sprech English and just respond in English! Like no, really, I want you correct me in vlaams. I want to try and speak your language.
After the race Vernor and I drove back from the Netherlands and stopped in a little village to taste the local culture and find some food or coffee.