First Week In the Heartland!

Hi!,

I’ve finally arrived and so excited to be here! I’ve ridden my first cobbled climbs and i’m starting to get to know my way about, enough to get me to the supermarket and back anyway!

Last Sunday I left Aberdeen to stay the night at Edinburgh Airport Travelodge. All was going well until I released I had left the key to my bike box at home. Already settled into my hotel I decided to wing it the next day in the hope that airport security wouldn’t want to check inside the box. Luck wasn’t to be on my side and even though it got through the security checks it turned out the box was 3 kg over what the (unnamed) airline could carry. An hour of stress later and I finally managed to bump into a airport engineer with a bag of tools and used his screwdriver and pliers to break the lock open. However my problems weren’t over yet. I had managed to get the required  3 kg of clothes out but having no where else to put them I had no choice but to wear some of my cycling kit onto the plane! Drama over I could look forward to a not so comfortable flight…

On arrival at Brussels Charleroi airport I quickly collected all my kit and began the journey to Oudenaarde. One bus and a train journey later and I was met at the train station by Callum, who then drove me to the apartment. I wasted no time in getting my bike built and out for my first ride around my new home 🙂

I have since met my team and been on several training rides with them which have all been fantastic. The roads round here are brilliant for riding and if you know where to go can get a very hilly training ride in the legs. Oudenaarde itself is a lovely place with a busy square that’s traditionally hosts the start and finishes to many races including the Tour Of Flanders. There are a number of cafes and restaurants with my favorite so far being the Ronde Van Vlaanderen Cafe and museum. It is a fantastic place and well worth a visit if you are ever in the area.  I have a team presentation coming up this Friday and will hopefully be racing within 2 weeks. Cant Wait!

And to finish off with some excellent news i’m pleased to announce that I’ve been granted Braveheart Funding for 2013!!! Words cannot describe my gratitude to all those involved…

Until next time

Craig

Winter Update

Packing!

Packing!

Hey everyone,

Just a real quick update on whats been going on recently and what is planned for the coming weeks. I’ve managed to get some consistent training in the last few weeks even though there was heavy snowfall a week ago. A week on the turbo wasn’t as bad as expected and I got some decent sessions in. This past week I’ve managed to get out on the road everyday(apart from today, the now has returned!), racking up more kilometers in the Aberdeenshire hills. The last few days my legs have started to feel semi good again so I hope to have some good form by the time the racing starts.

Usually my only company on my long winter rides

Usually my only company on my long winter rides

This is my last weekend at home before I fly out to Belgium on Monday morning and I can’t wait!! It feels weird that after months of dreaming of going to Belgium I am finally ready to go. I’m just in the process of packing my bags full of all the kit ill need for a season out in the heartland. Once I arrive at Brussels Charleroi  airport I have the task of making my way to Oudenaarde, my base for the season. A huge thank you to Callum Gough who is letting me (and other young aspiring riders) stay at his apartment.  It is a huge help and i’m very grateful. From the airport I have a bus and a train to catch. This will probably prove to be quite interesting considering I’ll have all my bags plus a 30kg bike box in tow. However its all part of the adventure and I’m counting down the hours until my flight in excited anticipation.

Also if there is anything in particular that you would like me to write about in Belgium then let me know in the comment section or on Facebook.

Next update I’ll be in Belgium. 🙂