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

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