Paris Roubaix, Brussels, and a cycle in Luxembourg


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Europe » Belgium
April 10th 2018
Published: April 11th 2018
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I am sure you all saw that Michael Goolaerts - a 23 year old cyclist for Veranda’s Willems-Crelan team - passed away Sunday night after being air lifted from the race to a near by hospital. The incident happened about 150 km into the race and the television coverage showed him lying on the side of the road as the rest of the race went by. It wasn't until later than we knew this was something more serious than the other crashes in the race. I saw today though, that his team will race the next race Wednesday. We will be there as well.



The rest of the race was grand though. Peter Sagan finally got his Roubiax win - and what a great showing again from Taylor Phinney! Dave and I watched the beginning of the race with some British cyclists who had done the sportif event on Saturday where they had ridden part of the course. They were hilarious recounting their experiences and near mishaps as the pro race went on the cobble sectors they had done. Each of them agreed that the cobbles were hard, slippery, uneven, and unforgiving - and they were all glad
Beer and FritesBeer and FritesBeer and Frites

On the square - it's the way to sightsee
they had done it. Eventually, they headed back to the UK and we made the walk to the velodrome for the finishing lap. The velodrome is old, and could use some refurbishing, and the race organizers could have put more jumbotrons and other spectator support amenities inside the velodrome - but we got there early enough to get a spot on the rail where we could see the TV coverage, the entrance to the velodrome and the finish line. It was a long and uncomfortable wait ... But when the two leaders came into sight, it was awesome to watch the final lap and finish.



Everyone will be glad to know that we knew where we had parked the car, it was unbroken into, and we managed to pay and get out of the lot ... All in all a huge success for us. Next was driving to Brussels and finding our next Air BNB. That all went well, except that the location seems to be in a GPS free zone ... Not sure if it is true, but every time we get near, we lose GPS and have to jog, weave, and circle to find our
Cycling in LuxembourgCycling in LuxembourgCycling in Luxembourg

The day is nicer than it looks. Overcast, but warm enough and not a lot of wind. Good cycling weather!
apartment - and Brussels is no cake walk for driving in. Monday, we went - via the Metro - to see the Grand Place. I know, it kind of reminds me of the Great Place (Ft Hood) - but much nicer and smaller. We walked around, looked at the guild houses, and decided what would really be nice was a beer and some of the famous Belgian frites. Turns out that was the perfect way to enjoy the Grand Place, from a cafe on the square with a beer.



Today, we explored some of the cycle trails in Luxembourg. The visit Luxembourg web site highlighted some of the cycling options in the country. The one we were interested in was the station to station one, where you rent a bike at a train station, ride along a races to trails sort or route (no hills), to the next station, and the next etc. If and when you get tired, you get on a train headed back to your car and turn you bike in. It sounded like just the thing for us .... So we showed up at the first station, and the station workers had no
Bettendorf!Bettendorf!Bettendorf!

We cycled right through it .. small little berg.
idea what we were talking about. She did research it though, and said something about she hadn't heard of this but that she thought the tourist information center would be working on it ... Sort of "they don't tell us anything". Off we went to the tourist information center .... Closed. Hmmm. We had already driven down from Brussels, so we decided another 30kms was not a big deal, so we drove to the big city, Diekirch ... and they were fully read in on the program. We got our bikes, got a map, found the path, and had a great ride. We ended up riding back though because of some construction on the railway ... About 25-30 miles through Luxembourg ... beautiful. We also saw a well tended monument to the 80th Division for their actions in WWII to restore freedom to this area. The final line on the monument says "We will never forget". Truly humbling to think of the Soldiers and civilians and their sacrifices in WWII.



Another race day tomorrow, followed by a tour of the Battle of the Bulge in Bastogne.


Additional photos below
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What sceneryWhat scenery
What scenery

The whole day was like this
The 80th DivisionThe 80th Division
The 80th Division

We will never forget
Art in the squareArt in the square
Art in the square

Not sure what it means, but it was interesting


Tot: 3.05s; Tpl: 0.044s; cc: 8; qc: 49; dbt: 0.0403s; 2; m:saturn w:www (104.131.125.221); sld: 1; ; mem: 1.4mb