Buenos Bologgos

An Englishman, a Colombian and a Scouser go our for a ride...what could possibly go wrong? Vamos! Los tres amigos!


After a week of no bicycle, I've been chilling and catching-up with all the odd jobs I’d been putting off because I’ve either been racing, training or generally too tired to do because of those two things.

 Flat Mates


One day we went to the beach… well not a real beach, it was a lake with a bit of sand near where we live called the Meer Van Rotselaar.  It reminded me of being a young lad and going down to Burbo Bank with my nan and grandad in the the summer holidays and digging a massive hole in the sand just because thats what kids do at the beach isn’t it?


After I was over the effects of my virus and well-rested, I started-up training again. I started off with an easy two hours spin with a few local Anglophiles and a Columbian from Etixx - Quick-step called Rodrigo Contreras, who’s staying with a friend of mine called Tim Harris. (Most English speakers who’ve ventured to Belgium to race a bike will probably know Tim. He’s an ex-pro who helps people find their way in the sometimes confusing wilderness that is bike racing in Belgium). Luckily for me Rodrigo was recovering from a knee injury and it was his first ride back after a bit of time off too, so we were in the same boat. It was nice to have a bit of company and the weather was perfect for riding the bike with the sun 'cracking the flags' and as a consequence me getting a proper English tan.


Being a Liverpudlian abroad can sometimes cause some communication barriers and training with my new Columbian friend this week has only highlighted the problem. Last ride I did with him I took him over a climb I like to call the Poggio of Diest (its nothing like the real Poggio from Milan-SanRemo but its as close as we get to it round here). Once I’d told him the name of the climb he looked a bit confused then a few minutes later he asked me why I called a climb ‘The Chicken of Diest’. The Spanish for chicken is Pollo and apparently it sounded like ‘Pollo of Diest’. This isn’t the only problem. I have more recently began to notice that most of my team mates have been turning words with the letter ‘u’ to an exaggerated ‘Ooo’ sound so ‘Truck’ becomes ‘Trook’ because apparently thats how an authentic Englishman says it… I have no idea where they could have got such slack enunciation from.


Anyway me and my new training partner may have a few communication issues to work out but on our first ride there was another British ex-Pro called Paul Watson who had punctured. After five minutes of him trying to get the tyre off with his new fangled tyre levers I offered to lend a hand using my finger and thumb technique. I had the tyre off in second passed the inner tube to Rodrigo who patched the tube who handed it back to me with F1 style precision and I duly replaced the tube and slipped the tyre back on and handed the wheel back to Paul to do the hard work of pumping the tyre up. Even though we can’t speak each others language we both speak enough cycling to help each other change a wheel in a mini multicultural peloton.


Buenos Tardes and Good Evening!


Photo Credit - Calvert Churchill

Follow Mark's training and racing on Strava.

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