On a Foggy Saturday: Koppenberg 1, Me 0.
As I mounted my bike in foggy Oudenaarde, it was 2°C. I looked up at Sint Walburga Church and had Adele belting out Skyfall in my head. A good start, as far as my mental state was concerned.
After pootling along the canal for about 12.5 km, I got to Oude Kwaremont, the first climb of the day, not realising it was Oude Kwaremont. Halfway up the gradual, cobbled climb, I already felt completely spent and was being reminded of the fact that I had returned relatively late the night before from an afternoon in Paris. When I came by the familiar pub at the summit, I realised that I was on Oude Kwaremont. Yep, I remember the important things.
Later, I was a bit surprised that I actually made it up Paterberg even though the rear wheel was struggling to keep traction on the moist cobbles. However, when I got to Koppenberg, the cobbles were wetter for some reason, and my rear wheel just didn’t want to hug the cobbles any more at about the halfway point. I had Dead or Alive’s Spin Me Round playing in my head. Unfortunately. I just couldn’t keep pedalling with Pete Burns’s face on my mind. If you don’t believe me, then do try climbing Koppenberg whilst thinking about Pete Burns.
So, I thought, ‘Sod it’ and headed back to Oudenaarde to pig out on some carbonade flamande at the Brasserie De Flandrien of the Centrum Ronde van Vlaanderen. With a bit of the ‘better than EPO’ and a bit of the ‘approved by WADA’… The brasserie’s members of staff are always friendly, so it is always a pleasure to visit even if I had a crummy morning in the saddle.