da Belgians

Today ended up being a Belgian kind of day.

I consider nasty weather days to be Belgian for some reason. Belgian bike races are known for difficult weather and Belgium produces tough bike riders. This morning started bitter cold. Before the morning ride I checked weather.com, saw it was 20 degrees out at the Beach and opted to skip the first loop. My gear is not sufficiently PRO. It was in the high 20s when I got out there about 8 for a quick warm-up and 34 by the time we were rolling up First Colonial for the next two loops. It was actually somewhat pleasant in the group and we rolled along pretty fast. Work harder, stay warmer.

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When I got home, I checked the results from the cyclocross world championships in Treviso, Italy. No big surprises in the juniors or U-23. Young Belgian stud Niels Albert took the U-23 rainbow jersey by a wide enough margin that he celebrated as he crossed the live (above). He’ll be a force in the years to come. Tomorrow brings the mens and womens championships. It remains to be seen whether Katie Compton is even going to race, let alone be able to improve on her silver from last year. I do hope whatever is ailing her passes and she can take on her German, Dutch and French rivals. And maybe in the mens, Jonathan Page will surprise like he did last year, but I think this is a race between Belgian Sven Nys and the Dutchman Lars Boom.

Finally I enjoyed one of the best beers I’ve ever been privileged enough to drink tonight. This was another find at Grape & Gourmet. It was one of two that I saw that had scores of 100 from ratebeer.com. In other words, according to the critics, beer doesn’t get any better. If so, it must be worth the shock-inducing price tag of $3.99 an 11.2-ounce bottle, so I bought a Brasserie des Rocs Grand Cru.

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Yum. My palate and knowledge of beer isn’t adequate to describing this Belgian Special Brown Ale. I detected raisin and cherry in the mouth. It offered a subtle sweetness, not as cloying as the Gouden Carolus Classic I sipped a few days ago. The Brasserie des Rocs fairly exploded across my tongue then slithered through the rest of my mouth revealing complexity wherever it landed. At 9.5 percent alcohol, this one also carries a kick. I’ll want to have one again, when I figure out how to afford it.

Pull for Americans Compton and Page tomorrow.

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One response to “da Belgians

  1. …whatever happened to champagne taste and beer budget? I will always remember my first taste of Double Diamond Ale on the train from Edinburgh to London back in the ’70’s. Had to get it in DC as it was not available locally. Chris’s dad and I didn’t know to reserve seats on the train, so without anyplace to park, we spent the trip in the dining car savoring Double Diamond and a new love was born!

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