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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Bike again.

By god, I'm tired, but I'm happy.

This is for a very simple reason: For the first time in a year or two, I've got a bike that's fun to ride. Ain't no mountain high enough, no valley low enough. Around sixty kilometers today. When I turned up at the Tourist Information in Leuven this morning at eleven, I was met with disbelief: "Where did you say you just came from? And you've got your bike here?" Of course, otherwise I wouldn't ask for a map to find a different way back.

And my, Flanders can be beautiful. I cycled through fields and forests and meadows and parks, sometimes gently up the hills, sometimes down. I cannot believe I had never done this. At the speed of a bike, I find freedom and connection.

I probably should thank the thieves that relieved me of my old and much-loved bike which I yet never got around to have repaired, that had lost most of its gears and just about worked for the five kilometers to work and back. I guess I would still harbour best intents to finally find a bicycle shop here in Brussels, without any chance of acting on them any time soon.

Ask me now which shop I'd recommend, and there's no hesitation: The Velodroom stocks Patria, Gudereit and Brompton, routinely services its customers in five languages and takes time for discerning customers like me. It's my own fault that the bike I use now is still not my own: The first frame was too small, the second the wrong shape, and the third one was grey. I mean - how would anyone want to own a grey bike? While I'm now waiting for my shiny new bike being delivered, Velodroom has lent me one of their spare ones. And already: What joy! What pleasure!

How could I forget how much I loved to cycle?

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