27 March 2013

Tour of Flanders and the Easter Bunny

Who moved Easter?

I am so confused. This Sunday is Tour of Flanders, but this Sunday is also Easter Sunday. Dear Flanders, Easter Sunday is the traditional right of Paris-Roubaix, or so I thought it was tradition, so much so that I checked my calendar a couple times because I was confused.

If this is Easter Sunday - it must be Paris-Roubaix ... wrong

Tour of Flanders is this Sunday, March 31st, and Paris-Roubaix is next Sunday April 7th.

Which means my friends who are suggesting a 60-mile group ride at 9:30am this Sunday are just plain clueless. First thing, it is Tour of Flanders - there are no early morning rides during classics season! I will be busy until at least 10:30am watching online, because this year I will recognize many of the landmarks (so excited!) after my trip to Belgium to see the race in person last year, plus it's Easter Sunday. I get to go to an Easter brunch party and wear pastel colors and eat chocolate! I have priorities.

Ok so who moved Easter?

We can blame the first counsel of Nicaea. Apparently Easter is a "movable feast" (and I just thought that was a whimsical name created by Hemmingway), it typically falls between March 22nd and April 25th, always falling on the first Sunday after the full moon following the March equinox. None of which I keep track of, so to me Easter is whenever Google says it is after I search for "when is Easter 2013?"

Let's get this straight, 1) The chocolate Easter Bunny is associated with Georgian Easter as opposed to Julian Easter or Jewish Passover, 2) Paris-Roubaix is not exclusively associated with either the Easter Bunny or Easter. After some further searching, I discovered "Easter Sunday last fell on March 31 in 2002. Easter Sunday previously fell on this date in the years 1720, 1771, 1839, 1850, 1872, 1907, 1918, 1929 and 1991."

In 2014 we must wait all the way until April 20th for Easter. My guess is Paris-Roubaix will miss out again and the peloton will be off racing Liege-Bastogne-Liege by that time. So I think it is due time they rewrite the tradition of associating Paris-Roubaix with Easter, cuz it's just plain wrong. Forget that whole nickname of Paris-Roubaix as la Pascale (the Easter race), I'm not falling for that trick anymore just because it was first raced on Easter Sunday. Paris-Roubaix is 1-week after Tour of Flanders, period.

What about the chocolate bunnies!

Agreed, Belgium has the best chocolate and therefore chocolate bunny eating should commence as early as E3 Prijs Vlaanderen-Harelbeke and continue all the way through Liege-Bastogne-Liege every year, just in case. In fact if they want to rename E3 Prijs Vlaanderen-Harelbeke to Tour of the Chocolate Bunny (Ronde van de Chocolade Bunny), I would be all for that since I just learned how to spell Ronde van Vlaanderen and that was tough enough.

Belgian Bunnies! (With a few odd ducks)
I want you to know I traveled to Gent, Iper, Brugge, and Kortrijk to research and taste the best chocolates in the land; some (although few) even made it home as gifts.
Delicious choices of chocolates
Colorful shop windows make happy tourists
What about the race?

I know I should be writing up a pre-race report for Tour of Flanders, or at least sharing my gazillion photos from last year's trip to Belgium, but I must have been in the mood for chocolate.

For now, anyone going to the race, read my tips from last year, when I went to the start in Brugge, and then saw the race pass by on the Kwaremont (a whole bunch of times), and missed all the traffic - yippee! I offer driving tips which may apply to this year's race unless they have (as they threatened to do) blocked off all free viewing on the Kwaremont. I also met a really cool couple Chris and Maureen at the race (story here: Stories from Belgium) whom I remember fondly and hope they are well and returning again this year to watch from their traditional spot on the grassy embankment. The day was tons of fun.

Read the Pedal Dancer posts by Karen from my Day at Tour of Flanders (also called the Ronde van Vlaanderen, so proud I can spell that now) A day on the Kwaremont, and also my day of recon on the route: Big Day tomorrow (Koppenberg, Kwaremont, Paterberg), and a later day of fun riding the bergs: A day of pave in France and Belgium.  Also some fun pictures of Team Sky and BMC in Kortrijk: Hanging with the teams; plus lots of stories written by others about the individual climbs in the race at: SPRING CLASSICS.

I love Belgium, it's bike racing, it's beer, and it's chocolate bunnies. But especially I like Tom Boonen!

Watching the race on the Kwaremont 2012 Tour of Flanders   ©Photo by Karen at Pedal Dancer®
  = Easter  ≠  Paris-Roubaix  ,  Specialized bike  =  win Tour of Flanders! 
more on that later ...