It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere; 24H Velo comes to a close.

Remember when I was talking about the 24h velo in Louvain-la-Neuve? Well, it’s a race. There are teams and each member takes a turn riding through the city. It goes all night. Except for the folklore bikes; the one’s all decked out and decorated. Those stop from about midnight till 5am. There are prizes for things like fastest time (regular and folklore), best decorated, and all that stuff. The morning after, when things are finishing up and the race is coming to a close there’s a concert in the main square. This serves the purpose of either keeping awake – or waking up – the people who stayed up all night or just really late partying it up. And let me tell you, it’s still a party the next morning. We got there around 11:30. The beer tents were going strong. Which brings me to the point of my title.

I drank 3 beers in just over an hour. They’re not large, but not tiny either. I think I would say less than your normal sized North American bottle. Let me tell you, I was tipsy. Maybe it was under an hour. I just remember looking at my iPod and seeing that it was only 12:35. I wanted to text my sister, but didn’t want to wake her up. I was thinking it was hilarious that I was already tipsy before noon and then thought of the song ‘It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere’ and decided it was alright. It’s not every day I do this right? Turns out it was 5:35pm in Bangkok. Back to the first beer; it’s tradition to chug the first one. Oh boy. I’ve never done this before with anything other than water. Maybe pop when I was really thirsty and it was there, but never because I was actually trying to chug it all down. It’s really hard! It took me so much longer than Adeline and before I could even start I spilled some on my jacket :P. Adeline said the first time is always the hardest.

Then we got another, except this time I tried mine mixed with Pop. It has a name that I forget (for the 2nd time today) and I wouldn’t know how to spell it though it starts with an M. After we were properly supplied we made our way to the stage where the concert was starting. We managed to squeeze through so we were fairly close. I kept taking mini videos and my goal is to edit them together. I know, I know, I still have to do that with the folk dances :S. The performer today was Allan Théo. I guess Adeline was saying that normally for these concerts they get ‘have-been’s’, but that this guy was a ‘has-not-been’. I think he really only had two songs that everybody knew. He ended up doing them twice. They’re kind of catchy actually. Although in the one he switches back and forth between English and French in the most awkward of ways. That’s they way it seems to me anyway. I was still pretty reserved – I’m not usually one for big crowds like this; beer, cigarette’s, (even some pot), music so loud you can feel it pounding in your entire body – but then I got into it a bit eventually. I realized I’m never going to see any of these people again, and even if I were, does it really matter what I look like dancing around if I’m having fun? The answer is no, but I still have a hard time of it. So this is Allan Théo in the 90s with his song ‘Emmème moi’:

It was actually pretty fun. The atmosphere was pretty charged considering most of the people there had probably been up all night. No classes for them today. 😉 And the crowd really got into it with the 2 songs they knew! Everyone was singing along. I think that’s why they choose who they choose for this concert – so that everyone will know the music and sing along! That’s my theory anyway. Here he is again, but this video is from a concert in June, so this is what he looked like today. ‘Lola’

After the concert – it wasn’t that long – we grabbed another beer before the lines could get really long. That’s when I really started to feel it. I had only eaten two small oranges (uh, clementines….? I honestly can’t remember right now) for breakfast and it was past lunch time. That’s when the crazy idea to text Lisa came upon me, but I was alert and aware enough to know it probably wouldn’t have been a good idea. And I thought of the song and chuckled. We managed to get right up to the barrier they had made so the bikes could pass by while they said all the thank you’s and gave out the awards and stuff. Finally we had to leave because we had to pee so bad! I didn’t see that many cool decorated bikes…I don’t know if they just hadn’t got there yet or what, but I got pictures of a couple so that’s alright.

We ended up going to Pizza Hut for lunch. I got a plain old pepperoni pizza. It’s been so long since I’ve had pepperoni on my pizza, I was so excited! It tasted just like the Pizza Hut at home (not that I got that often). We were both pretty tuckered out. I had actually been up till after 1am talking to a friend on MSN. We got home and about half an hour later I went to pick up the boys. Adeline and Greg went out tonight so it was just the three of us. I gave them baths, we ate, Sylvain fell asleep in his chair, and Bastien played while I put Sylvain to bed. Now they’re both all tucked in and quiet. Mom, Dad, Lisa; he still remembers your names. I said I was going to miss him when I go home and he said ‘well, Sue and Lisa, and uh, and Mike will be there so you won’t be sad’. He’s too smart for his own good. Like this morning on the way to school I said I was afraid of the Halloween decorations on this one house (they totally went all out and they have a witch hanging from a tree with spiders and webs – think the witch from Disney’s Snow White) and he said in a very matter of fact way ‘Holly, you don’t need to be scared, they aren’t real’. Good for you Bastien. 😀

So the 35th year of the 24 Heure Velo in Louvain-la-Neuve was a success! At least the parts that I experienced seemed to go well. I’m glad that I could go and be a part of it even if it’s generally not my scene. And now, I hope you all enjoy this video and as we become full ensconced in Fall you can all wish you were Alan Jackson on that boat.


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  1. You wild child, you! 😉


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