UNBOUND UNTOLD

UNBOUND UNTOLD

Sometimes, the stories that happen before a big event, are more interesting than the race itself. Laurens and Thomas will always remember this trip of what happened in Oklahoma, two weeks prior to UNBOUND.

 

 Training in remote area 

It's not the first time Laurens and Stefan chose to do a training camp in between Gravel Locos and UNBOUND. It is part of their final preparation, far away from the buzzing centre of Emporia, Kansas. No distractions, no small talk, just the daily grind of eating, training and sleeping. The only down side? The house they are staying at is perfect for cyclists, but in this remote area, food stores are hard to find and getting groceries takes up a big part of your day.

Tornado Alley 

About an hour drive, there is a town with a Family Dollar store. It was their go-to place, but upon arrival, the whole place seemed destroyed. They soon learned that is was the result of a huge tornado, that had occurred the end of April. Change of plans. They decided to drive a little further to start and end their training next to the local Mexican restaurant. A perfect way to get in some carbs afterwards. They parked their van just behind the place on a quiet parking lot.

Done and busted 

A long and dusty ride followed and when they came back, they quickly changed their bib shorts for some summer shorts. Thomas took a bit more time and used a gallon of water as a provisional shower. Not facing the road, in between the two doors of the van, the privacy of the cyclist was guaranteed. At least, that is what a regular European person would think, right? At about 40 meters, a guy passed the van and started shouting. "What do you think you are doing? What if there were children present? Someone should call the police!"

Laurens, who was in the van and already dressed, was somewhat dazzled. He quickly threw a towel at Thomas and two minutes later, they found a seat in the busy restaurant, ordering two Cokes. But then they saw a police car turning around the corner. A cop enters the restaurant and asks the two cyclist to come out and follow them to the car. Before they know it, they leave the site in cuffs in the back seat of the car.

 

Thug life 

Off to the police station of Marietta. Fingerprints, mug shots, orange overalls, paper forms addressing them as inmates Laurens and Thomas. First Thomas was put into a cell and Laurens was questioned. Then the other way around. And then all communication stopped for the next few hours. Dressed in nothing but shorts and a tanktop, the concrete cell soon felt like a fridge. And after three hours of hard training and no food at all in the countless hours afterwards, the men really felt sorry for themselves. With no concept of time and no idea what was going to happen, they could only hope for the best. 

 Clash of cultures 

It must have been a couple of hours later, when two plates of food and a blanket were shoved through the hatch. Best potatoes and meat ever? After they had finished their meals, they still had no clue how long this was gonna take. At 10 PM, they were released, after having paid the bail of 180 dollar each. The two cyclists walked out of the police station, hoping to find their van back and drive back home. They had spent a dazzling 10 hours in jail, for changing their bib shorts on a parking lot. A day later, they learned that their case was not going to be brought to court, so they could continue their training camp without the fear of being prosecuted. A huge relief, because traveling to the USA is Laurens' greatest hobby. At least we have the mug shots to laugh about it once in a while. 

 

 


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