One tough cookie

A true female Belgian flahute

Samantha Boulanger has always been one tough cookie on and off the bike.

My 14-year-old daughter is a freshman at the local high school. Despite sunny skies, her soccer season has come to a premature end today due to "wet conditions."

That's a hard statement to handle for a girl who's ridden her bike in the driving rain, tolerated my bleak humor and flatulence on several tandem rides, and climbed the fabled Old La Honda Road less than five months after relocating from a very flat Dayton, Ohio.

Sam looks like a French girl straight out of Quebec City, but in her heart she's a fierce flahute, both on the bike and the soccer field. Her Belgian ancestry coarses through her veins when she's on the bike, whether commuting to school or sharing a road ride with me.

She's one determined girl.

Yes, she's a bit disappointed that her final game was cancelled due to "wet conditions," which was amplified only by her disappointment at having her Sunday afternoon pick-up game cancelled because of rain as well. My fondest memories playing soccer in high school and college were in the rain, I shared with her.

This doesn't lift her spirits enough, I'm afraid.

What does, though, is the news of her favorite road racer, fellow Belgian Tom "Boom-Boom" Boonen, coming to the Tour of California February 17 -24.

Did I mention there are more pictures of Boonen on our refrigerator than me? Maybe the Quick Step rider can brighten her day at the prologue in Palo Alto February 17.

I'll have my camera, Sam.

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