Cycle-Smart International – Day 1

Well, day 1 of the Cycle-Smart International race weekend is in the books. What a day! Couldn’t have asked for better weather. Coolish for those watching but perfect for those racing.

My day can really be summed up with one word: people. I ran into so many people that I’ve met over the years of traveling down to New England to race and attend ‘cross camp. The coolest thing was meeting Kathy.

We were parked across from Kathy and her husband and she came over to introduce herself. We were just chatting when all of a sudden – she and Marc were hugging. Yep – just like that! It turns out that Kathy and Marc went to university together. Talk about a small world!

The day kicked off with Marc and Steve racing at 10:30. These guys both rode super well. The early part of their races were filled with crash avoidance and crash avoidance recovery. But in the end both of them dug super deep and rode to great results. Next up were Josee and Karl racing at 11:30. I did not see these two race but from what I heard both rode super well. Congrats guys on some good racing.

I raced later in the day at 2:00. Marc and I got out after the women’s 3/4 race to run lines and practice a few key sections of the course. This helped so much. Thanks Marc. Especially the line through the gravel corner at the top of the course – practicing this helped my confidence a great deal. I’ve written a race report.

After my race, I chilled out a bit – got a recovery drink and took a little spin to flush out my legs and brain. Tough one today. But in the end a good one. I watched a bit of the elite race and spent time catching up with some folks. Great day at Look Park!

The real treat of the day was a little side trip we took on the way back to the hotel. Don’t know if you know this, but I’m a knitter. So when I realized that Northampton is the home to Webs. Wow – what a place. Pure heaven. I could have spent hours there. I’ll spare you bike racers the knit geek details but suffice it to say – I can’t wait to go back to this store.

Just relaxing in the room now. Supper is done. Lunch and pre-race food is ready for tomorrow. Race bag is good to go. Tea is ready. Time to relax. Looking forward to another good day at Look Park. Thanks very much for the cheering and support out there today. It really did keep me going today. Have a good one. See you tomorrow.

Northampton, Mass

(Wrote this last night but neglected to post it…)

Sitting here chilling in the hotel room. Bag is ready. Food is ready. Bikes are clean and ready to go. Next up – bed and a good night’s sleep.

Had a smooth ride down. No hiccups with the exception of a slight merging issue on the 401 – luckily the van is big – other cars move… Made it to Look Park at around 3:30. The whole crew was out marking the course and riding. Nice to see some friendly faces right away.

The course was fully staked out so the four of us got kitted up and hit up the course for a few laps. All I can say is dry. Super dry. Lots of crunchy leaves and carpet-like grass. If it stays dry it will be super fast. Saturday’s course is the same as the traditional Cycle-Smart International course. Lots going on.

Twists and turns. A sandpit. Forced run-up on loose terrain. A fun little descent. A few railroad track crossings. More twists and turns. A little power climb. Some super fast barriers. Bicycle path. Nice paved road.

I really like this course. It is challenging – physically and mentally. But there is nothing in that that I really dread (for example, like the run-up in Seattle or Mooney’s Bay hill). This course is simply challenging but not intensely hard or intimidating.

I’m impressed with how well organized Adam, Steve and the guys are. Nice work guys! Looking forward to racing tomorrow and catching up lots of people. I saw so many people today that it made for some slow laps. That’s okay – this is simple pre-race day – shake out the legs and get comfy on the course.

Mavic is here doing support and working the pits. Nice. Todd and Peter (spelling?) are super cool and always have lots of smiles to go around.

We had an easy supper here in the hotel room. I whipped up a tasty meal at home for us to re-heat here and we supplemented with some salad and dessert compliments of the Stop-N-Shop.

Okay, best go. Marc and Steve are racing at 10:30. Josee and Karl are at 11:30. I’m at 2:00. Send your fast vibes our way. Looking forward to some fun racing and cheering. Check back tomorrow for a race report. Have a good one.