Still Here

Yep, still here in frosty Belgium. Sorry for not posting on Thursday. Just didn’t really have much to say. (Not sure if I have much more to say today – but you know me – I can talk/write.)

After two days of trainer riding in the garage I cracked and went outside. I’m cool with trainer rides – in fact I do super epic ones at home during the “off-season”. But there is something different between riding in my basement with a fan, heat, a bigish television, and wearing only shorts and a bra and my Belgian trainer reality: trainer in the freezing cold garage, laptop propped up on the washing machine, wearing legwarmers, thermal shirts, gloves, and shoe covers.

See not really the samething. In fact a totally different trainer experience. So that’s why I decided to ride outside on the wet gritty roads. I bundled up but not enough. My legs actually got cold. And my feet well, my toes were in agony. The roads were so wet that my shoe covers were basically useless. My toes looked like red strawberries! Oh well, makes you stronger right?

No racing this weekend with the national champs happening everywhere. We are thinking of checking out a cool looking cafe in Ramsel on Sunday to watch the race at. I say cool looking because the cafe has a massively large flat screen television and leather couches. Anyway, we’ll see.

This has been an odd week. Nice to have a break from the racing. But with the weather being less than ideal for long training rides, the week hasn’t lived up to expectations. In fact the group ride didn’t even happen. I was really looking forward to this. But I suppose in the long run it is still better than the alternatives.

Not sure what today holds. Darn cold again. Yoga probably. Knitting. We may go out and do some exploring. Marc is out on an important errand right now. Buying a headlight bulb for the super van. Got pulled over by the police yesterday for said burned out bulb. Luckily we met a very friendly police officer. He was interested in the cyclo-cross and then let us go without a fine or ticket. Nice!

It’s funny really. For most cyclists in Canada they are in the first phase of getting ready for the road season. Dreading the trainer and convincing themselves to do the work-out. Some riders substitute cross-country skiing with trainer time. Others do nothing and hope for the best. And me? Well, I have only two races left. I’ll most likely keep riding until we leave – assuming the weather warms up. If it stays cold, I’ll talk to Coach Steve about my break… Then when I get home, it will be back on the trainer and time to build for 2009. I don’t have many goals mapped out for the 2009 road season yet. I do know that I’m going to change up a few things and add in some mountain bike time. (I meant to do this last year but didn’t…. Well, now I really can see that I need to.)

I like to race. But I also understand that racing doesn’t necessarily make you stronger. Guess I’ll have to sit down and determine what I want out of my road season and see how this meshes with my cyclo-cross goals. Almost time to start thinking big picture again. Strangely, I think this will be a tough season of training. Harder than last season. Why? Well, because last year I had no choice but to make huge gains (which I did). This year my fitness is pretty good, it still needs to improve but I think my real improvements on the road and ‘cross bikes will come from the “hard to define aspects of bike racing”. Brains. Grit. Focus. Luck. Determination.

You know that guy. The guy who is just a smart, hard bike racer. Well, I need to become that guy. This is more than power to weight ratio. This is what makes bike racing so damn beautiful.

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