Well the bike racing season is in full swing here now. I suppose for those of you in the U.S. it started a bit earlier, but for us northerners here in Canada, we are now fully getting into bike racing mode. This is the fun time. The time when all the hard work from the winter (or so-called off season) comes to fruition.
You get to take your bike out and play. Have a little fun with your friends. Race around in circles chasing one another. Then tell stories about it. I know pretty simplistic view of bike racing, but in essence this is what it comes down to.
For me, I’ve had a relatively slow start to the season. I’ve raced once at Calabogie. Feels like ages ago now. I’m racing again this weekend at Brossard. I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to the race. I’m really looking forward to the positive energy that comes during a race – that rush of attacking, counter-attacking, leg aching, break-away, sprinting, crossing the finish line feeling.
This season is a different one for me. I’m taking a lighter approach to road racing this season. I’m not racing every opportunity I have. This is hard for me. I love to race. But I’ve got some big goals again this season for cyclo-cross so we’re trying something a bit different this summer. Primarily to give my body time to adapt to training stresses so that I’ll be really ready for the ‘cross season. I’m juggling training crits, with intensity work-outs, with weight work-outs and with the odd bike race thrown in. So obviously the body and brain need to time to recover and grow.
It was kind of hard this past weekend not to race. But when I got up Sunday morning, I was quite happy to have time to putter around the house and then go out for a solid three hour ride. I put some ache into my legs and had some fun. It wasn’t racing. But it was the next best thing – simply being out on my bike. I think this summer is really going to teach me this – to appreciate the bike more. So often in the past I’ve been focused on the next race and then the race after that. But this summer I’ve got more going on – I’ve got to really focus on my training and balance all the different avenues of this training. Did I mention that in June I’ll be getting on my mountain bike and ‘cross bike to do some trail riding and build up some technical riding skills?
Yes, there is method to this madness. I just need to remind myself of it. When I start to falter or bend to peer pressure to race, I have to remind myself of the ultimate goal and the big prize. I made great strides last year, this season I need to find that extra edge and take that next big leap.
Like I said, nothing quite like bike racing.