The Start

After months of training, thinking, planning and fantasizing, it is finally here. The first weekend of cyclo-cross racing of the 2009-2010 season is on. I have butterflies in my stomach. These aren’t the fitful sleep nervous stomach causing butterflies. Nope these are butterflies of pure out and out excitement and anticipation. I just so want to get out there and have some fun on my ‘cross bikes. Looking forward to everything about the weekend. Yep, even the long drives and the lumpy hotel beds. All of this plus the friends, the call-up, the chaotic first lap, the rhythm of laps two and three and the frantic squeeze all I can out of my lungs and legs of the fourth and fifth laps, the cool down, the race stories, the bike clean-up – this makes cyclo-cross so worth doing. Through in some enthusiastic fans, cowbells, new racing kits and bikes and some tasty food and you’ve got a pretty darned good time.

As most of you know I’ve got some big goals for this season. This is the year. I can feel it in my bones. Everything is coming together so perfectly. I haven’t even raced yet but as far as I’m concerned this season is already a success. I’ve made a few changes to my training over the spring/summer. I’ve worked hard on my technical skills. I’ve been working on my mental game. I’m healthy. I’m ready.

This season of cyclo-cross racing really came to fruition with the overwhelming support and commitment of one person: Marc. He is the one who encouraged me to set my goals and dreams as high as I can. When I’m having a tough time, Marc reminds me of where I want to go and how it is possible. When I’m succeeding and taking my riding to a new level, Marc is the first one to point out these successes. To make this season possible, Marc has made a lot of sacrifices – I’m only working part-time (Marc is not), he has put up with my stress and crazy brain, talked me through some dark days, put my racing goals and dreams ahead of his and gently pushed me further along the path. Thanks Marc!

The travel and racing really wouldn’t be possible without the continued support of a number of most excellent people and companies. Many thanks to Vince at The Cyclery for his tireless support and patience with my bike and gear requests. Vince has set me up this year with two pretty smooth Stevens Super Prestige bikes and the continued technical and mechanical support of his in-house expert Steve. Skip Williams of Kingsbridge has helped me get from point A to B with his continued backing of my racing goals. Skip and the boys at Kingsbridge have become great friends of mine over the last couple of years. Outdoor Gear Canada has helped me out again this year with some new shoes, helmet, and glasses. Thanks OGC! My tummy will be full and my body will be well recovered thanks to Clif Bar. Thanks to the expertise and patience of my coach Steve Weller of Bell Lap Coaching I can confidently toe the line. The guidance I receive from Steve regarding training and race prep gives me the physical and mental skills I need to race with the best.

Not to be overlooked is you. Yes, you, my blog reader. My cheerleaders. You post comments of encouragement. You send me emails reminding me to keep digging and chugging along. You cheer me on at races. You really complete the whole circle.

Have a great weekend. I know I will. I’ll be posting race reports through out the weekend so be sure to check in.

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