Where was I? Where am I? Did I take the trail on left or right? Or did I come from the other direction on the bicycle path?
Uh, yeah – I got a little bit lost on my 90 minute ride this morning… Sigh, this happens to me a lot. I typically chalk it up to the bike riding adventure. Often when I’m training in Belgium, my route is determined by taking the first left, riding for a bit, and then deciding to take the next right, riding for a bit, and then taking another left, and so on. Eventually I end up rather far from the house in Blauberg and then try really desperately to find my way back. These can be some of the best and worst training rides.
Today, here in Edmonton wasn’t that different. I rolled on down to Argyle Park and rode around on the snowy grass for a while. Then I discovered this pretty cool trail network that I followed around the “lower” part of the park. Up. Down. Across bridges. Around blind corners. Steep inclines. It was awesome. Then I found Mill Creek Park. Wow – cyclo-cross nirvana. What a park. And as I came to quickly realize, it is a massive park. With a combination of paved bicycle paths, gravel trails, and singletrack – it has something for every type of rider. Only problem (well, for me) is that it is truly massive. So hence, I got lost. Really lost. I popped out of the park on a street I had never heard of.
Uh, oh. I was getting close to my 90 minutes. Was feeling a tad cold. Had to pee (need to rethink the 2 liters of water before training rides…). And I really didn’t know where I was. I tried to retrace my pedal strokes through Mill Creek Park. Impossible. Too many options combined with a bad memory resulted in my getting even more lost.
I started riding down a residential street and found a friendly citizen of Edmonton. He set me on the correct track. And within 10 minutes I had found the entrance to Argyll Park. Uh, yeah, I was pretty darn relieved. A little more zooming around Argyll Park and then time to get back to the warmth of the hotel. As I was leaving the park, the CX Edmonton crew was out staking the race course. I didn’t really take much of a look at it (still had to pee..) – lots of time for that tomorrow during the “official” pre-riding.
So all in all, a great little adventure on the bike this morning. I really didn’t mind the cold. In fact apart from slightly red fingers, I was super toasty. All thanks to my super full-zip Vermarc tights combined with the super MEC pants. So relieved I packed my winter cycling jacket – didn’t need it in Treviso but definitely need it here. And lucky for me, Marc remembered to pack my skull cap and winter cycling gloves. So I’m good to go with this weather.
As I was riding, the surroundings really reinforced why are ‘cross Nationals are so early. Snow in October. Only in Canada. Lucky us. Really, anything after these conditions doesn’t really compare. Well, okay I suppose riding through ankle-deep mud in Belgium is up there with the cold and snow. But it is Belgian mud so it makes everything so much better.
Just chilling out here this afternoon. Marc is out riding. My parents arrive a little bit later today. I’m just hanging in the hotel. Strange. I really have nothing to do. Sure, I’ve got a book to read (The Road) and I can always surf the WWW. But I don’t have anything I “have” to do (i.e. work, laundry, house stuff, etc.). This is cool. But slightly unnerving as well. Guess I have no choice but to relax. Maybe I’ll nap. Guess this is what it will be like when I’m in Belgium this winter. I’m pretty confident I’ll get used to it!
Speaking of Belgium…. Are you thinking of coming over for some mad ‘cross racing action and waffle eating? If so, definitely drop me an email. Ask any questions you may have. No question is too big, too small, or too crazy. It can be daunting traveling to a new country to race (believe me, I know). So if I can help you out, I definitely will.
Alright, I’m out. Guess I’ll go nap or read or surf the WWW or just sit here and watch the Food Network. Definitely feeling lucky to be able to do this right now. Many many thanks to my sponsors and of course Marc for making a lot of sacrifices for me.