Have you ever wanted something so badly that you would do anything to have it? This is where I’m at now. I just so desperately want to improve. I want to. I have to. I just feel like I’m on the cusp of that next level and I want to get better now.
If I could be out riding my bike eight hours a day, I would. If I knew that would make me better. If I could find that “magic” drill or training park that would just help push me along to the next level – to where I want be. If only…
This is how I’m feeling today. Perhaps it seems a bit desperate. But I’m so darn hungry for improvement. I’ve got damn strong legs. I’ve got a powerful set of lungs and heart. I just need my technical skills to catch up. I could get by okay at home in Canada and the U.S. with my legs, lungs and heart. But not here. Here watts don’t matter if you don’t have the skills. This is cold hard reality of the situation.
Don’t take this to read that I’m down on myself. On the contrary – I’m just so darn frustrated. I want to be better. I want to be able to descend the muddy slick descents with confidence. I want to always be pedaling – instead of thinking and stopping pedaling. I want to be more smooth and efficient in the mud. I want to be able to choose better race lines. I want to be able to get up the steep inclines. I want to float through the sand. I want it all.
Problem is, these things take time and patience. And they take outside help. To put it bluntly – I need someone to go riding with here in Belgium who can put me through my paces and teach me how to descend better, ride the mud better, ride sand better, choose better race lines and basically sharpen and improve all of my technical skills. If you are that person – email me! I want to learn so badly. I’ve got the lungs and legs – I just need the technical know how.
So you can probably guess I am less than satisfied with my race today. You are correct. This was the first “real” Belgian ‘cross course I’ve raced on this year. Muddy. Slippery. Twisty. Crazy descents. Technical climbs. A really good hard challenging course. It also did an excellent job of highlighting my technical problems. After the race, I received the following comment “Your fitness is very strong. Your technical skills need to improve. I see you hesitating on the descents and then stopping pedaling”. This is perfectly spot on. I’ve written a full race report over here – you can read more about the course and the race there.
But this being said, I did have a very good day. Great drive to the race with Jos. Super support from Jos all day – she was awesome in the pits, had fresh bikes for me when I pitted, cleaned both bikes after the race, power washed my legs and shoes, wiped down the bikes and reminded me to get changed. Couldn’t have done the race without Jos. As a treat we stopped at a bakery on the way home. Jos got a tasty frangipan tart and I got an underwhelming raisin croissant – so underwhelming I only took two bites! Quick and smooth drive home. Hung out with Tim and Jos for a bit and we watched the highlights from the women’s race. Then I was back home and spent two hours working on the bikes! Crazy but I just wanted to make sure everything was as clean as it could be.
Chilled out evening. Had a good long chat with Skip of KingsBridge today. Go check out the KingsBridge web site and learn more about one of the key sponsors of Ottawa Cross.
Just talked to Marc. He had another tough slog in the New Jersey mud. Sounds like it was an epic weekend down at the Mercer Cup. Gotta tell you – I don’t miss that race! It was great to talk to Marc about his race and then for him to give me some sound advice about my racing and training. Really without Marc, none of this would be possible. I would have cracked long ago. He is super supportive of my cyclo-cross racing and really puts himself second so that I can do what I want. This just makes me want to get better so much more. I want to be able to call him and tell him about my breakthrough race and excellent result…
Go ride camp fortune!
Do these trails near summers end and I can almost guarantee you will get better technically (I did these before doing some endurance races which were very technical):
start at 5 to 15 up 1 down 4 into camp fortune then up the CBC climb do a portion of the mtb course till you get to the downhill course. Hit the simple trail called Salamander. Its flowy on a cross bike.
Then peel off to the 36 to the 52 and 53 come back on the 36.
Then hit meech road until you hit the 40 to the 1 then down Penquin (even the technical stuff at the very end, its a hoot!). Take Mine road back…
Its long. But, its a good run with a bit of everything in a days adventure…
There are others. But, you’ll need a mtb. And, yah better get them before the NCC flattens them down…
Some good training up there, for now.