Okay, maybe not exactly in the air, since it is incredibly humid and muggy in these parts. But the feeling is in the air. I feel like I’m surrounded by it. Maybe because we are getting into the last gasps of summer that everyone seems a bit more focused on squeezing the most out of their days and getting things “done” before September. Just like us ‘cross racers, there are things to be done – training rides, equipment tweaking, clothing ordering, schedule planning, and smiling. It seems that every year, these feelings of anticipation and desire set in a bit earlier and with a bit more passion.
This is a good thing. A really good thing. In my opinion, the more people bitten by the cyclo-cross but the better. Kids, grown-ups, old grown-ups – everyone should get a taste of cyclo-cross. The speed. The thrills. The community. The spirit. The ups. The downs. It all makes it worth ripping through August and just getting to September as fast as we can.
With this in mind, my fingers have been busy working over this keyboard – looking into flights, booking flights, reserving RVs, creating my race calendar, registering for races, finalizing clothing, getting my bikes sorted. All in all, some busy and exciting times are being had at Ottawa Cross world headquarters (also known as my front porch…).
The World Cup plans have really fallen into place perfectly. I’ve got a travel partner, driver, and supporter for this two week racing trip that will see me race in Aigle, Switzerland and Plzen, Czech Republic. My dad are meeting up in Frankfurt, Germany where we’ll pick up our RV and make our way to the races. I’m really looking forward to this time with my dad. It is not often that as an adult we get to share big moments in our lives with our parents. Luckily for me, my dad is retired, has a stack of Air Miles to use up, and is always up for adventure. We’re getting a pretty deluxe RV since it will be our home for the duration of the trip. We’ll be off to Aigle right away and then take a couple of days to make our way to Plzen and then after this race we have a couple of days left to do some exploring. Maybe we’ll visit Prague. Maybe we’ll hang out in Frankfurt. Maybe we’ll just stop at the first interesting place we see.
All I know is that I get to race my bike with the fastest women in the sport, travel to Europe, and have my dad along for the ride. Can’t ask for much more. (Okay, well it would be perfect if Marc, my mom, and my brother were there as well – maybe next time….)
Truth be told, I’m happy to have this leg of my season sorted out so early. The travel logistics were starting to get a bit overwhelming and I was starting to feel a bit stressed. Worst case, I was prepared to rent a small RV and do the trip alone – but I really didn’t want to do this. So it is such a great feeling to have everything come together so perfectly.
On the bike things are rolling along very well. I’m coming off three days of active rest. I just finished a big block of training so a few days of recovery were in order. The action starts tomorrow and on Friday is the big day with a power/zone test. Time to put the pedal to the ground and see what my pistons have in them. In a twisted sense, I’m looking forward to testing day – yes it will be hard, but I’m stoked to see how hard I can push myself.
Got out for a great ride on the ‘cross bike today. Made my way over to my favorite training grounds and zipped around the single and double track. Had fun with the slippery routes and heavy ground. Focused on keeping my cadence high and not over-gripping the bars. To top it off, I had a camera strapped to my helmet. So, I shot some video of a new training loop that I put together. I’ve downloaded the video and as soon as I’ve got it posted to Youtube, I’ll post the link here. Now this isn’t fancy video with a cool music track or crazy descents – just me out ripping it up on my ‘cross bike. Anyway, hopefully in a couple of days you’ll be able to see it for yourself. Thanks to Skip for the camera. I’m trying to figure out what other riding to film… Any suggestions? Thinking maybe my warm-up laps at ‘Cross Vegas and the World Cups? Maybe I’ll even strap the camera on for a race? What do you think?