Today has been a most excellent day so far. (Well apart from when I fell down the stairs this morning…) But falling aside, this has just been a really good Thursday.
Kicked things off with a fun cyclo-cross practice session at Mooney’s Bay. I have to say – I really love helping people out and teaching them the skills I’ve learned over the years of racing and training for cyclo-cross. It is such a tremendous feeling to see people push their limits, learn a new skill, and simply smiling as they’re pedaling along. We had a really good session this morning. We worked on turning – including sweeping turns and tripoding and tight turns, then it was time to do some dismounts and mounts. Both Andrew and Sophie are looking good with their dismounts and mounts so it was time to push our boundaries a bit. We set up an uphill dismount that included a tricky downhill left corner into the barrier once up and over the barrier came a quick right turn down the hill. We played around with this, trying different techniques and testing ourselves. Soon enough they were cruising into the barrier, having only used their rear brake and with constant pedaling were keeping their rear wheels from slipping out. Next up was off-camber turning – again more focus on continually pedaling, looking ahead, light brake pressure and learning to modulate speed. To close off the session I set up a 5 by 4 grid on the face of the hill and we practiced uphill turning and downhill turning – I find this is a great drill since it allows you to practice so many key skills at once: looking ahead, constant pedal pressure, turning, learning to let your bike “fall”, and pushing your limits with downhill turning speed. All in all, an excellent session. Amazing what you can cover in 90 minutes. Thanks Andrew and Sophie for coming out – it truly was a great way to start my day. (I really do get a rush from teaching people and seeing them learn.)
To round out the day, it is also new bike day! Yay! Many thanks to Vince at The Cyclery and Stevens Bikes Canada for the new bike. I now have two brand spanking-new Stevens Carbon Team DA bikes in my garage. Pretty darn sweet. I’m stoked to race these bike this weekend. Already from the training I’ve done, I’ve found the bike to be super responsive and it turns really smoothly. Not to mention that is is nice and light – I barely notice it when I pick it up and put it on my shoulder. The paint job is sharp and the extra finishing touches just make the Stevens Carbon Team DA look super fast and smooth.
To close off the day, I’m hooking up with young Karl for some cyclo-cross skills action and some video taping action. Lets hope the rain holds off for a little bit. What a soggy week we’ve had. Amazing September rolls in and all of a sudden the sun, heat, and calm days are gone. Lets hope we get a bit more heat before the month is out!
Pretty excited to race this weekend. I’m not putting any pressure on myself for the races. I just want to go out and leave it all on the course. If I do this, I know a good performance and outcome will follow.
Alright, I best be off. I’m heading to the garage to put pedals on the new bike and to play around a bit. Fun on bikes – doesn’t get much better.
(Check back this weekend for race reports.)