Gosh, I sure wish I was in Tabor, the Czech Republic right now. So many of my friends are there getting ready to race the first World Cup of the season on Sunday. Normally, I’d be there.
I haven’t really missed much this year – but now I’m really missing being in Tabor. Great city. Great race course. Great country. Traveling to a World Cup is more than about the race itself (sure the race is the priority) but there is everything else that comes with it: exploring a new country, reconnecting with friends, meeting new people, escaping from the same old training routes, and getting to race with some darn fast women.
I raced my first World Cup in Treviso, Italy in 2009. I flew to Venice, picked up a rental car and somehow found my hotel without a GPS. My friends were shocked I traveled to a World Cup alone – but I really had no choice. I wanted to race so I got on the plane and did it. I was very lucky to have the help of Christine and Jonas – we stayed at the same hotel, I trained with them and Jonas rescued me when I flatted moments before the race started. It was also in Treviso where I met my good friend Nikoline Hansen.
Last year, Nikoline and I had a great time in the Czech Republic. We explored Plzen and shared many laughs. I also got to spend lots of time with my super friends Nancy and Andy. Experiences and times I won’t forget. (Sounds cheesy but it is true.) I’ve made some lifelong friends all thanks to these World Cups and traveling with others. Of course, I can’t forget the training and touring I did with Gabby and Gregg in Plzen and Prague.
I’ve raced in Tabor twice: the first was at the 2010 World Cyclocross Championships and the second was last year at the World Cup. Two of my best days on the bike. Days that are imprinted on my brain. Good times indeed.
Well, this year I won’t be there – instead I’ll be cheering from afar and looking forward to hearing all about it from my pals. I’ll be racing on Sunday in Cobden, Ontario as part of the Eastern Ontario Cyclocross Series. Kind of fitting really – I started racing in this series and if it wasn’t for this volunteer-run cyclocross series of over 20 years, I would never have lined up at that first World Cup in Treviso or have met the great people that I have.
Wherever you’re racing on Sunday – pedal hard, smile often, take it all in and enjoy it.