Kind of hard to believe, but it is the second weekend of September and for us that means one thing: cyclo-cross season. In years past, I would be thinking about, stressing over, obsessing about, and dreaming about cyclo-cross well before September (usually in June). This year, like last year is a different one for me – a new type of cyclo-cross season.
Sure I’m racing but not like I used to race – there are no races in the U.S. or flights to the Czech Republic or months spent living in Belgium. Instead I’m going back to where it all started, The Eastern Ontario Cyclo-Cross Series. This is where I first discovered cyclo-cross, wayback in 1994 thanks to Marc. I did my first race at Conroy Pit on my Specialized Rockhopper with toe clips. I remember it being so hard but yet so fun. Who knew that first race would eventually set me on this path to connecting with and meeting (most) of you? Thank goodness for Conroy Pit and the Ottawa cyclo-cross series.
This weekend we’re in Williston, Vermont for the first two races in the New England Verge Series. The races are held at the Catamount Outdoor Center – I love this venue – great race courses, always a good group of spectators, the parking lots lend to chatting and catching up with pals – just a good vibe all around.
When I think of it, this is kind of where it all started for me when I moved up to the elite category. This was where I raced my first serious races as an elite (I had raced as an elite in Rhode Island, moving up mid-way in the season). I had been training all winter and summer to be ready for the season kick-off. I don’t remember the race at all. But I do remember being a bundle of nerves, back then I’d be so nervous I’d break out in an itchy invisible rash the night before races… I remember Marc being so patient and being a very calming voice in the pit.
Those first races here a few years ago were a big deal for me – when I learned that hard work and focus does pay off. That setting your mind to something and working towards it is the only way to live life.
Have fun out there, whether you’re racing, pitting, or cheering – this is a great time of the year.