This past weekend was the kick-off to the Eastern Ontario Cyclo-Cross Series. This series is where I discovered cyclo-cross, way back in 1994. I was racing on Specialized Rockhopper with running shoes and toe clips. I think there were about 20 people in the race (in total) and three of us were women.
It’s amazing how things have changed with our local series. Now we have over 300 people registered and last Sunday we had 58 women racing. This is simply amazing. It’s a true testament to the organizers who have stayed true to the roots of the series. It’s also a huge indicator of how important it is to have a local affordable racing series that appeals to everyone.
Last Sunday was my fourth race of the 2017 season. It was also a very special one. It was my break-through race. The result itself is not outstanding. But the ride was a good one.
The morning of the race, the pre-ride, the start, the flat tire and wheel change, and then getting back into the race – it all went really well. I feel like all the lessons I’ve absorbed over so many years of racing finally clicked.
I was nervous but calm. I was excited but not stressed. I learned more about areas to improve on. I felt my confidence increase during the race.
One new thing for me on Sunday was riding with a group. So often I’ve raced cyclo-cross alone – people in front and people behind but no one super close to resemble a group. This group riding accentuated some of my areas of weakness.
This is exactly what I want. There is always room to improve: physically, technically, and mentally. After so many years racing, training, and riding, it’s a relief to know that I still have more room to improve.
Yes, a break-through. I know it’s early days but I’m just going to come out and say it: I’m proud of my 2017 cyclo-cross season. Never would I have imagined I could be riding like this again.
It’s a special feeling to be confident.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t single out a couple of very important people who have got me here: Marc who has always encouraged me and been there to pick me up when I let the stress get the better of me and Steve Weller my long-time coach who has the extra hard job of coaching someone with complicated health problems. Thank you.