Today I rode my bicycle with my friend Jay.
SHRED OR DEAD
It's been a while. It's been a while, many things. Since I've actually written on the blog. Since I've raced track. Since I've been on any kind of a podium. Since I really felt good and really, REALLY enjoyed racing my bike.
I'm trying really hard not to dwell on a season that has me feeling let down. If you know me, you know this isn't an easy thing for me to do. Last week after Superweek I wasn't sure how I was going to do it at all. This year for the first time since I started racing as a Cat 2 (now, Cat 1), I didn't finish a single race I started in Superweek.
This is disappointing to me for the obvious reasons for a bicycle racer, results, goals, performance. But also, this year I was lucky enough to have my parents staying with me during the races, some of my biggest supporters in cycling and I would have liked to been able to put on a show, even it was an ill-advised breakaway. It's not to say I'm more disappointed, it just kinda sits a little harder.
This near-season long feeling, compounded by Superweek meant I almost bailed on going to Marymoore at the last minute. I really felt low in confidence about the trip and racing, I wasn't sure I was ready to commit to my share of gas money and a hotel for two nights to get my ass handed to me, even though it was the first time in four years I wouldn't be heading to Bend for the (hopefully just on Hiatus) Cascades Classic.
But, the more clear headed in my household (thank you Angela) helped convince myself it would be good to go. That yes, I did want to get some track in my legs leading into prep for Nationals at the end of September. Angela isn't only clear headed, but she's wise and she knows what's good for me. It was exactly what I needed.
It wasn't just that I found some legs down in Marymoore, or that I managed to pay for my trip and even make a little money from the weekend. It's that I found the stoke. I remembered what going all in on silly moves that sometimes work, often don't feels like. I remembered how good it is to win a points sprint, how good it is to be thrown in during Madisons (even if you're super rusty, and your partner is one of the more experienced on the continent), how good it is to meet new people, how good it is to mess up during the Crawl. I remembered how good the people I've met racing are, how we are all in the same struggle to balance our lives with finding the best humans we can be on the bike. I even remembered how good (or, maybe, painful) if feels to empty the tank in your last sprint of the weekend, over 400 meters out, making your eyes feel like they're bleeding.
I remembered that I really like racing my bike. I really love racing my bike.
I spout to any Juniors or young guys I can about making sure they've got that P.M.A. in their program, while I was missing it a bit from my own. I managed to find it this weekend. It has me excited for the next two months of hard work.
I'm not really sure when the last time I went out of town for a weekend, where I didn't race bicycles. I should add in, I'm not complaining that I get to go all up and down the PNW every summer racing bikes. My bike has taken me through Washington, Oregon, California, Vancouver Island, Ontario and Quebec. To say it's afforded me these opportunities is a bit of a catch-22. It's given me so many opportunities, but, the number of times I've had opportunities to go adventure for the sake of exploration and adventure itself can be counted on one hand, since I started racing.
So Angela's Birthday was last month and she had decided that, we are going away. It's the best kind of decision. I had no racing plans. We even planned to work in a very-snowed-in-summit Hurricane Ridge (I will be back to this climb on the Olympic Peninsula). It was a mostly raining, largely grey-skied escape from our daily lives. We watched Alpacas get chased by an over-eager herding dog, did some touristy walks and drank good coffee at exactly ONE (where are all the good coffee PNW America? Don't just say Portland/Seattle) shop in Cannon Beach.
The next weekend, I kinda blew it in Walla Walla. I don't want to say much more about my racing, since, well, there isn't anything positive to say about how I raced that weekend. I lived inside my head, rather than living inside the peloton for the weekend and it shows. It's supremely disappointing, since I really did (do) have a bit of good form brewing. It's not 100% yet, but, the basis is there. I didn't use the form though and didn't even get to use the opportunity for training, with too many things on my mind.
The team and I leave for Tour de Bloom in Wenatchee, Washington on Thursday. It's probably one of our favourite races we head to. Good courses, organization and well, good prize money. I've been on the GC podium here before, my teammate Nigel has won the overall (and the crit?) and the well planned out timing of the Crits mean that I usually get to photograph both the Women's racing and my Master's team. Which truthfully, is good for my brain as well as SUPER useful to me at the office.
That said, I've a crap-ton of work to get moving on over the next few days, including learning some new software for making 360˚ product photos, which I've got to get moving on, so I can focus on tonight's WTNC crit, on the good course, the 'hard one', UBC.
I like coffee. A lot.
This video is, a bit of a cull of things from the last... two weeks? yeah. That's about right. We started getting some actual sun in Vancouver this week. Which made me have terrible allergies, then take the bus today when it was raining and I turned into sugar.