It’s late summer and it’s like I’m living in a dream. I’ve logged long hours on the bike tracing the contours of the Pioneer Valley. I am structuring my days to maximize the benefits of training. The pattern is wake, run, ride, eat, nap, cook, sleep, laundry laundry laundry!, wash bike, sleep more. I’m watching the cornfields grow taller each day and am enjoying the start of dahlia season.
The cx racing season is just around the corner. It will surely be fun, but for now I am living out this moment to the fullest. It’s an absolute privilege to have a tired and achey body, only to sleep a full night, and wake up for more. This is my favorite season, my favorite mode, my favorite place.
I returned from Belgium to find my houseplants neglected, dried up, and nearly dead. My friend Hayley reassured me that they were worth keeping and nurturing back to health. Slowly but surely, they’ve reemerged: green, pushing upwards, and delighting me in every way possible. This is the best summary I can provide for the experience of completely emptying myself in Belgium at the hardest races I’ve ever seen, then returning to normal life in New England, and finally training back to racing fitness.
There are extreme highs and extreme lows in this life. My fiance’s grandmother became sick and passed away early this Spring. This took an enormous emotional toll on us, a grief previously unimaginable to me. We’ve somehow emerged and look forward to feeling whole, warm, and fast on the bike once again.
It’s my primary goal to thrive and challenge myself this Spring and Summer on the bike. Next I get to experience two weekends of racing in Oklahoma: Oklahoma Pro Am Classic and Tulsa Tough. I’m guest riding for The Meteor / Intelligenstia team at six high level criterium events. Keep up with the racing on twitter #USACrits or on their live streaming platform https://usacrits.tv/ .
I’ve returned to the Pioneer Valley. I’ve settled back into my office job. I’m in the midst of my off-season so I’m unusually restless and listless. I’m missing the physiological and psychological benefits of being active and training every day.
The racing in Europe was harder than I could have ever imagined. The experience was invaluable. It’ll carry me through this next phase of my life as I push to achieve more as an athlete & human.
Tim made a small cycling accessory to commemorate the experience. You can buy one here.
I’m writing to you from Oudenaarde, Belgium, where I’m spending the next few weeks racing.
My first race was Soudal Waaslandcross Sint-Niklaas. Tim put together a fun edit to capture the experience.
Officially on the results, I finished last. We think that they may have missed my number, but in any case, I was not towards the front at all. Nearly every aspect of the race was quite different from what I’ve experienced racing in the USA. I’m excited to get some more experience here over the coming days.