Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Back in Black

Hello friends (acquaintances, enemies, randoms),

Long time no blog. Its been over 4 months without having to listen to my ramblings, but that's all about to change. I've learned something in the past 4 months, and its not that the world is better off without this blog. No, I've learned that in every human being there is a heart. There is also a back. And no matter how much heart you have, if the back decides to be uncooperative, you're outta luck. I learned this first hand and since there wasn't any racing going on, I decided to spare you on the most boring summer to date. Why am I back in the game now you might ask? Well there's a little time of the year I like to call 'cross season. Its a magical time in a young boy's life where he can take his bicycle, go into the forest and crash all day long with little to no repercussions. I like cross, I like writing, and you like reading, so naturally this is a match made in heaven.

The first cross weekend has already happened, so even if you forget about the past 4 months, I'm still late with this post. Day 1 was a citizens race and to be completely honest, I was scared. Having not really trained since Mississippi Mills, which was on the first weekend of June, I did not know what to expect out of my body. My own expectations were to win, or at least be competitive, but even training in Windsor leading up to the race, doing 3 minute intervals on the road were a lot to handle. All of this aside, I went into the race with no real expectations, and my preparation mirrored this. I am usually immaculate in my lead up to a race. Nutrition and pre-race ride have to be just right, the bike has to be clean and quiet, and my legs are usually nice and smooth. This time I just kind of rolled up to the start line- dirty biked, hairy legged- and got my numbers. As soon as those numbers are pinned on however, everything else melts away- the past road season, the back problems, the lack of training. The only thing that matters is how you are going to perform to the best of your abilities, and beat as many people in the process.

One interesting thing that I noticed in this race was how it differed from previous races. Usually, I go until I almost blow up, tell myself to go faster, and keep on pushing. This time however, I knew this wouldn't cut it. Instead, when going at a slower than optimal pace behind another rider, I used it to calm myself, get a quick breather, and decide when to attack and make a move. This semi-worked, and despite wiping out once, I managed to ride to a solid 4th place finish. Top 5 got prizes, so I walked away from Day 1 of the We Need More Cowbell Cross Weekend with an athletic bag and my very own cowbell!

Day 2 was the S-Cup race, which meant bigger fields and better riders. The race unfolded similarly to the previous days race, and I found myself trying to strategize to maximize my placing with the fitness I had. There was one area I was tickled pink with and it was this: last year the technical sections had been my downfall. I could go into a tricky section even with the people in front of me, and come out 30 seconds behind. This year, while I was losing time on the long, flat sections, I was gaining the time back in the tricky technical parts. I couldn't believe this, and still can't to be honest. Maybe I'm just getting crazier and willing to crash more?

That's it for now, but I have a race on Thursday at Malden Park in Windsor, so you get the privilege of reading all about me two times in one week. If only other people could be as lucky...

Also, I grew a beard. It's there until I win/get signed by a pro team/get a job interview where I'm forced to shave too get the position. No exceptions.



  1. Love your blog...Can not wait for the next installment..Super job and congrats on the Strong 4th place finish

  2. Proud of you.

    Most boring summer ever eh?