All the aforementioned normal life stuff was in addition to being a bike racer…or getting my arse into shape after a less than ideal summer. Fortunately Colorado had a plethora of racing opportunities including weeknight crit series just a few miles from home as well as multi-dayers like Salida Omnium, Aspen Stage Race and Steamboat Stage Race. It was an absolute ideal lead up to my cross season; one that allowed me to remain in Colorful Colorado, as well as stay in some mountainous towns prior to a long stint in a mostly flat Belgium. It also held the added treat of catching up with old friends from when I lived in Steamboat, meeting some new ones throughout, and racing with friends.
Instead of staring at walls after a hard bike ride I would pack clothes. My training the morning before I left for Vegas was a frantic vacuuming of my apartment and all-around de-crumb-ifying. Instead of writing race reports & blogging I was writing to-do lists and perfecting the scribble-out when I had completed a task. I don’t think scribbling has had such a positive effect on me since I was 2 years old. Although I have a grandiose distaste of Vegas I could not have been more relieved to collapse onto my hotel bed in a weary slumber. If you’ve been to a Hotel-slash-casino in Vegas you will know that one of the greatest challenges is finding reception from slot machine from elevator to the correct wing of hotel from magic carpet ride from glimmering lights from what floor button to push to smoking floors to non-smoking from drunk to sober to more flashing lights. It’s a nightmare. And the silly thing is how surrealistic it is when you finally muster up the energy in your legs to walk more steps, clad in lycra, with flash bicycle & crash hat and begin pedaling down the strip. No matter how good you look to the cycling world, you look like a troll to the rest of Vegas. Flex your skinny arms and wind up your shaven legs and get off the strip ASAP.
When it was finally race time and all of us spandex-clad clowns convened at the Desert Breeze Soccer complex, I finally felt in my element and the only flashing lights were those of the cameras flashing away. Crankbrothers had stepped up to bring LadyLuCX, an equal prize purse to the men for the top 5 women. That, in addition to a “dry” summer results and racing-wise meant I placed a bit of pressure on myself to perform. It’s always a tense scene on the start line behind our smiles…it is the first race of season, in front of all the sponsors, plus clear lenses in the Oakleys let the fans know how you’re really feeling. The race went well; I rode strong & smart, made relatively few mistakes and for the first race of the season there’s not a lot more you can ask. It was refreshing to stand on the podium, a reassuring nod I’m back on the right pedal following a frustrating summer.
The next day I spent walking around the InterBike show, thanking and catching up with friends and sponsors. My legs felt more broken after a 10am-3pm stint at the show than they did after multitudes of crashing at the mountain bike world cups. Sadly I was too foddered to even show for the annual Clif Bar Foosball tourney. Finally I sat back down in an airplane seat heading east to Vermont with another huge sigh of relief…Vegas is over and I can still pedal a bike.