This year there is no messing around. Before, success was an abstract notion, far away, intangible. I was here and it was there, somewhere, in the distance. Races came and went, often anti-climactically. Not quite living up to my expectations. Occassionally I would knock out a decent performance, often I couldn’t. My modus operandi was to train and take the racing as it came, process, process, process someday it would happen.
Halfway through last season, things turned, now its different. The races in Holland and Belgium are imprinted in my mind, I can feel muck and grit flung up into my face from the wheel in front, the pain in my legs after yet another acceleration, my nerves numb and deadened by the cobblestones, 180km in and racing on instinct. That raw intensity amidst the chaos fighting for that first wire is with me constantly as is the dissapointment of coming close and losing so many times. The finales of too many races play in my head now as I pedal, over and over. Mistakes. Bad timing, poor calculation, not enough cunning and commitment. I’m inspired. The classics have captured my cycling imagination and everything else is secondary to the competition. These races matter. Courage, guile and steadfast determination to do whatever is necessary, is necessary. Sucess is right there, I’m ready to win some bloody bike races.
These are full days. I’m up at the crack of dawn, to ride the rollers for an hour and a half before my 8-9 hour shift cleaning windows and climbing on roofs to clear out eavestroughs. After work I return home for a cup of tea and another session on the bike. A quick dinner and pretty soon I’m ready for bed. Opportunities to train outside are rare, I leave for work in the dark and the sun sets by the time I am home. Day in and out, its not glamorous, but its necessary. Sucess is not handed on a silver platter.
I had an awful cross race today. I started badly and never got going. I wasn’t even close to competitive at the level I have been. It was frusterating. On a hard grassy course, my rear wheel would wash out in every corner and I would lose all my momentum. I was losing acres in the turns. After a few laps, I realized it was a losing battle and set about figuring out what the hell was going wrong. Obviously being distracted didn’t help. I think now,(after Matteo pointed it out), that I probably had too little pressure in my tires and the sidewall was collapsing and thats why I was sliding out. Already with low pressure, I foolishly bled some air out before the start thinking I would get more traction, when I checked after the race they were at 18PSI. Racing on grass instead of mud was a new experience too and I wasn’t riding the right lines. I’m lining up again tomorrow though, give her shit and hope I go better. No worries.
This weekend I am doing the double header with the RWR races, starting today at 3PM. Yesterday I got out for a few hours ripping ‘round the trails, it was great to get outside again after a week of roller sessions before and after work.
I’m getting pretty stoked on cyclocross. I’ve been moving forward each week as I work out what I need to do for the racing. With better sorted material and a more controlled approach I’ve been racing a lot better. I was second last week in the Eastern Ontario series. Cross is badass, an hour right on the edge, I love the intensity and competition. I’d like to step up my cross game.