Tuesday, 11 June 2013

"You'd be faster if you used your brakes less"

After a brief hiatus from the social media world, I'm back to the land of virtual communication. It seems like it's been forever since I last wrote, so hopefully I can remember all the important things that have happened over the last few weeks! First up, the remainder of my 2013 Euro trip:

After Albstadt, Team Canada headed to Nuremberg for a couple days of training and recuperation, and even a few hours of playing tourist! Normally, we don't get the opportunity to do/see the things that vacationing people do when they come to Europe, so it was nice to be able to see some of the history and culture of Germany outside of racing.

St. Lorenz church in Nuremberg.

As much fun as Nuremberg was, I was itching to get to Czech and get on the course for World Cup #2. I'd only heard great things about the course in Nove Mesto, and it was not a disappointment! The climbing suited my style, and the technical features were challenging but fun. It reminded me of riding in Baie St. Paul, Quebec (which is one of my favourite race courses)! Unfortunately, as much as I loved the race course, I didn't really get the opportunity to race it. Come race day, I was taken out in a crash about 200m from the start line and was unable to continue racing. Even still, I counted my lucky stars... My body was all in one piece and I had no serious injuries. It was a big disappointment, but it could have ended so much worse. No sense in dwelling, so on to the next one!

Despite crappy weather, the race in Czech was SO well spectated! The locals sure do love their hometown heroes. 

The name of the town we stayed in... Try and pronounce it. I dare you.

You'd be surprised at how hard this is to find in Europe! 

As usual, the trip with Team Canada was spectacular. The staff are so well prepared and are willing to do anything and everything to help the athletes perform better. We are so lucky to have such awesome support from Cycling Canada, and I am very thankful for it! 

After Europe, I spent a couple of low-key weeks at home. My days consisted of bicycle riding, eating, laying on the deck, and other such important endeavours (I've said it before, the life of a student athlete is just so tough...). I've been enjoying the time spent with my family and am very grateful that we get to spend a few months together before my siblings and I all head back to school in the fall. 

This + a bike ride = the perfect summer day!

Celebrated Sam Wagler's 20th in style
Thai food for Sam's bday dinner. For some reason, this little guy really creeped me out.  
After a 5 month hiatus from sushi due to a VERY traumatic experience, I've made my comeback. 

Finally, the most recent event of the last few weeks... O-Cup #3 at Sir Sam's in Haliburton! The race started well, as I managed to take the lead and hold on to the lead group for the majority of the first lap. Things went downhill after that, however... I was feeling some training load in my legs and for some reason couldn't manage to stay upright on my bike. Seriously, I could have used a set of training wheels out there. Or maybe a hover craft. Anyways, I managed to eventually reign my erratic riding in (come on legs, get it together!) and made up a spot by the end of the race. I finished 4th, and am not totally unhappy with my race. When in doubt, remember that every race you do makes you faster! Shout out to my big bro Tavis for having a great race. Super proud of you! As always, Sean put on a great event and everyone had a lot of fun. Thanks for taking on the OCup series, Sean! 

After the race, a few of the U23's went for a little swim... It was terrifying (see: List of Fears). I hate to be sentimental, but I am so grateful for the opportunities and friends that have come to me through biking. I would never have had the ("ahem") balls to do half the things I've done if it weren't for you guys. You have all made my life so much richer, and I thank you for it!

I may have needed a helping hand, but here's proof that I am in fact conquering my fears this year. There may have been some screaming and booking it to the shore afterwards... but that's beside the point.  

It's now time for some solid training and soaking in the sun. In about a week I'll be headed off to Missoula, Montana for some US Cup racing action. Let the adventures continue!