Wednesday, August 14, 2013

40 Things I Love About Cycling

The Para-cycling team just wrapped up a prep camp before our World Championships at the end of August. During that camp, a sports psychologist talked with the group about many things but one especially stuck out. She said that if you can’t come up with 25 reasons why you love the sport of cycling, you should do something else. So, I decided to sit down and write down some of the things I love about cycling. Here they are, in no particular order:

1. Freedom
2. The friends I’ve made along the way
3. Going fast
4. Being outside
5. Being fit
6. Traveling
7. Going on adventures
8. Constant new challenges
9 Trying new things
10. Meeting people I wouldn’t meet otherwise
11. Sunshine
12. Drinking a Coke after a hard ride
13. Being tan (in places)
14. Setting goals
15. Having something to work towards
16. The peacefulness of solo rides
17. Racing
18. The organized chaos of races
19. Dropping in from the rail of the track
20. Cornering really, really hard
21. Pinning on a number
22. The sound of carbon wheels in a race
23. Being in the zone
24. The feeling of wind on my face
25. The feeling of wind at my back
26. Taking frustrations out on the bike
27. Competing with myself
28. Trying to hit the moving target that is “The Top”
29. Feeling the G-forces in the corners of the track
30. Descending
31. Following wheels
32. Motorpacing
33. Having friends around the world
34. Learning how to travel
35. Learning how to be resourceful
36. Getting to sleep a lot as part of my “job”
37. Having a lifelong hobby
38. Café rides
39. The accessibility of the sport
40. Being given opportunities I couldn’t have dreamed of before I started cycling

What do you love about cycling? The list is endless, really. What would you add?

Sunday, August 4, 2013

See You Soon, Colorado!

Once something goes on the blog, it’s official, right? Well, let’s make this official- I’m moving back to Colorado. While the experiment of moving to a completely unknown place- Asheville- was a fun and exciting thing to try, I’m only putting it in the “mildly successful” category. It just isn’t the right place for me at this time in my life.

The 2013 cycling season has been relaxed in terms of both training and racing which has helped clear out the post Games fog. Taking a step back from it all reminded me that cycling really is pretty amazing and allows me to live a lifestyle I enjoy; traveling the world, meeting incredible people and being in great shape are all things I value. Adding in getting to do all of those things with my best friends makes it something I don’t plan to walk away from anytime soon. I’m ready to refocus and rededicate myself to the highest level of training and competition.

After spending a while being unhappy in Asheville, working in a bike shop, training without a lot of purpose, it was time for another change. The opportunity to move back to Colorado came up and I want to take advantage of it while I can. I’ve decided to move back as soon as possible which will be shortly after the UCI Para-Cycling Road World Championships in Baie-Comeau, Quebec, CAN in early September.

I want to get fast again, finish school, and make a go of Rio in 2016. When the offer was first made, my reaction was “whoa, no thanks.” After thinking about it, it made more and more sense to do it. A big reason for leaving in 2011 was due to burnout and a lack of life balance. Having had some time away, living and training on my own, growing up a bit, I’ve learned skills to avoid burnout, or at lease recognize the early stages and take steps to avoid it. It gives me confidence that this time around will be better.

My time at the training center was when I was the fastest and I‘d like to get back to that point. There are a growing number of pros and elite cyclists in or moving to the area to make it a cycling hub with a highly motivated training group and resources to make that level of training possible.

So, there you have it. It’s official now. See you soon, Colorado!