Back from the crazy circus that surrounds, and is, Interbike, I am finally getting around to taking some time off. Yes, you read that last sentence correctly, it does say time off. I will wait right here while you clean up the coffee which you just spit out, and which is now dripping down the screen of your computer; after all, I am just sitting around relaxing, and I have all the time in the world to do nothing but wait.
The 2009 season has been great, but also has been extremely taxing. Since February, my summer has been filled with more racing kilometers than any prior season, and has also included the proportional and prerequisite increase in training kilometers. My season culminated with a 7+ week trip to Europe where I raced as a member of the USA Cycling U23 Development Team. During those 7 weeks, I not only experienced some of the toughest racing that I have faced so far, but I also was riding on some of my best form of the season. Everything came together for me in an environment that was challenging yet supportive, while also pushing me to grow and develop as a cyclist. As my return home drew nearer, I could feel that the timing would be perfect. I had been racing 3 or more days a week for most of the trip, and my body needed a chance to rest and recover from all those hard efforts. I held on and made it through the last races, before coming home to start resting and relaxing in Vegas style.
Lest you think I am using the term “off-season” to disguise my cyclo-cross season and its related ambitions, let me correct you right here. This time off will truly be downtime, several days away from the road bike, while getting caught up on everything that I have neglected to do since January when I left the cool icy roads of Oregon, for the warmer and sunny roads of Souther California. But first, CrossVegas.
With Land Rover Las Vegas stepping up as a sponsor of CrossVegas, they were keen to have several riders pimping the bright yellow and green skinsuits under the lights of the Desert Breeze Soccer Complex. Along with my teammate, Aaron Tuckerman, I was more than happy to accept the invitation to race before spending a day or two on the floor of the Interbike Trade Show. It is my humble opinion that one needs to spend no more than 2 days in Las Vegas – 3 at the most. A testament to this fact can be found in the numerous descriptions by others who departed through the gates of McCarran Airport, and found that most of the passengers whom were departing looked run down, exhausted, and desperate to get out of the Sin City.
My first full day back in Bend was one of the last warm and sunny days in the immediate forecast, so I decided to make a trip to the coffee shop. I figured that an easy 60 minute spin, with a stop at one of my favorite coffee shops, would be just the way to get the staleness of the drive home out of my legs, while enjoying one of the last pleasant days of Fall.
Yesterday's hail storm signals what is likely the end of warm and sunny days here in Bend.
During the last few days, I have made serious progress in cleaning up my room, as well as unpacking all the bags and boxes which I have been living out of since January’s departure for warmer training grounds. With my floor devoid of the duffle bags and left over race food, I turned my energy to taming the piles of crap which have overtaken my desk. It wont be long now utill I have all of my old bank statements filed, and the pile of unread VeloNews Magazines eliminated. The goal here is that I will have everything cleaned and put away with time left over for a fresh coat of paint. My brothers and I have slowly been going through color cards, and having settled on a color more vibrant than white, I am looking forward to a change of scenery.
While unpacking and putting away all my clothes, I took the time to organize and hang all of my riding kits. Chronologically and in the same order; skinsuits, bibs, jerseys, and then jackets.
In between trips to the local second hand store (which is a great place to get rid of unwanted clothes and generally junk in general) and getting everything put away in its place, I have found some time to enjoy a bit of cooking. Spending time in the kitchen is one of those things which I really enjoy, and fancy myself as good at. These weeks away from structured training also provide a little extra “wiggle room.” While I might pass on the apple pie or plate of Oreo’s during the season, This is a time of indulgence, and enjoying that second helping of ice-cream simply seems like a good idea right about now. Soon enough, it will be time to tighten down the belt, figuratively speaking, and get serious about preparing for 2010, but for now, it is time to relax, and enjoy a genuine break from all the structure that I crave.
Starting the day off with a plate of Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict and Chipotle Almonds was a brilliant idea.
Keep the Rubber Side Down,