Life on the road

It's truly official, Cyclocross season is FINALLY here!  As mentioned in my previous post about my new sponsors, there has been quite a lead up to this season.  I have been thinking about this season since February!!!  No matter how much you say "I'm ready", I don't think we can truly be ready.  The season starter of CrossVegas was a little disappointing, the whole slipped bars thing, Colorado didn't prove to be that much better in terms of my legs, and then I went to Wisconsin.  

Back Pedal.

Home from Colorado on a Monday, early flight out, get back home in the early afternoon, get a massage, unpack, do laundry, you know, the usual.  Go to work Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and before I know it, it's time to fly out to Wisconsin.  Is this how my life is going to be for the next 4 months?  Pretty much!!!  I had the most fantastically stressful trip out to Madison.  For those that know me well, they know my anxiety level is high.  Likeā€¦really high.  Add travel and racing to the mix, and I'm a hot mess!  Needless to say, my flight was delayed 20 minutes (I had a connection to make in Minneapolis) and Delta decided to charge me $150 for my bikes.  I was bummed, because I have the whole Delta Credit Card and I thought they would treat me well with that (I know high hopes).  bummer.  So now, I'm sad I paid $150 for my bikes, my plane is delayed, and I'm a ball of anxiety, for 4 hours.  The anxiety didn't calm down once I landed in Minneapolis, even though I had plenty of time to make my connection.  I ended up leaving my cell phone in the bathroom stall, didn't realize it until about 10 minutes later and halfway to my gate.  Once I realized my phone was missing I turned around and started sprinting through the airport, backpack and rolling carry on and all.  I had visions of me tripping and smashing my face onto the concrete floor.  I'm happy to say, my phone hadn't been touched, I made it to my gate in time, and had a safe flight to Madison and all my teeth are safely in my mouth.

I've mentioned this before, I'm quite a sight at the airport with all my luggage.  Unlike the pro teams, who have vans and mechanics to drive their bikes around the country, I lug mine back and forth on the plane.  I hate it.  That means I have to take my bikes apart, pack them into a bike box, hope TSA and the airlines are good to my bikes, and then rebuild them once at my final destination.  It's a tough, not-so-glamourous, do-it-because-I-love-it life.  Not to mention the hilarity of such a small person carrying all that luggage!  

Back to Madison.  I quickly put a bike together, and went out for a spin/opener ride along a lake I can't remember the name of.  :-)  It was a beautiful evening, and I made it back to my host house before dark, went grocery shopping, and had a great nights sleep.  

My favorite little team hosting me for the weekend/s!

Saturday was the big C1 race with equal payout, which is AWESOME.  The race promoter Renee has always pushed for equal pay to the women, which is so amazing to have someone like her working the races for us.  Thank You Renee for your weekend efforts, they really shined and I appreciate you!  The course was laid out in the fields around Trek's headquarters in Waterloo, WI.  It consisted of lots of twists and turns on some fantastic hilly and flat terrain.  There where some good off camber descents (wish it was muddy) and lots of flow.  I found myself battling with Nicole Duke and Crystal Anthony for most of the race.  Nicole, who is coming off walking pneumonia, faded back and it was Crystal and I left to battle it out.  We kept attacking/pushing each other, and she eventually got the best of me on the long start/finish straight away.  I closed the gap on the techy stuff, but it wasn't enough!  She finished 6th and I finished right behind her for 7th.  Post race we decided we probably should have tried to work together and attempt to catch the gals in front, oh well, next time!

Sunday the course varied a little bit, the techy descent became a little more challenging with a few more turns and loose ground.  The first couple of laps I couldn't get out of my own head on those downhill sections.  I slightly slid out the first time on the downhill, I think I let my head get to me when girls where trying to pass in awkward places.  After that I tried to stay as close to the front as I possibly could, and finished the race in 6th.  One spot better than Saturday!  My results literally just keep climbing the ladder!  

The following day I had the opportunity to hang out in Madison for the day since my flight home wasn't until 5:30pm (oops..that put me home far too late).  I slept in, took apart one bike, hopped on the other and did a small recovery ride before packing up the rest of my stuff.  The day brought beautiful sunshine and warm temps.  Madison really never disappoints.  

Just my bike, the lake, and some sunshine.