There's a lot that goes into a season of racing mountain bikes, especially one that takes you all over North America and Europe...staying on track with training, earning strong results at big races...always learning new ways to keep everything running smoothly. Every bike racer has their own way of making the program work.
The plan doesn't look so intimidating lined out on paper.
For the majority of us cyclist folk, myself included, we do it for all kinds of reasons, but in general we all associate with little things like picking important events to peak for, mapping out training plans and long drives to events, cringing at the price of plane tickets when we have to fly, remembering to bring the right tools to keep the bike running smoothly at the race, wishing we could be paid to do it...in general, making a second, unpaid job out of managing all the pieces of bike racing in concert with the other responsibilities and obligations in life...job, family, etc....and still keeping all the big goals in sight.
This weekend I achieved one of my MAJOR goals for the year by being selected for 1 of 7 spots on the US Team for the 2011 World Championships (this year in Switzerland). My morale horn is tooting up a fanfare for making it to this point for the second consecutive year, because not only have I worked my tail off to make it, but I have been competing against many esteemed racer colleagues who earn their living by racing. I still aspire to be at that point someday. I spend so much time with bike-related activity that you could say I make cycling my living, but I certainly do not earn my living from cycling. Until the day I am paid to race, I understand that achieving goals like this through my own voluntary planning and hard work is beyond the value of any paycheck. This year, I would not would not have been able to make it work without support from my employer Veolia Environnement , bike sponsor Kona Bicycles , and friends and family.
What's next? On Wednesday I head out to the Czech Republic for the next stop on the World Cup circuit. After that, the final stop on the 2011 schedule - World Championships in Champery, Switzerland.
Along the way, the passenger seat in the rental car is full of the typical travel items
Lots of hours spent on Kayak.com to dial in the logistics, finding the best deals on plane tickets, rental cars and hotels
View 2011 Race Season in a larger map
Some training rides are better than others. The best are on the trails near my home in Trout Lake, WA.
Cross-training at the Trout Lake Fair - here my mom and dad about to win the two-person saw competition:
Many hours spent keeping the bikes maintained - shop not always this organized:
And still working on projects at Ridgeline, which not only keeps a good balance with racing and work, but also pays the bills: