So that time of year is almost here again, and I absolutely can not wait.
Last year at the end of Collegiate race season I found a new love for my bike and that love grew and blossomed over the summer, and into the fall, and even through the winter. I have trained and raced with fun in mind. Over the summer I only rode for fun, I raced and competed but only for the fun of it, I didn't have any goals or ambitions other than just to get out there on the bike. This fall I raced Cross bikes and found that to be extremely rewarding, I learned what it means to really suffer and leave it all out there. This winter I have experienced some of the worst riding conditions and yet I have been enjoying alsmot every second of it. Even now as I type this I am watching the rain fall and I know that the weather will continue to get worse before it gets better. I am hoping that all this riding is paying off and I feel like it probably will.
I have ten days until my racing season starts and I have only been this excited one other time in my life- I was once a triathlete and I trained and got super excited for that too- and that time it didn't really turn out the way I planned. See, every time I close my eyes I find myself racing and imagining the attacks and countering them and sprinting to the line for the win. Only when the race actually happens it never turns out quite like I imagined. So this year I have been trying something a little different- its not self doubt just not being over confident- I have only imagined all the different variables of the race, still seeing the attacks and covering them. I see the guys around me and the road under me and the gear I'm in and all that cool stuff but I try not to ever imagine the finish or my role in the race. I don't want to imagine victory- obviously that is close to impossible and every once in a while I do- so I just try to keep in mind why I am there and that is to have a good time and to learn and get experience.
My first race will be the Hincapie Spring Series Donaldson Center road race. I am extremely excited about that race. It will be really fun to be back in Greenville mixing it up with all the guys I rode with over the summer. I can't wait to line up with Pait an all the guys again. The next day is a Crit at the BMW test track in Spartanburg, SC. I have never raced there but I am really looking forward to that race because I want to learn how to develop my criterium abilities this year and the sooner I can start the better.
After that I'll do the Feb. 28th installment of the Donaldson Center road race and then I'll move on into my collegiate season. Following all that will be some Blair Cup action and Saturday morning Hour of Power rides and then some Tuesday night world Championships.
In other news I am officially a Cat 4 USAC road racer and a "B" collegiate racer- that is the Cat 4 collegiate class- so I'll get to try to earn some points to upgrade to Cat 3 this year. I also discovered how delicious Nutella is and that it goes best on a spoon. I have run out the first set of batteries on my powertap, I've always been told there were little gerbles in there- guess that was wrong. Oh and Mark Cavendish is pretty much my new hero, that guy is an animal and the way he gives credit to his team for his sucess is something he doesn't get enough credit for.
That's it for now.
- T Crotts