I started this season off with a six week tour of ten UCI cross races and frankly it was a mistake. The trip started off well with two good weekends of racing. After that initial block of racing I stayed out in Easthampton for a block of training rather than racing the Madison USGP or returning home in an attempt to save money and cut down on travel. The twenty five hours of primarily solo riding probably did good things for me physically but mentally it was tough. The roads in Western Mass are great and my love of riding bikes was never questioned. It was more the time spent sitting around by myself for days on end that hurt me.
After my solo mini-training camp I raced Gloucester, Providence and Fort Collins. At Gloucester and Providence I had flashes of good sensations but mechanicals, crashes, and poor starts prevented me from putting together a complete race and a good result.
Rolling as a solo privateer adds the additional stress of organizing all logistics and bike maintenance but I am able to handle that stuff easily enough. The bigger issue is injury management and trip enjoyment. After my training block my left hip was bugging me a little and all the racing only made it worse. I tried seeing a massage therapist but that provided little relief and with my bike being my only transportation seeing a sports specialist wasn’t really an option. By the Fort Collins USGP my hip had reached a debilitating state. If felt ok just riding but any sort of race effort combined with getting on and off the bike caused major pain all down my left side. I tried to put on a brave face for Saturdays race but faded from the front row to the mid-thirties. I was injured, and mentally stale. My flight back to Victoria couldn’t come soon enough.
Back in Victoria I started treatment on my hip right away and within days it was feeling way better. My physical recovery coincided with my rapid mental recovery aided by being back with friends and family as well as the amazing cyclocross riding in Victoria.
On the topic of cross riding in Victoria. I have noticed that just about everywhere outside of Victoria most cross riders seem to ride their CX bikes on the road with slicks or go to a cross course with knobbies to practice skills. In Victoria everyone rides knobbies on their cross bikes all the time. With an amazing mix of bike tolerant parks and urban trails cross bikes are the perfect vehicle for a mixed terrain ride with far more route options than just road riding.
Last week I did some filming with Pelle Gustavs to try and capture the Victoria Cross Ride.
Physically healthyish and mentally recovered I am back on the road to race the Cincy3 as a final block of racing before Canadian Nationals in a couple weeks.