Thursday, September 20, 2007

This Week at Base Camp

One fantastic aspect of my quasi-urban New Haven life is how little I have to drive during the week. I ride to school, buy tomatoes and bananas at Romeo and Caesar's market down the street, and occasionally even walk somewhere - taking the car downtown is not just wasteful but a major pain. But this week found me wishing for a bit of suburban sprawl as I schlepped three bicycles and sets of wheels in various states of function to and from the mechanic, wheel bags wrapped around my neck, riding two bikes a mile or so over potholes through traffic, etc. Mechanic Bob just broke his leg in a mountain biking accident, and two days after surgery he was gluing my tubulars and replacing cables. If for no other reason than immense gratitude, I sure hope I race well. Besides getting the bikes race-ready, I've been training and catching up on sleep, drawing phenol rings, hearing the story of Phinneas Gage for the umpteenth time, trying to hammer out the focus of my master's thesis, and preparing for the upcoming race swing. Last season I went to the big races and got clobbered - I should have stayed home, recognized and worked within a few more of the constraints on my training and recovery rather than add travel to the mix of stressors. That's part of the context, but the other part is that this is a new year with a different starting point and a different strategy. So off I go, carrying a cautious optimism and strong desire to deliver. Michigan this weekend, then Cross Vegas(!), then World Criterium Championships. Keep an eye out for the pink flair (on my race bag, that is!), but seriously, this Velo Bella team is gradually feeling more like home, and the team's no-nonsense support makes these endeavors possible. As far as school goes, good thing for laptops!

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