March 16, 2009
I hung up my skate skis in February and I spent a few weeks up in Tucson to get out on the roads and experience a group ride or two this winter. It was nice to be outside and to feel the air and test out my new bike! Which I would like to say many thanks to Giant Bicycles and Mike Engleman for setting up the sponsorship through the USWCDP. It's such a sweet ride! It's the Giant TCR Advanced W and I highly recommend it if anyone's shopping! It handles itself….just amazing! Also a big thanks to Hutchison Tires and Mavic!
I knew I would be racing Redlands in March, that was never a question, nor is it the reason for my current nerves. I knew I would be guest riding for a team, I just had not nailed that down either and I also knew that this year I was not going to be flying in March, so that I could be flying later in the season unlike in 08. But when Mike let me know that I would be racing in support of Amber Neben for Nürnberger Versicherung….well let me tell you I wished right then and there that I was peaking for Redlands!
The news came with a ton of excitement and nerves. My goal for 2009 is to raise the level of my racing by guest riding with top level teams when possible and learning to be a great teammate which has always been my desire as a bike racer. The idea of burying myself for someone is a rush! I must say I am getting that opportunity and I am super excited and nervous all in one. I could lie and say…yeah I am so excited and beyond confident! But you know there is something to be said for being honest about what you really feel. And a healthy dose of fear….it's not so bad sometimes and keeps you focused. Just keep it in check!
So only a few weeks away I am back home in Canada and to be honest very happy to be home. Something about your own bed, seeing your husband and puppy, and having the comforts of home, is simply nice. In fact I had my best group ride of the winter right here in the cold drizzling rain! Having said that, I am so grateful to my wonderful hosts in Tucson Dave Swanson and Steve and Patricia Wilson for the time there. Thanks so much for opening up your homes to me so I could put some miles in. Supporting cyclists like this means a lot!
So with only weeks to go and a season of unknowns to come, it's been a very interesting time. I am not the type of person to do this "unknown" no-plan thing. Not knowing what race is next and with which team. And I can surely say it comes with stress due to the unknows. What if you can't find teams or get to races? But it's is teaching me, slowly, that I need to continue to just go with the flow, be patient and trust that everything will come together. I will get so much more out of riding for so many different teams and racing with different types of directors and racers. Change can be scary but good all in one.
Lauren Hall, the other woman guest riding with me at Redlands, texted me yesterday and injected some "lightness" into my day. It read "I am SOOOOOOOOO ready for Redlands" and I thought …damn, I need to think that way too! She went on to tell me that she likes to have fun and as long as we do the best we can for the team, that's all we can do. Well, she's right. Thanks Lauren. Let's have some fun…in a sadistic kind of way.
Between Malcolm and Mike, who God thank them for being so amazing and supporting me through this decision this fall and over the winter as I waivered in confidence as to what I had done! You know the one thing I have truly come to learn these past six months is that you can't do it alone. Cycling is a lonely sport at times but the people in your life who support you are everything and I can't thank them enough for believing in me and for listening to me when I just was not sure what to do. You have no idea how much you help. The same for the sponsors who support me. You create the girl effect….just by each small thing you do to make it possible for women to succeed in this world.
Its amazing when you give a girl the confidence to do something, and support her with the tools, just what she can make of those things. Mike posted this link http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1008947465477 the other day and I thought….yeah…that's right, we have the power to make change. With the right tools and the right amount of passion, we can do anything – anything – we set our minds to.
I've just decided. I can't wait for Redlands! Nervous or not, I am going to work my ass off and race hard. For March, I will be as ready as I can be and I am so pumped to do whatever I can to get help Amber and the team kick some serious ass. I can say that word here right? It doesn't get much better than this, this so I better enjoy the opportunity!
Looking forward to seeing everyone out there. And who knows where I'll see you next. Even I don't know.
Keep the rubber side down,