Down Time

Three of the core riders on the new OUCH squad: Floyd Landis, Rory Sutherland and Tim Johnson

Three of the core riders on the new OUCH squad: Floyd Landis, Rory Sutherland and Tim Johnson (Image credit: Jon Devich)

Apparently when it's on, it's on. This is how the last month has been. You're either at home, dying to get to a race; or you're on the road, starting to think about getting home. This whole year seems to be a series of races running back to back, followed by weeks of nothing at all.

Don't get me wrong, I love being home, but I also love to race. A happy medium somewhere in the middle would be great.

After several weeks on the road I am sick. By sick I mean my body shut down a little after the stress of racing. I am doing just fine and enjoying complaining and lying on the couch. I think that during stage races we put in so much effort, so much concentration, so much worry and thinking, that by the time the race is over, we need to shut it down.

I decided that there is only so much time I can give 100 percent and concentrate - the rest of the time, sorry, I'm going to relax. You rush to the airport and trek across country as soon as the race finishes. You are beat by the time you get home. When you don't have to train hard, or race, your body kind of knows it and shuts down the system. This can be a blessing in disguise. Every time I get a bit down or fatigued it's a tell tale sign to take it easy.

Luckily, I'm an absolute expert on taking it easy! So the lesson is this: Listen to your body! Rest, recover, and try not to worry about things. You're not going to lose a couple of months' worth of training and form by taking a few days on the couch when you are sick.

So, how do you cure the boredom of couch and down time? TV really seems to be a thing of the past. I shed a little tear every time I walk into my living room. I see the nice LCD screen staring at me, and it reminds me that I could have bought a fake plastic one and it would be used nearly as much.

TV is out, internet is in. Whether it's searching in a bored manner for things to buy, watching programmes, downloading something, or finding yourself linked from one site to the next, the internet is the cure to all boredom.

For the past two weeks I have been watching little bits of the Giro in the morning. There seems to be more and more sites with live stream video being shown. The really fun part is searching the web to see how many languages you can watch it in. I got a little bored with one commentator (yes, the guy who struggles to pronounce names) and now I'm onto the Belgian TV station. Luckily, from five years living of in Belgium, I can understand what they are saying and enjoy hearing the differences in opinions from one county to another.

I think I am going to try Russian when I become bored with Flemish. It's a language I know nothing about, so I can basically watch the race in peace.

Now the boredom and sickness have gone. I've moved onto the slight worry about races still to come, and the speed at which they are approaching. I've come up to Santa Barbara for a few days to reset and do some fantastic training.

I'm lucky enough to have made great friends in lots of places across the county. When you are sick of riding the same roads, or need to get up and move, these places are a god send. Even luckier is the fact that my friends here in Santa Barbara have a backyard that IS the ocean. An amazing way to end the day... sitting and watching the birds, dolphins and boats roll by in the sun. Am I spoilt? Yes, I most definitely am!

Next up we're off to the East Coast for what's left of Philly week. The crits seem to be beginning, and the racing changes as frequently as we change states. By moving east, it normally means the weather is heading towards summer! I seem to spend my life in an eternal summer, but I love it all the same. As exciting as doing the Tour of California in the cold and rain of February really is, I'll stick with the heat.

* Note for the month. If you come across another rider coming the other way on a ride, raise a hand, smile, or say hello. No one is too big to acknowledge a fellow rider out doing what we all love to do. Don't be that guy (or girl)!

rorysutherland1 - Twitter (the new communication for people who don’t communicate)

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Follow the adventures of our Australian as he hits out from his Southern California base to the biggest races in the US.

Rory Sutherland is back on the North American circuit and better than ever with UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team Presented by Maxxis . Riding alongside teammates like Chris Baldwin, Karl Menzies and Tim Johnson, Sutherland will work to bring the team to the top of the heap in the Americas.