There's nothing like watching a bike race you should be competing in. I've been doing a lot of that lately after I broke my ankle on the first lap of the first stage of Redlands. Leaving Redlands on crutches wasn't what I had in mind for the first race of the season with my new team, Webcor.
Relatively speaking, it wasn't such a bad break. I broke my fibula, but the tendons were intact. A couple different doctors told me I would be up and running for Nationals in late June, but I didn't like that answer much and was pretty determined to be back to race Joe Martin, the beginning of May.
Although it may have been a bit ambitious, I got on the trainer the day after I got back from Redlands and had some quality trainer time the next couple weeks. Fortunately for my sanity, after about three weeks I got the go ahead to ride outside, and I was walking out the doctor's office before he could say I should ride "cautiously." Now Joe Martin is about a week away and I'll be there ready to be blown away by all the girls who have a full Spring of racing in their legs.
Broken foot aside, the season has been going very well. This is my first season racing on a professional team and I was lucky enough to be picked up by Webcor. The professionalism from the racers and staff is unmatched and we have an outstanding group of women on the team.
I finished school the day before our training camp started. Some of the most important things I learned this last year in school was how to convince the academic dean why I shouldn't have to pay to take my finals early so I can leave to race, and how to convince the RA I should have a storage closet dedicated to my bike paraphernalia. It was a pretty successful year, really.
Training camp was full of laughing, training and sun in San Luis Obispo. Some of the highlights included quality chamois time for photos, getting to meet sponsors and some great food in San Luis Obispo. I really appreciated that we were able to meet and talk to some of our team's sponsors. We were able to ride with the Ritchey employees and tour the Voler factory. Now, if someone were to ask me a question about our sponsors, I would like to think I could give a somewhat educated response.
I realize that crashing, breaking things and having to take a couple steps backward is part of this sport, and it happens to the best of them...but what a bummer. Again, relatively speaking, this was minor, not a season finisher, not the end of the world. So in that aspect, I feel lucky. And I feel lucky to have such a great group of friends and supporters around me who kept me motivated and carried my coffee cup when I was on crutches.
Undoubtedly, something else will come up that will require me to take a couple steps back. When I was pretty down after breaking my foot, a friend sent me a quote by none other than Dr. Seuss: "I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I've bought a big bat. I'm all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!"
So that's it...I'm taking on the rest of this season with a big bat in my hands.