Climatic extremes: the Barbara Howe diary

Barbara Howe (Velo Bella)

Barbara Howe (Velo Bella) (Image credit: Steve Medcroft)

The week between races while on the road is fun; it always makes me feel like a real pro. Generally I spend five days a week at work but while traveling I get to sit around and watch TV. And during that week we ran a training ride on Tuesday (October 25th) in 40 degree weather and pouring rain (little did I know that it would be good acclimatization for the weekend). Wednesday was sunny and pleasant and Josh and I rode to a park to make use of the open space for 'cross technique practice. We were joined by several hundred high school students running cross country and the workout finished just as a few football teams arrived for practice. We never made it to the old boat in Philly. In fact, our longest walk was only about 15 minutes. Thursday's drive to Gloucester was uneventful and we arrived at our host house with enough time for a spin on the trainer.

Our host house was awesome, there is space for most of the team and entourage. Our host Mom, Nancy, makes incredible masks and has filled the house with amazing beaded, feathered, and painted masks and other artwork. Walking into the basement is like walking into a personal craft store. There are drawers full of glue guns, beads, feathers, sparkly things, and puff paint. Friday evening Melodie, Erin and myself spent quality time in the craft room decorating our helmets.

Friday's pre-ride provided absolutely no indication of what the course would be like on Saturday. As is usual for the Stage Fort Park racecourse in Gloucester, Mass., we were routed through the sand volleyball pit. I thank the promoters and course workers for draining the six inches of standing water from the pit.

Read the entire Barbara Howe diary here.

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