“A bad day on the bike is better than a good day at work.”
“Not a bad day at the office”. (Insert HERE a photo of stunning scenery from recent training ride, with gratuitous handlebars in photo.)
“I’ll quit racing as soon as this becomes a *job*.”
Yhep, I’ll readily and happily admit I love my job. This bike racing gig is effectively all I’ve know since racing bikes professionally was the first “job” I had directly out of college. Priority Health segued to Bissell before making the leap across the Atlantic onto the Cervelo TestTeam. I know I’m supremely lucky to be paid to live the dream, but don’t fret, readers, this job did not come without its hardships.
For everyone’s best interest, however, this entry isn’t one for griping so I won’t delve into the physical and mental anguish cast upon professional athletes. Rather I’m here to post what fun activities I’ve been up to of late.
This entry comes to you from outside of St. Moritz, Switzerland where the air is thin and the altimiter (and an inscription on the wall outside of our hotel) reads 2309 meters above sea level. I arrived here directly from Tour of Austria, which was a pleasant race, especially as compared to the 2009 edition, which was overshadowed (literally) by rain and frigid crummy weather for the entire eight days of action. Adding insult to injury – or injury to insult perhaps – I crashed twice last year smacking my hip so horribly badly that I thought it was broken for a brief while.
Conversely 2010 brought 7.5 days of great weather with just a nasty bit of rain to which we bid adieu after riding through a seven kilometer tunnel borrowed deep through the Alps; rain and dreary fog on one side, sun and ear to ear smiles from the peloton on the other. We finished relatively well with Stefan continually in the hunt for stage wins in the arduous early mountain stages. He also collected seven coffee makers for being the best Austrian from start to finish, and we had a respectable number of top-5 finishes throughout the week, which was good considering the fierce competition and notoriously steep alpine terrain. The Kitzbuhel Horn, for example, finishes an otherwise painless day by going uphill to the finish at 14% average for nearly nine-kilometers, and a progressively steep three-kilometer section that tops out around 24%. Ouch. That’s steep with a capital kick-to-the-face.
So from Austria directly to altitude where I am for two weeks. Days here are straightforward since there is painfully slow wifi and just one TV. Wake up at 8, coffee, read for a bit, oatmeal for breakidoodles (that’s long for “breakfast” where I’m from), rest briefly before a half hour of core work. Next kit up and ride for a variety of hours, ranging from two to six, return to hotel, eat lunch, massage, watch some bicycle racing from France, nap, stare at the wall or read a book or twiddle your thumbs until dinner. Watch a movie on the computer, then bed. Rest and repeat.
From here I’ll head to Tuscany with @Joaoisme for four days with a bit of RnR before the Tour of Poland, which sounds like a really fun week. Seriously. I elicit some chuckles when I say I’m headed to Poland, but I’ve heard nothing but great things about this race from last year’s race roster, so I’m really looking forward to it.
In the meantime, enjoy this photo montage from the past two days of training, or “adapting” I should say since each ride has been capped at 2.5 hours max. But that’s bound to change with 4.5 hours on the docket tomorrow. Plus two photos from Tour of Aaaaaaustria! (“Well then, G’day mate…”)