For the past week, I've been relegated to strictly piano rides thanks to a forced break from racing. My twelve days off from racing between cyclo-cross and road seasons (7 of which were spent at road team training camp with the Pruneaux's while 4 were spent preparing for camp) apparently was not enough of a break between seasons and now I am paying for it! Even my blood tests came back with the same conclusion - STEP AWAY from the bike races. Both my doctor AND coach are enforcing this break from racing.
Sure i'm upset and disappointed, mostly because i am letting my team down. But there is clearly nothing i can do. If i continue a heavy racing schedule I will only be showing up to be pack-fill at best. This does nothing for the team but waste their time and money.
Last weekend was my latest of a string of pack-fill races - UCI event at Roeselare, Belgium. Even though I had a legitimate excuse for my mediocre performance (my left shift lever came loose ten minutes into the race making it impossible to safely shift, break or even hold onto the handlebars), I'm nearly certain I would have ended up pack-fill anyway. I was fatigued before the gun even sounded.
I race to be a part of the event - to initiate attacks, block for the team, even raise my hands high crossing the line! I REALLY LOOK FORWARD returning to full health so i can once again experience the high of being an active part of the races!!!
But until then, my rides must be rustig, piano, facile, calm, easy. To ensure that I stick to the recovery plan, all riding partners must have some sort of overwhelmingly obvious handicap. My latest partner, Peter, is a prime example - you can tell not only by his DIM outline, but by his antiquated, rusty bike with wide, nearly flat cyclo-tourist tires and only one functioning gear. Perfect.
Oh, and I may have found another cyclist who fits the description. He's older than I, wears a camelback AND his only bike is equipped with 2.6" tires. I'll keep you updated on the gimp-factor I accumulate over the next couple of weeks while relegated to piano-ing all over town. And, of course, photos to come!!