First is that i have been in
Second excuse is that I have had a concussion for many weeks now which has made sitting in front of the bright light of a computer AND having to string words together to form coherent sentences a tall order. In fact, the symptoms of the concussion have become increasingly worse the more i ignored it. Funny how that happens. In hindsight, i suppose racing in extreme pain where it feels my head is going to explode combined with the excruciating ear pressure and funky vision problems was not the wisest move.
Anyway, after a rather uncomfortable 40 minutes at the Milan World Cup where i only placed 21st and a dnf at
But on a positive note, the doctor said that if i do the twelve items on his "recovery protocol" list that i could be ready to race again as soon as 21 December. I really really look forward to racing hard again without having pain force me to lay off the power as i've had to do for the past weeks! I will be able to GO, GO, GO!!!
They always say you can tell who your friends are when times are tough. I learned a couple of days ago when i broke the news to Vanderkitten that they are behind me 100%!!! I received the sweetest, MOST SUPPORTIVE email from them that brought me to tears. Just like Jonathan Page, I know exactly what it's like to race for big pro teams and i can assure you that you can never expect an email like the one i got from Vanderkitten! The incredible support that Vanderkitten gave me makes me even that much more inspired to return to racing with a vengeance and snag those top results I know i'm capable of. And if i didn't already have the full Vanderkitten collection, their note would have also inspired me to order their clothes in a show of return support! THANKS VANDERKITTEN!!!
Even though last weekend's event are far in the past, below is the one entry of many lost in
The drive from
For the most part, the French seem like civilized people, but somehow their toilet apparatus was overlooked. French toilets vary from a severely pared down version of a modern toilet (no toilet cover or rim for sitting) to a simple hole in the ground with feet outlines showing you where to squat over it. I've never really mastered the art of squatting since I grew up in civilized America where it's not necessary - unless you become a mtb racer, so these French holes are always cause for concern. I have no aim. (I just remembered a joke I’ve heard many times - why do the French use a plural noun for the word "toilet"? Because you have to go through many to find a clean, functional one.)
Once pee'd, I was ready to take in the views of driving through
As we drove through
We arrived at the hotel just as the sun was setting. After a long trip, we were thrilled to find that our hotel was on the nicer side. The rooms even come equipped with something I’ve had on my Christmas list for years – a bidet.
The next morning, we arrived at breakfast just before closing time. When you're vegan, you never have to show up early for buffet breakfast because all the plant-based stuff will surely be there. And we were right. It was a huge 'American Buffet' with various sausages, cheese, ham, bacon, beef, scrambled eggs, hard boiled eggs, croissants, cheese and cream filled pastries, apple pie, apple crumble, apple tart with cheese, apple tart with cream, cheesecake and 12 variations of yogurt - all items almost gone. But found in ample supply was the Italian rolls, fruit, jam, muesli, focaccia, tomato slices, water and espresso. The biggest score had to have been the individually packed wholemeal rye bread - you know the mealy dense moist bread found in
Shortly after breakfast we rode around our miniature town of
I wasn't sure what to expect this course to be like before arriving. The only bit of it I saw was on a youtube video taken last year where heavy rains turned the course into one big bowl of soup. We were thrilled to see that the trails were bone dry.
It starts off on pavement, then bends to the right onto a wide trail. Within a minute, we will all form a pile-up on the narrow, short steep runup. Then it's back to wide open bumpy trails until the "bowl" where you ride down into it, making sure you take enough speed with you to get back out on two wheels. Again, more wide open bumpy trails until a tricky tight right hand bend into a very short steep uphill - rideable if you pick the line just right. Then more open trails, back into the bowl two more times, over to the down, stair runup, down, up, down, up section, more wide bumpy trails, double barrier, and onto pavement straightaway.
I pray for dry trails tomorrow so post-race cleanup is minimal since we drive directly to