Tuesday, March 1, 2011

back on the horse

It’s nearly March and I guess its time to start bike racing again! So much has been happening to me since finishing last season in Quebec at the World Championships. It’s hard to believe that was six months ago! I’ve signed with BMC mountainbike development team USA for the 2011 season, and I am really excited about riding some of the lightest, most advanced bikes out there! We have a bunch of great sponsors including Easton, Sram, DT Swiss, Smith Optics and Clif Bar. I’m incredibly grateful for the support from Mafia Racing and David Janowic last year, but this opportunity to be part of a full Professional team is just huge. I hope to make good on the confidence that the Swiss have instilled in me!

I experienced so many phenomenal days in Bozeman last fall, hiking and riding with friends, which evolved into some great early winter skiing. I had great days again riding the always epic Gallatin Divide

and Curly Lake with Lydia, Allen and Sam Atkins. I spend time dabbling in Super D, won a

few local races, drank plenty of beer (maybe a little 4 loko), and spent a lot of time out with the newest big addition to my life, Karina Olson. Everything was (as always) beautiful; I live in a big cold house with 4 really great friends, who are always (usually positive) distractions. It was good to be back in school, I was able to

pursue my academic interests with real gusto, which was very refreshing after spending so much time focused on the bike. I got to go drop in on the Missoula crew while they were on Man-cation… skiing some backcountry with Sam, Owen, Allen Adams and Morgan Schmitt. Nearly spend a night out in the woods with Zach Guy after loosing a couple climbing skins and falling in a creek, and then shredded in Revelstoke and Rogers Pass with the padre, Zach and Allen. I was lucky enough to have Karina come out to the Cascades over X-mas, and we had fun falling in tree wells and getting lost on a

bluebird day right in the heart of the central cascades. Before I knew it, I was back in the advising office talking with Kathy, this time simultaneously filling out a graduation application and all the necessary paperwork to drop out…

Which brings me out to the desert. A month in Tucson, trying to get prepared for this last push as a U23 has been so good. Right now I am sitting in a house rented out by USAC for a little training camp with Hinkins, Kerry and Erika. There’s been a whole lot of good urban assault by K-dubs and Jack this last week… curbs and sidewalks have become pump-tracks and wall rides. Kerry’s singing is getting better too I think. Gulli and I can only laugh most of the time, and I don’t know how Erika can live with it out there in NC. She’s got more patience than I do. Jack and I have been down here for a while so far, I spent some time with my grandpa, and he was staying with Chloe and TJ… so knowing how much kerry loves food, we took him the 30 miles and 6000 ft up Mt. Lemmon to get a 8” cookie.

That thing brewing in my stomach with a cup of coffee kept me warm while we ripped back down into town… everyone (including myself) thinks the desert should be hot year round… turns out that’s not true. The coldest bike rides I’ve done this winter have been down here near Mexico, that ride up Lemmon being one of them. The sunshine keeps fooling me. Today we even got snowed on… We spend 2 hrs battling a headwind and after that Jack needed a nap, so he just layed down in the sand along the side of the road and told us to go on without him. It was straight out of the Oregon trail or Donner party. Kerry and I went on and bonked our way home, but TJ was in charge for the weekend, so he had to stay and wait for Jack to come around. There were a couple cars that slowed down while we were deciding what to do, and they all looked pretty concerned. Don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like that before.

So now its back to Bozeman and the arctic circle for a couple days of vacation… a little rest at home and Ill be set to go for it all again!

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