Development. A word that was used a lot over my 3 weeks on the east coast. A lot of good and bad things to take away from my time here. It all started in Gloucester, Massachusetts, earlier in the month. First off I knew I was really tired from the travel, but wanted to do the best I could. If I had to use one word to describe this course I would mix the words “bumpy” and “dusty” into one [Editor’s note: Bumdusty? Bumpty? Dustump?] . Because that’s what it was. I rode the course a few times Friday and felt alright about it. However, it proved to not be my weekend. It was a reality check. Pros are very fast, and I knew I had a lot to learn. After Sunday, barely finishing in the top 40, I knew something was off. I wasn’t feeling good, and my back was in extreme pain. Turns out I didn’t have my fit correct and actually dropped a few sizes in stems and… BAM. No more back pain. Thank goodness. I won’t even mention specific results because I honesty don’t know them. I just know I gave it everything and was hungry for providence!
I had a good week of training leading into Providence. My legs were there. The course was amazing! Absolutely loved the new features added in. Funny thing about being a first year and having no points yet is that you don’t know where you will be starting. Well, turns out 10 rows and 80ish people to get through is pretty legend. Saturday I went out hard, and found myself in the group for top 25. Made some late mistakes and cracked pretty hard trying to make up for it. Finished decent, but was happy with how it went. Sunday I felt awesome. I took a different approach to the race, starting slower, and planning to just get better and better every lap. Three laps in it was going well and then I flatted at a bad place. Far from the pit, I rode the front flat to the pit, and got a new bike. After that I just didn’t want to get pulled. I gave everything, and started picking people off one at a time. I made my way back to where I was and then more. Ok, so I was unlucky, but I’m feeling good! Just gave me more motivation leading into Charm City.
The week in-between Providence and Charm City was probably the most relaxed of all the time I was there. We dialed in my bikes, I trained well, and I was able to borrow someone’s guitar! Haha! My head was in the right place. Just really had a good time and prepared right for my last weekend of racing.
My racing in Charm City was good. Not good enough, but something to keep the fire burning. I started in the back both days, and day one, I managed 18th. Day two I was even battling top 10 for a brief time, racing for UCI points. I fell short with 15th but I was happy because in two weeks I had improved so much, and my race legs felt like they were coming back.
Also, I got to see Bill from CXhairs which is always good. He did an incredible job announcing the event. Real class act.
Had a really fun time, and I feel like it was because I finally took the pressure of getting a result off my shoulders, and just raced my bike. It’s what I love to do and I always do best when I’m having fun!
I’m back home now, and really in a good place mentally. I’ll be down in LA for a few days working on my music with some people, and then I’ll get back to training and start preparing for Pan Ams in Cincy in just a few weekends.
A huge thanks to Tom McDaniel for allowing me to stay with him for the time I was on the east coast, and for the best support ever. He did everything for me to make sure I had the best chance at success. Also shoutout to Sram for all the help at the races. Looking forward to next time!
Alright I’m going to make some music! Until next time.
Make sure to follow along, @Hoppin_Haley.
See you in Cincy.