Post Nationals Brain & Body Rest...

4:14 PM


Grrr...almost...there...
Since getting back from Nationals my brain has been on a bit of a hiatus.  I’m not able to maintain any constant train of thought, I find myself staring off into blank space at odd moments, and I cannot seem to keep track of the most basic of objects (seriously, where are my keys?).  Perhaps I left my brain behind, and it is now wandering confusedly on the frozen and rutted trails of Badger Prairie Park somewhere southwest of Madison, Wisconsin…

I’m enjoying my rest week, which is good because I’m not capable of completing a workout right now (the physical and mental concentration that would be required to turn a pedal is simply too much).  Though I have no desire to face the reality of getting back on a bike, I do have a vague sense of nostalgia.  I look at my bike sitting in the corner of our guest room and think, “Hmm, that looks like something that could be fun…one day…not today…but one day…”


The elites race at Nationals on Sunday was awesome.  The course was crazy technical, with frozen ruts that were just beginning to soften in the winter sun, and the races showed who was and wasn’t ready for it.  Watching Katie Compton power her way to another championship didn’t offer up anything surprising, but the race behind her certainly did.  Georgia Gould didn’t find her rhythm until half way through, and it cost her.  Nicole Duke was amazing and inspiring, and it is a total crock of crap that she wasn’t selected to be part of the World Championship team.  And the star of the show was definitely Jade Wilcoxson – a CX rider we are all learning more about…

The men’s race split the crowd clearly by age.  All the juniors were going nuts for Zach McDonald, while those of us with a few more years under our belts cheered with a bit more enthusiasm for Jonathan Page.  I loved seeing a guy who truly takes the cycling world on his own terms come out on top.  And the fact that our national champion had to self-finance his entire season just highlights the shameful state of support for cycling in America.

Actually, in the days since Nationals the good and bad of cyclocross support has been the story.  On the good side you have the USA sending a full contingent of six (!) women to the World Cyclocross Championships next month in Louisville, KY.  On the bad you have the European federations (I’m giving you the stink eye, Belgium, France, Germany & Luxembourg) refusing to send their best women to compete at Worlds (see Helen Wyman’s excellent op-ed here). 

I share Wyman’s frustration.  The races I watched in my four days in Verona were inspiring.  I saw little kids, on bikes purchased a few sizes too big so they could grow into them, running the barriers with huge grins on their faces.  Women 20- and 30-years older than me racing with aplomb.  Pros cheering avidly for the junior racers who come from their home regions.  Spectators frantically running from point-to-point to catch as much drama as possible in the elite races.  Cowbells, frites, bonfires and beer!  Everyone should get a chance to experience events like these – a pure celebration of bikes and physical accomplishment!

Or at least that is what my fried brain is telling me…

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