It´s been a while since I blogged. I am going to make it one of my new year´s resolutions to keep this blog alive. Besides of the fact that blogging is a lot of work, writing one sentence by a time, I don’t want to write about cycling – I want to write about how cycling fits into my live, how I am experiencing it.
Jean-Jacques Lorraines says: “How someone rides a bike can give you a real insight into what a person is like. Some riders are very single-minded, others more collaborative; some are tactical, others an open book. Some don’t mind being soloists whilst others prefer alliance and allegiance.”
I for example, could never be a professional cyclist because I am not fast enough. I could never be a triathlete because swimming makes me sick. And I could never be a quantum physicist because I suck at maths. But what I can do is riding my bike in a my-own-kind of way. Speaking of cycling, have a look out of the window: deepest winter is here, and it is up to each of us to exercise or not. It is up to us if we ride our bikes inside or outside and it is up to us if we do nothing at all.
If you don´t want to let go of the fitness you earned during the summer months, the best is to make sure you are not going to lose it. Makes sense, doesn´t it?
After having an off-season break I try to catch up to where I stopped and the next step is to build on my previous year´s efforts. And all because competition season is coming. I adapt my training to the circumstances, to my closest environment. I don´t want my training keep me restricted to the gym and rollers so I find a way to mix it up. Living close to the mountains allows me to be outside in the mountains and this offers me all sorts of health benefits—physical and mental and it gives me a sense of freedom and more importantly, it helps me to maintain a solid base of fitness. The upcoming season will be my 3rd and I am looking forward to an exciting season to come. It has not been like this ever since. The one grows, of course, through experience.
I can still remember my first bike race:
I had been riding my bike constantly over a year and I decided it is about time, to ride with other cyclists at high speed. It was a hilly one in Salzburg, Austria, a season opening bicycle race over 70km. Or in other words, a short distance race. The day before the race I slept extremely badly. A few days before I catched a cold but it was only a blocked nose. It got worse and worse overnight. But that wasn´t the reason I was sleeping so bad.
I was nervous! Indeed, when I woke up in the morning, I found myself loving the idea of being sick, I wished had a good reason to stay in bed. But I knew better – I had started accepting the idea that my symptoms were purely imagined. I had problems eating my breakfast very early at 6 am, but I was already signed in, I had my number pinned on my jersey, I had cleaned my bike, I had a carbload the evening before, my energy food was organized and packed – there was no way out – so my nervous me showed up. The feelings I had a hard to explain. Putting the arrogant cyclist reputation aside, I admire people who race and at this time I loved the idea of being part of it. On the other hand I felt not ready. I wasn´t experienced enough, had not enough race preparation. I shouldn´t be here. Now that was a frightening experience on the start line in the middle of 500 cyclists, knowing no-one, everyone looked so PRO, the girls very strong and athletic as they have never done anything else. They know each other, like they are one big family. And I as a first-timer, I felt a bit exotic. Out of the sudden, my cold became much worse and I was not feeling my optimistic self. I felt unwell and feverish, I couldn´t longer swallow and I could barely tell if I still imagined my symptoms or if they were real. So, shame over me, but I broke it up before it even started.
A few days later I was glad I did. My cold turned into fever and I was really sick, but I still get nervous every single time I stand on the start line of a race. A few months later I tried it again. I completed the relatively short race over 50k with a 2nd place. I was ecstatic. My first bike race and I made it into the top 3! Of course I talked it up and told everyone and just in case someone missed it or haven´t heard yet, I made sure they did:-.) That was a super-hero feeling and I had my best time. And then the bike-fever came. Out of the sudden, I couldn´t stop anymore. I was spending every free minute I had on my bike.
The first year I participated the short distance races and last season I made a huge step to the long distance races, where I, of course, have to fight my hardest. To me, the best feeling is the feeling, when I know I have given all I can give especially when the situation and the environment are challenging. 2016 was a remarkable year! I made it in a Vienna based amateur road cycling team, I had crashes and almost crashes, I lost my contact lenses at the for me most important race this season and I had my first top 3 AG in middle distance.
When I take part on a long distance race, I do not have a race winning goal. The girls and woman are too hard to fight, maybe in a couple of years, if I push myself the way I do maybe one day with a bit of luck this is going to be something serious but for now…I try to enoy it the way I do and I hope you do the same. If you are the socializing cyclist or the race-cyclist or both, I will take this chance to wish you a great season to come. And if you, my dear reader, have never participated on a race, always remember, I fucked up big time!
For 2017 I wish you a year full of the promise, of great rides, love, joy, peace, a season without crashes and injurys but happiness!!!