I got back from Dirty Kanza pretty tired ... I wasn't done with bikes but I was certainly done with rigorous training regimes so I decided to have a few weeks off training and racing .. well that kind of turned into a few months .. I rode when I wanted to, I went trail running .. I even bought a surfboard and am still attempting to learn to surf :)
I weighed up what I wanted from cycling ... tried to put myself back into the mindset you always find yourself in mid race when you just wanna quit and eat cake .. well i was sure I still wanted to eat cake and I was 99% sure I still wanted to race or at least put myself into challenging situations even if that involved a number board or not.
Then the 1% doubt I had was quashed by Salsa.. both UK and US Salsa folk.. showing enough faith in me to set me up with a few new bikes and let me start telling people I was a Salsa sponsored rider ... joining a great group of existing riders who never fail to inspire me.
So then the training started ... I never train when the motivation is not there its so counter productive to force yourself to do anything your heart is not in ... turbo sessions and longer rides were the order of the day and thats where I am now.
Oh yeah those Salsa bikes ... well I can't complain on that front .. I cleaned house of everything I owned prior to these bikes and put in place what I consider 3 bikes that can do absolutely anything .. a quiver with a bike for every occasion, mood, event ...
Warbird, El Mariachi SS and Mukluk .... a bike for any mood that takes me ...
The Warbird is going to see a great winter of long mixed on and off road rides .. not to mention the Pave of Belgium ... getting ready for taking it 'home' to where it belongs .. the gravel roads of the US... 320 miles of them at Trans Iowa.
The EL Mariachi will see a fairly quiet time before being let loose at Hit the North race in February and from then it will be my go to bike for all shorter mountain bike rides and races ... I suspect it will see some bikepacking action too.
Then the Mukluk .. well why not ... you can never not have fun riding a fat bike :)
So I have already sketched out a rough start to 2013 event wise ...
- El and Back, Wales .. a super cool bikepacking event from Stu at Forest Freeride / Bearbones Bikepacking.
- Hit the North, England .. another episode of the excellent cross vs mtb 2 hour race by Jason Miles and friends.
- Whinlatter Challenge, England, .. 30+ miles of climbs of supeb Whinlatter Forest racing.
- Ronde Van Vlanderren, Belgium .. Tour of Flanders sportive ... can you say 'CANCELLARA' !!! :)
- Trans Iowa, US .. this is the flagship event of my 2013 ... 320 miles of grinding gravel :)
A little light on events initially but everyday the list grows and I find myself juggling finances and annual leave ... certainly gonna be a diverse year if nothing else.