This post has been a long time coming; now that I have finished the last (or first?) race of the cross season, here it is:
2010 was a BIG year for me..I finally graduated college, moved out of the midwest, started a new job and I finished my first season as a professional cyclist. I definitely left the comfort zone far behind, but that is a good thing! A year ago I would have never believed that I’d be where I’m at now both physically and mentally.
With the move I did not contest any series overalls, but chose to balance my racing between regional and national events. I didn’t know if or when we were moving so I kind of played everything by ear, depending on what I could afford to enter. There are many more races that I wish I could have participated in, but I learned a great deal from the experiences I had. I got to ride with good friends at WORS races and I cut my teeth on the National circuit. I had a blast and was really lucky to travel a bit through my racing.
I can’t say it’s been easy to take the leap from beginner to professional in 2 years, but I’ve been extremely fortunate to have had such great support and belief from my teams and sponsors this year. Thank you to team manager David Janowiec and everyone in Mafia Racing for a fun mountain bike season! I have great memories and learned so much from my teammates from all over the country. Not to mention they are all so fast–Mafia racers represented well on the domestic and international scenes, including the World Championships!
I took a long break after a very disappointing finish to a relatively strong mountain bike season. Our lease was up in August and within two weeks Dave and I made plans to move to North Carolina. I had hoped to do this after cyclocross, but sometimes (usually?) things don’t go according to plan. However I’m really glad that we made it work when we did.
And before I knew it it was time to race again. It was really, really tough on a number of levels to jump into a new race season, upgrade to UCI Elite and then try to perform well while in the midst of moving and not riding. Fortunately my new employers were supportive of my racing and my relationship with Bob’s Red Mill continued from 2009. My tiny Redline Conquest Team survived its third season and performed beautifully!
I am very lucky to have had the support from such a great company that promotes and commits to health and cycling! I couldn’t quite afford to have the ambitious campaign I had hoped for but I made the most out of every race and had a lot of fun! It was an interesting season–I never really got the classic muddy races I hoped for but I learned a lot of important lessons and met some really great people. My rookie results weren’t anything spectacular but I met my goals and earned a respectable world ranking…
Dave and I are finally starting to feel settled in our new home and my training has been going really well. I love cycling so much and value every ride, even if it’s just on the trainer. I actually don’t mind the trainer but I’ve been able to mountain bike for most of the winter and it’s been really awesome! I definitely don’t take anything I have for granted…
Thank you for following my adventures and reading this blog! 2011 is off to a great start and many good things are yet to come. Thanks again to my teams, sponsors, family and friends!