|Getting close to mid-March, I had expected to be riding outside by now. Instead, we get yet another snowfall.|
|My "pain cave" has become an all too familiar haunt over the course of the past 4 1/2 months.|
|The long range forecast shows daily highs barely above zero.|
|The Tour of the Battenkill is a fun race with numerous gravel sections like this one but it's also very challenging.|
Lest I convey the idea that all is doom and gloom, I have to confess I'm actually somewhat excited. Today I picked up the frame of my beloved Masi road bike after having it repaired. There is at least one advantage to not having any long rides in the near future. It gives me time to rebuild my Masi. It will be nice to have both a training bike (Masi) and a dedicated race bike (Cervelo S2).
|The lack of outdoor ride time has given me more time in the bike workshop.|
The other thing that has me excited is what's on my calendar. Rather than doing the usual series of O-Cup races this year as I've done that past couple of seasons, I'll be focusing on a series of stage races in Vermont, Quebec, and New York state. I did the Coupe Des Ameriques stage race last year and it was a blast. Moreover, these races tend to cater to my strengths as a cyclist, including at least one time trial stage and with road races that include a number of challenging climbs. Assuming I can get back down to the weight I was at last Summer, this gives me a competitive advantage whereas most of the O-Cup races result in sprint finishes and I've learned that sprinting is not one of my strengths.
On top of the stage races, my season this year will also have a number of interesting cycling-focused activities including: an annual Muskoka weekend with the Usual Suspects, Rideau Lakes Tour again with the Usual Suspects, a day trip to the Annual Buttertart Festival in Midland (probably also with the Usual Suspects), separate day trips to visit my sister near Barrie and my parents in Kincardine, and a week-long cycling getaway with friends (most of which are the Usual Suspects) split between the Lake Placid, NY and Stowe, Vermont. So, yeah, the weather sucks right now and I'm feeling somewhat unprepared for my first A race of the season. But "are we having fun yet?" Well, I'm trying to keep an open mind :) Stay tuned!