Post by Phil Elsasser
Well the dust has settled and I am back in the swing of cold, rainy rides in the Pacific Northwest. The return from California was a crazy affair. The funniest part of it all is that almost all of us where in a pretty big hurry to get home after the conclusion of Redlands. I think as soon as we crossed into Oregon and it was ~40 degrees and pouring rain we soon realized the absurdity of this decision.
Our lives as bike racers are quite funny, we travel to big races where we are away from our friends and families for days to weeks at a time. While often we stay in some great host housing, there is also times when we are poaching the smallest spot to call a bed while on the road. While the first few days on the road seem amazing no matter what the circumstances, it slowly wears on you. Your thoughts slowly drift to this idealistic thought of what home is like, and while still enjoying yourself, the weather, the racing, the team, and the overall experience, you are excited for when the time comes to return.
Soon enough the time approaches after a couple of weeks and you jump at the opportunity and expedite the process to return often driving long stretches cross-eyed in then team van. You return home exhausted but happy to be back. Your own bed, your woman, and all the comforts of home await you. It sounds perfect and is for about the first 12 hours, when all you do is sleep, relax, and reunite with your family. Then it is time to get back to the real world. Suddenly all the free time you have on the road which is spent lying around exhausted from racing, quickly disappears. Training and recovering takes a back seat to trying to make a few bucks to scrape by on. All the neglected tasks you left behind are demanding attention, and your days are quickly filled attending to what everyone else calls normal life. The irony of it all is a few days into it, your start thinking about how good it sounds to be on the road, leaving all the worries of daily life behind, with no schedule to keep but the teams. Racing, training and recovering become paramount, you count down the days until you reunite with the team and hop into the van once more.