Kinetic just released this great video of Team TIBCO, talking about us off the bike and our goals for the season. Honestly, it's the most genuine, uncanned (is that a word?) video I've seen in cycling in my three LONG years on the bike. Isn't it great to have sponsors who are so cool and into your team's success? It makes it really easy to be a fan and promote them. So, thanks, Kinetic.
I have a few segments in the video. I had just crashed (imagine that?) and have a huge lesion on my forehead, and if you look closely on my hand, there's a spot there, too. Basically, Pam from Kinetic took me out the hospital (my bedroom) to get my take on the team, but hey! At least you know, I didn't have time to prep and what I'm saying is from the heart. Awwww... (And she threw in a Michael Jackson "Thriller" saddle cover, so I really had no choice :))
Check it out and give Kinetic and Team TIBCO some likes on Facebook for the hard work they put in here.
On a side note, I sometimes wonder why I get press, in the sense that I haven't done anything spectacular on the bike. I mean, in essence, I'm like the drummer from Def Leppard who is popular because he has one arm, not necessarily because he is an exceptional drummer. But whatever, I'll take what I can get. No complaints here.
Oh by the way, did I mention that I'm riding Flanders tomorrow? Every time I get on the bike here during this trip, I just am awe-stricken that I'm in Holland or Belgium or wherever I'll be in the next couple of weeks and am about to have the opportunity to ride the Super Bowl or World Series of bike racing--to use an American analogy. And to tie in more American culture, is it wrong for me to think of Ned Flanders when I hear someone mention Flanders?
Anyway, sure, I'm nervous and having just recovered from a pulled calf muscle and sitting out of Redlands doesn't boost my confidence, but honestly, all I can do is give my best effort and my teammates and director (and myself) know that my best effort is 110%. I ride hard and I will turn myself inside out to help my teammates the best I can, and that's all I can do. So, I lie. I'm not really that nervous because I'm confident in my strategy and my ability.
But if I can be honest here...because I'm usually just full of jokes and lies...ever since I hurt my calf and had to sit out of a race, my attitude and motivation has changed for the better. Before the "incident," I was a little tired and not in the best of moods after getting back from my first Europe trip.
I left Tucson at the end of February to get Lasik from Asheville Eye Associates in North Carolina--my doctor is a cyclist so I put my full trust in him. (I now have 20/15 vision, which means I can actually see THROUGH people. It's awesome.) and then I left for Europe March 2 and I won't be home until April 19. That's not a long trip compared to some people (like the women on the US National team) but for me, it's the longest I've had. It's exciting, but also fatiguing. And the worst part is that I get tired of only having 4 underwear options. GAWD!
Anyway, there were definitely moments where I had trouble pumping myself up before a sufferfest and questioning if this is what I want to do for the next several years (and maybe some girl tears and some teammate hugs--yeah, I'm sometimes a real sissy), but as soon as I had to ride in the team car behind my team in the leader's jersey, I missed it so badly. I kept myself positive through Redlands--I was so happy for our team--but inside I wanted to be on the road with my team so badly, helping in any way I could. When you take something away, even if it's only for a few days-=-or an hour in the team car, it makes you realize and appreciate the great opportunities you have, the opportunities you have made for yourself which you shouldn't just shit away because you're in a bad mood for a day, or a week, or a month, etc.
In other words, during the past week, I've gotten my head out of my ass and am embracing this once in a lifetime chance to race in Europe, and compete in Flanders and Fleche Wallone (which I hear is a big race, too! Big like say um...the NBA Championships!) I'm so excited about tomorrow. It's going to be the hardest race of my life, but also the most beautiful, unreal, and craziest race ever. I hear the Belgian fans aren't super drunk until the men's race, but I'm sure they'll still be obnoxious--just my style.
Anyway, here's to seizing the day now and way back in my first race, the Ballard Crit in summer of 2009. Who knew that racing Sequim or Mason Lake in Washington would lead me to Belgium just two years later. Thank you, Team TIBCO, friends, coaches, etc., and thanks to my readers for tolerating this sentimental post. I promise less Queen "We are the Champions!" and more Ramstein "Du Hast Mich" next time.
Pluk de Dag!!!
Oh and to continue the Corn Nuts theme, here's Kevin Bacon, doing what he does best to get pumped. Expect a performance like this in my hotel tomorrow morning--uh minus the whiskey and cigarettes, basically just the dancing and steering wheel pounding and maybe the white tank if I can find one... But first where's my cassette player?