Filed under: KingsBridge Train | Tags: Aigle, cyclo-cross, cyclo-cross training, Czech Republic, Ottawa Cross, Plzen, ulcerative colitis, vicki thomas, world championships, World Cup
Vicki here updating you with my recent racing trip….
I’ve just returned from a 12 day trip to Europe that saw me racing my bike in Aigle, Switzerland and Plzen, Czech Republic. These two races were the opening World Cup races of the 2010 – 2011 cyclo-cross season. The World Cup races feature the top racers from each country – with everyone racing for the top step on the podium and the coveted UCI points.
I had my dad along for this racing trip and this really was one of the highlights for me. My dad got to experience and truly understand why I love the sport of cyclo-cross. He got to see first hand how friendly and supportive the cyclo-cross community is – with friends of mine helping out in the pits, showing how to properly clean bikes, and just generally making him feel welcome. To top it off, he got to see me race with the fastest women in the World.
We traveled around Germany, France, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic in our trusty rental RV. The RV is really part of the cyclo-cross culture in Europe. All of the top racers travel to races in RVs – each one trying to have a bigger and flashier one than their counterpart. Ours was a medium-sized RV that gave us everything we needed – a portable home on the road. We found some excellent campsites and even parked up in a public parking lot one night. Thankfully my dad was in charge of all things RV – driving, maintaining and parking. I was merely the co-pilot, managing the GPS system and ensuring that we had tasty food to eat. A good traveling team!
The racing was okay. I learned a lot of lessons about myself – both on and off the bike. My fitness is not quite where I’d like it – due to some complications from my ulcerative colitis… I’ve been battling a pretty severe bout of anemia and fatigue. Which makes training and racing a challenge. But my goal for this trip was to earn some UCI points that would help me earn my spot on the Canadian National Team for the World Cyclo-Cross Championships in St. Wendel, Germany. Mission accomplished. And now I’m ranked 55th in the World. Not too shabby.
Next up for me is the Canadian National Cyclo-Cross Championships in Toronto, Ontario on Nov. 6. Then to make my life extra busy – I’m hopping a plane to Belgium on Nov. 8 and will race my first race on Nov. 11 in Niel, Belgium. I’ll be in Belgium until Feb. 7. Really looking forward to the season of racing and training in Belgium.
Filed under: KingsBridge Train | Tags: cyclo-cross, cyclo-cross training, KingsBridge Disaster Recovery, Ottawa Cross, Ottawa Cyclo-Cross, vicki thomas
Vicki here checking in from the cyclo-cross bike…
Monday night was a special night. I drove to Chelsea, Quebec for a cyclo-cross practice session with a group of pretty cool people. The plan for the session was to focus on the basics, keep things relaxed, and in the end have fun doing it. Speaking for myself, it was a great evening of riding, learning, discussing, and simply being outside enjoying the night.
This is the second such cyclo-cross practice session I’ve done and I’m thoroughly enjoying them. It is a great feeling to be able to give back to the community. There is nothing I like better than helping others and showing them that yes, you can learn to ride that tricky corner or get comfortable in the squishy sand. I know what it was like when I was learning – at times floundering around trying to figure things out. So it is just a super feeling to be able to help others who are going through the same things.
We discovered some fantastic trails for a good session of follow the leader and then it was back to the slow heavy grass for some skill work. Dismounts and mounts, breaking these techniques down to a slow speed and gradually increasing the speed, eventually adding in the barrier. Then it was time for turning and more turning.
At the end of the session everyone had rosy cheeks and I could see the improvements in each person. What a great feeling. Thanks for coming out to the cyclo-cross practice session. Looking forward to next week when we tackle some sand, do a bit of running, and uphill dismounts.
I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again – it is the cyclo-cross community that makes this sport so darn awesome!