My UCI race license arrived in the mail today and I’m itching for the cycling season to get underway. I’m pretty pumped to participate in my first Ontario Cup race… the Good Friday race on March 29…however, I have mixed emotions. For starters, it’s hard to guage what kind of shape I’m in. The snowy cold weather means no opportunity to ride, but plenty of opportuity to eat! It’s an effort to maintain weight and get good cardio workouts. I also have ongoing knee problems as well as nagging shoulder and wrist injuries to deal with. What if I’m not fit enough to compete? I dread the thought of getting dropped!
I’m even dreading riding in the cold weather… anticipating chilly conditions at the 8:30am start time for the M3 category on March 29. I admit it. I’m a wimp when it comes to cold weather. I have memories of sheer misery… suffering with numb fingers and toes, nose dripping, dying to get home from a frigid ride in late fall or early spring.
Occasionally I will have flashbacks to agonizing climbs or strenuous efforts to hold a wheel during my limited experience at racing last year. There were times when I felt like my heart would explode, or my legs were cramping up, and the memories make me question why I am bothering to put myself in that kind of agony again. It’s strange, there’s definitely an element of pain and discomfort that is part of bike racing, but it is also exhilarating and strangely satisfying.
The risk of crashing has also crossed my mind. Shorter races in a smaller field will likely mean close contact and more chance of going down. I don’t have a back-up bike or sponsors supplying my gear and I can’t bear to think about the possibility of wrecking my bike or wheels! Not to mention the chance of getting injured and losing time from work.
But let’s face it… you can’t live your life avoiding everything that might result in failure, be dangerous, or be uncomfortable. If we did that, life would be pretty boring and your Facebook updates would really suck.To really live involves taking some chances, pursuing goals and experiencing some thrills. It’s good to challenge yourself and aspire to something.
I have no idea how I will fare this season, but I sure can’t wait to find out!