Specialized Racing - UCI MTB XCO World Cup #6 WIndham /USA/

World Cup Windham, last year

The journey for the next round of racing has begun. I’m currently on the my first flight of the many that I’ll be airing within the next three weeks. Ever since I started racing my bike (and especially since I started doing it for a living), airports, flights, rental cars and hotel rooms have increasingly become part of my everyday life. It’s always exciting to travel, but to be honest my mind is more open to the “taking it all in” side of it at the beginning of the season. Slowly I get fed up with navigating my way through check-ins and luggage claims, not to mention spending time standing way too much on my feet and sitting in uncomfortable positions. Sometimes, if I have a lot of connecting flights, I loose track of where and when I am. I remember once at a security check, where my bag pack was pulled over for a check, the officer asked me where I came from and where I was headed. At that very moment, my post-race disorientated mind went blank. When not being able to answer the lady, who at this moment had doubled in size and now looked through me with her stiff x-ray vision, the situation got very awkward. I somehow made it through, luckily. The whole travelling thing is part of the game and once I read a triathlete’s blog saying, that in order to make a career as a pro athlete you need to own the skill of making the whole world feel like home. I found that statement very clever, true and a skill worth aiming for.

Sometimes I’m asked, how many days I actually spend away from home. I actually never counted (was too scared to see the number), but it’s a lot. Added to that number are the days, I before each journey spend on packing and getting ready and afterwards on unpacking and getting back into home routines (sometimes complicated even more by shaking off jet-lag too). One of the first things I do when getting back, is to do my laundry. It is a good thing on many levels, since we have a small appartement and the volume of the laundry would easily make the appartement feel half the size. Also, doing the laundry has a therapeutic effect on me. It kind of marks the line between two races and mentally I put the previous race behind me and start looking ahead for the next one. So, you’ll now understand, why I will hesitate to do too much laundry when travelling. I will need some for when I get home.

In the process of this blog entry, I now made it to London, from where I’ll jump on my (delayed) flight to Canada. (On sunday is the World Cup in Mt. Sainte Anne, which is a familiar race to me. I’ve raced here many times since 2010.) Straight out my plane here in London I got this piece of orange paper, which made my way through customs way easier! It took my about 2 minutes from stepping out the plane to buying coffee at Starbucks. Trust me, this paper is going to stay with me. Funny though, that I got it, since my plane is two hours delayed and I am in no rush at all… (maybe I missed something?.. Hope not!) Also, at the half empty plane I had a whole three seats to myself, so I could lie down. I have a feeling, that the travelling Good is treating me well on this one!


This piece of paper is a keeper

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