I drove up from Catalonia to the Cotswolds with my dad. On the way we stopped just long enough to make an assault on the strava segment at the roubaix velodrome, purchase enough beer, speculoos, carambars and nutella to ensure that my luggage was overweight on the flight to San Diego, eat tripoux and stock up on over ripe cheese which my dad insisted wouldn't make the car smell. It made the car smell.
look closely and you can see the jelly babies in my pocket, top nutrition choice
I raced at home, on tree lined roads with some of the characters i raced with when i was a skinny young whippersnapper (as opposed to a skinny, slightly less young whippersnapper), i sat in a village hall and ate cake afterwards, it was magnificent (the whole day, the cake was ok but i prefer a buttercream icing). I got a bike fit and a new pair of shoes. they look shiny and i feel fast and comfy, i can race without back pain and i have the guys at cyclefituk to thank for that as well as a burrito lunch.
From the gold paved streets of Willesden I ate one last dinner at home before packing my life into a bike box and folding myself onto a plane. It feels great to be back in San Diego, i miss Catalonia, i miss home as well but sleeping in my little garage again, getting back into the rhythm of training, teaching and travelling and getting back to the reservation feels great.
Last week saw the gypsy caravan roll into Las Vegas where I met with so many of the people who make my work with the Pascua Yaqui possible. It never ceases to amaze me when people who actually matter in the little world of cycling take the time to tell me how happy it makes them to see the updates from Arizona, or to share in the progress of my participants. It's great to see old friends and make new ones, to try and avoid buffets and to bring back my own bodyweight in free sponsor stash for the juniors.
Oh and I also engaged in some cyclocross, a brief summary of which would be: i started at the back, i advanced to the middle, we all fell over, i broke my bike, we all fell over, i advanced to the middle, my chain fell off, i was confronted by some barriers which i failed to bunnyhop, i fell over on my own, someone gave me beer, i advanced to the back, i returned heckles with what at the time seemed like a rapier wit, i got off my bike to run uphill (i thought i was over that after all these years of bike practice?!) , someone waved a flag, i was too hot to care about looking good so i pranced about with my shirt off and drank more beer.
Pre cross race Hubris
Honestly Las Vegas is one of my least favourite places on earth, it's hotter than hell and more expensive. Every year i forget how much i hate it but every year i go back, it's not for the $17 sandwiches or an attempt to find the wallet i lost there 4 years ago(although i would like to meet the person who got their hand into trousers that tight without me noticing) I go back because seeing all my cycling industry friends lets me share with them the pleasures that i get to enjoy each day. Sharing my joy in cycling with other people is a great privilege and it's a privilege i wouldn't have if our project wasn't so well supported. I spent a week in Tucson before heading to Vegas and nothing recharges my batteries more. Hearing and seeing that simple changes like riding all journeys under 5 miles, trying new fruit and veg each week and eliminating sweetened drinks have made huge changes not just to people's weight but to their perception of themselves, the most valuable thing i can give someone is self belief and self worth, for a long time society has taken that from people and to be able to help them take it back is a joy.
If you'd like to come and join in with our ride of el tour and celebrate the achievements people have made with just one year of eating better, riding more and finding a new kind of self esteem and self worth which comes from caring for your body, we're asking people to ride the only ride int he world awesome enough to get a double definite article. That's right ladies and gents you could be part of the el tour de Tucson on our behalf. click here and read more, then sign up, even if i have to push you the whole way!
This is my favourite photo of someone on a bike, cycling has taken me around the world and given me so much. It's a pleasure to introduce someone to the simple joys of going out for a pedal