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Monday, December 17, 2012

The Bittersweet End

It's been an amazing season full of soul crushing defeats and a few little triumphs sprinkled in among the smashings.
My big boy legs started coming around at the end of the season. After getting destroyed at the big UCI races and becoming accustomed to racing for 60 minutes instead of 45, my legs feel monumentally stronger. I am very happy to end the season on a very good note.
I just took 2nd place at New England Regional Championships yesterday in the single speed race behind Nick Keough. The weekend before at Das cross I had a great finish as well. I have been consistently moving up the ranks in the big UCI races. My goal for next CX season, after a full elite season on the road is to be racing towards the front of the UCI races and earn some UCI points.

I am happy to announce that I will be racing for the JAM Fund elite squad on the road next season. This is a very good step for me. I will learn to race on a real team and learn the tactics necessary to excel at the elite/pro level.

I started my CX season in August this year and raced a total of 27 CX races. Making my total number of races this year 58. It's amazing the amount of work needed to become a good bike racer. I'm at a point in my racing career where I feel I know my body very well. The countless hours that go into training have become an integral part of my life. I love it, I enjoy every aspect of being out on my bike and pushing my body to it's physical limits on a daily basis.
Although the physical practice is a constant reminder that my body is adapting and becoming faster with every passing week, the mental practice of cycling is equally important. The bike has always been there for me, a meditation practice helping me flow through all the happy, sad, depressing, and confusing times in my life. Cycling is a way to see the world that most people never get to see. When I'm stressed out from school work or relationships I can hop on my bike and escape for a few hours, focusing on my body and connecting to nature as the world flows by. For me, cycling has become a lifestyle, a way to see the world that most (unless you ride) wil never understand.

I am very happy to go into an unstructured block of riding for the next couple weeks, catch up with people I haven't ridden with in a while and tie up some loose ends for school. I have one more semester until I finish my BA in Psychology and I'm also in the process of applying to graduate schools. I am headed to Colorado to see a friend and spend 10 days back-country splitboarding, doing yoga, hiking, and mtnbiking in Moab. I am very excited I've never been to CO and have been trying to get out there for years.

I just want to thank everyone who has been there for me this past year and really helped me excel in this sport and lifestyle. Al Donahue for being an awesome coach and helping me understand training, equipment, racing, and recovery. My brother Jeremy who has been an enormous influence. He just signed a legit pro contract and will be racing all over the world this season and next. The entire New England cyclocross community, we have the best racing scene in the country and some of the most amazing and talented riders in the world. Team NYCROSS for helping me out with race support and being the overall best CX team out there! We throw an amazing party at every NYCROSS event, if you didn't make it to the NYCROSS series this year, make sure you're there next year! Berkshire Bike and Board for always helping me out on the drop of a dime and being an awesome crew of guys (and gal).

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