The 2014 race season was probably the hardest, most intense and full on race season I’ve ever had. I was physically knackered and mentally pretty drained, so the time off the bike was just what I needed.
Of course after a month, I was getting anxious to get back on the bike again, to start exploring, riding and getting into the swing of summer. I had no plan, no structure, no training schedule; I just went riding my bike. We got back home from Europe in mid October, which is still Springtime in New Zealand.
Being home again after 5 months on the road is bliss. I get to recharge, rest up and savor all the little things that you miss so much when you’re not at your own house. Plodding around in the garden, planning the next project for the house, catching up with the neighbors and friends we haven’t seen in months. I get to wear all my clothes and shoes I don’t get to travel with, so everything seems new again. One of my highlights is getting to ride all my favorite local tracks again and seeing & hearing the Tui & Fantail birds flitting around your head in the forests. The musty smell of the Beech forest & the lush rainforest is such a comforting, welcome sight.
In December, we headed over to Santa Cruz, CA for a quick week trip, to take photos for the new Juliana Team, and of course to attend the Santa Cruz Bicycles Christmas Party. That was an amazing week of riding hero dirt with likeminded people, and that really fired me up to get back on the bike properly and renewed my excitement for riding again.
I was looking forward to get back home and back out on my local trails. The new year marked the start of an actual training program for me. I’ve never tried this before and thought I’d give it a go.
And here we are in March – holy crap, it’s go time! March really marks the beginning of the season, as it’s all starting up a bit earlier this year, I tend to start feeling a bit panicky. Panicky, because that means it’s almost time for us to start thinking about leaving again, and panicky, because I’m scared that I’m not quite ready to race just yet, and it’s just generally an anxious time of the year for me. Like it’s all coming to an end and I’m trying to make the most of our time at home, but I’m running out of time. Savoring all the little things, not wanting it to end.
There we go, my summer in a nutshell. It’s been real, it’s been busy, and it’s been amazing. I have to admit though, I do get excited about heading to Europe, as I do love the old villages, the history, the cheap food & wine and just having a change and experiencing a multitude of cultures excites me. Maybe it’s not so bad living two lives. I get to experience the best of both worlds. Bring on the never-ending summer!