On the hunt for my cycling mojo

It has been a while between posts! What have I been up to? The Easter solo 24hr national championships have been run and won, many weeks of nothing cycling related followed, and last weekend the first round the Chocolate Foot Singletrack Mind series was held in Orange.

It is hard to say why I raced the Easter 24hr in the end, because in hindsight it was a silly thing to do both from a physical and mental point of view. In between buying and moving house and changing epilepsy medication, I had put in all the race preparation that I could. I felt fit on the road bike but hadn’t done much mountain biking. The weekend before Easter I was entered but still undecided as to whether I would actually race. This should have been it, the warning signs to tell me I just wasn’t committed to this race 100%. But the competitive desire was still very much there and the little voice in the back of my mind was egging me on, saying “do it, prove to yourself that you can fight and beat all this stuff that has been happening to you”. So I did it. Well, not quite.

I made it through seven hours. But by the seven hour mark I was not able to control the bike or properly able to hold the bars with my right arm. Sure I might have been fit on the road bike but oh how I had underestimated how much strength was gone from my back, shoulders and neck over the last six months. Back sore, triceps cramping, I basically threw my bike at Seb and said “let’s go get pizza”!!! It was almost harder to walk away from the race than crashing out at the Scott, but I knew it was the right thing to do.

Unmotivated. Bleh. Chocolate. Sleep. These were the thoughts throughout the weeks to follow. As Seb and I describe it: losing one’s cycling mojo. A love of bikes, a love of riding bikes, racing bikes, talking about bikes, thinking about bike races and bike holidays. This was my cycling mojo, and it was gone. For a while I didn’t try and find it either. Rather, I buried myself in work, packing up the house for the move, and even did an 8hr rogaine with my mum! But one sunny Sunday afternoon Seb and I decided to head out for a mountain bike and there, on Bruce Ridge and Black Mountain on my Merida 26er, I found my cycling mojo again!

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Happy times again!

It turns out that I didn’t really need a break from cycling, but actually needed a break from my 29er. As dearly as I love my Superfly, I know now that there is a time and a place for it. I had lost my ability to corner confidently, to use my upper body to lift over obstacles and to get out of the saddle and work! Since getting the 29er I had slipped into this world of sitting down and banging over things because I knew the bike could handle it. I was crashing nearly every time I rode my bike, and actually dreading corners because I felt so unco. This was not a good place to be in mentally. So, with the Superfly out of action because of a crack / warranty issue, I pulled out the Merida for some fun!

Last weekend we moved house to Duffy, Weston Creek and we are now a mere stone throw from Mt Stromlo which is so exciting! Can’t wait for plenty of fun rides to be had at Stromlo and now we can have post-ride coffee at our place!

After moving our entire house on Friday night / Saturday morning, Seb, Ria, Pete and I drove to Orange for round one of the Chocolate Foot Singletrack Mind series. The track was so awesome, the Merida was fantastic and best of all, my shoulder was strong with no issues! I had no expectations for myself except to ride and have fun, which is exactly what I did. I got 5th, a few laps off the female winners. Ed McDonald, also On the Rivet, had a cracker race and took out the solo men’s category. Seb and Ria (Sebria) also had a great race, coming 2nd in the mixed pairs.

Four bikes on the Subie – don’t we look pro!

Beth Hammering it…On the Rivet! Photo by Dave Bateman

Can’t wait to get out there and rip up some more singletrack: hello mojo!! Races coming up include Willo Enduro, all the Singletrack Mind series, possibly Tour de Timor and Terra Australis!

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