I’ll be 30 next year and it’s not as scary nor does it feel as old as it is perceived to be when you are in your early 20’s. I’m actually looking forward to it. My late 20’s has been a huge learning process and self discovery, recently that has included dealing with life events of the past including death.
It has arrived.
After a fun-filled and action-packed two months down under, I have rejoined the Team SmartStop camp in California to start another year of what is set to be successful, fun and hard work
At the end of the 2014 season, I went home to New Zealand to escape the American winter and some much needed family time. After 18 months away from home and a hectic but fantastic year, it was refreshing to get back home, see my friends and family and enjoy the simple New Zealand life of beaches, bbq’s and a bike race here and there.
I sound like a broken record but this was truly one of the greatest years of my life. I found happiness, I found a life I enjoy and I found out a lot about myself.
But every once in a while we need to stop and look at what is going on in our lives. Is the path we are on going to take us to where we want to be?
15,800 miles driven, 12,000 miles of flying, three countries, 21 states, six provinces, 40+ podiums, two national champions, six months on the road and it is time to call it a season.
After a week of hanging out in Vancouver, riding my bike and being “mechanic” at BC Superweek, it was time to take the team car and head south of the border for the Cascade Cycling Classic.
15,800 miles driven, 12,000 miles of flying, three countries, 18 states, five provinces, 40+ podiums, two national champions, six months on the road and it is time to call it a season.
June saw Team SmartStop travelling north across the border to Quebec, Canada where we would relocate ourselves for the next four weeks. We arrived in Quebec, three days before the start of the Grand Prix Cycliste de Saguenay and were greeted by something we hadn’t experience in a long time. Cold weather. It was a shock to the system, and it was the first time I realized I didn’t really own any appropriate clothing for colder temperatures.
15,800 miles driven, 12,000 miles of flying, three countries, 18 states, four provinces, 40+ podiums, two national champions, six months on the road and it is time to call it a season.
The first of many selfies for 2014 (Team Camp, January)
What a year it has been, I don’t even know where to begin. Maybe with the disbelief I still feel about what Team SmartStop achieved this year, with the sense of pride I have for the team who defied all odds against them and proved what they are capable of, with the sadness that I now feel that the season is over.
May came and went, we won the USA National Championships, we went to the Philidelphia Cycling Classic, a race with a rich history in American cycling, where Jure Kocjan finished second to UHC’s Keil Reijnen and we bordered a plane to head north to Canada much to the despair of the Americans.
The Canadian/American rivalry reminds me much of the Aussie/Kiwi rivalry, although we enjoy busting each others balls every now and then deep down we are family. Or at least that’s how I see it. I love Canada, it is where my journey as a Soigneur in North America began and it is where my desire and passion for this sport and this job was cemented within me.
“Welcome to the National Championships.”
“Many of you haven’t been here before but you all deserve to be here.”
Two sentences we heard over and over again during the two weeks we spent in the south preparing for and racing the USA Pro Road and TT National Championships. This was my first Road and TT National Championships also, having only previously been to the NZ Criterium National Champs.
Stumbled across the first race report I ever wrote for PureBlack Racing and it made me think a lot about how things change and how people progress in the world. It’s crazy to think that two years ago I didn’t even know what a prologue was, I just knew the sport of cycling excited me and it was something I wanted to learn about.
Waking up on the morning of stage two, I was anxious, what would the day bring? Will Julian and Joshua be okay to start? What will the mood of today’s racing be after yesterday’s carnage?
We headed over to the rider house not knowing what to expect, soon to find out that both of the guys would not be starting stage two. We were officially down to six men. It was heartbreaking, but the day must go on and there is still a job to get on with.