Jun 14, 2011

A Weekend Off From Racing

Saturday morning: Awake at 6:00am to make it from Laval to the Parc de La Mauricie with enough time for:
1. A ride with the guys
2. A SUPER lasagna lunch, care of Matteau's mom
3. A dip in the cascades (near the entrance of the Parc at St. Mathieu)
4. Then, a good heartfelt cheering session at the Marmen Criterium in downtown Trois-Rivières.

A shot of the Cascades from a few years ago in the Parc de la Mauricie

I found a generously offered and much appreciated couch to bail on for the night.
I could hear the rain coming down while I fell asleep, and it hadn't held up by the time I was up-and-going at 6:30am on Sunday.  Time to move onto stage two of the weekend.  I was headed to St. Augustin for my first ever session of motor pacing with my coach Pascal and my trusty Juvéderm-Specialized-Mazda teammate Véro Labonté. 

My legs were tired.  I had to pedal so hard behind Pascal's motorcycle that The Pistons felt like I had put warming-balm on before going out.  Which I hadn't.  (In fact, initially, I wasn't equipped for the rain.  But I had a brand new white rain jacket that was kindly lent to me just before the ride, which I christened with road grime).

While I was trying with all my might to hang on in the draft behind the moto, I remembered Orin (years ago, around the time of the Pancake Ride, which is the first official ride of the season every year in Barrie, Ontario) explaining to me the importance of finding the sweet-spot behind the person in front of you.  The spot where you get the best draft, and save the most energy. 

Meeting up for the Pancake Ride, seasons past!
Pascal must have upped the pace or something.  I started focusing on the Fleur de Lys on his license plate.  The Specialized Amira can go fast, but my limits were being pushed.  I didn't look away from it.

I started to think about how cool it was to be out on the road in the morning, even in the rain.  That I had the opportunity to be out there.  On my bike, in Québec.  That Pascal sacrificed his Sunday morning for us, that Véro is never one to back out even when it rains.  That I had a rain jacket for the morning.  I thought about how fortunate I was and still am to have gotten the hints, explanations, and advice (like the tip Orin gave me "way back, when") about riding and training and racing.  How lucky I am this year to have a great team, with an excellent group of sponsors backing us, allowing us to do our stuff.

Pascal dropped me from behind his motorcycle.  He slowed down to let me catch up and I hitched back on.  Enough thinking.  Time to stare down the "Je Me Souviens" on his license plate again...

1 comment:

  1. you're awesome. this is my favourite post. i'm so proud and happy for you!!