Gravel Worlds Wrap-up as Experienced by a Team USA Chemistry Professor November 08, 2022
Dora Suarez - Leader in the Gravel Community September 17, 2022
TJ Zegarelli - Newly established Ironman September 17, 2022
From Miami to Barcelona
Do you ride a bike for fun? Very much so. But what does fun mean? For me having fun is riding my bike in nature, speeding in between the trees, feeling the corners, listening to the tires passing over rocks and roots, pedaling uphill quickly, and descending like someone wants to steal my bike. Risking everything even though the thief is just in my head.
That feeling of going fast whatever the terrain yet not allowing myself to be too exhausted so that I’m ready for the next climb on the group ride. The feeling like I can go anywhere motorcycles and cars can go, however I do it with my legs only. Basically it’s all about being in good shape and riding a bike outdoors.
But there is more! When I do that, I ride for an hour and a half competing with thirty or more riders. I ride harder than ever with the adrenaline pumping, as I race to pass the banners with an advertisement that I cannot even read because I am so focused or I am drained. Mountain bike racing is a cocktail of suffering and fun, which is the epitome of mountain bike racing.
The joy builds at the end of each race, I feel all the struggle makes me want to train harder to get into that mindset where I like to exert myself so much that I am in pain. I can only obsess about competing again, to have another chance to do be better, and finish in higher positions. Although resting allows for recovery, I cannot wait to get back on my bike with my “fresh legs on terrain” and tackle the course.
After a few seasons racing in Florida, looking like a bee with the black & yellow Mack Cycle Cycling Kit. I received the sponsorship and support of Mack Cycle which greatly improved my abilities. Through my sponsorship, I was helped out with Cannondale bikes and equipment. Until that day I had never ridden with such high-quality bikes and equipment.
Now I had no restrictions pushing my body to perform at peak capacity. I was in search of my best performance and cardiovascular endurance ever. No better way to do it than to go racing at the high levels of the European circuits, competing at two major events, Copa Catalana Internacional and The Super Cup Massi.
The experience has been awesome, the pace is incredibly fast, and all the competitors are very strong. XCO Courses are world cup level, even the way the crowd cheer gives the racers a high. Race after race, I feel the improvement and the experience these races leave me with is what I yearn for.
Stepping out of your comfort zones is something we do not like, but it is the only way to be better at any task. I put a lot of effort into it and thanks to my new local partners and the overseas support from my family and friends and of course my not-so-local bike shop, the motivation remains strong, even on difficult days when my mind and body feel tired I keep pedaling.
So go for that long ride, climb that mountain, join the fast group ride, shift down one more gear, not only on the bike but in life too, the reward will always be greater.
So, if you are coming to Barcelona let me know so we can go for a ride!
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