Monday, July 28, 2014

Like MTB Nats, I've lost 2015 CX Nats before they've even begun

Here I sit in a gorgeous little hamlet in the foothills of the Dolomites, surrounded by family who love and support me, and gorgeous views in every direction. I should be the happiest man on the face of the earth. And by and large I am, but I'd be lying if I tried to say I was not just a little bit bitter. I just conceded to the fact that I likely won't be competing at Cyclocross Nationals in January. Nothing seems to be going in the right direction right now. In the midst of an interstate move, we have had so many challenges in both selling our current home and in buying a new home. It was discovered that the home we are trying to sell had some issues of which we were not aware and it has required making the 6+ hour drive between Pennsylvania and Massachusetts several times with little to no notice. The construction to repair the problems will require several more over the next month or so. On the buy side, very little was available in the school district we were targeting and after looking at many homes in that district, we finally opened up our search to include another district. Finally finding a home in that district, a home inspection revealed that home has some stucco issues which could be significant. The decision to move forward or not has been stressful and if we do decide to move forward on it, it will require more visits, inspections and, ultimately, construction.

Here in Italy, I had hope to rent a bicycle and at least try to maintain some level of fitness during the 5 day portion of the trip in which we are in the Friuli region. US Airways thwarted that plan by allowing our baggage to miss the flight on which we were on. My luggage contained my cycling kit, helmet, pedals and shoes, and was an essential part of my plan to ride over here. Apparently, our bags were part of a larger group of bags that were sitting on a cart that was overlooked when loading the plane. Landing Friday morning in Venice, the woman at the lost luggage claim desk assured us that our bags would make the Saturday non-stop from PHL to VCE and our bags would be delivered to the house where we are staying on Saturday. They were not. Calling US Airways lost/delayed baggage department on Sunday morning, I was assured that the bags would be delivered by the end of the day on Sunday. They were not. Even as it was, the company through whom I've rented bicycles in the past was not able to get a bicycle to me until today, Monday. Still missing my checked bag -- and with little confidence that US Airways will actually deliver it today or any time soon -- I decided to cancel the rental. By the time I get home I will have not ridden for 17 days. Even before this stretch that will likely extend beyond the seventeen day, the training was spotty due to the aforementioned issues. My return to the States will require at least one more trip to MA, likely two. I will be required to over construction in two states. With kids in tow and my wife in another state and/or county, training will become extremely challenging. With Cyclocross season right around the corner, I have already fallen so far in terms of fitness and will likely fall even further before things start looking up again, that I have, with no small degree of bitterness, adjusted my 2014-15 cyclocross goals downward.

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