Every girl’s dream who starts racing bikes is to make it into a world tour team. There is no denial or secret there. The sacrifice and energy, and let’s not forget the talent to achieve this, is enormous. The lifestyle adopted to achieve this can look many different ways and is very individual to everyone’s pathway.
However, the one piece of advice we would give is don’t just ride your bike, people! The process of wanting to be the best can be so consuming, your self-worth being defined by the results sheet and that alone. The reaction when the results are not coming is that you have to train harder and longer, smarter or break down what is good, bad and what we can change and who can help you achieve this.
But why do I say don’t just train and race? Is this the most efficient way to get into a top level team? Well, what happens when injury or illness strikes? We have programmed ourselves to not ever allow the thought of crashing to enter our minds when fighting for position in races, traveling at 50+kmph in pelton (where riders are packed tighter than sardines!) After all, one fall in a race or training can potentially end your racing career.
Now I am not going to be dramatic here, but I recently fell in a mass crash on the last day of the Gracia Orlivia UCI race in the Czech Republic 3 weeks ago and ended up with the battle mark of 6 stitches in my knee and 10 days ‘off the bike’ while things healed. On the 10th day, stitch free, I jumped on my bike, dreaming of all the training sessions I could now do, desperate not to lose any form. But something was clearly not right, I could push no power, my knee felt not right and it was time for further help. In these situations I have learnt that turning to Google search makes you more wound up!
Physio sessions and an echography (Ultrasound) revealed a 3mm knee tendon tear and inflammation where rest and physio sessions are the fix. There is no quick fix but the process of acceptance is essential. The saving grace to this situation is I can do some cardio fitness via the cross trainer and gym exercises, along as my knee does not begin to swell more.
During this situation, the realisation of learning skills and having another ‘string to your bow’ has never been more relevant, something my family, mentors and friends have taught me.. Instead of sitting depressed on the sofa or going on the 100th shopping trip, I can channel my energy into projects and work that I am passionate about…. Of course, it normally links to something to do with 2 wheels… After all, us Colborne’s are a cycling family! So if anyone is in need of a mechanic you no where to find us!