The last time I was in St. Louis, Missouri, I was a freshman in high school and my sister and I drove across the country. We took an overnight pit stop there and managed to slightly explore the city, mostly by accident on slippery roads trying to find our way back to the icy interstate. I am sure I will be getting a similar experience the next four days as I “tour” the city by doing laps around downtown blocks at high speeds on two wheels.Ah. 4 criteriums, 4 days. Welcome to the Gateway Cup.
I imagine the first couple races will be the most difficult as my legs get the rude awakening of American racing—Criteriums at their finest. Prize Money. Downtown Districts. Stacked Teams. Short Duration but large amounts of suffering. Where foot speed counts for everything, and bike handling and tenacity matters more then anything. The American Criterium. 4 Days of Mayhem in St. Louis. You can expect full reports.
I somehow managed to pack light. By light, I do mean that my next 4 days is confined to a carry-on and a personal item. Of course in my carry-on is all the essentials for the bike race. Kit. Shoes. Helmet. Rudy Glasses. Crank (yes, you should have seen security eye me up and down for that one). What else do you need? My race bike will be waiting for me upon my arrival in St. Louis. I am excited to ride her. It will be my first time on this particular race bike, and I hope she likes me.
All of this travelling has taught me what my true necessities really are. It is amazing how little you actually need. When I got home from my 6 weeks from Cascade/Nationals/Italy/France, it was like coming home to Christmas. The options in my closet, albeit slightly outdated (I’m still wearing skirts from high school), were still endless. I will admit, I do appreciate the choices of denims and shirts, but it is good to know what I really need to live. And I am talking living, not surviving. I understand I need quite a bit less to survive, but it is good to live. It is comical how a SRM easily takes priority over a blow dryer or dare you even say it, a curling iron. Why waste the room when you need to have your PowerMeter, its adapters, your heart rate monitor and all the other data obtaining units. Life is simpler in many ways, although possibly a little less lavish. Instead of expressing yourself through appearance or lifestyle, you can express yourself through raw power and speed mixed with a little pain. When it comes down to it, simplicity isn’t so bad after all. I do get to race my bike, right?