Things are changing, again

Innsbruck from the Vigarspitz

For once I thought I’d write about what is going to happen, rather than the things I have already done. Adventures and bikes are great, but my life does have a little more depth than this blog sometimes belies!

Firstly, I’m moving across the world again. I’ve been in Innsbruck now for just over six months, and I absolutely love it. Seriously, this place has more points in the plus column than anywhere else I’ve lived. Even perhaps Boulder. So why am I heading back to Boulder? Simply because the plus points in Boulder’s column are a little big bigger, and hopefully longer lasting too. Boulder will certainly have its downsides; I really don’t enjoy living a 20 hour journey from home, and I’m going to miss a lot of cultural aspects about Austria and the European Alps that make life very good. But Colorado has a number of things which I can’t get elsewhere. Firstly, it offers me an education and career. This is goal number one, and will be taking up a lot of my time in the coming four years.  I’ve experimented a few times with writing about Neuroscience and Genetics on this blog, and it’s a big challenge for me to get the balance between academia and popular science just right. It’s a goal of mine though, and I hope in the near future I can write some interesting stories and posts about why I find Neuroscience so fascinating. Please bear with me while I go through this learning curve!

The second reason for moving back to Boulder is cycling. Yes, I can ride a bicycle wherever I please, but Boulder has something that is missing in a few other places; community. There is a cycling community in lots of places, but in Boulder it’s integral to life, all encompassing, supportive and friendly. There are some people for whom this community is too snobby, but I would contest they just haven’t found their niche amongst the thousands of cyclists. This community also does a great job of making my non-normal cycling obsession a little more normal.

Tying in the two, I’ve decided to employ the services of a Coach. With wanting to actually get shit done in the lab, my time is going to be of a premium, and at the moment I really feel like I’m not using my cycling time wisely. I’m good at riding big miles, which is the first desirable trait of an aspiring cyclist, but the quality has been lacking. A coach should solve that problem. It is also going to help in my forward planning skills; knowing three or four weeks in advance what my time budget is for cycling will give me much more opportunity to plan other work, and I’m really hoping its going to let me balance things a bit better.

On top of all that, the other aim of a coach is to make me faster. I have lots of unfinished business with sport, and at some point I want to win something. “Way to define a goal” I hear you all say, but the point is that I’ve so far come pretty close to being pretty good in two sports. Unlike in running, my path through the world of cycling is only just beginning, and the next step is to start training properly. I’ve done the training hard part – and that got me so far. I’m sure that the smart aspect will push me a little bit further still. Even though lots of people come into cycling late, I feel like I missed the boat on getting to the very top of the sport; of getting somewhere early enough that earning money from sport was a realistic option. To to make up for that, I plan on winning something. I’m not entirely sure what it’s going to be yet, and a large part of that depends on how my coaching experience goes. I seem to do pretty well at cyclocross, and also at 50 mile mountain bike marathons. They’re almost opposite extremes, and I think the only way to find out which I’m best at is to put in some specific training and see where the results come.

So, the next six months will be different from the past six months. Training wise, location wise, love wise. I’m really looking forward to it.