Surviving the Gypsy Life
It’s the last day of the European summer and I’m sitting in the sunshine at Barcelona airport’s outdoor cafe. Accompanying me is my Swedish teammate, Emilia Fahlin, and my backpack, complete with cycling shoes and helmet attached. We’re off to Holland for our last race with WiggleHonda before the Road World Championships in Richmond, USA next month.
The last few weeks have been intense. Lots of travelling and racing. By that I mean I travelled to France, Scotland, England, Germany, Holland, France again, Norway, Sweden and finally ended up in Spain. I had ten race days, one wedding, a training camp, a world cup, a photoshoot, and an 8-day training block all rolled into one. It sounds crazy but I love it.
This year I have opted for ‘the gypsy life’, and therefore don’t have a European base. If I was to spend an entire season over in Europe, then a base would be a necessity in order to prevent insanity, however as I am only here for three months with such a jam-packed program, I can get away with living a life on the road.
In order to survive the gypsy life, I have come up with three key pieces of advice:
1: Direction. Don’t lose sight of your goals by picking locations that will ensure you can still get your training done as best as you can, with all the equipment you need. In cycling terms that could mean gym access, ergo trainers or particular bikes to train on.
2: Good company. Ensure you surround yourself with a varied supply of good-quality humans to keep things interesting. I’ve been lucky enough to spend my time with my Australian track teammates in Holland, my family on holiday in Scotland, my friends in Spain and my WiggleHonda teammates in just about everywhere else. Too much time with the same people can sometimes get stale, especially when the intensity of racing is added, so make sure you vary things up (no doubt these people will also need a break from you!)
3: Schedule management. Keep busy, but not too busy. If things slow down too much, that’s when you’ll find yourself missing ‘home’ or even ‘having’ a home, however if you pack your days too full of gypsy activities, you will run yourself down. Travel is taxing! Try and find a balance to make sure you’re still having fun whilst getting point one down pat.
I rejoin my WiggleHonda ladies in Holland this week for seven days of crosswinds and “gutter-action” – a term applied when the peloton is strung out, single-file in the gutter due to the incredibly strong crosswinds. Sounds fun, yeah? Following that I head back to Spain for four more days of gypsy life before flying to the USA to compete in the Team Time Trial for WiggleHonda at the UCI Road World Championships. After a strong 5th place at the Sweden World Cup last week, we’re certainly hoping to tidy up our mistakes and possibly snag a podium finish in a few weeks time.
You’ll have to tune in to see how we go… 😉