Bike racing isn't all about the racing. The actual racing part is small section of each day and we don't race every day. The rest of the time can be filled any way you like. For me and my teammates on Team Vera Bradley Foundation, we fill our free time with a lot of fun stuff.
The pre race routine usually involves a stop for espresso. In Bend, Toni and I were lucky because there were great coffee shops to be found by each and every race start.
Lasting less than an hour, Criteriums offer plenty of time in the day to do other stuff. For Muck, our mechanic, he spent his time preparing to look his best while he worked the pit.
Post race routines included a jump into the river.
On the days we weren't racing, we were also doing fun stuff. After Cascade ended, we made stops in Portland and Eugene to visit team sponsors; Nossa Familia (coffee), Rolf Prima (wheels) and Ninkasi (beer).
If you combine coffee, beer and bikes, you're bound to have a fun time. And we did! We had a women's ride in Eugene from Rolf Prima (I loved learning about the wheels. That was the best part of the trip), and a ride from Nossa Familia in Portland.
Tuesday nights in Eugene is the local "training" crit, so after riding with the girls, we went and beat up on the boys. Then we drank beer and got a tour of Ninkasi Brewery.
One of my favorite things about traveling to all these different places is going to local coffee shops. I love espresso and I love hanging out at good coffee shops. Vero Espresso in Eugene is one of my favorites. I visited it twice in two days. Maybe I liked it so much because of the brown border collie I saw the first time. It reminded me of home, which I love so much.
Home is where I am now. The next trip is to Charlotte, NC then on to Chicago. That trip will be 9 days away from home with only 2 hours of racing. Imagine the fun we can have then!