Monday, June 17, 2013

Home Sweet Home: Adjusting to Life in the Hood

So, I've been home for a couple weeks now. It's been a nice transition, there are things I miss about being in Europe, but overall it's been great to be back. I've started doing some real work for the HP Chrio-RPM Mortgage Cycling Team doing their blog and social media presence. I'm also working part time at a local shop, West End Bikes. The job is great! All I have to do is hang around bikes all day, and help people find the ride of their dreams. I've been riding a lot too, it's been great to get back to the old roads. All of this has made it hard to find time to do my own bloggy internet stuff, but I'll try and get some stuff up when I can.

Last weekend I did an Uphill TT in Corvallis, Oregon, about two hours outside of Portland. It was a challenging and fun race. And although I didn't do as well as I'd hoped I did about midfield for the mens 4/5. Given that it was a race that only attracted climbing nuts, I consider that a decent performance.

Hammering up Mary's Peak
At the end of the month I'll be doing the Baker City Cycling Classic, a three day amateur stage race. That will be a great test of my form and is of what I'm training for at this point. Other than that, I'll just have to sneak off to whatever races I can. My schedule is pretty busy at this point, and now I have to dela with races conflicting with my work schedule. But, I'll make the most of it and get as much bike time in as I can!

Stay tuned.
Kyle McCall

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Happy Trails: My Return to the USA

I’m writing this article during my 8-hour layover in JFK. I stayed up for over 24, so that I could fall asleep on my international flight that left at 10am France time, which was also 1am Portland time. The anti-jetlag method. You gotta break something before you can fix it. So far it’s gone OK, as I’ve been awake in the daytime here in New York and not feeling too tired. Now I just have to stay awake on my transcontinental flight back to the west coast, so that I can pass out after I get home at 1am Portland time and wake up the next day jet lag free.

It makes me think about professional cyclists who jet set around the world and then often times have to race within 24 hours of touching down. Being a professional athlete has its perks, but it is definitely not an easy job.

It's what America runs on.

I’ve also been thinking about the five months elapsed since I was last in the USA. I’m filled with a mix of emotions, both excited to be returning and also already missing the land I left behind. I ate a meal in an Italian restaurant in the JetBlue terminal, and my waiter was actually Italian. Ordering an expresso was a steaming double-shot of nostalgia for the cafés and bars I had left behind across the pond. It’s the little things like that I know I’ll miss most : the laissez-faire attitude of the waiters who will leave you to sit for hours after your drink, and not expect any tip; sipping bottles of red Côte du Rhone along the canals on cool nights; attacking punchy climbs flanked by miles of vineyard in the Vosges.

Staging all of my gear for the long journey home.

They are six months that will stick with me for the rest of my years. It’s been an experience that I’m lucky to have had, and few people ever do. But now I am at the start of a brand new adventure. I’m excited to start working in the bike industry this summer, and testing out my Euro-fitness on the old stomping grounds. America, I hope your ready.

Ride on,
Kyle McCall