There's something unfamiliar about the amount of permanence I've had in the six months or so since finishing last year's race season; I can't think of any time in the past ten years where I have been home more, and had the opportunity to explore my backyard with more enthusiasm. The 2017 season is going to look a little different, and I hope that it'll prove to be the most fun in years! Don't worry, you'll still be seeing plenty of me out there racing and riding, but I hope I'll be a little less jet-lagged next time we run into one another! These ten years or so that I've been racing professionally have felt like a whirlwind, spent jumping on one airplane after another, week in and week out, racing and living all over the world. It's been nothing short of incredible, but in all that I've seen and done, I haven't had time to explore on the incredible riding and racing we have here at home in North America, and particularly in my own backyard out here in the Pacific Northwest. I'm looking forward to connecting with you guys here at home a bit more this season.
I've has a slower-than-normal build into the season. I took a lot of time this fall to connect with the Bellingham mountain bike community; riding with kids, and exploring trails with new friends. I jumped into some cyclocross racing; Single-Speed CX was all time, and I think I mostly held my own! Corrine and I explored the North Cascades and BC Coast Range on foot and skis, and perhaps the highlight, was a two week ski trip to Japan with my dad, and a few of our closest friends in January. It was the first time I'd traveled without a bike, or on cycling-related business in nearly a decade, and reminded me in a profound way what it means to travel and savor the experiences that we are provided through it. I needed to decompress after a busy, and disappointing Olympic cycle, and I don't think I could have asked for a better off-season.
I am heading into some fresh racing and some old favorites, with a group of sponsors and partners who I am really excited to be working with. Focus and Shimano have both stepped up big-time this year, and I'll continue working with RideBiker Alliance, because I, now more than ever, believe that this whole cycling thing is more fulfilling when its shared. Clif Bar is on-board again, and I hope you can find the time to come hang out at some point this season, we will be trying to put on some events together, so keep your ears open. There are a few new sponsors in the mix too, and a couple who are in the works! Check out the sponsors page to learn more!
Spring will look pretty traditional; I kick things off at the Bear Mountain Canada Cup next week, and move into Bonelli and Sea Otter in April. I'll be racing Whiskey 50 for the first time ever, which I am stoked about! May will be quiet with a few BC Cup Enduro's (thats right!) and some projects here in the PNW. Stay tuned! And summer will be busy with Carson City, BC Bike Race, US Nationals, a World Cup or two, and some UCI racing out east. I already have my eyes on World Championships in Cairns, AUS. That's without question one of my favorite places to race, and a course that suits me well. Maybe I can pull off my best ever World Championships in what will be my tenth World Championship. That makes me feel old! This fall I'll be chasing some more enduro events, and hopefully throwing in a few surprises!