Hannah Arensman brings us our most recent rider diary entry from the USA Cycling Cyclocross Development Camp. Arensman saw success in the states this season with wins at both days of the Countdown to the Throwdown, NCCX Race #1, and the MSG Cyclocross Series 7: Mars Hills Cross. She also had strong showings at Charm City and the Pan-Am Continental Cyclocross Championships.
Here, Arensman tells us about her New Year’s Eve recovery day as she prepared for yesterday’s GP Sven Nys in Baal.
by Hannah Arensman
New Year’s Eve.
This is my first time traveling to Europe and it has been quite the experience. So much to learn and enjoy whether it’s a rest day, race day or training day. However, after two races in the past five days, recovery days are the best! Especially when you have two of them in a row, it makes preparing for the next race a lot easier.
On recovery days our rides are always super fun. Today for instance, we had planed to do just an hour of easy riding with some “openers” in the middle to get the legs ready for tomorrow’s Bpost in Baal. We were not even five minutes into the ride before there was already some sort of competition going on. I think it had to do with who could share the most random stories. At this point I saw an opportunity to have my own competition. I tried to see how wet I could get my sister, Allison, by sprinting through a puddle right beside her. I think I was victorious as she was quite water splattered and I managed to stay almost completely dry! Thankfully for her, the weather has been really nice so she was able to get dry before the end of the ride.
The rest day ride takes just an hour, so what do we do with the rest of our day? Most of the staff and riders headed home on the 30th, so after having quite a few people here for the past couple weeks it seems like a ghost town with only a handful of riders remaining.
After our ride (and in order to escape the quiet) Allison, Michael Owens and I took the single speed townie bikes to Sittard’s sweet downtown. As we approached town there was a gated crossing for bikes and walkers, this is to keep cars from driving on the bike path. To avoid slowing down a ton to go through I thought it would be a good idea to go around. That is, between the end of the gate and a tree on an off camber hill, if nothing else for cyclo-cross practice.
I’ve taken this short cut many times before and saved so much time. However, it had just rained and being a bit over confident I rode into the gap with too much speed. The sight had to be pretty funny to those behind as my front wheel slid out from under me and I was dumped in the mud and leaves! All that came from it was laughter from my companions, really muddy pants and a good story. To make up for the calories spent laughing we stopped by the local cafe “Bagels and Beans” which, among other things, serves carrot bagels and banana juice!
Recovery day, in my opinion, means food and lots of water. It was also New Year’s Eve, which demands some sort of celebration. So after our stop at the cafe we made a tour through town, hit the candy store, the grocery store and finally the favorite coffee shop, Coffee Mundo. A trip to town is never complete without a visit to the incredible, the marvelous Coffee Mundo!
After having had a very restful, fun day it was time to put the compression pants on and get a good night’s sleep before representing USA in Baal in 2016!