2013 went by pretty quick. I was gonna do a top 10 moments list, and the obvious answers are just results based, but there are smaller things in life ad bigger things that often get overlooked. Here is a list of some things that make me happy in this lifestyle of racing World Cups and traveling the world.
Highlight Reel, Beyond the Podiums:) - Jill Kintner
This is a random list, but these are things that make me happy. Thought I would share some behind the scenes stuff :)
1. New Kits. I have designed or helped design all my race jerseys since 2004. It stresses me out to no end to make them perfect, and the turnaround time from the printer seems endless. The day they finally arrive Turns into ripping the box open, like a kid on christmas. It is a full on helmet, jersey, kit matching session with gloves/ goggle set up. A good kit is everything :). got every angle covered in the hotel bathroom at sea otter. This is almost more anticipation than racing. Love it. Of course racing sea otter for me is like christmas too, knowing every inch of that place:) All around good times.
2. Racing in North America. Doesn't seem to happen as much as it should, but the races on home soil are so much more fun, relaxed, and easy. Sea Otter, Crankworx, National Champs, NW Cups. American vibe, normal food, easy to travel, etc. . Burritos are kind of a vital piece of american culture too. That's probably the worst part about europe, the lack of. Crankworx speaks for itself as the Most fun week of every summer. I love racing in America so much, but all the competition is in Europe, boo.
3. Getting a bike dialed. This takes me so long. I don't really like getting new stuff (well I do but I don't), especially suspension or shoes, I am really superstitious about when and where I will break something in. Weird I know. Andorra world cup this year, I found perfect balance after changing a few things on my bike that week. We have to test all the time to get this balance with new equipment. Anyway, found a good set up and didn't really touch it for the rest of the year. Such a good feeling to have on a bike, corner speed goes up with comfort, and so did my results after that. Highlight for sure.
4. Checking into the airport with 5 bike boxes 2 bags, helmets, backpacks, etc for 2 people, and walking away not paying anything because of having gold status:)
5. Coffee. Good coffee makes my day anywhere we are at. Cappachino Steve (Peaty) and Shit Drip Steve (Stevie Smith) will also agree as their names dictate. Coffee is my victory drink, it's tradition.
6. Seeing the world. We get a couple days here and there to explore. We have All kinds of little systems in place and things that make trips more enjoyable. Being cheap and saving a bit of money here and there adds up, but when you compile this much travel back to back, it'll wear you down. I went to design school for a bit and relish boutique hotels. We went to Andorra and stayed in Barcelona for 2 nights at a boutique hotel, swam in the Mediterranean, and saw a bunch of sights/ architecture. Something as simple as a quality breakfast and a tempurpedic matress in europe makes a big difference.
7. Trail dog. taking the pup out for a ride, my fav.
8. Home Garden. Nothing tastes better than home grown veggies out of a garden. honest. Dunno why but this was a big highlight for me to come home to fresh salads.
9. Cape Town. We stayed with Andrew Neethling at his place. He has been on tour since 2003 and been trying to get everyone to come to Cape town for years. Maximum tourist activities. There was the whole davinci team, Casey Brown, myself, Marcello, Neethling's parents, his brother, etc. We went to a dinner where they face paint all tribal, cook delicious food, etc. Went Shark diving, Table mountain ,the beach, the Strand, just had an awesome time. Road riding , mtb, etc. His fuzzy orange cat is named after a dirt Jumper - Fuzzy Hall.
10. Ashland. I went to a press camp with e.13 . I got off the plane from Italy, after spending 2 days in the worst hospital ever with bryn, drove 9 hours south to Oregon, had dinner, and raced one of the biggest north american enduros blind, with no practice and got second and even won a stage. It went from really low and jet lagged to racing without caring and being in the moment of adapting to circumstances. Pretty awesome experience.
11. Klunking. Racing shitty coaster brake bikes all hungover . It's fun.
12. Getting married. Life highlight that had to be included:)