Quite a lot has happened since I last wrote an entry, the last one was right after I got back on a bike at the end of May, so over 3 month ago: I’ve been mountain biking since the end of May (less than 2 month post surgery), pretty early apparently for someone with a “zombie knee” aka a cadaver tendon graft to replace my anihilated ACL. I’ve also had the bright idea to start racing again since mid-June, of course without my surgeon knowing about it (apparently athletes know better – NOT!), not only at national level, but what better than do 2 Enduro World Series and the Megavalanche, just 3 month post surgery. And I got back on my Leprechaun (Santa Cruz Blur TrC) in August.
So yes, this year has not been going as expected: I lost all my fitness and confidence on the bike after the surgery and I just got the latest back in the past 2 weeks while the fitness is coming back slowly but steadily. It is definitely not how I was imagining my season unrolling back in Januray but it’s undeniably part of the game: you got ups (like my North American Enduro Champ title last year) and you have downs like this year. You got to learn from those downs to come back stronger and have bigger ups than before.
Even though I was not ready for the Mega, that race will be the peak of my season in term of learning experience: such an ecclectic terrain and your fitness and riding abilities are constantly challenged. The snow bit (still 2km) was probably the scariest terrain I rode in the past 2 years: super steep, icy, no grip whatsoever and above all I kept thinking “I can’t fall on my knee, it’s not fully healed yet”, over and over again.
I then took over a month off from racing, to finally let my knee properly heal – try to be a reasonnable adult. During this month off from racing, I spent a few weeks travelling in France: Sospel (above Nice by the Italian border), Normandy and Haute-Loire, so I could visit my family and friends. I got to enjoy gorgeous sceneries, old stones and wonderful areas.
This month off was definitively beneficial for my confidence on the bike and to help my knee recover but not so much in term of fitness. So, when I got to the EWS #3 in Val d’Isère, I wasn’t ready for it at all with all the XC and light riding I’ve been doing. The trails were awesome, a bit of everything and some pedaling as well.
Pays d’Auge, Normandy
Le Chambon sur Lignon, Haute-Loire
A little travelling around France (in the train and by the Italian border)