Saturday, 20 July 2013

Ups and Downs

I could lie and say that - very much like my dining experiences here in the land of supersized portions - my plate has been piled a foot high with all sorts of American adventures, and has left little room for my otherwise frequent blog updates. But the simple truth is, I have been slack.

In fact, I have been left with a lot more time to play with than I would have liked, due to a few unexpected, and unwelcome, hurdles along my way. Only two weeks after arriving here, and on my nineteenth birthday of all days, I proved the common theory of 'they come in threes' to be incorrect, by way of snapping my chain mid sprint and consequently hurtling head first through the air and into a grass ditch. Number Four. 

I walked away mostly unscathed, but another hard hit to the head after two recent concussions meant a week of no pedaling (over $600 USD in medical bills to my insurance provider to receive this prognosis)- and with my seemingly exponential rate of fitness deterioration, I was beginning to feel like for every two steps I took forward, something would throw me three back. Alas, I did the only thing that one can do in that situation but sulk over their misfortune, and shifted my focus to the next achievable goal.

Four weeks in, I found myself moving back into Kutztown University - a result of what would require a long, complicated and dispensable explanation - but the long and short of it is that I am more than content with my new home and fill-in-family - fellow kiwi Patrick Jones, and two rascals from across the ditch, Luke Ockerby and Michael Astell. 

Since then I have done a fair bit of racing, both on the track in Trexlertown, and on the road with the Chesco Grand Prix Racing Series. I struck another run of misfortune during the criterium series, crashing twice in one race, but thankfully came away with little injury to show for it, and threw myself into a long, hard block of training the following week (from which I could swear I am still recovering). 

I still have my head down, ass up, searching through my legs for some decent race form, but I can still feel a little improvement from one week to the next, and at the moment - with my sights set on the 2014 Oceania Championships in November - that is enough for me. 

Bike riding aside... I have been having an awesome time here in the States, with road trips to New York, Dorney and Hershey theme parks, and plans to head off to Niagara Falls tomorrow. Even things as ordinary as post-race trips to the Diner, restaurants with free fry refills, and exploring Walmart, all conduce to the inimitable American experience.

Even so, I would be lying if I said I wasn't feeling the effects of that dreaded homesickness. Less than one month to go before I step foot on New Zealand soil once again, and head straight to the fish and chip shop. But until then, I will be out there making the most of these never-ending, cornfield-lined roads under the forty degree Pennsylvanian sun.