The end to my European adventure did not quite go as planned. I didn't return home healthy and fit and I wasn't able to use the skills I had picked up over the past 3 months as I had hoped. And now that I am home and unable to ride my bike - the three months I have spent in Holland feel like they never even happened. People keep asking me if I liked my experience, if I liked the racing and if I am going back over there. I can say that for certain, next year I will be back in Holland and Belgium and where ever I can get to race. I'm not sure if I speak for all North American cyclists, but in my opinion, now that I have raced in Europe there is no way I would be able to continue racing only in North America. The fact is that racing over there is harder, faster, much better supported and much more of it. I don't think I would be able to settle for only racing over here knowing what riches, adventure and success might await me across the pond. Also, the girls over there don't starve themselves to win races - which is a big PRO for me haha.
I must admit that in the first part of my trip I was close to booking an early flight home...a couple times. But once I realized that if I gave up, and came home, I would not be able to keep on racing. Knowing that if I wasn't able to handle racing in its "Holy Land" and therefore would probably never get to the top of the sport, would mean that there would be no point in pursuing it. And imagining my life not on the pursuit of excellence in sport gave me a kick in the butt to keep my feet and wheels in the land of fried food and Orange. Thankfully!
Now as people ask if I am going back next year, I of course say yes! It's definitely where I want to be racing, learning and growing as a cyclist and person.
As for right now I just want to get back on my bike and back to lining up for races!
This isn't the end of my blog either - because hopefully I get to go to more crazy places with customs I don't understand!