It's nearly two weeks since the Volta. I'm back up to 74kgs, from the 70kgs I had during the Volta. I've trained very little, but well. I have only one race left on the road, it's a circuit race tomorrow. I hope I can get around okay and maybe get a few euros to take home.
Although bike racing hasn't been at the fore front of my mind, I've been working hard and I've been quite stressed -just the way I like it.
Bike racing has this thing, that it's thrilling. There is nothing like it anywhere. It's got everything: high speed, challenging, self-sacrificing, a "brother in arms" type camaraderie even with the opposition. It's dangerous, very dangerous, the money is shit, but it's something I love. When a cyclist isn't bike race they need some way to get their "fix". It used to be nights out on the tiles, mountain bike races and any other crazy sporting events that were going. But now I want to build a life and having this as my objective also has tantalizing challenges that keep my "thrill buds" quenched.
The first challenge I guess is that I want to continue racing. The fact that my season ended in mid-august is something that hurts me. It's the same for most of the Portuguese peloton, but I really would like to keep things rolling well into October. I'd love it if I had a Tour of Britain of a Tour of Bulgaria like previous years. Those years I would finish and really feel like I needed the rest. To continue racing I need a contract for 2012. There are interesting developments in this regard, but I will not sell short and if I don't get something that justifies the effort, I will switch back to another sport at which I have previously excelled. So you'll see me on a bike in 2012 no matter what happens.
The other challenge is that I've had to move out of my first real home: My adorable cottage in Pé do Cerro. I will miss this place so much. Here I lived in peace, at a pace of life that suited. The place did me good and I excelled in everything I had to do. Ironically I can say that the difficulties that forced this decision are passed, but I promised never to allow those difficulties to return, so I let that decision stand. I will Pé do Cerro and the friendly people of Santa Barbara de Nexe. I will miss the interesting spring flower, the miles of paths through the "Barrocal" and the wild life: the rabbits, chameleons, snakes, the hedgehog -even the mouse in the closet. I will miss walking and running with Cruella though the countryside. I am going to Alfanzina, the family home to live with my aunt and my grandmother.
There is no such thing as security. People climb to the notion in ridiculous fashion, when all they are in fact doing is passing the buck on to someone else. Six years living on the edge and a week in coma taught me that life is to be lived to the maximum and to do this one cannot be risk averse. It was with this in mind that on Friday I got up and set up a business. Of course it's designed so that I can be professional athlete and own it without a problem. Hopefully it'a a way I don't have to spend from now till December wondering how I am going to sustain myself. Hopefully it's a way to share the place I love, through activities I adore, while I can "build a life" through it.
And that's it. I will write up things relative to the Grandissima a bit latter.