2016 Intro: Destination Beijing

MSP Terminal

The start of my first leg to China, off to Chicago.

Wake up, train, eat, commute to work, work, eat, commute home, train, eat, record, sleep- the life of a working cyclist. Not saying that this is different than many, but it’s been my life since 2011 and it’s 2016 now. It’s been a large task to juggle everything efficiently and it feels like a relief to board my first flight of the 2016 CX season. It appears as a minor finish line, a chance for me to relax, be proud of my preparation, and look forward to the plans that are to come. As most know, relationships are stretched with being a working athlete and I’ve learned so much along the way, but with an amazing support crew (girlfriend –Heathermom, dad, sister, friends, extended family and sponsors included) I couldn’t be more excited to prove myself this season.

I write this as I sit in first class on United Airlines on my way to Chicago enjoying the finer things as I sip on my delicious….Okay wait stop right there, I have to vent real quick. United Airlines, what the heck is up with your management and bike policy? 400 bucks for a bike one way to China? Nah, that’s not right. After negotiating, asking, discussing, researching, weighing, and whatever else, 40 mins later United Airlines mgmt and I came to the conclusion that I would pay to upgrade my seat to first class (only to my stop in Chicago) and then only pay $270. Still an incredibly outrageous fee compared to most airlines that only charge around $100-150. United Airlines has not been known for their bike transportation services, but difficult decisions aside, I think that this just secured them one less customer for the future. Once I delivered my bike bag to the oversized dept, I was ready to wash my hands of the situation and make my flight.

With all complications aside, I was ready for a new life experience. I’ve never been outside this country and  traveling to China? Whaaaaa, that’s crazy. Sure, but I thought it would just the best experience possible. To be completely submersed in an unknown culture…now that’s traveling. During the Qainsen Trophy Cup CX races we will be treated to lodging, food, itineraries, and organized races so its not like going ALL in, but hey, close enough for me for my first trip across the world 😉 Oh yea, and I’ll have the knowledge of Josh Bauer– who lives with his girlfriend Megan Brennan (fluent in Chinese) in Beijing currently- if all else fails.  Okay okay, so Ive got some help but I’m looking forward to quite the trip!

First Class Tiny Tv

My huge flatscreen TV in first class. I’ve never been able to cross my legs on an airplane either. Luxurious!

So I’m on my way to China, which is old news now in the fast moving social media ridden world, but some may ask, China’s not the craziest thing you could do….people have been there done that..what else? Okay, yes there is more.

Meal

First in-flight meal of the day to China. Some chicken, rice, veggies and gotta have the sparkling water

Once I return from China I return to the daily grind in the US. Not too downplay my life in the US with the term, “daily grind”- I’m very fortunate with my job, friends, and wonderful family and girlfriend, and time I am allowed to train- but it perfectly illustrates the process of a working athlete. There’s structure, time crunches, detailed everything, and always more time needed to get in just 5 more miles on the bike, 20 more minutes in the gym, or an hour more just spending time with my girlfriend/ family/ or friends. That’s life I suppose..and you don’t succeed unless you fight for it, and fight hard I will. Whoa, I’ve gotten off on a tangent…. alright back to what’s next. 

So I spend some time in the US for a little under two months and then I fly to BELGIUM. Yep, Belgium here I come! The cyclocross capital of the world. Okay so Belgium, but why? Why not… if the opportunity presents itself, then why not? Race the most prestigious races in the world, race against the best competition in the world, race with the biggest crowds in the world, race in the most cycling crazed culture in the world…need I say more? The history in Belgium is astonishing to say the least and has always been a dream of mine to travel and race there. When the end of October approaches I’ll be packing for yet another across the world trip that will land me in Belgium for a month and a half of the tougest bike racing known to man. I couldn’t be more excited, but hold tight-plenty more posts about that to come.

Alright so that’s the news!…but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The plan is to keep my blog updated more than ever before with my detailed schedule, race reports/ results, random travels, food, photography, amazing sponsors and people, or whatever I feel like- so please follow along and share the love with all of your friends. Annnd, if you ever need to contact me, please do!

Thanks for reading!

-E

Also, be sure to check out all of the awesome sponsors that will make this season possible!

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