14 December 2007 By Rachel’s

Nationals in Kansas?

So we arrived in Kansas yesterday. Sly delivered our bikes this morning. I’d forgotten how nice it is to fly when I don’t have to haul a bike case around with me. I think TSA was on one though because me and the two people ahead and behind me all had our bags searched for illegal items. I happened to have in my possession a little mini Swiss knife with a 2 inch blade and purple flowers on it confiscated. Not that it hasn’t been in my bag all summer on 15 different airplane trips. But that is beside the point. They decided that this time I might just use it as a weapon. TSA I must say makes my love to travel turn into a pain in the a* in more ways than I can count.
Once we got here it has been great! Lots of friendly familiar faces from good ol’ Utah. Also most of my Monavie/Cannondale team members showed up to rally the fields as well! So cool! I love my team!
With the residual from the ice storms here last week and slightly above freezing temps, the course is essentially a rutted out mud soup right now. Even my slower practice laps spanked me pretty hard. I must of needed to get some pent up energy out of my system though as I opted to ride back to the hotel which is about 4 miles from the race venue. The problem is that my subpar navigational skills kicked in big time, again, and I got lost. I get lost every race I go. Lately it has been mostly driving. Today, I had wet feet from the race course, no water, food or extra clothing. Just like old days–little miss unprepared! I’m beginning to wonder if I’ll ever learn! So after going 16 miles out of my way and finally stopping for directions half way through (otherwise who knows how far I would have gone!!). Just to find out I’d gone in the complete opposite direction from my hotel, I made my way back. The funny thing about this is I couldn’t remember what exact little town, my hotel, or anything else about where I was staying. Luckily I was somewhat close to a mall that the locals recognized by another weak description, and so I headed towards that. Then, I thought I was lost again, looked across a freeway and there was my hotel anyway! Leave it to me! Fair warning, if you ever travel anywhere unfamiliar with me, don’t let me drive or navigate; you will be lost with me!
So anyway, I’m looking forward to helping Art and company at their races tomorrow (snow’s coming in tonight–hopefully it will freeze and pack out the course) and picking up a cowbell to bring home to Canyon to help him on his way in becoming the number one cheerleader out there until he is big enough to race himself!

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I will always remember waking up at the age of 12 to the pain I saw in so many while simultaneously realizing how lucky I was to feel fantastic.

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