It's been 5 days since I finally rolled to a standstill in Brescia and I am certainly suffering from a giro hangover! After 3 weeks of strict routine it's a weird feeling being left to your own devices again. Just the simple things like all of a sudden having to choose yourself what you want to eat and when you will go to bed and when you will wake up! My body clock seems like it's been changed forever. Prior to this giro I have always been an early to bed early to rise bloke, usually asleep by 9 and up before 7. Now I am flat out locking the eyelids before midnight and having to basically drag myself under a cold shower if I want my body awake before 9 so that 29year routine has just been abolished by 3 weeks of the giro!
So what have I done the week after a grand tour? Well not much! I have rested as much as is possible to give my body the best chance to recover. Can honestly the thought or desire to do any form of specific training has not come within cooee of my mind and if I have ridden my bike it's nearly been as a social outing with some friends. My fist objective has been to get over this bronchitis and stuffy nose. 5 days on and it's finally feeling like it may be on its last legs.
I have been very fortunate to have some visitors with Pete and Jenny wade popping in for a couple of days. Anyone that knows me knows that Pete and jen have been major part of my life for the past 7 years and have been there since the beginning of my cycling career and seen it all. Pete is the ultimate sporting enthusiast and his passionate interest in what I am up to has always served as a major motivation for me. Spend 2minutes with Pete and his infectious enthusiasm rubs off on you and no matter how down or flat you were before you saw him he is certain to cheer you up and pump you up again. Pete has an incredible skill to know exactly how to keep you on track. Sometimes it means a reality check and get your yourself in order boy, while other times it's an arm on the shoulder and reassuring word that gives you confidence that everything will be ok. Whatever the situation Pete seems to know exactly how to look after you.
Jen is my mum away from my mum. Always the first to have a good look at me to assess how fit and healthy I am. Nothing gets past jen and if I am a bit out of whack she is certain to pick up on it and have me explain how I am feeling. Her motherly instincts always have a cure for an ache or ailment I may have and truth be told simply a loving caring hug that jen possesses always makes you feel better. Jen is an exceptional cook and I can guarantee that without her having me fueled up with so much healthy wholesome food over the years I would never have been able to train and ride the bike the way I do. Meals at the wades are famous among my mates not only due to the sheer amount jen dishes up but more specifically how jolly delicious every meal at the wades is. And it's not only the meals where jen is worrying about my nutrition, she is often chasing me out the door with an extra energy bar or stuffing more cakes in my back pockets as I leave for training. Yep it's pretty safe to say that regardless of what I have to do out on the road, every training session that departs from or returns to the wades house is always a great session. I have always got the perfect belly of food when I leave and know that when I return it will be refilled with equally delicious treats. Through in the pep talk from Pete Pre and post ride and it's safe to say that Pete and jen have been an integral and major part of this cycling adventure of mine.
So with Jens motherly instincts and petes Counseling it was perfect to see them this week to snap me out of my post giro demolished coma! The first hug from jen instantly made me feel better and she was straight onto recommending all the healthy foods I needed to repair my demolished system. Pete as always knew exactly what to say and instantly had me in a more positive frame of mind so after 2 great days with them catching up jen was happy to be able to say that I looked alot better than when they arrived! I knew I felt like a train wreck so no surprise I looked like one but still there arrival was just awesome and was so great to see them. As you ever need to reminded of it but without the support of family and friends it's a pretty lonely adventure so I am eternally greatfull to all those close to me for sharing the journey with me.
Being back in gavirate, the little town in northern italy i hang out in while in europe, has also been nice. The locals all seem to have taken some interest in this years giro and have made a big effort to compliment me on efforts during the race. I have learnt that when Italians are showing gratitude they like to do with food. Therefore every pizza seems to be a little bigger than usual, pasta becomes a range of special pastas, a small gelato becomes half a kg of there delicious ice cream, an entree becomes a bunch of special entrees and so on. Basically what ever I ask for is more than doubled and there is always something special I need to try! Fortunately after the giro I had shrunk a few suit sizes so I have a had a few notches on my belt buckle to loosen off and fit more in! This week have decided that need as many calories as possible to help my body mend so i am more than happy to slam down copious amounts of the italian cuisine. No it's been really touching to see everyone so excited to see me and I guess it's made me appreciate even more just how special the national tour of Italy is to it's people.
So my weeks been pretty quiet which has been nice. Some entertaining, alot of eating, I little cycling with my mates and a majority of the time laying on the couch in front of the television. Basically I have been trying to simply do what my body feels for and fortunately I believe I am managing the recovery process pretty well. I have also been down at the Australian European training centre which is based here in gavirate a bit this week to sort out my session there going forward. The centre is an absolute goldmine for us Aussies based in the area. World class gym, recovery centre, medical facilities, simply put an australian institute of sport in northern Italy. So I am really looking forward to being back in gavirate and making the mos of this world class facility.
I am in for a big treat this weekend with the Italian moto GP round at mugello. I have become good friends with an fellow Aussie Bryan staring who is in his first year in moto GP so I am really looking forward to going and supporting him this weekend. Will be nice to watch some others deal with the pressures of competing for a change. I have pit lane passes so will be in the thick of the action so certainly going to get as good a taste of the moto GP world as is possible. Bryan reckons his mechanics can change a wheel quicker than our team mechanics so I am going to have my stop watch out on that. Our guys are like lightning when changing a bike wheel so I will be very impressed if his guys are equally as slippery.
So after a week of r n r I am certainly starting to get the bug to get back into some sort of training routine. While I have enjoyed not having any responsibility to train and push myself these past few days I genuinely love this sport and love riding my bike so come monday can't wait to get the ball rolling slowly again. At this point I don't know what m next objectives will be, will talk the team next week once I have had this break and see how I am bouncing back, but whatever the Rd forward I am super greatfull for all the experiences of the past month and excited to use those lessons effectively in the future.