Firstly, I’d like to explain my recent recruit to the EI bike team. My dad used to joke about his buddies being on the Employment Insurance Ski Team, where they worked seasonal jobs in the summer and ski bummed around BC during the winter. Although I’m sure all of these people were desperately trying to find winter work, they were unable to and instead, had to settle for a winter of skiing. Sounds miserable. (Then all of a sudden they were having their 40th birthdays). Anyway, since I am currently not working, and out of school, I’m just going to self promote myself to the EI cycling squad. (We’re currently accepting applications).
This spring I graduated from Dalhousie University, and for about a month or so have been in limbo. Subsequently the “what’s next” and “what do you want to do with your life” questions are in full force. Although my answers may be weak, I try not to get irritated by the questions, as I’ve realized it’s just an easy conversation starter for people. I relate it exactly to hoping in a cab late on a Friday night and uttering “So, busy night?” I want to pretend I’m not that guy, but I for sure ask people the easy questions too, so ill continue to happily nod and smile. To give myself a little bit of credit I have been helping my dad with property renos, and have gone through some job interviews in the meantime.
To rewind, I personally cannot say enough great things about the city of Halifax, and the people I got to meet, specifically in the bicycle community. The “scene” in Nova Scotia may not be huge, but it is extremely tight knit and for their population they sure have some talent. For any junior who loves to ride their bicycle and may not be getting recruited to national and pro teams, I would heavily suggest heading to school in Halifax. The community is inclusive, and the weather allows for some fantastic outdoor winter riding. I can confidently say both of those factors are reasons why I was able to continue training through school. It is extremely possible to continue the activities you love, maintain grades, and an active social life during university. I’d enjoy to argue with anyone with disagrees with me. In second year when I really took my training to the next level, I can confidently say I was hardly ever a “healthy scratch” on the infamous weekly Cheers Thursday nights. (Popular student bar night)
During my last year at school, I was getting a ton of training in, and subsequently had some high expectations for the spring, before I was derailed when I got a chest infection. I’m going to say this is 100 percent my fault. I was riding a lot outside and pushing the envelope with some slight cold like symptoms. I remember specifically the day before I got sick. My buddy Tyler and I were sitting in another friend Dan’s living room ripping into him for not riding with us, because of the weather. Anyway, I knew I was getting sick ands probably shouldn’t be riding but went anyway. Fast-forward 1 hour after we endured torrential downpour and 1 degree temps, Tyler and I were back in Dan’s living room and instead of making fun of him we were begging for a ride home. Thanks for being a good sport Dan, you should have locked us out. Anyway, the day after that I was in full sickness mode, which lasted for over a month before I finally succumbed to a couple prescriptions of antibiotics, (I’m pretty against that kind of stuff).
Anyway, to finish up my time in Halifax I had to say good-bye to so many people who had been so good to me over the past 4 years. It was such a weird experience that I’ve never had to endure before as I had to tell people I wont really be seeing you anymore. I was helping a friend Terry (who I knew since first year) with some appliance moving and he knew I was leaving but just said “so see you in September?” He thought there was no way I had been there for 4 years and I think that sums up every undergrad experience. At the beginning it feels never ending, but at the end you don’t understand where the previous 4 years went. Anyway, although I have no plans right now, I am fully open to moving back to the east. For now, another good friend Jon, is coming to my house for the weekend to race the Canada Cup MTB races, and I’m pretty excited for him to be in my “hood”.
After 2 rounds of antibiotics, and 6 weeks of sickness, I finally came back to racing bicycles at Niagara Classic. I had zero expectations and was actually going to skip the race until the famous PJ Kings said “don’t be a p****”. Anyway Niagara has a really hard climb in it and I finished 6th among a pretty solid field of riders and although I had my doubts, my prior months of training seemed to still payoff. It’s not a win but a far cry from years ago where I told myself I’m never racing here again.
The Ascent Cycling team is also in it’s second year and it’s awesome to be apart of such a great program. The guys are all riding strong, with Mark solidifying vice provincial champ status last weekend in KW. Newcomers Keith, and Geoff, who started last year in Category 4 are both insanely strong and making waves in the elite field. All the guys get along great and there’s nothing I’d rather do with my time and money then suffer with these guys.
Moving forward, I am going to continue the job search, and hopefully settle into a career and new life soon. I’d like to thank my parents for being so supportive of my endeavours, as my brother Mitchell has set the bar way too high, having just landed a full time job at Tesla, and residing in San Francisco. Mitch if you’ve somehow made it this far in the post, and are currently shopping for a new living room sofa, give me a call, I’ll have some extremely good (the bigger the better) suggestions for you.