Welcome to the off season. We’ve rounded up an assortment of ORICA-GreenEDGE and ORICA-AIS riders to tell you about how they spend the ever-diminishing months without races. In her own words, Amanda Spratt tells you about her jam-packed week ahead of team training camp in Canberra.
The last week in the lead up to this camp was pretty busy, or as us Aussies’ would say, it’s been full gas! It’s always so nice to be at home but then the time seems to fly and before you know it, you are running around trying to get everything done in time for the next adventure.
With lifestyle that comes along with being a professional cyclist, you get used to never being in one place for too long, and after visiting Melbourne for a day, I then took a quick trip up to Brisbane to visit a good friend. On the plane trip up I was surrounded by ‘schoolies’, who are 17-18year olds who have just completed school and traditionally head up to the Gold Coast for holidays and parties to celebrate. As I left the plane several of the other passengers wished me a good ‘Schoolies’ week…I guess in years to come I will appreciate the fact that I always get mistaken for being much younger than I actually am!
Summer is definitely starting to hit in Australia, and just last week we had temperatures exceeding 40 degrees for three days straight… ouch. You never seem to get used to this sort of heat! It means I have often been out training when most people are still at home snoring away, and obsessive checking of the weather radar sites has begun again in earnest as the summer storms make a comeback. It’s never nice to get stuck in the middle of thunder, lightning and hail storms!
When I have the offseason, I always take the opportunity to get on top of all of my university studies and make sure all my enrolments are sorted for the season ahead. It also means exam time, which I had on Wednesday. At the rate I’m going I will still be completing this degree at age forty, but it’s also nice to have something else to occupy my brain aside from my training and racing.
In the last week I also had the pleasure of going back to my old primary school to talk to all the year three and year four kids (9-10 year olds). It was fun to be able to share my experiences with them and served as a true test of how well I could keep a straight-face with some of the questions that popped up during question time. If anyone asks, YES, I always ate my vegetables when I was a kid because I knew this was the only winning formula for racing well on the bike. I think our ORICA-AIS team now has a whole new group of eager young Blue Mountains supporters.
The week finished off with my Dad’s 60th birthday party, and after lots of preparations I’m happy to report it was a huge success. It was a perfect day for a good Aussie BBQ and sitting out relaxing in the garden. Good company, good food and plenty of good stories to be shared. And a traditional Aussie pavlova to finish off the festivities. Perfect!