That was an intense week!
— Gosse van der Meer (@Gossinki) September 21, 2021
Last week had an intense travel schedule to say the least. This is my seventh day in the USA and I can finally relax for a day and take it all easy. Instead of writing a long story I keep the words short and let a bunch of pictures tell the story.
You might know the saying: ”I love it when a plan comes together” sometimes the plan doesn’t come together but you’re still able to make it all work in the end. The most valuable lesson I’ve learned in my sports career while travelling all over the world is to stay calm when plans don’t work out.
For sure I didn’t got the results I would be aiming for at both races (9th and 12th), these results I won’t remember in a year but this trip will keep in my mind.
Long story short, almost everything that could have gone wrong went wrong. But! I made it to the startline!
Here a summery of my last six days:
Tuesday, 14th of September, I had a flight at 11:00 in the morning from Amsterdam to Chicago and then to Boston. When I arrived at the airport at 8:00 I got told the airplane broke down and we had a 6 hour delay… instead of arriving in Boston at 19:00, I ended up there far in the middle of the night… I got into a bed at 2:00.
Wednesday, in the afternoon I got dropped of by the teammanager of the Jamfund team (who help me out in the US) to my host family during the week. This awesome farm in on the country side will be the mid-week base during the season. This day seems solid but unfortunately customs didn’t let all my materials through and it got clear I would only have one bike here for the weekend as my other bike was being kept for further investigation.
Thursday, in the afternoon the teamvan (Jamvan) is being packed and we are ready to go. All seems good and well, until we start to hear strange noises coming from the front wheels. Turns out a wheel bearing decided to break down, there where still about 7 hours to go to get to the race and 10hours to get back home. The next morning a garage could fix it but this meant we got stuck in New Jersey for the night.
Friday, we’ve decided to split up. One of the teammembers his mom was living relative close by and we could use her car for the weekend. He took an uber to get to the car and drive back. We both packed one bike and a big and drove the last 7 hours south in a Toyota Corolla. The Jamvan was being repaired on saturday and as soon as possible the rest would follow.
We ended up arriving at the AirBnB at 23:00 at night but we could race the next day!
Saturday, race day! It was crazy hot +30 degrees and I suffered a lot. The race was fast and dusty, I managed to get 9th. Still descent after so much travelling. I had problems with the heat, I got dizzy during the race and it took a while after the race to come back to my senses. An average heart rate of 193 for 1 hour with a maximum of 206 takes some time to recover. But at least I gave it my all.
Sunday, race day again! This time I got 12, as I didn’t felt recovered from the day before and didn’t want to dig as deep as the day before again. After the race we had to leave as soon as possible to bring the car back to Staten Island (New York). On the way home we passed Washington D.C. and Mark, who I was travelling with, called his best friend to have food ready so we could do a quick stop to eat and keep going again. We had dinner on top of a high building (30 floors) right next to the Pentagon! We also passed the Capitol at night but this time there wasn’t much going on. We delivered the car at 2:45 at night and it was time for some sleep.
Monday, the Jamvan would pick us up on the spot we got stranded on Thursday so we had to get there first. Mark his dad picked us up to bring the two of us from New York to New Jersey. Only when he picked us up, the car decided not to start anymore… after a while it started but it didn’t really responded to the gas pedal so we decided to swap to another car. We swapped to the car of his aunt which dropped us of at the place we got stranded on Thursday night. This was at a Hooters restaurant and after all the big stories about this place I decided to go in for lunch but it didn’t really match the expectations. Maybe it was the timing (monday afternoon 13:00).
The Jamvan picked us up and we kept travelling. A quick stop was made somewhere with a lot of burrito vendors and we all had nice food.
Monday night at 21:30 I was back at the farm which will be my home for a bit here.
This was only my second night here but it felt good to be home.
During this trip I got to visit 10 states, I am teaching Dutch in van, learning a lot about the US and meeting awesome people!
Next stop: Rochester (NY)!
Below you can find a bunch of photos from the last six days:
Hope you enjoy!
The journey started in the train to Amsterdam Airport.
Filling in my compensation claim already before take off..
University also keeps going.
Almost with a private plane to the US.
Food did taste better then it was looking.
Part of the materials where already waiting for me in the US!
The Flat Rock Farm, home base thanks to the Parrott Family.
The farm is located on my own street.
The Jamvan before the storm.
Stuck in a New Jersey parking lot of a hotel.
Still had a long way to go.
Mark got me into Chipotle.
The car that saved the weekend.
Preparing for the race.
Having dinner ready when the van arrived.
Pool next to the course to relax… you know they are used to the heat.
Ready for day two!
Long stretch back.
Hand for size/
Having food on the roof of a high building next to the Pentagon.
Capitol by night.
New York at night.
Breakfast bagel on Staten Island with Mark and his mom (thanks for the car again).
Bridge to the Bronx
The one we went for.
Main food for the coming months.