The season is here and so I thought it was about time that I posted my first blog of 2012, to fill you in on whats been happening over the winter months and what I am up to in this coming season. Writes Dan Patten.
The winter consisted of some functions, some visiting, catching up with UK life, not to mention a couple of trips back to Belgium.
It was really nice to be back at home with my family, though I wonder now where the time has gone.
I also began to learn Dutch properly, using the Rosetta Stone learning program and that has been coming along nicely.
A change is as good as a rest
Training through November and December was “relatively” smooth and over Christmas dinner I even decided I was going to participate in my first running race in a fair number of years, taking place on Boxing Day.
My Dad would also take to the start line with me.
Clearly I wasnt going to be the runner that I used to be, but put in a pretty reasonable performance for a “non runner” finishing in 11th and really enjoyed the outing.
It reminded me once again why I always loved the sport so much.
My current “non running legs” however were not so appreciative afterwards (that’s what you get for spontaneous running outings).
Back to cycling
Into the new year and January wasn’t such an inspirational month for me.
Not ill and not injured, but just didn’t feel myself. Lethargic and just waiting for something to click in place.
However we took the sensible option of not pushing it and scaling back the training, given that the winter until that point had gone smoothly.
Having got to see my chiropractor, Matt Rabin, by the end of the month (he was on team duties with Garmin Barracuda in Australia until that point), my body was put back right and normality restored.
As experience has taught me, some easier weeks like those in January, do not do any harm.
And so it has proved.
On the 1st February I moved back to Belgium as just a few days later I would be off on training camp with my new team for 2012, Soenens Construkt Glas.
The training camp was held in Mojacar, in Almeria, Spain.
We were generally doing up to around five hours most days, some of those hillier than others and both on the flat and in the hills I was ticking along nicely with: no ill-effects from the lethargic January.
I am happy with how my week progressed and so is the team, so things back on track.
Early season racing in Belgium can be very unpredictable so I will just be finding my feet again in those early races and continuing to work on my condition.
My first race is already scheduled for the 19th February, a race which includes the “Club Championship”, officially kicking off-season 2012 for me.
And so to my new team for this season, Soenens Construkt Glas.
A long established and one of the best amateur teams in Belgium, I am happy to be on board for 2012.
Though it’s a team from West Flanders, I will continue to be based in East Flanders at ‘The Hof Ter Kammen’ in Leupegem/Oudenaarde.
Talks with the team began last summer after some very nice results on my part and immediately I was offered a place for 2012.
Athough I really enjoyed my time with the Asfra Racing Team, this new opportunity will give me even bigger opportunities, and a better race program too.
Hopefully then with the success I’m aiming for, it’ll be the ideal platform to go onto even bigger things.
I will once again be supported by the Dave Rayner Fund, whose support I am most grateful for.
I have also received a grant from the Grays Public Purposes and Recreational Charity (a local organization to me at home).
This support from both of these organisations is again allowing me to race in Belgium and I will be looking once again to repay their support with much success in 2012.
For now I am concentrating my efforts on this year and looking forward to a successful year for myself and the Soenens Construkt Glas team.
Equipment-wise I will be racing on a Pinarello Dogma 2 team bike.
I will be training (and racing sometimes) once again with my Cycleops Powertap Powermeters thanks to the support of Paligap.
Training and racing in Belgium usually produces some interesting figures, so I will look to report some of those right here in my blog updates.
Well, the season begins soon and I hope I will be writing about the many successes in 2012.
Thanks for reading.
Until next time!