It's May and I'm switching gears from recovery mode to training mode but I'm excited to have a couple more weeks at home before hitting the road again for the first training camp of the year. I just returned from a long dirt road cruise on my bike, riding through Craftsbury, Albany, Glover, and Barton. Yesterday we took a different tour of Craftsbury, Greensboro, and Hardwick and I'm having fun getting my legs back into shape riding up many of the hills in the Northeast Kingdom! We found some leg burners, explored some new Class IV roads, and came home spotted with dirt after hitting mud season head on. It's pretty amazing to live in a place where one can do quite a few different 2-3 hour bike loops leaving from home, without retracing our steps, hitting pavement, or seeing more than a handful of cars. A couple days ago I got my feet dirty slogging through some new sections of the VAST trail on a muddy run. Its a nice reminder of the rugid rural beauty of the Vermont.
And when I haven't been exploring the natural landscape of the area, I've been busy sharing stories of ski racing and Sochi with many different members of the community. The support that I received this winter was unbelievable. I received encouragement from close friends and family as well distant acquaintances and people I didn't know. I couldn't be thankful enough for the outpouring of excitement I received from home which came in the form of letters, emails, cards, Facebook messages, artwork from kids, banners around town, and much more. It was very inspiring and so I have been very grateful to be able to connect with this community this spring and share some stories and experiences.
|Hannah Dreissigacker describing the benefits of a carbon tax.|
|Susan and I both grew up in Barton, VT. It's very exciting for the two of us from a little town in the NEK to compete together in the Olympics and this community has been very supportive of both of us.|
For me one of the most rewarding parts of the last couple weeks has been visiting schools and joining kids athletic programs, connecting with young students and athletes in the area. I grew up here and had role models of my own who mentored me and hopefully I can share my love of skiing, the outdoors, and an active lifestyle with some of the next generation. I visited quite a few schools in the area, ran with the local Girls on the Run program, and have been coaching this spring at Kids on the Move in Hardwick, VT. The captive audiences and excited kids inspired and fueled me with all their energy!
|West Hill Shop Thunderbolts in Putney, Vermont. The mountain bike trails were a lot drier in southern VT so it was fun to ride some singletrack with these kids|
And finally, Happy Green Up Day everyone! I got a out with a few Craftsbury Outdoor Center athletes this morning to clean up the roads and keep our community looking good. Hopefully one day there will not be enough littler to need this day but until then it was great to see everyone filling up green bags.