Best season thus far!!!Barry Wilcox
An end to the most successful season I have had in handcycling has come to an end. The world championships in Scotland last month was the way I wanted to end this season. I took 5th in the time trial and 3rd in the road race. I initially placed 4th in the road race but the 3rd place finisher was disqualified for using illegal wheels. This is great though because it provides Team USA with more points going into the 2024 season and 3 more events to gain participant slots towards the 2024 Paris Paralympics in handcycling. The Paralympics were never really on my radar, because of past performances, but they are becoming more of a reality race after race. Who knows what may happen in 2024. I must say that there are certain memories from each event that I store away as opportunities to learn and/or motivators. The opportunities to learn from were mostly my biomechanics regarding how I can produce more power efficiently. Specifically, my sitting posture, my hand positioning with the new grips, and cadence in respect to the grips. This off-season I’m going to modify my grips a bit and also my posture in my upper-back/neck region to allow a smoother pull and transition to push. All my power comes from the pull because of weak triceps and chest. I can activate my biceps a bit more though. This would have kept me in the lead group in the race allowing me to climb better/faster. I chased down the 3 leaders in the road race on the first lap after they rode away from me on the small climb but lost them on lap 2 at the same location. The memory of time trialing to chase them down is a motivator! I had a similar feeling in Belgium earlier in the year flying down the road above national standard pace catching the person that started a minute ahead of me before the race even 1/3 complete.
It is only 3 after the world championships and I’m motivated to get back into training. I have already started strength training 3 times a week but have not been on my bike at all. A mental/physical break is a great thing. Plus, it is still ridiculously hot here in Phoenix. It is miserable here in the summer. I plan on going to Tucson often this off-season to ride with friends. I really need the socialization. I’m back to teaching one course, athletic injuries, and it is going well. I really like the subject. One of my bachelor’s degrees was in sports medicine. The subject is fascinating. I need to find more social outlets though. It is not easy coming of a high of been ultra-focused on goals for cycling, teammates, travel, etc. And then, the emotional rush of meeting a life-long goal of just attending the world championships and coming home with a medal… It’s weird. All good though as there are great things on the horizon for me. Patience are a beach and there can be joy in the journey. I was a few day late posting for August so you’ll here from me again before the month is over. I’ll share what some of my offseason/preseason looks like.