I'm in the city of Aguascalientes, Mexico with two weeks lead up to Pan American Championships on September 11-14, 2014. Having never been outside of Canada or the USA and with about a week's notice to departure it's been a bit surreal. The drive from the airport was thrilling, happily overwhelming, and a blast of raw, gritty, vibrant and lively culture.
Aguas is a very prosperous city that shares the name of the small state that it is in, in the centre of Mexico. Our hotel and the velodrome are removed from the downtown in a busy commercial/industrial area. The streets are crowded and fast paced, lined with homes and businesses of brick and concrete, packed in like sardines. You can see our hotel is a little oasis in the middle of all the excitement.
Less than forty-eight hours after landing we'd had a day to settle in, build bikes, get to know the track and do some activation efforts. We began racing the Cope Internacional de Pista!
Day 1 - Kate & I 3rd in Team Sprint and set a new Canadian Women's Team Sprint Record
Day 2 - Monique & Hugo 1st in Sprint
Day 3 - Hugo 1st & Joe 2nd in Men's Team Sprint, Hugo sets a new Kilo Record. Monique 3rd in 500.
(I hope I got that all right. Lots to remember!)
Despite grumbling about being banned from beef (clenbuterol), uncooked veg, etc. and restricted to bottled water, the food and foraging for it has been kinda fun. I'm not sure we could have pulled this off without Erin's street smarts. We wouldn't have been able to be so adventurous anyway. Sorry I'm not a food photographing type. In all honesty it mostly looks like a mess, but tastes awesome. Tortillas, spices and sauces are great and who'd have thought all of the bread and sweet bread is amazing.
My favourite things so far? #1 Team Canada: First time competing for Canada and teammate and I get on the podium!? Unreal. #2 Spanish immersion: So frustrating and eye opening. A language that's so beautiful I just like to listen. #3 Culture, identity and pride: We could do more to celebrate the different cultures of Canada's melting pot.
|Morning view on the way to the track|