I’ve been fielding a lot of questions about how things are going post Reve Tour: how it has affected me, how I'm feeling, if I'm riding… am I crazy fast? I have just started to ride consistently again and the questions got me thinking. How are my fellow Six Pack riders doing? How are they feeling? Now that they’ve had some time to think about things, what sticks out for them most about our experience in July?
I checked in with the crew last week and here's what they had to say.
What was the hardest part about returning from France and re-integrating into daily life? The best part?
Going back to work! Between playing catch up and launching new products for my company- I see more of the inside of gym hotels than my bike these days! The best part was being back with my family! I missed Axl so much!! Also eating Burritos from Chilenos at least 3 times a week!
The hardest part about getting back into the swing of daily life is the feeling of wanting more. I feel unsettled, I'm searching for routine and comfort, yet I want to be challenged and work towards a new goal. The best part of re-integrating back into daily life is that I know deep in my heart that I can accomplish any goal I put my mind to.
Maria Del Pilar Vasquez
The hardest part [about returning] was not being able to 'just' ride, eat and sleep! The best part of returning was to be back with my family and people who love me.
It was actually easier [to come back] than I expected. I was worried that I would be physical addicted to riding all day and that it would be hard to sit at a desk for 8 hours a day. But it actually felt wonderful! The best part was coming home and riding my favorite climbs as fast as possible.
Having to make decisions and figure out what to do on a daily basis was pretty tough. We spent every day out there knowing exactly what we needed to do. Pedal, eat, sleep, drink. Coming home, life was not so simple and straightforward. We had decisions to make and responsibilities other than making to the end of a stage together. Going back to work was also tough. After getting a taste of what it's like to be outside and riding bikes all day long made sitting in the lab all day a tough change. But little by little, normal life came back to feeling normal and life went on.
The best part.... Coming home and realizing how many people were watching our journey and cheering for us along the way was awesome. I wasn't expecting so many people to know and care about what we were doing and each time someone pulled me aside to congratulate us was great. So many people truly didn't think we'd make it to Paris and it felt great to hear them say how impressed they were with our persistance and strength.
How are you feeling physically after such an enormous effort? What was the recovery process like for you?
I had an unusual exhaustion. Energy for work and family but not working out of any kind. I started back to the gym and continue with that now. As for riding, my first mountain bike ride was weird - I was 45 minutes in and felt like, "why I am doing this?" "this sucks"! So I went home - I was still on full burnout from bike riding. WIth my schedule as hectic as it is with a full time job, a business and being a mom to a 2 year old I think I just knew I didn't "HAVE TO" ride so it made everything else more manageable in my life. I am staying fit with other activities and we are just getting some rain so the trails are about to get beyond epic! That will get me hooked again! Nothing like super grippy single-track!
Physically, I only felt good on the bike. My body felt like all of my tinny stabilizer muscles atrophied. I wonder if this is what it is like to go to space for 21 days? Doing anything other than biking felt awkward. Sitting, standing, walking, running - all uncomfortable. I've been doing a lot of Pilates to recover. It's definitely helping.
Maria Del Pilar Vasquez
riaI am feeling...just great...I recover very fast...was on the bike a week after I returned.
I felt energized for the first couple of weeks and then a deep fatigue hit. It took me a while to dig out of it. Racing cyclocross helped a lot.
After first getting back from France, I was feeling great! My body held up so well throughout the month of riding and I felt super strong and motivated for the first week back home. Then the fatigue finally hit me like a bus. It was hard to even think about doing anything active and riding my bike was completely off the table for a couple weeks. I still had some late season races planned though so I got back into training after about a month because I was excited capitalize on this huge fitness we'd created out there. I did one big race out in Bend, OR and had an awesome result which I know was hugely due to the mental toughness and physical fitness gained from Reve Tour.
Now that you have some distance, what was your favorite part of Reve Tour?
Climbs, pushing my body beyond what I thought it could do and making friends for a lifetime!
Riding with my friends in the Mountains! Wow, that was fun and hard.
Maria Del Pilar Vasquez
Favorite part...there were many...I have to say everything!? Maybe the last day because of all the emotions, knowing that my family was already there (after 30 days I was going to be with them again) and knowing that we were finishing something that 21 days before seemed unreal!
I really do miss having amazing women to ride with. Most of my rides since have been solo. Even though we spent a lot of the time riding silently, there were a lot of great (and delirious) laughs too. For me, it doesn't get any better than riding in a gorgeous place with other cool people.
Our team of 6 girls was my favorite part. Every mountain, steep climb, flat windy road was a challenge that I'm so proud we all got through together. Despite our differences or frustrations with each other at some points, we did this together and it means so much more to share it with the 5 other women. And of course, the mountains are still my favorite!