Yesterday I notified my employer that I will be taking a new job on November 30. Not just any job, but a great job … maybe even a dream job. It’s here in West Bend, not 33 miles away in Brookfield, and the schedule is perfect for me. The pay is considerably higher, the benefits are better, the career path is clearer. There are so many things to feel good about, and I’m anxious to get into the work.
How the new job will affect me as a cyclist is secondary to how it will affect me financially, but the changes are noteworthy.
Since September 2015, I have worked overnight in Brookfield every Monday through Friday. Because my work week doesn’t end until 7 o’clock on Saturday morning, getting to a Saturday race could be tough. On many occasions I traveled to a race venue immediately after work, and on many others I simply scratched the race off my schedule because it was too far away or had too early a start time. My new work schedule will fix these problems. I will be able to sleep overnight on Friday, setting me up for a successful weekend.
I’ve had a clear preference for Sunday races, but Saturday races are more common. If the 2020 WCA cyclocross season had gone ahead as planned, then 10 of its 14 races would have run on Saturdays. The Wisconsin Endurance Mountain Bike Series has always followed a Saturday schedule, and on the 2021 schedule of the Wisconsin Off-Road Series 4 of the 8 races will be on Saturdays. Having a work week that ends on Friday morning also will allow me to travel to more distant races in downstate Illinois and elsewhere. Maybe there’s an Ill Kanza gravel grinder in my future, or more Heart of Illinois Cyclocross races, or a Ride Across Indiana gran fondo. Maybe 2021 will be the year I get back into mountain bike racing at Chequamegon or Ore to Shore or Wausau24, intriguing events my old schedule wouldn’t accommodate. With all of that in mind I’m looking into mountain bikes again, as I don’t own one right now.
My 2020 season will end without a single bike race. Blame COVID-19 for that. But it hasn’t been a bad year for me otherwise, and I expect to enter 2021 in a position of strength. If we get on top of the virus and bike races return, then I will be ready.