15 things I learned in 2014

2014 was pretty awesome. It was a fun year and I met a lot of new and exciting people. I raced NRC for the first time this year, and experienced the US professional circuit via guest riding. During this time, I won my first KOM jersey in a UCI race, and podiumed an NCC race. I got lapped in a USA crits race, yet somehow lapped the field at nationals. I learned how to train a bit smarter, and come to understand the importance of staying mentally fresh.

There were ups and downs. Highs and lows. And some of the in between.
So here are 15 random things that I have learned in 2014.
1) Joel Smith is the funniest mechanic in the nation.  I don’t have any facts or evidence behind that statement but one look at this picture and I’m pretty sure that alone can confirm.  He also is the only guy I know that makes a NISSAN Juke stylish in SoCal.
THE Kenny Powers of professional cycling.
2) There are pelicans at Big Bear Lake in California.
Welcome to 10000ft altitude. I am a pelican.

3) Mini cokes and a peanut butter/banana sandwich are God sends at mile 90.

My sandwich telling me to smile because I’m racing my bike.
4) Lead out trains are kind of scary.

5) Bobby Lea is really really really strong.

Bobby was going so fast he couldn’t even pull through!
6) Don’t use junior gearing as a grown man in a grown man’s race.
Upgrade to that big ring.
7) If you upset a rider on a pro continental team that happens to be of Australian origin he will call you a really really really bad name.
You said WHAT?

8) Taking off a base layer is extremely difficult to do mid race, but it IS possible. However, then it will most likely rain and get 10 degrees colder after doing so.

Huddling it in for warmth.
9) Urine isn’t the worst thing that can be splashed on you during a race.
10) Tour of Somerville is the scariest race in America.
Fairly certain I was behind this guy most of the race.

11) My lime Green Van Dessel hellafaster is a must have for people that like green.

GREEN GREEN GREEN- Ethan Glading photo

12) Standing on a box in spandex with other grown men can make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Darrell Parks photo. So warm. So fuzzy.

13) Moka Pot. If you don’t know what that is. http://lmgtfy.com/?q=moka+pot

14) In relation to the moka pot; Kerry Gold butter is the greatest thing you can put in your coffee.
15) Easy rides are super important.
Typical easy ride.

Brownie Points point)  Girlfriend, friends, and family are super integral in one’s success.

Ship happens
With all of that said, I’m super excited for 2015.  Astellas pro cycling team has brought me on and I get to be a real life professional bike racer on their stage race squad. If you would have told me in 2011 I was cycling and not running I would have called you a liar. Crazy the path life takes you on sometimes.
On a quick serious note; there’s been a lot of bad news coming from this sport. Doping positives, past riders staying around with a tainted past, lies, and general nonsense.  Regardless, I may never win the Tour de France, or become a real somebody; but one thing I can promise everyone is I’ll always have my integrity.  I look forward to seeing and potentially racing in Europe. I look forward to racing some of the biggest races and names in North America; and no matter what I’m going to try to tell myself how fortunate I am, and plan on always giving my best. There really are good people within this sport, and I do hope things turn around. So if  you really hate following cycling because of all the bad things that have happened, hopefully one day things will get better.  I know I’ll do my part.
PA friends. Hope to see you on the Manyunk Wall. Stay tuned for more updates and such!
Shameless Plugs
Please follow me on twitter. https://twitter.com/jakesitler
My team on twitter. https://twitter.com/astellascycling
The team that got me here on twitter and current CX team. @seavshaymarket and @van_dessel
Also go here and like this page for updates. https://www.facebook.com/astcycling?ref=br_tf

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