March-April update

Apr 29, 2015
rotem
Last year I decided to join the Israeli Olympic campaign in order to become the first Israeli mountain biker in the Olympics. Representing Israel at the Olympics would be a much greater step of pride and honor to my past participation at world championships and world cups while wearing the Star of David outfit. During the first Olympic attempt for London 2012, the involved people and myself have learned important lessons: it’s far more complex than just showing up to races, there are MANY things to balance on the federation side and personal lives of the riders, there must be enough supporting people (and budget) that want it to happen as much as the riders themselves, but the most important lesson was that it is now a feasible goal and not a day-dream.
Once again I changed my lifestyle to better attract the changes and results I wish for, and with changes came plenty of expectations for 2015 season. In a nutshell, I have a simple overview – which is to focus internally on “making the next step” consistently, not just one “good legs” race day. That’s not enough, not for the Israeli selection criteria and not for my racing vision. I’m proud to say I’ve been consistent enough in the past 4-5 years to show that I can finish top 10’s at USA Pro Cups, top 50’s at World Cups and Championships even on back row call ups and bad starts. But there’s a desire and a vision in me to race extra gear faster throughout the whole race, shaving 30-45 seconds on every given XC lap, from top 10 to podium battle, from top 50 to top 30, hell why not top 20?
To say the least, the early season races had been challenging and far from expectations. Even though I do have a lot on my plate lately between work, research, training, health, traveling etc, it all feels right for me. Not as fast as I want, not happy and satisfied at all times, but feels right. At the moment I’m experiencing (rather than just knowing or learning) that sometimes it’s not just about doing whatever makes you happy or feels good all the time, sometimes it’s about doing what is right for you. Yes, doing the right thing probably should make one’s life more joyful and fulfilled but sometimes doing the right thing isn’t easy nor fun. I think some people will get what I’m talking about and some people won’t, it’s ok to disagree.
The beginning of 2015 racing season included serious travel to cool places:
– Araxa Brazil for a MTB three day stage race that included time trial, short track and cross country race (finished #29 overall)
– Santiago Chile where I finished #12 on a C1 level race
– US Pro Cup in Fontana, CA (#42 at XC, #28 at STXC)
– #34 at Sea Otter Classic STXC and DNF due to a nail to tire/rim on XC race
– Copa Fecha Nacional in Alajuela Costa Rica for a C1 level race, finished #6
With that said, just like a big 29″ wheel you gotta keep rolling in life! Ain’t no body got time to get stuck on heavy stuff. There’s a phrase in Hebrew that translates to “there’s what you want and there’s what you have” (יש רצוי ויש מצוי), so I keep on rolling and always try to push for that extra gear. I’ll be spending most of May in Colorado preparing for the first two rounds of the UCI World Cups in Czech Republic and Germany (last 2 weekends in May), between altitude training, Zia Taqueria town race series and work.
Meanwhile here are some cool photos from my recent racing in March-April:

The race in Costa Rica was around/through a small “family-made” water park.

Costa Rica is full of old sweet looking and loud) motorcycles

In my happy land – Coffee museum…

Its always great to have a support person when traveling solo to races. Catarina has been exceptionally awesome! as a cyclist herself, she knows the ins and outs and very welcoming. Thank you!

They do have good coffee here…

hot, humid, dusty, loose course through the water park. Guaranteed kids crossing the course at all times.

Thinking about my next cup of coffee

the Dakar XCR full suspension was a wise decision as I felt more fresh towards the end of the race than others. I was able to relax more in the hot and humid conditions.

Playing with a cool new app to “paint” a nice photo from an amazing trail riding in Soquel forest California

my Jamis, so artsy…

Devoted to the Durango DEVO! found in the streets of Santiago Chile

Some HOT Chile race action.

Exposed HOT climbing in Chile

Double Rotem in Fontana. Rotem Gafinovich from Israel raced well in Fontana Cup after an injury but still killed it in the short track race!

Every year I go to race Sea Otter, I make an easy ride on the bay. Beautiful!

Lining up for the Sea Otter Short Track start

image

Serious face on the Pacific beach in Chile.

JAMIS prototype Dakota Team 29″, cant tell you more!

Araxa, Brazil. Tropical living is cool until you need to race hard and its like breathing water.