Life On Two Wheels

Along the river and toward the mountains a morning shadow shimmers across the road. The rays of the first light jet through the trees and across a figure gliding upon the road. His breath trails in short spurts, petrified as it hits the icy air. All is quiet except the slight sound of the athlete as he summons himself for yet another days work. Soon the rest of the world will bustle with life as well and the brief simplicity of cyclist and nature will disappear into the everyday struggle of life in full motion; the errands and intervals, the appointments and intersections, and the deadlines and finish lines OutPaceTheRace

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Forging the Future

Team TIAA-CREF flew in from across America to gather in one small, cold Colorado town: Boulder. Headquartered in Boulder and run by Director Sportif Jonathan Vaughters, is Slipstream Sports. Slipstream Sports is the sports management company that keeps the team and its gracious sponsors afloat. It is the central hub which we all revolve around. The purpose of the camp, however, was not to train or acquire a taste for 30 below weather; it was to huddle within and get to know each other. We were given the speal about what to expect for this and the coming years, what the team expected to accomplish and some rubbish about how it's "usually warmer in Colorado-" kind of like saying it's "usually dry in Seattle." The "new guys-" I and about seven others, were tested to see where our fitness was. The test consisted of riding your bike while attached to a stationary power unit. The power unit would increase every five minutes until you couldn't go any harder, at each five minute interval the team doctor (Dr. Allen Lim- PhD sports physiology) would prick your thumb to test your blood lactate, measure your wattage & heart rate, and have you point to your perceived exertion on two charts- one from 0-10 and another from 6-20. I've been given my results and apparently I am looking good for this point in the year. On the final day, the team unilaterally took part in a five hour ride in which we were to ride for five hours and burn 3000 kilojoules*, then race up the famous flagstaff mountain climb. If nothing else, it was definitely cold. The climb went well, I won by 45 seconds. The next day we all departed at different times. My time was 2:30 so I rode for an hour before leaving- I got to the airport and my flight was delayed until 4:30. After riding with the team I am very excited for the upcoming season. The team is very strong, everyone "is of good character," and we have two very wiley directors. I think the rest of the team shares my enthusiasm and were all looking forward to a break through season. The next camp is scheduled for January 8th in a nice little town in southwestern New Mexico named Silver City. Not to mention that its elevation is 6500 ft! Despite the altitude it's quite warm at around an average of 61 degrees in the winter. This will be the training camp, we'll ride, ride, and ride more. I am slated to leave Silver city and go straight to Gerona, ESP on the 22nd of January for six weeks. *not sure what I'm talking about