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

Monday, January 23, 2006

Silver City to Gerona

In Transition
Silver City to Gerona
Albuquerque, NM
Jan 22nd/23rd

Today’s the 22nd, so it’s the last day of camp. This morning I woke up at 7:30 and rode for 3 hours at 9:00. We hustled around and managed to be out of the hotel and on the road by 2:30. The drive from Silver City is supposed to be 4:30, but since we’re in the van (12 person, Ford V8) pulling the trailer, the chances are high it will take 5 hours. By the way, I didn’t mention this earlier, but the transmission in the van was slipping during camp so Ben had a new transmission put in to make sure we would actually be able to make it to Albuquerque (a $2500 value). He had a new engine put in before he came down, so now it’s got a new transmission and engine, I swear it looks newer now…
Tomorrow morning we head to Gerona, so by the end of the day I’ll be “abroad.” United’s got a timely deal going for miles until April too; every flight that a mileage plus member (that’s me) goes between now and April is doubled. That means I’ll be racking up some serious mileage for the off season…
Once I get to Gerona, there’s a “legendary hill” called Cataluna, apparently it’s a good hour and a half to the top. But anyway, the likes of Lance, Iban & Ivan, have tested themselves on the climb and it’ll be interesting to see how I match up again their times. Johnny, the euro director, recommended the idea. He seems to think that I’m a catastrophically talented climber at 19; I guess we’ll see, eh? Perhaps I’ll get a good look at it in 25 hours from now.
Now that camp is over and I’ve got a good look at the other guys & how they ride and act, I’m pretty confident that we’ll have a successful debut in this season’s racing. Our team has a deep pull of talent topped with some guys who’ve got a lot of experience, so we’ve got what it takes to mix it up with the fast teams from last year. The chances are that with the conclusion of 2006 we’ll be the team everyone’s talking about, actually, it’s not a chance, it’s a fact. We won’t pace with the race, we’ll outpace the race…

Jan 23rd

Today's the 23rd; we leave at around 1:00, so I got out for a short 50 minute ride. We'll leave for the airport pretty soon. Albuquerque is in the high desert so it was 25 degrees in the morning when I rode. The place is completely flat one direction and mountainous in the other. It's still junky though, I think it's because of the overwhelming Mexican population.