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

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Training Camp

Julian, CA- Team Slipstream training camp day 3
Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The game here is two days hard followed by one easy. Since this is the beginning of the camp we haven’t actually seen a truly hard day yet. The word’s that the hard ones ‘ll have a lot of motor pacing and a lot of hard climbing all jammed into a 5-6.5 hour death march. The waltz starts tomorrow and I’m sure it’ll be a day to remember.
In the meantime, today was an easy recovery day. It was nice to get out and just spin easy for an hour. It wasn’t as cold today either, I’ve deduced from what the owner’s of the rehab unit here say about normal weather that there’s a cold front moving across the west. So from here on out I’m looking forward to a traditional San Diego climate.

Julian, CA- Team Slipstream training camp day 2
Monday, January 15, 2007

Julian’s in the desert, a very arid place great for UFO sightings and various other outdoor adventures… including, of course, riding your bicycle. However, when the wind blows and the humidity dips well below zero the two wheeled circus stops telling jokes. So if you’re in the area and you’re on tenterhooks for a special performance, I recommend going straight for the UFO’s instead.
Today we did 5 of the most monotonous hours I’ve ever done. There was plenty of terrain, but the combination of wind and cold gave way to an exceptional desire to be done with the ride. It was like riding across the baring straight or something, without the mountaineering gear. I suppose it’s a good way to set the foundation for the necessarily steadfast mental disposition of the rest of the year.

Julian, CA- Team Slipstream training camp day 1
Sunday, January 14, 2007

Welcome to rehab day 1. No cookies or cake. No internet or TV either. No reason to complicate things, let’s keep it simple.
Today we took out the new bikes for 3.5 hours. We understood that it was gonna be a nice easy ride to make adjustments and get used to the new stuff. So Will ‘n I stopped after 20 minutes to make some minor adjustments, then look up only to find that everyone’s gone. After making some lucky guesses on the route we came into contact with the car and a couple of the guys. Still there was no sign of the rest of the team so we began doing a modified team chase, and finally we got the motor pace the rest of the way up to the team… Nothing like a few efforts to ease into the new bike.
Everything else aside (sub-zero weather, housing arrangement etc.), the riding ‘round here’s pretty good. The terrain is consistently undulating, the roads are pretty good, traffic’s not too heavy and the routes seem endless. So, in all, the next three weeks should be a good start to the season.

Julian, CA- Team Slipstream training camp day 0
Saturday, January 13, 2007

The season’s officially about to begin. I took the flight down from Seattle today in route to first LA then San Diego. After a brief hour long drive we’d arrived in Julian, practically a precise replica of Silver City, NM… except worse. There we stayed at the Holiday Inn, which had a variety of modern resources; here we’re staying at the Angel’s Landing Country Inn. I guess someone heard from someone that it was a resort… which is of course, far from the truth- depending on your definition of resort. It’s an “inn” on a forested hillside that consists of about five different buildings scattered spontaneously about. Of course it wouldn’t be a “country inn” if it wasn’t lacking basic amenities such as… uhh… running water. I won’t even mention internet, not that most hotels have that anyway. & of course, it wouldn’t be a training camp if it wasn’t at 4000 feet at least. Why was it in San Diego again? Ohh, because it’s warm there! Do you think it’s warm at 4000 feet? No! It’s like living on top of Mount Rainier, there’s ice everywhere. And we’re here for 3 weeks, I wonder if they brought any trainers?
I’ve read about this kind of thing in books, but usually it involves drug addicts: rehab is what they call it. Confusion is rife at the moment.