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 28, 2007

Training Camp

Julian, CA- Team Slipstream training camp day 14
Saturday, January 27, 2007

The dog that’s been beat too much… Perhaps this particular scenario applies to much more than just the canine, perhaps it applies to all walks of life? Maybe it better defines the ability of one to be in the possession of new knowledge as it relates to the individual’s capacity to learn? Is it not true that indeed you haven’t absolutely captured the entire truth of a matter until it’s been beaten into your head? AKA: Learning a lesson the hard way. Once a student of life has experience the trauma associated with the long road, it is often the case that once they finish the journey they’ve decided that indeed they will not take that particular path again.
Today I made one of those mistakes, not a real traumatic mistake, but one of those that you look back on with anger & self-pity. Forever the scenario and outcome will play through my mind, and as long as it is a burden upon my mind, I will use that error as a means to fuel the fire of the future.

Julian, CA- Team Slipstream training camp day 13
Friday, January 26, 2007

And the beat goes on… it seems that each day holds something new, it’s singular and unique in its own little way. Could it be that indeed you hold the power which decides what becomes of your day, or is your day at the mercy of nature as the world swirls around amongst the decisions of many? Is it possible that your actions are so unique that they exclusively shape each new day in a way that can not be repeated?
Certainly there are weeks so monotonous that you could’ve sworn that each day was a repeat of the day before. I believe that an individual would have to be an absolute creature of habit to replace a day exactly with one lived prior. & even then it would be almost impossible to exercise a control over your mind so resolute that you could live in a world of complete physical and mental precision.
It seems to me that this week has been the same thing over and over again. Sure, if I think carefully I can recall the week’s activities, but they seem to churn around in an obscure, blurry fashion. At once, they don’t proliferate into something fathomable; as time passes they all turn from a time passed to training camp 2007…

Julian, CA- Team Slipstream training camp day 12
Thursday, January 25, 2007

I don’t deny that the days of ease are those that I identify the most satisfaction with. Today was one of those, a day marked by splendor and fulfillment. I woke up to a warm sunny day and a quaint 1.5 hour ride. What more could one ask in a day? Sure, sure, there’s no TV or internet or café or pool or catering or… But come on, how can one yearn for such eloquent indulgence when the meadow and absolute state of nature lies within a step out the door? The gluttons of greed and those who want more must look no farther, for here at the Ritz-Julian the world is offered on an “intrinsic-platter…”

Julian, CA- Team Slipstream training camp day 11
Wednesday, January 24, 2007

We went deep into the desert today. It hasn’t changed much since I was last there; still warm and sandy with a range of brown mountains off in the distance. Most of the inhabitants in the area hang out at the local rv park, & work for either the border patrol or the state patrol.
I suppose that after all the fresh mountain air riding we’ve done it’s nice to be down at 0 feet feeling a little heat and doing a bit more of the power/speed workouts. Not to mention that after being sprayed by the arid breeze and getting a swift burn from the “naked sun,” it may have been difficult to convince the border patrollers that despite the abundance of French, Australian, Dutch, Danish & Canadian passports that we were indeed not trespassing and quite legal. In the end the car did get pulled over by the California State patrol for existing… perhaps they’ve taken a page out of the Mexican book of law for some of their law enforcement. Maybe they just wanted burritos wrapped in argyle.

Julian, CA- Team Slipstream training camp day 10
Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The name of the game today was speed work and sprinting. I didn’t fair badly, although it’s terribly difficult to coordinate our team sprinting efforts with the local terrain and drivers… both of which are hostile to sprint work- steep and aggressive. I’m quite sure that within every ride we’ve done in the region at least one of us have had a run in with a vehicle passing hot ‘n handy… The nerve of the drivers ‘round here is incomparable, it just doesn’t happen anywhere else. One of these days we’ll be in the same place at the very same time, and when that goes down they’ll end up dining on the bullet…
Of course a day would not be a day here in Julian without the event of some obscure trailer park type problem… Today our water ran amuck. It turned from its pale yellowish (perfectly drinkable) color to a milky state of rusty brown. I was gonna keep drinking it in heed of the sign over the sink that reads “Ignore the color of our water. It is yellowish due to the exceptional mineral content of our ground and quite drinkable. We have it tested quarterly and it always passes with flying colors.” But then I decided to just go drink from the mud puddle out front…

Julian, CA- Team Slipstream training camp day 9
Monday, January 22, 2007

The day dedicated to team “functions” was today. It is often the case that days such as these are harder on the mind than those considered hard on the bicycle. The day rolls by at a snails pace as you wait for whatever is scheduled to happen to happen. Despite meticulous planning by the staff to get the sponsors on the premises simultaneously, something always goes wrong. Today it was the arrival of the new team shorts, which were supposed to arrive at noon via DHL. The shorts turned out to be vests… triggering a series of problems for our painstakingly methodical day and rolling it over onto the next as conference calls and clustered groups of staff scattered about talking in hushed whispers in a final attempt to thwart further confusion... I think perhaps a more calm approach would have been in line here… “Okay, okay- we’ll move the pictures back until the shorts arrive and we’ll take the casual pictures over here. Then everyone goes on their ride & when they get back we rotate through the sponsors as we’d planned.” But no, I suppose that’s too complicated between the 10+ staff on the scene… Now we’ve pushed today’s adventures on to tomorrow and nudged the ride scheduled for tomorrow out by an hour and a half.
Nevertheless, days like these are exceptionally complex as everyone attempts to merge their schedules to be in the same place at the same time, thus a little confusion is imminent.