Monday, March 08, 2010

Team Camp Review

Well team camp absolutely flew by. I can't believe the twitter countdown to camp is over and that time at camp is been done with a few days now. Now it's only 6 days till the season opener, the Tour of Taiwan.

This team camp was much like many others. Get up at a decent time, eat breakfast, go for a ride, shower, eat, nap, eat dinner, and have team meetings.

I showed up a little earlier to camp to make sure my bike was ready to go, which it was thanks to our new ace mechanic John Columbus. Then I was able to be first in line on Friday to get a Wobblenaught bike fit done by teammate and fitter Jim Baldesare. I'm not really aloud to devolve to much information into the fit process, so be sure to check out theie website. The Inferno team has had them done for 6 years now, and I had it last year and have no complaints and am very comfortable on the bike.

Saturday was our first team ride. We did a lighter ride for 3hrs as we got comfortable with our new shoes, bikes, positions and such. Sunday half the team did a V02 test and the rest of us did a longer ride.

The rest of the day followed a schedule that was very similar to this. Wake up around 7:30 and head down to the hotel lobby for breakfast. On the menu for myself was either oatmeal with peanut butter or a waffle with peanut butter, an egg patty, banana and some orange juice. Then I would spend some time on the computer and get ready for the ride. Most days started off cool, but since we are so pro, we had a car follow which would allow us to drop clothes off into once it warmed up. We hit the road by 9:30 for about 5hrs. We did some pacelining, the occasional leadout, took photos and on the last day an 8 mile race (more on that later).

Once back from the ride, it was off to the shower, grab a snack, maybe a nap and every other day a massage. We then would get together and head off to dinner around 6. This was probably by far the most painful thing to do all day. When you go to a restaurant with 20 or so people, service sometimes isn't that quick. Which I can understand, but being hungry doesn't help. But, it's nice to have everyone sitting around chatting and getting to know each other.

After dinner we would have a team meeting every night at 8pm. We went over race schedules, meeting everyone, meeting sponsors, talking about products, contracts, drink hot chocolate, and get some more products. It is quite the scene when you set out a box of free product to see how everyone goes after it. It takes a while, but once one or two go in, it's on. Thanks to all our sponsors. We have more then enough.

Like I said earlier the rides were pretty relaxed for the most part. Just getting some miles and time in. We did some pacelining occasionally and a leadout. The biggest hit on the ride were the sandwiches packed by the best soigneur, Janis. It seemed like every ride everyone was not only eating more sandwiches, but also earlier in the ride, and packing them in their pockets. The first ride it was 2.5hrs in, then two, and by the last ride it was 40minutes in. Whenever someone had to adjust something, or fix a mishap, it was sandwich time.

The last long ride we had an 8 mile 'race'. This went down like the first 1hr crit of the year. Every one was super gun ho, not overly fatigued and ready to go. It was attack, after attack, after attack. Just like we need to race. The only one knowing where we would end was the ride leader and local rider, Christian. He gladly sprinted to the top of a hill that looked similar to all the others and pointed out the left hand turn. For a young kid, that's a very veteran move.

The last day was set aside for photo day. We rode our bikse down into Macon and took some team pictures at previously scouted out locations. The first was a fire house (as Chad Thompson is a fireman himself), and the other was an abandoned school. Thanks to our photographer Blair Fraley who took some amazing shots through the week. Of course its easy to make photos look good when your subjects are so awesome looking. I'm sure we rank right up there with the Victoria Secret Models he's used to shooting.

Here's the Taiwan Crew

The Kenda Pro Cycling Team p/b GEARGRINDER

Yours Turly

I hitched a ride back with Birdman and Jeff Rhodes. We did stop on the way home for a ride in Chattanooga, TN just like I had on the way down. Chad and I lit some matches, and we both got sum. It was a great ride and an awesome way to finish off a great week.

6 days till Tour of Taiwan.

Breeze On

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