My very long 2009 season only saw a comma separating it from the 2010 season. I had 3 weeks off and I managed to get a solid 12 hours of riding in during that time. I had to have some miles in the legs before I went to Winter Camp at the Chula Vista, Ca Olympic Training Center. The first ride started with a 9+ mile Time Trial on a rolling course to serve as a fitness assessment. My legs were blocked from the flight the previous day and conditions were poor. It’s was cold and windy, so cold that I wore gloves. My interest in aerodynamics has taught me that gloves should NOT be worn in a TT, that should give you an idea of the cold factor. My time was lackluster based on historical times, but was decent given the conditions. I ended up riding the 3rd fastest time of the day and was only beaten by the tandems. My time compared to those closest in ability was respectable so I felt alright about the result.
The second day saw some good riding and was really the first day to assess how I was riding in comparison to the other bikes. I was figuring out which wheels were good wheels in different situations. The tandem duo of Clark R. (Reigning Para-Cycling World Champ in the Pursuit) and his guest pilot, Eric B. of the US U23 National Team proved to be the powerhouse bike all week and became known as “The Pro Tandem”.
After a wet and windy day off on Monday we were back on the road Tuesday for 10 minute hill repeats. This was the same climb we would be using in Friday’s Hill Climb TT so I was interested in scouting the lower slopes. My splits were pretty even, with the last effort being my best by a good margin. I was ready for Friday.
We did some extended climbing on Wednesday, which ended up being a lot of fun. The group broke up pretty quickly on the first climb and when the dust settled I was riding in the front group with The Pro Tandem and Mari Holden, former World Champ and Silver Medalist at the 2000 Olympics, who was helping coach at the camp.
I was planning to ride easy on Thursday to save the legs for the Hill Climb, but 90 minutes into the ride a few riders went down in front of me on a descent and one of their bikes slid into my path, causing me to go down. I was fortunate to have seen the crash take place and slow down so I was not going very fast when I hit the road. My shifter broke and I was banged up, so the hill climb TT was a no go. I have unfinished business with the hill and I’m looking forward to going back in April.
Other than the crash, it was a fun camp. The riding was good and the company was great. It was a fun way to kick off the 2010 season which I have very high hopes for.