I got up late, feeling like crap . . . and we were supposed to be on our bikes at 8, it was 7:10. Not much time to eat and digest and get my shit together. I was half hoping it was pouring out and instead the ride would be postponed. But the sun was out. I crawled down to breakfast and the team was already there. I ordered my pot of coffee and told the guy at the omelette station to make me the usual. The usual being an omelette with spinach, tomoatoes, onions, mushrooms, ham and cheese. I also had a bowl of oatmeal, plus berries and yogurt for later. OJ, and lots of coffee. I made the mistake of looking in the mirror on my way to breakfast. My eyes were puffy with deep circles. Damn, I looked like death.
Colin said that we were going to have a choice: ride at 9 in the rain or listen to a lecture that he and Brian were giving. Brian walked by as I was trying to figure out if I should blow off the ride. The pros of not riding: I would be able to relax, finish my breakfast, read, write, get my stuff together for the airport, listen to a lecture from 2 professional coaches, one of whom was a 3-time Olympian, and most of all rest my very tired legs. The cons: I could hate myself for not riding my final day in california.
“Brian” I said, “do you think I should ride? My TSB is about -57 right now….” I smiled. Then it occurred to me that several of us had been riding since Tuesday, perhaps we were all pretty smoked. “then again,” I said, “perhaps everyone’s TSB is pretty low right now—do you think?”
“Nah,” he said, “just a few people, maybe 3.”
“You mean 2 others and me?” nice. well actually it turns out that only 2 people plus a coach rode. The rest of us were tired and in no mood to ride 50 degree rain, which seemed inevitable at some point.
So the camp was over, I finished breakfast, stood outside while Colin demonstrated cornering, and then showed us what not to do by eating it cornering through a sandy puddle in the parking lot; giving himself an avocado-sized splash of California road rash across his hip and ruining a lovely new pair of Cadence cycling shorts. He had a nice gash on his elbow as well. Ouch. I will spare you all a picture of that. One thing he did NOT do when he went down was put his arms out, which is what you are supposed to do I learned (that is NOT put your arms out) since extending the arm is the fastest way to a broken collarbone. I can’t imagine sliding out on the road and not putting an arm out, although many times on the mountain bike my front wheel washed out so fast I did not have time to react at all. Falling in the woods is cake though, and so far I have never ever gotten road rash, which is pretty amazing since I spend 80% of my time on the road, something I need to change. I miss my Yeti!
After packing up we watched the final of the Tour, and headed to the airport. We took off in the Citation X, and Randy opened up the Veuve Cliquot and started pouring.
Then came wine, jack & coke for Jamie, beer, etc etc. Check out my most awesome omelette:
Try getting that on US Air. The way back was one big party, as we attempted to postpone that painful dose of reality that waited for each one of us, whether that entailed work, children, or other responsiblities we had the luxury of blowing off for 6 days . . .
The Citation X even managed to break the sound barrier at one point (an alarm went off) and we got into Dover, DE in 3 hours, 48 minutes. Here is the sunset over the left wing visible shortly after takeoff.
All in all I had an incredible 6 days. Great scenery, great food, great riding, great coaching, and most of all great comrades. I am learning my own limits now; not that I won't try and push them when I can, but when I can't I need to be proud of myself anyway.
It's really not all about the bike.
me and Laurel Wassner, pro triathlete and roommate, who gets paid to ride her bike . . .