Wednesday, February 20, 2008

cadence climbing camp day 1 (prologue)

and we are off to the airport . . . .

well day one started early, getting up at 6 to finish up stuff at home. For some reason for this vacation my shit was relatively in order, so I actually got some sleep. Chris came and picked me up from 3434 at 8, and 10 minutes later I was in Manayunk getting a latte at La Colombe and loading my suitcase and wheelbag into the waiting "limo", which had morphed into a Ford Expedition to accommodate all of our stuff. And the fun began. Woody, Jamie, Randy (our gracious host), myself and the driver were off the Dover, Delaware to meet up with Chad, Brian, Brian's wife Dana and the waiting private jet. Yes this was my chance to see how the other half lives, glimpses of which I had caught before, but this . . this was downright outrageous.

This was was the Citation X, a 28-million dollar jet and the fastest plane in the sky next to those of the military variety. It was originally built for the miliary and now was the preferred means of travel for the true "jet-set." The takeoff was a rush: I mean the thing just drove up into the sky with ferocity. We went vertical FAST, none of the gradual climbing of a heavy, lethargic jumbo airliner. We flew to California at 600 mph.

We had ordered lunch from a 10 -page menu a few weeks before and it was waiting for us when we boarded. I felt like I was back in grade school with all of the laughing that went on in that cabin. At one point we sprinted past a jet airliner, got within 1000 feet of it and passed it like it was standing still. Here is one of the views out of my window:

We sailed over the grand canyon, black mesa, Pike's Peak and dozens of other geographic landmarks at 43,000 feet. Your typical airline flight takes you to 30,000 feet. Most of the time it was clear so we kept the window shades up so we could enjoy the view. Anyway, we got to California, loaded up our rentals, and headed to Agoura Hills to the Marriott Renaissance hotel. Woody and Jamie went to work putting our bikes together, I finally got my room and dressed for our first ride. We did about 20 miles and hit a 3-mile climb. After a hard Pretzel on saturday, no riding for 2 days, and then a cross-country trip, my legs felt like dogshit for the first mile but mile 2 and 3 were much better; I settled into a rhythm and contemplated catching and passing Randy and Chad but then I remembered the camp had technically not even started yet, and I did not need to choke on day 4. The mountains around here are amazing, the 20 mile ride was just what we all needed to wake our legs and spirits.

Randy treated us to a nice Italian dinner and I managed to remain gluten-free which I have been attempting for the last month to see if it improves my asthma and allergies. I was back to the hotel and in bed by 9:30 local time. I tried to do some reading, since I have been engrossed in Max's book, but could not even hold my head up. When I woke in the am my hamstrings were tight, I used The Stick to roll them out a little before we head out again at 9:30. More pics here.

No comments: