Monday, February 14, 2011
For the first post of 2011 and for the first time I (Ian’s little brother), will write some updates for the blog. Being a newcomer to the sport last year I knew little of what to expect, even getting into the sport was a chance of luck so I gave it a try. But this year should be something different, I know what to expect and understand what it is like to be racing at this level. So far the 2011 season has been all and more of what I could want. On January tenth I flew down to L.A. for a team pursuit camp with the national team. Riding the track for the first time was nothing short of crazy. Trying to describe this to non cyclist it is hard to explain, but it is a 250 meter wooden track with similar shape to a running track except the bends are between 40-43% gradient so the first day I as terrified coming into every corner, and the G forces would pull you down to the bars. Soon enough though I got the hang of it and was having a great time. The whole camp was a blast, from watching a couple ghetto girls get into a fight outside Wal-Mart, to go-carting it was great. Also riding in the 70 degree weather was pretty nice. The track was something completely new but I’m glad I got to go and give it a try, always good to try new things.
From the heat of L.A I got to go to not only a warmer place, but a prettier one too. Lucky me, this year Team Hottubes did the Tour of Bahamas, the hot sun, crystal clear water, and white sandy beaches made this a great first team trip of the year, but a hard one to top. Never once did anything but a smile fill the faces of our team, and how could it when you knew it was going to be another day with beautiful sights, warm sun, and spectacular foods. We stayed on the 11th floor of a beachfront resort and were treated every night to a phenomenal sunset before heading out to some of the best restaurants of my life. Oh yea and the main reason we were there the bike race, almost forgot. The race as a two day, three stage races with the first day have a short 3 mile time trial, followed by a 46 mile circuit race. The First day went about as planned with our whole team finishing around mid pack in both races, but what was not planned was the nice red burn that I got on every art of me that touched the sun. The following morning we had a 76 mile road race. Although we did not get the results we hoped for it was a good race, and I got into several good breaks with my new teammate Paul Lynch. Once again we ended the race all around mid pack; however the day did not end then. After the race we rode about three miles from the finish to a private resort owned by Tiger Woods, and Ernie Els. The week was awesome but this was the perfect end to it all. Delicious food, water slides and lounging in the sun, my last day before I had to return to reality and the below freezing temperatures of Bend, and home cooked meals.
It did not take long to realize that Bend was not going to be the ideal place to train for the winter. So off to Chico, California it was. My brother rents a one bedroom back house which fits the two of us nicely. Chico has a long history with our family, my dad, uncle, and two aunts all went to school at Chico State. Now my brother, and I are both following along the same path, and I know why everyone loved it here. Chico is home to beautiful Bidwell Park, and some of the best road riding I have experienced, combine that with the mild to warm temperatures and it is a great place to be for the time. So for now my brother and I will try to log miles on the bike in preparation for the year ahead. We both have some big goals, and expectations to meet for the 2011 season which I hope turns out to be a good one.