Thursday, October 23, 2008

Training Camp - Last Year part 1

Last year at this time I was feeling pretty lucky. I had been picked up by Battley Harley although I had not raced for 8 years or so and had only been in the bike for about six months since 2000. I guess what had gotten me on the team was an introduction from Eli, a pretty good although outdated resume and probably most important was support from Dave Fuentes who I knew from the 90's in California.

At first I think Tom Buzas our team director thought I was a flake because every team function I should have attended I missed due to Army stuff, doctors appointments and a variety of what may have seemed to be random excuses. I felt like if I did not make it to something I would get kicked off this team before I even raced! Finally it came down to a "mandatory" training camp before Jeff Cup.

Knowing the verdict was still out on what kind of racer I was, before the training camp, I tried to get some miles in and even a few races so I wouldn't suck so bad in front of my new team. I even did the Tradezone training races and a Cold Toes training race (I was the guy with the black jersey and the triple). I guess I should have hit some climbs, but I had no ideal how hilly would be at the camp.

Our training camp was at Jay's Lost River Barn in West Virginia. I arrived by myself around midnight and couldn't tell which cabin belonged to which address. I figured I would drive by each one of three and try and decide which one looked most like the picture on the Internet and knock. Unfortunately in the dark all three looked the same and there were no bikes in front of any of them. One cabin had a steep dirt hill that I had to get a running start and four wheel drive to get back up. I was hoping that all of my noise and commotion would alert whoever I was meeting and happen to not wake up the residents of the other houses. Finally I got out of the car and approached one cabin. No one answered when I knocked, but the door was part way open and I could see a bicycle helmet. When I went in, I could see Jose and Yamil trying to sleep while DeWald had God knows what blasting on the TV and on his Lap Top (he also had some stray dog hanging out with him that had come scratching on the door). Russ approched me with a 'who the hell are you' look on his face and told me I was staying in the cabin down the hill. I then left and proceeded to wake up the wrong household (sorry Jay). The lady inside, once she had calmed her minions of barking dogs, told me it was the other cabin. When I got my running start to get back up the hill, I almost hit one of her dogs (sorry Jay) but luckily avoided it by going over her lawn (sorry Jay).

When I finally got to the right house I found out from Evan, Brian and Todd that Russ was messing with me - my stuff and bed were at the main house. I let them get back to there techno party moved Kecks stuff off his bed and went to sleep.

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