When we all woke up the next morning it was like a mini Christmas, new gear and a huge breakfast and soon the 12 or so of us were out the door sporting the new all white Harley kits. Cool, I have been off for all of these years and I am right back onto a real team again,
If you haven't been to Jay's Lost River Barn, it is on top of a hill with a really long climb on one side and a really steep climb on the other. I had not been in the hills since 1999 or 2000 or something, so on the first decent I was hella sketchy. I'm pretty sure I was more scared than my teammates who were passing my on the right and left every safe chance they got. When we got to flat land I was relieved. I have no problems descending now, just a little rusty at first and it is fun again.
We rode in twos for miles and dared not break from the very close-well organized formation or risk having Russ choke some one out for making the team look sloppy. With my sketchy decent behind me, everything was dandy as we rode along in formation with every one talking giving me a chance to introduce myself. Good times and then....
.....what goes down must go up. First we hit the gravel - which was no problem. I should have known bad things were in the brew when it got quiet and the pace picked up. We rounded a bend and wolla! a gravel climb. Who makes the first climb at a training camp a gravel one! At least it was pretty. About 20 feet into the climb I think I was maxed out. I watched EVERYONE disapear into the distance. My 187 lbs body (During the season I was mid 140s) lumbered up the climb followed by the sound of van tires. Tom and a mechanic were following us.
After I crested and begain the descent I passed three or four guys fixing a flat on the side of the road. They had everything and Tom was behind so I bombed the gravel desent knowing now it won't look like I was the last guy over. Most of the rest of the day was rollers and we rode through it pretty steady.
When we were getting closer to the cabin some of us were driving it single file, including Russ. I should have known something was up when Russ stopped pulling. I remember hearing him yell "go left here, the cabins at the top" or something like that. This is the climb everyone says to have a 27, or at least a 25 for. It is steep and long. After everone disapeared again, I think the only part of my body that got a work out was my arm - holding onto the van.
That was Day 1 ridding with the team, I can't believe they didn't kick me off!