Austin camp 2003 and gearing up for 04
This is the fifth time I have attended this pre-camp training camp. My first one was in December 1999 which started the our 2000 season. We will have our real camp in January with all riders and all staff and a ton of management. As in the past, the Austin camp has basically been for all of the new riders and a few veterans. Even though it is only a part of the team we are 21 people strong. This year we have 5 new riders. Three neo-pros and two established pros. Veterans who join us this year are Daniel Rincon (Colombian) and Benjamin Noval (Spanish) The Neo-pros are Jurgen Vandenbroek (Belgium — at age 20 — youngest postal rider), Stijn De Volder (Belgium) and Pat McCarthy (American).
As of today, I have completed my 4th season with USPS. I had worked with Saturn for 4 seasons but actually ended half way through the 4th (1998) season in June. So, I have actually set a new record for time spent with a team. Not really a record that I’m trying to set. It just happened. I had 3-1/2 great seasons with the Saturn team and now a bit sad that Team Sports may not have a professional men’s team for 2004. I sure hope Tom Schuler can pull one out of the hat.
Most riders will arrive today except Floyd who has jury duty. He will get here Wednesday or Thursday. The hotel we are at is the same that we stayed at last year and also close to 6th Street which has tons of places to go have a drink, listen to music or hear comedians show their routine. Pretty cool area. Supposedly Austin is the live music capitol of the world.
My roommate this trip is Dave Bolch. I’ve worked with Dave for many years dating back to 1996 on the Saturn team. I pretty damm sure I’ve roomed with Dave more than almost everyone else put together. So, it is a certain comfort zone I seem to be in when we room together. I think I’ve roomed so much with him it is like an old married couple. We give each other soooooooo much shit as we know each other so well. I’ve told stories about how he used to count beds each year. Then, he used to count each different bed and if he was at one hotel for a week that was one bed not seven. He even got to 100 different beds one year. I’ve worked with Dave on and off since 1996. With Saturn, I was on the road at least 175 days a year if not over 200 each year. With Postal I’ve been averaging about 100 plus days a year. All told, I’ll guess that I’ve been on the road a total of 1,200 to 1,300 days. With Postal I’m almost sure I’ve roomed with Dave a predominate amount of the total time. With Saturn it got more and more each season. I’d say that I’ve roomed with Dave over 400 or 500 days. Wacky.
So, here I am at Austin Camp 2003 and gearing up for 2004.