Official Road training (race/ride)
Almost all movement going in and out of the Olympic Village required some type of security. Today we did two training rides. Our AM training was about 3 hours and was escorted by our personal security that the USOC (Cycling) program organized. There was normal security that was provided by the Olympic organizer but we had extra security brought for ourselves from the US Department of State – Diplomatic Security Service.
These guys (and ladies) were responsible for tons of security including many American officials visiting other countries and also helping at American consulates across the world.
The morning training was fun. Michael Barry (USPS) here with the Canadian team, tagged along with us as his wife Dede was one of our representatives in the Road race and the TT. We returned to the Village for a short lunch and a short break before the early evening official road training.
Like I said much of the movement outside requires security so in order to maintain security the organizers had a one time training session on the road course so all the riders could see it. That’s both for the men as well as the women. It seemed to look like a parade race/ride. The schedule was for 4 laps. Although, it was not a requirement to do all 4 laps but rather as many as you wanted to do UP TO 4 laps. The French team was a bit late and missed the start of the ride and had to wait a whole lap to “jump in” to the ride. Security would not allow individuals roaming around the course themselves. Our team did two laps and was out of there. A good thing as getting into and out of the Village is time-consuming to say the least.
Our Apartment is about a kilometer from the North parking lot where all of the cars are parked. Not one team can bring the team car or team van into the Olympic village. So in order to go to an event/race/training, we must carry all the stuff either by hand or via shuttle busses circling the Village. Then get out of the Village and load the car and them off to what ever we need to do. Just bringing the minimum to a training ride requires budgeting some time to transport it all and loading it. Even with the minimal spare equipment it still takes us a solid 40 minutes from door to starting the engines of the follow car.
Returning from a training ride (or any outside event) takes even more time. Each car must be inspected at the security check point. They even had this big mirror (with lights for inspecting at night) on wheels to look under the car. Then they would ruffle through the whole car or vehicle. We could then park unload our stuff. Then we would have to go through the security point for each person and their items they were bringing into the Village. So imagine our team of 5 men and 3 women with their bikes and days clothing, 2 soigneurs and their coolers of bottles and food, etc., 2 mechanics with tools and spare wheels, etc., 2 directors and to other operations staff getting their stuff scanned through (with more scrutiny than an airport security checkpoint). Just returning from the ride (with checkpoints and carrying our stuff) was about a solid hour from the gate to our apartment.