January 22 – February 2
Solvang Camp — Before
I got to training camp two days before all the mechanics (and one
soigneur) were to arrive and six days before camp officially starts. The
first evening, I opened all the Shimano boxes and inventoried all of
that. The next day I opened all the other stuff such as wheels, tires,
tubes, bars, stems, saddles, computers, etc., and took inventory of that
stuff. By that evening I had pretty much everything inventoried AND had
most of the clincher wheels with tires, tubes and cogs on them. The
worst part was our storage container in the parking lot was FULL to the
gils with EVERYTHING. Even the Nike stuff that was supposed to go to the
soigneurs room. So I moved all of that (and tried to put like boxes
together — for ease of inventory for the ass rubbers er I mean
soingeurs/massage therapists). The hotel luggage cart was sluggish and I
saw it had tire/tube combo. So a little air pressure and I was rolling
much better. OK MAYBE a pinch over inflated but I was rolling the cart
with easy and had over a hundred VERY HEAVY Nike clothing boxes to move.
So I really didn’t care if the cart blew a wheel. In the end I had no
tire issues on the luggage cart. YES!!!! But I forgot to deflate them to
the normal recommended PSI afterwards.
With all the mechanics there on Friday we set to build bikes. We had 28
bikes to do divided by 8 mechanics. And with easy math, that’s less
than 4 bikes a piece. No big deal to build 4 bikes in 3 days. Especially
since I had all the clincher wheels done. But on top of our normal race
bikes to build we had 6 TT bikes to build. Now a road bike goes together
fairly fast. But the TT bikes are not so speedy. Easily twice as long to
build if not more. And when the rider tries it there are usually tons of
changes. Try this? Nope now try that? Nope now back to A. Man I just
LOVE TTs AND TT bikes. Can you feel the sarcasm?
Training rides here are much longer than in Austin with 6 hour rides
common and averaging easily over 4 hours per day. Culminating with the
epic ride from Solvang to Ojai on the last day to get our guys to the
sponsor weekend. But in the mean time somehow I get lucky AGAIN at camp
and this camp I only went in the follow car ONE DAY. So in two training
camps for a total of 19 days I was in the car for ONE!!! Wow. Gonna play
the lotto now.
With the rides being so long, the riders do little otherwise. Save for a
short walk down to the Bulldog cafe for coffee and relax time. But
normally it is bike, massage, eat and rest here in Solvang. And for the
staff it is some shopping nearby for some who are in the USA maybe only
At the end of camp is two days and one night in Ojai. This is an easy
spin for the guys as many sponsors come to be with the team. The sponsor
dinner is getting bigger and bigger. But the standard each year is the
guys letting loose for once. Few times they actually drink. Being saints
during the season. But here at camp, they can cut loose and drink (some
drink a lot this night) and management is cool with that. Supposedly at
the hotel bar we had an open tab paid by?????. Who knows and who cares?
Just give me another Sapphire and Tonic. After the fact I heard the bar
tab for our sponsors and riders that night was over $5,000.
Whooooooooooo Hooooooooo some drankin was happenin.
Now off to go home for some R&R and then some work to prepare for Tour
of California as well as Tour of Georgia.