One more road to cross
North Bend, WA
Friday, February 08, 2008
Training camp came and went, almost as fast as it started. Each day seemed independently lengthy and burdened, but went by with equal haste. Although the general feelings were of loathing and despair the result derived from 2.5 weeks of hard training at altitude can’t be overlooked. Personally I’d rate the camp as near one of the best I’ve ever done in terms of effect.
The last day seemed abnormally cheerful and the continental breakfast (“a la carte”) went down with exceptional ease. We started the ride early and with little premonition upon return gathered our belongings in route to the airport in Tucson- a mere 3 hour drive; where we spent the night and 5 of us boarded planes for Nassau… All with the same destination, but all on different flights…?! Some 7 hours and 3 connections later I arrived in Bahamian customs… one that had an air of zero interest until I approached the counter without the required knowledge of my hotel, which indeed was something of a password upon entrance. Fortunately the carrousel was near and a team mate was lurking… whereupon I was granted temporary entry while gathering the necessary knowledge: The Wyhndam.
The days following our arrival in the Bahamas were delightful. The first day was spent being brash and ignorant. I went on a ride with a team mate where we spent the next 2.5 hours riding inches from the bumper of random cars and trafficking down the center line when vehicle density picked up. The training was excellent, especially as a good day to re-open the legs after an absurdly long day of travel. And it was almost impossible to ignore the feeling that air actually entered your lungs at 2 feet above sea level… as opposed to 6000. We did attain some footage until now un-tapped of respective dump-truck motor pacing skill.
The race was almost a joke with “gringo grande” (Tyler Farrar, as he was affectionately named by the collective Cuban Combine) easily outsprinting everyone every time. Of course this was after each race exploded and casualties trickled in bruised, battered and bettered after enduring endless assault courtesy team slipstream. But then again the Tour of the Bahamas is not exactly the Tour of France.